At age 23, they went sailing to the Bahamas

Two 23-year-old Montrealers set sail for the Bahamas on their sailboat, a trip that would last two years. Together with their dog, they learned to sail and repair their sailboat in less than three years, recording their project on TikTok.

“I had to find a goal in my life, and then it was to go on a boat. After nine years, I left,” explains Raphael Beaudoin, who dreamed of this project since he was 14 years old.

On June 12, the young woman left Lake Champlain with her partner, Emily Bergeron, and their dog, Maggie, for the two-year journey. In the coming weeks, the two will travel to the Caspé in Quebec territory and make the first major crossing to the Magdalen Islands.

“This is the first time we sleep on a boat and we will never see both shores again. We’re literally going to be surrounded by water,” she realized.

Maud Laurin-Kieran / QMI Agency

The couple will then travel up the US East Coast to the Bahamas. Once at their destination, the amateur sailors will be guided by meetings to determine the rest of their itinerary towards South America.

“It’s very stressful and scary to think that we’re going on a sailboat to the Bahamas, but we shouldn’t look at it like that. We have to look at it like we’re in Sorrel today and going to Trois-Rivieres tomorrow. It’s that easy,” explains Emily Bergeron.

Sacrificing financiers

The couple has worked hard financially since purchasing the boat in November 2021 to make the project a reality.

“It cost $23,000. It’s not that expensive for a boat of its size, but it’s still an old boat,” Rafael explains.

Emil and Rafael had to pay the marina fees where the boat was stored before departure, plus the repairs were more than expected. The expenses are estimated at about ten thousand dollars.

For the next six months, the couple plans to spend between $10,000 and $15,000 to visit the Bahamas, most of which covers meals and marina fees while they dock. However, there are no unexpected events in this budget.

Maud Laurin-Kieran / QMI Agency

To save so much money, the two young university graduates made many sacrifices.

They cut expenses as much as possible, almost never going to restaurants and have avoided traveling in recent years.

“You’re not going to spend [pour] Something that lasts a few minutes” to avoid sacrificing your dream, says the graduate.

An attention-grabbing story

Raphaelle Beaudoin initially decided to document their journey on TikTok to share with her friends. Within a few days, the first video he posted received 500,000 views and the account had 20,000 subscribers.

“I got so many lovely comments from everyone. Everyone is really interested, especially with Maggie on the boat,” says the young woman.

The couple tries to dock every day so their 1.5-year-old golden retriever can run around.

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