SV De­los

SAIL - - Cruis­ing On The Wind - By Andy Schell You two and Brady are the core, you guys are

SV De­los’s videos (svde­los.com) have be­come an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion. Since 2009, Brian Traut­man, who later met Karin SyrŽn in New Zealand, and his brother, Brady Traut­man, have been sail­ing the world on Brian’s 53ft Amel Su­per Maramu, De­los, film­ing their ad­ven­tures along the way. De­vel­op­ing some­what of a cult fol­low­ing, they found a way to make a liv­ing do­ing what they love and in­spir­ing oth­ers to do the same.

What got you into sail­ing?

Brian: I was work­ing for a phone com­pany in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. I was the guy that climbs the tele­phone poles. Dur­ing a break I went to the li­brary and found this book called Three Years in a Twelve-Foot Boat. A num­ber of years went by. I had the house in the sub­urbs, the busi­ness—all those things. One day, I wasn’t feel­ing con­tent with my life, I felt like there had to be some­thing more. At this point I re­ally loved sail­ing and trav­el­ing, and I fig­ured if I could sail around, and take my home with me, that’s the coolest con­cept ever. The orig­i­nal plan was to go for 18 months or maybe two years.

How did you and Brian meet?

Karin: My girl­friends and I were on a mini-hol­i­day in New Zealand and hap­pened to go to the Mex­i­can res­tau­rant where Brady was work­ing. His friends started giv­ing us free mar­gar­i­tas, and we went back to the boat Brian and Brady were stay­ing on, and I started chat­ting with Brian.

Brian: I pulled the old, “Do you want to come sail­ing for the week­end?” game. It worked.

Karin, had you sailed be­fore?

No. In the end, I ac­tu­ally missed my flight home, and stayed an ex­tra three weeks, I think. I was hooked. It was amaz­ing to see the self-suf­fi­ciency and the way that you can travel and bring your home. The con­nec­tion with the ocean and with the wind and ev­ery­thing around you, was mind-blow­ing.

What was the hard­est part to ad­just to?

Brian: At first it was hav­ing time. I al­ways felt guilty for hav­ing free time and felt like I should be do­ing some­thing. I went from work­ing these crazy weeks try­ing to save up money to go sail­ing to lit­er­ally sit­ting at an­chor and won­der­ing, “Should I write a blog post? Or take a pic­ture of some­thing or just sit here?”

What were you study­ing, Karin?

Karin: Land­scape ar­chi­tec­ture. I had a clear view of what I was go­ing to do. My plan was to go to Aus­tralia, study for three years and then prob­a­bly head back to Swe­den. Then I was go­ing to get a lit­tle house or some­thing and work in some firm.

When did it be­come clear to you that wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen?

Karin: When I flew home af­ter those three weeks in New Zealand I re­al­ized that it was pos­si­ble to ac­tu­ally do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent if I want to.

De­los, right? How does Brady fit in?

Brian: He’s my younger brother. When I was liv­ing in Seat­tle, he would al­ways visit. At some point, he was work­ing sum­mers in the Florida Keys at the Sea Scout base. He got his div­ing in­struc­tor and his dive master li­censes and was teach­ing Boy Scouts how to dive. Then he got his cap­tain’s li­cense, so he was tak­ing the boats out. I was in Mex­ico at the time, and I asked him to come out and help sail to French Poly­ne­sia.

At what point did the videos start to be­come a thing?

Brian: When we got into Aus­tralia, close to Bris­bane the boat needed a lot of re­pairs, and we were su­per broke. Karin was liv­ing in Mel­bourne, so we put the boat on the hard. I rented a car on my credit card and the four of us drove to Mel­bourne, where sail­ing friends had a house. Be­fore this, we re­ally hadn’t done any film­ing. There was some spo­radic stuff with lit­tle point-and-shoot cam­eras, but we were writ­ing blog posts. We won­dered what it would be like if you could ac­tu­ally show peo­ple what cruis­ing is like through video. At that time, no­body was do­ing it. Es­pe­cially not on YouTube. Karin: We started film­ing, and it be­came this re­ally awe­some thing to do be­cause it was some­thing to work to­gether on as well. Work­ing on some­thing cre­ative as a group and film­ing was re­ally cool.

Do you have times where you put the gear away?

Brian: Yes. We have con­scious no-film­ing times on the boat, es­pe­cially when it comes to crew in­ter­ac­tions. But we al­ways bring a cam­era just in case. So, if you sit in this lit­tle vil­lage for six hours do­ing a time lapse of the tide com­ing in, all the lo­cals are go­ing to come up to you and ask you what you’re do­ing. You’re go­ing to get a whole dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

At what point did it be­come some­thing that wasn’t just for your­selves?

Karin: Ac­tu­ally, not that long ago. When we left Aus­tralia, we started to put up some videos, mostly for fam­ily. Then we got a Face­book mes­sage from a re­ally good friend—he was our first fan. At some point, the cruis­ing kitty was dry again. So, we came home to Swe­den and lived with my mom for four months just edit­ing.

How long did it take till that started show­ing some prom­ise?

Brian: Within a few weeks. We didn’t know it, but dur­ing this whole time, peo­ple were sub­scrib­ing on YouTube. We had got­ten just over 10,000 sub­scribers. Then we de­cided to go on a reg­u­lar sched­ule and re­lease ev­ery two weeks. We de­cided to fund it from the peo­ple watch­ing the videos.

Karin: That was two-and-a-half years ago.

How do you di­vide up the work?

Brian: We switch du­ties. If we’re work­ing on a video, and that’s your job, then you own the en­tire video and you can do what­ever you want. You can edit it, do the voice-over. You can do an­i­ma­tions if you want. The story is 100 per­cent

100 per­cent yours. Karin: We all do the work on the boat. Ev­ery­one does the edit­ing, every­body does the film­ing. Every­body does the cook­ing, clean­ing, every­body helps.

Do you have a plan go­ing for­ward?

Karin: I don’t re­ally think we have a plan. What’s so amaz­ing with it is that the three of us re­ally like this, and we all want to do it. Brian: Con­tri­bu­tions from peo­ple have been able to fund the gear, up­keep of the boat, liv­ing ex­penses and the pro­duc­tion ex­penses and in­ter­net.

And some­times you have peo­ple come out and sail with you?

Brian: We did a draw where peo­ple bought a raf­fle ticket, and then we picked one out of the bowl and they got to come sail­ing for two weeks.

Karin: And we did a com­pe­ti­tion so we could have some­body out that wouldn’t be able to go other­wise. At this point, we get enough fund­ing from peo­ple that we can say that these peo­ple can come out. If they pay their flight, the rest is paid for. Brian: See­ing the re­ac­tion of some­body the first time they’ve raised the sail or the boat starts to heel, or they’ve made their first pas­sage or night watch is re­ally spe­cial. When we ran our com­pe­ti­tion, we put out this thing that said, “Send us a video of why you’d make the best De­los crew, but make it less than 60 sec­onds.” It took us five days to watch 300 video sub­mis­sions. We ended up pick­ing six. They were from Brazil, Aus­tria, Ger­many, Amer­ica, Es­to­nia, Rus­sia and South Africa.

How has this ex­pe­ri­ence changed your out­look on the way you see the world and life in gen­eral? Could you see your­self do­ing any­thing dif­fer­ently now that you’ve dis­cov­ered this life­style?

Karin: No, not re­ally. All the op­por­tu­ni­ties and peo­ple that we meet have been ab­so­lutely mind-blow­ing. When mak­ing these videos, it opens up the op­por­tu­nity to meet peo­ple in a way that they ap­proach you like you’re their friend. Brian: I don’t think I’ll ever stop sail­ing and trav­el­ing.

The crew (from left) Brady, Karin and Brian

Brady has a vis­i­tor drop by while film­ing

Karin cap­tures a shot on their GoPro while un­der­way

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