Occupy Oakland Riots

The Occupy Wall Street Movement started on September 17, 2011. While the movement was centered in New York City, many other cities around the country started similar movements at the same time. San Francisco’s Occupy Movement was centered in the Financial District near the Ferry Terminal, first at a Bank of America, then at the Federal Reserve Building. Christi often walked by the protestors on her way to her favorite Internet cafe.

Christi worked in the banking world from 1996 to 2007. In 2002, Christi became deeply troubled by the economic policies set by the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As time went on, she became more troubled as the policies she viewed unfavorably were expanded. She wanted to join in the San Francisco protest, particularly once they moved to the Federal Reserve Building. Unfortunately, the peaceful protesters were harassed by police from the beginning. Eric made Christi promise never to go into the protest area because it wasn’t safe for a pregnant woman, particularly one who wasn’t yet showing.

After we moved Kosmos to Oakland, we saw that there was an Occupy Oakland protest set up in the park in front of City Hall, in the heart of downtown. Since it was across the street from the BART (train) station, we passed it often. Eric never went over to that side of the street to get a closer look, but Christi did several times.

In keeping her promise to Eric, she never actually went into the park, but she lingered around the sidewalk nearby and talked to some of the people that worked in the shops adjoining the park. There were a few more times she intended to stop by the park that she didn’t, though, because there was police wearing riot gear surrounding the park.

The more Christi talked to the locals, the clearer it became that this movement was different from the other Occupy Movements around the country. Instead of expressing anger about federal policies that have exacerbated income inequality, Oakland was more focused on Continue reading Occupy Oakland Riots

Exploring Oakland, California

We knew that every Sunday morning there was a Farmer’s Market at Jack London Square. But when Sunday morning rolled around, we almost fell over from shock when we walked upstairs shortly after waking up to see this:

The booths were so close to Kosmos that we could have stood on the bow and stolen produce from the stands! Here is a shot from the other direction:

Having the Farmer’s Market come to us made shopping easy! It was an especially good market, too. We knew we’d miss it when we were gone.

We did a little exploring of downtown Oakland in the month we had Kosmos there. Oakland was officially made a town in 1852, the same time the shipping industry began on Oakland’s shores.  Oakland was prosperous from the beginning. In addition to the shipping wharves, Oakland became the main staging post for passengers and cargo journeying between the Bay Area and the Sierra foothills during the California Gold Rush. In the 1860s a railroad hub was put into Oakland and the town boomed even more, with shipbuilders, automobile manufacturing, canneries and many more industries developing there. Oakland’s history is rich with fascinating information, but we’re not going to get into the details in this post.

As we walked around downtown Oakland, we noticed that most of the buildings looked to be from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was clear from the architecture, the quality of construction and the appointments that this was once a very wealthy city, and that it was beautiful in its heyday. Here are a couple of examples:

Oakland continued to flourish until World War II. During the war, an influx of Continue reading Exploring Oakland, California

More About Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation


Part 2 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People covering Australia to Oman is now on sale! Read the first few pages on Lulu’s “preview” feature and read an excerpt from Chapter 1 here (starts on page 18)!

Jeff Merrill wrote an extensive book review for the Nordhavn.com site.

Many people have asked us why they should buy our book if they can read our blog for free. Just like Part 1, the book is very different from the blog. Here are a few of the differences between the two:

  • Prologue: Picks up where the Prologue of Part 1 left off. It focuses primarily on the research we did as we planned for our journey and addresses the majority of the questions we were most frequently asked.
  • Several new stories from the journey – And there are some really good ones!
  • Many details have been added that were best left undisclosed while we were still on the journey (sometimes we didn’t want our parents worrying about us; sometimes we didn’t want to incriminate ourselves!)
  • In Retrospect sections with great insights — so you can see the situation through the eyes of a newbie as we learn, while simultaneously seeing the same situation through the eyes of experience.
  • Streamlined stories – some complained our posts were too long and detailed, the book is a condensed version they will enjoy more.
  • Formatting is first person, through Christi’s eyes – Some complained they didn’t like the third person format, so they will enjoy the book more.
  • Actual dates on each post. On the blog, the dates are not real time, which is a significant piece of information for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps.
  • All profits will go to our cruising fund. The more books we sell, the sooner you can start reading about our next journey! So, buy one and get all your friends to buy one, too!

People have also asked us why we broke the series up into four books instead of only three. We had very different experiences in each of the four world regions, so it was best for each region to have its own volume.

  • In the South Pacific, Part 1, we spent most of our time in sparsely populated areas communing with nature. And we did a lot of rough sea time, learning about boating the hard way.
  •  In Asia, Part 2, we were mostly in densely populated areas building cultural bridges. Our sea experiences were also different from the Pacific, with both our best and worst passages occurring in this region.

Book Coming Soon!

Volume 1, of the yet untitled book covering San Diego to Australia will hopefully be ready to purchase soon. Many people have asked us why they should buy our book if they can read our blog for free. Here are a few good reasons:

  • Prologue: How we formed the dream and the early planning stages.
  • The entire 21 day passage from San Diego to Nuka Hiva has been re-written. At that point, the blog was in real time and we didn’t want people to worry about us. But the truth was that it was tough!
  • Many new stories from the journey – And there are some really good ones!
  • In Retrospect sections with great insights — so you can see the situation through the eyes of a newbie as we learn, while simultaneously seeing the same situation through the eyes of experience.
  • Streamlined stories – some complained our posts were too long and detailed, and the book is a condensed version they will enjoy more.
  • Formatting is first person, through Christi’s eyes – Some complained they didn’t like the third person format, so they will enjoy the book more.
  • Actual dates on each post. On the blog, the dates are not real time, which is a significant piece of information for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps.
  • All profits will go to our cruising fund. The more books we sell, the sooner you can start reading about our next journey! So, buy one and get all your friends to buy one, too!

Mafia Strongholds, Wax Museum, and Being Fed in Crete, Greece

Wednesday, May 20 This afternoon Andronikos, Eric and Christi set out to go to an archeological site called Axon, located in the mountains. We followed the same road that we took the day we took the day we went to the monastery and cave last summer. Last year it had been and the hills were dry. Right now the hills are verdant and green, with the flowers in full bloom. It is absolutely gorgeous. Just like last year, we saw lots of goats running around on the hills and several hanging out on the road.

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We passed the monastery, but before we got to the cave we turned off onto a different road. We passed through several more small villages. One of them was the village where we had gone to the wedding with 3,000 guests a few years ago and has a reputation for being one of the most traditional villages left today. In another village, we spotted a 16th century church that looks like it is still in use. We tried to go in, but it was closed.

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The towns are nothing more than Continue reading Mafia Strongholds, Wax Museum, and Being Fed in Crete, Greece