A True Cinderella Story

Audacious couple Ava and Pajo sold everything and bought a boat to sail the world fueled 100% by renewable energy.

It’s not every day that a couple under age 30 decides to sell their belongings and sail the world alone – but that’s exactly what Pajo Gazibara and Ava Ryerson are doing.

Imagine putting your whole apartment in a really tiny house.— Ava

The Seattle locals, who have been together since they met sharing whiskey at a bike race, are currently sailing around the world in a charming 35-foot Ericson sailboat – Cinderella. Nicknamed Cindy, they bought her for only $6,000 from the Pacific Marine Foundation, a nonprofit boat donation center. Considering this boat will be their home and vessel to cross oceans for the next two years, that’s a pretty sweet price tag.

The boat is a bit of a DIY project – and it shows. Pretty much everything you see has been custom built by the couple and whoever was around to lend a helping hand. It was important to them to make the boat usable, comfortable, and designed for sustainability. Even books, clothes and kitchen supplies are tethered with rope to keep objects from falling during high winds. They ditched the conventional diesel engine and took advantage of Pajo’s engineering background, programming Cindy to run on renewable energy. The full reconstruction took about a year and a half—while still working a fulltime job in tech.

I learned how to build a boat from building this boat.— Pajo

They started their trip from their homebase, Seattle where they traveled down the coast. Then, they joined a group called Baja Haha Cruisers Rally – a community of 200 sailboats that sail from San Diego to Cabo for the next leg of their trip. Currently, they made it down to Mexico and plan to venture past Ecuador, around Australia and under Southeast Asia. Once they cross the Indian Ocean, they’ll coast along South Africa and head North until they reach Europe, where they’ll sail around the Mediterranean Sea. After hitting Iceland and Greenland, they’ll ride along the East Coast of the U.S. before heading back to Seattle.

The journey will take them two years. When asked what their friends and family thought of their plan, in unison Paji and Ava said, “Terrified.” Because of this, their family gifted them a Garmin tracker that plots a point every 10 minutes—that way their family and friends can follow them on their journey and see exactly where they are. You can access the tracker on their blog.

Pajo and Ava won’t be each other’s only company – the sailing community is known for its camaraderie. Along the way, it’s common for travelers to warn fellow sailors about wind and sea conditions, port personnel who may need bribing to pass, and even pirates.

The cruiser community is pretty awesome…it’s all about intel—giving each other heads up, talking about what’s safe, what’s cool, etc.— Ava

While the couple is looking forward to many adventures, they do anticipate some bumps in the journey. During the long stretch of the Marqueas crossing in the French Polynesia, for example, the couple won’t be anywhere near land for 20 to 30 days. They have a radio that can connect to other boats, but it will only reach 30 miles out. Not only can this stretch be dangerous for technical reasons, but more human aspects—like loneliness and anxiety—could plague them.

However, Pajo and Ava have a solution for that.

We’re going to smoke A LOT.— Pajo

Because the two have to take four-hour shifts sailing at night so they can get some shut-eye, Ava’s chronic anxiety often keeps her from falling asleep. This, in combination with strong winds and unnatural boat tilts, can add stress to the trip.

For these reasons, Ava turned to CBD-heavy cannabis to relax her muscles and calm her stress when sailing becomes too chaotic.

Sailing conditions are really windy and you are in the ocean—so the swell is gnarly and your boat is constantly rocking and surfing. It’ not for the faint of heart. So, Especially at night, I use CBD.— Ava

A creative at heart, Pajo utilizes sativa, which keeps him feeling energized and occupies his mind during long, uneventful stretches. He continually is building additions to the boat—even while at sea. Once you’re fully of the grid, you have to make your own fun. For Pajo, that’s making the boat better.

Pajo will basically smoke some sativa and build 5 million things.— Ava

Put simply, Pajo and Ava are ditching the script and creating their own. The team at Island is proud to consider this dynamic duo a part of the Island Original family. We partner with innovative and creative visionaries that are making waves in whatever their passion may be.

If you’re interested in learning more about Pajo, Ava and their globe-sailing, follow along on their blog http://www.sailingcinderella.com. If you have an incredible story to tell about how our products have improved your daily life, email a pitch to originals@island.co.



Are you at least
21+ Years Old

By clicking Yes above, you agree to the Terms of Use

JOIN the island family

Get 20% off your first purchase of ISLAND merchandise*
and be the first to know about new products and exclusive events!

Enter your email or text us to get your instant discount code:


Text ISLAND to 424-903-1925

*By submitting your email or texting, you agree to the Terms of Use. You will receive email or text messages periodically with awesome stuff and can opt-out at any time.