soon time to go

video from when we sailed from Central America to Florida last summer 

Only a few weeks left till our first sail of the year… these five months have been the longest time I've ever been away from it. Since Alex and I met and he taught me how to sail some 4,5 years ago, that is. The climate in Spain where we lived before this trip is obviously milder and allows for playing on water all year around. And the years spent sailing traveling from the Mediterranean to West Coast of Africa and the Caribbean and South America was warm and gentle any day of the year too… it's only here in North America that we have had to put a halt to our usual, ever moving, ever salty sailing lifestyle. 

It's been a good winter in many aspects as we've got certain very important things done here on land. But it will be such a relief the day we can move out from this harbour and finally embrace that special exhilarating sense of freedom one can only ever feel by steering your own boat offshore…. We're still not quite ready to leave the US completely, but a slightly new environment and a new destination is still on the horizon… 

blue water

What a sunny day in Bristol looked like this weekend. If the weather keeps up like this, that mass of trees on the other side of Bristol Harbor will be turned green in just a few weeks. Missed being near a view like this..

signs of spring

The epoxy is back! Almost missed that tart smell. This period must've been the longest in four and a half years that we've had those bottles and cans stowed away from sight. But certainly happy that the weather finally allows Alex to asses the small leaks and needs of repair that has accumulated over the winter. 

These hand carved dutchmen are being fitted into place where rotten wood was removed in the quarter berth underneath that mainsheet traveler. One leak fixed, many more to go…. The charm of living on a boat.

go vego

From Stockholm across the Atlantic ocean to Boston harbour. A fresh delicate issue of Sweden's most interesting new magazine. If you have to choose just one subscription this year, let it be something good as this one. Wish it was written in English so the whole world could take part of the goodness.

It is my wonderful, intelligent friend Sofia DahlĂ©n that has created this magazine together with her writing/cooking partner Mattias Kristiansson. VEGO contains only vegan foods as the name reveals, and it's packed with delicious, colourful meals, desserts and drinks, inspiring interviews, informative and educative articles and absolutely stunning photography. It's pretty much a genius production in every sense of the word. 

I have many of my good, conscious, genuine, unselfish and very smart friends to thank for many things in my life. Just the fact that I finally last year decided to remove meat and dairy from my daily concoctions is one such important thing that i at last realized was the only right thing to do, and the woman behind this particular magazine was one of the ones who influenced me the most to take that positive step forward.

Look forward to trying some of these new recipes out here on the boat. Cauliflower pasta, carrot soup, broccoli patties, Indian lentil stew, red hot chili burgers with sweet potato wedges, coconut/toffee cupcakes… 

alive again

Today it's been raining like a monsoon storm hit the coast of New England, but two days ago, this is what went down over here… Alex's first outdoor boat project in five months! Repairing around the bolts that hold the main sheet traveler, as the wood underneath had started to rot. 

Next up: checking other suspicious leaks and damages (many) caused by a long cold winter, and repairing all those, one by one. If only the rain could stop pouring down. That would make things a tad easier. If it's not one thing, it's always something else, non? 

Still very happy to get back to our "normal" live aboard life though after too many months in hibernation. Meaning, we are back to living full time on the boat again, and the warmer weather allows us to finally start living life like normal people, once again. Out of the dark, into the sun.

As you might know, we have stayed approx. 20% of our winter days and nights in the lovely little flat in Cambridge*, and the rest of the nights on the boat in this wonderful marina in Boston Harbor. But as spring is here and the coldest part of the season is behind us, we are again ready to spend 100% of our time in our floating home. Making her sail ready for the upcoming sailing season is now our first priority. 

I haven't shared many photos or stories from the boat these past few months as it's literally been too cold to shoot and write. I think I said somewhere earlier that we have had an average indoor temperature of 15˚C, but the truth is that many nights when outdoor temperature was far below zero Celsius, we couldn't have had more than perhaps 7-8˚C (45˚F) in the cabin - as that is more or less when you start seeing your breath, which was the case many a night. 

I remember a night when I woke up around 3am, limbs frozen, teeth shaking, and I had to go to the bathroom. Of course, the hoses and toilet on the boat was all frozen firm. So in the pitch dark, with a howling snow storm outside, -15˚C, I had to dress my already over dressed body and head out to the marina facility's restrooms outside. Half a mile from the boat. And I finally arrived after trudging through the snow on slippery icy wooden docks, but only to find out my frozen brain had forgotten the damn keys to the bathroom on the boat! 

It's definitely been an interesting time, an odd change and experience in life if you will, and I'm somewhat surprised at how good we've managed with the conditions we had to deal with. But it only proves to me again that human beings are ever so adaptable. We all are much stronger than what we might think that we are. It's really only the distractions and conveniences of our modern society and lifestyle's that have made us think we need a certain level of comfort. But life really doesn't have to be all easy and comfortable for us to survive. I think it is important and very healthy to sometimes step out of our comfort zones, literally speaking, in order to feel what life and real nature really feels like. How it was lived before we all got lazy and demanding.

Of course off shore sailing, riding through storms and living in the nature already gives you a sense of natural raw reality, but I'm also very glad we got this opportunity to feel how it is to live aboard in such low temperatures with all what it means. However cold and miserable it's been at times. And even if this was considered one of the coldest winters in history (we def. picked the right one!), I know it can be much much worse. Will think about installing a shrink-wrap if we ever find ourselves in something worse than this though.

All experiences that doesn't kill you, will not only give you valuable teachings and important life lessons, but it'll also give you a bunch of good stories to tell. For all those I'll always be very thankful.

*A massive thank you to Chris who let us stay in the apartment every now and then this past winter. You've been far too kind and hospitable and we owe you at least a week of sailing when you get back from your world trip next year! Let's hope we'll be somewhere much warmer by then :) All the best for you upcoming travels.

colourblind

Spring is in the air like never ever before so I felt I needed some sort of physical change from my regular pale and gloomy winter look and decided, with the easiest escape at hand, to dye my hair. Although the package clearly said Chocolate, the result pretty much ended up around the same reddish tone as the mahogany trim on the boat. Whatever. At least it hides my odd grey hairs very efficiently which is always a bonus. 

Wearing the lovely Nemi earrings which you can find here. Goes with any hair colour imho.

what summer dreams are made of

Our friends in the middle of the crystal blue Mediterranean sea have a new wonderful yoga season coming up in their astonishing property and land on the northern coast of Mallorca. Their summer schedule is packed with inspiring workshops with talented and globally recognized yoga teachers from all over the world, just have a look at the ones that are booked right here

As a treat to our blog readers, Ashtanga Mallorca now offers you a 10% discount on your next retreat. 

Why don't you make yourself and your life a favor and book your most fulfilling yoga experience yet? You can get the discount either through my shop on your next purchase, or directly with Ashtanga on their website. Don't forget to tell them you've heard about them through our blog to receive your discount.

This is where it'd be….
Can't think of another place on earth that I would rather be practicing yoga this summer…

I would especially like to participate in the classes with Danny Paradise in July, read more about him here.

comfort travel

Through one of my main commitments with which I spend most of my awaken time these days, I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet a wide range of very fascinating characters from all over the world. Poets, nuclear negotiators, writers, professors, psychiatrists, doctors, meditation teachers, art directors, artists and anything else in between. 

Ian, the friendly English chap that I've befriended through our shared passion for food and interesting places that serves it, lives here in Cambridge with his family. Besides the coffee and British shoe connoisseur that he is, he also possesses a great collection of British vintage bikes from the 60s and 70s. Occasionally he lends or rents them out to friends and he's finally convinced me to get one too. What better way of city traveling is there anyways? Now that the snow is supposedly over and done with for this winter and all. 

Can't describe the relief of not having to use the subway any longer. It has been momentarily depressing to be honest. A whole new world suddenly opened up before me, I can see the light and hear the birds instead of the noise of dark underground transportation. Now I should only convince Alex to getting one too and we're all set for embracing spring in the city.

I call this Raleigh Sprite bike the red nymph .. 

morning light

We have gained an additional hour of daylight in the evenings which makes all the difference. And my six thirty alarm is most often accompanied by a crisp clear sunrise stretching its light across the river. Light gives hope and energy. We're slowly getting there for real. Aren't you guys anxious for a new sailing season too? Soon..

It's been such an interesting season, this winter. I enjoy positioning myself in other peoples shoes to gain understanding for their life and lifestyle and this past period of November-March has taught me a few new important things about patience and endurance. About a different sort of strength as well as stubbornness. Because one has to be pretty stubborn to be able to cope with such a harsh climate year after year.

I was born in similar temperatures and it's definitely not something I would recommend as for a way of living because sun energy is way too important to me. But it's been interesting getting to experience the darkness all over again. This time colder than ever before I would say, given the fact that we've spent 80% of our nights inside of a poorly insulated boat. Pretty mad actually. But like I like to say these days: It's never a good thing to become too comfortable in life, eh!

schizophrenia

Just as I had decided to post this springish photo of three handsome dogs enjoying the warm weather of two days ago, a new snowstorm arrived. New England, you drive me insane. Enough now.

chocolate and champagne

Hello friends. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. In this comfortable couch I sat and thought about what I should write to you. I thought about the years we've spent together, in this forum, and how I could express my love and gratitude for you all who are following my ramblings.
I'm lying. I sat in that couch at the Four Seasons hotel because it was my thirty second birthday the other week and I thought I deserved some champagne. The older you get, the more champagne should you drink. Not saying I haven't been thinking about you cause I have, at least once a day.
There has been moments this long, cold, miserable winter when I've played with the thought of surrendering and giving it all up for booze. Throw away yoga, healthy food and green juices and jump onto a more destructive path in life. You know the kind of stuff one thinks about doing when forced to endure suffering: get drunk, get high, revel in cheap GMO foods, spend money on things i don't need and eat way too much candy and sugar. 
But then reality shakes reason into me and I remember I am now 32 and not 22 any longer and if I do not take care of what goes into my body, my outside will have to suffer more than necessary. Winter weather doesn't do anyone much good in terms of physical maintenance and as much as I'd love to stay natural, I can easily say I wouldn't mind getting some botox, laser treatments, spray tan and teeth whitening at this point. Or maybe clean food and a one way ticket to the sun could be enough. Summer, can you please arrive already?
Forever thankful to the mirror in the apartment where we stay occasionally, it makes reality look so much better than what it is. But it's all an illusion, of course.
And add a bit of photoshop colour adjustment to that. See how easy my face begins to glow. My puffy eyes seem more awake and I look much less tired than what I really am. Also my skin looks more even with only a little assistance by the contrast and curves tools. I hope you never ever believe that what you see in magazines are true. It's all an illusion, as much elsewhere in life. This is a subject that has spin around my head quite a lot this winter. Illusions, image, commercialism, facades, marketing, fakeness/reality, civilization, humanity. But more about all that another time. The headline of this post doesn't call for a deeper conversation.
Something that is genuinely good to believe in though, is real food. Many people wish to eat healthier but blame the high cost for not doing so more often. Earlier it might have been easier to get yourself a lunch or dinner at one of the fast food chains for half the price of any healthy substitute. But good, nutritious food is now more accessible than ever as people are more aware and make better choices for themselves. This rich, organic lentil soup with a couple slices of wholewheat bread cost me $6.70 and I'd choose it over any burger any day, baby.
It was purchased and devoured here. At Equal Exchange on Causeway St. Lovely little place that offers organic, home made food and fair-traded coffee, chocolate etc.
Speaking of chocolate. Burdick has the most amazing pralines one can get hands on. They buy their cocoa from Grenada, by the way. Remember our lovely time in the Spice Isle? Feels like a lifetime ago unfortunately.
Just another stupid bathroom selfie. Non edited this time, I should maybe add. I wish I had the time and patience to edit that toilet door shut though.
First time in five six-months that I got my nails done. Oh man has this winter made me a careless bum. It's been all about survival, for real.
So where were we? Champagne. Just a little more champagne. And dark chocolate. Cause you only turn thirty two once. Best combined with a hot bath, naturally.
Went to a wonderful sushi restaurant in Cambridge for lunch. We got served great jazz music and delightful miso soup.
Haven't had sushi in ages. Last time was in Panama City, I think. Wasn't that a lovely place by the way. Check out some easy breezy photos from there here. I miss that tan!!
An epic mango and sticky rice concoction. Rice cooked with coconut milk and sugar, served with sweet mango and sesame seeds. Simple but oh so wonderful.
Only problem with that sushi restaurant was when people entered through the curtain before they'd shut the entrance door. Which obviously brought siberian cold winds right into the facility.
Sunshine and blue skies, one could almost fool oneself to believe that spring has arrived.
Soon though. I haven't lost hope. Completely. Yet.
We have thoroughly enjoyed Cambridge. Such a neat little part of Boston.
Colourful facades.
A warming cup of tea at a meat free restaurant on Cambridge St.
Another cup a little further down the road. And that's where I'm writing this all to you today.. Jasmine tea in the cup by the way, going to lay low with the champagne for some time now.

spring adornments

Some beautiful new items from We Dream In Colour in my shop today. These are some of my favorites from the new spring/summer collection. Those winter white sea opal earrings will be massively abused this spring by moi. It's weird how hard one can fall in love with little pieces of jewelry.. find those and all else here

Did you know that you'll always get products in my store for approx. 10% lower price than anywhere else!?

morning phase

winter landscape through the bus windows between Montreal and Boston a few weeks ago.

Have spent the last few days listening to Beck's much anticipated new album Morning Phase. It's his first full length album in six years, and has proved to be close to as, if not equally as well crafted and beautiful as his twelve year old masterpiece Sea Change. The 2002 album that has been a lead reference for countless artists and producers as to how exceptionally well produced and tasteful music should sound. Beck has called the new album a "companion piece" to Sea Change and the similarities are many.

His gentle, meditative, almost evangelical voice is hazy but addictive. The warm, bass heavy kick drums and soft acoustic guitars are beautifully woven into a sound which is as immersive as Sea Change, but for obvious reasons more mature, more spiritually collected and not quite as wallowing as its predecessor. 

Listening to track #2, Morning, I can't help but thinking about our world. The nature and environment that is falling apart around us. The corruption and chaos of society …. he could have very much sung about a broken relationship as many times before, but as I currently happen to live within a civilization which I question and feel frustrated about on so many levels, I read the lyrics as some sort of grasping for a better place. Better time. Another chance for planet earth and humanity.

"Woke up this morning, found a love light in the storm 
Looked up this morning, saw the roses full of thorns 
Guns are falling, they don't have nowhere to go 
Oceans of diamonds always shine, smooth out below 
 Can we start it all over again this morning? 
I lost all my defenses this morning 
Won't you show me the way it used to be? 
 I've gone all around 'til there's nothing left to say 
Wrote it all down into something that couldn't be said 
I tore it all down and buried me underneath the wave 
 Can we start it all over again …"

Listen to the whole album here.

Highlights: Morning - Unforgiven - Wave - Turn away 

Can't wait to turn up the volume of this album in my headphones during night passage on the boat this summer. I can feel it'll be a great companion on dark, starry nights out at sea.