Woh Woh Woh – Where have you been Lily!?

Wow, sorry guys. I kinda went AWOL there didn’t I?

But guess what? I have SO much to tell you!

When I left you last, oh so many months ago, I was in the Mediterranean, working on a 70ft classic sailing yacht. Remember the one?

image11Right. So, Marc and I are still working on the same boat, but a lot has happened in the meantime! For starters, we bought a boat together !!!!!!!! Yes, we bought a boat together. That’s sort of like marriage isn’t it? It felt just as serious and stressful and fun and heart-racing as marriage anyway.

Ladies and Gentlemen… Introducing… our new darling lady… the one and only…

Sailing Vessel PROJECTION – a Stevens 47:

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Wow, right? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (**NB: I’m thinking: DAMN, that’s a big boat!!**)

Yes, we bought a big boat. She’s 47 ft long! That may come as a surprise to those of you that know me as the “smaller is better” “go small go now” “who needs a fridge anyway” philosophical sailor… but there is rhyme to our reason, don’t you worry.

Here’s the thing. It’s not just our boat. It’s your boat too!

The story is, we’re launching our very own business. It’s called Projection Travel and it’s officially a company so you can go ahead and put PTY LTD at the end of that😉 We will be offering sailing and cycling charters throughout the Pacific, starting in January 2016. Think gourmet food, kayak expeditions, tropical bike tours, turquoise anchorages, yoga mornings etc, etc…        So, can I get a HELL YEAH?

More info on all that exciting stuff will come over the next few weeks as we get our website launched – watch this space for an opportunity to join us for some sailing and cycling adventures!

But by now you might be thinking… what about baby Portal?

Yes, baby Portal.


My first love… my beautiful, darling Portal. This little lady will always hold a very special place in my heart. She taught me so much of everything. And she made it easy. Portal was a wonderful First Boat, and our journeys together… all the way from the smog of LA, through the clear waters of the Pacific, and into the tidal belly of the Brisbane River… will never be forgotten! 

What? Portal’s GONE!?

Yes, ’tis true. Well, she’s “moved on” let’s say. She has found herself an abundantly suitable new caretaker, who I trust will love and care for her twice as well as I did. She will mosey her way along the Northern NSW coasts, and be grateful to have the wind in her sails once more.


… So that’s about it for the BIG NEWS items. A summary, for those of you that skip to the bottom:

  • I left my job in the Med for a 3 month crazy-head-spinning trip to Australia, where I scrubbed my lovely boat Portal within an inch of her life and sold her to a delightful man named John.
  • Marc then came to snatch me back. It was a joyful reunion after 2 months too long!
  • Then, we signed some big documents with scribbles at the bottom to say we just bought a NEW boat – Projection.
  • We are now back at work in the Med. But only for a few months – in September we jump ship, and start the real project – Projection Travel: Sailing and Cycling Adventures.

Stay tuned for more🙂



On becoming a Foodie

You know, I come from a family of amazing cooks. My grandfathers were both bakers, and one of them even a world class Danish pastry chef, Sven. He had a son who is a professional baker, Gus. He also had a daughter, Susan, who’s deliciously diverse cuisine skills are pro-level. She had a daughter, Ella, who makes the world’s best crèpes, among other delicacies. Together these two ladies, Susan and Ella, have been known to gourmet-cater to over a hundred people… while camping… for THREE days.

Get it? They’re good. Really good.

And I’ve kinda always been the one that wasn’t so good. Not that I’m known in the family as a ‘terrible cook’ or anything…  it’s just I’ve never been the one whipping up new recipes or organising feasts for dozens at a time. I’m the dishwasher in the kitchen, or chopper at best. And I know what my mum would say to this: “but you make great bread!”

My bread is alright. I’ve had better. But you know what? I think I might actually be growing into a ‘good cook’! Whether it was my early passion for heathy, sustainable food (vegan), my various jobs in hospitality, or just my damn good genes, I believe I can now officially call myself a ‘foodie’.

The culmination of my culinary experience has come in the form of my current job – cook on board a privately owned yacht. I’ve had to learn quickly, cater to lots of different preferences and figure out how to do ‘gourmet’ while sweating your weight in salt, inside a steaming, rolling, galley.

And it’s been a lot of fun! Obviously I still have a LONG way to go in being anything close to world-class, but I reckon I can whip up a pretty delicious dinner party these days.

I’ve been learning from lots of different sources, altering recipes here and there to suit. One of my favourite cook books is Pete Evans’ “Healthy Everyday” which I draw a lot of inspiration from. I’ve been baking exclusively sugar-free treats, and a lot of these dishes are gluten free too. Here are some of the things I’ve been trying my hand at:

Polenta patties with mozzarella cream and seared arugala

Polenta patties with mozzarella cream and seared arugala

Sushi with crushed sunflower paste, fresh herbs and raw vegetables.

Sushi with crushed sunflower paste, fresh herbs and raw vegetables.

Pumpkin Soup with grilled prawns and a hint of miso and sesame flavour

Pumpkin Soup with grilled prawns and a hint of miso and sesame flavour

Avocados stuffed with marinated shrimp

Avocados stuffed with marinated shrimp

Mmm, a Pete Evans winning recipe - Pomegranate and herb crusted salmon.

Mmm, a Pete Evans winning recipe – Pomegranate and herb crusted salmon.

Sushi with freshly caught (I love sailing!) fish and goat cheese

Sushi with freshly caught fish, cucumber and goat cheese

Beetroot-goat cheese salad, zucchini boats and rosemary potato wedges

Beetroot-goat cheese salad, roasted zucchini boats, rosemary potato wedges, and quail egg mushrooms

Oven-grilled filo quiche

Filo quiche with oven-grilled smokey vegetables

Sugar-free date and walnut slice

Sugar-free date and walnut slice


I love these little guys - Crushed Pea patties with smoked salmon and quail eggs

I love these little guys – Crushed Pea patties with smoked salmon and quail eggs

A wheat pasta alternative - zucchini ribbons with a raw tomato and peppers salsa

A wheat pasta alternative – zucchini ribbons with a raw tomato and peppers salsa

Dairy free, sugar free,  chocolate raspberry mousse

Dairy free, sugar free, chocolate raspberry mousse


That’s it! Lots more learning to come, but so far I’m quite happy with the progress… and I sure am having fun!


Cycling For The Moment

IMG_0816 2014 comes to an end. Imagine, in say 20 years, we’ll be blogging “2034 comes to an end”. Doesn’t that just seem like such a distant future? And yet each day goes faster by so that decades might slip on, unnoticed…

Not that I feel 2014 was unremarkable! Quite the opposite. I fell in love (!!), started two jobs, moved back to the northern hemisphere, learnt to cook (sort of), and helped dream up a future business (more on that later!). But today, I am reminded of making the most of each day, each year. Today I have returned from a wonderful bike trip, and the fire, the passion.. the ‘carpe diem’ is burning bright.

It was a short little bike trip. Just 30kms up, and 30kms down. Marc and I have both done tours where we pushed out 30kms before breakfast, so it may even be exaggerating to call it a ‘trip’. But like any bicycle journey, no matter the distance, it had plenty of sweat, ups, downs and adventure.

Christmas is a time for family, to be sure, but with Marc’s in Canada and mine in Australia, we decided to make the most of a romantic holiday. We found two bicycles, lashed on a couple of plastic baskets, loaded them up with way too much (*heavy!*) deliciously home-made treats, and set off, wobbling, up the road. Our destination was a little village called Lofou, about half way up the mountains of Cyprus. A night in a ‘traditional guest house’ suite, complete with fire-place, loft and stone cottage vibe would be our prize. Would our makeshift bike racks, bald mountain tyres, and out-of-practice thighs be up to the task?


It may only have been 30kms, but it was 30kms of unrelenting climb. Up, up, up. Sometimes, a nice 5-6% grade, the kind where you can click into your middle-of-the-low-end gearing and push on up at a moderate pace. Other times it hit the 12-14% mark, and despite being in my lowest-possible gear, I was cursing the wide nobby tyres and too-small bicycle frame, thighs burning as I urged my weight forward. We did, however, punctuate the journey with an out-of-this-world picnic, and munched on treats white taking in the majestic view.

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We did make it to the top, and our incredible accommodations were every bit as charming as we’d hoped. Champagne, chocolate mousse and scrabble by the fire… not a bad way to spend Christmas! By noon the next day we were packed and on our way back down the mountain. Another 30kms… but this time? Downhill baby!

IMG_0829 What a joyous feeling to be careening down a perfect slope, wheels spinning, watching vineyards roll by and goat-bells ringing through the hills. What a truly, live-in-the-moment feeling. The euphoria that comes over me in times like these, reminds me how important it is to follow your fire, as often as you possibly can. Sailing and cycling are my fastest ways to that freedom, and in those moments… whether it’s my gears propelling me down a mountain or the wind pushing me down a swell… in those moments, time is frozen – the moment just is.

60kms, two days and about 100euro each. Why not go?

And the memories? The memories are the kind you know you’ll remember, even as they are unfolding, even in, say, 2034.

Speed Up but Stand Still

photo 5-11 photo 4-10 And of course, always, play scrabble!photo 5-2


It’s getting to be winter in this part of the world. The tourists are flying out, cruising off, and business hours are diminishing. The mornings wake you with a crispness that brings out the green in the grass and fogs your tea glass when you take a sip. We sleep with the duvet all night, and shut the hatches to stem the breeze.

Then again, it is still Cyprus, and anyway it’s only October. Most days I can still draw a sweat if I work at it, and I’m still relishing the afternoon ocean-swim recharges. They say it’s a great island to be on year-round.So maybe the energy shift I’m feeling is all me – maybe it’s just my heart rate calming down, my body wondering: “so, what’s next? Why are we stopping here?”

A hectic 3 months of work, involving a major boat re-fit just before an intense owner-holiday, immediately followed by a quick 2 week spin to Quebec and back… I guess i should be grateful for this new ‘downtime’. But somehow, I keep getting this sneaking suspicion, that I might be… bored.

Absurd! What a self-indulgent, first-world, state of mind! You can’t be bored! Being bored is for unimaginative, rich, lonely people! Think!: What feels creative? So I use the weekend to play Scrabble with Marc, and read books, and write letters, and finally get around to updating my blog. And during the week, there is still a sizeably long list of jobs to be done. We may have all winter to do them, but boat-projects have an uncanny way of swallowing several weeks in one quick gulp. The un-boring truth is, there’s always something to do. Something that feels good, challenging, productive. I guess it just seems like, to figure out what that is, I’m spending more energy that usual.

It’s no secret to me that I’m addicted to “new-ness” – to growing and learning and changing. If life isn’t speeding me into another dimension, it’s too slow. If i’m not learning in a year what some learn in 10, I’ll press fast-forward. Is that called ambition? Whatever it is, I’ll admit it can have it’s pitfalls, and sometimes ‘fast’ can turn into ‘rushed’. But for the most part – Life’s Too Short, dammit! There’s a lot to be done, to be seen, to be felt; thinking on the run is a good way to fit more in.

Maybe the secret to success (not the BA type, the other “fulfilled” kind) is to generate that level of growth, no matter what your external surroundings are. Just because winter’s setting in, just because you’re on an island that’s winding down, doesn’t mean you can’t sprint like hell towards personal accomplishment. So, that’s my weeks resolution: wake up, dive in, and keep on moving, even while standing still.



Photo’s from life on the move the last month:

Visit new places!

Feel good!

Learn new skills!

Play with kids!









Sail in strange rivers!

Visit familiar places!

Visit old friends!

Try new amazing food!

See your boyfriend’s city!

Play on the beach!

Back to Breathing

Six weeks. It doesn’t even sound like much, does it? It’s long enough though. Long enough to change habits, long enough to weaken, long enough to grow tired. The family left a few days ago, after 6 weeks of their summer sailing holiday. We are exhausted.

From what though? Sure, the sail-wash-polish-repeat pattern can wear on you, but we love sailing and I even love polishing, so it’s not the hard work and harsh sun that tires me. It’s simpler than that. It’s the humanness. It’s letting aside your hunger for theirs, your sleep for their rest, your sweat for their air-conditioning. Their comfort and well being comes above all else. It’s our job. So they eat first, shower first, sleep first. We are there when they wake up and we are there when they retire. If something breaks, you quietly fix it. And if they don’t even notice? All the better.

So it’s worn us down a little. Even the recharge from our mid-way stop over in Gocek (to repair the goose-neck/boom fitting) feels long gone, and the last three days we’ve taken off here in Israel feel well overdue. It’s hit me in ways I didn’t notice at first – more stress, less positive thoughts, mood swings – all symptoms of no time for myself. I’m slowly re-balancing habits: stretching and meditating in the mornings, going for runs, eating regularly and re-hydrating. It takes time for that to take affect though, and I still have a frustratingly short fuse sometimes. There are moments when I feel I’ve learnt the lesson before, and can’t understand why I’m going in circles. To quote a wise friend though: “Our life cycles are more like spirals. Always spiraling outwards, never quite covering the same ground twice.” Maybe they are even moving inward, towards our truth. I am growing, and I am learning, and each new cycle brings me closer to where I want to be.

Right now my spirals are in Israel. Monday, we sail back to Cyprus, where we plan on being based a little while. Our time in this small but powerful country have been rich. It’s a new experience for me to run to a bomb shelter at 6 in the morning when a siren goes off, and then to hear the missile explode in the sky as we’re half way there. It’s nothing new for Israeli’s though, and it’s with nonchalance that many people have told us “I don’t even go to the shelters anymore”. Nice to have so much faith in the Iron Dome, Israel’s missile fighting technology. A lot feel the same way we do though: that it’s not worth the risk. Besides, just 60kms away the bombs DO hit and people ARE dying. I need a way to respect that.

I’m very grateful for the current cease fire, which has made the last few days a little calmer. We rented a scooter and did a tour – to Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, Jericko, and parts of Palestine. People-powered two wheeled vehicles will always be the best form of travel, but when you’re short on time, the petrol-powered variety substitutes pretty well. At least you’re still open to the world and not stuck in a box. There is so much to learn from this area, and I cannot begin to understand the solutions or even the problems – but meeting the people and hearing their perspective, brings me ever-closer to the humanness, and that’s what I need right now.

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Looking out at Jerico

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For the rastafari – we had to go to Zion!

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A warning to be heeded, or propaganda?

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Traveling by scooter is FUN!

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“She told me I was like the Dead Sea”

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Who, it’s hot down here!

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The road to Jerusalem

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Jerico, Palestine

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Sailing back to Cyprus

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Up a dusty road

Overdue and Overworked


Once a month, that’s my usual blog posting target. I’m quite off track! So that you can forgive me, here are some good excuses:

– Working in the yachting industry means little sleep and massive hours, especially when the owners are onboard.

– Working on a wooden boat that needs some serious TLC, means little sleep and massive hours, even when the owners aren’t onboard.

– When it’s been 5 days since the owners arrived, and already the auto-pilot, water-maker, bow-thruster, outboard, air-con, and ENTIRE BOOM FITTING have broken, you know there’s not going to be much sleep and definitely some massive hours. All but the boom are now fixed, 6 days in, mostly thanks to little sleep and massive hours.

– The yachting industry expects 5 star service. Being a cook for a family of 5 is exhausting.

– The yachting industry expects 5 star service and a well polished, well running vessel, on demand, at all times. Being a first-mate is exhausting.

–  Being both a cook and a first-mate means little sleep and massive hours.


I think you get the point. My body hasn’t seen much on the horizontal side of things, unless you count being upside down in the aft locker, blood rushing to your head and torch in your mouth. The upside is that I’ve had a very loving captain and partner to do it with, who, despite also being overworked and under-slept, finds smart solutions and a fun attitude. We work together so well, and every day re-enforces our dream-project of our own boat-business.


Hauled out a week before the owner’s arrival. Do we looked as overworked and under-slept as we are?

We are also both really learning a lot, and getting some great experience. I’m rising to the task of ‘cook’ and trying to serve up fresh, nutritious and delicious meals, that look as good as they taste. So far so good and the family seem impressed.


Smoked salmon and quail eggs on a pea pancake.

On the first-mate side of things, I’m always building on my electrical/plumbing/mechanical knowledge and actually quite enjoying fixing the endless breakages… though a break in those would be nice too. Marc is handling all captain’s duties with organisation and skill, from constant emailing and paperwork to on-the-spot repairs and our less-than-calm employer.


On a Turkish taxi boat, off to rescue our boss who is miles away with a tender that won’t start.

After 6 weeks in Bodrum, we have left that part of Turkey and are heading East towards Cyprus. The current plan is still to continue on to Israel, though neither Marc nor I would be disappointed if that changes, given the on-going war zone there. We’ll be at least a week in Cyprus, so hopefully I can update again from there. Unless I’m sleeping.


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Changing Gears and Moving Fast

I actually don’t know where to start.

Life has been moving so fast, even these quick blog posts have been swept aside. I’m still stuck in a slow February on here, which really, feels a lifetime ago.

I’m living in Bodrum, Turkey. How’s that for a start?


Ok, ok, I’ll back up. Well, for us hopeless romantics, it always starts and ends with LOVE doesn’t it?

Four and a half years ago, a man named Marc came into my life. I was sailing on “Ramble” in the Caribbean, and as we motored into a marina in the BVI’s, we passed a very fine, 90ft, classically designed yacht. She was a head turner. While everyone else was busy admiring her sweeping lines though, my attention was caught elsewhere. Leaning against the mizzen mast, was a very large-framed, well-loved, touring bicycle. I knew more about bikes than boats at the time, and I was instantly curious to meet its owner – obviously a fellow bike traveller.

The next day I wondered up the dock, and was introduced to Marc, a French Canadian… nomad. A single word isn’t enough, but nomad fits him better than most. We went cycling around the island together, and I learnt he had been on the road for almost 10 years, at first on two wheels, then later afloat. Needless to say, we had a lot in common, and discussion flowed easily as we shared stories of adventure.

I was 22 at the time, and just a few months earlier had bid farewell to my sweetheart, Charlie, before crossing the Atlantic on John’s 36ft classic “Ramble”. I was truly inspired by Marc’s enthusiasm for life, our friendship and certain conversations staying with me long after I had sailed north.

We stayed in touch over the years, through letter-writing and the occasional email, sharing the trials and tribulations of the long-term traveller – how to stop, when to keep moving, love, jobs, family…

When Portal pulled into Brisbane, I was, after 6 years of ‘on the road’, ready for some stability. I liked the idea of a 9-5, of relatives close by, of a community I was connected to. Nevertheless, any friends I told this to would shake their heads in disbelief. Maybe they know me better than myself. Maybe they knew, that despite me really wanting those things… income, stability, family… that I would give it up, all too easily, for love.

Marc flew out to Australia from Vancouver, in March. When my mother asked him what had brought him here, his answer was pretty clear: “Lily”.

Charlie and I had separated, and were working on our new phase – ‘friendship’, but I was in no hurry to embark on another romantic adventure, relishing my newfound freedom and time alone. Anyway, I had a long list of firm criteria I was looking for in a future partner and even a cursory glance at it would have you questioning if such a man existed.

Must be adventurous but also grounded and professional.

Must have great sense of humour, but love a heart-to-heart too.

Must move fast and not just welcome, but breath change and all things new.

Must not take life too seriously, but just seriously enough to live it to the fullest.

Must have his health as a top priority.

Must love sailing and cycling and want to share that with kids, as a family.

Must want financial stability.

Plus a whole bunch of other stuff, like a passion for music, languages, writing… and deeper, harder to find balances too, like loving me tenderly without putting me on a pedestal.

It was a lot! I wasn’t holding my breath.


But now I’m in Bodrum, Turkey, working on a 70ft wooden yacht as first-mate and cook, with Marc, that handsome French-Canadian as captain, and suffice it to say, he does exist, and I’m still holding my breath.

marc&lily scooter love