Found Family

Date: 01.01.2024
Location: Santa Marta, Colombia
Etmal: 0 nm
Total: 5776 nm
Ship: Regina Maris

One big Family

68 days ago, we left the harbor in Amsterdam, leaving behind our lives, our friends, and families. Many tears were shed, some in sadness for the life we were leaving behind, but also tears full of happiness, hearts yearning for adventure, the endlessness of the ocean.

The first weeks were rough, most not accustomed to life aboard, new rules, routines, shared living space, and many more uncertainties. Not only were many moods somber on the Regina Maris, but the world seemed to sway with us. The sky was gray, the clouds crying and the air biting. Even the waves seemed to intimidate, shaking the ship, spraying us in cold splashes, crashing into us.

But the harder the walls tormented, the closer we grew. Countless evenings spent together, telling jokes, stories, and food knitted us together into one big family. Everyone was welcomed into the newly formed friendships, leaving no one behind.

Something new

With each passing mile, not only the distance left behind grew, but also our trust and love, but most of all our excitement for something new.

In our seamanship lessons, we learned about life and duties on a ship. We were assigned watches, something that, we were unaware of at the time, would lead to even more friendship and camaraderie.

The first time we set sails, the fabric filled with air, our hearts soared. Eyes strained on the billowing material, breeze in our hair, something unspoken changed.

We were finally sailing, finally free. Through seasickness and fear, we held together forging new bonds.

Looking forward

In Tenerife, we climbed up mountains together, taking care of one another, encouraging each other, sharing sweets when legs felt sore and aching. At the top, we stood together shoulders grazing and looked forward. We were above the clouds, the world laying at our feet.

In the middle of the Atlantic, we stopped unexpectedly. At first, many worried, but as it turned out, it was a swim stop. Soon, all that was heard were splashes of water, pearls of laughter. Everyone joining, the happiness infectious, even those afraid of the ocean joining.

New Cultures

In the Cape-Verdes, we explored new cultures, making friends with countless strangers, breaking through the bounds set by language.

50 days since leaving Amsterdam, we started our journey across the Atlantic, leaving behind solid ground for weeks to come.

7 days into the crossing, we reached the middle.

On the Saturday the 16th of December 2023, we sailed across an invisible border. As far as the eye can reach, endless blue, no one else near.


A tradition as old as time, a rite of passing for every sailor, is the mid-atlantic-baptism. The ritual includes getting dunked head first in a mixture of food scraps, then crossing a metaphorical line symbolized with a piece of rope and drinking a mixture of foul liquids before getting assigned a fish name, all in respect for the mighty sea-god Poseidon, so he may grant us safe travels.

The first to be initiated was Adrian, or as he is now known, sailfish. Adrian is one of the most helpful people aboard, always willing to take on tasks, having an open ear for problems. The perfect way to describe him is: Maulwurf.

Following Adrian on his knees was Andrea. Andrea is a down-to-earth person, yet always down for a good laugh. Sharing her food in class, offering her skin as a canvas to others. Andrea is a true pleasure to have on board. From today forward, she is known as Atlantic mackerel.

Dorado, formerly known as Anna, is a force to be reckoned with. At first glance, she may appear shy, but beware of her vicious streak. Dorado always has an open ear for her friends, and if you get to know her, you will be quick to find joy in her company.

Aurelia, or better said grouper, has a fiery personality perfectly matching her red hair. Always putting her needs second, Aurelia is not afraid to speak her mind. Aurelia is a steadfast leader.

Then comes our very own bread baker, a man of many talents, who always has a clear plan for action on his mind. Aurelius, or bismack herring, is a truly irreplaceable addition to our crew, our family.

Darja, our gitthead sea-bream, is another soul that burns brighter every day. Always helping her friends in need with homework or soft-spoken words, Darja is a butterfly with wings as bright as her personality.

Elisabeth, Lizzy, or Lisbeth matches her new name perfectly. At first glance, she appears confident and friendly, not a mean bone in her body, but don’t mistake her kindness for weakness. Lizzy would do anything to protect the people she cares about, always ready to defend. And so she could not have obtained a better name: swordfish.

Ella shines brighter than even the brightest star. Always surrounded by countless friends, Ella is the definition of kindness. She shares her it with everyone regardless of who they are. Just as the story surrounding her name Ella shimmers in countless colors, our very own rainbow fish.

Emma is one of the most sociable people on board. On watch, she takes on every task without complaint, be it cleaning the heads and showers or the deck. Each day she makes the ship feel more like home, our very own wild salmon, wild and untamed yet always there to help.

Capturing every moment on board with her camera is Franka. Franka lightens up every room with her presence, making people laugh, a joke always on the tip of her tongue. She gives the best hugs. Our very own clown fish, her personality just as bright as her coloring.

Reef shark, formerly known as Greta, has the funkiest personality, always up for new things. Her passion for things she holds dear, like stones, is unmatched by all who have ever crossed the Atlantic. Reef shark will always help you if needed, a true friend.

Isabel, or newly named goldfish, shines as bright as her new name. Isabel can always be found helping around the ship or playing a game of Stadt-Land-Vollpfosten, even if she’s not the best at the game. If you ever have a problem that seems impossible, find her and she will help.

Jane is one of the kindest souls to ever walk on the Reggie. Jane charms everyone with her baking skills, supplying us with cookies and other baked goods. Loved by everyone, her name from this day forward is sand smelt.

Blue Marlin will always attack without warning, be it a sneak attack while swimming, or a splash of water when you are sleeping, she will always pull a prank when you least expect it. Our very own jokester, Jonna.

Joshua is our very own, in the making, first aid responder. Always equipped with materials for every scenario imaginable, he will one day save all our lives. So it is no wonder when he was named; surgeon fish.

If you ever find yourself in need of help, just ask for Jule. Never afraid to get her hands dirty, Jule will always help those in need. A fierce protector Lion-fish, Jule is a person you can always lean on for support.

The youngest aboard matches his name perfectly. Always filled with copious amounts of energy, Julius can be seen running around, documenting the journey with his camera. If you fail to find him, he can be found at the helm, steering the Reggi through endless waves.

Either found in the engine room or surrounded by his friends, Justus is an irreplaceable addition to his watch and to everyone aboard. If you take one glimpse at him, you will know why he was named sea turtle.

Full of life and opinions is Kris now known as hammerhead shark. Never afraid to voice her opinion, Kris is not scared to get into the thick of it. Putting the ship’s needs over her own, Kris embodies everything strong. A will of iron and endless strength. But remember: Kris am Steuer, das wird teuer.

Someone everyone can learn from is Lasse. Leading every watch with compassion and the right amount of authority, he brings us forward. A great Watch leader and friend alike, Lasse is one of the nicest people, inspiring everyone around him. Our very own koi harp.

At first, she may seem a little cold and scary but she is anything but that. Once she warms up to you she is truly irreplaceable, one of a kind. Everyone respects her (probably even more than they respect our captain). Leni is a force to be reckoned with. Often found with her book, Leni is a true addition to our family (without her, no one would know how to do laundry). Our very own cordi trout.

A cabin filled with snacks, Leo is an unrelenting helmsman, always keeping perfect course. Always helping out in the galley, he is a perfect helper and gossip lover. But take care when you are least expecting it, he will appear to surprise you. Coral-trout, or formerly known as Leo is a true asset to our ship.

Our cute and quiet book-obsessed Lilia is always a person you can go to calm down. She is there for you when you need it and always has a helping hand. Her fantasy is a space without borders and her wild red curls earn her the name of the cream horn.

Luis, like his namesake the flying fish, can be found anywhere. He is the ship’s baker, making us delicious bread. Luis is like a brother to all of us. Someone you can turn to if you need to. His heart is always light, a true friend.

Luisa, our very own halibut, is a vital part of the ship, someone we could not function without. Lighting up the entire ship with her quirks, Luisa is someone who is adored by everyone on board.

If you ever glimpse a braid as fair as the morning clouds, you will have met Margaux. Margaux is always adorning the brightest smile lightening up every room. Creative and talented is our Margaux, our beautiful seahorse.

Mascha is one of the most open, friendliest people you will ever meet. She will steal your pancakes but repay you with the best back massage of your life. Always willing to help, a personality sharp as a knife, our very own barracuda.

Mattis again is someone who is not afraid to voice his opinion. He will always stand up and protect everyone, friend or not. Mattis deeply cares, always helping others. He is an inspiration to all of us. In the words of Thomas, a real gentleman.

Salami Sticks. Food. Snacks. Just opening up a bag of crisps will summon him. He will always go „schnapp“, like a piranha. Our very own Max, the small annoying, yet very loved, brother.

Arguably the best sense of humor on board is adorned by our ocean sunfish. The very best at negotiating in the game Kuhhandel. He is also very serious (not). He is always relaxed and embodies the alman-spirit. Our Onno.

Samuel likes to pretend he is all tough and rough, but deep down we all know he has the biggest heart that cares for everyone. Like his name giver, the cat shark, he is both- imposing and soft. A part of our strange family.

Manta Rays are elegant and full of grace. Nothing can face them, always steadfast in their decisions. And so, as well, is our Sanja. Sanja always smiles, beating seasickness and bad moods. She has many talents that she brings to the table, enriching us all. Sanja truly is a rock that keeps us grounded.

The first fish we caught and learned about was the yellowfin tuna. Every day we see it jumping out of the water, always moving, restless. The same can be said about Stella. Stella is always moving, either helping out in the galley or surrounded by friends. Stella is always there, helping. Without her, life on the Reggie would not be the same.

Tobi is Tobi. I think that describes him perfectly. He minds his own business, chilling, relaxing, and eating, enjoying the simple things in life. Much like his new name, the Blue whale, Tobi is always calm. But just as his namesake, he has a gigantic heart and a personality to match it. He always has a free shoulder one can lean on if needed. Our very own Tobi.

Wilma goes through life with unparalleled grace. Named after the black kingsfish, Wilma brings so much to our family. She is the queen of Pathway – Presentations. An irreplaceable part of our Family.

Segelschiff auf dem Ozean

But not only the students got tortured, I mean initiated, but the teachers, doctor, and cook as well.

Either found in the PL-Cabin under his ventilator or hanging upside down under the sun-sail is Mats, our assistant for everything. With experience from his own Ocean College journey, Mats informs us about the tips and tricks on the vessel. Some may say he is lazy, but do not let him catch you saying that. We love you Mats, our Zebra Fish.

Thomas, our project leader, is a monkfish or better said Seeteufel (direct translation: sea devil). He enforces rules with an iron fist, but do not let his tough shell fool you, Thomas is a real softie at his core. He brings joy to everyone with his lost and found auctions and laughter as he interrupts Johanna’s German lessons.

Johanna, our teacher for nearly every subject, is a true Alleskönner. Johanna has a passion for music and art, always inspiring everyone. She is beautiful, just like her namesake, the killer whale.

Whale shark, formerly known as Ben, is our physics chemistry and maths teacher. Often, we bring him to his wits end with our endless questions, yet he never gives up. Ben plays his guitar like no other. A great friend and teacher.

Teachers Crew at Ocean College

Backfisch Jürgen, our fearless cook. He dunked his head into the waste, reveling in it. Every day he enchants us with food and a beautiful singing performance on the ball. If we ever get attacked he will be ready to defend us with a cucumber and rolling pin, our fearless cook.

Flounder is one of the most important people aboard. With years of experience and unrelenting scrutiny, Patrick is unwavering in his care for us. Patching us right back up, we can always depend on him.

The alpha watch officer, Kilian, brings years of knowledge and experience. Always on time for his watches, always willing to share knowledge, he is loved by all. But that is not what defines him, no, it’s his excellent bread-making skills. Thanks to Kilian, we have fresh sourdough bread every morning.

Bravo watch officer, food master, head of the creative corner, beloved by all, is our Bosun, Mathieu. In his watches, he shares stories and knowledge unparalleled by others. With him, you can joke and laugh until your stomach aches. Our very loved watch officer.

Every watch filled with lessons and knowledge, Jakob teaches us all types of tips and tricks to life at sea. With his screwdriver, he can fix nearly any problem. Jakob is kind and caring, but beware, never bring an umbrella on board or he will make sure you regret everything you’ve ever done.

Last but not least is our captain.

Michael has ears everywhere, catching even the slightest whispers of German. Feared and admired alike, Michael led us across the Atlantic, making sure we didn’t accidentally cause the Regina Maris to sink. Michael cares for everyone aboard and will always listen to our stories and problems.

Aye Aye, Captain.

Our Journey

Seven days ago, we finished our first Atlantic crossing. Five days ago, we again set foot on solid soil. Less than 24 hours ago, we celebrated the new year, wrapped in each other’s arms, jumping into the endless ocean as the clock struck midnight.

Soon we’ll loosen the mooring lines once again, setting sail for new soil once more.

As our journey across the world evolves, so do we. Each day we learn something new, forge new bonds and friendships. Everyone can be their true selves, with all their faults and imperfections. Each and every one of us is a part of this wonderful family.

There are more than three months left of our journey across the world on the Regina Maris, yet every day is cherished just as much as the last.

The family we found here will last a lifetime.

P.S.: Darja: Happy Birthday, Josi! Hab‘ dich lieb <3

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