Ciprian Popica - Sailing To Discover The World

More About Me

A Romanian raised in the mountains, but in love with the sea. The shortest description I could think about so far.

ABOUT

Ciprian Popica

I’m a sailor, filmmaker and photographer, born in Romania on September 4th 1980. Don’t get excited as I’m not famous, I’m just a simple man. I spent my childhood in Marcus, a small village near Brasov, in Covasna County. I live a very simple life, but I always had the desire to sail alone around the world. Out at sea is where I feel at home. This amazing adventure started back in 2014 nearly by mistake. I’m planning to return on water and follow my dream of sailing around the world alone. Most likely not just once…

Ciprian Popica

Why Sailing ?

Is hard to explain in a few words why from all the “hobbies” a man can have, I picked sailing. If I go back in my childhood, it all started with a film ( Toate Panzele Sus ) that I’ve seen at the cinema at the age of six or seven. It was about a journey halfway around the world aboard a ship named Speranta ( Hope ), with incredible adventures of her crew members struggling to get through to their destination. On their journey they have to face the unleashed power of nature, pirates, deadly enemies, and many other obstacles.

I liked that film very much, so I told myself that one day I will have a sailboat and go out at sea for amazing adventures. Only that I didn’t know I will have to wait almost thirty years for that.

The Special Present

At the age of eleven if I remember well, I’ve seen the Black Sea for the first time. I loved it more than I expected it. Every book I read after that, had to do with the ocean or sailing. After reading Francis Chichester’s book about his voyage around the world, I was hooked completely.  So in 2003 I ended up getting a job on cruise ships just so I can be close to the ocean. Turns out that together with the time I lived aboard my sailboat so far, I spent half of my life on the ocean. No wonder I don’t like life on land anymore.

While on the cruise ship, I always made plans and read all the possible sailing magazines and books about sailing, trying to get as much knowledge as possible.  In 2006 while going out in Nassau Bahamas, I’ve met an old fisherman. We became friends and I often used to go see him and his wooden fishing boat. He made me a present, the compass from the photo. As a wise man as the elderly are, he told me to keep it as I will have it with me aboard my first sailboat. It was just a dream for me, but he was right.

Life Changing Decisions

Most people think that I decided to stay in Miami because of the sailboat. I actually ended up in Miami because I was in love, and I wanted to have a family. Turns out that didn’t worked out so well for me, as life was preparing me some unexpected surprises. You can read the article about how I ended up moving aboard my first sailboat.

In short words, that is how I moved aboard a sailboat. And I will never ever regret that decision, as so far this was the best time of my life. I remember people always asked me why I am always smiling. How can you not smile when you are always happy ? I had nearly nothing, living a simple life, but still I felt like the richest guy in the world, because I had all I wanted.

The Adventure Begins

After two years living on my first sailboat, I decided that I want a little more from life, and sailing just here and there will not work for me. I wanted to live my dream and sail alone around the world. That is how I ended up buying Anastasia, a Pearson Triton built in 1960. She was old, but I felt at home as soon as I stepped aboard. That boat changed my life.

No… I did not sail all the way around the world just yet as you would expect. Unfortunately I had to sell Anastasia two years later. That broke my heart I tell you that. That doesn’t mean the story ends though. But for now, I thank you for being here. Especially if you actually read through this whole story. The real adventure is about to begin. 

Quick Facts

Just a few answers to the questions I receive most often

In the past years while working on cruise ships I was mostly a video technician. Basically taking care of all the video, satellite and broadcast equipment aboard, while also filming and editing onboard activities or shows. In my last contract I became manager for the technical side in the entertainment department.

At the moment I do mostly freelance photography or video work. But since the pandemic, that didn’t work so well for me so I ended up doing all sort of other freelance jobs. Clearly not making enough to be able to save more and return on the ocean faster. But I like a simple life so I can’t complain.

I think the reason I love this amazing adventure I started, is because most of my hobbies became useful. Besides sailing that I love the most, I also like photography and filmmaking. I also like the amateur radio hobby. Last year in 2022 I finally got my amateur radio call sign as YO6DXE. I also made a Blog and a YouTube Channel dedicated to the hobby.

This question always makes me smile, but yes I am single and after my last love story ended, I decided to stay this way. I often make jokes with friends or family and say that I have more chances to fly in space, than getting married or to have another relationship.

It doesn’t mean I’m always alone when it comes to women… let’s just say I always end up making a lot of friends everywhere I go.

I think in 2018 when I was in Italy, I tried making a change from a personal account to a brand account. I sure did something stupid as I ended up deleting the older YouTube Channel together with the videos. Sadly later on the hard drive I used for backup decided to give up on me. So I lost most of those amazing memories. I managed to save a little part and I will re-post some of the older videos in a re-edited version. But now I do more than just one backup as I learned my lesson.

I promised to my family that I will stay home until the spring of 2024 as they need my help. They also helped me when I needed them, so this time is my turn. Definitely I will not return to sailing earlier than that, but meanwhile I also have to find a way to make and save more money if I want to return to sailing. Not just money for the adventure itself, but I also need another sailboat. Ideally  I would like to buy Anastasia back if it would be possible.

Also I keep thinking if building a boat instead of buying, would be a better idea ? But I will talk more about it in future videos and blog articles. Any decision I will take, first I must make the much needed budget to begin with. For that reason I also want to say thank you one more time to all those that help me to continue this amazing adventure. 

That was the most heartbreaking decision I ever had to make so far. Unfortunately at that time my financial situation was not so great. Every time I had to stay aboard the sailboat in Miami for preparations, I was on a tourist visa. For that reason and also because I am not American, I was not allowed to work. I also run out of visa time, as I could only stay six months maximum during one year period. I will explain in detail the entire situation in a future video and blog article. It still hurts even today every time I think of it.

Here I will be subjective as I always had a thing for a few boat designs. My all time favorites will always be Pearson Triton 28 and Alberg 30. But I will lie not to say that I also liked the first sailboat I had. A Grampian Marine 26 from 1970. A really simple but beautiful weekend family sailboat.

For many years, I’ve been following and I admire Sven Yrvind and the small sailboats he designs and builds. So I always think that one day I should do that as well. I really like the idea of sailing around the world in a tiny sailboat built by myself. The only problem is that living aboard full time may not be so easy in such a small space. Ocean passages are one thing, but living aboard full time where you also have to work sometime, is another thing. I still like the idea, so you never know.

I placed them on the bottom of the page. I clearly admire many more not just them. But they inspired me the most, especially during my childhood. Francis Chichester with his book about his voyage around the world was the first. Later on I discovered Jimmy Cornell and his amazing family adventure aboard Aventura. Not to say that Jimmy and I are born in the same city, it seems that mountains people love the ocean a lot more. Also Bernard Moitessier, a French sailor that amazed me in the 1968 Golden Globe Race aboard Joshua, his sailboat at that time.

Then Yves Gelinas and his adventure around the world fascinated me. I really loved his documentary film, besides the Cape Horn self steering system he created. If you look closer to my videos you will notice his influence in my style of filming and editing the videos. Not to talk about the amateur radio hobby, as that is what he also used aboard his sailboat to communicate at home. No wonder I want to do the same.

And of course later on I discovered Sven Yrvind. Such an amazing and humble man that I could stay and listen to for days. I love how intelligent and inventive he is, always finding solutions to all sort of problems. Also his lifestyle seems a lot like mine and for that I respect him even more.

On the sea romance side, my childhood changed with The Dove. A beautiful film with a story about Robin Lee Graham as he sailed around the world alone at the age of 16. I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, but I will sure do that when I will be out sailing again. For now, I still enjoy watching the movie now and then.

I do have a dream sailboat though, and I hope one day I will own one. Cape George 36 Cutter is the one… and even if she is not exactly small for me, this sailboat will allow me to sail and live aboard for a very long time. I spent many hours thinking about the interior and how I would modify everything for some serious offshore sailing. I don’t know when I will be able to afford this boat, but one day it will sure happen, because I am not giving up my dreams so easy.

I told myself that the day I will own one, I will do a proper refit and sign up right away for the Golden Globe Race. I want to sail around the world non stop with old school methods anyway, so why not doing it this way ?

SUBSCRIBE

Join Me On YouTube

I created the YouTube channel to share this amazing adventure with those in love with the sea just as I am. I hope you like watching the videos as much as I like making them. SUBSCRIBE and stay up to date with the latest videos !

Play Video about Anastasia Around The World - Trailer

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Join the mailing list to receive the weekly newsletter with the latest news and blog posts. Stay up to date with every step of this amazing adventure.

INSPIRATION