feel the breeze – the “young baby” cruising family

Rianne, Gerben and Jr. Captain Benjamin set sail to explore the world and feel the breeze on their Beneteau 57 “Perfect Sense”

The "Feel the Breeze" crew has been cruising since

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of short profiles about some of the most interesting and inspiring cruising families. You can find the full list of families here and if you feel I missed someone, please shout. 

A quick reminder why I am doing this. 

Firstly, I have been actively following most of these families on social media in preparation for our own voyage in a couple of years. There is so much you can learn from their experiences. 

Secondly, it is a way for me to pay back and say thanks to the families for answering my sometimes stupid questions.

Thirdly, there is a good chance we’ll meet somewhere on the seven seas and you can be sure we’ll have a party.

I first came across the Rianne, Gerben and Benjamin while looking for more information on a Benteteau 57, my favourite blue water cruising boat (more on this in an upcoming blog post). 

The usual googling approach took me to the feelthebreeze website and from there I ended up finding their Instagram account. At that time I had a question about the B57’s port-side helm position and I reached out to Gerben and Rianne with a question. They responded immediately and it was obvious they shared the same passion for the same boat and more.

Rianne and Gerben are from Amsterdam and Jr. Captain Benjamin is not even 12 month old (at the time of writing this). He has spent more time on the water than on land and I am sure the concept of “sealegs” will never really be a challenge in his life 🙂

Rianne and Gerben set sail in 2018 as part of a substantial life change to design their life’s around 4 core values. One of which is “World Sailors”! You can find more details about their values on their website (details below). 2019 is all about sailing in the Med with a plan to cross the Atlantic in 2020 to check out the Carribean Sea.

You might be aware that I am in the process of writing a book. “Coconut Bikini” is all about how to live a positive life as a family and Rianne, Gerben and Benjamin have started their incredible journey by consciously choosing their way of life. I love that.

Thanks, guys for answering my questions! You know what to do when you make landfall in Australia should we not meet before.

If you check out Rianne and Gerben’s website or follow their Instagram updates, you very quickly realise that they provide some rather honest insights on how they got to where they are now.

They openly post & talk about their challenges, be it personal or professional. Gerben, for example, had the misfortune of going through bankruptcy – hey buddy 😉 – while dealing with health-related challenges. 

I find it extremely inspiring when people put their cards on the table and share their story to help and inspire others. Oh, and of course they got immediate brownie points for sailing a B57 🙂

Ok, they are sailing the most beautiful sailing boat on earth. Sound a bit prejudiced? That’s because I am 🙂

The Beneteau 57 (B57) was built from 2002 until 2010 by … well, French shipbuilder Beneteau. She was designed by legendary Bruce Farr and is a powerful sloop rig. With 57.8 feet length and a good 22tons displacement, she is a proper oceangoing sailing vessel.

Not to mention she is extremely beautiful and has plenty of space for a family to be fulltime liveaboards.

Rianne, Gerben and Benjamin’s B57 is called “Perfect Sense”

Feel the Breeze are most active on Instagram

Blogposts on their website

Rianne and Gerben provide custom made, high-end leadership and coaching programs on their journey! A good chance to meet them and also to check the “Perfect Sense” in real life. More info here.

There are also plans to host strategy and other business meetings on-board the “Perfect Sense”. More info here.

Tell me more...

I have reached out to Rianne and Gerben and sent them a number of questions. I call them “tell me more” questions because I hope they provide more personal insights.

Thanks again guys for your open and honest answers!

The most challenging event was during a storm behind the anchor on Ibiza, we were just living onboard for a month, Benjamin was 4 months old and the waves were too high to get from board. 

As a newbie family and starting to become a sailing family this was a good introduction into the sailing life. We made the best out of it, playing with Benjamin, watching movies, making popcorn and got completely familiar with rolling behind anchor for days.

Another challenging event was to get back to the boat which was behind anchor in Porroig, Ibiza with the dinghy, we left the dinghy on the beach during calm weather and explored the inland. When we came back the waves where 2-3 meters high, people where actually surfing and we had to go back to the boat with Benjamin in his Moses basket through the wave breakers, when we managed the wave breakers we had to get onboard the Perfect Sense while she was acting like a wild horse on the waves. This because of a storm in the Strait of Gibraltar, the waves over there became rollers hitting Ibiza.

Ok last one for now 😉 When our outboard stopped working and service took weeks we used our Paddle Board to get to shore with the three of us, Gerben paddling and Rianne holding Benjamin I(4 months old) in his Moses basket on the Paddle board. Neighbouring yachties called it: watching a movie 😉

Hahaha, we would say every day.

It’s a blast and the best decision in our life to start sailing as a young family, just always together, exploring the world, having adventures, close to Mother Nature besides seeing dolphins, swimming with Benjamin, dinghy rides, sunsets, sunrises and we absolutely love night sailing.

We sailed from Menorca to Sardinia and did 209 NM in 24 hours with a clear sky, we saw the Milky Way, a stunning sunset, sunrise and just used the engine for mooring. Yes, we sail a monohull and are proud of our mileage 😉

That’s a good one, we would say we don’t have arguments but that’s a lie. Due to our turbulent last years Gerben has some issues to solve and sometimes he gets angry and that’s why we created a cabin just for Rianne, this is the “ladies” cabin and Gerben and Benjamin are guests over there. 

The moment we have an argument and we need some space to reflect we both have our own private space onboard. Luckily Gerben’s anger is almost away and we can count our arguments on one hand.

We miss the energy of the city of Amsterdam, our hometown. The simplicity of living on land like, food, groceries, garbage, cleaning, not constant moving and our car to explore the inland.

The most valuable lesson for us after 5 months of cruising is the time you spend together is priceless.

Set a date and go, you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

Some snapshots

All images are property of Rianne, Gerben and Benjamin and used here with permission.

Click for lighbox view.

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