‘Renewables’ skipper sails 2,500 miles
Swedish skipper Bjorn Bertoft has successfully sailed to seven countries around the Baltic Sea using just the power of the sun, wind and water.
He cruised the 2,500 miles from Oslo to Stockholm via Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
The three-month 100 Sun Wind Water adventure was made aboard Bertoft’s 34ft Smaragd Johanna which had been specifically modified, including the installation of an electric engine which recharges via solar panels and the boat’s pod drive propeller.
Speaking to PBO after completing his challenge on 6 September, Bertoft said he felt ‘satisfied’ with his achievement and was now ‘hungry’ for more opportunities to get his fossil free sailing message across.
He said there were numerous highlights throughout the journey, including meeting Volvo Ocean Race skipper and marine litter campaigner, Dee Caffari, during a stopover in Gothenberg, and sailing with his son, Johannes, in 10.5 knots of wind to the Danish island, Christiansø. ‘It was a sailing blast that day,’ he noted.
Although he sailed some of the route solo, he was also joined by young environmentalists who helped him gather data on microplastics in the ocean, water visibility and surface water conditions, for the University of Gothenburg.
‘The immense trust I felt from the young crewmembers made this project worthwhile. By their presence, energy and thoughts, they proved the concept (of 100% renewable) over and over again,’ stated the 57-year-old Bertoft.
Bertoft believes he has inspired others, with several sailors contacting him with questions about environmentally friendly cruising and making the change from fossil fuel to electric, something which has made him ‘very proud and happy’.
He now has several talks about 100 Sun Wind Water planned for the autumn and is putting together a documentary about the project.
He also hopes to find sponsorship to repeat the concept elsewhere in the world. Find out more about the project at 100sunwindwater.com
Young environmentalists accompanied Bertoft for some of the trip