One Family’s Insane Voyage

Here in nice blog by Gavin O`Hara who works as Brand Newsroom Director at Lenovo. Lenovo is partner of Sail for Good.

I won’t argue with you if you tell me Tuomo Meretniemi is crazy. I won’t disagree if you say he’s lost his mind. But I must also raise my hand and say that the Finnish father of three is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever come across. You see, Tuomo has just set out on a journey that only the truly unhinged would attempt—he, his lovely (and probably also insane) wife Riikka and their three young children (ages 7, 5 and 3) are sailing around the world. For more than six years.

Talk to Tuomo and you hear no fear, no trace of regret in his voice. You only detect his exhilaration in wondering how his children will react to being home-schooled on a boat and his excitement at seeing how the technology they have onboard can keep them connected and deepen the experience for the whole family. He paused to answer a few questions recently while his family and their Swan 57 yacht were docked in Italy. They call the boat "Panacea" after the Greek goddess of universal healing.

Where did the idea for this trip originate? What possessed you to want to spend 6 years circling the globe with your family?

The idea originated in the ‘80s when I was a teenager. The idea of sailing around the world has been haunting me ever since but the dream, of course, changed form. This is not one man´s dream anymore but a family dream.

Of course: this is now the dream for a family of five, right? I nearly fell on the floor when I learned you were doing this with three kids under the age of seven! So let me get this question out of the way: do people think you’re totally crazy?

Yes! Most people think we are utmost crazy! Every mom and dad knows how tough it can be to keep kiddos safe, well fed and to get enough sleep, to be educated and entertained and not to fight with each other too much. And we are trying to do all this on a boat. But the highlights and great moments of life in a boat are really worth the effort, we think.

Parents everywhere salute you. You began your voyage in Turkey almost 2 months ago. (Which I now realize means you’re 2 months into a 75-month trip!) Where have you been and what have you seen so far?