Archive for Living

12 Mar 2012

Three events planned in London! Sail the boat for free in the Med!

7 Comments Living

2012-02-11 15.22.19.jpg

Planning a pop-up restaurant on a boat with Bedouin Moroccan theme and for those who want to salute the morning sun we will be dunking soldiers into the orange yolky dawn for a Saturday Brunch club, finally a cocktail party with a twist.

Will hopefully be repeating the Mexican Pirate night and dinghies down the Thames outing.

Also creating a co-operative for my boat Maria, the idea being you can take my boat for free into the Mediterranean, you simply pay for two month of mooring it wherever you left it, the idea being you can sail without having to worry about getting the boat back to the home port.  – could really do with some help organising it!

26 Feb 2012

Join us at a free talk on the Thames about sea pollution and adventure.

2 Comments Living

Join Emily Penn and Dave Cornthwaite for an evening of water adventure stories and discussion at HC moorings at 7pm. 

Register for the event @

The speakers will inspire and amaze you with their adventures, from Dave Cornthwaite’s extreme record breaking sporting feats to Emily Penn’s impressive achievements in marine conservation. Emily, has taken on the sea’s earning herself Yachtmaster of the year and transformed the waste management of a remote island in Tonga.  

Our aim? Inspire, amaze, motivate 

Dave Cornthwaite, Adventurer and Author


Dave is a world record-breaking adventurer, author, and motivational speaker. Currently traversing the world using a different form of non-motorised transport.


Emily Penn, Programme Director, Pangaea Explorations


Emily has sailed around the world in several different guises. On the world record-breaking biofuelled powerboat, Earthrace, she co-ordinated events promoting alternative fuels in 120 international cities. Then, living on a remote island in Tonga, Emily organised one of the largest clean-up operations in the Pacific. Awarded Yachtsmaster of the year by HRH Princess Anne, Emily is now Programme Director for Pangaea Explorations, leading sailing expeditions around the world studying plastic pollution and coral reef biodiversity.


If you are interested, please RSVP, be inspired, learn about billions of tons of plastic floating in the sea, tales of adventure and meet like minded people.


See the map here 

Any questions or problems please contact or

15 Jan 2012

Prior to departure visit the JobCentre!

3 Comments Canaries, Living

Before I forget!! Lesson number one when going traveling: Sign up to the dole! No I don’t mean be a nonce and stroke the gland of social nectar till the tax payers cries in anguish at the injustice. Simply sign up this will mean they pay the stamp duty, you don’t get any cash / moneys but it contributes towards your NI contributions required for your state pension (heck every little counts). If you do scam the system then I hope you sink.

Really missing my boat, currently just parked out there all on it’s own waiting ….. but it’s not all bad, I seem to be running a hotel service for other travelers passing through the area. Keeps Maria well kept and full filling her function unlike so many other hulks just idling on their mooring lines. There is a huge element of trust with all of this, gas bottles, sea cocks and electricity need to be turned off, but you have to start somewhere.

Stay safe!



05 Jan 2012

RANT – bottles – water from the tap not cool?

8 Comments Living


A sea of bottles!

Why do people drink water out of bottles, what’s wrong with tap water, how did people survive before bottled water. What a farce, it’s more expensive than fuel and destroys the environment, what will people make of us in the future ‘Yeah, we don’t quite understand?! They had water piped to houses and drinking machines, yet they preferred it out of plastic.’ It’s equal to using natural gas to produce electricity – CRIMINAL, natural gas is easy to transport to homes, use something that’s tougher to transport to make electricity like coal. And if any greenfingering water bottle drinking pimping ho decides to say that burning coal is not environmentally clean then please prostrate oneself over a 5l container….


Far more comprehensive discussion of water bottles can be found

People sailing the world dredging up the millions of tonnes of floating plastic waste in the Atlantic


23 Dec 2011

Orphans & Asses

2 Comments Living

Curious case of Benjamin button today as walking back from the bakers I serenaded into a Orphanage. Surrounded by ex-pats come born again philanthrophists who never had their moment on the stage as the beauty pagent revealing which ailments they would cure the world of. Forgotten by their sired generation, they be dead, and remembered from afar by their own children they cast their doting affection on those nearer to home.

The multi-national choir of three legged renegades made their way to perform on stage accompanied by their entourage of zimmer frames, walking sticks, braces and the odd hip flask for various means of support. Eventually the absent children made their way into the room, took me a moment to realise that the same spectacle that arose my interest that led me into the building was a quality shared by all the children, without a shadow of a doubt the most well fed bunch of Portugese children I had come across. Pork being the national favourite dish it was clear these little porkers could have done with a little less, I immediately felt a pang of guilt aware that my present would undoubtly hasten their hardship of the expanding waistbands.

Was a bountiful xmas.

The choir was the best I have seen, singing Christmas carols in three different languages offsetting each other and really creating an atmosphere. The children said thank you and as quickly as they arrived, departed arms overflowing in presents … bit of an anti-climax … personally wanted to tie the presents to a donkey and have the children chase them with a pin and tail.

Een ezel stoot zich geen twee maal aan dezelfde steen.

Speaking of Donkey’s that brings me onto a visit to a sanctuary for aforementioned creatures who were left beside the road as the EU’s misplaced funds introduced an economic boom that seems to only have benefited construction and car sales. The man who rode the donkey was given a car, the mule that operated the mans’ irrigation pump was replaced by an electric motor, as such our four legged mammals ended up in a cosey retirement home / sanctuary. As for the man, well he didn’t know how to drive the car and only after causing three pile ups had the vehicle removed, ‘aha’ you say ‘the police cottoned onto his shoddy driving’ … no…. the bank deleted his car for missing his monthly payments as a result of the Chinese made electric irrigation pump rusting and his crops failing. Moral of the story … can’t beat a good ass.

p.s. They were all lovely! And a big high five to the volunteers of both the Orphanage and the Donkey Sactuary – if you are in need of an Donkey or Hound
02 Nov 2011

London the home of a thousand glances, yet few smiles

160 Comments Living

Coming out of Liverpool street station wearing flipflops summer slacks and a brightly coloured hoody I was greeted by the evening stampede of commuters whose eyes rarely deviated from the floor, some so intent on their phones no doubt twittering their intentions to their unbeknown neighbour – that it was a miracle how spaces were not violated.

That space, those circles that Londoner’s surround themselves in has really taken the wind out of my sails. It’s like being at the zoo, observing a freak show of sapiens behind the safety of bars with a notice reading do not approach. Like a large thriving mass it feeds on decadence and paranoia, the novelty has worn thin, my enthusiasm waned.

I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, been out way too much, met loads of people, yet interestingly enough it’s been a rather hollow experience, few can step beyond those circles and past the bars.

Looking forward to returning home to Gomera, yet at the same time torn to stay – the pressures of Londoner’s are beginning to play on my conscious … ambition …or brainwashing … it’s certainly a greyer outlook on life.

10 Feb 2011

Cooking on a yacht

14 Comments Contessa 32, Living

For special occasions the cobb cooker is the chief amongst the hot headed Indians …  it runs on charcoal bricks and puts my oven to shame! The food this thing produces has awed all those who have tasted it and it’s so damned efficient.

On the left it’s opened up for Christmas dinner, with roast potatoes in the bottom next to the coal. It makes the best juiciest ribs I have ever tasted, simply can’t begin to describe how in love I am with this simple contraption. I can use it on the deck of my boat and it doesn’t get hot on the outside which prevents the nasty incineration of my beloved Maria… plus there is no grease!

I have also taken supply of about £300 of food, quite alot of it from a company that deals in selling produce which is ‘defective’ such as incorrectly labelled or even in some cases past it’s sell by date.

Also cooked roasts, cakes and bread. Not a big fan of using the oven and the pressure cooker is a fantastic invention, food tastes great and takes a fraction of the time to cook.

Thought Ben might appreciate these pictures … nom nom

16 Dec 2010

Cat ate the Parrot.

No Comments Living

I struggle to find an excuse for the lack of a wooden leg or eye-patch but atleast I can blame the absence of a parrot on a cat.

I have seen quite a few people on boats with dogs and cats, considering adopting the local boat yard cat.

Great for keeping mice out and I can always kiss it’s ass when I run out of chapstick.

05 Dec 2010

Update – Aiming to leave Jan 2011

2 Comments Living

Well smoke me a kipper, ruffle me a peasant and grab me a milkmaid for I shall be in for Christmas 🙁 I have avoided the Christmas red commonly unavoidably planted as you enter the shop by entering through the exit preferring the 2009 Burgundy red, however strangely once the latter red is consumed the former becomes all the more tolerable.

I hope to leave before then, but my parents have laid on a smattering of emotional blackmail that borders on choking. The boat will be in the water, I just can’t decide whether to sail around the med getting intimate with Maria or fly to the UK and sign up to the dole while I am there…. why not!

On a serious note, I haven’t touched anything that has a legal age requirement since leaving the UK. Will remain that way till the boat touches water again …. had to edit the rest out after my mum left a box of tissues next to my bed …. seriously!

So frustrating not being able to finish the boat simply because of rain.

On a side note I have discovered flossing – where have you been all my life, seriously Baz Luhrmann despite sounding like a spreadable product really is a Deity. Floss try it, every day, it’s so yummy … edible floss now there is an idea, I hate clearing up the pieces next to the sink.

Also sugar! Wow it’s amazing makes stuff, sweet, I am obviously making the right sounds when I eat it since mum is making cakes almost every day! Loving it at home but there is a reason I left home 10 years ago, need freedom!

Bloody weather.

02 Dec 2010

Yarrrrgh.. Much to learn you still have! The people I have met.

3 Comments Living

The sailing community is second to none for people eagre to lend a hand and all have an opinion which will contradict the next person you speak to. If you are easily swayed you would be a very lost individual, and as someone who is really learning the ropes of yacht maintenance and live-aboard sailing on the whole I lap up their advice and get very confused.

Some people are very passionate and refuse debate, a trait I am certain that is common amongst sailors who have but themselves to argue with on long voyages… quite looking forward to that :p Take wood for example, it’s a common morning occurance and I want to do something with my teak toe rail, I asked lots of people all suggested something different, most including the carpenters said “Do nothing, leave it natural” – you can’t have something beautiful and not give it a good polish I want others to admire it…  I am still looking for the right treatment.

On to the people and their stories:

People Dave


Dave, has been living aboard a 26′ wooden boat build by his father some 50 years ago. He helped me sail the boat from the buyer in Lisbon down to Portimao. A retired marketing exec who enjoys the slower pace of life in Portugal. Absolute legend!



Alan has two wooden boats in the same yard as me, can commonly be seen drinking and working on his boat from 10AM. Great guy, like many who have bought project boats regrets the day the thought entered his head.



John the local electrician and he found me the Contessa 32 in Lisbon. Boy can he talk, just have to make sure he is not charging you or you will be in for a surprise!



Peter the rigger, he is in great demand and helped me fit the inner forestay and completed a rigging survey. Has a little dog that pisses in his car, very cute though.



Canvas Mike, tought me all about sail trim, rough weather sailing and weather systems.

Lagos Homies

Lagos Homies

In Lagos there are about 30 yachts with families / couples waiting out the winter, they meet up once a week. One family have a web cam session with their children’s class room every Tuesday, being on a boat has to be the best education for a child. Been a great source of information, I got paper charts of the Atlantic and Carrib, fuel tanks and all sorts, they love helping out.

21 Nov 2010

Quick update – pants!

No Comments Living

I would look with unadultarated disdain in the direction of the my neighbour as his shoes scuffed my fancy Italian silk trousers in the tightly packed tube, this wasn’t just a blemish my wife would have to obediantly scrub clean but a blot on my otherwise flawless image; curse this juvile youth with his ragged jeans and nonplaused vacant look…. Well I don’t think like that and quite frankly my appearance has never ranked any higher than the tops of my odd socks, however it is with some satisfaction that for the last three weeks I have been coming home caked in a mixture of epoxy, antifouling and paint.

I realise I haven’t posted much in the last few weeks been very busy, and without internet, so here goes a quick run down.

I was fined 255 Euro by the tards for having out of date fire extinguishers, see earlier post for details.

I have completed my VHF course, so I can now successfully insult people over the radio. Met an interesting couple there who are going cruising with their two children! Link to their site

Didn’t get sponsorship from TiaMaria!

I have also missed my leaving date of the 16th of November, it’s impossible to set a date, people don’t turn up / deliveries don’t arrive, you name it. Hopefully I will be departing on the 28th of November.

31 Oct 2010

Real Food

2 Comments Living

Fresh Veg

We easily forget the value of what we eat, we religiously buy the green tomatoes or treat ourselves to the red baubles that are ‘Supermarket’s Finest’ range. How lucky we are to have such a diverse selection of produce created for our ever demanding society, quick food for people on the go….. hah!

Aware that we are drifting off the path nature might have intended people buy carrots with mud on them because they appear more natural (they are actually the same) or spend extra on the new fad ‘organic’ food. Consumerism … shifting patterns … must stop .. blabbing ..

Anyhow, where I am staying there is a lady who sells her veg for 50c. Pomegranates by the kilo for 1 Euro. She is 88 years old, I would love to grow to that age and be that active.