The search for eco-friendly solutions with Sailing for Good continues…
By Andrew Mevissen
A few months ago, Cruise Traveller announced its support for award-winning, Canadian film-making power couple, Robert and Vanessa Moberg’s, ‘Sailing For Good,’ project. After their first few months at sea – on a mission to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and the importance of eco-friendly travel – they were kind enough to update us on their journey.
Boasting zero sailing experience before their endeavour, Robert and Vanessa said goodbye to their Williams Lake home and set sail aboard their sailboat, ‘For Good’, in April 2019, quite literally learning the ropes as they journeyed the British Columbian coastline. Their mission; to produce documentary-style films to raise awareness of climate change and the importance of preserving these phenomenal natural environments and the creatures that call them home, all while maintaining an eco-friendly way of life.
Beginning their journey by exploring the beautiful British Columbia region, the couple have faced a steep yet rewarding learning curve. Their biggest challenge of the journey so far came in the circumnavigation of Vancouver Island.
Laying off the western coast of British Columbia, Robert and Vanessa felt the swells and weather of the open Pacific as they made their way around Vancouver Island. Robert said: “There are many challenges to circumnavigating the island including fog, dangerous bar crossings, ominous capes and peninsulas subject to large swells with the added problem of wind against tidal current conditions. Challenging for even the most experienced of sailors. That would exclude us!”
The circumnavigation of the island took around a month to complete, with only a few war stories to tell. “It was without a doubt the most difficult thing either of us had ever done. We learned what it felt like to be carried upward in the big swells, our boat now tiny and insignificant against the infinite backdrop of the Pacific,” said Robert.
“Our engine failed, plugged with seaweed, so bad we had to emergency anchor in a very strong tidal current. We ran aground in a shallow bay and had to wait for the rising tide to pick us up.”
Despite these hiccups the pair was extremely grateful for the moments of bliss and were very proud of their achievement. Robert said, “We also anchored in spectacular and remote places few get to see. We watched the playful antics of sea otters, walked pristine beaches and rainforest trails. We saw humpback whales feeding and orcas cruising the coastline. We visited small coastal communities and met wonderful people. It was definitely worth it!”
Adapting to this new way of life has been a tough, eye-opening experience for the couple. “Travelling and living aboard a sailboat is a full-time endeavour. Making films is also a full-time job! How to do it all is the question?”
“The challenges are many and we rarely have a chance to relax and take it all in. It seems whenever we think we have things figured out we are immediately faced with yet another problem to solve.”
“We miss the relative calm and ease of regular life. The simplicity of bringing groceries home and having a place to actually put them, doing laundry in your own home, having a little extra water, a bathtub.”
Despite missing some of the luxuries of everyday living the pair wouldn’t change a thing. Robert said, “For me, as challenging as it was, looking out over the infinite horizon of the Pacific Ocean from aboard ‘For Good’ and Vanessa seeing Orcas and watching a newborn calf swimming with them were amazing moments that we want the world to see and if that means living it a little rough, it’s worth it!”
Robert and Vanessa are extremely grateful for all the support they have received so far, especially from Cruise Traveller, whose backing they describe as invaluable. “Responsible travel, knowledge, environmental stewardship and the timeless quest for adventure are deeply held values we share. Like Cruise Traveller and other eco-friendly companies, the Sailing for Good project strives to communicate a sense of adventure – with purpose,” Robert said.
After meeting Robert and Vanessa on a cruise through the famed Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic, The Managing Director of Cruise Traveller, Craig Bowen, was taken by the passion they showed to protecting the environment and is extremely proud to be sponsoring their mission. “Protecting the environment is important to Cruise Traveller and I felt it was very appropriate to sponsor their project which will give us access to the stories and footage they produce which so far has been absolutely stunning. With it, we will be able to further educate our guests before, during and after they have travelled on one of our many adventures.”
With more and more people seeking adventures to remote corners of the world, sustainable travel is more important than ever. “As Cruise Traveller takes over 1500 guests each year to remote and exotic parts of the world, I feel we have a responsibility to showcase the stunning experiences nature provides but, most importantly, also educate guests on the challenges that these amazing destinations and their inhabitants – both humans and animals – are facing.”
As the northern winter approaches, Robert and Vanssa are headed towards the Canadian Sunshine Coast as they look to slow down the pace and get some editing done. Robert said, “we recently released a new episode on sea otters and hope to release our full-length film in early 2020.”
In the meantime, you can stay up-to-date on their journey and look out for new episodes from the Sailing For Good duo via their website – www.sailingforgood.tv