Portable peace

As it gets easier to let go of material possessions, it gets more and more important that I can find moments of groundedness and momentary attachment. Doodles and any old wheel rolling by become my Mandala To-Go:

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Manifesto 2.0

We want to go sailing on Tranquility because there is something we want to learn, something that is difficult to learn when we are on land. We see cruising as an opportunity to experiment and change habits, to grow as human beings through endurance and great times. No matter for how long or how far, going back to the boat is a way to go back to school.

These are the things we are working on:

We want an opportunity to leave the grid, to use it, not to get used by. At sea is one of the last places where you can find an intimate disconnection, and where the urgency of communication can be filtered by the hierarchy of immediate things: sail, get to destination, be safe, be well.

We are learning about serious saving… money, water, electricity, etc. We belong to a generation of abundance and seemingly unlimited basic resources, and we are going to an era of scarcity and careful decisions. Washing and cooking with salt water and treating fresh water as a careful resource, produce the energy we consume, be able to enjoy life without having to spend a fortune (and by extension avoid the stressful life of keeping up with the Joneses).

We can fish, farm and forage, and aspire to be somewhat self-sufficient food wise. Where we can’t produce, we can at least know the producers directly, aka buy local. We are learning how to conserve and enhance food, even without a refrigerator, when every single apple become important, because you can’t go to the supermarket or the restaurant everyday and because you can’t just forget it at the bottom of the refrigerator.

Kate interjects here –> People have become consumers of entertainment at the expense of the ability to entertain themselves and each other. My best times with friends are not sitting beside one another at the movies, but playing games, singing and dancing together. Fabio and I are lucky to find each other very “fun and funny”…and being trapped on a boat together forces us to develop those squidding skills.

We enjoy the empty times of the long days at sea, the opportunity to read, write, draw, sing, play an instrument (Kate’s ukulele), play with Beta, catch dinner and other fundamental activities.

We are learning how to find the less accessible places, the ones that require research or a fortunate event. We want to see things that few people see, because it’s hard to get there or because these places are hiding beneath everybody’s nose. Traveling by boat allows you to go where there are no touristic infrastructures as you bring your own and you take it with you when you leave. Kate interjects here –> If you love a place, don’t love it to death. That’s advice from coastal Georgia.

We repair and mend our own belongings, from vital systems of the boat to our clothes. We would like to have few important things we take care of and we protect and maintain. It’s hard to think about it when you can go in any store any time and get a replacement for few dollars. It’s different when you have to keep your equipment safe and make it last.

We want to learn how to recycle and deal with trash. At home the community takes care of that for you, you put the bin out, they empty the bin. At sea you are in charge of ALL of your own trash, there is no collection, and you need to reduce the impact of packaging and pollutants because you have to carry them with you. Recycling is also learning how to repurpose waste.

We are living more and more outdoors, learning how to endure the hot weather and the cold (we’ve practiced both extremes), the rain and the drought. We prefer to breath en plein-air and not be so separate from nature. We find that nature demands more from us physically, and we become stronger and healthier out there.

We make friends and we have more time and space for people in our lives. We are lucky to make friends whenever we land. Looking for help, information, advice in unfamiliar places put us in contact with kind beings. When you lean to strangers, strange things happen, and we received so much help from strangers that then became friends! Traveling on a boat strengthen the connections that already exists in our life. Before going away on the boat we would talk with our family and friends every once in a while, but now we feel we have more to tell and we desire more tales from them. In some ways, we are more connected than ever.

 

 

News from New Year

Mountain wilderness has always fascinated me, long before the ocean did. The Alps are just at a stone’s throw from my hometown in Italy, and most of my growing up memories are related to walking in the woods, swim in mountain lakes and climb rocky peaks.

When it was time to figure out where to travel for our New Year’s Holidays it wasn’t difficult to pick the mountains.

Read more on La possibilità di un’isola

Lessons from coastal GA

Recently someone asked me how I like living here in coastal Georgia, and the question sparked three quick thoughts:

  1. I live here!  We are not “just visiting”.  That’s a new sense of status.  We will travel again, probably within the year, but nonetheless, I don’t think of this place as somewhere we are passing through.

  2. This place is teaching me a lot about my country, and as Americans I how we lie about each other. In the North we think the South is a certain way, and vice versa.  We are not so monolithic by region, and my experience is still quite small in total.

  3. I don’t even know what I know yet.  I had a teacher impress upon me the concept of “slow knowledge“, and how with experiential learning you sometimes only get the point years later.

In any case, I made a list of “21 THINGS I LEARNED IN COASTAL GA“. Enjoy?

Honorable mention

We met James, Mei, Buddy and Atom one year ago in Coastal Georgia. James took us on a trip of the surroundings and let us understand how advantageous was to spend the winter here in Brunswick, GA.

Due to random favorable conditions, we ended up spending an entire year and counting in the marshes of Glynn, and this led to many changes and improvements in our Grand Plan, soon to be updated for the incoming 2015. Needless to say that James, with his experienced and tinkering mind, is a very resourceful person to discuss boat improvements and cruising strategies.

We will keep you posted about our plans, in the meanwhile we received an acknowledgmente on James’ blog, where he recounts a bit of our story. Enjoy reading!

Important imperfections

 

To help us in this job navigation technology has improved dramatically in the last 30 years, as well as the cartography of the oceans. Electronics and instruments have become more and more important aboard new yachts. Also professional sailors have to comply with ever more complex and strict standards through training and study, which include non-electronical navigation (as dead reckoning and astro-navigation), in case something goes wrong with electronics onboard.

More on La possibilità di un’isola

The dream boat

After too much sanding in boat restoration projects my mind broke loose of all the Zen techniques and started to escape rushing in a daydream modality. I failed in redirecting my concentration, and instead of engaging in a useless fight I encouraged this spontaneous roaming, as a prototypical member of Homo Ludens (alternatively, “Playing Man”) species would do.

more on La possibilità di un’isola

Kate writes for One Hundred Miles

I have a job here on the Georgia coast, which is quickly becoming a place very near and dear to us.

Its not hard to see why!

If you live, work or play in coastal Georgia, then you already know what is precious about this place: the landscapes, wildlife and coastal communities that can only be found right here.  Unfortunately, what makes this place special could also be its greatest threat.  Without careful planning and a strong vision, the Georgia coast could lose its special texture, dissolving into another unrecognizable stretch of subdivisions.

Full piece at One Hundred Miles.

The time Fabio left Kate on the boat alone for two weeks

Last month, Fabio went on a delivery, meaning that he joined a crew tasked with transporting a beautiful luxury yacht from one sunny Caribbean island to another at the behest of the yacht’s owner.  He was away from SY Tranquility, and me, for about two weeks.  I spent that time in search of my own bit of work and trying to figure out what’s up in this strange world of Sea Islands and wild ponies.

Full post at planktoneveryday …