I found an undeveloped roll of B&W film in a box the other day, and had it developed. Some images from American Samoa.
Soon after selling Harmony, I felt a pang of captivity – owning a boat is as much about enjoying being out on the water, as it is a symbol for something freer. Unable to own a boat for the foreseeable future, and being land-bound, I decided to buy an old Toyota Hilux which in my mind is a little bit like the land equivalent of a Contessa 26: Relatively small, cheap(ish), underpowered, as capable as anything in the right hands, and bulletproof.
After a few solo weekend adventures across beaches and into the high country, I assembled a motley crew and headed off to South Australia – one of the few places where you can drive along the beaches, and really get away from it all. These are some images from our adventures across the sand and salt.
In the spirit of boating, my Hilux is named Heidi. MV Heidi to be precise.
Time between posts appears to be increasing – not because nothing has been happening, but perhaps rather because too much has been happening. 2014 has marked a handful of significant events: [essentially] losing my father, speaking at the DO Lectures, bootstrapping a fairly significant event on digital privacy, and becoming boat-less for the first time since 2006, with the sale of SV Harmony last month.
For those unfamiliar, the DO Lectures are small gatherings of people who collect in tipis and tents, in rural spaces for three untethered days – Wales, California, and most recently, Australia. These gatherings include around 60 attendees, 20 curated speakers, a host of volunteers and extraordinary chefs. All of this happens in a remote and special place – in Australia this place was called Payne’s Hut.
When I was initially asked to speak, I felt a little sick, because I knew I would say yes, even though public speaking was something I’d avoided most of my life. That said, one could not ask for a better place to start than at DO, and what a gesture to be asked. Much like Between Home, I tackled this somewhat uncomfortable situation with brutal honesty, as to me that seems like the most effective path forward.
Participating and being part of the DO Lectures was a tremendous experience, and if you ever have the opportunity to attend, or even just the time to peruse their website and talks, I suggest doing so wholeheartedly.
Soon after the DO Lectures, I embarked on organising my first large scale event, focusing on digital privacy, a project which ended up garnering major sponsorship and support from the Internet giants, and a host of local organisations and tremendous volunteers. This may seem like an odd tangent, however philosophically, the Internet, the ocean, and outer space are perhaps the only wild spaces left. Running The Privacy Workshop was a small gesture towards raising awareness around the increasingly rapid demise of our online freedoms – in the spirit of DO: if you see something, do something.
While I tackled speaking and events, the already fast acting effects of early onset dementia upon my dad took a significant turn for the worse – dad’s health is something we as a family have been managing since 2010 or so, however at the zenith of my event management madness, I spoon fed him mushy peas at his nursing home, and often stared into eyes which no longer recognised me. I say I [essentially] lost my father, because while he is still very much alive, he is no longer the person he once was – to be blankly stared at without recognition by one of your parents surely evokes the same feelings as true loss. If you have a dad, go give him a hug.
In amongst the hospital corridors, event management, and my normal work, SV Harmony sold quite suddenly. On the market for almost a year, the monthly payments and worry about having a boat in Sydney while living in Melbourne was grating. My dear ship for which I had planned to never sell, was now gone. I soon realised that it was the first time I hadn’t owned a small ship since my first foray into boat ownership sometime in 2006 – that’s eight years! I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of voyaging… So many places to see, so much more to learn. And here we were… Some 40,000km of sailing later. How life and miles fly!
I receive the odd email every once and a while, summarised as ‘Nick I miss your adventures’ … or … ‘Nick what are you doing next?’ … Well, I miss my adventures too. But fear not, I subvert the world on a daily basis, dreaming & scheming!
* Photo @ DO by Mark Lobo