going with the flow

Given that we're now planning to stay in the US of A for at least another year, we've figured it could be wise to insure and also register the boat here for the time being, for various reasons. It is a little odd seeing the American flag flying off the stern of the boat, but it's also a manifestation of how unexpected, surprising and… odd life is. I like not being cemented into certain ideals and thinking patterns, and to go with and accept what life throws at you is more my personal melody. I think Duende is pretty happy regardless, she was after all made here in New England. In Bristol, Rhode Island in 1971, to be more precise.

This is a pretty nice picture of our beloved vessel, but it is quite funny to notice that we still haven't got around to get that dodger ordered and installed. Always something that comes in between us and the dodger. First in St Maarten where price was reasonable, $800 I think it was, but we never felt we had money enough to order it. And now here in the US where everything good costs a smaller fortune ($2,200 for a sunbrella dodger without the frame!?), we figured we've anyways sailed without it for three years now so why stress, and so we got a bike instead. Much more useful this fall. Looking at this pic I also realize our AeroGen 4 wind generator is still missing three out of six blades (they blew off and away in sudden close to hurricane winds in Santa Marta, Colombia two years ago). Luckily we've been docked in marinas most time since then so we haven't had urgent need of the wind generator, but.. if anyone know where we can find replacement blades, do let us know. 

Here are some more pics from Boston Harbor Islands that were taken a couple months ago.
Beautiful nature around here indeed. It saddens me a bit that we won't have time to sail up to Maine this year. Still have got to get used to these super short sailing seasons. But we will do all what we can to enjoy the nature of this country also in the fall. On the road most likely, until spring and summer is back with us again.

Food in our everyday lives

Oh food. Such a delicate, controversial yet so life important subject, especially if you live in the United States where big companies make big bucks on poisoning the world and society with something they call food, but which in reality is something completely different. Dangerous pesticides are sprayed on fields consisting of something reminiscent of food, but which has been altered in such a way that it has lost its DNA, in favor of profit. The pesticides used on these fields all over America can later on be found in the groundwater (most peoples drinking water), and even in raindrops. 

These poisonous substances does not only make us and our children sicker and sicker in form of a steady increase of asthma, cancer, autism, birth defects only to name a few. But it also destroys the earth and nature for future generations. Not to mention how the meat industry is responsible for a high level of deforestation around the world, how it pollutes the air with its 575 billions of pound of waste each year in the US (that's half a trillion tons of bacteria, parasite, urine, blood that must go somewhere) and last but not least, the purely selfish thing that it is, to breed and take the lives of 3 billion animals a year, only in the United States.

It's tiring and so indescribably sad, the reality that our life necessary food has come to with such a devastating change in the past thirty-forty years. And it feels like we constantly must be on our guard to not let the evil enter too near into our lives. That is, if you care about your health, the nature and the worlds future. 

Exactly that has grown to become one of my most valued interests and I feel I cannot not care about it and do something about it all in the small ways that I can, because I've realized that everything starts from there. We need food, without food we cannot survive. But what are we willing to sacrifice in order to get fed? And how can we help each other to eliminate the bad, and lead a healthier life?

This past year I have come to better know the food industry from the inside. Through a few restaurants, cafes and other food businesses I've dealt with food on a daily basis this past year. From sourcing of ingredients and produce, to help preparing it, and finally interacting with the consumers in various environments. I made it my mission to obtain a broader understanding of what it is one actually get served, and how aware the general person is when it comes to what they ingest. 

It's been an internal and personal study purely for myself until now, but seeing how important the issue is, and how little most people are aware, it has made me convinced to take my passion to another level, and actively fight for peoples right to know what is in their food. 
From these various kitchens and dining rooms around the state, I am now back in my experimental kitchen corner that my friend so kindly set up and let me use, and which is part of a larger commercial kitchen complex. This is pure awesomeness of course in every which way, especially since the complex is filled with nice and friendly human guinea-pigs that most of the times (haha!) are happy to try my all organic, non-gmo and vegan concoctions before I, hopefully one day, will introduce them to the public. 

I will tell you more about my plans and ideas later on, but one thing that I have been thinking of, to let you into my little world of food, is to post a series of short videos. Where I go through everything from how to prepare quick, easy and delicious vegan meals, what products I love and which I believe is good to stay away from, how to do grocery shopping a more conscious every day business, meeting with inspiring people and much more.

I've been marinating this video idea for over a year but haven't really had time to go about it before now. But before I start, I would need to know if this is something you'd be interested in? How health and environmentally conscious do you eat and buy groceries today, and would you be interested in learning more? Given that I spend almost all my awaken time thinking, planning, studying, cooking, baking and researching about food, I feel it's a waste to not share my ideas and discoveries with others :)

What success means to me and the 7 most important things in life

Does it sometimes feel like you'd like to cut yourself in several parts to be able to keep up with life and its obligations? "I wish the day had more hours" is a typical saying you often hear said out loud, often with a leaning towards pride in the voice. Manifesting a belief that being stressed and busy is a sign of being successful. 

Being ambitious and productive most certainly moves life forward. You make more money, you meet more people, you travel to more places, you might learn more, you see more, you experience more, you get to consume more, you …. and suddenly a sense of non-fulfillment, dissatisfaction and failure catches up on you. 

You get difficulty sleeping, you might get anxious and worried that you're missing out, you blame yourself for not being adequate enough, for not being the best friend/partner/parent that you would want to be, you stress out for not having all the clothes, things and material you'd like to possess. And the sense of constantly lacking something eats you up from inside, leaving you feeling that the only way to get rid of that sense of emptiness, is to keep filling the empty hole with more things, more experiences, more achievements. More of everything.

People have different ways of expressing dissatisfaction in life. It could be by comparing themselves with others, throwing a jealous glance at what someone else have that you don't. Some get greedy and step on people to move forward. Down-talking or gossiping about others. Some people get depressed and take to binge eating, or the opposite; you starve yourself cause you feel you're never really skinny enough. Others simply run through life so fast they start neglecting the things that are, or should be, the most important aspects in a humans life:

Eat healthy - Sleep well - Value, show appreciation and give time to people close to your heart - Show respect and kindness to others - Connect to nature - Be true to yourself and your beliefs - Breathe easy. 

Breathe easy.

Let the fear of being insufficient shake off your shoulders. 
Be thankful for what you have. Scale down material needs. Let go of social expectations.
You've got nothing to prove.

The roadrunner lifestyle that many people voluntarily sign up for pushes a human soul from its core needs and replaces natural human growth with superficial wealth. That sort of rushed lifestyle is destructive to the real experiences, love and natural fulfillment you could be gaining, would you only allow yourself to stop looking for happiness on the outside, and realize true harmony can only be achieved by being content with what you have, and where you are right now. 

Scaling down, with no need and urge to constantly do and gain and achieve something. Removing false layers of unhealthy behaviours and a quest for material richness, and opening your heart to what really is important - is the best gift you can give yourself and the people you have close.

Success, in my world, is not measured by how much you've achieved, what things you own and how much money you've made, and therefore does wealthy people or financially successful businessmen and women seldom inspire me more than anyone else. Because money and material in itself has no soul connection and any given image or lifestyle can easily be bought and adopted by anyone with the right set of opportunities.

Success, according to me, is merely measured by how well you've managed to incorporate your core desires into your everyday life, and how much you truthfully enjoy living the life you've created for yourself without a need of flaunting or exaggerating or being malicious or greedy to make yourself look greater/happier/more successful/more intelligent/better off than the next person. 

Success to me is also being truthful to your real values, values gained by self sourcing information without jumping onto the beliefs of the loudest outside influencer, and by always being reflective to both sides of a coin. It is being fair and consistent in what you believe regardless of the political, financial or social outcome of your beliefs and your expression of them. It is having integrity as well as having an understanding for others.

Success comes when you are at peace with what you have and where you are regardless of the battles and suffering we all have to go through every once in a while. And when you have learnt that being helpful and kind to others offer a greater sense of fulfillment than always putting yourself and your own needs first.

I, like every other human being, fail to always live up to my own ideals, but having developed a good sense of when I feel most at peace and when the universe and I seem to sync and collaborate the best, it is nowadays much easier to hold onto my core beliefs than what it might have been in the past when I still filled my life with all kinds of distractions and unhealthy behaviours. 

Time and life makes your human soul and mind grow and develop to the better, but only if you allow it to. Keep your heart open, and guide yourself to the good you know is true and right from within.

easy rider

Two of the things Alex have missed the most on our years of sailing (besides family and friends of course), was to work in a studio, and owning a Harley again. You know already that he's back in the studio for the time being, and so the search for the perfect bike has been something that's consumed most of our evenings as of late. My evenings too, cause what every sensible woman know is that the way to (world) peace and harmony is to first make sure her man is happy and entertained. 

So after a few weeks of search on Ebay and Craigslist we finally found this stunning red beauty for the right price, low mileage and much closer to home than expected. Well that is after I managed to fend off the ideas of buying a super cheap and run down Harley cause "I can fix it up in no time".. Hell no, can't deal with another renovation project now that the boat finally starts to feel alright.

He's owned many Harley's before, and this particular one from 98 is very similar to the Dyna Super Glide 98 that he had previously, though this one is a Wide Glide and red instead of the blue he had before.

Given that it also was his birthday yesterday, it wouldn't have been possible to find a better thing to do than head out on our first ride in four years. Especially since the glorious summer weather's still going strong here in New England. We rode through Cohasset and the stunning Jerusalem road and Atlantic Ave, and down through Marshfield and Duxbury and back. 

And what does this bike purchase mean for our sailing journey now you wonder? Well we've decided to stick around the US a bit longer, still have so much to see outside of MA and there's still so much business for us both to take care of here. Now that our O-visa applications for three years got approved as well (much thanks to experienced and super knowledgeable lawyer Eric Lorenzo at Barst Mukamal in NYC), everything is much easier both work and travel wise. 

In regards to the bikes future, it probably won't be a walk in the park, but it is definitely technically possible to bring the bike with us anywhere we go with the boat, dismounted below deck, if we really wanted to. Shipping is obviously another option if it comes to that. Thankfully we don't have to plan that far ahead in time right now and we're going to try and enjoy the most of this end to the summer that there is left. And then plan for some nice out of state bike excursions for fall..

late summer love

Thank heavens summer lasts this long after that six month long winter. Still a tropical 30C/85F in the air, which occasionally is a little too much if we were to choose a perfect temperature. But nonetheless, summer and heat is always better than winter and coldness in my humble opinion. As much as golden skin is nicer than white and cropped tops and cut out swimsuits are more fun than the ones that are not.

My sweet marshmallow coloured swimsuit can be found here and the golden handmade earrings here.

Gardiners Island

One of the nicer places we visited last week and two weeks ago was Gardiners Bay at the Eastern end of Long Island. Pictured above is the Dutch windmill that had been positioned on the private island called Gardiners Island by its owners whom has ancestors from the Netherlands. Since the island is private and had so been for the past 400 years (owned by only one family at all times) we couldn't step ashore. But anchoring in the water outside and going for a swim is an option as ocean water, at least for now, can't be bought.

"Gardiners Island... is the only real estate intact in the United States that is part of an original royal grant from the English Crown. The Island has survived Indian wars, pirates, invasion by British forces, war, and family issues. It is home to more than 1,000 acres of old growth forest, the largest stand of white oak trees in the Northeast, 1,000 acres of meadows, rare birds, Indian artifacts, and structures that date back to the 17th century." Read more on Hamptons.com
 Dark chocolate, fruit, veggies and beer built this booty. Not even joking. And bicycling I might add.
Water was an astonishing 24 C/75F. What a difference to Boston with only 15C or 60 F at the most.
Of course there was some job to be done when the sun settled in the afternoon. Here I help holding the portable bench in place so Alex could make a groove in one of the frames for the cockpit table with his Stanley 45.
 Finally hand tools for finer work comes to good use. This plane was made in 1939.
 A beautiful beetle landed on the scribing knife.
Loved being back at sea and fully immerse in the natural elements again. Not many places I feel more at peace.

carpe diem

you can stop listening to the superb Etta Bond @ 2.57 though as the end kills the vibe
Currently obsessing hard over otherworldly Shabazz Palaces. A journalist said this about them: "Take the essential elements of gangsta rap: the plainspoken narratives, throbbing bass lines and West Coast sheen. Pack it with today’s trap music, a little dancehall reggae and Afrika Bambaataa’s planet-rocking electro-funk. Crumple it into a ball and fling it to Mars. That’s Shabazz Palaces."

The feeling of contentment and sense of freedom when you realize it's past noon and you're still in bed youtubing and soundclouding brilliant hip hop tunes since you woke up at 9.30 am. Was a while since last! My freedom is slowly coming back to me after ten months of slavery (I define slavery as all things that involves work for someone else that you really wouldn't choose doing unless money was of direct value). I can finally see light in an almost year long tunnel of early morning wake ups, midnight shift ends and frustrating people encounters. Learnt so much though, seriously. One day I'll tell you all about it.

Moving on from here, I will soon tell you what are our sailing and life plans for the next ….. few months. Cause it really doesn't make sense planning, or at least speaking about plans that spans for a longer period than so. Life's an ever surprising unpredictable lil bitch so better just embrace the moment and go with the flow.

onepiece of consciousness

Finally after two weeks of vacay have I been able to get some tan back on. Right in time for falls arrival hehe. The golden tone on my skin makes me want to wear this delicious one piece at all times.  If you fancy something sweet and retro that also is made by hand in sustainable fashion, head over to my shop and get it there

This swimsuit is designed by Ellie Rhodes and her brand ELLE EVANS SWIMWEAR in Melbourne, Australia. All her designs are made with the goal of ending up with minimum fabric waste, thus she only uses post consumer waste fabrics (remnants discarded by bigger companies that would otherwise go to landfill) or recycled nylon which uses 80% less energy in production than regular ‘virgin’ nylon. 

In today's extraordinarily wasteful society, I think it is relevant and important to pay attention to what we consume and to try make conscious decisions in regards to our shopping and spending habits. 

The few times that I actually purchase things these days, I much rather choose to put my hard earned money on sustainable small-scale companies, brands that has put an extra step of thinking process and a little more compassion into their production, rather than promoting mass production where only profit margin is of importance. It's pretty much the same way I think about the food I buy. 100% rather do I purchase local, organic, non-gmo produce than all the fake food that most super markets are stocked with. I don't always find an option, but I do what I can to support the things and products and people that I believe does things for a good cause.

It is not possible to change the whole world as we all know, but we can change our own life and surrounding and hopefully inspire others to do a little better choices for themselves for the sake of health, nature, our environment and the worlds future.

Check in here if you want to get one of these swimsuits for yourself or someone your love.

P.S: A few of you have excitedly asked if I have gained weight as of late, and while my booty has gotten a bit rounder (which is a bonus imo) from all the biking and squatting I've done this spring and summer, I think it is more that I have made sure to not care too much about discarding photos that aren't perhaps my best shots or angles at all times.