All posts by Dr. Sam

A Father’s Day Tribute to My Dad

A photo mosaic of Carl F. Rehnborg looking off into the distance. The image serves as a reminder that people are at the heart of the Amway Opportunity as well as his deep understanding that individual discoveries, especially in the area of nutritional science, create the bigger picture of optimal health.
A photo mosaic of Carl F. Rehnborg looking off into the distance. The image serves as a reminder that people are at the heart of the Amway Opportunity as well as his deep understanding that individual discoveries, especially in the area of nutritional science, create the bigger picture of optimal health.

Along with celebrating with my children and grandchildren on this Father’s Day, I find myself reminiscing about my father and the one gift he gave me that profoundly shaped my life and made me the man I am today. Continue reading A Father’s Day Tribute to My Dad

Mountainfilm Festival & A Little Niceness

Billowy clouds move across the snow covered San Juan Mountains, making for a beautiful backdrop for the 2017 Mountainfilm Festival and a great reminder of the power of nature to inspire people to action. Telluride, Colo., May 2017. Photo: Francesca Rehnborg
Billowy clouds move across the snow covered San Juan Mountains, making for a beautiful backdrop for the 2017 Mountainfilm Festival and a great reminder of the power of nature to inspire people to action. Telluride, Colo., May 2017. Photo: Francesca Rehnborg

Francesca and I are back from the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado. Each year, this festival focuses on themes that inspire people through the power of film, art and ideas to take action to create a better world, so we attend whenever we can. This year was extra special, complete with one of those proud moments that parents treasure. During the festival, our daughter Koral and her band mates performed at O’Bannon’s, a local Irish pub. We had a wonderful time as the band’s Reggae-inspired music filled the air with an uplifting message of living sustainably. Of all our kids, Koral is the most like my father with her out-of-the box thinking, endless creativity and respect for the planet. Continue reading Mountainfilm Festival & A Little Niceness

Healthy & Happy Kids Start Here

Young runners eagerly start the race at Kids Run the OC. Over 10,000 children from 136 schools participated in this event. Orange County Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa, Calif. May 6, 2017. Photo: F. Rehnborg.
Young runners eagerly start the race at Kids Run the OC. Over 10,000 children from 136 schools participated in this event. Orange County Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa, Calif. May 6, 2017. Photo: F. Rehnborg.

It has been a busy month as I hit the ground running … literally … with kids definitely on my mind. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a part of Kids Run the OC, an innovative program that encourages kids to eat right and stay active to avoid the consequences of overnutrition and obesity. Through the Nutrilite™ brand, Amway was a proud sponsor. Francesca and I were excited to participate and cheer on all the kids. You can check out all the photos on their website at www.kidsruntheoc.org. Continue reading Healthy & Happy Kids Start Here

What’s Up Now?

Sitting next to a life-size statue of my father Carl F. Rehnborg, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite photo stop for visitors at the Nutrilite Health Institute. The statue was inspired by his famous “pepper tree talks" and his many conversations filled with visionary ideas. Buena Park, California. March 2017.
Sitting next to a life-size statue of my father Carl F. Rehnborg, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite photo stop for visitors at the Nutrilite Health Institute. The statue was inspired by his famous “pepper tree talks” and his many conversations filled with visionary ideas. Buena Park, California. March 2017.

It is hard to believe that six months have passed since I returned home from my Double X sailing trip. If you’ve been following my blog, you know it certainly wasn’t the trip we expected, especially with El Nino testing the mettle of both boat and crew. Now that I have settled into life back home, I’m more inspired than ever to focus on two of my passions: optimal health and sustainable living. Continue reading What’s Up Now?

We are All in This Together

On deck of the Double X, I’m all smiles and eager to get underway on our sailing adventure. After many unexpected turns, we arrived back in Southern California sooner than expected. It certainly has been an action-packed time, full of lessons learned. San Francisco Bay, July 16, 2016. Photo: R. Rehnborg
On deck of the Double X, I’m all smiles and eager to get underway on our sailing adventure. After many unexpected turns, we arrived back in Southern California sooner than expected. It certainly has been an action-packed time, full of lessons learned. San Francisco Bay, July 16, 2016. Photo: R. Rehnborg

After a shorter-than-expected journey, I’m back home in Southern California. It was a wild ride during the three-plus months we were out at sea. When I arrived back home, I was greeted with more than a few looks of relief from folks who have been following my blog (“Whew, he survived!”). Others wanted to know why we returned home so soon, rather than sail further south to New Zealand and Tasmania as planned. The answer lies in more than a few unexpected lessons learned. Continue reading We are All in This Together

Navigating to a Brighter Future

Under the shade of a lanai, overlooking the water’s edge and open to the South Sea breezes, I settle in to write a few notes and watch the boats in the distance. The beautiful view inspired much reflection. Moorea, Society Islands. October 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg
Under the shade of a lanai, overlooking the water’s edge and open to the South Sea breezes, I settle in to write a few notes and watch the boats in the distance. The beautiful view inspired much reflection. Moorea, Society Islands. October 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg

Our visit to Huahine, Moorea and Tahiti was an emotional one for me. It not only marked the end of our Double X sailing journey, but also triggered a flood of memories of my earlier trips to the islands as well as my father’s deep love for the South Seas and his efforts to protect its beauty and majesty. In the midst of this reflection, I was also keenly aware that this would probably be the last time that I sail to these lovely islands that have captivated me for most of my life. Continue reading Navigating to a Brighter Future

Coral Reefs, Then & Now

A Firebird crew member holds a delicate coral inadvertently broken off by our anchor chain during our passage from Bali, Indonesia, to the Cocos [Keeling] Islands, January 1977. With today’s warmer, more acidic ocean waters in the South Seas, it’s been difficult to spot vibrant coral like this during the Double X journey.
A Firebird crew member holds a delicate coral inadvertently broken off by our anchor chain during our passage from Bali, Indonesia, to the Cocos [Keeling] Islands, January 1977. With today’s warmer, more acidic ocean waters in the South Seas, it’s been difficult to spot vibrant coral like this during the Double X journey.
We certainly had a grand time on Tahaa and Raiatea visiting with friends and touring the islands. Of course, I was also eager to learn as much as I could about the local impact of warmer and acidic water conditions. It didn’t take long to come face-to-face with one of the most significant challenges that the islands face today: dying coral reefs. Continue reading Coral Reefs, Then & Now

A Friendly Welcome on Raiatea

Francesca and other guests celebrate the birthday of our friend Frendoo (not featured). In the background, Double X crew member Paul happily shares a friendly “hang loose” sign. Raiatea, October 2016.
Francesca and other guests celebrate the birthday of our friend Frendoo (not featured). In the background, Double X crew member Paul happily shares a friendly “hang loose” sign. Raiatea, October 2016.

I wrote about the wonderful time Francesca and I had on Tahaa in my last post. Our next stop was Raiatea, a sister island to Tahaa. Both islands are enclosed by a single coral reef and, at one time, may have been one island. When we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms by Frendoo, the daughter of one my father’s friends, and her husband Roland. The last time I saw Frendoo she was 14 years old. On this visit, she was celebrating her 61st birthday, and Francesca and I were excited to be able to join in the celebration. Continue reading A Friendly Welcome on Raiatea

Bora Bora and Beyond

Two happy children of Tahiti. September 2016
Two happy children of Tahiti. September 2016

Our sailing itinerary has changed yet again thanks to weather that has gone from dicey to downright unsafe. We had to give up on venturing out to relatively uninhabited areas where I was looking forward to exploring the land and talking with the islanders about what was happening in their corner of the world. Weather conditions dictated that we stick to the beaten path, so we passed on visiting more isolated atolls in the Tuamotus and set a course for the Society Islands. Our first stop: Bora Bora. Continue reading Bora Bora and Beyond

Our Whirlwind Sail to Ahe and Back

John, Elise, Francesca and I pose for a photo while snorkeling in the lagoon on Rangiroa in the Tuamotos. The water was calm here, but during our sail from Rangiroa to Ahe, the conditions were so tough that no one on board was able to take any photos. September 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg
John, Elise, Francesca and I pose for a photo while snorkeling in the lagoon on Rangiroa in the Tuamotos. The water was calm here, but during our sail from Rangiroa to Ahe, the conditions were so tough that no one on board was able to take any photos. September 2016.

You haven’t received much news from me, not because there isn’t anything happening, but because we’ve been through a weather washing machine for the last few weeks. It hasn’t been the idyllic sail through the South Seas that I had anticipated or remembered from years back. Continue reading Our Whirlwind Sail to Ahe and Back

Fishing the Sustainable Way

An assortment of fresh fish at a local outdoor market. Fishing is a top income producer in French Polynesia, just below tourism and pearl farming. Rangiroa, Tuomotu Islands. September 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg
An assortment of fresh fish at a local outdoor market. Fishing is a top income producer in French Polynesia, just below tourism and pearl farming. Rangiroa, Tuamotu Islands. September 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg

On August 22nd, we bid farewell to the Marquesas, setting a course from Fatu Hiva to Fakarava and then on to Rangiroa, the two largest atolls in the Tuamotus. It’s a three-day sail, about 600 miles, between the two island groups. Where the soaring volcanic mountains of the Marquesas rise to over 4,000 feet, the Tuamotu atolls are just above sea level. Yet these very different island groups are at the center of a singular global challenge: sustainable fishing. Continue reading Fishing the Sustainable Way

Marquesas Islands: Then & Now

A Marquesan home tucked among the craggy rocky formations and vibrant foliage. Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands. August 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg
A Marquesan home tucked among the craggy rocky formations and vibrant foliage. Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands. August 2016. Photo: F. Rehnborg

The first time I visited the Marquesas Islands was 41 years ago on board the Firebird. I was a young man ready for adventure and, after reading Herman Melville’s Typee and Thor Heyerdahl’s Fatu-Hiva: Back to Nature, I was captivated by the islands I imagined, and I was eager to visit. When we arrived at Nuku Hiva, the first of the islands we visited, I was awe-struck by the land’s beauty. I couldn’t take enough photos. Continue reading Marquesas Islands: Then & Now

19 Wild Days Across the Pacific

Some more incredible cloud formations. What do you see in the clouds? July 2016. Photo: R Rehnborg
Some of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen were in the doldrums ON the equator. With so little air movement and a water temperature in the high 80°s F, moisture rises up from the water into the clouds, making for magnificent, slow moving cloud formations. We saw faces, like those of various presidents, and images of animals in several different sunsets. This is one of the most amazing places in the world. July 2016. Photo: R Rehnborg

It is August 15th, and it has been 11 days since we dropped anchor at Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. Both Rod and Zack have left for the States to return to their day jobs, while my wonderful Francesca arrived just a couple of days ago. I’m so happy she is finally here, but also glad that she didn’t join us on the crossing as it was really a wild 19-day ride across the Pacific. Continue reading 19 Wild Days Across the Pacific

Observations on the Open Ocean

Rod and me aboard the Double X on launch day. We’re a father-and-son team ready to join the crew and take on the Pacific Ocean crossing. Sausalito, Calif., July 16, 2016. Photo: L. Williams.
Rod and me aboard the Double X on launch day. We’re a father-and-son team ready to join the crew and take on the Pacific Ocean crossing. Sausalito, Calif., July 16, 2016. Photo: L. Williams.

It is the evening of July 26th, and we are just about to enter the doldrums. As I look out at the ocean, it’s totally calm. There’s no wind to be found. The water is flat and looks almost like glass. It is just beautiful. In fact, here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I’ve just witnessed one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. (I’ll have a photo posted soon.) Continue reading Observations on the Open Ocean

We’re Off, Powered by Friendship

The Double X sails under the Golden Gate Bridge on departure day with winds blowing at 20-25 knots, making for an exciting beginning to our journey to the South Seas. San Francisco, Calif., July 16, 2016. Photo: C. Woods
The Double X sails under the Golden Gate Bridge on departure day with winds blowing at 20-25 knots, making for an exciting beginning to our journey to the South Seas. San Francisco, Calif., July 16, 2016. Photo: C. Woods

Winds at 20-25 knots added to the excitement of the first day of our South Sea adventure. Cutting through the waves as we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge into the howling wind made for some really wild sailing.

Els said it best: “Sam, you finally get a chance to see some real sailing by the Double X.” Continue reading We’re Off, Powered by Friendship

Ready. Set. Sail.

Dr. Sam in red jacket and cap, smiles for the helicopter above taking a video as the Double X sails under the Golden Gate Bridge to the South Seas. All hands are on deck for the beginning of this amazing adventure. San Francisco, Calif., July 16, 2016. Photo: C. Woods.
Yours truly in red jacket and cap, smiling for the aerial video as the Double X sails under the Golden Gate Bridge to the South Seas. All hands are on deck for the beginning of this amazing adventure. San Francisco, Calif., July 16, 2016. Photo: C. Woods.

The Double X crew officially set sail for the South Seas on July 16, 2016, passing under the Golden Gate Bridge at precisely 12:30 p.m. It has taken over two years of preparation and a healthy dose of persistence, but it has been worth all the hard work. In fact, it’s nothing short of a dream come true. Continue reading Ready. Set. Sail.

Eating Our Way Across the Pacific

A sunset lights up the horizon during a pre-launch sailing trial to the Channel Islands. May 29, 2016.
A sunset lights up the horizon during a pre-launch sailing trial to the Channel Islands. We’re looking forward to more of nature’s wonder as we cross the Pacific Ocean. May 29, 2016.

It’s hard to believe, the first leg of the Double X journey, crossing the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to the Marquesas Islands, is just three days away. I expect it will take us about three weeks to cross the ocean, but with all the wild weather these days, it’s tough to predict just how long it will be before we arrive. Continue reading Eating Our Way Across the Pacific

A Tough Motor to San Francisco

A view over the Double X stern as it motors out of Newport Jetty in the early morning. The ship’s flag is limp, signaling calm winds needed for good motoring conditions, Newport Beach, Calif., June 14, 2016.
A view over the Double X stern as it motors out of Newport Jetty in the early morning. The ship’s flag is limp, signaling calm winds needed for good motoring conditions, Newport Beach, Calif., June 14, 2016.

We left Newport Beach on June 14th to motor up the coast to San Francisco for our departure to the South Seas on July 16th. Typically, the wind whips straight down the coast, so you need to motor up to make any progress at all. (If we sailed up, we would probably still be out there.) Continue reading A Tough Motor to San Francisco

The Adventures of the Firebird

Firebird Crew
The Firebird crew (from left to right): Dr. Sam, Captain Bob, Tom Harabee and Bill Crawford (B.C.), Seychelles, March 1977.

Throughout the Double X journey, I thought it would be fun to share highlights of my earlier sailing sabbatical aboard the Firebird over 40 years ago. I’m categorizing these posts under “Blast from the Past.” As luck would have it, Captain Bob, the skipper for the Firebird journey, is also the skipper for the Double X journey. Continue reading The Adventures of the Firebird

Planning the Double X Voyage

On the left, the Double X, hoisted in the shipyard, undergoes much needed repairs; Newport Beach, Calif., May 2015. On the right, the Double X after a complete overall spanning over a year to make her seaworthy for the long journey ahead; Newport Beach, Calif., May 2016.

All of us on Double X are in the thick of it as we get things ready for our upcoming sailing voyage. As you might expect, the to-do list is a long one as we ready the boat, chart our course, gather the necessary permits and licenses, and get our stateside affairs in order. Continue reading Planning the Double X Voyage