A Truely Inspiring Story (Sailing La Vagabonde) Ep. 47

Meet Ryan, a man of many talents who chased his dreams even when the going got tough!! He has Muscular Dystrophy and is sailing around the world with his beautiful wife Nicole. Join us in the delicious green island of Tahuata, we dive into aqua blue waters and explore the tiny village of the island.

Checkout Ryans full documentary in the link below, made by Will Suto who also does some incredible work! I cried.


And don’t forget to checkout Ryans own personal Website:


What’s stopping YOU from living your dream today? Stop thinking about all the reasons why you think you can’t do something and list all the reasons why you CAN 🙂

Love Elayna & Riley
Sailing La Vagabonde.

Comments 25

  1. I hope someday you two can work all your videos into a mini series on Nat Geo. What a great series that would make!
    Sail on,

  2. You’ve inspired me. I’m taking a sailing class this month here in Thailand. Rylie, what are your thoughts on the Amel 46? I’m thinking about buying a used Amel.

  3. Hello Riley and Elayna,

    Like so many others I have found enjoyment is watching all of your episodes that you guys have posted on YouTube. Also, I’ve noticed your episodes getting better and better, music and editing takes time, so many thanks.
    I also ordered a copy of “Lessons Learned” by Riley and found it to be full of interesting sailing info that I hope to put to use sooner than later. Who knows you guys have shown it to be a small world and an unbelievable experience that would be really great to realize one day!
    Anyway, in my opinion what really set you guys apart is how you come across as being genuine and down to earth.

  4. awesome..need to know the song while diving…’try to recover’…title and artist? a YT sub and long time ‘liker’..peace!

  5. Great stuff guys. The can’t that Ryan can only hear is you can’t stop him! What an inspiring story.
    Fair winds


  6. Thats was awesome mates. Life is so short. Glad you were able to share their great experience with others.
    Keep up the great videos.

  7. Interesting video guys, and great to profile others with a story…such as Mike. It may be an interesting approach to do a series, or include in a bit more detail from time to time in your videos, some “fascinating folks” who have chosen a different journey in life, or who live in a world so different than most, and love it! Every once in a while you must come across some very unique people that you will remember-admire-or learn a great deal from?
    Enjoy the ride!

  8. Another good one, just came back to Tin Can Bay Qld after a bit of time out on our Cat Miss Olivia few gales here last weeks. Thanks for the effort you both put in to make the videos for us all to watch. Kay and Steve

  9. Hey guys,

    I know the amount of YouTube likes you get is important, so want to let you know I have no option to like this video when directed from the email to this page.

    I will of course click on like the next time I’m on YouTube, but this may help explain if you are getting many more views than likes.


  10. I’m with Ryan, you two human beings are amazing, makes us smile, makes me proud of our species. Haha Elayna please tell Riley I really enjoy his written blogs, adds so much context and I dig his humor! You are a great story teller as well with your videos. Next, I think you should create some original music. You have the time, the talent and now the internet fan base. Get it girl )) haha cheers you two, much love from California.

  11. Thanks for another great video guys, and what an inspiring story about Ryan. I look forward to your story’s all the time, and it makes me happy to see how well you have adapted to your life on La Vaga and travelling the world ” Love you Guys ” Take Care

  12. that last scene of Riley eating grub on deck and the sound of a line against the mast says it all. also never grow tired of Elanya’s bikini collection (can I say that?). more please of the life stories of travellers you meet and find inspiring!

  13. http://www.yachtingworld.com/skip-novak-comment/skip-novak-harnesses-ocean-racing-risks-vulnerable-time-81338

    Fair Use and FYI <3

    Skip Novak on harnesses, ocean racing risks and the most vulnerable time of all

    Of course the loss of crewmember Sarah Young from the Clipper Round the World Race yacht IchorCoal in April was a tragedy. We should be under no illusions, though, that ocean racing does carry risks and it is the law of averages that loss of life will occasionally happen. This is not the first time and it won’t be the last.

    No matter how much we dwell on safety issues we must all realise the ocean is not a golf course nor a tennis court. Unpredictable forces are continually at play. Remember the great Eric Tabarly? He was washed off the foredeck in the Irish Sea in 1998 and drowned. Given the man and his experience, this was at the time simply considered bad luck.

    The people who elect to do what can be described as hardcore offshore sailing must certainly know the risks and they take those risks willingly. That should hopefully be the end of this story. It was a credit to the crew of IchorCoal that they decided to continue the race after a burial at sea. It was the only logical thing to do and, out of respect to a competitor, the race must go on.

    An inquiry will no doubt follow. Why wasn’t she clipped on, apparently against the usual protocols?

    I suspect it was simply a moment of letting the guard down. I am a big fan of harnesses. My philosophy has always been that a harness is more fundamental than a lifejacket. Staying on board is everything.

    Whitbread photos

    Having said that, in my early sailing career I can barely remember wearing them. When I look back through my Whitbread photos it is amazing how many there are of the crew sitting on the weather rail or doing manoeuvres in heavy weather wearing no harnesses or lifejackets. Rest assured, though, when it got to a certain point of severity no one had to be told it was time to put one on.

    “I have come close to being washed overboard twice in my sailing career.
    On both occasions it was not at the height of the storm when senses are finely tuned”

    It is a good rule that at a certain wind speed or during the hours of darkness in all conditions harnesses are worn and clipped on at all times, but it is an overly optimistic expectation to achieve this 100 per cent of the time. Anyone who has spun the handles of a coffee grinder or for that matter any top handle winch while wearing a harness knows what it’s like to have the tether wound up in the handles, not to mention bruised knuckles from the harness buckles.

    Getting in the way

    Tether design is greatly improved to mitigate this, but there are times when they simply get in the way of a job in hand. Moving about the deck while always clipped on is another difficulty. Yes, it should be possible if the jacklines are well run, but being brought up short by the tether while trying to reach for something is an annoyance.

    So we sometimes forego the attachment for speed and efficiency. Moving forward and aft or across the yacht with alacrity and in safety, all the while gauging the pitch and heave of the yacht while keeping an eye on the waves, is a skill like any other.

    Learning my lesson

    I have come very close to being washed overboard twice in my sailing career. I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, but the second time it stuck. On both occasions it was not at the height of the storm when our senses are finely tuned. The heavy weather had passed; the wind was right down, but the sea was still running.

    I had my back to the ocean sitting on the high side of the cockpit, mind in neutral, relaxed and taking in the view. Without warning a wave gently came over the quarter and floated me right out of the cockpit and over the leeward lifelines. I snatched a hold and levered myself back on board.

    What lesson can we draw from this? When you start thinking a harness is probably not necessary, you can be at your most vulnerable.

    Skip Novak is a columnist and regular contributor to Yachting World, and author of our acclaimed Storm Sailing Series, which you can also find on our website. He was born in Chicago in 1952 and started sailing at an early age. He has raced in four Whitbread Round the World races and in 2001 co-skippered the 108ft catamaran Innovation in The Race round the world in 65 days, an event in which his future wife, Elena, also raced. In 1987 he built the steel cutter Pelagic and has since spent 26 seasons in Tierra del Fuego, South Georgia and Antarctica, sailing and mountaineering.

  14. Really an inspiring story – thanks for putting it up! Look forward to your continuing adventures!

  15. Riley & Elayna,

    Great video, and I really liked the interview with Ryan and Nicole.

    BTW, I posted on your previous video but the comment disappeared: it was sad seeing Tony depart, and I look forward to seeing him on La Vaga again … and he does a great air guitar! 🙂

    Cheers and safe sailing,


  16. Hi Guys,
    Just caught up to your latest video. I’m really enjoying your series and following your adventures! Looking forward to your next one.
    I have also done some cruising but in the Indian Ocean. Crewed for my father-in-law on his 32 ft bilge keeler sloop Nkwazi (Zulu for fish eagle) from St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa to Seychelles and back , an adventure that took 5 months.
    In your videos you sometimes ask for tips. Making your eggs last longer, we used to coat them with Vaseline before storing them. We were eating the last of them after a month!
    As far as what to do about pirates, although in those days they weren’t a problem yet, Joshua Slocum, in his circumnavigation in his yacht Spray, used to spread tacks on the deck before turning in for the night while at anchor!
    All the best,
    Peter Abrahamson
    St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

  17. Thank you for such a great story about another couple. I just found your you tubes and what a relieve as I am back in Houston, Texas house sitting and working until it is time to go back to Moalboal, Philippines, to be with my wife and little boy. Living up in the hills about 30 minutes from the dive area, and all the Germans that live there. You have pulled me out of this depression I get in as the weather is really hot, and a sailboat I have and live on I do not go down much to see at Palacious, Texas. But what a relieve to find a really well produce show to watch to keep myself away from all the negative things to view. I am older guy 63 and envy you all as I never had the courage to go with my dreams but happy at least I was able to end up with dreams, that like yours, makes me really appreciate the small things that can be seen in life and see in people like yourself.

  18. Thanks guys. Amazing! You sure get to see some marvellous places. Ryans story really is inspiring.
    Great stuff…talk about perserverence!
    have fun ,keep safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *