Where a Kitchen is a Galley

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"Kitchens” only exist in land’s world. In sailor’s English a kitchen is a “galley”...

Food in a boat it’s extremely important. It shares both energy and happiness. Boat’s galleys are small and fridges are really tiny, storage space is very limited. For these reasons it takes time to get the most of your cooking aboard. It takes lots of passages to learn about doing a good shopping for a sailing trip. That's the main reason why I cook most of the time aboard Narinan.

Being a captain doesn't let you much spare time to cook, but I have experienced that everything runs smoother when I do it. We eat earlier, we spend less money in food, we throw less food away... That's why when crews arrive I try to explain to them that this is not a service I offer, that it’s a gift, for the crew and the trip, for to have a better general experince. In exchange I ask them to help in everything they can, cooking, organizing the table, doing the dishes, cleaning the galley, etc… Narinan is very similar to being in a friend’s boat or house, and for me the experience is also very close to be sailing with friends. This means that as a host, because for me it is my home, I will do more than my guests, but I ask everybody to help as much as they would if they were in a friend's boat or house.

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If you join us you will find that Narinan’s food is in general very fresh and healthy. Most of the food comes from local markets, free of packaging, and has traveled almost 0 km to arrive to the boat. These almost vegetarian recipes are mixed with very old school, full of flavor, fishing boat’s dishes.  Sometimes, depending ob the period of the year, we even fish our meals. We also have two or three very tasty Spanish style rices and a sort of very local cheeses and aperitifs.

At Narinan you are totally lost if you don’t like onion or tomato, but you can be vegan, vegetarian, or any of this life options, with any problem, you just need to say it in advance.

I wish you join us  and come to help in the galley, eat with us, any time soon ;)) !

Hugs and smiles, 

Kenneth

Sailing the Mediterranean with OCTAEVO

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I knew about Octaevo a few years ago. Probably the same year Marcel founded it. As a sea and Mediterranean lover I soon got one of their small notebooks. Apparently it was that obvious that we had a connection, that during those months, an Octaevo travel notebook was something that more than one friend brought to the boat for my birthday or for a special occasion.

A couple of years later I met Marcel. He has joined some “Narinan” trips. We have been out in the blue a couple of times; we also have been living the sea gipsie’s life around the Balearic Islands. As with most of Narinan crew members, we have laughed, cooked, cleaned, dived, rowed, walked, seen, felt, learned… we’ve done all these adventures together.

Some of you know that once I made an almost ten years break in my sailor’s life.  I worked as a shoe and clothes designer. Pretty different, you’re right... Although now I am very disconnected from it, also kind of disgusted about conventional fashion and design industry, about consume patterns; I keep a taste and an eye for a very small number of clothes and few other things. During the miles we have sailed together with Marcel, several times we talked about doing something together, Narinan and Octaevo, a small collaboration. Our conversations were always going around clothes.  But time passed by, and like many so desired plans or goals, it never happened yet.

But a few weeks ago Marcel gave me a phone call. It was a Sunday evening, month of May. He had some questions, about one of his drawings sailing through the Mediterranean Sea. He was asking about the possibility of having a sail made with Octaevo’s Janus personality on it. At the end of the night he sent me some Photoshop images with their drawing on Narinan’s genoa sail. It was brilliant.

I wanted to read up on Janus meaning. I found he is a god with a double nature. For that reason he was normally represented with two faces looking in opposite directions.  Janus symbolizes change and transitions such as the progress of past to future, from one condition to another, from one vision to another, and young people's growth to adulthood. He represents time, because he can see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Hence, Janus represents the middle ground between barbarism and civilization, rural and urban space, youth and adulthood, abstract or concrete, sacred or profane. As a god of transitions, he has functions pertaining to birth, to journeys; he is very concerned with travelling and sailing.

 

A couple of days later Rebecca and Marcel visited me at the boat in Barcelona. We agreed.  I felt very excited that we had found a way to do something very nice together. I also thought it still had to do with clothes, with sail cloth. We were going to give Narinan a new piece for her wardrobe. A new front sail which, will probably cross the whole Mediterranean Sea with its ancient roman deity. I started to organize everything with a local sail maker loft.

In Narinan we have printed Janus in both sides of the sail, as he is commonly represented. He is looking at the contrary sides of life. I wish that below his presence will be under his essence of passage, between the past and the future. I wish he will help us to stay longer and enjoy the only important thing, the slippery, the evasive, the precious present.

The Mediterranean gods save Octaevo and Narinan in our beginner journeys!

Thanks to Marcel, Rebecca and the whole Octaevo team.

Please, visit their website to follow their extraordinary nice brand:

www.octaevo.com

A very special thanks to Alba Yruela, Coke Bartrina and Aitor Bigas <3<3<3  for their effort and  work to document this story with the nice pics above and the video bellow these words.

Finishing things. Corsica.

I was about nineteen years old when I got my first proper ocean sailor job. It was on board Sailing Vessel “Synera”, they hired me as deckhand, I lived and took care of the boat during about a year. We sailed from Azores Islands to Spain and also a vast part of the Mediterranean Sea. It was just Rafa, the skipper and owner of the boat, and me. He was about seventy years old at that time, and a truly genuine and unique person. I learnt a lot. I still remember them a lot, the boat and our trips. 

The first time I went to Corsica was with them. A beautiful Summer trip. That hapenned twenty three years ago, and thousands of miles later I still remember when we made it into Calvi, the bay where we anchored, where we left the dinghy ashore, the bar where we got drunk… We spent some weeks between Corsica and Sardinia. I was very young and idealist, so the flag of the island cought me hard since the first time I saw it. From one of the land trips I came up with a couple of stickers and a patch. That patch, the beutiful patch that it’s along the very few thing I have never got rid off. I only own some tools and boat spare parts, two boxes of clothes for winter and another one for  the summer, old letters and old paper photos. But I have carried this patch since then. I was never sure were to sew it, but It has always been among the just a few things I’ve had always with me. 

It has a lot of meaning for the island. It’s very old, it comes from the 11th century, and symbolizes the liberation of their land. IN their language is called “la testa di moro” (the moors head).

 

About one month ago, sailing from Cabrera Island National Park to Menorca Is., I sewed it in one of my sailor smocks. I felt I had finished something it started more than two decades ago. I remembered al lot about “Synera” and his captain. I went to “Narinan”’s chart table to take a look to the framed picture of the boat, that is the only picture you’ll see there. She was one of the boat’s of my life. It is a black and white picture, where the boat is nicely healed, sailing close hauled, with the sun almost touching the horizon. I remember that sunrise, sailing west. When you sail towards pure west, the sun sets down right in front of your way, it’s a true gold jewel, a very special gift from the gods.

Photo credits: Coke Bartrina and me.