Birgit Hackl and her partner Christian Feldbauer wanted to see the world—especially the remote parts of it that aren’t accessible for tourists. But how would they get there? The answer was quickly found: a sailboat was the perfect means to reach these potential pristine paradises. They went ahead with their project, accumulated lots of books and theoretical knowledge, purchased a sturdy bluewater boat and only after all that they actually went sailing for the first time. Luckily they quickly found their eight sea legs on their first trip (ship’s cat Leeloo was with them right from the start). Having equipped and prepared their S/Y Pitufa, they set out towards the horizon in 2011 and have never regretted their decision. They are still cruising all-year-round on their S&S 41.
“Sailing Towards the Horizon” tells the story of Birgit, Christian and Leeloo as they sail from the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, through the Caribbean and on to the Pacific. The book covers the first five years of their trip as they hop from one exotic destination to the next, gaining sailing experience on a very steep learning curve—learning by doing that never ends. The book is written in a light-hearted, humorous tone that draws the reader in. Extracts from their logbook and blog entries add to the immediacy of the storytelling.
If you’re looking for an emotional striptease or daunting horror tales of storms and icebergs, “Sailing Towards the Horizon” is not the right read for you. Birgit gives an honest insight into the anxieties, worries and crises the cruising couple experienced, without getting overly dramatic. The focus is clearly on the positive sides of cruising: living a simple, alternative life close to nature, exploring off the beaten track, spending quality time with each other and their cat, enjoying awe-inspiring encounters with wildlife and authentic insights into different cultures. Old salts will laugh along with their beginner’s mistakes and cruising rookies or those who are contemplating setting out as cruisers will find useful tips and tricks on how to tackle the challenges of this alternative life-style.
“Sailing Towards the Horizon” by Birgit Hackl is available on Amazon as a paperback (15.90 USD), e-book (7.90 USD) and hardcover (23.90 USD). Follow the couple on their blog www.pitufa.at or on Facebook S/Y Pitufa!