Have you heard of the Blue Zones? These seemingly disconnected regions around the world have one thing in common: people not only frequently live to over 100, but they do so while staying happy and healthy. The scientist in me is eager to learn more about this interesting phenomenon. The 81-year-old man in me wants to know exactly what is at the root of this amazing level of living. After all, I can certainly think of plenty of adventures to fill the next 20 years of life, and it’s a good bet you can too. The Blue Zones just may teach us something about living longer, better. Continue reading Blue Secrets for Healthy Aging
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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