Part of what you give your kids is more than just your presence – it’s your example!
James Cameron in his awesome documentary, Deepsea Challenge
Now also on Instagram;)
It feels like a long time ago, and at the same time like yesterday. Before baby #3 pops out, closing a chapter, I had to put together our last sailing video from the three years we spent in the Mediterranean. Looking at it, it sometimes feels like the last summer before my life started falling apart… and here we are, slowly putting the pieces together again, trying to make sense of that big jig-saw puzzle that is life – to embrace whatever, whenever and wherever adventures the future has on hold for us. Namaste and love from Sydney.
I can’t believe how time has flown by since we sailed, once again, past Valetta’s impressive forts to drop the anchor for a little while. Catching up with friends. Laughing about old stories. Marveling at news. A new born baby (congrats again for little Zoe!) after pre-labour on the beach. Delicious BBQs. Uncountable fireworks (Maltese LOVE them at ANY time of the day). Divine yoga workshops (blessings to everyone who joined in!). Fun beach days. Delicious cream tea mornings at my favourite Palazzo. Hugs. Good times and more.
Unfortunately there’s also been another stolen bike (When will Pablo learn he has to lock them here?), vandalising local teenagers throwing stones at boats and setting off fire-alarms in the middle of the night and the usual frustrations when dealing with Maltese marinas.
Life is constant change.
On top of all that, the already forecasted winds of change have blown at storm force and turned out lives around 180 degrees. Many of these changes are still too big to fathom, and certainly too big to find the courage and words to put them out on the www screens. I can only tell you, for now, that the Atlantic won’t be seeing us this year. Instead, my old friends in Spain who I haven’t spent proper quality and quantity time with in ways too long, will. So will Morocco – a bucket list destination since I was 15 and of course Tenerife for my yoga retreat mid-November. And then, we can here Asia calling us for a while…
Lastly, don’t be surprised to see a For Sales sign up shortly. Sometimes some of the old must go to make space and embrace the fresh and new.
Our nomadic journey continues – just in a different way than expected. As sailors, we know that plans are just an illusionary game. A brief human notion that we can influence the Divine plan outlaid for our path, which, of course, is ridiculous. The only thing that matters is following life’s flow. Changing what you can, surrendering to what you can’t. This is what we are doing, and for now, it looks like it’s full of astonishing surprises – which, to be honest, I love and embrace. They are the salt and pepper (ok, admittedly also the spicy chilly) of my life and I feel so invigorated, privileged and lucky for being able to live a life as free as our’s.
I hope today’s post title didn’t mislead you into thinking that the Mediterranean is rubbish. On the contrary. There’d be barely any other area in the world able to compete in terms of variety, diversity, culture, geography and cruising ease. What, however, makes my heart sad, my mind wonder and my soul cry is the amounts of rubbish we’ve observed, whether that’s in France, Spain, Italy, Malta, Turkey or Greece. The latter is by far the worst and it is almost unheard of to anchor off or swim to a beach where plastic is not a dominant factor. But even here in Turkey, where folks seem a bit more proactive and at least on paper there’s environmental protection efforts made, a thin layer of tiny plastic is most often than not visible, even if there’s only a handful of bags, old plastic bottles and cigarette butts on the beaches.
Probably not surprisingly, sea-life across the Med has been more than meager. I sometimes nostalgically remember diving in Thailand, Cuba, Vanuato, Fiji and back home in Australia. The quantity and diversity of fish, corals and other sea creatures is simply unimaginable for the average Mediterranean guy. Today we are anchored off in a secluded island, a mile across a massive tourist resort. Every morning at 8h30am a group comes over for a dive tour – in the graveyard we call it. While bunnies and mountain goats adorn the picturesque little island, below water there’s nothing by grey dead seabed, broken tree trunks and mostly rubbish. What a scam! In that regard, I can’t wait to get to the Caribbean late this year. Yet still, that won’t make me forget how we are treating the planet – and at sea there’s so many obvious signs for it. One day the ocean is going to talk back to us big times. And it’s loud, I can tell you, and if you are part of the species who thinks humans are bigger than big and we can dominate nature, trust me when I say you are wrong. It’s gonna bite back and it’s gonna hurt. Don’t throw away any more rubbish. In fact, we’ve stopped fighting the urge to collect rubbish on the beaches we go to. I don’t care that locals look at us bewilderedly thinking – ‘Since when’s the local council ordered foreign tourists (that’s me blondy, as Pablo always passes as a local with his Mediterranean looks, no matter where we are!) to collect our sh…?’. At least I’ll be able to look into my grand-children’s eyes and say that we’ve tried a bit.
To finish off this disturbing topic, here’s a few stats which I just kindly was reminded off by one of the local Turkish boatyards as part of a completely overpriced haul-out quote from a completely rubbish-inundated yard… (random, I know – English corrected…):
Did you know?
If you suffer under the developed world issue of having no time but some money to spare, consider donating to this worthwhile OceanCleanUp project trying to eliminate the gigantesque rubbish collections floating in the Pacific Ocean.
When cruising, there never used to be enough internet for blogging anything beyond regular updates through posts. Now that Pablo is working from on board, he’s luckily sorted it out through our own wifi router which has been working excellently here in Turkey. This has allowed me to upload a few more pics than usual and for those who don’t have the time or muse to write at the moment – or are relatively new to the blog and want the story of the last two years or so since we started our nomadic adventure in quicker digestible picture format, check out Galleries (top hand corner of the homepage form now on next to Recipes, Online Yoga Studio, Yoga Retreats and all that). It’s an organically growing project portraying my passion for photography and our travels. Some you can also see and like on National Geographic. So far there’s three folders:
2015 Mediterranean Cruising Season – This is a work in process, so here’s just the beginning, from our quick trip to the UK, to leaving Malta in a non-stop five day sail to Kithara in Greece, followed by two amazing weeks of Meltemi sailing through the Cyclades and Dodacanese and our new Mediterranean favourite: Turkey. Enjoy the pics and leave a comment as we always love to connect with people beyond just a one-way-street;)
A winter in Malta – 2014/15 we once again stopped for a few months in winter to top up our kitty, ground ourselves and enjoy the conveniences of semi-settled life for a change. Here’s out winter in Malta in pictures.
Sydney, Europe, Med & UK 2014 – It is hard to put the whole journey into picture, but here some of the highlights from committing to the dream still back home in Sydney, to leaving for Europe shortly after our second boy was born, living in a Caravancruising Europe for several months in search for our perfect boat, topping up the kitty in the UK and finally moving on board in Greece. What a year! It was never boring, it was always adventurous, it was always beautiful and most of the time hard. Looking back, it was the biggest challenge to overcome, finding your own space in a dream turned reality. Looking forward, I wouldn’t wanna have it any other way.
For more random snapshots, check out all the posted Gallery section in the right hand column under Radio Interviews, Videos ,Quotes and all that.. Remember we always love hearing from you – connecting with people, close and far, foreign and similar, crazy and normal – that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of our journey and one of the main motivations of dedicating precious time every day to pouring my heart and soul out on this blog. You get an insight into our lives – we’d love to hear from you too. It’s not a one-way road. Love and light and thanks for reading, watching, writing to and following us;)
It’s been exactly one month since we left our winter home of seven months in Malta’s Msida Creek. And what a month it’s been – following an amazing and productive winter. While mum and dad were topping up the kitty, healing Happy Dancer‘s little age-related wounds and connecting with the local yoga community, the kids had fun. LOTS of fun as this little video shows. Enjoy and remember – we always love to hear from readers!
Turkey. Magical feeling of a ferry tale land. Arrival to the Muezzin’s exotic calls for prayer from the mosque in tranquil Bozburun. Little laid back village. Chooks, goats and sheep grazing through locals’ backyards. Charters coming and floating through. Us connecting with local kids at the playground. Islam the relaxed way? No need to cover up by the looks and feels of it. Postcards of naked breasts and exposed… No headscarf anywhere. No people going for prayer. Only the occasional talk of Ramadan. A slightly different world. Locals – amazingly friendly, incredibly welcoming. Custom officials going out of their way to make our check in easier. Kids are napping, so our (required) agent drives the officials over on his motor bike. Total can-do attitude. Very refreshing after another few weeks in Greece where things are generally stalled. Staying longer than expected – as usual when we like a place. Getting stuck on a fellow Aussie boat for sun-downers which spontaneously turn into a full-on enjoyable, slightly nostalgic, fabulous dinner to be remembered. Fair winds Skylark as you sail on to Greece!
Next morning we too sail onto a beautiful anchorage 30 miles to the east. Long-lined in twilight, followed by wholesome dinner aboard. Too tired to get the dinghy down, so leave it for the next morning to explore the Byzantine rouines from xx BC ashore. Nothing but the donkey, goats, cows and cicadas from the surrounding forests and mountains singing us a lullaby.
Next morning beach discovery. Not a human soul in sight. Only remainders of dwellings a couple of thousand years old. Amazing meditation/ past life regression on what looks like the sacrifice stone of the old monastery. Feeling I was sacrificed peacefully here many moons ago. Connection. Peace. A union with death which is just another reminder for constant change. Prana in movement.
Just before mid-day an armada of tourist gullets attacks. We are speechlessly observing the hundreds of sun-seekers who are unloaded into the water like cattle on their last walk to the butcher’s… Incredible. Once we’ve found our speech again, we flee as fast as we can, giving Happy Dancer a little scrub on the way back to the boat. We do need that next round of anti-foul badly but Tunisia doesn’t seem to be happening this year after the current disturbing events. Time to sail on.
After a stunning goose-wing down-wind sail – 12 knots of wind, 6.5 knots of boat speed (Happy Dancer, we LOVE you!), arrival at Ekincik marina. Described as a marina in ‘?’ in the piltot book, all expectations are exceeded by their professionalism, cute set up, convenience, decor, size, cleanliness, organisation, lushness, greenliness, closeness to beaches… everything. Yes, we do have to endure quite a few clueless charter boats moored here for a day or two, but hey, as long as they don’t come too close to our hull, they always make for good entertainment. Ever watched anyone who’s NEVER been on a boat trying to moor a 52 ft Cat in a tight Mediterranean Marina? Sorry if I sound sarcastic or evil… all for learning on the go, but not at the price of other people’s boats or safety!