Cruising for a Cause Page 2

One of the great things about sailing is that no two sailors have to set out for the same purpose. Some sail for the love of speed. Some sail for the love of gadgetry. Some, to be with friends and family. To see new sights. For intensity. For tranquility. For Columbus it was exploration. For Desjoyeaux it is competition. But for the crew of Khulula and Can Drac, it’s about
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Franc and Andrea Carreras always knew they would embark on an adventure together. “We met at the Manhattan Sailing Club in 2000 and always shared the passion for new horizons,” said Franc. They just weren’t sure when or where that adventure would be. They talked about it often, tossing around ideas of how they could evade reality for a year or two.

In 2008, Andrea, a native Long Islander, was working as a telecommunications executive at a top 20 Fortune 500 company and Franc, who was born in Barcelona, was working as a music executive at a major record label in New York. With such stable careers, their discussions were always centered around “one day” that would arrive post children, post retirement, but no time soon.

“One day” came sooner than they expected. It began where all the best ideas begin: while dangling their toes in the water and drinking wine on the transom. They were anchored behind the Statue of Liberty and decided the time had come.

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They created sailforwater.com and joined up with Charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean water to Africa. They were drawn to the organization because, as cruisers, they understand the preciousness of fresh and drinkable water. Unlike landlubbers whose water comes forth endlessly from a faucet, cruisers at sea must carry and ration their water. “We know what it’s like carrying limited amounts of water aboard and often have to travel all day to fill up just with water from remote sources,” said Franc “But we do it by choice. Others have no other option.”

Charity: water had never heard of an excursion quite like the Carreras’ but they were excited to collaborate. The plan was to sail across the Atlantic and raise $1 for every mile, eventually making enough to provide drinking water for 500 people for 20 years. “We had always dreamed about making a difference in the world bigger than ourselves,” said Franc, so they were thrilled to find a way to bring clean drinking water to some of the 1.1 billion people who go without it.

Franc and Andrea purchased a 2008 Beneteau 43 and got her fully outfitted in South Carolina (an excellent excuse to escape the New York winter). They named her Can Drac, put their jobs on hold, and fully stocked her with food and supplies for 6,300 miles of travel.

From February to May, Can Drac will sail from Florida to Antigua and back up to Tortola for the start of the ARC Europe rally. In May they will take off to cross the Atlantic Ocean toward Barcelona. After a welcome party in Franc’s native town, they will continue through France and Italy, spreading awareness and gaining support from their website along the way.

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“Leaving family and friends was very sad and giving up our income completely was very, very scary,” said Franc. But they believe the trip will be worth it. “We set out to make a difference in the world greater and larger than anything we could have imagined,” said Franc. “We are two people who have set out to make two of our dreams come true, together.”

To see some videos of sailforwater.com as they prepare to undertake their journey, click here:

Can Drac Underway

Franc and Andrea visit with iguanas

To learn more about sailforwater, or to donate to their cause, check out their website here

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