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October 2009

Boat Projects & Mexicans


Not only do the Mexican's run the kitchens of the USA, they run the boatyards.  My mechanic is Mexican, my rigger is Mexican, my canvas guy is Mexican.  They do great work, and they do it quick and cheap.  Which means I can pull off all kinds of little boat projects for a quarter of the price.

Like say...a custom cushion for my V-birth on my boat.  Fernando busted out the wood insert.  Miguel hopped on the custom cushion.  And, now I have a nice, comfy complete V-berth that feels like a full size bed on a little bitty boat.

That kind of stuff makes me incredibly happy.  As I told the Budro, I ain't headin' east of the Rockies again
unless somebody's payin' me a wad of dinero.  I like South and West - where the Mexican's are.  




Lonely, Majestic Vista


Where blue meets blue is the most magical of all views, especially when a lone vessel is moseying on down the way.  Most times, I have at least a tiny camera on my person, and I always fling my arm overboard and snap a quickie when I get a glimpse of simplicity. 

It's brill cause I can refer back to moments like the above when I am ensconced in a place that is way less fantastic.  Like NJ, which is where I currently am working for a few months.  Nice to know that NYC is an hour away, but even nicer to know that I will be on a plane back to the Pacific before X-mas.

This shot was on the way to Yelapa, Mexico which EVEN in the rainy season still has a spot of magic.  Like the one above. 

Varnishing a Boat = Brightwork


Weeks have gone by since my brightwork dude started the job.  By the end of it, he desperately hated my sweet little boat.  So much wood, so much sanding.  Poor guy. 

But, all's well - he's finally done and the wood just gleams. It makes my heart swim just to look at it.  Piece by piece it all comes together - and when I get back from my upcoming shoot on the East Coast, I fully expect my mechanic/all-around handy man to have ripped through his list of Enola projects.  To the sheer delight of me on the road.

Life is good.




How to Mastermind an Adventure that Makes the Masses Jealous


Here's my latest musing from my fave site ever, Matador.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not contemplating escape.

The very idea of leaving everything I know behind literally rules my every waking moment.

Some would say, “Escape from what, Misty?”

In their eyes, I have built a pretty dang brilliant life for myself – the bad-ass pirate style sailboat in Marina del Rey; I’ve pimped out a vintage 14’ solar travel trailer and keep it down in the majestic mountains of Central Mexico; there’s the working about a half-year on TV shows around the world and the rest of my year spent schemin’ and dreamin’ in remote third world countries; oh yeah, and the grassroots NGO I started over in Indonesia is a doozie of a dream as well.

Thing is, I’ve now accomplished all these things and they just aren’t enough to satiate my constant need for the ultimate high – the one that comes from doing outlandish shit most people just daydream about. There’s more out there to be explored, my mind roars during all waking (and sleeping) hours. What am I doing here in this lovely moment, when there are trillions more of them just waiting to be realized? It’s a twisted fate, this audacious life I lead.

“How do I possibly outdo the last venture?”

Which brings me to the current situation and the question that surrounds it: how do I possibly outdo the last venture? It’s not that I need to prove anything – I just need to be constantly on the make. In order to get through the hectic days of reality TV production, I need to be thinking to the future.

For some reason, I need to roll into a scenario and have the ability to make it bigger. And, by bigger I mean – my life has to take a turn from it. And, so do the lives of those in that immediate sphere. My approach to crafting the perfect tale is all about how it streams on down the line. That said, a real adventure is all about attitude and when I go in with no intent whatsoever, the cards fall as they may…usually to my advantage.

I discover a small boutique hotel on an island off the coast of Mexico and BAM! Why not create a Pilates/volunteering/cooking retreat around it?

I hear about the chance to crew on a sailboat down in the Caribbean and BAM! Within days, I’ve torn down to Dominica via coulda-been-a-movie-drama in Puerto Rico to spend days island-hopping and sleeping under the stars. I write about it on The Tooth (my RTW dispatches blog) and before long a writer from the NY Times is reaching out for deets so he can feature the journey on the cover of the travel section.

I devise a plan to volunteer in a small village in Indonesia and BAM! I’ve created a bona-fide NGO that brings incredible volunteers from all over the world to this tiny haven at the base of a volcano on the island of Lombok. One things begets another begets another.

My “simple” global escapades (usually hatched over a beer in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant) turn into things much more than just a trip – they become yarns that bring everyone with like minds one speck closer to figuring life out. It’s as if I’m out there exploring so I can be more than just on the cusp of the true realization of what it is I’m meant to be. Plus, I never met a map I didn’t like…and if the urge hits, consider it booked. No questions asked – and, probably leaving within 48 hours.

I pull off these radical efforts with boatloads of frequent flyer miles, small pockets of change tucked away in interest bearing savings accounts, and a seasoned set of bloodshot eyes gazing at the computer (searching for deals) at all hours. The off-grid places I trek to make it easy to live cheap, drink and eat like a king and immerse myself in the lifestyle of those who have really embraced the secret to a life fully lived.

Laughing til you cry, trying new things all the time, treating every single human being as you’d want your grandmother to be treated, and the understanding that cash money isn’t for $400 boots you’ll never talk about with a light in your eye – it’s for getting your spirit out into the world and making your mark any way you can.

If you want it bad enough, and live and die by it, let’s just say – careful what you wish for, it might come quicker than you think. My motto is: Normal is for the next life, why not make the ordinary suffer now….

Author note: This article was penned whilst quaffing icy-cold Dos Equis in a small Mexican joint in Santa Monica, Cali. – all while crafting my next big idea, of course. And, I just made up that motto, but it’s quite fitting, si?