Phantom Hair Syndrome

I have phantom hair syndrome. There, I said it.

I only became aware of it this summer while watching videos and pics of myself surfacing after a jump into the sea.

It seems that as soon as I break the surface, I “Baywatch head-flick” as if I had a full Pamela or Hasselhoff on my bonnet. Not only this, I also run my hands over my head as if to clear my eyes of some mythological mop of wet tangled luxuriant hair.

 

 

I started losing my hair in my 30s and for a moment I panicked, but panic very quickly turned to acceptance and I haven’t thought 2ice about it since. In fact I’ve never been happier, nor more popular with the gals.

So, what to do about my phantom follicle syndrome? Nothing! To me it’s a pleasant reminder of the old me – when I had a full bean of Jew-fro and was the envy of every woman, who would randomly approach me on the street and touch my head with glee, wishing they too had natural curls.

But I don’t need your envy now, I’m just thankful that I’ve got a decent shaped skull, closer to Patrick Stewart than to John Merrick.

Captain Awesome, Sardinia, Italy. Aug, 2015


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The Great Plastic Clean-up of 2015

Inspired by my friend and founder of the Green School, John Hardy, I pledge to make a regular salvage of all the floating surface plastic my guests and I come across in the Med this summer.

John does this on land in Ubud, Bali with friends and guests of his hotel Bambu Indah , he calls it – “Spearing garbage and talking trash”.Walk12John Hardy

Over the last two sailing seasons in the Mediterranean I’ve seen more plastic than fish (no exaggeration). We are truly using the oceans as a garbage dump – it’s going to be another tragic legacy of the modern world.

“We will not go gentle into that plastic night, Rage, rage against the plastic”

The math is simple, with 7.5 billion people on the planet the power of the individual is huge – both negatively and positively – If everyone just bent down and picked up a few bits & bobs of plastic or garbage we’d have clean oceans again. It’s not rocket science – just do it!

Get ready ESODO guests of 2015, we are going hunting  – starting with my brother Henry below.

Captain Awesome, Golfo Di Orosei, Sardinia, Italy. Aug, 2015

Too much time alone…perils of the sea and panchetta jewlery

It’s important to understand that there is no documented or undocumented evidence throughout the labyrinth of human history (or geological time) that can refute the self-made statement that I am indeed the first person ever to construct and wear a neckless made out of Italian Pancetta._MG_5463Being alone on a boat – day 10 now – is like a smaller more intimate version of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). Everyday is spent bombarding oneself against oneself; what wondrous particles fly off the mind – these are the nuclei of what life is made of. The Pancetta neckless is just one of many gifts we might find under the cosmic hood of our own thoughts. A God particle, if you will.

Like a morning fog, the distractions and trappings of the outside world eventually fade away and I am left with a clarity as clear as these Sardinian waters I float in._MG_5365-1In this infinite space I see crumbs left behind from three meals before, the cracks and imperfections of the world come in to clear view: salty build-up on port-hole glass scream for attention: books no longer make sense; just vast pools of black ink carelessly spilt on tree fiber, like a slaughter of blood._MG_5542 _MG_5478Sometimes I wonder if maybe I should pee sitting down, as that would eliminate any chance of unsightly stray drops. Other times I ponder if maybe today is a good day to change my shorts._MG_5534 _MG_5482Endeavoring to schedule the day’s 24 hours segments is meaningless; time ceases to tick in THIS world. Conversations with food and other animated objects of matter become the atomic clock that regulate the rotations of the sun and the earth.

But there are ALWAYS big questions, like: why am I playing UNO with swiss cheese and coffee makers? Or, why do I keep Acetone in a Veuve Cliequot Brut Champagne case….?_MG_5493_MG_5507Land seems to be the enemy – it lays just to Port, and sometimes to Starboard…depending on the direction of the wind. It’s noisy and full of people who if invited to the boat would eventually stain my cushions with sun screen or wine. Yes, It is best to avoid land, there is too much at stake here.

On a boat resources are finite, a microcosm of Mother Earth. The metaphor becomes reality: water, coffee, gas, internet credit, pancetta, sanity…they are all slipping away, slowly eroding like the metal pipping in my bilge.

So what’s the point of all this you might ask….I think it’s simple. As Reggie Watts so articulately said:

“The important thing to remember is that this simulation is a good one. It’s believable, it’s tactile. You can reach out — things are solid. You can move objects from one area to another. You can feel your body. You can say, “I’d like to go over to this location,” and you can move this mass of molecules through the air over to another location, at will”

How could I possibly improve on that?

FYI – seeing as no one will ever hire me again after all these bloggings I’m selling Pancetta necklaces as a high end – Pret A Manger – nautical-wear to finance the rest of my sailing. $29.99, act now before they rot.

Special call out to my true Italian brother Jay Boccia of Bellino Wine Room & Boutique Bangkok. Jay is the real master of the pancetta!

Captain Awesome, Costa Rei, Sardinia, Italy. July 2015.

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Anchor length – Satisfying the sea

It’s the age old question. Does size matter?

When it comes to anchoring I’m going to say YES.

Last season I suffered from being too small. With only 50 meters of chain I found myself unable to anchor wherever I wanted, sometimes spending a windy night with only a 3:1 ratio of scope. (the higher the ratio, the higher the scope, the safer the boat).

This year I added an additional 30 meters of rope to my chain.

My “enlargement” came at the skillful hands of my talented friend, Massimiliano. Max’s large belly is only exceeded by the size of his enormous heart and generosity.

Max is a professional sail trimmer on the racing boat Sagola and his rope skills are impeccable.

One thing I love about sailing is the old school analog skills that are as important today as they were back in the 50/50s (my term for the age of sailing where you had a 50/50 chance of getting to where you were going).

Below is a very small photo essay of Max weaving the rope into the anchor chain.

If this weave ever fails we all know who is to blame 😉

Captain Noah, Sardinia, Italy. July, 2015.

Old Beijing People – 老北京人

If you’re not familiar with the term – old Beijing people – it’s a commonly used Chinese expression to describe someone who has been in Beijing for a longtime, like a local. Also known by the following: sadist, self-harming, masochist…or just plain insane! (I know, I did it for 18 years)

My fellow Beijing inmates of over 20 years now, Andy Friend and Caroline Nath all happened to be in Sicily last week (with family in tow). Caroline serendipitously caught a posting of mine and wechat-ed me. They drove from the East coast to the West and then hopped a ferry to spend a day playing on Esodo.

We had perfect weather, no jellyfish and awesome wind!

Esodo has hosted children before (like Pomme from the posting “Women and Rocks”) but not octogenarians – never mind two of them – and they were awesome to have onboard!  Caroline’s dad is an old sea dog and educated me on the old ways -before Bose speakers and Spotify playlists – can you imagine? He recited a song to help one remember how to enter and exit a port based on the well established RED and GREEN channel markers. I forgot the song… and how to read the markers. Note to self…read up on that!

It was a rambunctious day, spending more time in the water than out. Shanti and Omi (Caroline’s fantastic kids) are basically fish, however they both got a little sea sick by the end of the day – Shanti managed to suppress her nausea till we were about 20 meters from port, after which she ceremoniously – and in view of the town-folk – “dropped anchor”…but in the most elegant way, as only Shanti can ;-).

After knowing Andy and Caroline for well over a decade this is the first time we’ve had opportunity to hangout like this. Was a real treat for all of us.

Captain Noah, Sardinia, Italy. July, 2015.

The Now Frontier

Seeing as Christopher Columbus already discovered America there really is very little left for a modern sailor to explore and discover that hasn’t been seen before.

It seems to me the last frontier is what I’m coining the “now-frontier”, which is social media and experiential postings or “sharing off”.

I recently had my great friend Jason Aspes onboard who is a creative director with a fantastic eye. Below are some of his fun pics from our 4 day trip around Isola Favignana, Sicily.

Captain Noah, Marsala, Sicily, June 2015

 

Shore Day

One of the biggest advantages of sailing is being away from the noise of land, and by noise I mean tourists, terrorists, hustle-bustle, pollution, etc. I mainly go into port for either maintenance, weather, or to clean the boat and re-provision, otherwise I like being at anchor -it’s a double free, ie, don’t cost anything and that patch of sea is all urs. That said, shore days are primetime for exploring new cities, lands and food.  Below are images from my afternoon trip to Trapani and Erice, Sicily.

See more photos under  – Imagery

Captian Noah, Marsala, Sicily. June 17th, 2015.

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