5 minutes with... Marta and Tom, Choose Saltwater
Hey Marta and Tom!
You are a marine biologist and photographer duo with a love for the sea. We think the work you are doing around Italy to show what lies beneath our waterline is just awesome
Let's start from the beginning - tell us a bit about yourselves…
We are a marine biologist (Marta Musso) and a professional water photographer (Tommaso Orlandi) from Italy. We met last July in Tuscany and after a week we decided to buy a sailboat, a quite impulsive decision but extremely exciting. We both dreamt of living on a sailboat and travel the seven seas. What best time than now that covid-19 has ‘stopped’ time and our plans for a bit. Once we had our sailboat, we wanted to circumnavigate Italy as soon as possible, but travel restrictions made it harder to set sail. As winter came by, we started planning something more than just a simple sail. We brought together our passions/jobs and, pushed by the will to share our love and care for the sea we started brainstorming for a bigger project. That is how ‘choosesaltwater’ came to life. Our project is to combine sailing, science, and storytelling. We will now circumnavigate Italy at a slower pace stopping in every harbour doing workshops with children form sailing clubs and other outdoor sports. Workshops are hands-on labs aimed at bringing children closer to the sea and its creatures. Activities include quadrant sampling, snorkelling, drawing on diving slates, collecting plankton, and observing it trough the microscope. We want to collaborate with as many organisations and NGOs as possible working together for the sea.
What kind of boat are you sailing and where are you heading?
Our boat is a Hobby 30 (30ft) crafted here in Italy in the 80s by a family friend (as we later discovered).
We will soon set sail, heading to Tuscany and Elba Island.
What’s your mission and why is this important?
Our mission is to share our love and care for the sea to as many people as we can, both on social media and in person through workshops. We believe through education and a better understanding of our blue, people will be more respectful and have more care for our oceans.
Was there something specific that got you started, or has this been your dream all along?
Living on a sailboat has always been a dream for both and sharing our passions too. In a weird way we can say Covid-19 and this difficult and still time pushed us to act on our dreams making them come to life.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or found out so far?
Sailing at night, alone, in the dark sea below a sky full of stars would be the best thing so far!
Have there been any low points, what have you found the hardest to see so far?
Living on a sailboat is a dream come to life, but it has its low points too. The hardest part so far has been anchoring after a day at sea with the summer heat, no wind, a bay full of boats, two thirsty dogs and an anchor too short for the depth of the seabed. Constantly repairing the boat also brings plenty of frustration.
What do you find most difficult about being low-impact or around the water, yourselves?
We always try to be as low-impact as possible especially onboard. Choosing plastic free and local goods but it is not always possible especially with Covid-19 and the increased use of single-use. We do not use any soap to clean dishes but used coffee ground and baking soda instead. We use our engine as little as possible. However, as low-impact as we try to be we have an old boat and we are aware of the impact it has on the sea.
What’s on your clean sailing wish list?
Having a boat that is completely self-sufficient! With bigger solar panels, a wind turbine, and an eco-friendlier engine. Also, slightly bigger so we can have some plants onboard 😊.
Tell us one thing you think fellow Clean Sailors should know about…
Always remember while sailing you are walking on someone’s house, nursery, and playground. Our ocean is home to many species of all kinds, and we are like aliens from a different planet. Let’s all be responsible and respectful for our blue and its creatures.
Thank you for sharing your story, Marta and Tom!
Here's more about Marta and Tom's project: