Laura, Tamara and Marina: the Klink Sisters
“Dreams are dangerous things, we don't decide to have them, nor define how they will be….without us realizing it, dreams are already ours”
They heard stories: of the different colors of the sky, of the places that no one had reached, on the other side of the ocean. They heard beautiful stories that made them dream. And today they tell theirs. We caught up with Tamara, Laura and Marina Klink, Brazil's most adventurous sisters, known for their boat trips across the ocean. They told us about all these dreams and the adventures they brought, about courage, persistence, about the beauty of the outside world and about a very big place to store all these things: the sea!
by Gabriela Marcotti
Girls, do you remember the first time you were on a boat in the ocean? tell us a little about your childhood and how the adventures of that time shaped who you are today…
We have always had a very close relationship with the sea. For us, the sea has always been the reason for many goodbyes and reunions. It was on Jurumirim beach that we saw these waters carry our father away and bring him back home, safely, while the 4 of us waited on the beach sand. For a long time, the sea was our “enemy”, after all, it was because of it that my father left to return months later. The feeling of longing took over. Over time, our mother tried to turn that distance into something positive. It was through books, photos and stories that our mother began to change our relationship with the sea, bringing us closer to that universe that kept us so distant - and when my father arrived, he would come with countless stories to tell. These stories turned our father's absence into something positive, after all, every time he returned he was accompanied by fantastic reports. We began to understand why he was always leaving for a new trip. It was when we were 8, 8 and 6 years old that we left for our first big family trip, towards Antarctica.
Laura, you once said that the world and experiences outside the classroom can teach us more than school, and you're absolutely right! What is the most important lesson you learned sailing?
The sea shows us that to get where we want we can't always go in a straight line, sometimes we need to zigzag or go back to finally be able to move forward. We cannot foresee or plan everything, we need to learn to respect the weather, the tide and external conditions. As our father says, good planning is one that adapts.
I imagine that travel brings special surprises that no one is able to predict: was there an unplanned moment that left an impression on you?
It was 2009, we were sitting in the cockpit of the Paratii-2 listening to the conversations of other boats - it was our newest hobby - we listened to all kinds of conversations, many of which we didn't understand a single word. After changing the stations, in the midst of several voices comes news that made us extremely happy: there was a boat, close to us, with a child of our age.
We constantly insisted on visiting this child's boat, until finally, our parents gave in to our will. To our surprise, when we got there, there was not only one child our age, but 3 others. It was a French family, who were at the beginning of a long 3-year trip around the world. We quickly became friends and soon agreed to see each other again.
A few days later we visited a penguin colony near Pleneau. The excitement of the 7 of us brought us so much energy that we decided to go hiking on our own - leaving our parents behind. We started to climb the mountain…so, the afternoon passed - and the distance increased. After some time - finally, we reached the sky - from up there we could see the entire bay, and in the middle of it was the Paratii-2, which looked as small as a walnut.
I was looking intently at the boat, when I noticed that my father, far below, began to wave tirelessly - I waved back. He started screaming - I screamed back. As he ran towards him, his arms began to move with more force - he didn't understand what he was trying to say. He ran and ran and the screams, even louder, continued abstract.
Suddenly, one of the children called me to go back. When we got back to the penguin colony, my dad was ready. He put us in the boat, and without saying a word he started to go around the place where we had walked.
It was when I looked up that I realized - just a few steps from where I was running, there was a cliff of more than 300m. As the snow was curved, I had the illusion that the mountain continued right after, when in fact it ended less than 5 steps away.
That day I realized that sometimes we are immersed in an environment, where we are so amazed by what is around us - that we do not stop to analyze the path we have chosen and the context in which we are. It is at this time that the certainty that we will return puts the entire journey at risk.
“You have to leave the island to see the island”
Nina, sailing teaches us a lot about facing fears and facing the uncertain, but at the same time about enjoying the now and having peace of mind. How do you face these situations of extreme vulnerability in such a beautiful and light way?
We once heard that “the worst moments to live are the best to tell”. Fear, restlessness and many other uncertainties are always present in our travels, both at sea and on land. However, this is precisely what motivates us to meticulously plan our wills, to have a well-constructed objective before asking for any help and, above all, to try before judging ourselves incapable. These vulnerabilities prepare us for the risks we can foresee. As for the unpredictable dangers, they expose our truest characteristics, the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Once overcome, we look at them lightly because we know that if they happen again, we will know how to deal with them. However, new challenges will always arise, and that's why we need to prepare ourselves technically and protect our dreams, be firm about our goals, because no one but ourselves will face the risks that arise from them.
Another aspect is the certainty that, even alone, we are not alone. The support we receive from friends, siblings and strangers we come across and who motivate us to pursue our dreams is essential. The support network that we are building on each journey is the certainty that we have a safe haven.
Nina, what can't be missing in the life of an adventurous woman?
Planning is the indispensable element in the life of an adventurous woman.
We grew up listening to reports of trips that seemed crazy, in unlikely means of transport and to inaccessible places. Our parents still come home today with a pocket full of new stories that inspire. As we grow up and gain independence, we come to realize that none of these stories are adventures. Our parents are not adventurers, but entrepreneurs: they don't build adventures, but experiences that are, purely and simply, the result of good planning.
Therefore, children, we understand that, in order to achieve our own dreams one day, we would need to do it independently, and that requires a strategy. We see this in the stories of the first polar explorers: the crossings that seem the most absurd worked because they took years of study and preparation.
Today, we are also inspired by the incredible stories of other women, and we know how many others exist that have not been told, or are not valued.
And for them to be successful, good planning is essential.
It seems like you've lived so much and are still so young, what dreams do you still want to fulfill?
I want to sail with my sisters, and be able to be with them again in the places where our parents took us when we were children.
Tamara, we know that the plan to cross the Atlantic had already existed for some time, what motivated you to take that plan out of the drawer in the middle of a pandemic and make it happen?
I've dreamed of sailing alone since I can remember dreaming. Growing up, I was looking for ways to start somewhere. To learn from others. Give me the test.
In the pandemic, many of my certainties and security guards were falling apart. I ended a relationship, I had no address, the internship was cancelled. I made the void a space for the new. I lost a lot of what I had, so I had less to lose. I was open to risk.
Tamara, if you could choose a moment of the crossing to relive, what would it be?
I would like to relive the encounters with the friends I made in ports. Living with loneliness sometimes burns and it's hard to explain to someone what it means to spend weeks without seeing a face, without hearing a voice. In ports, I found welcome, empathy, affection. In ports I wanted to stay a little longer.
These people I met brought meaning to the crossing. And the departures were less difficult when I imagined our reunion.