About Nakamal (the name)
Sometime in the late 1990’s, John and I spent a week or so in Vanuatu (before it was a Survivor location). Beautiful country, great people, and kava.
A nakamal is a traditional meeting place for ceremonies which, not surprisingly, often involve kava drinking.
The word “nakamal” loosely translates to “place of peace”, and is also the modern-day term for a kava bar.
About Nakamal (the boat)
When we bought her, she was labeled as being from Seattle WA and named Champ. Before that, she was called Charm. The prior owner had her ready to sail around the world, solo and non-stop but his plans had to change, so we bought her nearly completely outfitted. “Nearly” because she lacked things like a dinghy, which if you are only going to stop once (at the end of the trip) I guess you wouldn’t need. Nakamal was in San Diego when we bought her, so that’s where we live while we get ready to leave the dock.
We are John and Elinore, an average couple who grew up, went to school, worked for a bunch of years, met in Tucson AZ, became a couple, worked another bunch of years, started sailing, worked for another bunch of years and saved our pennies so we could sail off into the retirement sunset. In case you think this sailing thing is a life-long dream come true, I never set foot on a sailboat until Captain John dragged my country-turned- urban-but-never-seaworthy butt down to the British Virgin Isles and plunked it on a Hobie at the Bitter End Yacht Club. Before that he was an avid off-road desert motorcyclist with one week of sailing experience.
But we worked our way up from the Hobie to day sails to bare boat chartering. One day, he came home from work and said “I’m looking for a boat to buy”. Enter Shellback, a 1970’s vintage 24-foot Venture, which we sailed on Roosevelt Lake in our then home state of Arizona. Once we were hooked, we traded up for Tourist in Paradise, a 26-foot Capri.
As we graduated from Hobies to bigger boats, I progressed from a complete fraidy-cat hanging on for dear life every time a vessel heeled over to, well, a less afraidy-cat hanging on for dear life every time a vessel heeled over. But the fear level dropped in proportion to a rise in confidence in the Captain’s (and my own) sailing abilities.
Today, we live aboard our 1999 Island Packet 380, 38 glorious feet of fiberglass, teak, leaky hoses and respect. At the start of this blog (July 2015) we have recently retired from our corporate lives to take up our new career: preparing Nakamal and ourselves for full-time cruising through Mexico and eventually the Caribbean. We plan to leave in the October 2015 Baja Ha-Ha sailboat rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.
About that picture at the top
Cane Garden Bay on Tortola British Virgin Islands. Sunset. Myett’s patio happy hour. None of us (Captain John, myself or Nakamal) are in this photo. As a matter of fact, when I took it several years ago, Nakamal was not even a gleam in our eye. It’s just one of my favorite places. One of my favorite vacation photos. One of the moments that helped convince me to make this boating thing a lifestyle.
About Sailing Nakamal (the blogsite)
I’m an avid Facebooker, but several of my friends and family are not. This blogsite is my way of keeping them apprised of where we are, what we doing, and what life on the other side looks like.