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The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

OCA Series: Around the World in Seven Years

Julie Salisbury

True North 34
February 15th, 2015

“Giant tortoise and lemurs in Madagascar, the Millennium in Zanzibar, and 35 days adrift in the Indian Ocean are just a few highlights from Julie Salisbury’s once-in-a-lifetime offshore adventure”.

Face the fear with Julie Salisbury as she takes you on a journey at sea, encountering sharks and jellyfish, complete darkness alone 1,000 miles from land, battling malaria, a debilitating back injury, and being jilted in Malaysia and left alone with no money, friends, or home. Join her as she faces the fear of storms at sea in the Pacific Ocean. Celebrate as she embraces the attitude of gratitude for all the people she met in the third world, and learn from her lessons of positive thinking as she learns to trust her intuition.

Julie’s unconventional seven-year journey around the world starts in South Africa where she purchased a sailboat with her best friend. They take off first to Madagascar where she encounters giant land tortoise, tame lemurs, and people with no computers or cell phones, but with warm generous hearts. In East Africa she celebrates the Millennium in Zanzibar and befriends Masai Mara, and prepares to provision for six months at sea with no refrigeration.

Cruising the Indian Ocean.

Cruising the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean proves to be a long passage of 35 days before arriving at Chagos for three months of desert-island living, including the lost art of harvesting heart of palm and hunting giant coconut crabs. In Thailand and Malaysia she finds a way to make a living doing backpacker trips and exploring the islands where sea gypsies live.

Join Julie as she shows pictures of these adventures and more as she shares her seven-year journey around the world. Her talk will be held on Friday, February 27th, 1930h, at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Advance tickets may be purchased on BCA’s website, or at the door the night of the event.

Today, Julie is the founder and president of Influence Publishing and is proud to help other adventurers share their stories of inspiration. She encourages you to “burn your bridges”, to take a risk and live your dreams, stating, “You can always re-build your bridges, stronger with the knowledge you gain from your travels.”

Julie at the helm.

Julie at the helm.

We have asked five questions of all of our OCA Speakers. Here are Julie’s answers.

1. When and how did you get into sailing?

My best friend suggested running away and sailing around the world. What started as a joke quickly became a reality within six months. Even though I had only experienced sailing as crew a couple of times, I was excited by the idea. I was burnt out at 32, reaching the top of my profession in the U.K at an early age, so a few years travelling seemed a perfect antidote in order to understand my purpose and re-evaluate my life.

 2. If you could share a couple of your very best memories from your offshore cruising experience, what would they be?

Crossing the Indian Ocean took 35 days as we were becalmed for many days. Incredible 360-degree sunsets and sunrises were spectacular, and observing the squalls and sailing around them was fascinating. You felt small and insignificant against the huge universe and it really made me think about life. The stars at night were so bright you could clearly see the Milky Way, etched across the skyline like a bright white bridge.

Living on a desert island for three months with only other yachties was a great community experience, learning much about survival skills like catching fresh water and hunting for giant coconut crabs.

 3. What was the most frightening or unusual experience you had during your adventure?

Rounding Cape Flattery and Cape Mendocino were memorable for the sheer size of waves, but also because they felt like life-threatening events at the time.

4. Of all the places you have sailed, is there one in particular that you would name as your favourite destination?

Madagascar, because it was so unique. Arriving at Maintiano was like going back in time, experiencing a remote village that all came out to greet our arrival as though we were royalty. We had to navigate a wide, deep, red mud river, and as we sank up to our thighs, an elderly woman called the chief to escort us across to the village. It was like a scene from a movie.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to people who are starting out cruising, what would it be?

Don’t wait until you retire. You won’t have the energy or the courage and you’ll end up spending more to make your yacht as comfortable as your home life. Take time out of your career, give your children the best education they can get, and put your own life and future retirement into perspective. There is no such thing as burning your bridges; with your new life experiences gained through offshore sailing, your life will be so enriched, you will re-evaluate the rest of your life and your purpose.

I completely rebuilt my life afresh in Canada, a new country and a new life, one created with purpose which gave me the courage to start my own business.


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