Category Archives: Blogs

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

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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…  

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summertime

Teak varnishing, beer drinking, wood shaping, trim grooving, bicycling, feeding our bird neighbors French cookies, drinking healthy organic fruit and vegetable smoothies, exploring beaches and working on the tan is what summer has been all about so far – or not exactly all about as you can tell on my, still, excessively pale skin. It seems I’m turning Irish, living on the Irish Riviera as they call this stretch of coastline. Or maybe I just have to find a way to drag my ass from indoor and computer related activities and out into the sun some more. Soon!

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moving towards clarity

Phew… last few weeks have been quite intense in terms of planning and organizing for some important moves in life. It sometimes seems life is a long row of challenges and puzzles to solve. Good thing is that with time and age you transform into a more efficient problem solver. But on the other hand, the obstacles, too, seem to grow in size. Nevertheless, life is indeed a very interesting road and it’s always very fascinating to let oneself take a moment to observe and reflect upon its wondrous path with objective, openminded eyes.
Although we’ve been extremely (with a capital E!) hurried and busy with whatever we’ve been up to these past few weeks (or is it months now?) – I’ve taken quite a few photos that I’ll show you as soon as time allows. 

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Summer in the city

I still can’t get over the fact that it’s summer here in the North, considering that winter pretty much lasted until May. Sunshine and warmth feels like such luxury. Not even going to mention that I was tired of the heat while we still lived in the Caribbean. Balance and moderation is key like in any aspect of life.
Life can feel tremendously frustrating and complicated sometimes, especially when you meet obstacles in your way chasing dreams. But the fundamental idea of life is so simple. Good, comfortable weather, nice healthy food, great intriguing goals to work towards… and love of course. We don’t need much more than that, do we?

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details

You remember the bulkheads and floors that Alex built to reinforce the hull and when he literally made a whole new skeleton to the boat, in Cartagena Colombia last spring? All that naturally made the boat a whole lot stiffer and it had us sailing safely up from Panama to the United States exactly a year ago. If you’ve followed our trip, you know how much foundation work there has been made, and we’re pretty stoked to announce that we are now getting those missing fine details in place, too! Like the mahogany trims that Alex has shaped and which are now being put into place as we speak. Will show you more when they’ve been varnished. 
We had a surveyor over the other week by the way and it feels great to also know that the boat is now inspected and all the added work has been approved by a NAMS/SAMS certified professional as well. Hard work pays off, patience is a virtue and all that..
Now just awaiting to finalize some urgent (non boat) projects, getting the final downpayment of the new sails done and then head out and explore the beautiful coast of Maine. Literally can’t wait to get my quietness back (meaning less interaction with other human beings, more time and mental space for reflection and meditation) and start writing and photographing again. 
I’ve realized that my lack of inspiration to write and being creative is caused by the fact that I am almost daily surrounded by people that I don’t personally know and whom I have limited interest in. Silence, peace and loneliness stimulates my mind the most and I hope to get more of that soon.
Some of you have asked whether we are going to stay in the US for a longer time or where we’re heading next. And although we are not 100% sure of the exact details as yet, this side of the coast will most probably be the home base of the boat for at least the rest of the year, probably until spring time. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be here at all times, but our floating home base will still be here. With the occasional sail up the coast of NE, Maine and maybe Canada. And most probably a few flights away to other destinations and back as well. 
We can get a lot of things done on the boat here in New England where she was originally made and we will continue equipping her and making her even more beautiful for a little while longer. She’s not ready to return to the leisure cruising of the tropical islands quite yet, and neither are we.

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North East

Have not yet had a chance to set sail towards Maine, but we’ve driven up the coast nonetheless. So much beauty to be found in and around this country. Can’t wait to explore more of it all. We’ve been here for close to a year now in total but it’s like we’ve only scratched the surface..

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reality check

Hey friends. I know I am the slackiest blogger in universe and the longer time that goes in between each post, the harder it seems to get back to it. But man does it feel good not to have the pressure of being connected each and every day. It’s been an eye opener to say the least.
We are currently wrapping up some very important jobs/projects/necessities here in New England and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for both doing that and all else what one wishes to do in life, plus sharing all about it with the outside world on top of it all. It’s about priorities obviously.
I have taken thousands of photos, began writing hundreds of blog posts this past fall, winter and spring and 95% of the times I end up not posting cause I’m like: Who cares about what I do? Why am I sharing this with people I don’t even know? Let’s have a beer instead and enjoy this beautiful sunset.
It could be a phase, or the winter cold could still be in my bones. But I have after all been writing about my life and whereabouts for the past ten years so it seems that a little break and a healthy reality check was overdue. Real life definitely tastes more when not always in a rush to share only the most interesting parts of it with the online/outside world. Every day blogging is a pretty twisted thing when you think about it.
This slow blog period has made me appreciate things that I haven’t considered in the same way before. I also feel that I live more in the moment than in a very long time. Maybe more than ever. I wish I could share about it all: thoughts, events, realizations. But as soon as you make blogging a daily duty, you decrease your ability to live in that very moment, in just that exact real way that I wish to live life these days. 
Writing and photographing will always make me happy so to cut them out completely isn’t an option, but it should come naturally and when time feels right. First have to find the time obviously.
All is good here anyways, things are moving in the right direction for us and we can’t wait to get out sailing a bit soon again. Just need to wrap some stuff up first. Many ideas, plans, wishes on the to do list and a few obstacles to overcome too of course. Just like in the life of most of you.
Laters amigos. Thinking of you. Hope you’re all well.
P.S: You do know that I post short notes on my Instagram every now and then though? Reminiscing about past travels mixed with the occasional current update from IRL too. Find it here: instagram.com/tarutuomi

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easy rider

It’s weekend friends, don’t forget to stretch it out!

Deep breaths.

Alter perspective.

Balance and flexibility – as healthy for the mind as for the body.

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Spring projects continued

A partial re-decking and re-caulking of the cockpit is under progress. Alex replaced most of the margin board and a few other teak planks in the cockpit. The old caulking has been removed in the old seams. Seams has been re-grooved, sanded and cleaned. Tape is up and now re-caulking of the seams are being done before the final sanding of the teaks to new wood will take place.
We’ve had it rain free here for a few days now so cross your fingers it’ll stay that way for at least another 24 hour. It’s always a race against the clock and the weather for these sort of outdoor projects. And rain is definitely no stranger to New England. At least the awning gives shelter from minor downpours.
Next thing up after that:
Varnishing of coamings and cabin top sides. We’ve started stripping the old varnish off as you can see above. Varnishing is a life long project as you might know. Min. 3-4 coats x 2 a year for regular maintenance.

We once had a dream of owning a complete wooden boat, but the time we’d have to spend working on it just didn’t seem justifiable. Our Duende (with glass hull, wooden deck, wooden coach roof and wooden interior) require just the doable amount of attention, it stops right before you actually begin to loose your mind. 

It goes without saying that the long cold, wet winter directly exposed to the weather wasn’t the best of experiences for the wood so it can only get better from here onwards.
Here’s hoping for a long, warm spring and summer!

Check in here for some of the work and restoration that has been done on the boat in the previous few years. 

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finding silence in the noise

A while ago I answered some questions for the new meditation website called Whil. A site founded by the inspiring power couple Chip and Shannon Wilson who also founded Vancouver based, yoga inspired apparel brand Lululemon Athletica – before yoga got mainstream some sixteen years ago. 
Whil.com strives for bringing consciousness to society by sharing thoughts and ideas on how to slow down a hectic lifestyle. How to look deeper within. It advices on how to regain a sense of connectedness. We all know how easy it is to lose touch with the self when surrounded by all what our modern world distracts us with. 
Head over and see what I had to say about meditation and how I have made it my mental escape in the chaos of society and life in general. And don’t miss to read through the rest of the site, tons of inspiring material in there.

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through ups and downs and into something greater

I wonder if in ten years from now we’ll still be working on perfecting details on the boat. Building, repairing and thinking out new ways to make a compromised life a little more comfortable, more efficient. More homey. With less, smarter and quicker arguments. A smoother work flow. Would work pretty fine for me, for Alex too I believe. As long as progress is evident. As long as it’s all improving. Little by little.
It’s curious the way things in life turn out. 
It sometimes hits me; how did we end up on this road? And however tedious and challenging it might be at times; how could I ever want anything different? 
I can only imagine but it seems that living a life like we do (4,5 years on the boat now). In which we’ve made an active choice to live on water. In ten times less living area than most people we know. Despite the lack of space and all the comforts most people require in life. With sleepless nights riding through storms at sea. I can imagine it to be a bit like giving birth and raising children. Or like running and maintaining a larger farm. 
You know your choice of lifestyle will mean massive amount of work, both physical and mental. It will drain you and put your patience to test. There will be frustrating moments when you ask yourself whatever the hell am I doing this for. There will be mornings you rather stay in bed all day and pretend you had chosen an easier path. Nights when you want to hammer yourself near unconscious just to forget, for a little while, the hardships you’ve voluntarily have thrown upon your shoulders.
It will come times when you look back in the rearview mirror. And for a brief moment you will be absolutely certain that life was better, easier, more meaningful when you were twenty something with no worries at all.

You will remember people, places, friendships, relationships and it will momentarily appear as if “that was the time of my life!”. You will fool yourself to believe that even the most fleeting moments of past had offered more substance and meaning than the tiresome reality of today.

But then comes next day. With moments of enlightenment and higher spirits.

When things feels just so right.

And deep inside you’ll know that you wouldn’t change it for anything. You’ll realize, again. And again. That it’s all for something greater. As the rewards of all your combined efforts and all the pain you’ve gone through and will continue to face gives meaning and true fulfillment to your existence.

It taught you what one important source of true happiness is. What love, sacrifice and devotion means.

Isn’t that the meaning of life, after all? To find that one thing that makes you burn and then slowly let it kill you.

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