Discovering the Balearics in a Lagoon
We’re Ronald and Fleur from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Currently, we live on our beautiful Lagoon 42 catamaran in the Balearic Islands of Spain.
We’re Ronald and Fleur from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Currently, we live on our beautiful Lagoon 42 catamaran in the Balearic Islands of Spain.
ABOUT YOU –
Can you please introduce yourself?
We’re Ronald (37) and Fleur (41) from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Currently, we live on our beautiful Lagoon 42 catamaran in the Balearic Islands of Spain.
It has always been our dream to be able to travel the world. Around eight years ago, we set the goal to retire before we both turned 40. We wanted to achieve this by creating a passive income that would allow us to sail the world full-time on our dream boat.
Last year, we were able to quit our jobs and set off on our adventure! We now live on the boat fulltime and share our financial freedom approach via our blog From Penny to Many while travelling the world.
How long have you been living aboard your Lagoon and how many miles do you have under your belt?
We have the boat since August 2019. Our first sail with her was from the factory in Les Sables D’olonne to Stavoren in The Netherlands. During that trip, we were on board with a skipper from our Lagoon dealer Nautisch Kwartier Stavoren. He instructed us how to sail the boat and gave us amazing nautical tips.
After we arrived in The Netherlands, we took almost one extra year to learn to sail the boat and to add all the extras we wanted to get the boat ready for our fulltime sailing adventure. In March 2020, we moved onto the boat to live on it permanently. It was at the beginning of the Covid pandemic and working remotely became the norm. For us, it was the ideal moment to make the transition from land to boat life and get used to life on the water.
On the 1st of July 2020, we said goodbye to family and friends and left the Netherlands to start our fulltime sailing lifestyle. The past year we have sailed from the Netherlands in the north of Europe to the sunny Mediterranean. In total we have sailed around 3.000 NM with our Lagoon 42.
Is this your new home? What was the trigger for you to start this adventure?
Yes, the boat is now our home! For many years we dreamt of exploring the world. In the past, we traveled mostly during our holidays and went backpacking, going from one hotel to another. We both like this way of traveling, but we knew we would need to have a place that we can call our home if we would travel for longer periods. That’s why we decided that we wanted something different.
With sailing, you can move your home to new destinations and if you plan your sails well you can use the wind most of the time. This way of traveling attracted us so much that we started looking for appropriate boats. We first looked into monohulls but once we discovered catamarans there really wasn’t another option for us. We were immediately in love with the Lagoon catamarans because of their spacious layout. We always call our boat our floating apartment.
Can you tell us about your journey? What is your most beautiful destination?
We usually post plenty of pictures on our Instagram account of the destinations we visit. Choosing which one is the most beautiful destination is pretty difficult. I think it’s more the variety of places that we have visited which makes this lifestyle beautiful and interesting. There are moments that we anchor in an industrial environment, and several days later we spend a couple of days in crystal blue waters and beautiful beaches.
If we have to mention a few highlights, it would include the city of Porto, Cascais and Lagos in Portugal. We loved Portugal because of the food, the people, the culture and all the dolphins and whales we saw while sailing the coast. Now that we are in the Mediterranean, we love sailing the Balearic Islands like Formentera, Ibiza and Mallorca.
How do you finance yourself? The fear of the unknown has never scared you and how do you counteract it?
We are financially independent. This means that we don’t have to work for an income anymore.
In the past, we both worked very hard and made long days. By doing so we were able to save enough money to buy the boat. Over the years, we also invested our savings in real estate. We currently rent out two apartments in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. This creates a steady passive income stream which we use to cover our living expenses on the boat. We write about how we did this on our blog From Penny to Many.
The fear of the unknown can definitely be scary. For us, the lifestyle we choose is new, but instead of being scared, we tried to prepare for it as well as we could. Not starting this adventure and being stuck in the office until our formal pension age scared us more;) It’s important to deal with uncertainty and fear in life. We deal with it by creating solutions for the barriers we see. By taking big steps in life, you can learn new things that can be fun, challenging, and be useful for many things in your future.
Leaving home and setting sail was an exciting and big adventure. We had to redesign our whole lives again and rediscover the things we find important in life. Before we set sail, we didn’t know for sure if we would like this lifestyle or whether we would be able to finance it. That’s why we started tracking our expenses. On our blog From Penny to Many, we share monthly expense overviews. That way, people that like to know how much this lifestyle actually costs you, can get the information they need. We hope to inspire other people to create financial freedom for themselves as well by showing them how we did it.
What would be your advice for others that want to do the same?
Our main advice? Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan! Once you switch from dream to plan, things will change. And start your plan by creating a clear view of your desired end result. What do you want your life to look like? If you know that, you can reverse engineer your way towards it: determine how much money you need and start designing your way towards it. This can be via saving and investments – like we did – or by working from the boat. There are multiple ways to make your dreams happen, but you do have to start working on them!
What is your best memory on board?
When we departed The Netherlands last year and sailed to The Mediterranian we had to cross the notorious Bay of Biscay. The year before we had sailed a short part of the Bay of Biscay with a skipper after the delivery in Les Sables D’olonne. During that sail, we had pretty big waves and 40knts of wind. I can remember that this was pretty intense, but the boat handled it super well. This time. we had to cross the Bay of Biscay together without any professional help. We were both a bit tense and tried to pick a good weather window to do this. The crossing however, went super smooth. We could sail almost the whole way. The moment that we arrived in Vivero (Spain) was amazing and it felt as a victory for us. I think that trip is one of our best memories.
Another amazing memory on board is when we look back at all the great people we get to meet while we are sailing. The friends we make on the way are the ones that create color in our adventure. Having drinks with them, going on hikes, sailing together. That’s great!
Why did you choose Lagoon?
I think it’s a combination of the Lagoon brand and the 42 model that attracts us.
We felt that of all the catamarans we considered, the Lagoon 42 gave us the best value for money. We love the design of the boat (she looks amazing) and also the comfort of the Lagoon 42 is great. For us, living on a boat, the focus is on being comfortable while sailing to new locations. The Lagoon 42 has the right balance between price, quality, design and comfort.
A second important factor is that the onboard systems are reasonably simple. We don’t like it when there are a lot of electrical systems onboard that can potentially break. Especially on a sailboat, you want to be able to troubleshoot and fix things yourself. Next to that, we liked the fact that Lagoon is a very well-known brand and there are many service points all over the world. So, when you need something (like spare parts), it’s relatively easy to get it.
Have you always been passionate about sailing or did you start as a novice?
Ronald grew up with sailing and sailed a lot with my parents, and went to “sailing camps” when he was little. For him, sailing is a passion. Fleur also loves sailing but the traveling and exploring part is more important for her. Fleur’s sailing experience was pretty much nonexistent before we departed. We charted a sail boat in Greece once and that was amazing, but when it came to catamarans, we both were very novice.
It may sound crazy, but we truly feel that you can only gain real experience by doing it. At one point you just have to take the leap and trust that you will cope with difficult situations and problems as they occur. We’re still in our first year of sailing fulltime and although our confidence has skyrocketed, we’re still learning so much.
What are the best advantages of living on board?
Well, there are plenty. Of course, it’s definitely the part that you can travel to beautiful places and take your home with you. But there is so much more: your whole back yard is a swimming pool, the sea life you encounter under way, learning to sail the boat like a team, sunsets and sunrise from the water, the low costs of living, the people you meet when under way etc etc.
It’s a completely different lifestyle than we had before and it comes with its own challenges and advantages. Living on the water is much more intense than on land. We have to make our own water, check if there is enough solar coming in, run the generator if necessary and stay on top of how our anchor holds. It’s a real transition and sometimes we crave the carefree life of living ashore. But when the sun shines, we go for a swim, inflate our kayak to go the beach and have a beautiful walk alongside the bay with stunning views to our floating home, we felt the luckiest persons in the world.
Following your dreams does not mean that your whole life becomes a fairy tale. Every lifestyle has it struggles and there will be highs and lows. But in the end, it is you who decides which highs will be yours to chase and which lows you are willing to take. Make that choice!
ABOUT YOUR STAY IN IBIZA –
How long have you been in Ibiza?
We arrived on the island of Formentera first and stayed there for a week. After that, we sailed to Ibiza to explore this beautiful island more. In total we have spent three weeks on the island, but we’re heading back there to sail with friends soon.
What has been your travel?
Ibiza isn’t very big, which is actually great for a sailboat because you can reach a different beach or anchorage within only a few hours. From Formentera, we first sailed to Cala Bassa in the northwest. We went to Port des Terrent and Sant Antoni and then went further north to Sant Miquel and Cala Xarraca. Due to the changing winds we decided to sail to Ibiza town. We stayed in the bay for a few lovely days, exploring the city. When we left Ibiza town, we actually started our second lap around Ibiza, in which we stayed in Cala d’Hort, Cala Tarida and Portinaxt. From Portinaxt, we crossed the Balearic Sea towards Mallorca.
What are your favorite places on the island?
Ibiza has a lot to offer and each place has its own charm. If we go back, we will definitely visit Cala Bassa, Cala d’Hort, and Ibiza town again. They were our favorite places on the island. However, we also want to check out Benirras and Cala de Sant Vincent next time.
How do you know where to moor according to the wind?
Of course, we look at the wind forecasts, but since our anchor can handle strong winds pretty well, we feel that this isn’t the most important factor to consider. In Ibiza, we looked mainly at the forecasts of the swell. Our catamaran can cope with swell better than most monohulls, but still when there is a big swell coming into the anchorage, being on the boat becomes very uncomfortable. Since the swell can come from a completely different angle than the wind, it’s important to check the predictions to ensure a nice stay and – also very important – a good night sleep. We use apps on our phone for this; Windy and Navily are our favorite ones, but sometimes the forecasts are a bit off. When we anchored at Cala Xarraca, we were woken up at 5 AM in the morning and had to leave the anchorage because we had a 1-meter swell. It’s those moments, that we are aware of the fact that we are only there with the approval of Mother nature.
Why did you choose this island?
When it comes to sailing, Ibiza is a dream destination. It has stunning beaches and the bays are beautiful. The color of the water is beyond blue and the island vibe gives you an instant holiday feeling.
After wintering in the south of Spain, we were craving some anchorage hopping, cocktails and beach BBQ’s. We feel that due to the pandemic, we’re very lucky to experience the island in a quieter time which gives more of an authentic feeling.
What is your next destination?
At the moment, we are anchored in the bay of Santa Ponca in Mallorca. We have family coming over to visit us in Mallorca and after that friends that will sail with us in Ibiza. So, for the next few weeks, we will probably stay in the Balearic Islands.
After that, we plan to sail to the mainland of Spain again and go up north alongside the coast towards the Cote Azur in France. We like to sail around Corsica and Sardinia this summer and maybe head further into the med (Italy, Croatia and onwards to Greece) after that. Plans tend to change quite a bit on a boat, and especially with covid, we don’t really know where we will be in a few months from now, but that’s okay. We have enough time to explore Europe!
I would like to write an article to give ideas for boatrips on board Lagoon. What would be for you the perfect week here?
For us, the perfect week on Ibiza on a boat would be all about seeing where the wind takes you. We anchored in some of the nicest bays unplanned, because it was the best spot to go given the forecasts. The whole point of sailing is not planning to much and just see what happens.
That being said, we would definitely recommend that you anchor near Es Vedra in Cala d’Hort to see the magical sunset there. Go to Cala Benirras and anchor the boat to experience the drummers on the beach for that ultimate Ibiza vibe. Have a fancy dinner with cocktails in Ibiza town. Oh, and don’t skip Formentera! It’s the ultimate stop-over if you crave turquoise Caribbean-like blue waters for snorkeling and swimming.
Do you have any tips to give us?
Stay clear of anchoring in the Posidonia. This seaweed is protected in Ibiza and your anchor and anchor chain have to stay clear from it. Also, if you anchor the boat, ask your neighbors how much chain they have out so you’re sure not to swing into them. Normally, it will be around 4 to 5 times the depth of the water, but its best to check to be sure.
ABOUT THE CLUB LAGOON –
Do you think that choosing a boat brand defines a state of mind?
Well, that’s a great question actually. What we see on the water is that people that choose boat life already have a certain state of mind. It’s a way of living that is connected to freedom, exploring and adventure. Within that group, people that decide to buy a Lagoon catamaran are definitely looking for a bit more comfort while sailing the world. We feel that this is a new trend; there is a growing group of (young) people that are looking to buy a catamaran to be able to work from it remotely.
Are you a member of Club Lagoon?
Yes, we are. We joined Club Lagoon directly when we got the boat.
What do you think about it?
I think it’s a great initiative. The fact that Lagoon invests in creating discounts with partners for owners of Lagoon catamaran is great. We often check whether a marina is a partner of Club Lagoon before we go there, because it means we will get a nice discount. We also participated in the Lagoon Escapade in the Netherlands, which was organized under the flag of Club Lagoon. We had a great day on the water with other Dutch Lagoon owners. We sailed together, had a nice BBQ etc. It was great!
What is your feedback on Club Lagoon?
The Club Lagoon membership is great for the discount you can get. To create an even better experience, it might be cool to see extra features to really give it that Club vibe. Maybe something like a virtual club house where Lagoon owners can meet each other. Or extra events to sail together with other Lagoon owners. Life on the water is a very social lifestyle, so a club approach would fit that aspect very well.
Do you know the advantages of Club Lagoon? – No they didn't
– Port space at the price of a monohull in our partner marinas
– Advantageous prices with our partners such as: a free year of multihull mag, gifts from Tiwal…
Ronald knows all these advantages.
What would you improve and what would you like to find in this Club?
I would like to see more practical tips.