I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Monday, December 23, 2013


We were gathered there that day... "to celebrate not only their wedding, but to inaugurate their marriage based on their long and happy relationship."

My brother Ian and his partner Sean were married in a beautiful, thoughtful and intimate ceremony at our aunt and uncle's house overlooking the city of San Francisco last Saturday.  To be fair, I have not been to many weddings, but based on my experiences, this one was different.  

While most weddings are momentous occasions -- the joining and expanding of families is generally a big deal -- this one had an air of history in the making, an air of the completion of an insurmountable task, an air of gratefulness and relief that I had never experienced before.  

Last summer Ian and Sean were forcibly separated as Sean was required to leave the country after finishing his PhD at UC Berkeley. Because gay marriage was not recognized by the federal government, Ian could not sponsor Sean for citizenship.  Even though they had been in a relationship for eight years, when his student visa expired, Sean was effectively kicked out of the country.  Sean returned to the UK and Ian stayed in Berkeley.  

To think that two people who love each other were separated because of their sexuality and because of other peoples' prejudice is disgusting and heart wrenching.  Their lives and relationship were in a state of angst and unknown, as Sean's returning to the States depended on a professorship, or the Supreme Court decision of DOMA, for which we all waited anxiously.

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional.  As I jumped for joy on the deck of the boat in a very remote part of northern Australia, Ian called Sean in Europe, and they asked each other to marry the other.  The ruling of DOMA is one of the most influential court decisions of our generation.  Never has a Supreme Court decision made such an immediate impact on my family and friends.  We were all elated (and fxxk anybody who wasn't!).

Sean reentered the country and he and Ian planned a small ceremony at our aunt and uncle's house.  While they would have rather waited until summer to have a big, outdoor wedding and invite all family and friends, the urgency of the situation required them to tie the knot ASAP.  Thus, the small celebration last Saturday.

I have heard it said that your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, though until last Saturday I had not really believed it.  But when I saw Ian and Sean beaming at one another, on cloud ten, I began to believe.  Because as I said before, this was not just any wedding.  This was a wedding that would not have been recognized by the United States six months earlier.  And perhaps because nobody took this momentous occasion for granted, because everybody in attendance recognized that they too were a part of this historical occasion, the day felt surreal.

Ian and Sean said their vows in Ellen and Michael's living room as the setting sun cast a golden glow over the city of San Francisco.  We laughed, we cried, we praised the powers that be for the opportunity to witness these two people, so deeply in love, have their love recognized by the legal institution of marriage.

And so, this concludes a harrowing story -- with a happy ending -- which in turn creates a new, happy beginning.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 2 Check-In

(Written predominantly while standing in line at the post office.)

I've been in California for exactly two weeks today and I already feel myself taking things for granted that a week ago blew me away.  Here is a friendly reminder of just how good we have it. 

Number one: Friends (and family but they count as friends). Part of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends. But there is something to be said for the friendships that last through months without communication of any sort, only to be picked up in a matter of seconds upon reunion. My friends have made my homecoming a celebration and have reincorporated me into their circles without a hitch. Thanks guys -- I'd be seriously depressed without you!

Number two: The stunning natural beauty of San Diego (and California in general). I know it gets tiring to have your breath taken away every time you come up over the hill in Point Loma, but it's impossible not to with the entire expanse of the Pacific Ocean in your vista. Especially when you know that this is the same ocean that is dotted with pristine, tropical pin points of paradise, it becomes all the more enticing. 

Which brings us to  number three. Although the surf in San Diego has been extremely weak save one little swell over Thanksgiving, there are some really sweet waves in the area. And by sweet I mean not super heavy death trap reef breaks.  Which, in my opinion, is nice. However, the water quality in Southern California leaves something to be desired. Go Surfrider foundation!!

Basically, California is such a nice place to live because things are easy. The weather, albeit cold, is manageable. We have great infrastructure. Amazing food. Resources. If you are so fortunate to have a washing machine in your house you can do laundry in a matter of minutes!  Your car will take you anywhere you wan to go!  Missing somebody who is far away? Call, Skype, FaceTime.. It's so easy!  

But it's also easy to forget -- I know. I've only been home two weeks and I am already taking so much of the luxury I missed for so long, for granted. What can I say? It's a good life we've got.