Big adventures and expeditions often start as small sparks of excitement ignited long before the reality of any kind of trip comes together. For Nino Mazzone sailing came into his life pretty early on, it was just a matter of time before that initial spark spread into something greater. Exactly how would be dictated by the twists and turns of life during the decades that followed.

Sponsored by Ryde and captured by BASE FM magazine - Nino shares how a love of crossing vast swathes of ocean by sailboat blossomed into the start of an ambitious ski-sailing expedition in the coastal mountains of Arctic Norway

"I can’t say that my passion for the sea came naturally, it is something that grew over time. I worked on it with effort and dedication. My thrill for adventure and new experiences, on the other hand, has always been a big part of me, like most people I suppose. 

After sitting on a school bench for 12 years, the idea of sitting on a university bench for another three or even five years was unimaginable. So I saved money for a few months and found an opportunity to get away. A friend of my father’s was crossing the Atlantic, heading east on a sailing boat and agreed to take me with him. With very little to no skills at all, in the middle of the sea, I had to learn the ropes, the knots, the winds and the compass rather quickly. After landing in Europe two months later it was clear, I was going to become a sailor. It seemed like a good way to travel the world while making money. But how would I get started? How does someone become a captain?"

"All I knew is that I needed more nautical miles under my belt and a deeper understanding of the theory behind navigation. While working a boring telemarketing job in Switzerland, I started reading. I devoured every book I could get my hands on, starting with the classics: Sailing Alone around the World by Joshua Slocum, The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier, the story of Shackleton’s Endeavour expedition, KonTiki by Thor Heyerdahl and many more. These stories gave me the taste for great adventures. They sparked the need and desire to do something remarkable myself!

There is a great Norwegian saying that I have picked up during this journey: ‘ting tar tid’ which means things take time. In order to achieve anything in life, patience and resilience are required. I’m no great adventurer, nor a professional athlete, just an amateur with a strong desire to do something out of the ordinary. I decided that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, and I think that it is true for everyone. I am hoping that this story will inspire some of you to go out of your way to achieve something great, whatever that may be.

Sailing trip across Norway sponsored by Ryde

I have been skiing since childhood and started growing interest in ski-touring, climbing and mountaineering. I read in an article that in Norway, with peaks rising over 1000 metres above sea level, just 200 metres from the shoreline is a famous terrain for ski-sailing. I imagined myself rocking up in a small sailing boat, going onshore with a small dinghy and climbing straight from the sea. A few hours later I’m at the top, contemplating the view, spotting tomorrow’s line before clipping on the skis and making my way back down to the shoreline. And what about Greenland or Svalbard? With a boat, I could go anywhere. This became my dream, my idea, my drive. I was still figuring out what to do with my life and it can be difficult and scary to sacrifice everything to pursue a singular idea, so I decided to make it a journey, progressively, one step at a time in the right direction. I would build the skillset and knowledge to lead an Arctic expedition of my own."

Read more here.

Ryde UK