Hey! Maybe you have heard it through the grapevine but we are about to sell Blue Juice. The plan is to hand her over on Martinique, mid season, so the new owner can sail her right away. She is ready to go places.
Ok now that we spilled the beans, we owe you some background. This comes out of nowhere to you all.
It is tough, Blue is our home for 4 years now and she took us to countless amazing places.
We realize every week how little you guys have seen from the time after we crossed. And that has been a LOOONG time ago. It's just such a shame we haven't managed to capture a broader audience that would allow us to have gotten editing support or... a bigger boat to take crew, a nanny, and find headspace to work.
There is plenty of pictures and videos on our hard drives and to be honest, I believe we will be able to deliver more content this year than in the last two years. (oh my god.. I'm talking about YEARS timeframes... Thank god it's the new year and I can frame this as a new years update.)
Here's the silver lining. Once we are off the boat and in a place where Levi can go to daycare and we built our studio (more on that down below), we have time on our side. This will allow us to reminisce and publish all those stories that we lived through in 2021 and 2022.
Keeping YouTube videos recent and up to date (filmed last week, published this week) is something that sailing couples can manage, if they have a crazy work ethic. We managed a weekly schedule for 1 out of 3 years. And that is when most of you joined and we were on an upswing. But it's impossible if you throw a baby in the mix. Sailing Family? Wow, somehow none of the big family sailing channels prepared us for this reality. I WONDER WHY! Are they.. selling… A DREAM?! Well now, we had to scratch one thing from the work list, and that was the editing and regular publishing of content.
We owe you a glimpse into what our future holds. This is where we're coming from and what we do next:
- We can't work on this boat with a toddler. He is a constant (amazing) distraction, and we really love spending so much time with him. It's a gift to be able to, but nevertheless a full time job with a shit salary (0). Remember stay at home orders and closed child care centers during 2020? We don't want to remember either but yes, work from home with kids around is not possible. Work from a boat without a quiet place to close the door behind you is not possible.
- We are alone. It takes a village to raise a child, it takes crew to take a boat to interesting places, it takes a camera team to film an adventure, it takes a post production team to create a social media outlet. If we are alone, then even a bigger boat or more social media income won't solve this human resource problem. We need time on our side. And more hands. Family close.
- If we can't grow our channel, we run out of money. We know you are here to support STLT but it is a very risky endeavour, especially us being a family now. You are amazing people, but reality is that you are too few. We haven't managed to play the YouTube game well enough. No shocking thumbnails, no drama, boat always in working condition,… We never offered big audience spectacle, but instead stayed grounded, relatable, and offered fun and pretty entertainment. That is nice, and inspires those who want to do the same, but that didn't attract many mainstream people. And then, pure fact, we just haven't posted regularly enough, not by far. The Delos and Vagabonde family sailing channels are a different ballgame. Their production teams are well oiled and they were big enough to have a surplus and prepare for the new direction and distribution of workload their channel was heading to.
- in 2023, we will find a house to live in, in Holland. While people often say that boat babies/kids are very grown up and build great confidence quickly, we want to offer Levi a long, easy childhood. We believe he should be a playful, careless kid as long as he possibly can. Adult life approaches far too quickly. We want to offer him long lasting friendships, playgrounds, good meals (it's hard to cook healthy, nutrition is important), kid birthdays, and a non-lethal environment.
- We will look for jobs in the media business, either employed or as freelancers. Our video skills have grown, our project and client management skills haven't faded (We both worked at an IBM company before we started STLT).
- We will take time to finally create the content for Liveaboard Academy. We learned so much that we can share and we know experts that we later want to bring in for expert topics.
- We will take time to catch up on STLT videos, because a good story is timeless. Though we understand recency on YouTube is valuable and many people will dislike seeing old “outdated” footage,… phew.. we will find a way.
- For all of this, we want to build a home studio in our new home, a place where we can be creative and create valuable content. All of this may take a while, no business is built in a day, but we believe we are going in the right direction. Also, I can't wait to have a space for making music again (you probably don’t know that some of the music in the videos are made by me, Alex)
It will be a crazy 2023, lots of uncertainties and unknowns. You know the housing market sucks.
Again, thank you all for enjoying what we create, especially since we're not as close and spontaneous to our community as we should be. We are well aware that we're not delivering the intimate Patreon livestreams or zoom calls that our friends provide to their Patronage and we wish we could carve out the time.
We will keep posting videos, hope to create a good story once a month (hopefully more often again once we are grounded), flavoured with biased personal opinions, a snide gibe once in a while, calling out some local politics BS, and real info from on-the-ground of those oh-so-pretty and interesting places 🙂. Because as far as I've seen, no one else does. We still have so much to share with you guys and we look forward to doing that again soon!
Now if you want to finally read all the details about Blue Juice, this is it:
It would be too romantic if one of you were to take her, but a boy can hope.
Lot's of love and a Happy New Year to you!
Alex, Mandy, Levi