Tag: Sailing

August 13 / My Sailing Logbook

24/Feb/ 2013 – Nuevo Vallarta, México.

This would be the Final Test. There it was on deck, made of plastic and with wide rims (looked quite comfortable in fact), nor as large as those big home depot containers  but not too small. Just the right size for…

The very moment to decide if I’m going to cross the Pacific aboard En Pointe is this one.

Tom wanted to have a “serious talk” before I come live aboard. I was a little nervous at first, I thought I would talk about passports, insurance, expenses, or perhaps permission signed by my mom, or something like that. Who could know what a “serious issue” could be in these terms? Not every day one talk about sailing across an ocean and I really have no idea.

I arrived at the Paradise Village Marina, a port in the middle of a very fancy complex of hotels. I walked between some large and luxurious sailboats. Around a corner at the end of one of the wooden docks, between that shiny catamaran and that other brand new motor boat,  with the best view to the mountains: it was the yellow sailing boat attached with a pair of ropes in front and behind.

Tom was sitting in the cockpickt (or area where sailboats usually have the wheel) with crossed feet on air, cap, and sunglasses. He invited me to come aboard and I took off my sandals. Now I would discover the heart of that entire important subject we should talk.

¡En Pointe has no toilet! Well, it has a little one but for “special occasions” when the weather is really bad.  Tom Said, if you have no problems using a bucket then there is no more to say. However I understand if you do not like it because not many girls like to use a bucket as a toilet … and not even talk about the shower on deck. Here he gave a little nervous laugh and waited in suspense my answer…

¿¡To use a bucket!? What a relief! It was this. Of course I do not mind using a bucket!


Tips on how to do it on a bucket (board a sailboat):

1) Make sure you have a rope tied to the handle.

2) Using the rope, toss the bucket and fill on third with sea salt water.

3) Put it in a safe and private place.

4) As you sit be careful not to get stuck

5) When you’re done, bring it to deck with EXTREME caution and WATCH FOR:

-NEIGHBORS swimming around or looking at you. (there are several anecdotes regarding this point)
-Someone aboard using the salt water tap to wash dishes.

6) Look for where the wind comes before pouring the content!

7) ) Once you’re downwind. Set it free to the sea. The fish will be happy.


The great advantages of using the Bucket:

1) Not having to fix the toilet (relief for captains) or cleaning (relief for crew).

2) You do not have to pump, wait, and look in suspense how is going around and around hoping is not going to return before the captain or the next person on board use the bathroom.

3) You can place it anywhere. If it’s hot you put it in a cool place, if it rains you move it into the roof, if you feel like putting it on deck is fine.


Considerations when choosing the most appropriate bucket:

1) You must choose one of perfect size that fit well your butt without you getting stock. If you can test it by sitting on it before buying it, much better.

2) Must be of a durable material that does not bend with the weight.

3) The strong colors are better than light colors. Just aesthetic issues for the sight.

4) Take care that the edges are wide, so they do not injured in the legs when sitting.

5) Try to give it a clean occasionally because if not start to grow moss!


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la cubeta

*From Mexico to New Zealand aboard a sailboat. Now from ashore I transcribe the diaries of one year living on the sea.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit. Mexico.

Between ships and land shores, ports and docks, between going or staying… wandering. Among all the chaos of coincidences and new people, I met a man named Tom, who starts with T as Tulia, as Tita, Tus, and Tila back home in my parents’ house. Among he saying:  I will cross the Pacific and I am seeking for crew.  Paul’s idea about advertise myself on the radio gave result and I was talking with the captain of the small yellow sailboat (But that does not matter too much right now… I just met him once and who knows if I will see him ever again).  Among all this happenings… I got a little message from S yesterday: “heart … I think of you … I want to see you” a couple of lines to me sounded as poetry. It was one of those light evenings at  Aly’s home with the guys  in search of sailboats. Next day I woke up with a burning heart, inspirational, in love. I know we have different rhythms and cycles, and only I’m curious if one day we will coincide and live something more…



The first time I saw Tom was in the Marina, in Paul’s boat.  He answered my call on the radio, another man came also but did not give me any good impression, so I refused.  Then Tom came, we talked about his boat and I did not understand a lot of terms (for that I asked Paul to help me with the interview.) I assume that there are no suicidal people around here and if someone wants to cross an ocean he’ll have complete confidence in himself and in his boat. The only thing I really care about is the person and if I feel comfortable with (as I saw that live on someone’s boat is about sharing and living together before everything else).

The first thing I said above all was:  I do not seek any relationship, or any chance of this, or the idea of ​something, anything. Well, I will not go in the middle of the ocean having in mind if I misinterpret something or if I feel strange. (And I said this, as if really would  embark on this trip) Surprised and laughing  Tom said he was more than agree since he was not looking for anything neither (Just I have to be clear). He gave me good impression, good vibes, neutral and somehow peaceful. Paul found him nice as well. We agree in going to sail a race for the day and we’ll see. I telephoned my mother to gently starting putting out the idea of ​​her daughter going away to a remote island.



I went sailing with Tom and Linda. This is happening … is happening as things that have happened to me so far; passing without me notice them. And when they are already happening I turn to see: I’m already here, I’m going … I’m already doing it.  So I am impressed, and even a little scary, because then, gently, smoothly, without efforts, almost inadvertently, things are fitting on their place to go to the Pacific, in two weeks, three weeks, French Polynesia. OMG.

In the end I’m realizing that there is no place to go. Now I am and have always been in the place or situation to be full, be happy. Paradise is always where I am now, no matter where is this … I seek nothing, I have fun, I like to put myself in situations that move me in, put myself on the edge and is where I can discover-me(whatever that means). I know that maybe I do not need to do all this but it is a way of… seeing the world … see the world inside me.

S wrote me. I was very happy, yesterday and this morning I could just be still thinking about her and what she wrote. I was surprised … Which reminds me that lately my name gives me a different feeling than before, Tulia, sound sometimes foreign, sometimes gives me a loving feeling, or it feels like a past life, or like someone else name, someone who I know well. 



This is happening. Really. Tom, Linda and I went to Octopus Garden where Aly works and what a surprise! Aly came sailing from San Francisco but I just found that she almost came down with Tom as a crew, so they knew each other already. Coincidences and good signs. Then at the end of dinner, we ordered a wine and offer a toast.
So, we are going? /  Tom said.
Yes, we are going. I answered.

I do not know what causes me more excitement: the fact that I’m already making plans to move to the boat or to know that S loves me.

I have written her:

…In the end … who cares? If now I feel intensely. I love you in a very free way, without need, without agendas, without wishing that things were different, not “havings”. For me it does not matter, after all relationships are always changing. Like friendship, brotherhood, passion, absence, or romance… that’s not so important.

There is no place to arrive, or no name to lose

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

June 10 / My Sailing Logbook

*One year trip from México to Nueva Zelanda aboard En Pointe and other sailboats.

15 /Feb /2013  –  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. México

“Sexy 26 y/o nurse 
looking for a boat that takes her
out to the sea”

– Perfect Tulia I’m sure there will be a bunch of sailors in the port lol.
– Well,  better tell me what I should put in the ad then…

Romany Star’s captain Pablo helped me to print ads for putting them  in the marinas around Puerto Vallarta. He says I should try announcing myself on the radio too, it feels like announcing something to sell but I will try. Sailboats communicate with each other on the net, according to the place where they are. Every morning they gather in a single-channel to check in with the name of the boat and then go to different topics: Weather (of course the weather!), who goes, who arrives, sales or exchanges, and crew positions. It looks formal but people on boats is actually relaxed, it’s just another community of people (living in water).

Thus we arrived to La Cruz after two weeks without touching land. It’s a lot? It’s few? I do not know anymore. We went in different bays for anchoring one or two days and slowly up the coast of Jalisco. The last stretch was Cabo Corrientes, famous for its strong winds and big waves. It was a 36 hours trip without stopping. The boat was healing over that I had to step in the seat, and the waves beating on the deck, everything was soaked. Would this be normal?! I thought. I want to be outside, in the air, I am quite salty, is total darkness and the strident sound of crashing waves in the water makes us to communicate loudly.


Romany Star sailin in Cabo Corrientes, 2013

Tulia h-o-l-d  o-n! Pablo says serious looking into my eyes but with a half smile in the face when he sees I am all grabbed even with the toenails. It is the first time we travel at night and with waves more than five feet. I do not know much about sailing, but I doubt that this is an everyday situation… Ho well, I’m going to sleep. There is nothing to do, with this weather Pablo will be on watch all night… I roll from side to side; put the mesh which works as a wall to keep me from flying away. I sleep. I open my eyes every few hours with a beating heart, in the dark things come and go, all mixed up … I feel weak … I sleep again, wake up, go back to sleep and so on until dawn. I felt bad for not helping Pablo but he is very proud of my ability to sleep in-any-situation.

Test passed: I’m ready to live on a sailboat.



Time is running out in Romany Star and I have no idea what its next of course. Now I understand the very basics of how sails work and I have learned to feel the wind on the nose and say yes, this is the direction.  Today I wanted to cry. Why crying could seem something wrong? Only a bunch of emotions that do not fit anymore, then they break. I do not know why I’m here … I don’t have expectations, no plans…

Sometimes this lightness can shock people, looking whys and logical reasons. Sometimes it also bothers me a bit not knowing destinations, an ultimate goal, a compelling reason, something that says: I’m on my way to conquer -whatever- but then I realize that when something in me wants to have a logical is just to answer questions of others. Because I’m fine without logic.

Here in the community of sailors there is something different in this sense: Nobody has much logic … mo more that the one given by the weather. People sells business and purchase sailboats, make a plan then is thrown overboard, they think I’m around the world and stop and live in Mexico, today  south,  tomorrow north … suddenly falling  in love and two ships become a larger one, with flowers and better food. The first time I went to a race on a weekend with Steve and Sandra we talked about that:

-You will notice Tulia, a sailor’s life  is like this:  The plans are written in the sand.

Now I say yes, I write in the sand the sailing idea … If a sailboat in which I feel comfortable not appears… I will leave it alone. I will do my ad on the radio a couple of days as messages in bottles… and the sea will do whatever it wants with that.

Subscribe to the Logbook and get updates in your e-mail

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

 2/10/2013  – Bahía Paraíso, Jalisco.

I weak up.  I ‘m locked in a compartment. There is a bed and a wooden little door is imposing distance from the rest of the boat . I feel that everything is rocking from side to side , but we are anchored… still in an open bay. There is a sound of animals scratching the bottom of the boat, Paul says they are shrimp and when he sleep ashore he misses the sound. I dreamed a lot, I had dreams of guilt with my mom and my sister, then I dreamed of my friends in Guanajuato and then with Perla… Wake up in the sea shakes the mind, it plays games,  it takes the mind from of all the known. On the other hand, I feel as part of something else, closer to the world itself, that individually. I see a spectacular sunrise from the horizon, it is amazing to see this landscape … and feel that I am part of it, here floating in the water…  I look our neighbors anchored in the other side, they also see the sunrise with their coffee cups, is a stillness that can be felt even . As if all of our questions were already answered…

There is two hours of the day where all the answers are given: sunrise and sunset.


Amanecer en el ancladero. Jalisco



¿How’s life on the boat?

At least in the couple of weeks I’ve been on board Romany Star, we moved the boat during the day, in the evening we anchored in a bay, Paul and I took turns cooking.

I have been learning the basics of sailing, I know how to raise the main sail but I’m learning all the terms in English. It’s so funny that my life happens in English when I am still in Mexico, but it is the language board and I haven’t been ashore in over a week. In the morning Paul plays harmonica, sometimes we go to do snorkeling, swimming, read a lot, write, and there is just so much time to be doing “nothing”. The sense of time as change radically…   does not matter much using clocks, calendars, although I felt this way since last year, in the boat is so natural.

The sense of time in the sea … is defined by the wind.



Why to go in a boat?

Many ask me why I am doing all this.  I do not have answers that make sense. One day I felt just I would really like to live on a sailboat, I said: I will travel and live on a sailboat. I do not expect that will made ​​me happy, or I’m on the last quest for the meaning of life, or neither I am trying to  “follow my dreams ” … the truth is that I just felt like doing it. I must confess that sometimes … something on me wishes there was one of those “reasons with height” but no… It would give a “sense” of something that lacks it and doesn’t need it. Does have be always a reason, why do it?



Today was my turn to cook; I learned that on a boat the kitchen is called: Galley. Humorous but all in a boat as a different name, the bathroom is the: head … funny too.

Today we spoke with Paul at dinner about his last divorce and he’s still dealing with letting go and forgetting his ex – wife since they still love each other but she’s tired of live in a boat.  Then I wondered if I’m the one who sees things very simple or maybe I have not much experience with these issues of relationships and breakups… I do not know what to say besides: enjoy that too, but it seems not to be a very logic advice.

I have thought about the concept of Enjoy and I think the interpretation I give differs radically from others, could sound kind of crazy if you compare it with other ideas. Enjoy for me is living in the moment, moment by moment no matter if is a happy one or not. I can enjoy sadness, nostalgia, uncertainty. And know not explain how! But I know that one can enjoy not having money or having it. Living with someone or being alone. I think within the limits of masochism … you can enjoy it all.

 “Paradise is where I always Am

Subscribe to the Logbook and get updates in your e-mail

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

New Zealand, 2014 {Day 2 of 30}

Today looking at the calendar I realized …  I’ve been in this house almost two weeks. Repetition. There is something beautiful about being held in a place:  the small changes of the everyday that surprise me. I think any kind of life is an adventure and traveling is just one of many ways. I even think sometimes “travel” is overrated, clearly a catalyst for inner processes in so many ways. Yet if not living with freshness, is the same as having any other way, just an exotic one. And you can live with freshness in everyday life wherever … like making a constant “refresh” on the website..

One day I asked  myself Why  if I’m happy in Irapuato, in the ranch of my grandmother ,  with my friends … why  go away ? but my loyalty is not with the coherence, is with the truth … the truth of what I feel , moment by moment , and  I don’t  want to create any conflict with it.

Let’s see… small things of everyday life on the farm:

1. Yellow leaves. And the perfect time when the sun shines in bench in front of the balcony.

2. Sometimes I spy the sheep from the window – To see what they do when they are not seen. 

3. There is something really big living in the attic. I thought someone got into the house at dawn. I took the bat and I HAD to go check each room of the 3 floors home …  for be able to sleep in peace.

4.Today Ron passed by the House:
– No, I ‘m coming in.  I’m just giving the round in the neighborhood, I usually visit the widow friends … you know, just to see that everything goes well…
Ho! I ‘m on the list of widows / lonely old ladies. Thanks Ron!

5. I took a walk in the afternoon:SONY DSC

I get to the river. I sit.
I am crying laughing
I see the stillness of the running water
and the movement of the tree
and I am both.
“The same truth is everywhere.”





And this dairy is parallel in a madly way with that one of a year ago:

Sailing logbook

Puerto Vallarta

I left the boat captain Play Boy, as my exaggerated friend said. I came to spend a few days with a Couchsurfing till I meet with Paul. A guy I found in the site findacrew. He said his crew decided to stay in Mexico so he need help for a couple of weeks … we’ll see.  I can at least learn the basics maybe.  Sandra asks me today if I’m comfortable traveling alone. I do not know how to answer, I just tell her that I have never felt alone … and I remembered that I read somewhere:

Alone comes from all- one.

* * * * * * *

Cuestacomate, Jalisco

And this is living in the ocean. I met Captain Pablo in a coastal town, I was not nervous, there is a huge trust and I can feel its weight in my body.  He came with a slouchy walk; he’s tall, looking around 65 years, gray and black hair. It feels quite. We took a water taxi that left us in his small sailboat anchored in the middle of a bay – lagoon. For the first time I felt


It’s so strange! This small space where you live, cook, sleep and eat – everything- and beyond anything …  just water. And it moves, yet anchored there is a slight rocking and the brain feels like you are making a joke on it, before deciding whether it like it or not. It is a sailboat of 38ft long. It has a small super-equipped kitchen, a cabin with double bed, a table that turns into another bed in and in front of it a sofa.  Smells to … still not decided … ocean … however the ocean smell.

Since yesterday we were preparing the supplies for two weeks, yesterday night Paul cooked and he explain how the thing with the water works, apparently a very issue aboard: Two taps a salty and a fresh one. In the morning I woke up early to watch the sunrise with a coffee.

When the engine is turned on in Romany Star (or any other sailboat) it means energy since generators are working and the batteries being charged. It’s time to connect my computer and check for 15 minutes what’s happening in the world … and better not be watching for long a  screen when the boat is moving like this…

– First test passed. Paul says … – If you could stay watching the screen without feeling dizzy is probably difficult to get seasick for you…

I was a little scared, but not the sea, not the man I am going with, or that something was going to happen. I was a little afraid of myself; I was afraid that my body gets seasick and discovered that I’m not good for this … silly. Finally I told myself that I would not put pressure on the seasickness issue … If I feel bad I will embrace myself ( as I do when something does not feel right ) and I would say that I accept it, that this sickness …  is part of me, part of the trip too. I would breathe, deeply breathe, and accept it.  But… there was no such need! … I felt some movement in my brain after a couple of hours and because I was reading  so I slept for a while … I dreamed and dreamed a lot and when I came back to this conscious the feeling was gone, but now awakening takes more energy , I have to remember where I am, with who, doing what…

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: 30 posts combined with a Sailing Logbook.

May 17 / Sailboats

…If you wish, remember that my wings

Are water

And there is no water without waves

And no waves without a shore where they crash…

“I need to write again” I said to myself. I’ve been  inhabited by islands, birds and waves. I’ve built a world in the wind. I’ve been condensed from salt water. I got lost in the mountains and I got found in the seashells. I’ve been passionate. I’ve overflowed indifference. I lived to swim while the smell of the earth was still under my nails. I wanted to never come back . I’ve returned  or pretend to return.  it’s all the same.

I feel I’m visible to the world again when I arrive to this immense  island.  The first time in 8 months in the ocean where I can  point out “where” in a terrestrial globe. But I want to tell stories of those invisible places in the Pacific. I believe I ‘m more a dot in the sea than a name. Not only  I own the stories. I’ve met other sailors in the port of Whangarei who just arrived in New Zealand to shelter during the cyclone season.  For many a trip as ended, for others it’s just a wait to the next ‘ weather window ‘, others will sell their boats, others will repair them. On this side of the world it’s summer and the wind is renewed while the cyclones are lurking in the tropics.

Where are we? We’ve wondered. Yesterday several sailors  met in the evening  in an old, strong, red steel-sailboat  that has arrived from Antarctica. We were there, tightly gathered around a wooden table, in half light, drinking red wine brought from Chile.  Germans, Mexicans, Brazilians, Australians… outside the masts tinkled and the guitars lay on deck while down-below stories of  palms and wind were told. Joyful surprise to realize that we have all visited  Mopelia and Vaka Itu, that we could  have coincided in those small invisible islands. What a pleasure to recognize that I’m not the only one wondering:  Why we go to the sea to escape from  land and return to land to escape from the sea?

…Then the wind went on to teach me

How to dance with the sand

Embrace the Pleiades

And weave the threads of the waves

Into the Saviours gown…

After exhausting important issues as weather, fish,  people of the islands, we started to talk about work and money. How to maintain this lifestyle , how the expenses of the boats are paid, how some work in different countries, others return by time to time, some of them retired,  and others we are just creating our way.  A topic that turns over our minds especially now that we’ve reached an island where shoes are worn. Questions that always attract people’s curiosity and that time, perhaps because the wine or perhaps because the environment of  newcomers,  new friends, we talked lively through the night.

Sometimes  I have a strange need to be more palpable and consistent, but then I find it extrinsic and sometimes meaningless. Why the duality ? There are two worlds? But I know those thoughts are just whims of the mind. Ha! That’s why I like sailors so much! We know real are the sails as the wind that moves them, like living aboard or ashore,  as weight or lightness, as visible or invisible.

While the others were still involved in the conversation, I remembered a fragment of the letter I sent to a friend:

…Sometimes I’ve felt like a shapeless  vapor…  I want to be like water, being fluid but with a consistency  and the ability to take shapes,  yet not be frozen at any stage of my life… is it perhaps too much to ask for? I want to condensate from this vapor and take the forms I want  to create, the ones I choose and  flow with me, the ones I feel mine.

Now I think I’ve always been like water.


* Fragments the poems:  “The Bird’s Last Flight” by Saadi Yousef  and “Thats What the Wind Taught Me” by Mina Said Alayyan. Both Arab poets.

April 19 / French Polynesia

Reappear in the world after a one month blink. Time that was lived  in “no place” because there was not a single nigth spended  in the same geographical coordinates as the night before. An intense journey from the moment the coast of the American continent disappeared in waves. A shock of impression when realizing “there was no turning back here”… but then … then the silence … a pause in life, a break from the pace of the man’s world.  A puse to observe the moment itself…

The calendar said it was Sunday when we saw the shadow of something sticking aut to the usual perpetual horizon. The days had lost meaning, the boat had been without electicity the day before, I could not remember the last time I took a shower, and it seemed  like I’ve forgotten the smell of soil because the salt. I saw the distant island for 24 hours before arriving and I wondered: What could be doing the inhabitants of Nuku Hiva? How it would be a normal Sunday in the remotest island in the world? The Marquesas Islands are probably the most beloved for those who cross the Pacific Ocean as they are the first land that one return to the man’s world.

We entered to Taiohae  Bay crossing the mountain gates. Other sailboats were resting in the water. We droped anchor and the movement finally stopped.  It stopped!  We floated with a slight sway and  jumped on the dinghy to go ashore.  While I was going away from En Pointe for the first time I turned to look at the small yellow world in which I lived.  I got a feeling of detach from something to which he had belonged.

I got to ashore. I walked with weak legs, sea legs, because my muscles had weakened. At the beginning  a little as drunk, or rather like a child learning to walk? I learned to walk again then. I jumped around  expecting that everything will move… but not…  then I found everything so fixed, so disturbingly solid. My mind was confused, again playing a joke on it. I was overwhelmed by all the new things I saw: trees, yes, they were Uru trees and were very green, mountains, flowers, animals, horses, colors… people, voices, houses, languages! (French and marquisien). So much for someone who has only seen blue for long. I walked and I got tired quickly, my heart was beating hard, I took a deep breath… it had lived at sea level  and suddenly I was going up.  I felt the change in the whole body, in my mind, in my impressed heart.

On the island of Nuku Hiva  the first thing I found were smiles. Kaoha! every person that crosses on the way said . The friendliness of the people of Polynesia is famous among sailors; relaxed and simple; warmly smiling  to welcome those who brought the wind.

Total population of the largest island in the region = 2,600 people. The Marquesas are “the garden of French Polynesia ” is pure nature, there is any big building, however I was impressed by the degree of “development”. Tecnically is France and that can be seen in their few streets as neat such as Switzerland, in Baguettes, in their laws, and in the education, and health system.


How is the land beyond the other side of the Pacific?

The Marquesas are a land of lava, young and green islands where everything grows. Are islands of towering mountains in the sea, floating mountains, hills newborn.

A land where there is no cold seasons but fruit in season all year.

A land that sleeps peacefully under the most beautiful spectacle of stars. Here there is no nightlife besides the ones made on the shore, no rush in here.

A land where few humans live and the language of their ancestors is learned as well as the national language  in the schools.

A land with talking drums and ukuleles.

An island where life is on land, but it is known that one belong to the sea.

Principal pueblo en Nuku Hiva, localizado en el un antiguo cráter volcánico que parcialmente se colapso en el mar.
En Pointe (yellow trimaran) anchored in Taiohae Bay. Photo: Tom Van Dyke
April 19 / Sailboats

Morning coffee

I go out of my contemplation because I’m suddently rocking back and forth, I put the lid on my cup. Ha! Those tourist boats passing so close!  making waves,  shaking my coffee  and throwing aside my baguette with jam.  There is no respect. They don’t see that people live in here?  I immerse  myself again…

There are memories that are like cracks, and cracks are like doors… there are moments that when evoked they transport us. They’re waterfalls.  Is living them again. Today I’m flooded with a memory.

Is there something that could be called “Beginning”?

1.  Today I went back to the moment I knew that someone had crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat. On sailboat ! The Atlantic ocean?  For weeks?  In the sea? A woman and… alone?  Incredulity , amazement,  a shaking feeling of ” REALIZE ” something.  I was living in San Francisco. That day  I was biking around the bay … down there of the Golden Gate Bridge I saw  the little white triangules drawing  imaginary lines in the water… I was amazed, they were so small and so fragile as paper boats that wind can blow off. And yet it was possible…


Drums inside

I’m back in Polynesia. Over there, onland,  one can see the guys rehearsing for the dance competition. Drums and ukuleles. I see the rehearsal as a neighbor seing over the fence, but I’m on one of those boats that where sailing in San Francisco.

What happened from the day in the bay  to the moment of now  that connect them like parallel universes?

2. When I worked in Geneva, I went to visit some friends in Germany.  Pao married Daniel from Berlin, I spent a week with them.  During the dinner, almost by chance, Daniel mentioned that he was crew on a sailboat for 6 months in the Caribbean.  He quited his job as an architect, left his house and all. His former colleagues had placed  in the office a photo of him sailing in the Caribbean, with the footnote: “Best Employee of the Month” while they were living one of the coldest winters in Germany.  I felt again a feeling in the stomach. I felt closer. Now knew someone from the “real life” that did it.


Hungry for something

It’s lunch time? Here in the boat you know it’s time to eat when you are hungry. There is not shedule.  And,  what does it matter if it’s weekday or weekend ? I heat the leftovers of yesterday’s dinner and return to where I was …

3. During the time in Europe I was finding what to me seemed small signs, those traveling coincidences that one tries to read as gypsies read hands. I visited Marseille, a city where the sea is very important being the largest port in the Mediterranean. I was walking around the boats and I met a guy who found a crew position on the Internet. Then Olesia said in Ukraine she had been certified for  sail small boats, and Ola from Poland too. I asked them so many questions; I wanted to investigate more. Now I was feeling real the possibility.


The sun comes to the island

We’ve been waiting for “weather.  It is the windy Polynesian winter. Out there beyond the reef the sea is rough. If aboar the boat the day and time don’t matter,  here the  Weather God  is who has the last word. I haven’t been ashore in several days.  There is a litte sunshine, so I take the dinghy and head to the dock, jump ashore and do a quick shark  knot.

4. I’m going into other gap. I remember being in Czech Republic in the kitchen of a very old house where I lived with my friends Maga and Rami from Argentina. We were laughing and doing whatever on the internet, when I said – I know what I’m going to do next! As I will  live on a sailboat, right now I’ll learn to do knots. With serious attitude open Youtube and looked for a tutorial… 5 minutes after quited. We laughed.  However, that day, “I had a certainty” as Maga says. I was sure that one day I would do it. I didn’t  know when or how, but I was sure.


Going out of the path

Walking around the island and heading to the mountains, -Ia ora na! -Bonjour! I came across kids saying ” good morning ” in Tahitian and French. I start going up and I feel like going out of the path marked with little stones. I turn left. I get lost among the trees.

5. When I returned to Mexico people asked me what’s next… I then replied with a tone of normality: “Ho well, I ‘m going to live in a sailboat.”  I’m from the central part of Mexico , I had never been before on sailboat, neither in Mexico sailing is common at all. It seemed crazy then, but I had that confidence. January came, I made my backpack, I left and went to the coast of Mexico. I decided to take a different path, “create” my own way of experiencing, and jumped into the void.


I Am Here

Photo: Tom VanDyke


Back to the boat, I’m playing guitar. I look around of these square meters of wood in which I’m floating.

I love this feeling of living floating in the water,  water in movement.

 I feel light, mild, fleeting, momentary …

Like the foam of the waves.