RIO DE JANEIRO – Crossing the North Sea between Norway and France alone on a small sailboat would be a feat for any 23-year-old, but not for Tamara Klink, the daughter of Brazilian sailor Amyr Klink.
She is following in the wake of her father, who is famous for his adventures rowing and sailing around the world’s oceans and seas.
Tamara, who has accompanied her father on seven expeditions to Antarctica and one round-the-world sailing voyage, made her first solo sailing trip in September in the North Sea.
She is now planning more solo challenges, such as her first Atlantic crossing.
“You always want to sail a little more, go a little further, go to places you don’t know and I hope to cross the Atlantic soon,” she told EFE.
The young Brazilian left her family in the coastal city of Paraty last year to live in Nantes and study naval architecture at one of the world’s leading shipbuilding schools.
“Maybe I will try to cross the Atlantic on the Sardinha or maybe on another boat. I don’t know yet. Because I also intend to build boats for that,” she added, referring to the sailing vessel from her first solo trip.
The Sardinha (Sardine) is a nine-meter-long sailboat that she bought in Norway and has adapted using the knowledge she acquired with her family and at university.
Tamara is also considering a trip to Antarctica, like the ones that made her father famous, but only after she has gained more experience.
She said she has been fascinated by solo sailing since she was a child, perhaps inspired by the stories she heard from her father and mother Marina Bandeira, who is also a sailor.
“Sailing alone is something I’ve been preparing for for a long time. It’s a stage in my learning process and I can only learn if I sail alone,” she added.
The student, along with her twin sister Laura and her parents, has made several trips and has been improving as a crew member on various vessels.
“I knew that at some point that would happen but maybe I didn’t imagine that would happen now, this year. The idea of doing it came up now because I found the people willing to help and encourage me,” she said, referring to a friend who invited her to travel to Norway, encouraged her to sail to France alone and helped her buy and refit her boat.
Tamara only told her parents about the voyage the day before she set sail.
“I didn’t tell them because parents are parents and obviously they care. They have their fears and their doubts and here, where I am, they couldn’t do anything to stop me from the dangers I was willing to live with.
“I waited for the moment when I was sure enough of what I was going to do to tell them, so that they could stay calm even when I was far away,” she said.
She said she is often asked if she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps but insists that her desire is to make her own way and form her own experiences.
“Of course, my father is my great inspiration. He was certainly the one who allowed me to dream about this. If it weren’t for him, maybe I wouldn’t know what it’s like to sail, what it’s like to be at sea… so I say I owe my dreams to him, too,” she added.
She continued: “And my context is different and that’s why I’m going to have to learn to find my own way and take my own path.”
Amyr Klink became the first person to cross the Atlantic alone in a rowing boat in 1984.
Five years later, he made his first trip to Antarctica on a sailboat he built himself and after spending a year circling the frozen continent he continued on to the Arctic.
In 1999, he made his first solo round-the-world trip on a sailboat in 88 days and five years later he repeated the feat in 76 days but with a crew. He has recounted his travels in seven books.
Tamara said her passion for sailing is not something genetic but the result of her family environment.
“I think that when you’re in a context where the people you grow up with are passionate about what they do, you end up in a certain way being inspired by that, letting yourself be touched by that and being fed by those passions as well. I grew up in a family of people who are passionate about sailing and maybe that and the stories I heard are what inspire me the most,” she said.
“I don’t know if it’s in my blood, but I think not, because today on social media I see many people who, despite not having my same blood, are also beginning to be interested in these issues that move me and are also beginning to dream about sailing or enjoying the sea.”
She posted daily reports from her first trip on YouTube and Instagram where she has 10,000s of followers.
The young explorer said the most difficult thing about her first adventure was having to make decisions alone, without being able to turn to anyone else for advice.
She added that the best moments were arriving on land after a successful journey.
“Arriving in port alone is wonderful because it shows that you are capable of things you never imagined,” she adds.