Monthly Archives

July 2016

Sailing

A Swift Change in Tides.

July 16, 2016

15/07/2016
The best word to describe the first 3 days of being on the boat is stagnant. With a bold s.
The boat is docked up in Faversham in a place called The Harty Ferry. Of course I was anxious to set sail as soon as possible. The following are reasons (in order) why, 3 days later I am still in Faversham despite attempts to leave towards Falmouth.
1. The weather was awful on the first day and didn’t permit us to leave – day 1
2. Fernando suddenly announced that the sail has a tear. In order to be safe, we need to fix the sail better – day 2
3. Me and Fernando argued – day 2
4. Dolan joined us (really glad he did) and we attempted to leave but Fernando crashed us into a sandbank and we turned around to the same place – day 3

Day 1 is the art of mother nature, there is nothing we could have done to leave earlier so let me discuss Day 2.
Day 2 came about with a beautiful weather. Fernando had announced that there is a tear in the sail we need to fix. From measuring the size of the tear I estimated that it would take us about 15 minutes to sow so all we needed to do was to buy the tread then we could be on our way that night. The sun was out and the tides were perfect. We planned our passage on Day 1 with mind (or so I thought) to leave in the evening on Day 2. After waking up early we took a walk around Oare Creek to Faversham town and on the way Fernando I high-fived Fernando with enthusiasm saying ‘finally, we’re leaving!’, to which we turned around with an angry face an exclaimed ‘you are pressuring me and this doesn’t feel right’
erm… excuse me?

Let me backtrack a little. Fernando has been waiting on the boat for over a month in the same area. He’s simply enjoying his time chilling… and I don’t think that he is confident in his sailing skills so is trying to disguise by saying he is taking his time. Sadly, I’m not having it. The fact that he’s been in the same location for over a month and decides that a little pressure to move makes him angry should give you an idea about his character. He moves slow. But please don’t mistake slow for being careful.

After this I decided to sidestep this and keep it moving. The boat is shared between us but I have no real commitment or attachment to it. I quickly messaged 3 separate friends of mine who are all sailing this summer to find out where they are and if they need a hand on deck. Immediately all of them messaged me back. So I have 3 new back up plans if problems persist with Fernando

⦁ Sail the med > Africa > Caribbean
⦁ Sail the greek islands
⦁ Sailing from Colombia to Panama

Once my options were secure I told Fernando and he objected and begged me for a second chance. I agreed as long as we had someone else on the boat with us. Thankfully Dolan arrived that night.

I was very excited for Dolans arrival. He is a semi retired Irish sailor. I thought that a mature man would kick Fernando into gear.

That morning we set sail for the town quay (Fernando’s idea…). Finally I was so excited to be going somewhere. We left Harty Ferry and were on approach to Faversham creek until we suddenly stopped in the middle of the water. The boat would move forward and was starting to tip sideways. We hit a sandbank. Oh great.

For about 20 minutes Fernando was panicking. He was considering us staying stuck on the sandbank until the tides rise at night when Dolan suggested to try to reverse the boat. It worked. Thank the skies for Dolan. We turned back to the same place in Harty Ferry after. We travelled for a whole 10minutes! How disappointing.

Oh and I didn’t mention that Dolan fell out the boat for no reason. Hours after we crashed. So it was basically for no reason. Bags and shoes floating away and everything.. I am not going to talk about it because it’ll embarrass him, his wife and his 4 kids.

– I am currently writing this after the drama of the morning. I still don’t know what I am going to do. My friends are eager to have me on board asap (few days) and I am loosing faith in Fernando. He has more experience sailing with me but he is foolish sometimes. I don’t know how much I can learn from somebody like this and I question my safely & wellbeing. As the only way to move is forward I will continue sailing – but with who and where?

Sailing

Sailing Away

July 12, 2016

My plan is to sail from the UK to West Africa. I will take it easy by cruising along the way and stopping for however long I want. I figure that I’ll visit 16 countries and countless cities (European and West Africa). From West Africa, depending on mood, conditions, weather and impulse I will either continue around Africa or cut across to Caribbean to indulge in hopping through all of the islands and major relaxing. There are thousands of islands in the Caribbean so I can’t put a number on how many places we may visit.
At this point I should point out that I am not going alone. Fernando is coming. A dear friend.

The route for planning this trip started a month ago in June. I pretty much am the journey planner, thank the skies that Fernando is so chilled. We’re not really interested in historical routes or party islands. If we were we would be in Ibiza, Croatia, Cyprus etc.. Africa and the Caribbean interest us highly. The culture, the food and the learning/growth experience. We plan to detour whenever we feel like it too.

This is the idea. The grand plan. But as I know from experience that planning a trip to the letter is a recipe for disappointment. In light of this, we are flexible to make safe changes.

Where


UK
Our adventure begins where our boat is. Faversham, Kent.
From Faversham we have outlined a route to Ramsgate, Dover, Rye, Newhaven, Brighton, Little Hampton, Chichester, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Poole and the last stop is Falmouth.

In all honestly, I told Fernando that I’d like to skip some UK cities if possible so we can start enjoying the sun more.

Crossing The Bay of Biscay. Falmouth to A Coruña, Spain.
For some people hearing the words Bay of Biscay makes them tremble and beg God for forgiveness*.The Bay of Biscay is known for its heavy winds and storms. I read a post that people wait up to two weeks from Falmouth for a weather window to cross The Bay of Biscay. Needless to say this will be my first real test on the waters. biscx

Spain
We plan to sail down the coast of Spain from A Coruña to the bottom of Portugal passing numerous cities and towns in between such as Vigo and Pontevedra (Spain).

Portugal
Portugal is my favourite country in Europe. Hands down it ticks every box possible from food to atmosphere to beauty to people, to culture to nightlife. Fernando has never been to Portugal but he will love it. As we sail to the bottom of Portugal we will visit spots like Porto, Lisbon, Lagos, Faro, Tavira. I just hope I don’t get sidetracked in Portugal as I have many friends there. This is where I started my bike trip around Europe 2 years ago.

Morocco
We’ve both travelled through Morocco in previous years on foot. I’ve been to about 30 cities, towns and villages there but never Essaouira الصويرة. I heard that they have a beautiful beach and this is where the world music festival takes place so I imagine a great musical culture.
There is a little island called Ile de Mogador جزيرة موغادور close to Essaouira which supposing has some interesting structures. It’s actually two islands and several tiny islets – also known as the famed Îles Purpuraires (Purple Isles) of antiquity. The uninhabited islands are a sanctuary for Eleonora’s falcons, which can also be easily seen through binoculars from Essaouira beach *
isle do mogador

Canary Islands
From Essaouira الصويرة we’ll go to the Canary Islands. These 7 rugged islands are known for their black- and white-sand beaches, varied resorts and balmy climate. I look forward to a lot in the Canary Islands, including cooking food over a volcano, hiking, swimming with sea life and partying.
morocco canaries

Mauritiana
Nouakchott نواكشوط is our first stop in West Africa.

Sengal
Both Fernando and I have friends in Dakar, Senegal. We are so excited to see them and visit the culture. I anticipate a lot of fun!

Cape Verde

The Gambia

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea

Sierra Leonne

Liberia

Côte d’Ivoire

Ghana

Togo

Nigeria

Cameroon

At this point we will have decided whether we want to continue along and around Africa to Madagascar or backtrack and head towards the Caribbean.

Africa means a lot to us. Fernando is Venezuelan and has a strong connection and interest in his African roots, same with me. We both understand and love our culture but yearn to discover more. We also are highly conscious that the overall portrayal of Africa is Westernised due the sensationalization from the media. We’d like to show you true Africa through our eyes.

During this trip my aim is to learn and grow. Through people, new environments, books, music and more. As if life was a game, I would like to win a bundle of experience points whilst picking up bonus points and finding secret passages along the way. We will intergrate with the locals and communities as if we were born there. Help where we can and make new friends who will open new doors for us.

p.s. If you’re reading this and live in any of the countries mentioned please feel free to DM me on instagram @celthegreat or email [email protected] I would love to connect etc..

It starts today. Tuesday 12 July 2016.
15th anneversary of my mothers passing

faversham to cameroon

Looks

Faux locs – my protective hair style while travelling

July 11, 2016

It’s a known fact that I don’t brush my hair. I only wash my hair once in a blue moon and basically neglect it. As the days approach for another solo backpacking trip to Italy, Tunisia, Egypt and Israel and the only concern had been my hair. My issue is always my hair.

Daily Swimming + Minimal fucks given = Fucked Up Hair.

I decided to search into protective styles. I narrowed my search down to Box Braids, Havana Twists and Fauxlocs.

Dreadlocks.
I’ve always loved dreads. In fact a few aunties of mine have sister locks which I LOVE and a few uncles have dreads. There is just something so beautiful about beautiful dreadlocks. So my decision to put in fauxlocs come out of my love for dreads.

I have never had braids before. So this was a giant leap for me. …but I have had weave, 4 years ago it was all I did. I wanted to look like Lauren London! I refuse to dig out those photos..

Over the years I’ve just become more and more lazy with my hair. I occasionally straighten it and dye it brown but tbh I just leave it. My hair isn’t hard to manage. It’s quite soft and has big curls. It loosens out when I wet it though I think that is due to too much straightening over the years.

Fauxlocs
Call me a beg.. But I saw an amazing pic of Ciara with fauxlocs and decided that those colours would ALSO SUIT ME.

Who Did My Hair?
Anna. After doing an instagram search I found a woman there who doesn Fauxlocs in South London. A few days before she texted me to put down a deposit by 2pm but I was on my boat and didn’t get the text until the evening and apparently my spot was taken. :(. I quickly went online to find someone else to do my hair and found Anna. She didn’t have an instagram, just an ad in a local classifieds called Gumtree. She only sent me a few pictures but assured me that she was good. I took her word for it. (the fact she was based in North London, close to my grandmother’s house was perfect! Hair + Dinner at Nannys!!)

Steps
Before you look at the before pics.. I’d just like to mention that the night before I went to Heaven Nightclub and ended up at an after party in Brixton (south London) and I literally left from there to do my hair in the morning. That night has a story in itself…

Pre step: Hair
I bought 5 packs of hair as Anna advised based on the length and thickness I wanted. I bought dark brown, caramel, x2 mixed dark and light and a random brown. We used 4 packs of hair (kept one (came in handy) of the mixed bags).

Step 1:
Anna put single braids in my hair, around my head
photo 2

Step 2:
Fauxlocs… It took about 4hours for her to do it. Here is the process best explained.
photo 1(1)
Notes on Anna: She is awesome! Anna is an amazing hairdresser and makeup artist. She had beautiful dreadlocks past her waist but had to cut them off because of society. She works in corporate finance in the city of London. Anna is an open-minded lady with a thirst for learning. She is currently learning a new programming language (sorry I didn’t understand what!) and has a huge book collection. I really feel happy around her.

I was nervous the whole way through. And when I saw my new hair do my heart was racing like crazy. Remember, I’ve never done anything much with my hair. But I LOVED IT and so did everyone else

Once stepping outside I realised that the attention I get in the streets had easily tripled. Men and women approached me so much! It makes me realise how important hair is towards impressions. Although the only persons impression I care about was my grandmothers. She is typically judgemental.. but she loved it! Even asked for Anna’s number.

Laying my head down at night was a more difficult challenge than usual. At present, the fauxlocs still feel a bit tight. I practically slept face down to avoid feeling anything from the hair. I hope that this subsides over the next week.

All in all I really am happy with my new style. I think it’ll be great while I travel and swimming. As advised by Anna, I bought 100% Shea Butter and will mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle which I’ll use every few days. That, amongst her other advise really shaped my view of hair because there is so much information on the net which is conflicting it is difficult to know what right.
photo 1

I’ve been doing alot of things wrong:

  • putting heaps of oil in my hair DAILY – she said that my pores get clogged like that. Obvious..!
  • Straightening my hair – Even on a low heat with protective spray it causes damage
  • Dying my hair – I’ve been weakening my hair
  • Not treating it – Healthy hair needs maintenance

The list goes on..

I’ve read many blog posts about Fauxlocs, surprisingly most are negative. They talk about breakage and how heavy they are. I will definitely update you on this style but at the moment I think that it is beautiful!

Update:

This is how I looked 3 months later after through my travels to Italy, Tunisia, Egypt and Israel

fauxlocs

Europe Germany R

My solo festival experience at Summerjam

July 4, 2016

My festival buddy pulled out at the last minute due to a sudden death in his family. 
I really considered not going because the idea of going to huge festival alone is a bit daunting. I’ve done it before spontaneously while travelling but never planned. These things are definitely better with friends.
Anyway – I went to the festival alone (but was never alone) 
Although I knew I had friends scattered around (some of who I didn’t even see) I did get a little paranoid that people were looking at me wondering why I’m alone. They probably think I’m a crazy girl! In fact someone even asked me if I’m a gangster girl. After considering this I’ve decided that I could be. 
The flight from London was 1hr late because we had to change planes due to an engine failure. When we landed I couldn’t be bothered to wait any longer so I took a taxi to the festival. That cost €55. I also bought 3 bottles of Jaegermeister and champagne along with brown bread, sun dried tomatoes and hummus to last throughout. And it did.  
Mala the Rasta was the first person I met. He obviously could see I was in need of something because I was looking around. I needed a tent! (My friend who I was due to go with was going to bring it / I heard I could buy one in the festival). My friend who was also there had a tent but hooked up so she preferred for her hook up to share. She told me via text when I got to the festival! Whatever. I didn’t even bump into her once. Funny thing, it turns out that Mala the Rasta needed a tent too. He’d already arranged to buy an already pitched up tent and said I could share. So I did. I hate pitching tents, I’ve never actually personally done it but it looks long. From being alone, having no tent to being with company and having a tent. This was within 5minutes of arriving. 
Some of you are probably thinking that I trust people too easily. I do. I 100% felt comfortable after having a minutes conversation with Mala. What’s the point of being alone for no reason. Plus he helped me out! The tent was in the best location as Summerjam is HUGE and camping goes on for miles. So I had a great stroke of luck! 
…until I was told that it was a stolen tent from the other side of the festival. That was my last night in that tent…
I spent the first night with Mala and even though I occasionally bumped into people I knew I didn’t stray from him. He’s the most gentle human ever and a great dancer. He didn’t even try to hit on me. But I did something bad. I got him drunk and smoked all his weed. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be an issue. I wouldn’t feel bad if it wasn’t for the fact that he (nearly 30) had never drank alcohol in his life due to his religion and I persuaded him to drink half a bottle of Jaegermeister

The next morning changed my vibe up an it just got better. I became friends with my camping neighbours in the morning. They were totally cool, all 8 of them! And from London too so there was an instant connection. They filled me in about the tent thieves/hustle and told me that they had a free tent with an air bed and I could have it alone. Sweet, I took it. As it was only a few tents down Mala and I remained neighbours though i went alone. Another stroke of awesome luck. From thereon I spent the festival with this big group which included a female reggae singer! Awesome! 

Festivals alone, but never alone… 

Summerjam festival itself was a blast. A few reggae heads didn’t like it and said that it could have been better. True, it rained a lot but I thought it was great. Hats and jackets exist for a reason. I am very loyal to festivals, I definitely make the most of my time and TURN UP. 

Turning all the way up is my specialty. I love it. Dancing on the stage or on the table is my favourite hobby. For some reason I need to be high up. What’s funny is I’m not the best dancer! I am not a competing dancehall queen. But who cares..

Other things that happened:

– I kissed a German girl 

– I kissed an English guy 

– (Not at the same time) 

– I spent about €150 for the 3 days 

– A creep whispered in my ear ‘whatever happens in Summerjam stays in Summerjam’ i still don’t know who that was but they had a scary voice

– I introduced myself as Sky, not Celina. I’ve wanted to start doing it for a while. I like it. It felt right.

Doubts – I did question myself. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too free. Financially free, free time, sexually free, mentally free. I started to wonder if this is why I’m still single. 

I automatically judge that people can’t handle me and my ways. I even started to question the word; Stable. I’m comfortable like this, but it doesn’t seem normal. Here is the mind fuck, because I think I’m wry normal. My thoughts and actions are my own. No fear. Should there be a balance? Or is that the weed making me think too much. (Why I never smoke unless I’m at a festival, I hate overthinking)

I really enjoyed myself. Going to festivals alone is awesome! It’s not first choice but it definitely wouldn’t discourage me. It shouldn’t discourage you. Solo travellers, do your thing. Intergrating is easy. If any readers wanna share my tent at the next festival let me know!

Here are some pics: