Celebrating Vidya Jeremiah-Pettersson: Who is she? What’s the story behind her success?

Meet my sister-in-law, Mrs Vidya Jeremiah- Pettersson and meet my brother-in-law, Mr. Kenneth Pettersson.

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Mrs Vidya Jeremiah-Pettersson & Mr Kenneth Pettersson

They are the proud owners of “El Cordero”

El Cordero

El Cordero

El Cordero

El Cordero

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For those who do not know Mrs Vidya Jeremiah-Pettersson is the 2nd Trinidadian woman to circumnavigate the world by boat. The 1st was Mrs. Kwailan La Borde whose journey was with her husband Mr Harold La Borde via “Hummingbird II” for their trip which took place during the years 1969 to 1973.

As Vidya so clearly states, “There is a unique freedom that includes you, your boat, the wind, sea, waves, dolphins and whales. The morning sunrise and evening sunset experienced from the privacy of your cockpit and the beautiful night sky lit up with shining stars are majestic sights that entertain you as you pass your watch. The joy of seeing acrobatic dolphins dance and perform for your single pleasure and curious enormous whales diving less than 5 meters under your boat remind you that together with joy there is also danger. The sight of land is marked with a big smile and anticipation after a long passage.”

I took the time to gather some information for this post.

What  inspired Vidya’s world trip? Here is what she said:

“It was my husband’s dream. I also wanted to visit other countries. The thought of coming to far off places and experiencing different cultures was very luring.”

I was wondering what made her travels easier so I asked. This is what she shared,” Knowing my husband built the boat and could repair almost everything especially when you are on a long passage.”

How does she describe herself? Her words are, “kind, friendly, adventurous, simple and loving.” Our additions are, “compassionate, thoughtful, free-spirited, fun, a great cook, a wonderful human being, a woman with a heart of gold!”

I asked her how it feels to be the 2nd Trinidadian woman to circumnavigate the world via boat. Her response was a very humble one, ” It was not my intention but if my adventures help promote sailing and encourage people to live their dreams it would make me proud.”

What was the highlight of her travels? “The beautiful people we have met on our travels.”

Her travels and her pictures are evidence of her world journey. Indeed they are a testimony of the beautiful people of the world and their cultures.

What advice has she given to others attempting a trip of this magnitude? Vidya says, “Go for it.  But bear in mind that proper planning is necessary. The sea is a friend and also your enemy. Do not  focus on the negative but the positives. Live life.”

This is an account of their travels:

They left Sweden and travelled via the European Canals to Germany, Holland, Belgium and France, then went into the Mediterranean Sea, to Spain, the Balearic Islands, Gibraltar, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and sweet T&T. They sailed to Martinique, Dominica, Iles de Saints, and then back to T&T where they spent the hurricane season. In November 2004 they sailed to the Venezuelan islands of Testigos, Blanquilla, Los Roques, then Bonaire, Curacao, Colombia and the San Blas Islands of Panama. They transited the Panama Canal in April 2005, sailed to Galapagos, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji, where they spent the cyclone season.

In April 2006 they left Fiji and sailed to New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India. In 2007 they sailed the Red Sea via Yemen, Sudan, through the Suez Canal in Egypt and exited in the Mediterranean Sea visiting Greece, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and then France through the European Canals including Luxemburg and Denmark. They spent 5 years sailing in Denmark and Sweden and departed in 2012, revisiting the European Canals and Spain from the Mediterranean Sea, where they spent the winter. From there they sailed to Melilla, a Spanish town in North Africa, then Gibraltar, Canary Islands, Cape Verde and arrived in Trinidad on December 11, 2013.

Their journey back to Sweden began some time ago! We wish them a continued safe journey filled with love, good weather to brave those seas ahead and God’s blessings!

Have a look at these pics that tell her story:

Sweden

Sweden

Germany

Germany

Holland

Holland

entering France via the Canals

entering France via the Canals

The Caribbean

The Caribbean

Sunset in the San Blas Island, Panama

Sunset in the San Blas Island, Panama

Galapagos, Ecuador

Galapagos, Ecuador

French Polynesia

French Polynesia

Kenneth with some children of French Polynesia

Kenneth with some children of French Polynesia

Bastille Day in French Polynesia

Bastille Day in French Polynesia

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Tonga

Tonga

A rainbow in Fiji

A rainbow in Fiji

Kenneth, Bali Indonesia

Kenneth, Bali Indonesia

Dinner with friends in Malaysia

Dinner with friends in Malaysia

Pic taken in "El Cordero"- kids in Indonesia

Pic taken aboard “El Cordero”- our Indonesian friends

A view of fishing in Indonesia

A view of fishing in Indonesia

Thailand

Thailand

Singapore-One 15 Marina

Singapore-One 15 Marina

India

India

"El Cordero" waiting to transit the Suez Canal in Egypt

“El Cordero” waiting to transit the Suez Canal in Egypt

Beautiful anchorage in the Mediterranean

Beautiful anchorage in the Mediterranean

Greece

Greece

Sicily

Sicily

The Locks in Germany

The Locks in Germany

Transiting the Panama Canal, "El Cordero" on the far right

Transiting the Panama Canal, “El Cordero” on the far right

working the locks in Panama

working the locks in the Canals

Aden, Yemen

Aden, Yemen

kids learning to steer the boat in the Canals in Europe

kids learning to steer the boat in the Canals in Europe

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