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The People of 2015

by Art on

So, another year went by. For many around the world it was one they’d rather forget. The world is erupting into chaos on all fronts no matter where you live and so far, 2016 looks to be worse. However, for me it was one that I will forever treasure as it was the first year of our world circumnavigation in a sailing yacht.

Contrary to some of the videos and photos you’ll find up here it was not all sparkling wine and strawberries. We highlighted the experiences we wanted to remember while we tried to forget some of the ones that were scary or downright ugly. Don’t worry, I’m not going to dwell on either one however, I do want to focus on the special people that made this past year so wonderful for me personally.

I know, you’re saying 'Ok, here’s the gushy part' and you’re right. However, seriously ask yourself… would your wife/husband go along with uprooting your entire life and moving full-time onto a sailboat for unknown years to be with you and explore the world??? Yeah, I thought so. 😉

Tracy in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Sounds romantic, exciting, etc. but the reality is that it is much harder to do than it appears. Living 365/24/7 with the one you love challenges you both to the max. We all have space at home to enjoy our time alone, time off with friends, etc. On a 25m boat there’s very little of that. To say I appreciate how Tracy has taken on this challenge is the understatement of the decade (perhaps the century!). Needless to say, sharing all this with her has been the most wonderful part of this entire experience and something we’ll both remember long after we return to ‘civilization’.

Then there’s Giamma and Carmen, our rock. How could you do something like this without the support of friends like we have onboard? It isn’t enough to do the work necessary to keep a yacht going with maintenance, handling bad weather, different food likes/dislikes, etc. But to live with us full time is a challenge that most crews never have to experience (and don’t want to!) so we appreciate the effort they put in to pull it all together despite our quirks, our good days and bad days.

Giamma and Carmen at the helm Feelin’ Good runs better than a ‘Swiss Clock’. Giamma takes care of all the mechanical issues onboard no matter how challenging they are. There is not a system he hasn’t mastered and can fix. This is on top of being the best captain in the world and keeping us and the yacht safe in all kinds of weather and anchorages over the past two years. Tracy and I call him ‘Cool Hand Luke’ after a character in an American movie who never gets flustered in any situation and always does the right thing. We couldn’t do this circumnavigation without him, it’s that simple.

Carmen continues to amaze with unique and different cuisine all the time. No matter where we are and whatever the lack of ingredients she continues to come up with astounding meals every day. Yes, we have our favorites (ah… Pizza Night, Lasagne Sunday, Spaghetti con Vongole, Calzone con Blue Cheese e Anchovie...) but I can’t remember a day in the past 2 1/2 years where I didn’t thoroughly enjoy a meal she prepared and colorfully presented. If that wasn’t enough, she is an incredible hand on deck and is right up there in bad weather working to handle the main sail reefing or anchoring no matter what the weather or sea conditions. She’s smooth and incredibly competent on the helm (I could learn much from watching her!). Her incredible personality and humor is the center of what is so wonderful onboard. She holds us all together in so many ways…

Andrea the fisherman We’ve been so fortunate to have a number of 1st mates onboard in the past several years but Andrea has been with us the longest. His dedication to us, Giamma and Carmen and Feelin' Good have made him ‘part of the family’. He spent some time away to take care of his own boat issues (Nunki) but now is back for the rest of our time in New Zealand as well as our upcoming season exploring Fiji and New Caledonia. Also, since he joined us, our fishing has gotten better and I love his Pasta Puttanesca!!!

Eric's 40th birthday in Bora Bora Finally, we’ve had one guest onboard for a couple weeks last August/September in French Polynesia. My son Eric took time away from his busy life in Los Angeles to come spend his 40th birthday with us. What a great time we had diving and enjoying being together. He also previously came to Antigua in January to see us off from the Caribbean. I’m a really lucky father to have a son that will fly halfway around the world to see me and enjoy our time together as much as I do.

So, our sailing ‘family’ is amazing. The ‘karma’ onboard is fantastic, we all appreciate, love and respect each other and we are ready for the next season of our world circumnavigation.

Note: we also have a really nice video documenting Halfway Around the World you should go look at too!

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Comments so far

  • comment from Silver Fern Silver Fern on March 23, 2016

    Hi, Art and Tracy! Just saw this post, and loved reading it. You are right, the four of you have an excellent energy together, and always so positive! It's been a pleasure meeting all of you and I look forward to the next time. Cheers, Martha (and Bryce)

  • comment from Jill Jill on March 8, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this, Art. What a beautiful tribute to your sailing family! We enjoy following your adventures and I appreciate the color and honesty that you and Tracy share when writing. It allows us a window into your world of sailing. I've noticed that no matter where you go, you are able to enjoy the wonderful cuisine of Italy!

  • comment from Dunai Dunai on March 4, 2016

    The entire Feelin Good crew is such a blast to explore with! It has been a blessing to climb onboard and join the adventure life with you all, even if it is just for a short time. May your adventures last a lifetime! Until next time... Happy sailing!

  • comment from Art Art on March 2, 2016

    @Al - As far as I know we would be one of the first to have both flown a private airplane as well as sailed around the world. It’s not the reason we are doing this but it would be personally satisfying to accomplish. We really don’t have a date for completion of our circumnavigation as we’re having too much fun and love to meet people and explore new places so who knows when we’ll get back!

  • comment from Eric Eric on March 2, 2016

    I've always been honored and extremely fortunate to visit Feelin Good on many occasions. I love visiting my amazing sea going father, his lovely and amazing wife Tracy, and the most amazing crew I've ever known. I look forward to many, many more trips to exotic locations to see all of them again. Much love

  • comment from Eve Eve on March 2, 2016

    The people of Feelin Good have the good juju and share it in every harbor and bay where she anchors. It has been a pleasure sharing anchorages with you throughout the South Pacific. And as if that's not wonderful enough, we have more to look forward to in 2016! Cheers! Eve on SY Auntie

  • comment from Al Wendler Al Wendler on March 2, 2016

    Art, I have one question that has been nagging in the back of my mind for some time now. Has anyone else flown their own airplane around the world and then went on to sail their own boat around the world? (here's hoping that your answer will be "of course not, we're the first")

    Continue on a safe journey. Al and Linda Wendler, Apache Junction, AZ USA

  • comment from Alberto Alberto on March 2, 2016

    Wow, happy to read you again! We follow you and the crew with pleasure. In this way , indirectly, we have news of our son Andrea..... It seems yesterday, but passed more than one year we meet him in Palma, and we meet you and Tracy for the first time, and Giamma & Carmen. Thank you for sharing, enjoy NZ. Alberto&Patrizia

  • comment from Tammy Mathews Tammy Mathews on March 2, 2016

    To all of you......I am so amazed at your adventure. You must all have a big set of brass ones!!! I'm sure being in close quarters can be very trying at times. It must mean getting over it asap, no other choice. We have so enjoyed you sharing the highlights. I have never met Carmen and Giamma but through your photos and stories I feel that I understand what fantastic souls they must be. Giamma sounds like a brilliant Mr Fixit. Be Safe and Well!!