Having just seen a transition to Andiamo’s latest captain get completed albeit haphazardly, I find myself reminded yet again about some important life lessons. The lessons I went through in my own journey to become a captain. Something even I refused to call myself for most of my early years as an actual captain. First, aboard my maiden boat “La Dolce Vita”, and then of course, aboard “Andiamo”.
See, I developed my love of sailing and yachting with absolutely no interest in it ever becoming a “business”. I had the benefit of sailing and crewing on several different boats over the years, just for the love of it. Because it was (and still is) a big passion of mine. Despite this, suffice it to say, my humble beginnings in yachting all those years ago came from paying my dues in the charter trade. After first doing charters in Caribbean for more than two seasons (7 day charters, working 14+ hours a day, is HARD work. Even in paradise.), and one season in the Med on a private motor yacht (which, for a sailor like me, was DREADFUL, but worth the experience), I came to understand the “business” side of what it took to be a captain. And quite frankly, at least then, I wanted none of it. Being a deckhand or a first mate was hard enough.
Being the raving social-media maven that I am, I probably should have jumped on the “Fan Page” bandwagon way back, you know, when FB was still “cool”.
Oddly, though… I didn’t really have a need for one. And I needed another web outlet to manage like I needed another hate email from one of my former catholic high-school classmates.
Anyway, funny thing. Wouldn’t ya know it, I finally did find a purpose for a proper FB fan page, so Voila! I’ll be using it to share FB-only content, and other stuff that I may deem share-worthy to the peoples. It will also serve as a way to beef up this blog’s exposure.
So yeah, if you like any of the stuff I’ve spewed forth on this thing thus far, and if it doesn’t kill ya, give the brother a like, a plus, retweet, or a share.
And if you’re one of those people that I tend to piss off with my rantings against everything you hold dear, just give me one too. That’ll show me.
This blog has been up for almost a year now, and I’m really happy with the way it’s going so far, despite my rather sparse writing lately. The response here and on facebook and Twitter have been great. So I’m really grateful for the feedback and support. Now, I’m looking to take things up a notch. For starters, I’m going to be showcasing more relevant content pertinent to subjects and topics I find interesting. So if you like what you see, please engage, comment and share!
I’m also going to be trying to launch some of my writing via Amazon Kindle, both Kindle “singles” of short stories and other anecdotes, as well as some fiction and some interesting non-fiction subjects. I’ll be starting small, a bit at a time, and working up from there. So hopefully, somebody will find it a good read. As always, please give me feedback and let me know what you think. I do like ALL the feedback, so don’t hold back.
Today being the 7th anniversary of Pop's death, along with being the eve of Tet (Lunar New Year) here in Vietnam, adds an interesting twist. The Vietnamese believe that on Tet, the spirits of their departed ancestors go to heaven to report on all family gossip, deeds, and other pertinent news. It's the living family's responsibility to see them off on their journeys with a fitting celebration, and reverence.
To see all the local people here in Hue, gearing up for the celebration (which peaks tomorrow), preparing for what they consider their most important holiday, has been intriguingly fun. Only to have the festivities somewhat dampened by some untimely rain in the evening. Hopefully things will clear up early enough for the rest of the celebrations to commence.
In the meantime, I'll take this rain delay to post this fun little memory about Pop. Which, I consider to be a bit overdue.
Before I get moving on to Vietnam for a little trip, just want to wish everyone a great 2012. Let's hope that this year brings about the kind of positive change that this world is in dire need of, and not a moment too soon. Peace, love, and happiness don't have to be abstract, pie-in-the-sky wishes. It can and should actually be able to happen.
This hits particularly close to home. A web assistant who is doing some work for me,, who is Filipina, lost everything to Typhoon Sendong over the weekend. She and her family barely made it out of their home alive before having everything inside it destroyed by flood waters. The destruction is horrific. They're estimating the death count to top 1000 by tonight, and still hundreds are missing. I'll be posting links for relief agencies and assistance programs shortly.
I first came across Christopher Hitchens back in the early 1990's, when he was a regular panel guest on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" show. What's interesting about my first impression of someone who eventually became a hero to me, was that he was nothing less than an obnoxious asshole. He was on one of his tirades about Bill Clinton, whom by all accounts he hated vehemently, and spared no words.
As a relative fan of the president of the time, I found myself wondering how anyone could take this loose-cannon limey seriously enough to get him on a national talk-show. Who the hell was this chain-smoking, ranting lunatic? I found myself motivated to find out more about this guy. I was going to find out what he was really all about.
Since getting back to the states, then Panama, after my four-month long 'sabbatical' in Europe about a month ago, I have faltered. My 'non-boat-related' productivity has hit a grinding halt. I've gone from being highly focused and productive to sporadic and chaotic yet again. And I am not at all happy about it.
I can cite a lot of reasons for this happening. Ranging from boat issues both humanly and naturally caused, to just having to deal with the ramifications of being thrown back into the relatively dysfunctional environment that is Panama after being rather spoiled by first-world competence, punctuality, and efficiency. But in the end, the sole responsibility lies with me. I let myself get sucked in by various distractions and issues. And I'm just going to have to accept that they will always be there. I need to be able to trudge on despite them.
In any case, now that what appears to be the worst is over, I am taking highly calculated steps towards becoming productive once again.
So this particular sojourn nears its end. After almost four months in Europe, life continues on with its strange evolution. To say I'm now in a different state of mind than when I arrived would be to put it mildly.
By the time I actually get back to Panama, I will have been out of "Andiamo mode" for more than nine months. In many ways, those mere nine months seem like a lifetime. Strangely enough, I thought it would be much more difficult to shift gears the way I have managed to. I thought by now I was sure to be having withdrawals for the water, the islands, the boat, and the life I'd known for more than seven years before. I was sure I'd find myself questioning whether or not I made the right choices in handing the reins of Andiamo to other hands and venturing out here. Only to find, that despite various issues and challenges in continuing the transition, that things are for the most part, relatively ok.
Since late last year, I had been going through a strange sequence of life changes. Priorities and goals were changing before my very eyes. The strange thing is that I thought I had found myself in this relaxed “rhythm” in my life by then. I had been sailing Andiamo for about 7 years. Doing casual trips around San Blas the last three or so, meeting mostly great people, and even having some really fun and amazing adventures. I had somehow managed to get Andiamo working for me for a change, rather than the other way around. Trust me, that’s nothing short of a miracle. If you ask any boat owner if he thinks he’ll ever get “paid back” by his boat for everything he’s put into her, he’ll most likely laugh in your face.
Last year, despite me “working” Andiamo, I still managed to take about 12 weeks off. Much of it was spent on traveling to Europe, South America, and even places like Cuba. Needless to say, it was a great year. A year that was overdue after a couple of really trying ones,. Where I found myself struggling, at a time I didn’t think I’d ever have to struggle like that again. I found myself strangely happy with the way things had turned out. Even wondering if this was a rhythm I could maintain. Do 40 weeks of trips around the islands, and take 12 off venturing around the globe. Seemed like a great proposition to me.
Yet, here I am not repeating 2010. In some ways, I now have more freedom. But in other ways, I now have more responsibility. Read more
Copyright 2011 - Tony Santos - All original content on this site is fully protected by the US DMCA and other International Laws and Covenants. No works or any portion thereof may be used, without express permission of the author. Linking to works is authorized, provided proper citation is given by party or site linking to content.