Tag Archives: Sailing

Sail On… and Do Something nice today

Unexpected deeds of generosity are what touches people most and gives life colour, especially in moments when all colour seems to fade. Doing just one nice thing, social, environmental or other, has been in everybody’s mind through various Do Something initiatives lately. Stop the cycle of negative news!

Closer to home, during one of my post-partum days a surprise parcel brightened up my day. A lovely yogi and blog reader from the UK, Susan Sternkopf, had sent us two copies of her beautiful kids book Sail On. In fact, the short rhymes contain messages for everybody, regardless of age.

It’s been one of the boys’ favourite bed time stories and the never ending questions of, ‘Why Mummy, does the book always say ‘sail on’ after every rhyme?’, has kept the whole family wondering, and pondering, discussing – and may I go so far as to say, sometimes given us the courage to dream again when it seemed that our big dream had prematurely ended and we were lost in no-man’s land where no other adventure seemed to be tempting enough to compare with a life at sea, ‘en famille’.

Thanks Susan. You can contact her here if you would like your own copy. Let me share a couple of pictures and one of my favourite passages from the book these days:

Even getting lost can help you learn to find your way. So don’t be guided by your fears. Just inch along until the weather clears… Sail On… []

Sometimes there’ll be no wind at all. Sails will lag. You’ll think you’re stuck. Stay calm. Anothehr wind will change your luck… Sail On…

by Susan Sternkopf & Glenn Halak

Disclaimer: Susan never asked me to write this review, nor do I get any commissions on sales. It’s just a heart-felt ‘like’ which deserves a post and a thought and a smile;)

And now, what nice thing am I going to pass on today? Just making some lunch for a friend and took the neighbours’ bin in this morning. You?

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Comino

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The European state of Malta is made up of three major islands – plus a few tiny rocks peaking out of the vast blue Mediterranean Sea around us. Gozo, you heard me rave on about in the last post. Malta’s been THE topic with all its sides and facets for pretty much of all of the posts since our landfall in October 2014. Comino is an almost non-inhabited island with a circumference of barely 7 km squashed between the ‘mainland’ and Gozo, caressed hourly by the ferry wash. It’s most famous for its Blue Lagoon.

Having anchored for the night in nearby Salmun Bay (a well-kept secret just east of Mellieha Bay) we couldn’t but challenge all tourist mass odds and have a look ourselves. After half an hour motor sail we dropped the hook – only to literally pick it up again as soon as the index had left the windlass control. Several dozens of penis extensions (also known as cigarette boats), floating and blasting overfilled tourist molds (barely worthy of the name boat) and numerous local dinghies to fill all but the last spot. Our idea of a sailing nightmare. Yes, it was blue and – above crowds aside – looked beautiful, but definitely not worth enduring. We sailed a few bays further up to the most northern side of Comino (5 minutes away). Maybe not quite as blue, but a bit more tranquil and definitely lots more fun on the beach with our family cruising friends from Maya.

Little tip, if you want to enjoy the Blue Lagoon by boat during the sailing season, get there around 5pm when everyone else is leaving, spend the night safely and quietly on one of the tour boat moorings, enjoy a splendid morning and escape before the masses attack.

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The Ocean is Zen

“All the times that I have cried, keeping all the things I knew inside.

It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.

If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them they know not me,

Now there’s a way, and I know that I have to go away.

I know I have to go.”

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Feeling so connected to my boat, my family, my universe, myself as Cat Stevens’ tunes rise through my fingers stroking the guitar in the gentle morning sun. We left Valletta in the wee morning hours followed by a crystal clear stunning sea sunrise. Five hours into our journey COG N to Sicily the forecasted Southerlies are still waiting to be felt. But our engine is ticking along sweetly. Both kids and in-laws (who are visiting from Argentina) are still sleeping. Pablo and I both indulged in the sheer beauty and peace that it is being out here again. He reads out an extract from Victor Dumas’ Los Cuarenta Bramadores (The Rolling Forties):

“La mente en esta maravillosa quietud sin zozobras… piensa también en que otros se sientan estimulados, salgan del reducido cauce en el cual se desenvuelven sus vidas y logren un concepto más amplio de la verdad. Corren los pensamientos, se deslizan por sobre el mar, se van lejos, saltan de un puerto a otro, de una figura a otra. Si después de un dia de intenso trabajo en la ciudad, el ser humano siente la necesidad de un descanso, de un ocio noble, como decían los griegos, aquí el rato se alarga y es menester vivir a costa de ese mundo interior que cada uno lleva y que nos permite sustraernos, alejarnos del núcleo en el cual vivimos y que por momentos nos aprisiona, no molesta. Ese mundo íntimo es un refugio, un remanso maravilloso, un don divino que se debe aprovechar. Pero aquí, porque fugarse, si el problema no es humano? Acaso, para calmar la ansiedad de una llegada que siempre tarde, ansiedad que aumenta a medida que el limite se acerca, se sueña con otros horizonte, se planean viajes mientras se está viajando… Es un querer irse cuando todavía no se ha llegado…”

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The sound of the fishing line pulling interrupts our chilled out creativity session. A bird had a go at Pablo’s lure. He looks at us half amused, half annoyed. Luckily he didn’t get hooked – and no fish either. I’m glad the lure stays empty. I always feel sad for those beautiful rainbow creatures as they struggle and fight for their life, long to get back to the sea. Four more hours to go. This journey is passing ways faster than what we expected – too fast. It feels I could be out here for days on end – if not weeks. The Zen in the ocean is so intense, rich and deep.

The other day in Mdina

Malta’s full of contrasts. Walking through Mdina, the old capital, is like tasting a bit of Phoenician, Arab and Southern European. The silent city, all surrounded by the big city walls, has a mere 300 inhabitants left! Sometimes Malta feels like walking through a life historic picture book. Three months into it, we are still loving it.

A crazy thought: Living the life that you dream of

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This morning during my post-natal check up, my physio almost dropped me of the massage table when she heard about our sailing plans. To her, also mother of two, the whole idea of sailing around the world with two little kids seems completely crazy. Most people would agree.

The crazy thing is, that to me it doesn’t. It feels like the most normal and natural thing in the world; sharing what I love most with me family… Plus I just can’t hold back anymore. I don’t like being part of the statistics of people who talk about one day living the life they dream of. For most of those, that ‘one day’ never comes.

For me, I know the moment has come to commence our journey during which I most look forward to sharing time as a family, discovering foreign places and cultures, living in harmony with nature’s forces, keeping life simple and disconnecting from stress, hurry, noise, screens all over and people wasting their lives creating wealth – at the cost of their health and happiness.

Every day has the ability to be the best one of your life. Nevertheless, most of us wake up with a big sigh towards the alarm clock, horrified at the thought of yet again having to walk into a grey cubicle to spend the next eight to twelve hours under artificial light.

Did you know that the German word for crazy is ‘ver-rueckt’, which literally means ‘out of place’? Well, that’s what I really mean when I say I think life is crazy here, looking around me in beautiful Sydney – as much as I love it:

  • People sacrificing their lives paying of mortgages, instead of spending precious time with their families and friends
  • Preservative filled, dead food everywhere, rather than fresh, organic produce
  • The widespread illusion that superficial beauty and youth is the most important thing to hold whereas the spiritual journey is often ignored
  • Old people dying lonely
  • Teenagers who think milk grows on the supermarket shelf and the amount of Facebook friends one has the most important thing in life
  • Babies being taken away from their mums straight after birth
  • Postpartum depression
  • In the newspaper – constant talk about wars fought over money and power, same as centuries ago, and children starving when one-third of all food purchased in Western society’s supermarkets goes straight to waste
  • The list is endless. Would love to hear what you find crazy [USE comments section]!

Life is not a dress rehearsal, you only get one chance! 

Are you dreaming your life, or living your dreams?

Flying Dreams

What happens to us along our life as we stop living our dreams and, instead, spend endless nostalgic moments delving in dreams about how great life could be if… When do we cross the line from being a kid with our only boundary being the sky, and being a so-called responsible grown-up? I don’t know. I only know that if giving up your dreams means growing up, I never want to grow up and hope my kids won’t either.

When it comes to the right moment of setting sails and living your dream of blue water cruising, there seems to be three categories of sailors out there:

Pre-career: Fewer than 10 percent of the circumnavigators  set sail when they are young (eg pre- or just post university) with no commitments and not a penny to spend. Their compromise is a cheaper, less safe boat and very basic living standard (eg no dinners out in restaurants at the places they visit or little gifts and gadgets as memories from various destinations). Their big advantage is their youth,adventurous spirit and their health.

Sabbatical, Job- or Lifestyle Change (us): Generally between 30 and 40 years old, possibly with kids, this crew has an established profession with several years of work experience and can generally afford a larger. better equipped and safer boat than the Precareerers. They have some money to spend in paradise and can have deadlines to return to work after a year or when the kitty is empty. The biggest disadvantage is the step back in the career, for those who think about returning. For the rest, they will try their luck in finding jobs along the way to keep going for longer.

Early Retirement: About one third wait till they are close or passed the 50 year mark and have enough financial backup to afford many comforts and conveniences. These are often partially used to reduce the physical demands of handling a boat, as fitness is not  as strong anymore as in their 20s and 30s. Health represents the largest downfall for this group of sailors. Those who wait for their 60s and more might be surprised by some unexpected disease and never get the chance to live their dreams.

Although by far not the simplest option, we have missed the first group (time flies!) and are not willing to take the risks of the third. So here we go, mum in her late 20s, dad in his early 30s, and the boys both under three, on our way to living our dream of sailing around the world.

Welcome Post

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Welcome! I have been looking forward to sharing our journey (internal and external) with you for a while – but also scared. ‘Does this world need another blog?’ Is what kept me from putting us out there for a while.

This morning over a chai and the local newspaper, a few weeks after the birth of my second son, I found myself pondering about old friends and acquaintances from high-school and university. Where are they at, shortly before hitting their 30s? One appeared in the newspaper on page three as a candidate for the Greens. Well done! Another one wrote on Facebook: one of Australia’s youngest barristers, home owner, married and about to give birth to her first daughter. Great achievements! Another one, getting closer and closer to the million dollar mark as some high-flying financial adviser. In his own way, goal driven and ambitious… Running through the list, inevitably the question comes up, ‘What have I achieved?’

The little yogi I carry around in my left ear is quick to whispers, ‘It’s all about the spiritual development and the journey itself!’. True, the material side of life has rarely interested me. Nevertheless, even there my CV has some achievements to showcase like varied international work experience across most continents, a UN contract, NGO experience in South America, corporate sustainability in Australia… and more recently a handful of yoga schools in Sydney I have successfully been teaching at and a wonderful portfolio of Doula clients whose births I have been able to enrich and vice versa. Emotionally, I am happily married, mother of two gorgeous sons and couldn’t feel neither happier, nor more full-filled. So why still doubt? Because deep down inside I know that it is time to finally realize my long-lived dream of sailing around the world with those I love most – and realizing your dreams can be a scary thing!

Life is not the amounts of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.

This blog is a small step on our family’s journey to sailing around the world – a commitment to sharing the good as well as the challenging moments. We will post

  • challenges we come across in the process of finding our ideal blue water cruiser;
  • our ways to make yoga philosophy part of our daily lives and bringing up our boys;
  • inspiring quotes with most posts (please do share your’s in comments!);
  • Ayurvedic health tips;
  • yummy recipes;
  • and whatever else comes to mind.

Once sailing, we also  hope to introduce different social and environmental projects we come across and maybe raise some awareness, funds or other forms of assistance for them.

If you want to know more about who we are, go to Crew.

To find out more about our preparations so far, go to Preparations.

‘Why go Sailing’ lines out why a couple with two young kids would leave behind their secure jobs and cozy life in Sydney, Australia, to lead a nomadic lifestyle on the water.

We believe that it is scarier to spend one’s life dreaming, than actually living your dreams. This is why we are setting out to spend the most precious years of our kids’ childhood as a family, discover new oceans and lands and hopefully take and leave insight and love, wherever we go.

I hope you enjoy sharing our journey and that this blog can inspire you to also get up and live your dreams. Small or large, doesn’t matter, though remember; even the biggest journey begins with one small step.