After some of us struggled with our land-sickness, heading back into and returning from Olbia to regain our bearings, we dressed up for one last time for our beachfront closing party at Mama Beach Club:
Taking black cabs to the venue, we kicked off those shoes with a “Can’t Hardly Wait” / “She’s All That / 10 Things I Hate About You / Superbad / Booksmart / Mallrats” kinda night as we danced outside under the rain to the conclusion of a rollercoaster week of adventure with new friends. As if all the narrative threads and variables generated in the past week converged into a singularity: This night is one for the books.
So much happened tonight I really can’t think of any other way to describe it other than the aforementioned perfect 90s teen prom movies, or the entire music video plot line for Martin Jensen’s “Solo Dance.” I just wish we got to dance.
And for the record, the final after-after afterparty took place on our very own OG “The Kraken” yacht as we threw down the final beats before another storm came our way. I think a few people liked me as the DJ.
Ahhhhh, who am I kidding here: That night there was best DJ session I had since my college days… and I won’t forget us running out into the rain, walking our final lap around Olbia, staying up afterwards to watch the sunrise together afterwards on a second attempt, and fully appreciating how the best sunrises come after rainstorms.
The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.
After all, we’re a culmination of the tiniest of random decisions that neither seem to matter or add up at the time, until they do.
…The hangover and withdrawal begins. So however delirious I am after two all nighters in a row, I still want to write this thank you.
Thank you to each and every one of you for placing your trust in, and taking a leap of faith with me for nearly all of our first Yacht Week experiences, especially as we emerge from a pandemic. This is my gratitude to your seemingly bottomless supply of patience and energy. This is a thank you for embracing that big giant question mark with me. A thank you to your courage in flying out of old storms and sailing into new storms, figuratively or literally.
I know the many of you who have traveled with me before had expressed concerns about how opposite from monsooning Yacht Week could be. It has now been made very clear after our week together that Yacht Week definitely does not appear to be monsooning … and yet the more I think about it that statement lies only at the surface level. No matter what expectations we had to manage the highs and lows, from our disappointments to the thrill of the unexpected as the week went on, I think we all realized what we had was unique and special.
The irony is not lost on me that traveling in a completely opposite style can evoke the spirit of an original style even more. When you dare yourself to throw yourself into something so big with open hearts and minds, you more appreciate how the spirit of “monsooning” isn’t just a spontaneous style of traveling, but also the act of leaping into the unknown with the type of kindred souls most people spend lifetimes looking for. This is the act of following through; a quality many of us have learned is hard to come by in so many. We now leave knowing so many good people who actually follow through; while other boats still had plenty of their diamonds in the rough, our 3 catamarans didn’t have to look very far to know our entire family was still the prize of the party. As if we were a special group of souls hand-picked to collide with one another on the crossroads of the Tyrrhenian Sea, this trip reminded me that a monsoon is who you share it with.. and happiness is best shared.
I’m overwhelmed by the joy of learning how many of you took this week to dig deeper into yourselves, establish profound connections with complete strangers, and nourish intimate spaces for the renewed sense of promise of “what could have been” many of us craved and were denied during the pandemic. And while this week may be over and the 34 of us will never be together all at once at the same time again, these memories and relationships will persist long after that last dance and goodbye embrace under the rain. That last sunrise. Our final laugh together. Nobody but us will truly understand what we just went through the past 8 days. That’s something special. That’s a monsoon.
So maybe you are or will be on your flight home enjoying the first alone time you’ve had in a week, feeling overwhelmed by …something, or maybe you’re already home, noticing everything familiar feeling a tiny bit different. Maybe something is stirring inside you as if you were still land-sick, emotions washing over you in wave-like undulations as if you were back at sea. Or maybe you’re beginning to realize what just transpired was as real as anything back home, and these wonderful extraordinary memories are actually yours to keep, and you are not alone. For I am also thinking of you, giving you a hug and sending you love from afar to reassure you that you’re not by yourself in suspecting that perhaps a needle really has been shifted. So perhaps monsooning is also suspecting — even if it’s for a fraction of a second — that millions of small random decisions ripple and add up to create happenstances that are not so random after all.
Wherever you are in the world, or whatever someone you become, we will see each other again. And knowing this, may you return home with clearer eyes and fuller hearts. Because right now my heart is full. I would never have wanted to do Yacht Week any other way, or with anyone else.
yours to the end,
- At time of posting in Olbia, it was 23 °C -
Humidity: 70% | Wind Speed: 23km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear
Our 6th morning saw us sailing towards Porto Cervo along the coastline of Costa Smeralda, but not before recreating TYW legendary circle raft:
Get out your floaties again here! It’s your last chance to enjoy the festivities of a floating festival:
As we got everyone to jump in at once to the tune of Galantis’ “Peanut Butter and Jelly” and partied it up in the middle, we felt the winds beginning to pick up.
Ending the party earlier than usual due to the conditions, all 3 monsoon catamarans sought shelter, eventually joining on ours for a Mexican-themed lunch fiesta.
We eventually arrived into safety of the nearby marina of Porto Cervo an hour earlier, not knowing we were also sailing right in the middle of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup festivities.
Dock here and you might find yourself instead swimming among shops that belong more along Champs-Élysées or 5th Avenue.
Later that night we took advantage of the local festivities going on at the Rolex Cup and crashed their afterparty at Just Cavalli While otherwise a great outdoor nightclub space, don’t bother coming here early for dinner: It’s not a restaurant. It’s a nightclub.
We then returned to our yachts where some of us stayed up chatting until sunrise, again.
- At time of posting in Porto Cervo, it was 24 °C -
Humidity: 73% | Wind Speed: 20km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear
This morning we kicked off with the Regatta; a TYW tradition where we race other boats for the coveted award of bragging rights and a free pair of Blenders sunglasses.
Our group’s chosen theme for Regatta was Burning Man/Mad Max so we constumed up appropriately:
After an epic image of all 21 yachts sailing together side by side — competing against one another for the best energy and vibe . . .
. . . While some of us spent the rest of the morning enjoying the peace of natural tranquility and a cooked meal onboard . . .
. . . I was instead summoned multiple times to treat the wounded (when Alice couldn’t be found). But ultimately we made sure the show would go on:
Eschewing docking in a marina today, our yachts arrived into the isolated inlets of Spargi and linked up in two rows for “the tunnel” to create a floating outdoor festival:
This is where you start taking photos for everyone back home to be jealous of:
No land? No problem. I get out my camera when childhood introversion hits me as the floaties come out:
Because even when I feel withdrawn at times during my travels, this is nevertheless a vibe in of itself:
After a few hours diving and lounging on the water, we retrieved back our floaties and relaxed by sunset:
Time to really really get to know each other:
As the stars came out, some of us went to other yachts to party, some stayed on our yachts to party, and some just lied back and watched shooting stars until we slept into the next morning.
I felt it was at this point a “splice” occurred where the universe would intercede on our behalf. Whether by divine intervention by way of a rabbit’s foot or that shooting star we saw, this was when we set platitudes aside, conventions and insincerities would evaporate, and true potentially everlasting bonds would begin to form. This was the night when monsooners and yacht weekers began to connect.
I mean “how could you not”:
- At time of posting in Cala Gavetta, it was 26 °C -
Humidity: 74% | Wind Speed: 23km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear
From Cala Gavetta, we raised our anchors at 9:30am and sailed further north to the French administered island of Corsica.
And yet before we even reached the marina, we moored briefly nearby at the seaside natural cliffs:
We jumped in here for a hour’s worth of snorkeling, as well as being able to swim to shores that could only be accessible by a yacht:
Our skipper freedove in the meantime to hunt for sea urchins:
’twas a success:
and ’twas a hit:
After an hour here we then raised our anchors and sailed in slowly into the marina like it was something out of a movie. Playing some background themes to “Jurassic Park” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” didn’t hurt.
Bonifacio is situated in the French Mediterranean on the island of Corsica. We’re no longer in Italy anymore.
Bonifacio is especially known for its lively marina and medieval clifftop citadel.
The Citadel, also called “upper town,” is perched more than 70 meters high on a cliff overlooking the sea.
Once we docked at the marina…
…we started exploring:
With the “pass monument” for 3.50 euros per person here, you can visit the Fortress of the Standard and King of Aragon’s Staircase:
We decided instead to take the train up to the top for 6 euros per person (round trip). It runs every 20-30 minutes.
Take your time among old town streets:
Some of us walked through the cemetery…
…and reached the edge for the views of where we had just snorkeled before:
We then headed back down to freshen up for dinner at Da Passano:
And conveniently enough walked to B52 next door, a local legendary nightclub.
We had a little fun.
This is me taking a nap
Ok, maybe a lot of fun.
We then returned back to our yachts afterwards at 2am for another impromptu afterparty by the boardwalk. A kind of party where even arms were cleaned.
- At time of posting in Bonifacio, it was 24 °C -
Humidity: 80% | Wind Speed: 10km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear
On day 2 most of us woke up to our long awaited shangri-la, aka 9:30am where all our yachts were already sailing in open waters towards the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago. Way better than yesterday’s start.
We didn’t miss a beat to finally feel the winds at our back and the sun on our faces:
Our on-board hostess, chef, and new friend Casey prepared us this magic for breakfast:
We then stopped for a brief swim in the clear blue waters and everyone got to try out their floaties. Then it was already time for lunch:
By early afternoon we docked in the old town of Cala Gavetta, which dates back to the eighteenth century and rises to the south of the island with beautiful views of Palau.
Whether stretching our legs, parking up at a cafe, or jumping on a scooter, this city is not the place to have anything particular in mind “to do.” We just kicked back at a few cafés and watched the city go by before having dinner at Zeus Faber.
At night we then changed our outfits for a “Dockside Disco” themed party outside in the city center; but the group decided to make their own party back at our yachts where we threw down a yacht vs yacht dance off as they were parked right next to each other.
Can’t have enough opportunities for group photos:
- At time of posting in Cala Gavetta, it was 26 °C -
Humidity: 73% | Wind Speed: 23km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear