The Gypsy Pirate Returns: Part 2 of my interview with Josje Leyten



If you’ll recall last week, I posted the first part of my interview with Josje Leyten, the sailor who made a splash, literally, with her videos as a crew member aboard superstar sailboat SV Delos, and has now embarked upon a brave new journey as an artist and designer at Ramatree.

The response was amazing! Friends and fans from all over the globe stopped by to check out the interview, leave comments, and wish Josje good luck. Lucky we saved the best for last!

Now, here’s part 2, where we talk about the meaning of “gypsy pirate,” how she conquers fear, and what’s next for her.

Q: You call yourself a gypsy pirate, which I love. Why, and what does that mean to you?

A: Oh thank you! Well to be fair, I like to consider myself both of those things; part gypsy, part pirate. My sailing and nomadic journey have definitely shaped me into this being and I just feel so free and liberated when I am being a Gypsy Pirate. It doesn’t necessarily mean I wear 1000 layers of bohemian styled clothing and a ring on every finger, nor does it mean I live on an old wooden boat and drink rum straight from the bottle, although I do enjoy all of the above. To me, its more a feeling, it evokes a freeing sense of being and my inner heart calling. I’m big on following feelings, not so much thought, because thoughts can be destructive if you are not aware of them. Feelings are true and come from within. You can always feel if something is right, it’s your intuition and it always comes first. Learning how to listen to that is what I am trying to do, letting this feeling lead me through this forest path. So to me, being a Gypsy Pirate evokes this feeling of ME.



Q: To me, being a pirate means having no fear–or at least not giving into it. What’s your biggest fear, and how do you conquer it, or work toward conquering it?

A: Hmmm, I think my biggest fear would be feeling ‘stuck’, not moving forward, or feeling ‘trapped’. I like the expression that there is never any grass growing under my feet. But at the same time, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so whatever happens will happen, and it is meant to be. So in saying that, I can’t really be afraid of anything right?!  

Q: What’s next for you? What does the future hold for Ramatree?

A: I will be based here In New Zealand over the summer but next year brings a complete open book, which I am super excited about! I am finding the balance between setting my goals and dreams, yet also allowing myself to flow down the river. Truthfully, I have absolutely no idea what the future holds, which is both extremely frightening and extremely exhilarating! I love not knowing what’s around the corner, it makes life more exciting, more thrilling, more liberating. There are so many branches and directions I want Ramatree to grow in, but at the end of the day, I cannot force it one way or another. I must let nature and the Universe nourish and grow me the way nature intended. I am super fucking excited to see where and how far it will go though! I am seeking the light, as trees seek the light, I know I will grow up to where there are no limits.


Q: Anything else you want readers to know about you and your work?

A: I think a sense of mystery is always a good ally to have on your side! I just love to create and tap into my artistic, open, flowing space where anything and everything is possible. I live for spontaneity, adventure, photography, visual media, freedom and one love! I’m open to collaborations, bookings, ideas, people, anything, so feel free to email me if reading this ignited something inside of you! Much love and light!

That’s it for the interview with Josje! What do you think? Leave a comment below.

I hope to bring you more interviews and features with inspirational and fearless sailors, artists, and dreamers , so watch this space!



17 thoughts on “The Gypsy Pirate Returns: Part 2 of my interview with Josje Leyten

  1. marty says:

    Hi JOSJE , havnt checked in for a while and so glad i did ,your statement { I’m big on following feelings, not so much thought, because thoughts can be destructive if you are not aware of them. Feelings are true and come from within.}is so true like a lot of pirates the force of over thinking things is always presant

  2. Mike Kallelis says:

    Congratulations. Life is about choices. Some of us make them early in life and live with them for decades. Others avoid them and have to deal with the consequences of indecision (kind of like a sailboat with no rudder, or with all the sails up but no wind to fill them). Who’s to say what is the right way, or wrong way to live? Pursue “your” way. SV Delos is cool to follow and I’m sure it will always be a part of your young life that you’ll enjoy telling people about when you’re an old lady full of wisdom. But it seems to me that the entire SV Delos journey is a chapter in a long book. At some point, it will end and you’ve taken the initiative to open the next chapter in your life on your terms. Good for you!

  3. sandy says:

    If I ever have enough money to buy a large yacht I would be sure to attempt to have you as the Capt. even to plan where we would go. You are the best looking girl and sailor I have ever seen . I am many others will miss you .

  4. BilB says:

    As a Delos fan I always enjoyed Josje’s spirit and command of situations, clearly a leader. But then all of the Leyton girls are interesting. Recently I’ve watched some Delos videos of Pheobe’s musical talents and now have to add her to my “fave” artists alongside Liz Braggins.

    One can only ever occupy one branch of a tree at a time, but Josje’s diverse talents and interests give the impression that she is in many branches of her Ramatree at the same time, and is in fact everything that she thinks and says she is.

  5. wm r. lilliott says:

    She once said part of her decision to leave Delos was because the atmosphere had become unwholesome. I don’t know what she meant by that but in context it seemed to have something to do with a relationship/s. I’m hoping someone didn’t break her heart. I just know there is more to the story.

    • Mike says:

      He did. Look at her face after he made a spectacle at the Monkey Bites, Elephants, and Ping Pong Shows episode. Truly the beginning of the end; it hurt her. Listen to the lyrics of the song playing as she is driven away from SV Delos, Still by Seinabo Sey.

  6. Billy Graham Jr says:

    Hi Josje,

    You are a really sweet young lady. As a mature gentleman of 70, former commercial merchant seaman and currently sailor of my own 50 ft Chinese junk rigged schooner, I wish to offer you some advise.
    Please stop smoking in anyway, it is a very unhealthy, unattractive and disgusting habit. You have will a longer more productively creative life if you do so.

    Billy Graham Jr.

  7. Rick says:

    Good for you. Your following your feelings. Did the sail across the Indian Ocean scare you from wanting to sail more? Are you at all being drawn back to the sea? I miss you on the Delos videos and hope your new creation gives you what you want.
    A big fa Rick

  8. Ann Swedish says:

    Hi Josje,
    The dichotomy of living both in the freedom to create, following your heart and intuition and conversely the unknown of what direction the future will take, for someone your age, is ultimately a beautiful way to live. I too love to create, but other worldly things pull me back with their guilt of obligation, feeling like I need to be more traditionally productive, only allowing myself small tidbits of time to explore. I can feel it growing inside me and wanting freedom. Don’t misunderstand, I love my life and am so blessed with an amazing family who supports me in all that I do. I have health and love and dreams. Keep yours alive and thank you for sparking the fire within.

  9. Fitz says:

    When I was younger I lived a communal life as you did, I too feel in love.

    That once in a lifetime love.

    I let her get away.

    Stop and get back with your true lover.

    You too are one.

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