My name is Dovid Smith, I am the captain and owner of Emuna.
I was raised in an Army family, primarily between western Europe and the United States gulf coast. I have been told my first boating/camping trip I was 3 days old and slept in a shoebox. Water and waves have always been a part of my life. I learned the basics of sailing with my family on a Venture 25 and [the original] Emuna, my floating home was a CAL 25. I also remember a green power boat – probably the very one that took me out my first time off land.
I lived aboard [the original] Emuna in the Pacific Northwest for several years, and while I love this historic town and the Columbia river, it’s time for me to pull up anchor and move on – my nomad blood is singing again. When I bought [the original boat] she was a sodden, neglected and nearly stripped hull. A huge storm had torn down her rigging (it’s still down there somewhere, I haven’t managed to hook it yet, but I had another set up in storage) and there was water damage to the main mast support beam and the bulkhead that supports it. The owner had sealed it up – and then couldn’t be bothered. She was a mess, but all I could see was her potential.
I started working on her weekends as I could with friends, camping out and painting, removing, reshuffling and – due to economic fortunes that have plagued many of us – I ended up living aboard because I had a job in the town with the marina. I love Astoria. There is so much to do and see here for such a “little town” – and the fact that it’s the home of the Goonies doesn’t hurt, being of a certain age myself. And so, I kind of live in the 21st century Goondocks with a certain amount of civic pride.
This trip is the beginning of a long dream of circumnavigation. I’d like to pull back into the Port of Astoria sometime within the next five years having come full circle. But it’s more than just trying to fulfill a childhood dream – but part of a lifelong personal philosophy and how I see the world. For all the times I may grumble, past and present about people – deep at the very core of my being I believe in the viability of my species. And yes, I really do think of it in those terms. I got bit by Star Trek really hard, really, really young. I may not have a starship, but I have a sailboat – I’m still going to Boldly Go and tell people to Live Long and Prosper.
I believe we have the capacity to get along while being individuals and having different languages, cultures, customs and traditions. I believe we have the ability to see past petty differences and work together as Humans of Earth, 3 orbits from Sol, Buttnowhere, Milkyway Galaxy 9873 7634. We have one planet. If we die out – that’s it. So we need to get to know one another in tangible, personal, meaningful ways to get to the point we can see each other as people. Not numbers in a book, not dots on a map, but people and places and families and laughter and humanity. Everywhere. I truly believe that being exposed to other cultures, languages, ideas and physical places as a child who traveled deeply impacts the man I am today. I am so grateful for the way I was raised and my parents being so into learning about the cultures of the places we lived. They made sure we saw more than bases when we were abroad and some of my best memories are of places we went as a family, on water and off.
So I want to share this experience, this desire to meet others I do not know and celebrate who they are and who we are with anyone who wants to follow along. I want you to see and hear the sounds and sights of the ocean, the stars reflected on the water, the haze of land in the distance growing clearer. I want to meet you, yes, YOU. Say hello and sit down for a coffee or tea and talk about this beautiful place you live. Wherever it is. Hang out. Have lunch. Meet your Grandma. Skype with your landlocked cousin who couldn’t come. I want to meet and get to know as many of my fellow humans as I can, because I believe it can be awesome.
You can be a part of this, whether you are meeting us a port or reading our blogs and watching our eventual videos from somewhere landlocked – if I’m all about all of us then geography is no true barrier. Let me know what kinds of posts you’re interested in – I’m primarily focused on the technical aspects of preparing for the trip and planning the trip itself given that it’s only months away, but I’m far from limited to that as my interest. So please feel free to ask questions, suggest stops, tell your friends and family – let us know what YOU want out of our “relationship.” Sexy pirate people. *eyebrow waggle*
Look out world, I’m planning on a visit.
Niccolea Miouo Nance
(nick-cole-ya me-you nans)
My name is Niccolea Miouo Nance; I am a poet and painter previously living in Phoenix, Arizona (now in Astoria, Oregon) and I am the webmaster of this site and the other half of the Emuna on board crew.
I was born in Grant’s Pass, Oregon which is a land locked small town in the southern part of the state just north of the California border. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and have been a desert dweller pretty much all my life. As such I don’t have the rich nautical background that Captain Dovid has so this will be an extreme learning and life experience! To that end I enrolled in maritime studies at the local Clatsop community college.
My whole life has been a lesson in diversity and tolerance (or lack thereof). I am a Black/white biracial so since birth I have been an example of the unification of different people from different backgrounds. Being raised by my Caucasian stepfather and white mother gave me a perspective on race relations that is totally different from my friends who were raised in totally Black families/neighborhoods/etc. I have seen racism first hand, but I have also seen great tolerance and love firsthand. I choose to focus on the good in life and people. I want to continue to be someone who adds to the positivity in this world.
Even with the lessons I have learned in my life I am filled with cultural stereotypes of pretty much every place in the world and I would like to shed that. I believe that travel will help me to be a better person overall by experiencing things outside my norm. This trip will be a means to becoming a more culturally aware and more life educated person. With modern technology it also gives me a chance to show others what I am learning so we can all learn together.
This is more than just a trip for me… It is the beginning step to a goal of creating a bridge between like minded people with this project as a catalyst. It’s more than a vacation, this is more than just a grand adventure and a test of my physical and mental strength and stamina… it is a chance to learn about the world and the people in it and hopefully create a chain of positivity on a global scale!
I hope to meet you in my travels!
Captain Nigel Shortbottom
My name is CAPTAIN NIGEL SHORTBOTTOM (not to be confused with Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series)
I was born without a tail in a barn in Oregon City. One day when I was a very small kitten a guy came and asked me and my siblings who wanted to go live on a boat and sail around the world. Of course I raised my paw! (True story!)
So he brought me to his boat and trained me to stay on deck and not wander off. One day we will go to the place where the flying fishes are!
Check out Nigel’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CaptainNigel
Also, check out the #ShortbottomSunday posts on our blog. :-)
and last but not least….
As great as the trip itself is, it is made even better by YOUR participation! We aren’t just sailing around the world, we want to be part of a global discussion about being civil in spite of differences which means so much more when you are a part of it. So THANK YOU for following our blog and liking our Facebook page!