A family at sea

Rute Gonçalves, João Monarca and their three children´s love of the sea led them, almost a year ago, to embark on a new round-the-world sailing adventure. On World Oceans Day, the 5 to Port talk about their commitment to the preservation of our oceans and how not even the stormy waters of the pandemic will be capable of wrecking their dream

Moored at the Santa Marta Marina, in Colombia, since 17 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 5 to Port haven´t allowed themselves to become immersed in regret and their sails of hope are still billowing in the wind

While their yacht Domum – which they´ve been calling home ever since they set sail on a family circumnavigation trip from Cascais in July 2019, is still not permitted to lift anchor, the family has been riding the storm with their feet firmly on the ground and their eyes on the horizon. “Everyone is going through a hard time and our trip has been interrupted, but we know that better days are coming and that the wind will blow again”, Rute Gonçalves affirms.

The recent days of disruption have helped the family of five to become “more resilient and more persistent”, to discard “fixed plans” and to take advantage of the opportunity to “spend time with the family and to make the most of the situation to reflect and do other things that our daily routine and general hustle and bustle prevent us from doing, emphasises the former Galp brand manager. Indeed, this additional time was “one of the main aims of our trip and the quarantine measures have given us a lot more of it”, she concludes.

The 5 to Port project continues to travel the world in a life experience that is currently on hold in Colombia

With the world at a standstill, the most important thing, Rute stresses, “is to feel that we´re together” and “there for each other”. Flying the flag of the environmental cause and, in particular, that of the oceans, Rute Gonçalves calls for a growing wave of awareness with regard to the need to strive for the well-being of our seas. “The oceans are huge and we´re insignificant. We´re all highly dependent on them and we feel that people as a whole don´t treat the oceans in the way they should be”, she declares.

It requires a joint effort to bring the defence of the oceans to a safe harbour, and Rute, João and their children Marta, Afonso and Carmen are fully aware of the importance of getting down to work and to the sea. For this very reason they made a point of setting sail from the Trash Tuesday Community, a community initiative that mobilises to collect rubbish from the coastal areas in which its members live every Tuesday. After all, they remind us, “small gestures can change everything”.