MEET ANNA MOUROU AS WE FOLLOW THE LEAD UP TO HER THREE-YEAR CIRCUMNAVIGATION
In March this year, we launched our #MoreWomenatSea campaign, with the aim to help get more women sailor voices out there to inspire and encourage more women to sail. We also announced our partnership with Anna Mourou, founder of the successful woman sailor network, She Captain, for her three-year circumnavigation. We caught up with Anna to find out more about her upcoming voyage…
Why did you decide to take on a circumnavigation?
Have you ever wondered if it’s actually possible to just get out of society, leaving your job and taking your loved ones on a long-term voyage to go explore the world and enrich your life? I have wondered for a long time and have finally decided to do just that. Starting in June 2020, I will sail as far as I can around the world for at least three years. It’s come around quickly and I am just one year away from a three-year-long sailing adventure with my young family!
Who is sailing with you?
I am sailing with my husband, Jesper, Olof, 7, and Vira, 4, on our yacht Run Wild. My yacht’s name comes from the concept of bravery and freedom as a family, run wild, sweet child. We are doing this sailing adventure because we want to teach my kids that life is so much more than they see in school.
On the water, you can do pretty much anything you want, do things no one else is doing and in a way that no one has done before. We want to explore remote destinations, watch sunsets out on the ocean, meet interesting people, dance to new music and let life happen in the now rather than plan it all out in the family calendar.
We’re not trying to break any records or make big headlines, but we’re determined to inspire as many people as we can into a new type of bravery. We want to dare them to step out of the boxes we are in as a woman, a husband, a boss and a parent.
We may only have one life, but it doesn’t mean you have to live one type of life. I am venturing on my life’s next phase on a sailing exploration. As I run wild on the sea, I will share the adventure with you through Dream Yacht Charter.
What job are you leaving behind to sail full-time?
I am a creative director and producer within strategic communications and events, working with the management teams of global, well-known brands. I am also the founder of a non-profit organisation and network She Captain.
Music, dance and singing have threaded through my career, including being a TV host and having a gold album as a Eurotechno artist. I have traveled the world and toured with artists as a singer and dancer, giving me friends and family on all continents. I’ve also been a press officer for artists, including 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, Julio Iglesias, Tiesto and many others.
Past roles have included working as a parole officer with addicted teenagers, a development coach for the Swedish police force and a divemaster. I have always liked to maximise my life experiences and that can be seen in my eclectic “all in” background.
Which route will you be sailing?
I will start from Trogir, Croatia where our catamaran, Run Wild, is in Dream Yacht Charter’s charter management program. From there we will sail the Mediterranean for five months, taking it slow on our way out towards the Canary Islands.
We cross the Atlantic in November 2020, celebrating Christmas in the Caribbean. Our journey will then take us through the Panama Canal and over into the Pacific Ocean with the paradise archipelagos of Tahiti, Fiji and all those small remote islands that only a sailboat can take you to.
From there, we have a more relaxed itinerary. We might meet someone on an island somewhere and decide to sail somewhere completely different. The beauty of this adventure is we can be open to change and let it happen in the now.
How did you get into sailing?
I have a deep passion for leisure sailing and I have also tried out ocean racing, but more for the experience. In 2017, I sailed the ÅF Offshore Race in Sweden. It was the first year with women-only teams sailing double-handed and we had the best result.
Sailing has been my mental resting place since I was a kid. Growing up in the large Swedish archipelago, I spent five weeks sailing out on our family boat each summer. Long vacations are a great thing coming from a socialistic country such as Sweden!
There is no other activity where I can be relaxed and focused than when I am sailing. Watching beautiful scenery, eating good food, being at one with nature and having the wind as your motor, sailing is mindfulness at its best. That’s not even mentioning the added layer of adventure where action can occur at any time. With sailing, you get to be alert to your surroundings and at peace with it at the same time.
I have a constant curiosity and drive that has given me a very wide career and life experience, I aim to share my journey with you and inspire you to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe your journey is a vacation sailing in a new destination, but maybe I can inspire you to visit places you wouldn’t have thought about, or just give you great ideas on how to get the most out of a destination while dancing with glow sticks under the stars.
I am the captain on our boat and my husband cooks the food and fixes the engine. When technical equipment breaks down I don’t go somewhere to get it fixed, I fix it. I still get nervous when I moor my catamaran, but it doesn’t mean I don’t do it!
How does the She Captain network support members to sail?
A couple of years ago, I decided to do something about the fact that I see women out on boats, but I don’t see them driving them. She Captain now has 3,700 members in Sweden and we are just starting our international branch.
We arrange flotillas to get women out on the water, to inspire them and make them understand that they do know way more than they thought. We also organize manoeuvring practice, hold inspirational lectures, meetups and make as much noise in media as we can. I write articles for sailing magazines and right now I’m doing a boat club tour in Sweden where I teach our She Captain strategies about how to get more women out on the water.
Why did you partner with Dream Yacht Charter?
Sailing and getting more women sailing are my passions. Having Dream Yacht Charter, the industry leader who is raising awareness and increasing inclusiveness through its campaign More Women at Sea is something I am so proud to be part of.
I will be visiting different DYC bases, giving lectures and inviting women out on the water. But most of all giving all of you the best tips and tricks for sailing in those areas. I will be your go-to guide for all sort of knowledge you want to know. And believe me, I want to do it all. So make sure you follow my blogs on here and over on Instagram @Life_of_a_shecaptain, so you can challenge me in what to explore and what to try.
Where are you sailing next?
Our boat is still in the charter program, so we will not be able to sail her this summer. Dream Yacht Charter contacted me about doing a transportation charter for them as a skipper and I said yes, without any doubt. We are sailing La Rochelle to Olbia between July 2 and August 1. We’ll be sailing a Fountain Pajot Saona 47 from the factory in La Rochelle and down the Atlantic coastline, via Gibraltar, Palma Mallorca, Messina in Sicily and to Sardinia. I will sail with different female crews that I have selected and my son Olof. From Italy, my husband and daughter will join. I thought that if I want to keep Vira in love with sailing, I shouldn’t have her onboard for the Biscay!
Keep tuned for Anna’s next instalment when we find out how the transportation sail went…see more about #MoreWomenatSea.