«Kids around the world»
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«Kids around the world»

The story of the Surikov family, who live and travel on a yacht with two young children.
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Someone might be scared of the idea of being on a yacht with their child. But definitely not the Surikov family: Vasily and Elena live and travel around the world on a ten-meter sailing boat with their three-year-old son Philip and daughter Olivia, who recently celebrated her first birthday.

And some years ago Vasily and Elena were typical office employees and lived in Moscow. How did they manage to get out of the grey everyday life in Moscow and buy a boat, how do they earn their living and how much does it cost them? Read about this and much more in this article.

«Our story started behind the Arctic Circle in Teriberg, Vasya took me there for a kite ride. And then there were bicycles, parachutes, mountains, tens of thousands of kilometers by car, a tent in the Crimea, then again the tundra and 30 more countries ... - says» Elena on the page on Facebook Kids on Boat - Kids around the« world, dedicated to their sea»travels.

The spirit of adventure kept the guys quiet in their past - land - life. The future spouses got acquainted, working in one office: Vasily - the programmer, Elena - the designer of sites. But their family history begins in a joint trip for the polar circle to Teriberka, where he and a company of like-minded people went kite riding.

At that time Elena had already gone freelance, and in time her husband was lured to free bread. This opened up new opportunities for them. The guys began to actively travel across Russia and Europe. The car, tent, solar panels and modem allowed them to travel, working in any place, even right on the Crimean coast.

But soon, this format of movement on the planet has become narrower than «Surikov»'s - too many restrictions and difficulties: visas, customs, traffic police, and between continents by car not to move.

More and more often, jokes about buying your own yacht began to flicker into the conversation, and as a result this idea grew into a goal.

«The yacht in our case is a fortune. How to buy it and what to do with it? And in the ocean there are waves... Let's see
! Nothing has stopped us yet, and while Vasya shares with friends our new goal, I try not to talk about her out loud.- I'm afraid to frighten away such an old, childish and cherished dream of mine that I was afraid to even approach,"»recalls Elena on Facebook those days.

It was a childhood dream for Elena - she was born in Sevastopol and always raved about sea voyages, even studied in Turkish Marmaris and got a license to operate a yacht RYA Day Skipper. But Vasily has a very different story: he is from Moldova and has never been to sea before.

«To tell the truth, we didn't even know, whether it will be pumped on water, - tells Elena in the interview to "Crimean magazine". - I was lucky that my husband, now our cap, supported all my crazy ideas and easily agreed to change the wheels on sails.

With this crazy ideas in the head, without savings, apartments that can be rented or other passive sources of income, the guys paved the way to their dreams.

For several months they have been studying the issues associated with buying a yacht, terrified of how much more to learn and do. But in the end, as they themselves now admit, it was much simpler.

Money, taking into account sale of the car, they have saved up, working on a freelance. For this purpose, they worked for a month on projects in four hands in a 24/7 mode. By the way, for those who find reasons to postpone the realization of a dream to a«better time - there was less than a month left until the»appearance of Philip at that time.

The meeting with a family of yachtsmen from Sevastopol was significant. They dispelled the false idea that buying a yacht and starting to travel on it is like flying into space, and finally charged the guys to buy a boat.

The finish line began: a couple or three days were spent scouring yacht sales sites and compiling a list of 160 suitable options in 11 countries. And here we go! Already three - with four months of Philip - Surikovs went by car to the Netherlands for the first views.

«One boat, second, third. Look, we choose... we doubt it. Ahead - Germany, a dozen in Denmark, even more yachts - in Sweden, Finland and Norway ... The fifth yacht is next, Germany ... Let's go on a pontoon to a mooring place: "How many?...Tru, I can't believe my eyes, that's the code name for our cap." We look around, we smile, "Take it!" - we speak with one voice and run off the deck and take off the "for sale" sign.»", says Elena on Blog-happytravels.ru.

Though the guys have very carefully examined the boat and have thoroughly asked the owner about it, the decision on purchase has been accepted in 10 minutes.

The 33-foot Pionier 10, built by Dutch shipyard Van de Stadt in 1972, was chosen for her purchase for €9,900.

«We wanted our first boat to be strong and super-reliable, so we chose a yacht built in the Scandinavian countries - with a margin of safety for the harsh northern seas, - explain Surikovs' choice. - We specially watched the boat of the 70s and 80s. Firstly, they are comparatively cheaper, and secondly, plastic of these years is the best in quality. After the 90's, plastic became more economical and the problem with osmosis became much more acute than for yachts of more adults.

From the previous owner, together with the boat, they were taken over by an echo sounder from the 70s, a compass, GPS receiver, autopilot, VHF radio and a set of rescue equipment. The yacht is equipped with a 21 hp Nanny 2002 engine, which is powered by a 50 litre fuel tank. To get to land from anchorage there is a tender - dingi.

The sails are represented by two jibs, a storm jib, a mainsail and two spinnakers.

Below deck, the yacht has a saloon, a gimbal-suspended kitchen (with alcohol and electric tiles), a hand-pumped toilet and a double forward cabin. An old Webasto heater and electric fan are available for heating in cold weather. For the provision of fresh water for domestic needs - tank for 60 liters.

Having made an agreement with the owner, the guys moved their things on board the same evening and in July 2016 in the German city of Kiel began their big trip on a yacht.

The paperwork wasn't too much trouble: they signed a sales contract, then registered the yacht under the Dutch flag for €350 online to simplify customs issues when sailing in the Schengen area. The documents arrived by mail in a week.

The name Spirit of Munin (translated as Soul «of Munin)»given to the yacht during the construction, it was decided to leave - the family had a reference to Scandinavian mythology to their taste: Munin is one of the two raven helpers of Odin himself.

The insurance could not be bought until a year later, as the insurance companies refused to take out a policy because of the age of the boat. As a result, it cost €150 for the year.

In addition, current owners have installed solar panels on the yacht at 320V, a SunYoba microcontroller and two service batteries at 280A/hr. Navionics maps are used for navigation on a tablet, which costs €50 per region.

The guys carefully gathered their experience of buying a yacht in one big article-instruction to help those who also dream about their own boat. It can be found on the crowdfunding platform page of Patreon and the Surikov family project can also be supported there.

Today, there are 1,600 nautical miles behind the back of a family contract.

They pass slowly from the North Sea through the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, stopping, studying and permeating the flavour of their favourite places.

Germany, France, Spain, Portugal - we have carefully delineated the entire coastline.

During this time, newly baked sailors managed to get a second youth.

They spent the whole pregnancy on board, including the passages between Portugal, mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands.

On land, in Spain, they landed a couple of weeks before Olivia was born and returned to yachting life just two months later.

Elena assures, that it was much easier for her to bear pregnancy in the ocean than on earth: «...a lot of fresh air, bathing and relaxing in water (and it relieves tired legs and back very well), it is always possible to sit down or lie down and rest, and the very atmosphere of constant staying on water has a high stress resistance!»

Life and upbringing of children on board Vasily and Elena consider safer and more favorable than in conditions of the big city.

Children spend a lot of time in the fresh air, learn to swim, constantly see something new and interesting around, learn the world not from pictures, and in real life: among plants, birds, animals, come to a variety of cities.

They communicate with a large number of people, including their peers, who speak different languages. The maritime community is very close-knit and friendly, with yachtsmen visiting each other and making warm meetings.

«For safe passage we always have nets stretched on the bed) and when the children sleep in the lurch we are calm that they will not fall out. There is also a net on the deck along the entire fence - it holds Phil and everything else that tries to roll overboard. And we also have a strict rule: no foot during the transition from the cockpit.

When the time comes, the Surikovs plan to organize a remote education on board, drawing on the experience of many parents of yachtsmen.

The four of them spend an average of €300-400 per month on a boat, including food, fuel and repairs.

The lion's share of this amount goes on food.

«For meals per month we spend about 250 euros on four. Amazing! But, before learning to choose the right products in the store, we spent two years experimenting .

Spirit of Munin had no fridge on board, but the guys were willing to live without it. In shops they buy a lot of long-storage milk and yogurt in kilo jars, which still ends in a couple of days. In the markets they buy vegetables, fruits, herbs, lentils and soybeans themselves.
Meat (turkey, rabbit, pork) is always prepared fresh. Seafood and fish - caught overboard.

«Fresh tuna - a magnificent gift to a table! As soon as we go out to sea - we set up the gear and always get one or two good specimens, and immediately prepare a salted fillet. Not a single shop can find this!»

In transitions for good mood and creation of fighting spirit in a course there are chocolate, sweets, a condensed milk, cookies, a sausage and other pleasant things.

«Before going out to sea, we eat little and no milk - so that it does not sickness. We also have light but frequent snacks at the crossing itself. Everything fits here: meat cuts, sandwiches, lots of mineral water, olives. You can't overeat. Also the "forbidden list" includes heavy and fatty food. We pay special attention to dried fruits. And protein cocktails stand on a separate shelf - this is our salvation in difficult moments: when we find ourselves in the sea in bad weather, when not at all to cook.

Boats are maintained, repaired and upgraded on their own - with minimum expenses. On their account - a repaired gearbox, engine and even a yacht compass.

But even with such modest requests for monthly expenses it is necessary to earn: guys have no passive income yet.

At first, they continued to support themselves by working freelance, as they did on land. However, this often forced them to stand in marinas for a long time, as they needed Internet access. And with two toddlers on board such kind of earnings became simply impossible.

Vasily and Elena, that is called, on their own skin tried many ways of earning and for today they have a channel on YouTube, they are printed in magazines, participate in TV projects. And they have special hopes for their crowdfunding project on Patreon.

The Surikov family is now wintering at anchor off the coast of Mallorca. In the near future they plan to move to a catamaran. They even have the opportunity to live for a while on a 40-foot double hull and this experience has strengthened their desire. The guys find this type of boat more comfortable for permanent living, and even more so with children: more space, less rocking.

On a catamaran they plan to make one of their ambitious plans - to walk the whole family around the earth in the tropics.

The next, even more grandiose plan is to organize a research expedition around the world along the meridians with a polar latitude trip across all continents.

For this purpose they want to build a special catamaran at the shipyard, equip it with necessary equipment and invite scientists to it.

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