Basho 🕊

At the beginning of September, just as the trees were starting to turn and a chill nipped the air, the Basho gals and I, set off out to West Penwith to put the worlds to rights. They also asked me some questions and the conversation that followed is linked below.

Spending time with the girls has altered my ideas about what is real and possible in this life. They are true “Soul- Nourishers” and their dreamy skin care oils are a little slice of heaven for your skin.

They also directed me in these beautiful photographs, which are something I will forever treasure. Thank you Basho, for lighting up the world.

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The journal entry can be found in full….. here

📍Summer "18

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Staycation

August has been a month of luxurious time off this year. For the first time in a decade I am taking downtime in the Summer and I am eternally grateful for it.

A chance to reset, a chance to reassess values and a chance to realise some personal + creative goals. There were paintings and drawings stored up in my brain and simmering on the back burner. Happily they have made there way into four or five works on canvas which now decorate my walls. It's exciting, it means there is space for something new in my brain. 

Downtime is good, it's good for the soul it is good for the mind. Western culture does not emphasise the importance if downtime enough. 

A Plastic Free Galley Guide 🌱

 

Dearest Water-based friends, 

I Have decided to put together a little “Plastic Free Galley Guide” to give us all a helping hand at living a little lower impact. Avoiding plastic has been a part of my life for around 4 years now, and it is easy to fall into the idea that everybody else must also be working on minimising their waste because, why wouldn’t you? However sadly, that probably isn’t the case. 

We all live and work on the ocean, so it is in our best interest to take good care of it. Without clean sea’s, there is no work for you or me. ~ I think the hardest part about this challenge is not compromising on delivering an excellent level of service. Hopefully none of theses tricks mean that has to happen, conversely I have found that limiting my wastefulness leads to fresher, tastier, healthier food in many cases. 

So enjoy! If you have any further recommendations or  comments you would like to add, do please let me know. I am always keen to learn more. 😘🌊🐚🌬

Best wishes and fair winds,

S x x

 

Step 1:

Be Prepared / Take your Time / Accept some Sacrifices

 

Be prepared - plastic free living is only possible (particularly working on a busy yacht ) with a little bit of pre planning. Take your canvas bags, your water bottle, your refillable coffee cup, your metal straw and your cutlery with you whenever you can. Leave it in the crew car, or take a mini kit in your hand bag. Stepping it up a level, it is becoming more and more acceptable now to take a tupperware with some grease-proof paper straight to the delicatessen when you buy meat or fish. It might feel weird the first time, but you will soon get used to it and most people at the counter don't mind. Usually they are pretty impressed! Plus side, no packaging with meat or fish juice on it in the rubbish making it smell! I'm pretty sure you always get the best meat/ fish cuts from the deli counter in any supermarket. So it's a win win!

Take your Time - When time is limited it is definitely tempting to cut corners, soaking dried beans and pulses overnight may seem like a lot of effort. But it is by far the cheapest and healthiest way to eat them. No added chemicals or preservatives, far less packaging and you can use them in a variety of ways across a range of dishes, no one will ever know!  

Accept some Sacrifices -  This one comes more in the personal treats department. You might think you need the cheeseburger in the polystyrene box at 3am, or even the plastic bottle of smoothie after the supermarket ( personal vice there) But I am afraid learning zen-like self control is all part of the process. 😝

 

1, Water - Drinking water on yachts has long been a point of contention. Guests prefer and are often granted bottled water, creating hug, HUGE amounts of waste. Which are then deposited, often on Islands where there is little or no way of disposing of them. We can do better than that. As an industry with vast amounts of money being poured into it annually. We can definitely do better. If you do not have a UV filter installed making the tank water safe. Please, please make it a priority. There is absolutely no reason not to, we can have multiple filters and a cooling system installed that will mean the water is entirely safe and delicious. I do understand that it may be hard to broach the subject with Captains/Owners. But it is only by stepping forward and speaking up that anything is going to change.

 

2, Bread - On the last boat I worked on I was lucky enough to have a bread maker. This revolutionised both my efficiency and the amount of waste we were creating daily. The bread was delicious, and the machine + ingredients took up far less room than storing enough bread for owners and guests for two weeks. Plus I never had to worry about dashing to the bakery in the morning. Often I would put it on last thing at night and it would keep the fresh bread warm until breakfast. I would then put another loaf in after lunch. It lived in a cupboard that slid out next to the sink and took up next to no room. REVOLUTIONARY. 

3, Snacks- which brings me on to snacks. Potentially the next culprit of excessive packaging and waste (after water?) I would love to here any fun suggestions for one you make yourselves? But my favourite are date, walnut and peanut "power balls"dipped in dark chocolate and dusted with desiccated coconut. They are better than Mars Bars. I promise. 

 

4, Beez Wrap- Is a fun new-ish product that is getting easier and easier to find in health food shops all over the place. I also just found out that you can make your own ( not tried that yet though!) It is a re-usable, washable food wrap, for covering things in the fridge, or when you are out and about. Super simple, super clever. 

 

5, Silicone Bags- reusable, washable, hard wearing alternatives to zip-loc bags. They are SO useful, you can marinade things in them, you can Sous-Vide in them. Because like it or not, even at 60 degrees C there are chemicals leaching out of that ziploc into your chicken breasts. Make sure you get certified food-safe ones, but they are on Amazon and the planet will be Oh-So Thankful.  

 

6, Blender/Juicer, I do not have a fancy blender/juicer at home. Its a very basic, supermarket one that is totally tiny and easy to use. But I use it for EVERYTHING. Juices and smoothies in the morning. Hummus and dips at lunchtime, soups, sauces and pestos at dinner. They might BE plastic, but they can save so much packaging if you put your mind to it 😊. 

 

7, Easi-Yo- This might be on that you haven't heard of, as they are mostly popular in New Zealand, where i'm pretty sure everybody has them! Easi- Yo is a power-free yogurt maker, that is basically a giant thermos. You can pick one up on Amazon, as well as the sachets, then you mix with water and wait 6-8 hours. They make around 1L of yogurt, which you can potentially get through in one day on a super yacht. Which is going to save you a lot of little yogurt pots in the bin. 

 

8, Whole Chickens- a funny one I know, have you noticed that a whole chicken is often around the same price if not cheaper than three packaged chicken breasts? Yes it takes a little more time, but you get far far more meat from your money, plus you can make stock. Often these are just wrapped in thin plastic, without the polystyrene tray, those polystyrene trays are really difficult to recycle. 

 

9, Pasta Rollers, when we consider the main culprits of plastic waste onboard, pasta packaging definitely springs to my mind. Whilst rolling pasta does take sometime and effort, it is also really fun and nice to do as a group. So why not make it for crew and not just for boss trips? It can be dried and stored, it just uses flour and eggs. Once you try making and eating your own pasta, I swear you will never go back. 

 

10, Recycling and waste Management. On a final note, I do not expect any of us to have the time or energy to do this all the time. I know it is hard, and our lives are difficult enough as it is, these are simply ideas and suggestions. If you can tackle one of the things on this list then you are doing better than if you hadn't tried. The sad reality is that we, as yacht crew are so privileged, we get to visit the most beautiful places in the world in the name of work. But with great privilege comes great responsibility, many of the places we visit do not have the infrastructure to deal with the amount of waste we produce on these boats. It is up to us to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. By minimising waste at the root of the problem we can far improve our chances of dealing with the rubbish we do make properly. So finally, recycle where you can- even if you have to drive there, wash it properly, and recycle it responsibly. It is not anybody else's responsibility to deal with your waste. Never, ever throw plastic or cigarette butts in the sea. If you see someone doing this please PLEASE pull them up on it.

Finally (I promise), know that this is a real problem that nobody else is going to solve for us. It is in the yachting communities, both sail and motors, interest to make changes that stop us harming the environment we live and work in. One day you will be happy you did.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

📍Currently @ Sea

 Quite a fun + exciting project in the pipeline. Looking forward to sharing it later this year. I can't really say much at the moment, so here are a few snaps from the journey! But I'll give you a nice surprise! All of these sparkling sunshine photographs are from around the UK! 🌊🌬🐚☺️      

Quite a fun + exciting project in the pipeline. Looking forward to sharing it later this year. I can't really say much at the moment, so here are a few snaps from the journey! But I'll give you a nice surprise! All of these sparkling sunshine photographs are from around the UK! 🌊🌬🐚☺️

 

 

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 These pals joined us for our final evening at sea! #foreverdolphinlove

These pals joined us for our final evening at sea! #foreverdolphinlove

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Be Kind.

 

Be Kind. 


Kindness in its essence is a trait sometimes undervalued and often forgotten.  
Yet a few words carefully selected, or simply left unspoken can mean the difference between a smile and a tear.  We speak of intention, of gratitude and karma, but a simple act of selfless kindness is all it can take to brighten or soften the days of at least two people. 

 

It is present in babies when they are born, no child comes into this world with a preconceived idea of malice or hatred, we arrive with the capacity to love unconditionally, yet slowly that capability becomes ground down and chipped away over the years. In some minds, the potential for love, charity or altruism becomes crystallised, growing in new forms, in others a sort of calcification takes place, a smooth, hardened shell presents itself to the world.
 
I might like to add here, that I do not write this from some rose-tinted cloud of kindness and empathy. I write this from my kitchen table, where I am slumped. I dragged myself here across the carpet because today I had a panic attack and I had to leave work.  I have felt the rumblings of one for the past week or so, but some loose-lipped words this morning sent me over the edge, and as I lay on my bed in that hazy aftermath where you feel completely empty and a little bit numb. I decided that the best thing to do was something constructive with this feeling (I also had to stop the day from feeling wasted).  
 

To draw us back to my favourite analogy, life on a boat actually offers up a wonderful platform for kindness.

 
To be at sea grants us a condensed version of the outside world, yes it is archaic and often patriarchal, but it relies on wanting to keep one another alive. We depend on one another, knowing that the task ahead would be so much harder if not impossible alone. That self-reliant entity that is your ship, allows you to shed the skin of daily life, removing all other roles and responsibilities aside from sailing, eating, sleeping and how you will progress from A to B. Each change of direction is predetermined by a greater force, you cannot fight the wind, you can only harness it in order to move forward. Maybe this applies to our emotions, to anger or frustration? Bottling them up inside will rarely relinquish them, you may only harness that energy in order to move forward. Then there are the consequences of careless harsh words in an environment fuelled by broken sleeping patterns and constant movement. Not only are those words magnified but there is no easy exit, you are with those people for better or for worse, so please let's be kind. 
These words are easy to write, the thoughts are easy to form. The hard part is in the heat of the moment when you are distracted or angry. I do not claim that it is possible to constantly check yourself for thoughts of anger. The freedom to express our thoughts, ideas and emotions in any way that we like is a human luxury, we must try only not to exploit it.
 
If you are granted words, please use them kindly. If you are granted authority, please use it wisely.
 


 

 

She of the Sea

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She of the Sea is live! There is now finally an online platform for women in the commercial maritime industry to connect on! Be it questions regarding qualifications, interviews with inspiring role models or just somewhere to vent our anxieties, this space has been needed and wanted for a really long time. Head over and take a look! 👆 😊 

All at Sea

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Those of you who know me well, will know that I love nothing more than being at sea. I did not join the yachting industry to sit on a dock sipping piña coladas, ( however delicious they may be!) I took up a career in sailing so that I could go sailing. 

It's not always easy, sometimes is bloody hard, it hurts, its cold, wet, dark and scary. This voyage from Newport  RI to St Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, was all of those things at different points, but thats just it isn't it! Only at points!  It was, as it always is, outweighed by laughter, sunrises, fast sailing and a sense of "we are all in this together-ness" that I am yet to find is any other pastime. 

 

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I am sure I have written about the magical "take off" moment previously, when you kill the engine and feel the hull power up underneath you, when the boat starts to heel and dig a trench in the water behind it. The power and empowerment felt in this moment for me is immeasurable, as with each surge forward, your horizon seems a little closer.

It is this feeling I would like to give to more people, I would like families from cities, from war zones, from land locked countries, to feel what it is like to know a land with no borders. Because to be a citizen of the ocean is to know this feeling, to be at home in the sea, where all lands are connected is a freedom we are all entitled to and should have the right to experience.  

 
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Boat building Days

 Toroa ~ In all her sunshine glory on passage from Brooklin to Newport RI.  It has to be said that the latter part of 2017, saw my creative practice almost totally abandoned, in favour of the build, launch and commission of a 72ft sailing vessel with luxury interior. The project has been a joyful rollercoaster and one that I have truly relished. The images below show a glimpse into the type of work involved, I am unable to share too much given that the boat is privately owned, however, I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of satisfaction I have felt upon its completion. To watch and aid in the transformation of a pile of raw materials into floating vessel, which works, moves sails, flies even has been nothing short of amazing. To feel the structure you have nurtured fill with the power of the wind for the first time and take off is a miraculous feeling and I am so grateful to everybody that has put time and effort into turning "Toroa" into the boat she is today.  You can see more of her  here .

Toroa ~ In all her sunshine glory on passage from Brooklin to Newport RI.

It has to be said that the latter part of 2017, saw my creative practice almost totally abandoned, in favour of the build, launch and commission of a 72ft sailing vessel with luxury interior. The project has been a joyful rollercoaster and one that I have truly relished. The images below show a glimpse into the type of work involved, I am unable to share too much given that the boat is privately owned, however, I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of satisfaction I have felt upon its completion. To watch and aid in the transformation of a pile of raw materials into floating vessel, which works, moves sails, flies even has been nothing short of amazing. To feel the structure you have nurtured fill with the power of the wind for the first time and take off is a miraculous feeling and I am so grateful to everybody that has put time and effort into turning "Toroa" into the boat she is today.  You can see more of her here.

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If you have any questions about working on boats, sailing or what it is like to work on a new build, please do not hesitate to get in touch! Just comment below or send a message to studio@stella-marina.co.uk !