Traveling with A Good Keen Man

Traveling with a good keen man takes traveling in an altogether rather interesting direction most times.

First let me tell you What a good keen man is, then I can continue with chatting about traveling with one.

A good keen man was first described and is the title of a New Zealand book by Barry Crump. A rugged kiwi (New Zealander) who’s life was being in the native bush (old growth forest to you non-down-under folk).

I see him also as an “attitude about life” – living/ playing in the outdoors to it’s fullest, sometimes off the grid, sometimes enjoying the company of others on his journey’s. It is always with a mind and heart open to whatever to life will bring.

A good keen man is seen as an ordinary ‘bloke’ who enjoyed tossing the urban rat-race aside to ‘go-bush’…someone who can survive and thrive out there, someone who sees the small and large of it’s wonder and someone who needs to be outdoors because it is what makes them who they are. Could a good keen man be a female…absolutely, in fact I know several.

So back to traveling with a good keen man. It is always an experience. One, that more often than not, has the outdoors as a major participant – go figure.

Countries and oceans, mountains and beaches. From New Zealand to Alaska, the Caribbean’s Dutch Antilles to Australia and beyond. Islands with crystal waters and old growth forests. My travels are filled with wonder, painful muscles, fun & laughter, and grumbling about needing to have a rest day for the tired body.

It involves history & living in the amazing worlds moment…yet saying no to the 10 mile hike that started “just a short one”. Then there are the outstanding under ocean views which out-weigh the walking next to sewers in unexpected places, all with only minor grumblings about finding enough power to charge the cameras batteries. Traveling can be an excellent way to see if you can not just get along together but survive together in and out of the ‘bush’.

With that being said, It is easy to continue to smile, be grateful for each day because to quote my Dad… ‘I’m living the dream’ and I am doing it with MY good keen man and life couldn’t be much better than that.

Sailing on….part 1

Have you ever done something so much that you are kind of “okay that’s enough for a while”…I was like that about sailing. Now I have only lived on a boat, raced in boats and cruised on a boat for about 22yrs but I would not call myself a ‘lifer’, in that I MUST sail or life would be worse because of the lack of it…image

I enjoyed each of them in and of themselves. Racing, I did many a year on a few boats that raced the once-a-week race night, plus the longer boat races, for me it is a bit of a been-there-loved-that but glad I am not doing now. I also enjoyed the day sails out and about for a couple of hours but in the end just got frustrated with “well let’s stay out for a bit long”…and 5 hours later you get to the dock. Living on a boat, in my case a 44ft monohull, was pretty easy. It could have been the two double staterooms, the shower stall w a seat, the monthly cost of living, the small but fully equipped kitchen or it could have been the blissful existence of just living on the water (something I still love).

imageCruising was definitely were my heart lay for all those years yet it wasn’t what we did a lot of…sail from one point to another, on no strict schedule just enjoying the slow sail then thoroughly exploring the next port, meeting the locals, experiencing new smells, tastes and sounds.image

With my recent experience of sailing around a few of the Channel Islands of California, my cruising smile was in place…the peace and quiet – esp with head in a book (not while on watch of course!), the sounds and smells of the sea, and just as heart warming was the ‘land-ho’ and heading ashore to check out the island, towns, and the people – the history, stories and atmosphere of it all.

imageFirst stop was Avalon on Santa Catalina, or just Catalina as it often gets shortened too, what a place of summer fun…a mixture of history, desert flora, people and places enjoying music, food & beverages and the company of others. To watch it, revel in it from the boat was a treat – the pleasure of having all the delights of home yet enjoying the overall views and atmosphere. Immersing one-self in it also was fabulous, the sights and smells, cacophony of sounds were a sensory delight. Avalon has a botanical garden of the like I have never been too – an amazing array of succulents, cacti and desert growing trees. At the end of the gardens was a view worth the 40 + minute scorching hot walk. A memorial to William Wrigley (yes the Wrigley of the gum and the field!!) was a beautifully tiled structure. The tile coming from the factory that Willian Jr established on the Island in 1927.image