WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY by Kristianne Koch

[A]fter a full year of preparation, I hopped on a 38′ sailboat with my boyfriend and set off into the sunset. Both of us had sailed quite a bit growing up, but neither of us had done more than an overnight trip to Catalina Island. Our first real passage was the longest distance between two landmasses anywhere on the planet. Our 27 days at sea together was intense. Let’s just say that we probably learned more about each other on that passage than most people know about their spouse after 10 years of marriage.

It took us about 4 months to adapt to life on the ocean in a home that moved, leaked and ran aground. In hindsight, I realise how amazing my husband was at preparing the boat for the trip. We had minimal rig failures and when we did have a serious accident in Manihi, he knew exactly what to do. I have a tremendous amount of trust and faith in him to this day. As for my preparation for a trip like this, I have to thank the years I spent mountaineering in the Sierra Cascades, Rockies, Sangre de Christos and Nevada de Toluca.

When we finally decided to return to life on land, we married and settled into the beach town where I grew up. We are currently consumed with the never-ending grind of working, saving and maintaining a livelihood with the dream of returning to life at sea with our children. Currently our daily activities consist of the usual routine of raising two children, but our lifestyle is wholeheartedly sea-centric. We spend our spare time together surfing, sailing and swimming in the waves.

The past two summers we sailed the S/V Pelican (which is berthed back in Coronado once again), up to Dana Point harbour where we lived on her for 2 months. We then sailed her to Catalina Island to allow our kids (age 4 and 7) to experience life ‘on the hook’.

I make photographs because I want to share my awe of this world with others. I am an environmentalist, a romanticist and a minimalist. The struggle between holding on and letting go presents itself frequently in my personal work. I often wonder if I have a split personality because I try to control every detail in my images yet I am perpetually drawn to the impreciseness and uncertainty of slow shutter speeds, alternative processes, instant film or underwater photography.

My fine art photography projects are inevitably based around the kids and their relationship with the ocean and my deep desire to be back at sea.

To see more of Kristianne’s fine art photography, head to her website or check out her blog here