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Flying High – the Highs and Lows of sharing our adventure

Who are we? Are we sailors or are we bloggers, or vloggers, or youtubers?

We have come a long way since we cast off the lines 3.5 years ago, when our sole challenge and adventure was to be getting ourselves and our boat around the world as safely and efficiently as possible. A huge task that left no chance to consider anything else, it occupied 100 percent of our time. Together we stepped off the dock already sailors, albeit mainly dinghy sailors, but sailors with the clear goal of becoming salt encrusted full time, live-aboard circumnavigators.

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All our funds were allocated to boat parts, safety equipment and travel essentials. The only concession to documenting our travels was the purchase of a budget, DSLR camera to complement our old go-pro and the one shared laptop on board, which was primarily for navigation. There were no definite plans to regularly write or make videos about our adventures. We have no background in writing, photography or videography. Yet today we have a Youtube channel with nearly 40K subscribers showing 60+ videos of our travels.

The journey to creating videos has in some ways been more challenging and rough than the sailing.

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So how did we get here?

It was not all smooth sailing.

As we settled into the adventure, we found ourselves wanting to reflect upon and share the experience with others. Writing blogs and making videos seemed the perfect creative outlet, although our initial audience was only family and close friends.

Fast forward 2.5 years, and over 20,000 miles, and we found ourselves arriving in Australia with our camera gear failing, video editing backlog increasing and boat jobs looming. It was time to have some very frank discussions about whether we should continue making videos at all.

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Picking up a camera when you are feeling low, seasick, stressed or even just lacking a free hand to hold the camera is just the first hurdle. Making the time to sit in front of a computer when you could be out exploring is the biggest sacrifice. Blogs, videos and photos take hours to write/edit, source music, render, check, re-render, upload, schedule and answer comments. Time that is spent down below, sweating over a computer in a 30-40ยฐc cabin. The irony is not lost on us that finding a work-life balance when we are technically unemployed is one of our biggest challenges. Perhaps an even bigger surprise is how appealing the thought of a comfortable desk in an air conditioned office from which to complete these tasks can become. That is just the physical process of making blogs and videos.

The world of sailing and vlogging are opposite to the extremes. The ocean doesn’t care what you look like or sound like, yet place your experience of sailing across an ocean on youtube and suddenly you are open to judgement. Stand up to speak in front of 40,000 people and I guarantee your heart will be pounding. It has taken a mental adjustment to become more confident talking to the camera and hardened to those few negative and spiteful comments that will inevitably appear on anything made public on Youtube.

By Australia, the time and effort involved was in danger of making the process of creating our videos feel like a chore rather than something we enjoyed. We decided to stop filming anything for 4 months, photos were allowed but no video. We would use this time to catch up on editing our existing footage without the pressure of new footage piling up and take stock of whether the videos where adding to or taking away from the experience.

In this time we analysed the pro’s and con’s of making the videos with an eye as to whether or not we should continue:

Con’s

  • The videos take so much time to edit that between them and boat maintenance/planning, there is very little time left for the actual adventure.
  • We were becoming disappointed with the quality of video we could achieve given how much time and effort we had put in.

Pro’s

  • The videos record some amazing memories in ways that photos just can’t do justice.
  • When we have the time to enjoy making them, the videos provide a great shared creative outlet.
  • We enjoy the positive response they often gain and the feeling of being able to share the adventure with others.
  • Through the blog/videos we have met/made contact with some fantastic people and been given some great opportunities.
  • The Patrons who support our videos have enabled us to upgrade our camera gear.

The big tipping point and reason we took up making videos again after our 4 month filming break was the support of our patrons and paypal donors. Their financial support allowed us to replace and upgrade our failing camera gear, meaning we could improve the quality of our output without dipping into the sailing around the world funds. Purchasing a second hand laptop meant we could both edit simultaneously, improving our efficiency. The ability to upgrade our camera gear reduced a lot of the frustrations we were having with the equipment/video output. But it is not just the financial support of our patrons, it is also their moral support that tipped the balance.The fact that people enjoy the videos enough to go out of their way to support us, or leave a kind/constructive comment, really helps to maintain our motivation to continue sharing this adventure.

Now more than just a joint creative outlet or an additional challenge, the little videos we create and share allow us to reflect upon and celebrate this journey with others. Youtube has been a platform for both keeping in touch and also getting in touch. The videos allow us to virtually reduce the distance between us and our family but have also connected us with people we would have never have otherwise had the opportunity to connect with. People who’s kindness and support leaves us awestruck and more motivated than ever to keep sharing this journey.

Recently we have had a huge boost from an extremely generous couple, people who we would never have known if it was not for Youtube. Al and Becky, two of our patrons have gifted us a Drone! We have been dreaming of one of these amazing pieces of equipment since we started making videos. It is going to allow us to share a whole new perspective on this adventure and has given our motivation to continue making videos a huge boost.

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So can we answer the question? Who are we?

Well, we still think of ourselves as primarily sailors, but have to admit here is a part time youtuber within us. Along side this journey of sailing around the world there is another path we are taking, the path to becoming creators (the term given to youtubers and bloggers alike). That second and unanticipated path, when managed carefully, compliments our sailing journey by allowing us to take a step back and look at this adventure from a different perspective. Thanks to Al and Becky we can now view it from an all together more impressive aerial perspective.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supports us both financially and morally.ย We are flying high, extremely glad we continued and excited for what lies ahead.

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13 thoughts on “Flying High – the Highs and Lows of sharing our adventure”

  1. Well, now we feel guilty and humbled. Guilty that we may be making you feel obligated to produce content. Humbled that you are willing to share your adventure with us.

    The truth is this; What you are doing as sailors is a monumental achievement. What you are doing as vloggers and movie makers is amazing. Your talents and abilities simply amaze us. Your dedication and drive to reach goals is inspirational. How could we not want to support that?

    You owe us nothing, share when you can and take a break when you can’t. But do know this; It is us that feel honored to be invited along.

    Thank you for your kind words,
    Al and Becky

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do not feel guilty.
      You have not given us an obligation but inspiration, motivation, excitement and an ability to capture the places we visit in the way we have always wanted to.
      We think of you every time we fly and feel incredibly honoured to have your support.
      Amy and Matt

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  2. It is wonderful that there are those that are able to support this great couples adventure! There are also those like myself, who in fact bought and prepared a vessel to sail the world, then a medical procedure ended that dream, so now I follow you on your dream, and truly feel I am there as well, as your blog and videos are fantastic! Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  3. Hi Guys
    First let me say we absolutely love sharing your voyage with you both. It is fascinating to watch your circumnavigation,so a huge thanks.
    But, it has always worried us that the very professional job you do making your wonderful films might interfere with your adventure of a lifetime. The positive is you have a record you can look at when yo are old and grey like us and reminisce about your trip
    Thanks again for sharing your adventures with us
    Pete and Lou

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    1. Hi Pete and Lou,
      Thank you. We do enjoy making the videos and writing the blogs and regularly review the balance against the adventure. We actually hope that rather than the adventure of a lifetime we have started a lifetime of adventure ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. I loved your original plain photo’s and blog, it was lovely seeing you learn video, editing and creating the story line. You are becoming professional now and it will serve you well in the future but remember it is YOUR trip so make sure you enjoy it. We love the videos but a plain picture (and the story line) will suffice as long as you are enjoying life afloat. Merry Xmas to you both.
    Frank

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    1. Thanks Frank, we always appreciate your support. We are enjoying continuing to learn to improve both our sailing and videos/blogs. Hope you had a great Christmas back home on the South Coast.

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  5. I subscribe to maybe a dozen YouTube channels about sailing experiences but yours is the best. I became a patron in the last few months. I look forward immensely to every new video and blog, especially the sailing ones.
    Thank you so much for sharing your adventures. As others have said, it is your life to experience and enjoy as you see fit. Be confident and try not to think about the thousands looking on. It is a privilege to share your journey. So glad you feel able to continue the creative output, and I really appreciate the time and energy you give to it.

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  6. Hello guys,
    ย First of all, I would like to say thank you very much. You are two “little heroes” for me and probably for more followers. I love your videos and publications because they are a real dream.
    Take care and Merry Christmas
    Claude from Barcelona

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