Poema du Prel has been living on her 30 foot sailboat, Black Pearl, in Tahiti for the past few years. The best part? Seeing the blue sky over the ocean from her bed. The challenges? Having to fix leaks and broken engines alone.
Waiakea: Are you ever fearful?
Poema: I get scared sometimes, but I have an automatic switch inside of me that turns "fear" off so that I can keep my mind focused on what I need to do. It's part of the challenge and it is, in a way, what makes this adventure interesting; the adrenaline...you have to trust your feelings.
It's hard dealing with rough weather all alone especially when I don't know that much about sailing. I'm always worried I'll break something, like the mast as my engine is not reliable, hahaha... I'm slowly learning.
Even though it's not always easy, and sometimes stressful, I like being alone because I enjoy the quietness, and I'm forced to deal with things on my own.
Waiakea: I love that you want to live simply, and I agree that it can bring you freedom. How have you seen that living on a boat has given you freedom compared to your previous life?
Poema: When I started traveling a few years ago, I started to minimize all of my belongings. It wasn't easy. It took about 10 years to get from 70 kg to 15kg of belongings (goal is 10 kg!). Things give us comfort, but how much comfort do we really need? Traveling for a long period of time helped me realize how little I needed to be happy. The less I carry, the lighter I am and the more I can do. Traveling also taught me to let go of what I don't need anymore. Whatever I don't use within 6 months, I give away. I believe someone else needs it more than me.
As of now, my 30 ft boat and what it contains is the only thing I "have". It's easy to become a slave to your boat, but when I bought Black Pearl, I promised myself that I would not let it become a source of stress. I decided to detach myself from everything she is and what she contains.
Black Pearl stands open when I go away, and I usually leave a note offering the food in the cabinets, water, and a phone number in case of an emergency.
My phone bill is my only bill. The rest is boat maintenance and food that I mainly try to collect or catch, the occasional plane ticket, a few clothes (bikinis mainly haha) and surfboards. I love sharing what I love with no expectations. Expectation brings disappointment.
I decided to work less - about one week a month. I found that when I had more money, I spent it on things I didn't really need, and had less free time to do what I love.
When I have less, I have less to worry about and I can focus on what I love.
What makes me happiest is to inspire others to live their dreams, push the limits, and chase whatever is calling their heart. It's a choice. What I chose to do wasn't easy - it's not easy to be alone, it's not easy to detach, it's not easy to trust the unknown, but it's been worth it. I live my dreams and follow my heart. It's what I'm meant to be doing... my heart knows it :)
Waiakea is proud to welcome Poema to our Waiakea Ohana. Poema was born and raised in Moorea. She lives on a sailboat on which she learned to sail solo, a childhood dream made true last year. She loves surfing, freediving, sailing, and traveling; "living on a boat seemed to be the best way to stay close to what I love the most, the ocean." Poema works part time for a marine reserve project as a local consultant and as an expedition leader on super yachts.
"My main goal in life is to do what I love and to live simply, which brings freedom I believe. I usually catch my own food, spearfishing or fruit picking, minimize my belongings as much as I can. I try to put all of my energy into who and what I love. 'You must be the change you wish to see in the world'."