I bought a Yacht. Now I Just Need to Learn How to Sail.

Riley-LavagabondeSeptember, 2014

This first post will be done with the intention of giving a brief outline of what has transpired thus far and also give an idea as to what might be occurring in the future.

It had been slowly creeping around inside my brain for years, insistent, insidious, but I had daren’t breath a word of it to anyone.

The Dream

Not wanting to deal with any completely warranted skepticism from prematurely making such an outlandish claim as ‘I’m going to buy a Yacht and sail it around the world’ I ferreted away my money until the job was all but done before making the announcement to friends and family.

In march of 2013 I bought the boat now named “La Vagabonde”.

All I needed to do now was learn how to sail.

My name is Riley Whitelum, from Adelaide Australia, and this blog is in part to keep Mum happy and up to date with my location as I’m not big on the international phone call, partly to get a million views so I can advertise and then don’t have to go back to work and partly as I bit of a personal record or journal of what I can see is shaping up to be a seminal journey.

How I Found Her

I bought the boat in the small town of Monopoli, Italy, located about where the Achilles heel would be on the “boot” shape of Italy.

I bought her off a trio of Italian guys who were trying to get a sailing charter businesses off the ground. I wasn’t sure if they were telling me a story or not so I spent a bit of time in the town getting to know the locals and verified they had bought the boat as an investment for charter and weren’t getting the business required, were losing money, and therefore needed to sell quick.

This was the reason for the low price (rather than some looming mechanical or structural issue). I stayed a short while in Monopoli, living aboard and learning the systems and reading about how to sail (the purchase takes time so I couldn’t take it sailing yet).


Learning To Sail

A guy two boats down from me, Pauolo “The Magnificent”, took pity on me and offered to take me out on his boat so I would at least know how to hoist the sails.

Its now September 2014 and I’ve got a bit of a clue, however I’ve done some ridiculous and embarrassing things, sail-wise, onboard, and other. I’ll share those experiences with you on another post if you’d like.

New Adventure Ahead

La Vagabonde is now in Turkey with a permanent crew member, the lovely Elayna, whom I met in Greece (she’s from Australia).

From Bodrum in Turkey we are sailing south down the coast then back into Greece and on to Malta.

We’re thinking of having stainless steel work done in Tunisia as its cheap, then up to Sicily over to Spain and down the coast to Gibraltar.

I’m gearing up to take the trade winds across the Atlantic probably in January by way of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde to hang out in the Carribean and spear myself dinner and drink rum.

Elayna isn’t sure if she’s down for the crossing just yet. Stay tuned.

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Comments 13

  1. Elayna, please please please take the rest of the trip. No offence to Riley, but you much better looking. And I love to hear you sing. MORE SINGING please. And I might even up my Patreon payments 🙂

  2. Hey Riley! Great to see you guys living the dream! I plan to do the same one day. Your Vlogs are awesome but I thoroughly enjoy your writing style and would like to read more articles/stories on your website, I’m sure your Mum would appreciate more regular updates too 😛

    I’m finishing up varsity now so I’ll become a patron once I have some money of my own 🙂

    All the best and keep it up!

  3. I’ve just discovered your VLOG ( sounds like a turd doesn’t it?) just last night and am up to number 10 – yep it was a late one. After finishing the loop of Australia last year with my partner, two kids (1 and 4) and pop top offroad camper, I now want to turn to the bigger loop and the fact I also have very minimal sailing experience found me at your youtube channel, laughing my head off along with you guys. Now I’ve read your Bio it’s hard to imagine you didn’t start off the journey from the beginning together as you guys make a sick team.

    Anyway, lovin the underwater footage, spearing, sailing and general tom foolery. You guys are the type of people who give Aussies their good reputation around the world as generally nice people, ready to befriend any of those who pass you buy and have a good time, and willing to give a helping hand knowing that karma is a two way street. Keep the vids coming and i’m sure in no time you’ll be travelling the world even more – and for free 😉

    1. Hi Steve here from n.y.. I definitely agree with this guy. I didn’t know much about australians, but you two are just about the coolest people on the earth . I’ve learned a lot from your videos, about attitude, and about being zen. About accentuating the positive and dropping the negative and how I learned this (again) from watching you two. You have succeeded in being inspirational.

  4. I’m from Memphis , TN. , home of Federal Express , how would you like a care package , a box of frozen steaks ?

  5. Hi
    I just wanted to say you deserve this. I take my hat off to you for what you have achieved. Well done both of you. Take care of each other.

  6. Have been following for some time. Well done on all fronts. Enjoying all your episodes. You have an extremely pleasing , natural presentation. Hope to one day find my way to your lifestyle. In the meantime, am able to enjoy the waters off Vancouver Island, BC. We are fortunate to be able to run in various archipelagos in our region. We only lack the warmth of the Caribbean.

  7. Been following your travels religiously & have come to the conclusion your both not only cute but very inspirational take the compliment it’s more than warranted especially when it comes from a 75 yrs old timer ( who still dreams of sailing perhaps not around the world ) pls keep those videos coming …can’t wait to see your initial trip on the new Cat.

    ps: would love to contribute $$$ but I don’t know how & SADLY that’s the truth !!!

    Bon vent !!!

  8. I came across a video of yours on the ‘cruising Lea Lea’ Facebook page years ago and I was blown away how cool calm and collected you both were out there( surrounded by scary looking storm clouds) I’ ve since bought a small yacht and am making baby steps towards cruising offshore from here in Karratha W.A. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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