Remote Mediterranean, Chapter I

The man who sails with the stars

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Remote Mediterranean by Kenneth Perdigón, Chapter I

I like diving into the sleepy sea, early in the morning. Then I have breakfast alone, still wrapped in the towel. The first hours of the day are always my favourite. The Mediterranean is calm and still, there’s so much silence and beauty all around. When I was still a kid, enjoying the ups and downs of his school days and making regattas for fun, I couldn’t see all of this. Sailing was a sport, a competitive activity, something that would challenge you to win against something, to be better than somebody, to just go fast.

 

There is no sea tradition in my family. My friends and I have all been showed more or less the same path: do well at school, go to university, be successful, make money. I started thinking that there ought to be something more. I met some guys which were older than me, I started listening to their stories of mountain climbing and adventures in the open outdoors and discovered a kind of life different than just continuing with higher education and building a career. It wasn’t easy at all: I had to sidestep this glittering and safe path of ambition, social recognition and success, to try and find a meaning in the unknown and get the sea. Great navigators and their stories gave me the strength to go against everything I was always taught.

I discovered you could actually live whilst continuing to sail, not just spend a few hours doing a regatta and then going back home for dinner. Books about sea adventures and sailing cruises had me captivated. I was reading about the fascinating travel diaries and the poetry of oceanic travelers like the great sailing pioneer Julio Villar, who made a solo round of world trip with his 7 meters ‘Mistral’. My eyes were filled with those images and words. On my first night sailing on a boat I knew I took the right decision, I was sure I wanted to be a sailor.

At first I was just getting bored. But I learnt how to be by myself, allowing silence to embrace me and nature to be closer. Little by little I started to sense this connection with Nature growing and going out to sea was making me happier each day. I then raised anchor. I joined sailing ships that were crossing the oceans, doing whatever I could to spend time on boats and travelling for weeks without catching sight of land. Then I sailed for two years for Greenpeace, being the ship’s captain of a large beautiful wooden boat, feeling this profound connection and mission towards Nature. I was sailing and contributing to something way bigger than me.

 

It then became the time to own my first boat. I bought a very small one. I slowly restored it with effort and dedication. Across the years it turned into the boat where I lay my wet feet in this moment: Narinan comes from anar-hi anant, a Catalan expression that means going forward; slowly, but endlessly.

 

While I’m still immersed in my thoughts the rest of the crew appeared, they had woken up. I salute them with a smile and then they start preparing their breakfast. We can’t see land yet, and a few hours still separate us from Columbretes. The strong winds of the day before ceased. We were now far from the wetlands of the Ebro delta. Nothing in front, nothing behind: funnily, it was hard to tell whether we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or some miles away from Ibiza’s crowded nightclubs.

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Traveller/s
Kenneth Perdigón

Kenneth Perdigón

Sailor & Designer
Kenneth is a sailor, originally from, and based in the Mediterranean sea. He has worked at sea since he was seventeen years old. After sailing under very different concepts, from Spanish navy tall ships, to being a Greenpeace boat captain, he left the sea and became a designer of fashion products. He has worked for nearly ten years at Camper shoes and Med winds. Two years ago he went back to the sea. He has many environmental activism ideas in mind.
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