Sailing in Antarctica: a story to the end of the world

November 13, 2017

All of the sailing holidays on Sailsquare are unique, however some are extraordinary by nature. Such a trip, and story includes this wonderful tale from Giambattista (known as Giamba), who has shared with us his voyage from the Mediterranean to Antarctica – with a stop-offs including Gibraltar and Easter Island.

For Giamba, sailing has been his way of breaking out of the monotonous routine of life, and uses it as a tool, a form of escapism – leaving his life’s worries on solid ground, and opening up his lungs on the open sea.

First the deadlock, then the big step

All of a sudden, when turning 51, Giambattista faced an existential crisis, giving him both doubts about the past and the future, and he wonders: “What makes me really happy and which direction should I take?”.

Unhappiness is hard to be explained, most of all when everything seems to be right and you oblige yourself to be thankful for what you already have. After many bitter pills to swallow, he realised the simple, but uncomfortable truth – he was not at peace with his life and with what he had created so far. That’s when he decided to open up his arms and embrace a new idea – sailing around the world with his lifetime companion.

A painful change of plans

Giambattista begins to sell all his goods, even his beloved boat Angelique, who was not suitable for his new project, and says farewell to his professional interests. Then something even more unexpected happens – Valentina decides to drop out of the plan, after realizing how big this step would have been. Giambattista had great feelings for her, but he was not ready to sacrifice the possibility of him being happy again, even if this meant leaving her. So he left his house, for a new one floating on the sea – a Outremer 55, with a French flag, one of the fastest and safest boats ever built, aptly named Angelique II.

His journey started in France, and continued into Greece, forsaking the Mediterranean to discover the Aegean sea. Thanks to friends popping by, the first year goes by quickly – that’s also the year when he meets Ray, an Australian guy who’s currently on Angelique II and with whom he decides to leave for Spain and cross to the strait of Gibraltar, taking a plunge into the unknown.

Every cloud has its silver lining

Sometimes destiny seems cruel, and sometimes destiny is extraordinary. At the end of 2012, in order to sail to Gibraltar, Giambattista and Ray dismast Angelique II and take two different paths: Ray takes another boat to make his own world tour, Giambattista waits for his boat to be renovated. During these three months, he decides to write to Valentina, who hasn’t heard since he left for the sea. Her answer comes out of the blue, and she tells him she is now ready to sail with him. Everything now is where it should be, taking advantage of the time requested to prepare the boat, the couple get married! Giambattista puts off the departure for the unknown, to demonstrate his feelings for Valentina.

By the end of March 2014, Angelique II had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and had spent a year and a half enjoying the healthy climate of the Caribbean, stopping by St. Martin, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Cuba. In their last destination of Guatemala, they decide to take a break of 5 months to prepare Angelique II for harsher weather conditions, in order to make their dream trip come true – sailing around Patagonia. In November 2014 the boat approaches Panama, crosses the strait and the two of them celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Galapagos Islands. After that, they reach the most secluded island of the world, Rapa Nui, (otherwise known as Easter Island). In March of 2015, after approaching the coast of Chile, the couple are thrilled to reach the most extreme part of the world – Antarctica.

Life at the world’s end

What is life like for Giambattista today? He answers promptly: “Life for me now is discovering the world without hurrying, until your physical force allows you to do it. That means also to have a route but without schedules, far from harbours and big cities, so that you can relish new cultural lifestyles, full of different colours and vibes. We’re in too deep in a culture where everybody wears, watches and listens to the same things, so I decided to reach for places where things go the other way round and where it is simpler to be happy”.

However, Giambattista realises that there are also practical aspects of life to face, that’s why he decided to use Sailsquare to balance the books. This also brought him to know new people, who have shared their own stories and experiences, enriching their way of life.

Want to join them on a sailing adventure? You can be inspired by their adventure, and get the story in full – by seeing their next listed sailing holiday.