feel the breeze – the “young baby” cruising family

Rianne, Gerben and Jr. Captain Benjamin set sail to explore the world and feel the breeze on their Beneteau 57 “Perfect Sense”

Rianne and Gerben are from Amsterdam and Jr. Captain Benjamin is not even 12 months old (at the time of writing this). He has spent more time on the water than on land and I am sure the concept of “sea-legs” will never really be a challenge in his life.

Rianne and Gerben set sail in 2018 as part of a substantial life change to design their life’s around 4 core values. One of which is “World Sailors”! You can find more details about their values on their website (details below). 2019 is all about sailing in the Med with a plan to cross the Atlantic in 2020 to check out the Caribbean Sea.

If you check out Rianne and Gerben’s website or follow their Instagram updates, you very quickly realise that they provide some rather honest insights on how they got to where they are now.

They openly post & talk about their challenges, be it personal or professional. Gerben, for example, had the misfortune of going through bankruptcy while dealing with health-related challenges.

What's their boat?

The Beneteau 57 (B57) was built from 2002 until 2010 by … well, French shipbuilder Beneteau. She was designed by legendary Bruce Farr and is a powerful sloop rig. With 57.8 feet in length and a good 22tons displacement, she is a proper oceangoing sailing vessel. Rianne, Gerben and Benjamin’s B57 is called “Perfect Sense”

What was the most challenging event you experienced as a family while cruising and how did you deal with it?

The most challenging event was during a storm behind the anchor on Ibiza, we were just living onboard for a month, Benjamin was 4 months old and the waves were too high to get from board.

As a newbie family and starting to become a sailing family this was a good introduction to sailing life. We made the best out of it, playing with Benjamin, watching movies, making popcorn and got completely familiar with rolling behind anchor for days.

Another challenging event was to get back to the boat which was behind anchor in Porroig, Ibiza with the dinghy, we left the dinghy on the beach during calm weather and explored the inland. When we came back the waves were 2-3 meters high, people were actually surfing and we had to go back to the boat with Benjamin in his Moses basket through the wave breakers, when we managed the wave breakers we had to get onboard the Perfect Sense while she was acting like a wild horse on the waves. This was because of a storm in the Strait of Gibraltar, the waves over there became rollers hitting Ibiza.

Ok, last one for now 😉 When our outboard stopped working and service took weeks we used our Paddle Board to get to shore with the three of us, Gerben paddling and Rianne holding Benjamin I(4 months old) in his Moses basket on the Paddleboard. Neighbouring yachties called it: watching a movie 😉

What was your most amazing experience as a family so far?

Hahaha, we would say every day.

It’s a blast and the best decision in our life to start sailing as a young family, just always together, exploring the world, having adventures, close to Mother Nature besides seeing dolphins, swimming with Benjamin, dinghy rides, sunsets, sunrises and we absolutely love night sailing.

We sailed from Menorca to Sardinia and did 209 NM in 24 hours with a clear sky, we saw the Milky Way, a stunning sunset, sunrise and just used the engine for mooring. Yes, we sail a monohull and are proud of our mileage 😉

What do you do when you had an argument on the boat and only have limited private space to reflect?

That’s a good one, we would say we don’t have arguments but that’s a lie. Due to our turbulent last years, Gerben has some issues to solve and sometimes he gets angry and that’s why we created a cabin just for Rianne, this is the “ladies” cabin and Gerben and Benjamin are guests over there.

The moment we have an argument and we need some space to reflect we both have our own private space onboard. Luckily Gerben’s anger is almost away and we can count our arguments on one hand.

What do you miss the most from your "old" land-based lifestyle?

We miss the energy of the city of Amsterdam, our hometown. The simplicity of living on land like food, groceries, garbage, cleaning, not constantly moving and our car to explore the inland.

What would you say is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a family while cruising?

The most valuable lesson for us after 5 months of cruising is the time you spend together is priceless.

One thing you can not live without on the boat?

Bikini and swimming shorts

If you could travel back in time to the day before you set sail what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t worry, everything will work out.

If you had superpowers what is the one thing you would change in the world?


Your top 2-3 tips for wannabe bluewater cruisers?

Set a date and go, you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

Social Media and other links

Feel the Breeze are most active on Instagram and Youtube

Blogposts on their website