Cariboo Chilcotin award-winning filmmakers setting sail on new adventure

Robert and Vanessa Moberg plan to document their experiences and the people they meet along the way

An award-winning filmmaking couple from Williams Lake is embarking on a new adventure that will see them living full-time on a sailboat and documenting their experience.

Robert and Vanessa Moberg have purchased a 34-foot sailboat and plan to depart in April to explore the B.C. coast.

Once they’ve got that experience under their belts, they hope to sail the U.S. coast and eventually even further.

“We’ve been planning this about four months,” Robert told the Tribune. “Ever since we went to the Arctic with Adventure Canada and saw sailboats in so many different remote places we were inspired. We had been looking for a way to travel the world sustainably.”

Vanessa said she immediately embraced the idea.

“I did not hesitate when Robert suggested we do this adventure. I said ‘yes’ before Robert could even finish the sentence.”

Once they agreed to pursue the idea, they expected it would take longer to find a used sailboat to buy, but they found one fairly quickly in New Westminster and recently closed the deal on a CAL 34 that was built in 1976. They have named the boat “for good” and the project “sailing for good.”

It will be a small living space, but the Mobergs have been married four years and said they spent the first three and a half living in a 500-square-foot cabin on Chimney Lake.

Six months ago they bit the bullet and purchased a home in Williams Lake, not knowing they’d make a decision to go sailing.

Rather than sell the home they have decided they will lease it because they believe the lakecity needs more rentals, Robert said.

Robert said some of the doom and gloom messaging in the world got to them “in a good way,” because it inspired them to join the cause of trying to be eco-friendly, find like-minded people and the heroes out there who are doing positive things to make a difference.

Their recent documentary Turbidity – The Mt. Polley Mine disaster has been picked up by Knowledge Network for summer programming.

“They also picked up Bighorns at the Junction, which has had quite a run since I made it in 2014,” Robert said, adding an international distributor picked up Giants Among Us and will be trying to sell it to international markets which means it could be screened in other languages.

On top of that, Way of the Hunter, which the Mobergs shot with the National Film Board is now a finalist for the Vancouver Mountain Film Festival.

“There’s lots happening all at once,” Robert added.

Read more: Local filmmaker Robert Moberg shares powerful message with Way of the Hunter

Neither of them have sailing experience, which Robert said should make for one “hell of a film.”

“We will be taking lessons and don’t plan to head out into the open ocean right away,” he said.

Vanessa is an 11th-generation Newfoundlander from St. John’s and said she is really excited about getting back to the climate she grew up in.

When asked what the biggest challenges will be, they both said learning to live with a limited amount of potable water.

“We will have to learn to shower with a gallon of water,” Vanessa said. “We will both have to adjust to living in such a small space and I will need to be more comfortable around water. Yes, I’ve spent lots of time on boats. I’m no stranger to the water, but I am afraid of it.”

The couple love kayaking, but won’t have room to bring their kayaks.

“We will bring our mountain bikes so we can have transportation when we dock at a community to get food and supplies,” Vanessa said.

There is no oven on the boat either, so they will have to master the art of barbecuing more and rely on using a stove top, she added.

“I will have to learn how to live a little differently,” Vanessa said. “But you know, we can’t wait and we wonder why we had not thought of it sooner.”

To help fund the trip they are using a platform called Patreon, that involves different levels of sponsorship, and sharing short films, video clips, photos, a blog and more with patrons.

“Patreon is used by artists and creative types,” Robert said. “People can go on and be a part of it behind the scenes, they can send in photos and things to us of their environmentally-friendly activities. We are trying to make a community of the project and get people involved instead of dialed out thinking the planet’s falling apart and we cannot do anything.”

Vanessa said they will have a cell booster on board, a satellite phone and all those sorts of things, but they will be limited.

She has been working for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society and Downtown Williams Lake BIA and said she’s given her notice and that she and Robert have informed their families about their plans.

“The nature of an adventure is you don’t know what it’s going to be,” Vanessa added. “It’s exciting and terrifying all at once.”

Read more: Moberg’s latest film Giants Among Us to premiere in Williams Lake



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Robert and Vanessa Moberg have purchased a CAL 34 sailboat that will become their new home. They have named the boat “for good” and the project “sailing for good.” Robert Moberg photo

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