Greta Thunberg expected in Lisbon on Tue. Dec. 3rd! Epic 21-day-long sailing passage aboard Aussie catamaran “La Vagabonde”

  • 11/15/2019 11:13 am ET Wojtek Wacowski

Greta Thunberg is expected to arrive to Lisbon, Portugal today, on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, early morning.  With only 30Nm left to sail and a favorable wind we can start preparing to welcome the Australian catamaran “La Vagabonde” and her international crew right in the heart of Lisbon, at Doca de Santo Amaro. They will sail right into a sunrise at 7:37 AM local time.

When they left Norfolk, Virginia on November 13th, many a sailor expressed doubts about this unusual November, non-stop eastbound transatlantic passage. It turns out that the skipper - Riley Whitelum did a great job, planning the voyage and following the complex and changing weather patterns over the North Atlantic.   Thanks to his navigation,  Greta Thunberg will  arrive to Lisbon in Portugal  just one day after the opening of the UN COPA25 conference in Madrid, Spain.

The boat’s position, on the 120th day since leaving Norfolk, VA in the US, and last updated om 2 Dec 2019, 18:57 (GMT) was 39º 58.055n 10º 25.696w, Speed:  8.7 kts, Course 150.2°. Distance left to Lisbon, Portugal : 111 Nm  (128 mi , 205 km)

Scroll down, to find all the updates, logs, and tweets from Greta Thunberg, documenting her transatlantic voyage.

The United Nations Global Climate Change conference will take place between December 2nd – 13th  at the IFEMA conference facility in Spain’s capital city. Last month, Chilean President Sebastian Piñera withdrew as the host of the event due to serious and ongoing civil unrest in his country. A day after Piñera’s announcement, Spain’s acting President Pedro Sanchez offered up the city of Madrid to accommodate the summit.

Lots of sailors and landlubbers are following the La Vagabonde tracker which basically gives the current position and track with very little extra information. Folks online have been asking “how far left to go?” and sailors have been trying to get glimpses into the performance of the boat during the crossing etc. Also a few have asked if anyone is recording the GPS data for the whole voyage because it would be interesting to “play-back” later.

So, in homage to Greta, who is a self-confessed data-junkie and science-geek, a British sailor Andy Pritchard analysed the raw satellite GPS data with some nifty great-circle spherical trigonometry calculations to create a detailed log of the whole voyage  hosted on his website

Two and a half months after she arrived in New York Harbor, Gret. Thunberg set sail back to Europe aboard a 45′ French built Outremer catamaran La Vagabonde.  Who are the people she is hitchhiking with?  Turns out they are among sailing’s most popular vloggers.

NPR reported on Wednesday.

“Greta Thunberg had intended to make her way to Chile for the next round of U.N. climate talks, but unrest there spurred the COP25 annual climate conference to move from Santiago to Madrid.

But she couldn’t just get a different flight: Thunberg won’t fly, because of air travel’s outsize emissions. She needed to find a boat going her way.

She put out a request on Twitter: “It turns out I’ve traveled half around the world, the wrong way:) Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November… If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful.”

November isn’t exactly prime sailing season in the North Atlantic, but up popped a reply from an Australian man named Riley Whitelum: “Greta it’s Riley here from Sailing La Vagabonde. If you get in contact with me I’m sure we could organise something.”

Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu are an Australian couple who met in Europe, on one of the Greek islands, and have been sailing together since 2014, logging over 90,000 Nm (nautical miles).  That’s a lot, for the reference - it’s more than 4 times around the World. The circumference of the Earth over the Equator is 21,639 Nm.

Thanks to Elayna’s  video editing skills they are among sailing’s most popular vloggers. Each week, the couple uploads an episode, as well as a standalone video — such as how-to series and general life updates — to their YouTube channel - Sailing La Vagabonde  which has over 1.18 Million subscribers around the world. Their “web central” allowing to find more is their website:

In fact, they’ve gained such a following that they’ve become sailing’s most popular vloggers. They not only have over 3,400 Patrons on the crowdfunding platform Patreon  who fund all their travel and expenses, but a French yacht building company Catamarans Outremer equipped them recently with a brand new, discounted 45ft catamaran just last year.

Sailing buffs can find all the information about this boat on the builder’s website - Catamaran-Outremer


Guess what. We’re about to sail Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic. 3200nm, with captain Riley and crew Nikki Henderson…

Posted by Sailing La Vagabonde on Tuesday, November 12, 2019


From pirate scares to Atlantic crossings, Aussie couple vlog their sailing adventures - CNN
By Bianca Britton, October 24, 2018

Greta Thunberg's latest updates from the deck of catamaran 'La Vagabonde'.

A LIVE MAP showing the current position of catamaran La Vagabonde and the wind in North Atlantic here: #WhereIsGreta

DAY 20 DAY 18   DAY 17 DAY 16 DAY 15 DAY 13 (HALFWAY)   DAY 12   DAY 11   DAY 8    

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