Sue’s first impressions

Hello, I am Sue Smith and the newest crew member on S/V Ya – of Fossilfree around the world. My sailing career started when I asked a solo sailor what it was like to do an ocean passage. A few months later I was invited to sail with him in the Canary Islands for three weeks. We didn’t do an ocean passage, but I was hooked on sailing. My first ocean passage was in Patagonia no less, several years later!! I loved it. After that trip I bought my own boat and lived on it in Bermuda. I became a boat owner and all that entailed. But most of all I just loved sitting in the cockpit and feeling the motion of the ocean underneath me. Over the next 20 years, I went on several sailing adventures in different parts of the world. The most notable was on the tall ship “Europa” to the Antarctic and a few neighboring islands. It was the most fascinating trip, the wildlife was amazing, seeing the icebergs and glaciers from the rigging was spectacular. I didn’t think that trip could be surpassed until I met Peter.

I was introduced to Peter Hoefnagels through a mutual friend. I was curious how he could be complete fossil free on a sailboat. I did my research and indeed he had already circumnavigated the world. An amazing accomplishment in it’s self but to have done it fossil free was an added achievement. After several emails and zoom chats, Peter offer me a chance to crew on “Ya’. I jumped at the opportunity. I thought this would be a fantastic way to see and experience sustainable sailing. These are my first impressions after a week on Ya.

When I arrived in Panamarina I was taken out to the boat in a kayak. So the sustainable sailing extends to the transport to and from the boat, not just the sailboat. My upper body strength is definitely going to get a workout on this boat! Even in the dark that first night, I could tell this was special boat. The cockpit is laid out differently than most. The solar panels provide the shade, instead of a canvas Bimini. There was ample space for people to stand in the cockpit. The seating is non conventional arrangement in that that there are two levels of narrow seating. The companionway is wide and low just three steps to the interior, which is spacious and well thought out.

I have the job of cooking onboard. I am familiar with a regular propane and electric stoves. However, Ya has an induction cooker which is far more efficient to heat cookware directly instead of indirectly. Induction is able to deliver roughly 80% to 90% of the electromagnetic energy to food in the pan. Compared to gas which converts a mere 30% to 40%. A pressure cooker is used a lot on board in conjunction with a insulation box. This method takes longer to cook but saves about 20% of energy. As I understand it, the pressure cooker is brought up to pressure for a few minutes then transferred to a insulation box for the rest of the cooking. What I am figuring out is how long the remaining cooking time is in the insulation box! Also there is a bread making machine and a microwave. My first attempt at bread making was not very successful, due impart to the old yeast and unusual sugar substance. I found some newer yeast and different sugar so hopefully my next loaf of bread will be better.

I have had a tour of the boat outside. However until we actually sail I am not in a position to comment. I do know that it is going to be different in some ways from other boats I have been on. So stay tuned.