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I finish wiping the salt spray off my trusty Nikon and set it in its perch ready to go, I don’t have a camera bag or lens cap, my Nikon is for using, not hauling around like some digital piece of jewelry.  It’s a dinosaur by today’s standards but it’s processor is magic, its build, indestructible and like precious few things in this world, its mine.

Nikon D500

Ive been asked to contribute a chapter to a book on budget cruising.  I respond with a very gracious thank you but no thank you.  I find an email in my inbox with 10 links to essays I’ve never read, sure I wrote them and lived them but I’ve never read them.  I ease the sheets and reach down memory lane.  Has it really been a year since my last real cruise.  The words flow like water, I feel like I’m right there in the middle of the cockpit sailing on a journey that is little more than a few data bites now.  As one of the most prolific sailing bloggers of the last decade I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to share my experience beyond the small tribe of readers who have stumbled upon AOH, maybe I’m being selfish or maybe I just prefer to keep it local.

Best blue water sailboats

I don’t feel like I have a story to tell, or at least not a complete one, just snippets, a few passages through life.  It’s late, I’ve been editing all day and I’m too tired to sleep.  I read through all the links and can’t help to be reminded how quickly it all slips through  our fingers.  In some other life I was having my 7th birthday, free diving in a bay in Southern California known to be frequented by great whites but unlike all stories from the sea the reality is usually much safer than the stories built by those who have never really experienced the sea, my home; a sanctuary that was my school room and playground as a child. It still is all these years later.  I’m not living the dream, I’m simply experiencing my birth-right, a privilege I have known my whole life, the ocean, my ocean; but do I have anything  to teach of it all?  No, I don’t think so, my words simply fill the void between images, snap shots of a life at sea.

One of my favorite images, I sailed 400 miles to find this location, it's surrounding as raw as the subject and my life.

One of my favorite images, I sailed 400 miles to find this location, it’s surrounding as raw as the subject and my life.

It’s through my minimalist ways that I’ve been given the tools to fuel my adventures, my film gear, the boat,  Brompty and my much loved ukulele although at this point she is still on walkabout, but I know she is coming home soon.  More importantly it’s my minimaist lifestyle that affords me the time to use these wonderful gifts life had bestowed on me. When you focus on the things you need verse the things you want, you soon realize that you don’t need anymore than your already have.  This is where freedom is born, in not saying just a few more years and… life is now, live it.


“Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning. ”
~ Pablo Neruda

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