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.

mastering and music

I have so much music to share with you, albums and artists I want to talk to you about. Many of them are Alex's mastering clients and he's been pretty fortunate to work on some real good productions this past year since we got back on land and he started working out of a studio again. 

A quick crash course in what exactly "mastering engineering" is for the ones of you who doesn't know what his profession actually means: It is the final step in a musical production. When the artist, producer and mixing engineer has done their part in recording and mixing, and the music is about to go out on the market, that is when the files are sent to a mastering engineer. 

Mastering pretty much means fine tuning music, it can mean removing distortion, adding dynamic and adding the particular sound that the artist or producer is looking for. It's about removing what's not meant to be there, about enhancing what's good. It's also about making the music translate its best in the same way regardless of the sound system it will be played on. Some projects are obviously more challenging than other, all depending on the production and how well done the mix is.

While certain producers reach their accepted level of sound by producing and mastering on their laptops, the truth is it is very hard to compare with the depth and 3D sound of a custom built mastering studio environment with top notch analog equipment in combination with the digital tools to perfect each step of a production.

It is mind-blowing what a difference a good master can do to music. Most people don't realize this step even exists as it is a very low key profession. But it is interesting to know that many artists and producers would have never sounded the way they do wouldn't it have been with the aid of their chosen ME.
Given the importance of this step in production, it's been not only rewarding for Alex to be back in the studio after a few years of sailing, but also for his old clients to have him back as they've had hard finding the specific sound they've been used to anywhere else since he sold his studio in Barcelona four years ago. It's a pretty personal thing after all, how your music sounds and how you wish for it to be received. What it is you are going to offer your audience. If you take your work seriously, you obviously want it to be as perfect as possible.

Alex's mastering trademark is his dynamic and loud sound (without being too aggressive which is a balancing act) and therefore does he have a lot of electronic (minimal, techno, tech house) clients that demand a massive bombastic club sound, as well as artists and music with a lot of heavy bass, such as reggae, dub and hip hop. I am also going to show you some absurdly good flamenco pop/ experimental that he's worked on.

But first these great reggae tunes by Rampalion, one being a dub version. Incredibly talented band all the way through and with the mastering work by Alex the sound is just impeccable. Seriously speaking. Make sure to listen with very good headphones or sound system please. Transports you back to a hot Caribbean beach...


Check out Alex's website here, and although not fully updated > here < you can find some of the music and artists he's worked with in the past few months. Feel free to like his new Facebook page too if you like.

everyday improvements

I've given up on trying to talk Alex into sitting back and relaxing in a quiet anchorage for a lengthier time as creating something, building or fixing or simply doing something at all times clearly is what his mind requires. 

It's a double feeling for me of course, who often love to kick back, enjoy the moment and analyze and discuss or plan future ideas and the worlds all problems preferably with a nice glass of wine in hand. Especially now that I've spent approximately 50-60 hours a week slaving working since October last year and I almost was about to give my right arm away for a full week or two of snooze. 

But on the other hand, Alex's determination to constantly improve and work on physical (or musical) projects consistently makes our home and world a little better, stronger, safer and nicer so for that I am always very thankful of course. It also gives me all the time I need and require for reading, writing, meditating, working on my newest endeavor and whatever else that I find so important for my soul. 

Thinking about it, I think Alex's strong work ethics and his constant strive for physical improvement in our living space might be one of the most crucial reasons to why our relationship and life in such small space works as well as it does. It gives us ample time off each other, even when we literally spend most time together if that makes sense. That sort of character goes well with my personality, who need and enjoy spending most hours of the day alone. It does get frustrating from both sides in different ways occasionally obviously, but in the big picture I think the constellation is what make things work so well as a whole. And with time it feels we've learnt to manage and adapt to each others very different sort of needs. Eg: me lending a helping hand whenever he needs it, and he being more conscious about putting tools and other miscellaneous stuff away once he's done.

What you see in the image above is the frame of the new cockpit table that he's made in teak which has been glued and assembled, temporarily fixed to the saloon table. Going to be marvelous to finally have a proper table to dine on also outside. 

liquid staples

Besides a ton of fresh organic fruit, I always keep a few of these bottles readily available in the fridge:

Santa Cruz 100% organic lemon juice (good for cooking, baking and juicing alike).

Good Belly probiotic organic and non-gmo juices (obsessed with the natural ingredients and flavor).

Harmless Harvest 100% raw and organic coconut water (the only raw, organic, unaltered, never heated coconut water on the market).

All three superb alone (perhaps not the lemon juice) or mixed as base in any sort of fresh fruit juice concoction.

Add a bit of your favorite champagne to your next juice to spice things up on a hot summers day. My tips is to always keep a few of the small sized bottles around. Comes in handy when you're in the mood for a glass or two but not a whole bottle. Especially practical on this boat as only one of us drinks.

LIFE

Oh man, this is what life should be all about. Always. Lazy days on water, half naked in the sun, food and drinks within a couple arms reach and the sound of nothing but wind, waves, inspiring music from the speakers and maybe your partner calling from the dinghy to say he caught a couple bluefish for dinner. If only a handful of our best friends and family were around too, only that could make it better.

Each day of our current lives in New England is one more day of work and sacrifice towards eventually getting to the point where we can enjoy more of this again. After five years of living and traveling on a boat, it still feels like the most obvious and most fulfilling thing to do in the world.

Warmth and simplicity. It's all I want from life.

back to sea

We've gone sailing for a couple weeks. First real vacation for us in a year so it's extremely wonderful, especially since the weather's been glorious thus far and we've even had dolphins racing with the boat as we've cruised this heavenly nature of the Long Islands.

Check in on our Facebook if you want to see at least a tad more updates.

story of mankind

Could you all please take an hour of your time to watch this video, and share it with as many as you wish. There are so many wars being fought in our sad world in this very moment and has been done in all past history. No lives are more important than other, no fights worth more attention. But the fact that we all let the Zionists (I'm not talking about the common Israelis or peaceful Jews, I'm talking about the Jewish extremist) do to the people of Palestine what the Nazis did to the Jews during WW2, right before our eyes, slowly eradicating their whole existence, while raping and stealing their land - it is just too shameful and embarrassing to humanity.

Sadly the American media is owned and controlled by very influential Jewish people with Zionist interests and their story and angle of the events will forever be pushed to the general public. The Zionist lobby organization has a very strong grip on Americas political system in general and it is not a coincidence that the American government's #1 hobby seem to be to fight a war against the arab world. It is not a coincidence that the so called terror attacks have got so much publicity in the media, and that they even happened in the first place. 

Everything has a price they say, and that is also true for a massive country like the United States. Especially if you are knee-high in debt.

It is wishful thinking to hope that this world would one day unite and become a safe and peaceful place to live for everyone regardless religion and ethnicity. But no one deserves to be manipulated into hatred caused by someone else's greed.

Check this one out if you want to know who owns and controls your favorite news TV station, The New York Times and other large newspapers in the US.

getaway

One night a week we sail out of the relatively quiet marina and drop anchor by one of the many small islands outside of Boston. It's like a mini cleanse for body and mind as nothing makes you sleep as well as gentle rolling and the sound of nature does. Especially after two-three hours of physical exercise that is called sailing. The Boston Harbor Islands are strategically positioned and formed in a way that we can always find protected spots to anchor, no matter wind direction. Love watching the planes land North of the city and the city lights exposing themselves by sunset, without actually having to hear the noise of it all. 

new canvas onboard

Having sailed with old baggy sails since we changed boats and bought Duende in December 2011 (some 5000 nautical miles ago) - it was pure pleasure hoisting the new ones up the other day and getting to experience just how much good they do to the boat. 

We have quite a substantial spinnaker collection onboard and we're not shy to use them, but given its easier set up, we have missed a gennaker. One that we had on Caos back in the days if you remember. This new blue and white asymmetric was just what we were looking for. Works well from 60-150ยบ off the wind up to 18 knots and is easy to set up, using a jockey pole as a bowsprit now to begin with. Though knowing Alex, he'll probably produce a carbon one in a very near future.

The beautiful new mainsail has three reefs, which was something we missed on our previous two reef sail, and its balanced shape also helps decrease the weather helm issue a bit. 

With half of the summer remaining, it seems a good idea to slow down on the, until now, intense work tempo. And make sailing a higher priority again. Maine and Long Island are two of our prospectives for this season.

Thanks to North Sails Denmark for great service!

fuel to fire

days pass, time flies. soundtrack of right now:

this

this

this

or anything equally sombre and melodic by danish singer/songwriter/pianist agnes obel

across the bay

This past year of living in the United States has been one of the most productive of all our nearly five years as live-aboard-sailing-gypsies. There is so much to say about the variety in culture and society of each place and part of world that you visit. But truth is, nowhere can you get stuff done as efficiently and quick as in America.

That truth has kept us occupied to the extent that we have barely had time for many of the things that we love, as they've been pushed aside in favor of other, currently more necessary priorities. Sailing is one of the occupations that have had to suffer the most. One could perhaps suppose that living on a boat is equal to a very active life on water, with sailing and other forms of water sport activities included. And while that is the truth when in vacation mode, it's less so in times of non-vacation. 

Besides the three day stay in NYC and the vacation mishap in February, this past weekend was the first long weekend of three consecutive days that both Alex and I could take off at the same time in the year of 2014. Given that summer finally is here, we naturally decided to spend those valuable days at sea. Ironically enough, it was also the weekend that this summers first hurricane was selected to hit our exact position of the coast. We've been chased by them on several occasions while we sailed the Caribbean islands 2011-2013, but to expect them up here this far North was not a concern we've been preoccupied with.

As with most topical storms that serendipitously reaches this high in latitude, this one too died out at sea before it managed to create too much of damage. Nonetheless, it brought the typical tropical storm downpour that lasted for 20 hours and put a damper on our first day of mini vacation.

With two days left, and the sunshine and fair winds that the following day brought with it, we pointed our bow to the tip of Cape Cod and its quaint little beach town called Provincetown. Ptown as they call it (Massachusettees' like to shorten words), is considered a gay mecca, and has throughout history been a tolerant and accepting haven for the gay and lesbian community.

As our hours were limited and we had to return to mainland by Sunday night at the latest, we did out best to squeeze in as much as we could in two days (dedicating 8 + 9 hours of them to sailing across the bay and back).

One of the best things with living and traveling on your own boat that is also your home, is that you have all what you need within an arms reach which makes arriving to a new destination all the more efficient. Food, wine and cold beers in the fridge to set the tone for the night. And your shower and wardrobe makes it easy to slip out of your bikini and jump into evening clothes just in time for arrival.

All prepared to get to shore, we tied up to a mooring ball at 9.30 pm, perfectly timely for the fourth fifth of july fireworks (the hurricane urged many coastal cities and towns to postpone the fourth of july festivities to the following day). And we managed to call the launch service of Provincetown marina just in time to be able to arrive to a restaurant for a much longed for dinner, right before the kitchens closed for the night.

I always say that food and drinks never tastes as good as they do on shore after a long day at sea. This time was no exception, and I had a wonderful mushroom risotto and a couple crispy sweet peach mojitos to go with it before we headed back to our boat in the bay.

More pics from Provincetown coming up shortly…