It’s time for a good ‘ol CATCH UP AND COOK!
The first episode of a BRAND new series!
It was epic to finally be sailing again after a very long winter in Leros Marina.
But as you guys can see we were actually based in a very different Greek location for the intro & ‘real time’ parts of this vlog. Welcome to beautiful Vasiliki in the Ionian Sea.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
The ‘elephant in the room’ in this episode is that YES our episodes were in arrears and had been so at this point for some time.
Let me elaborate on this subject.
For some time now we have been falling behind with episode releases/location on YouTube but communicate our current whereabouts with our supportive patrons and SHB website paid members. This was due to some tragic personal circumstances that made us decide to slow life down in order to be there for each other as a family.
Releasing a high standard episode every couple of weeks alongside homeschool & running our fitness and wellness coaching company ‘BoatFit’ was hard enough let alone maintaining our mental health when inevitably life happened.
FAMILY COMES FIRST
Ever since we started out on YouTube we were actually legally contracted (another story for another time) to not release content for the first 8 months of filming our adventures.
Actually, in hindsight this has often served as a ‘saving grace’. When difficult times have naturally arisen, this has given us the grace to experience privately the ‘births, deaths & marriages’ of life.
Can you imagine filming your whole entire life for the world then perhaps losing a close family member but being so current in the public eye that you felt you had no time or breathing space to mourn? Well, with two young boys, who’s mental health depend upon our ability to support them, slowing down our rate of output to put our energy into supporting them has always been our top priority. We started this life to have more time and that’s the way we will always continue to live it.
We often feel for YouTubers who put themselves under such emotional pressure to stay as current as possible and release bi-weekly or weekly just for the sake of the algorithm of financial growth.
Hope this clears up some questions for you guys. Comment below if you had wondered when and where we were and what you think about this subject?
BACK TO THE EPISODE ITSELF
First thanks to our sponsor HUUSK Knives who approached us because they knew their knife would make a perfect addition to our galley. (comment below with your Husk experience if you have one).
They were right, I still to this day love using it for chopping up Greek salads because I don’t need to change knives between ingredients. However that’s if Ross lets me get my hands on it though, as he’s always pinching it for rope cutting or fish filleting. I swear I am constantly having to hunt around for it…any other live aboard people out there who would also agree that for some reason the smaller your home the harder things are to find?
Anyway….I digress haha!
WHEN MOTHER NATURE SAYS ‘STOP’
The last seasons ending was a true ‘sign’ from mother nature, not only did we have a strange storm from an unpredicted direction (which nearly ended up beaching us) but you guys don’t realise that soon after bedding down in Leros marina a huge earthquake struck the aegean and we were alerted to a tsunami that was affecting the islands surrounding it’s epicentre.
Luckily we were in a good spot and all we noted was a large tidal-like swell.
Either way one thing it’s important to do as a sailor (particularly here in the greek islands where changing seasonal climates can provide great conditions for medicane’s to pop up) to listen to your gut and trust it when it says things are getting less predictable weather-wise.
Once the shoulder seasons are passed the weather tends to settle a little though and popping out for sailing trips isn’t an impossibility. Just maybe a little on the cold side.
That storm that blindsided us was the first time I have ever packed an emergency dry bag. It really brought home to me exactly what was important because there really was very little I wanted to grab….it is only when your ship is sinking or your house is burning that suddenly you realise how little ‘things’ bring you joy. All I actually cared about was the safety gear and the boys favourite teddies (I would have packed my Martin guitar too but there wasn’t space).
THE PRO’S AND CON’S OF ANCHOR VERSUS MARINA LIFE……
It was fun debating what we both love about land and marina-based live aboard life…of course we live for the incredible sunsets/rises, swimming, exploring & freedom of anchor life but there comes a point when constantly judging the ever-changing conditions, dealing with swell direction and needing to get to land for everything possible becomes exhausting….particularly so in the Aegean where wind acceleration, high Meltemi winds and short sharp waves can wear you down over time.
We always feel refreshed when we spend a period of time tied up to a pontoon and are able to walk onto land at our leisure. The boys enjoy playing and riding bikes around whilst myself and Ross can actually make a beer-buddy or two, go on coffee dates and do a spot of land based exercise.
So much work.
So much dust.
Never will I ever live onboard (with kids anyway) during a lift-out phase again! Unless you pay me.
I’m a keen believer that if unnecessary suffering can be avoided, then it should be. I didn’t work my whole 40 something years, have kids and work my butt off as an international athlete to then go into a life of peace but be fine with the particularly shit bits.
Like traversing a ladder 12ft in the air with your kids every 10 minutes when they need the toilet or living in small space that becomes a total tardis when overrun by tools. Nope, not up for that.
Anyway – the lift out happened, we tried (and failed) to live on board, no one was killed and our marriage survived (though it was touch and go). I will leave the rest to your imagination if you’ve ever wondered what the experience entails.
Kudos to Ross though who busted his balls for hours on end every day to finish the job in just under 3 weeks.
The first sail of the season was both bittersweet and magical, we said a bittersweet goodbye to good friends and went back to anchor life & isolation but feeling alive with potential energy and adventure. Nothing beats it and it’s almost impossible to describe.
We weren’t even that bothered when our engine failed to restart after we had dropped the hook in our first anchorage, apart from Ross who was pretty annoyed that after all his lift-out endeavours something had gone wrong but after turning Holly Blue completely upside down eventually a loose wire was spotted and we were go again. Not great sleeping on your boat when you don’t know how long it will be before you can move but hey, we were free again.
Ross also moved our STERLING ALTERNATOR at this point in time as it overheated in its original location (close to the engines heat).
CATCH AND COOK
Really hope you guys enjoyed this section which provides the viewer a slightly different take on our usual episodes, we had a lot of fun creating it and I thought you might quite like the recipe for Ross’s Sea Bass ’Special Sauce’ and my take on a traditional Greek salad…so here it is…bon appetit!
Ross’s ‘Special Sauce’:
1/3 lemon juice
2/3 extra virgin olive oil
crushed garlic (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
Mix all the ingredients and whilst whisking slowly add the olive oil.
Laura’s ‘Chop it like it’s hot’ Greek Salad:
2 x large tomatoes
1 x cucumber
1 x red onion
handful black olives
salt and pepper to season
olive oil (to drizzle)
1 large slab of Fat cheese
Rough chop all ingredients (apart from the cheese) and mix together in a large bowl with a pinch of herbs, salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons olive oil, a drizzle of lemon juice (optional) & a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (also optional). Top with cubed or sliced feta cheese.
Much love to you guys, and as always, thanks for being there and keeping the dream alive for us.