Nick Pelios Freediver, Creator
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"Learning to Live from the Sea" is a captivating documentary that chronicles the journey of Mitch and Tim, two adventurous souls who traded their conventional lives for an extraordinary existence aboard a sailboat. Set against a stunning backdrop, the film explores their quest for self-sufficiency, their deepening connection with nature, and the skills they acquire to live harmoniously with the ocean. Join them as they navigate the challenges of sustainable living, from spear fishing and foraging to fixing their boat, all while embracing the beauty and unpredictability of life at sea.

All Aboard

Mitch, originally from the Netherlands, and Tim, who bought an old sailboat with the dream of exploring Scotland's islands, quickly discover a shared passion for the sea and adventure. Their initial three-month trip turns into a quest for a lifetime as they fall in love with the boat, Scotland, and each other.

The couple's lifestyle on the boat requires them to be self-reliant, especially when it comes to food. While they have adapted to using wind and solar power for movement and energy, their dependence on ports for fresh food conflicts with their desire for independence. They realize the environmental cost of buying imported fish and produce, sparking a resolve to learn how to fish and forage for their own seafood.

Their quest begins with learning the skills necessary to dive and spearfish. They meet Jimmy, an expert freediver, who teaches them how to dive safely and effectively. They learn about the dangers of hyperventilation and the importance of normal breathing to saturate the blood with oxygen. Mitch and Tim also train in a submerged volcanic crater, improving their ability to stay underwater longer and learn to identify and rescue each other in case of emergencies.

Their training pays off as they start to catch fish, beginning with invasive lionfish, which they are thrilled to use as their first self-caught meal. They then set their sights on the Bahamas, hoping to perfect their skills in the clear waters and expansive reef systems. However, they face a mechanical challenge with their anchor windlass motor, which they fix with a detour to the British Virgin Islands.

In the BVI, they meet Captain Frenchie, a seasoned fisherman who teaches them the ethics of sustainable fishing. He emphasizes the importance of not taking young lobsters or those carrying eggs to ensure future populations. Mitch and Tim also learn how to use lobster snares and avoid fish like Barracuda, which can cause ciguatera poisoning.

As they continue their journey, they face various challenges, including a leaking dinghy and bad weather, which test their resilience and resourcefulness. Despite these setbacks, they persist in learning to spearfish, with new equipment improving their success rate. They consult with fishery scientists to ensure their practices are sustainable and learn about the importance of selective fishing, which minimizes bycatch and environmental impact.

Their journey brings them to the realization that foraging and fishing are deeply local skills that vary with the environment. They explore regenerative ocean farming, meeting Chris Ludford, an oyster farmer who shows them how oyster farming can enhance water quality and rebuild natural reefs. This method, which involves no artificial feeding and helps stabilize nutrients in the water, represents a sustainable way to harvest from the sea.

Throughout the video, Mitch and Tim's story is interwoven with stunning visuals of underwater life, dramatic seascapes, and intimate moments on their boat. They convey a powerful message about the importance of living in harmony with nature, making conscious choices, and the joy and fulfillment that come from directly connecting with the environment. Their journey is not just about survival but about fostering a deeper understanding and respect for the natural world they call home.

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