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The long haul

“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”  –  Emma Goldman
 

First, a word of warning: Due to my proverbial laziness, I will have to catch up on nearly 2,000 nautical miles of sailing, spread out across 7 months of unadulterated leisure in 11 countries of the Caribbean. Our incidental stay in Carriacou due to an implosion of the mechanics of my Italian-made anchorwinch capstan turned into rather a pleasant affair. We found some friends locally, L, the village puncheon rum aficionado for want of a better word, and a charmer with a big heart, C, a fisherman, who brought us back to our floating home in the middle of the night when dinghy #1 “big willy” had disappeared (this was probably due to a faulty bowline, it was found offshore by another fisherman by sheer luck), and of course R and F. They run the office, a beach bar which probably […]

By |2018-03-12T22:38:07+00:00May 9th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Jah love and plenty of rum

“Die Revolution sagt:
ich war
ich bin
ich werde sein”
RAF dissolution statement, probably inspired by R Luxemburg ‘tomorrow the revolution will already raise itself with a rattle and announce with fanfare, to your terror: I was, I am, I will be!’
 

The return to Trinidad for a couple of weeks of work on the boat quickly turned into quite a jolly affair. We attended a huge party called “WeTT Republic”, which involved extra loud soca music, lots of watercannon action, and, predictably, the death of another mobile phone. I also had the privilege of attending the première of a film starring my Trini friend Khafra R in the scope of the annual film festival. I had met Khafra on the ferry to Tobago just before I left for my annual European break. We had run into each other at parties a few times, and made friends by sharing a ferry-sized bottle of puncheon rum (that’s 69% toxin) on […]

By |2018-03-12T22:49:56+00:00November 28th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

On a break!

“Why do people live in outlandish climates in the temperate zones, as they are miscalled? Until I was about ten years old I never realized that there were “warm” countries, places where you didn’t have to sweat for a living, nor shiver and pretend that it was tonic and exhilarating. Wherever there is cold there are people who work themselves to the bone and when they produce young they preach the gospel of work – which is nothing, at bottom, but the doctrine of inertia.”  –  Henry Miller
 

Taking a break! Interested in crewing? Feel free to get in touch for next season!

By |2018-03-13T19:28:53+00:00July 5th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Expedition mode

“Like lost children we live our unfinished adventures.”  –  Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle
 

Much to my dismay, we had to leave Kyle, veteran of 5 months and thus current holder of the long-termist title, behind in Ceará; he wasn’t quite done with Brazil. There was also talk of an expedition to Machu Picchu with Arne the cyclist. We can’t all be playboys, as my friend James G would say. Leaving the promised land proved very hard for other reasons, too. For it’s not just the Brazilian joie de vivre, their pleasant tropical hedonist culture, or this country’s delightful locals’ open and friendly manner.

Foreigners of the fair-skinned variety also benefit from a most peculiar type of what I like to call aesthetic racism. Even though I usually take great pleasure in reporting I’ve not watched any teleprompter apart from Pipi Longstockings under the careful supervision of my parentals, who would only permit this red-haired anarchist on screen, followed by my […]

By |2018-03-12T23:03:34+00:00May 28th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

O bicho pegou

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”  –  Jack Kerouac, On the Road
 

We persevered in lovely Natal for a fair few weeks, once again at anchor up a mangrove-lined river. Arne trundled in by bicycle and joined us for some of it. The fortunate occurrence of the launch party for a silly-looking TV series (“Flor do Caribe”) in the marina on our very first night got us litres of free bubbly, as well as getting us in touch with a few pleasing locals, who were by all accounts also just gatecrashing this weird event.

 

There was a big Norwegian goodbye party; with 15 souls on board at anchor, I spent most of the night ferrying people back and forth. Niklas, who had proven an excellent […]

By |2018-03-12T23:13:50+00:00April 17th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Voltei pra defender nossa bandeira

“Indem wir leidenschaftlich in etwas glauben, das noch nicht existiert, schaffen wir es. Das nicht vorhandene ist, was auch immer wir nicht genug gewünscht haben. (By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.)”  –  Franz Kafka
 

 

The Carnival was hard work, and we were all thoroughly hungover. However, there was plenty of cultural anthropology to be done. We befriended the local boat taxistas, who took us for rides around town. A seemingly endless round of barbecues ensued in the company of local couchsurfers Viny and Alice, we did beef and fish, round and round, while I was trying to find a mechanic who would touch my diesel injector pump.

Our stay at Pernambuco Iate Clube on the main breakwater was a pleasant affair. We sailed the harbour extensively, and gymmed it up in neighbouring Brasilia Teimosa, a former favela on sticks […]

By |2018-03-12T23:22:23+00:00March 7th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

We come in peace

“Let those who wish have their respectability- I wanted freedom, freedom to indulge in whatever caprice struck my fancy, freedom to search in the farthermost corners of the earth for the beautiful, the joyous, and the romantic.”  –  Richard Halliburton
 

We spent a few relaxing weeks in Cabo Verde licking our wounds and enjoying the exotic weirdness of what was once essentially a slave-trading post, and eventually our one month head start on the Brazilian Carneval had melted down to a mere 16 days. I picked up two German cyclists, Arne and Jo [their blog, German], mainly to make our watches more comfortable, since the charming Cecilie had decided to take the sensible route to Brazil (by airplane).

We tried to hoist the troubled Genoa in Mindelo, but had to abandon our attempt due to the vicious katabatic winds in the harbour. I decided to set off without the Genoa with the intention of […]

By |2018-03-12T23:35:01+00:00February 23rd, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Liberty or Death

“Wir sind Menschen. Wir machen Götter und kämpfen mit ihnen und sie segnen uns.
(We are humans. We create our gods and struggle with them, and they bless us.)”  –  Hermann Hesse
 

The year’s winter break consisted of a couple of weeks on the hard in little Gran Tarajal, and two months afloat in the marina, working and preparing for the mildly daunting venture of moving my home to a new continent and hemisphere. An affordable gym, a billiard bar full of Columbians, and pleasing encounters with fellow boatists rounded off this well-deserved break from my usual nomadic modus operandi. I revived the outboard I had sunk with Richard off Papagaios beach that summer with Bob and the legendary Crazy Pete, notorious for spending weeks in the rolly anchorage outside port. I’m sure rumours that he had sold his passport in Morocco are entirely unfounded.

My fellow adventurists started trundling in as early as October, when Kyle made a first appearance on the islands. […]

By |2018-03-12T23:46:21+00:00January 7th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Le Manège enchanté

“Wir träumen von freiheit und sind doch sklaven unserer gewohnheiten
(We dream of liberty, yet we are but slaves to our habits)”  –  Sowiso [Aachen drinking hole] toilet graffiti
 

I had set out on a trip around the Canaries on a bit of a magic roundabout. Going round in circles seems to be more of a day sailor’s outing, and I hadn’t really done any courses with an N for North in it since Belgium. But this was to be my holiday, the culmination of two years of fixing the boat in exotic locations, which some regard to be the essence of cruising a sailing vessel, and partying my not particularly godfearing backside off all over Europe.

Our elite + minimalist team consisting of Aaron and Anna got blasted from La Gomera to Gran Canaria by the vicious funnels around Teide. The blue crests of the 3 metre seas were almost transparent in bits, and we were all pleased to arrive in the blistering, […]

By |2018-03-12T23:56:23+00:00August 10th, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments