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

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