hero image Piratas do Amor

Piratas do Amor

Meet Raissa and Christof, the hearts and minds behind Piratas do Amor. Launched in 2018, their sailing society orchestrates unforgettable sea voyages that blend their shared love for the ocean, the magic of genuine connections, and life-altering experiences. While they come from very different backgrounds, Brazil and Liechtenstein, they possess surprisingly congruent values. Navigating the challenges of their (open) relationship aboard a boat, they continuously re-invent and shape their vision of the world. Inspired by their unique "pirate code", they live as embodiments of the change they envision, crafting each journey as a tale of love, freedom, and evolution. Join us as we set sail on their intriguing tale.

 A boat is seen as a symbol of unbridled freedom, but it can ironically be one of the most unfree places.
So, you identify as "pirates." Is that just a catchy title, or is it a mantle you wear with pride? RAISSA: For us, adopting the term "pirates" is more than just a quirky name. It speaks volumes about our beliefs, our ethos. 'Piratas do Amor,' which means 'Pirates of Love' in Portuguese, truly resonates with our spirit. During the golden age of piracy in the late 16th century, pirates represented freedom amidst an oppressive world. Despite their notorious reputation, they were pioneers of certain progressive ideas – equality, democracy, and even a form of social security. The narrative about them has been largely shaped by those in power, but pirates were more than just rogues. They were strategic, with a community-driven approach that emphasized equality and unity. Their spirit of rebellion, their artistic expressions and the way they lived in a horizontal social community is what inspired us in shaping our culture of beliefs for Pirates do Amor.
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What is that culture of beliefs? 
RAISSA: Our core belief with Pirates do Amor is to usher in a culture where love and freedom reign supreme. I think this world is dominated by fear - from global conflicts to personal struggles - and that's what we aim to challenge. With our transformative sailing voyages, we create an environment where love can be the core guiding principle, replacing that fear. We regard our sailboats as microcosms where participants learn about themselves and interpersonal dynamics.  CHRISTOF: A boat is seen as a symbol of unbridled freedom, but it can ironically be one of the most unfree places. The constraints of being on a boat - limited resources and space, no escape from conflicts, and the ever-present natural elements - force one to communicate, respect, and harmonize with both nature and fellow voyagers. This encapsulates our vision of a world where people live in harmony with nature and each other. With nature as our teacher, the ocean tests our resolve and teaches us to let go of the illusion of control. In this setting, love is not just an emotion but a commitment to understanding, acceptance, and living in the present. With our voyages we want to deliver more than just adventures; we try to foster a culture that emphasizes love over fear.
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But love can also be scary sometimes, how does that play out between the two of you?
CHRISTOF: The idea that there's a finite amount of affection one can give or receive is a fear we challenge daily. By recognizing love as an abundant force, we allow ourselves to connect more deeply with one another and the world around us. Raissa is my wife, but she can love other people. And that will only increase my love for her and our love with everybody. Transparent communication stands at the core of our relationship, enabling us to express vulnerabilities, desires, and fears. For us, love isn’t just about the bond between two individuals; it’s also about self-love and understanding oneself. Fear, often seen as a negative emotion, is a primal instinct . In the vastness of the ocean, this fear is strongly felt. But instead of giving in, we harness it, transitioning from fear to love through courage. In Portuguese, "coração" means heart and "agir" is to act. Courage, thus, becomes an act of the heart. This courage allows us to confront societal norms. Despite the stigmas and fears surrounding open relationships, we've chosen this path and face its challenges through open dialogue. Through open-heartedness, we aim to build a culture of love that extends beyond just the two of us, creating ripple effects in every space we inhabit. Courage is the bridge between fear and love  RAíSSA: For us, an open relationship is about keeping love free. Formats, from monogamy to polyamory, can be restricting. I want love to flow without barriers, knowing love is abundant. Right now, our agreements say that our relationship is the primary one, since we are building a dream together that requires a lot of commitment. Everyone that we feel love for, and that are aligned with our values, are more than welcome in our hearts. Love is a choice and we want to choose love everyday of our lives, while working on our dream. 
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Where did that dream start? 
CHRISTOF: The inception of our shared dream goes back nearly a decade ago when we met in Brazil, both participating in a  program called Warriors Without Weapons. On the second day, I caught Raissa's gaze as she readjusted her quirky round glasses. The spark in her eyes spoke volumes; it was a defining moment. I knew right away that she was special to me. The love we share grew from that day.  RAíSSA: We knew it right away. It was just a very strong feeling that we wanted to be together, that we have a mission together. But it wasn’t an easy start. Navigating the challenges of a four-year long-distance relationship, followed by a close-knit life on a boat for another four years, tested our bond. Living on a mere five square meters together was intense. Now, after a decade of togetherness, with nine years as a married couple, our journey has taught us that our connection goes beyond a romantic partnership. Beyond love, our bond has several layers: working together, dreaming together, and constantly learning. We are supporting each other in our own journey of self discovery and healing. For us, our relationship is also a catalyst of our spiritual paths. We've always viewed our talents as complementary, creating a harmonious balance between our energies. Our relationship is the primary laboratory for the principles and practices we share with others on our sailing trips. 
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Living, working, and loving together is intense. How do you keep from getting on each other's nerves?
RAíSSA: Undoubtedly, we do have our moments of frustration. We spend a lot of time together, but we are trying to integrate a way in which we both have our own projects, chasing our individual passions, sometimes spending time apart. Even in daily routines on the boat; sometimes we sleep in separate rooms, just to give each other personal space. This lets us enjoy our individual morning rituals without adjusting for the other's preferences. We've set a guideline: no communication before 9 AM. 
Your values seem remarkably aligned, but Brazil and Liechtenstein are worlds apart. You can’t tell that doesn’t cause any friction between you two?  
BOTH: TIME MANAGEMENT (laughing) RAíSSA: My Brazilian nature sees time as fluid, flexible. It allows for spontaneity and going with the flow. CHRISTOF: And on my end, coming from a Swiss-influenced mindset, punctuality is crucial for me. Even today we had a little fight because I was in my efficient mode. RAíSSA: Yes, sometimes I perceive his efficiency as being too stern. It's challenging, but it also makes me reflect on my own reactions. We try to use it so it pertains to growth, we teach and learn from one another.  CHRISTOF: Our cultural differences are strong: the structured versus the spontaneous, the minute versus the expansive, the orderly versus the chaotic. RAISSA: But isn't that the essence of life? The blend of contrasts makes it rich and exciting. A monotone is just not us. We even imagined creating our own country once, "LIBRA", representing the combination of our worlds that would be perfect – a bit of chaos with a touch of organization, some passionate Brazilian rhythms with moments of calm. It's about cherishing these differences while navigating our journey together.
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In your recent sailing journey, you collaborated with Bouncespace. What does a typical week look like when you're on a sailing experience and what were some standout experiences or activities?
RRAíSSA: A typical week starts with introducing the boat's core values. These values, like participation, self-expression, self-responsibility, presence, and regeneration, underpin all our activities. Regeneration, for instance, emphasizes improving whatever we engage with, whether that's our surroundings, relationships, or ourselves. From simple acts like picking up trash on the beach to taking time for self-care, it’s ingrained in our routine. CHRISTOF: Understanding these values is crucial. Think of it as our own "Pirate Code" for the boat, reminiscent of Burning Man's Ten Principles. Our day might include community tasks, like shared meals, where we often introduce fun, playful elements. I recall during one dinner, we hid tasks under plates, turning the meal into a spontaneous game. Another memorable moment was the dry falling experience during sunrise, combining meditation, yoga, ecstatic dance, and more, culminating in a beautiful morning party. RAíSSA: Beautiful in the sense that it’s extraordinary. Because it's so rare and so genuine. That morning party happened spontaneously. We encourage everyone to bring their unique flavor to our activities, turning ordinary chores into delightful performances. We've had participants dress up as Freddie Mercury for cleaning or engage in improv theater at the beach. This co-creation allows everyone to explore, play, and practice new things. CHRISTOF: Indeed. These sailing trips aren't just about following a set itinerary. It's about co-creating experiences, playing with boundaries, and fostering deep, genuine connections. We create a space where everyone feels empowered, expressive, and part of a larger purpose. Right now we organize the sailing trips on other people’s boats, but we hope to buy a big ship soon and sail the world amongst many other Pirates. We want it. We know it will happen. But we’re not going to rush it; when you force things, they don't flow.
Adding a little Brazilian flowiness to the Swiss clockwork, I see!
RAíSSA: He's got the precision of a Swiss watch, but now with a samba beat! 
Text: Janna Nieuwenhuijzen
Photos: MADEBYSEM and Natassja Ebert
Links: Piratas Do Amor
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