Experiences from a nomad sailor

Interview to Paula Gonzalvo from Allende los Mares

You are an avid sailor and constant mood to show others your passion. You have sailed already into the Caribbean, Mediterranean, have been on different trips and meeting a lot of other nomad sailors. How did all start?

5 years ago, when I finish university, I decided to take time for myself and go traveling. I was told that it was possible to get to Latinamerica by boat, so I went to the Canary Islands to try to hitch-hike a sailboat

You have studied architecture.Did you have before any contact with the ocean?

Not at all. I was even afraid to swim far in the sea. In fact, I decided to travel by boat just as a mean of transport. I didn’t know what I discover later, the cruising lifestyle, that it was possible to life and travel in a sailboat

Oh, that’s great. So you kind of started from scratch into sailing. Look at where it has become!

You have also been on a lot of radio shows, TV programs and also on the news. What is what people normally want to know about you?

I share what I have learnt traveling by boat, also another approach to sailing.

At least in Spain sailing is known as elitist, just for a few people. And I was so surprised and happy to find this lifestyle that I decided to share it so more people could experience it.

How was it the first experience. How did you get to enjoy your first trip?

I enjoy it before it started, it was an adventure itself to try to find a boat. Then, once at the boat, just learning all about how to move at sea with the wind, to feel self-sufficient, not depending on land or anyone. The connection to nature, the disconnection to virtual life. Just being…


How long was the trip?

It took 17 days to sail across the Atlantic, then we continue sailing with the same boat from Antigua to Bahamas for 1 month and a half.

Oh beautiful!

How big was the crew?

We were 5, the captain and 4 hitch-hikers

You stayed in the Bahamas? or did you pick up another boat?

I had to fly to Panama, I backpacked for 2 months and found another boat on internet to work as a cook in San Blas Islands

hahaha fantastic!

What a journey!

And from there you went back to Spain or you continue moving?

I worked there for 8 months discovering the lifestyle of people who live in their boat, there is such a community there. Very simple life, fishing to eat, rain or river to drink, very few material things

Then I sailed to Colombia, worked in a boatyard and flew back to Spain to reconsider my life. To continue as an architect or live as a sailor

I decided to learn how to sail and became captain after a few years

Such an amazing experience! I’ve met some crazy guys traveling on sailboats. Met some funny guys from Switzerland that had all what they needed on their boat. I felt jealous of their lifestyle

What would be the steps for someone that wants to get into become a nomad sailor? What advices would you give?

I would recommend to try it only if you don’t wish lot of material things, first of all, you have to love nature, freedom, disconnection to virtual world. Then be patient, constant and willing to have a live where everyday is different and uncertain

then lots of miles at sea, sail sail sail until you get comfortable at sea, ready to take responsibility onboard

And then if you want to become a professional to make a living of it, take the certificates, RYA is a great one.

And if you prefer to work on remote, make a bit of money until you get the amount to buy a boat, make sure you have saved a little more not to feel in prison in your own boat, so you can leave it in a marina if you want to go on land or need to do some repairs on it

I’ve been reading your Vlog and I couldn’t agree more that in this supposed developed world we are kind of falling into an autopilot lifestyle, wasting our time been trapped in silly repetitive tasks. I would like you to share which ways could we find, to break this lifestyle and go into a more fulfilled one.

I know that you are aware also on the digital nomad lifestyle. Here are several people working remotely as copywriters, developers (myself for example). Do you find that is possible to live working remotely on the internet and being on the ocean? Are there any inconvenience?

hehe good question, this is my eternal dilemma

if you are close to shore, no problem. There is normally always a place to find wifi. Not very good one depending on the little towns or villages you pass by. 

But the more you sail, the more you like to be at sea, maybe also to spend more time traveling far. 

So, if its possible is good to get organize, organize work to be able to work offline and then, find days to go to the wifi-places to upload the job done and connect

Funny. I think I have lost right now my wifi connection 😀

Your youtube channel is amazing. It’s full of useful videos and you a lot of subscribers. I really recommend people that have an interest in knowing about it and that does speak spanish to follow you. What can people find there?

thank you, I started sharing my own adventures at sea as a hitch-sailor, also what I was learning. Then I found really interesting people lifestyles at sea and also I’ve done some interviews to sailors. I try to inspire people to do things they think about and want to do but they don’t dare to. Also to know the sea from another perspective

More I read about you I realize on how many projects you’re involved!

What is exactly Stella Oceani? Just sailing with a sextant? It looks very hard!

So to make it fun, we suggested to make a competition to know which boat was more precise to calculate latitude and longitude with the sextant. This is Stella Oceani, an oceanic and traditional navigation in which sailboats participate sailing without electronics and with sextant from the Spanish peninsula to Canary Islands to see which is the most accurate sailboat calculating its geographical position

That sounds fantastic!

Discover water sports while sailing, really enjoy all of them. Before, I used to be more a mountain person hehe Really enjoy to climb and do long trekking, so I still do it. I drop anchor, put my running shoes inside a waterproof bag, swim to shore and run to the top of the mountain I get to. haha Agree!Please let us know when you are going to make another trip with Stella Oceani or any other course and publish it here on Stoked Nomads 

Great! Maybe in January somewhere in the Caribbean ;)thank you!

Oh!Could you share the best spots where you have been? 

uff… difficult one hehe If a had to choose: San Blas in Panama, Ionian sea in Greece

It can be both!😀

Where can we find you? How people can reach you? Website, social media,… We are also are going to leave here your Stoked Nomads link.

Website: www.allende-losmares.com 

Youtube channel: Allende los Mares

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AllendeLosMares.Alternativas/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allende.losmares/

One more thing before finnish

Would you like to share other future projects, promote something, any other advice?

I am now offering a sailing week for those people who want to become confident while sailing, to become skipper. It’s not only about the sails, it’s about managing crew, what is a sailboat, know both systems and deck, prevention, know possible or more common problems and how to solve, when renting a sailboat what to consider, anchoring maneuvers, port…

When you are going to make it?

maybe January-February in Caribbean (still don’t know the place, it can be Baja California o Antilles) and in June in Greece. 

It was a pleasure Paula!

the same 🙂

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sailor girl having nomadic life