Hi I am Kathryn

Hello readers! I am Kathryn. A new crew member on the Ya.

I arrived yesterday from the UK by air with the flights adding up to a carbon footprint of 2 tonnes of CO2. (Thanks to myclimate.org  for the use of the CO2 flight calculator.)

Trying to quantify that… it is the equivalent to the saving you make in a whole year by moving from a diesel car to an electric one. Source un.org.

I am here to participate in a project that is an advocate for sustainable sailing, work with Peter and Fossil Free Around the World project to promote a viable alternative to CO2 intensive air travel. It is through prototypes and exploration that we will discover them. 

How did I end up here in Panama?

Well I am 50 this year and only really started my sailing journey when I saw the truly inspiring documentary Maidentrip (2013) in which the 14 year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. Whilst watching it on a New Years Day, full of the sort of promise making gusto that a new year brings, I registered on an RYA Day Skipper Course there after the film ended. It was 3 years before I actually got to sail a boat. 

2020 and just as the pandemic rules eased I managed to do two weeks training and earnt my Day Skipper Practical in Greece and a year later sailed with a crew for a week again in Greece. I loved it. The freedom to sail around the islands and see remote coves and places was fantastic. 

Now in 2023 I was looking for a new adventure and a friend suggested looking on social media. The majority of opportunities were not really my thing – hostess on a super yacht… not only did it all seem quite how can I put it… young hot females serving the food and males dealing with repairs it all seemed such a young gap year crew thing. 

Then I saw the Ya! I emailed and Peter followed up with a number of calls on Jitsi (similar to Zoom but it respects your privacy and it also is able to work on low data services. Just if you are interested in the details of such things.) After vetting a number of candidates Peter messaged me with the news that I was welcome to join the boat for this next stage in Panama and the East Pacific.

A chaotic few weeks followed for me involving finding cat sitters, calling on friends for help and a fundraising frenzy on eBay.  Not only that but a number of conversations with myself about my sanity and decision making capabilities. This culminated in my exit via Terminal 2 at Heathrow on the August Super Moon.  

It has been such a life affirming experience so far. Overcoming so many circumstances to make this happen. I am inspired by the many environmental projects going on around the islands here. It is a privilege to be part of the project.

I want to share some photos from a 24 hour period…  At one point I was emptying space in a garage I rent in Hackney to fit more things in as I got my life in order… 30 random gold letters reclaimed from the street some time ago and then some images as I woke two sleeps later for the beautiful marina here. 

I got left over letters, and put them next to my garage. The local artist in Hackney started reusing the letters in artwork words. Later children came and took the first letter of there name. 90% reused, everybody happy.

 Wherever you are in your life right now remember not to take it for granted, it is precious and circumstances are just that. Something to be overcome. 

As Winston Churchill said, ”Never, never, never… never give up”.

Hustle and bustle in London-Heathrow and Denver Airport with papers, security, tickets and all, and finally entering Bocas Airport with a local musician singing about making your dreams come true.