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Start Of A New Journey

July, 2022
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Pirates tale, intrigue and mystery, a new beginning

Mermaid

 by Marissa
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Guyz!!!
You have an amazing story. You all look great..! H and Amihan are the heroes of your books and a movie of your life... Please save a brewed coffee for my table out the terrace in your next houseboat... I remember Amihan told me the story about how dangerous and beautiful the STING of a jellyfish she saw not swimming around because it doesn't have a fin but it was jumping around.😁❤Keep sailing and living your freedom of life and be ready if I join in one of your escapades..😀

 by Lisa Adelaide
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Mike and I read this together and are so very excited for your family and your journey. We wish we were on the high seas with you for another adventure. We still talk about our amazing boat trip in the Philippines!

You guys should get Instagram! Introduce yourselves on there and share your journey! I think a lot of people would love to follow along with a real adventure family!

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Piracy, epic tales of stand-offs, plunder, high-seas mystery and intrigue are about how this story gets started. A story that is true, a manuscript that is currently in progress. Black Flags, Blue Waters is the offspring blog/vblog that has birthed from this event. An event which made us re evaluate the values of our lives and change course.

The story starts here.

 

 We were arrested for Piracy, an unbailable charge, considered greater than murder in some countries.

In jail, a second-by-second assault on the soul, a day-to-day degradation of the self, an oppressive steel and brick umbrella that transforms seconds into hours and hours into days. My son Himalaya and I waited for our inquisition hearing that was scheduled 36 hours after our arrest.

I learned first hand long ago when I was 12 years old, that locks didn’t cure; they strangled.  And now nearly 42 years later my son Himalaya who we call H, is paying that painful price like I did for his experience, learning more today about the world than he knew yesterday – the hell of the prison system – and I prayed he would survive it!

Friedrich Nietzsche once said “ punishment makes men hard and cold; it concentrates; it sharpens the feeling of alienation; it strengthens the power of resistance”. I was somewhat of a testament of this. I can say it plagues me. It also scares me that it might be passed on to my children, so I prayed for Himalaya’s resilience, so that this experience did not own him. So that he would own it and he would hold on to his humanity. That was always the hard part.

Himalaya was my crew when we were doing a yacht delivery at the time of our arrest. The stand-off at sea is a story in itself. We carried all legal documents SPA from the yacht owner and all proper boat documentation. We also gave copies of all paperwork to the Philippine Coast Guard before we boarded the boat and I was not about to let anyone board the ship without showing any document or proof, that they had the right to stand on the ship. This was a 5hr epic standoff story in itself that will soon be told.

 

During the inquisition, we learned of an alleged new owner. So, I signed a waiver to settle out of court because I knew that the alleged new owner/complainant got the yacht back without harm or damage only a few hours after we set sail.

 

Also, I believed the alleged new owner/complainant would dismiss the case/charges on the understanding that I did not know the sailboat had been sold, was not aware of any illegal activity, and was only acting in good faith.

I was given the next 7 days to file a counter-affidavit. The case was on the fiscal level and we are trying hard to resolve it before it was filed in Court. Since it is non-bailable, by all means, we did not want to sit in jail while battling it off in court-  this could have taken 1-2 years. That said, the complainant then demanded php500,000- or 10,000usd for her to withdraw the case when we preposed to settle out of court.

 

This is when I understood it was an extortion scheme.

 

On the advice of multiple attorneys, who I will quote, ” you will spend more time in jail and money on attorneys battling this out in court than you will be paying the complainant for her demands”. Weighing the cost-Benefit Principle, I then paid 10k USD and the complainant signed an affidavit of desistance. The counter affidavit and affidavit of desistance were filed.  We waited for another 2 weeks for the prosecutor’s resolution counting the hours, counting the days. Each morning when I woke up, it seemed like a fucking reverse nightmare, everything was a state of grayness, numbness and hopelessness, with a lot of uncertainty.

The Prosecutor dismissed the case and we were released after nearly a month.

I went straight to the gym for a hard session to clear my head. My head was buzzing. I could not believe what we had just gone through. After which we took the last van trip and we spent our first night together as a family. It was such a relief and a great reunion for our family.

 

There are so many mind-boggling, unbelievable twists and turns on what happened to us. Most of them are so surreal it’s like out of the movies! A real sailor’s yarn. There is a big and mysterious back story behind this. An old friend Clark said “it’s another chapter in an extraordinary life.”

It was extraordinary. At least this chapter. It played out more like a Jason Bourne novel. One in which the characters we encountered were ruthless officials and their agents, connected to corrupt mafias and faraway lands, where Himalaya and I navigated a time that seemed so unfamiliar to us. We had to face extortion, jail, daunting internal and external struggle, until we are finally set free.

I never once saw H cry.  He did it all like a hero. H is an absolute powerhouse of strength. I am so proud of him.

This story in full is being penned. A manuscript I am currently working on. So stay tuned for its release.

 

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Riding On Mermaid

"So stay tuned for its release".

That said, we sold our property at ten cents on the dollar just to pay for the settlement of 10k USD( 500k PHP) for the complainant to drop the case. We lost a lot for something we were wrongly and unjustly accused and charged with. 

 

This was a very tough and intense experience. It gave me another opportunity to look deep within myself and re-evaluate my life.

Now, we are on board our sailboat. We are doing all our check-out formalities and will head to Malaysia. We are not sure yet when we will arrive as we are depend on the weather. All said and done we’ve got few dollars left to our name. 

 

Our family is in a new epoch, it’s a bit daunting to embark on a new endeavor after 12 years of living in the Philippines.

 

It’s also a bit nostalgic of the past when I first set out to sail across the Pacific with 500 bucks and a boat without an engine. But this time there is alot more to care for and a lot more to do. 

Our goal now is to sail the world’s oceans producing video and audio long format interviews with INSPIRING AND IMPORTANT VOICES from around the World. Along the way we will be cross-promoting, podcasting,  keynote speaking, mentoring, giving insights, providing resources, and practical support to help and inspire people to live out their passions. We will be stopping in places and connecting with new people and reconnecting with old friends to share our stories about our climbs on the highest mountains and our voyages across oceans. 

 

We want to empower people with our experiences and real-life stories so in this way, we hope to shed some light on their darkest moments in life and explore beyond the challenges before them so they may discover that they can do more than they ever thought possible. 

 

We will be traveling, looking to keynote speaking at schools/universities, rotary clubs, youth clubs, corporate and business, etc. We are also looking for interesting and inspiring people to join us on board or or venture on land to connect for a podcast sharing valuable insights and perspectives. 

 

We will also be taking people onboard (2max) for mentoring , for pleasure cruises or guided adventures around the world. Does this interest you? 

Does this interest you?

Mermaid

Our blog/vlog Black Flags, Blue Water documents our adventure, cruising the world’s oceans as a family; Sailors, Climbers, and Pirates (haha, the snark in me just had to say it) sharing stories, videos, insights, and laughs, in an effort to inspire people to live out their passions.

 

You can take a look at our work here:

https://explorerspod.com/

 

Please take note we are currently in a renovation stage with our websites with some, actually a lot, of unfinished work.

 

If you have any contacts to help us out on our journey please put them in touch. 

Also, get independent news alerts on our journeys and newly released podcast.

 If you value our work, we strongly encourage you to make a contribution. Financial support is crucial to the continuation of our activities at this stage, we currently do not cover our monthly costs. We just took a big hit and inflation and fuel prices are completely out of control. Keep our voyage online and accessible to all, make a donation today 🙂

 

"Keep our voyage online and accessible to all!

Mermaid

Questions? Please contact explorerspod.com@gmail.com

 

Please tell others about our projects and achievements. We are looking for access to students and adults alike, including additional sponsorships. We provide stories worth telling!

 

Friends: If you are excited and inspired by what we do, tell your friends and share on social media. Build a ground swell of support. We are so grateful for your support. We can’t do it without you, Thanks a million!

 https://explorerspod.com/

To all teachers: We have incredible content and success to help build out lesson plans and inspire students. Contact us to build a virtual lesson that inspires you.

Subscribe and hit notifications on our  Youtube Channel
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC8FGw8M-58ChEo4oSv7x5iQ

 Keep exploring!

 

Todd, Janet, Himalaya, and Amihan Star

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ” – Mark Twain [SAMUEL CLEMENS]

Quick Video

Dolphins are graceful, sleek swimmers that can reach speeds of more than 18 miles an hour. They are also playful and often frolic in a boat’s wake, leaping out of the water—possibly for fun or to communicate.  Dolphins never cease to amaze us!

Quich Tips -Cooking Underway 

1. Presure Cooker

Since we are fulltime cruisers now we’ve started using a pressure cooker daily. Currently, on the shortlist of galley MVPs on board Meermaid largely because of the benefits pressure cookers provide; reduce galley heat, lower fuel consumption, and offer great shortcuts to many meals.

2.
Beans are one of our go-to passage meals.

One-pot meals are essential while underway. When you can cook a meal in one pot (especially if keeping an eye on the helm  and/or two busy children) your day at sea just got a lot easier. Simplified prep, fewer dishes, and pressure cookers have locking lids by design, which means added safety if seas are a little dicy.

The easy storage of dried beans makes them a favorite among cruisers. They taste better than their canned brethren, and create less garbage. Cooking dried beans is often the first thing new pressure cooker owners learn to appreciate.

3. YOGURT

We love yogurt but most of the time it is hard to find and in some places quite exspensive. Being able to DIY on board is very helpful for both access and reducing waste (no more plastic tubs!). We use powdered milk and a thermos. Its easy, convenient and makes for lovely yogurt every day. 

4. RICE

I was introduced to perfect-every-time rice in a pressure cooker. Rice is the most widely available staple we have found while crusing the world, making this especially helpful.

Cooking rice in your pressure cooker. I put my rice, seasoning and water on the bottom, then slice sausage on top and pressure cook. Total meal in one pot. The sausage juices drip down and season the rice, yum!”

 5. SEAFOOD

Our presure cooker is perfect for steaming fresh crab. “Our small pot fits four halves (two crabs, with guts removed). Add 1/2 c water, pressure cook 5 minutes and then quick release outside on the rear deck. It is also great for steamed clams, lobster and fish curry. Have fun and enjoy!

Great food
Presure Cooker
Beans
Yogurt

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Adventure Links September 18, 2022Martin WalshAdventure Travel Mark Foo. Photo: Adventure Journal FacebookTwitterTumblrRedditLinkedInEmailShare When we’re not outdoors, we get our adventure fix by exploring social media and the web. To nourish your adventure fix, here...

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Explorers Pod
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
 by Marissa
Follow these Guyz!

Guyz!!!
You have an amazing story. You all look great..! H and Amihan are the heroes of your books and a movie of your life... Please save a brewed coffee for my table out the terrace in your next houseboat... I remember Amihan told me the story about how dangerous and beautiful the STING of a jellyfish she saw not swimming around because it doesn't have a fin but it was jumping around.😁❤Keep sailing and living your freedom of life and be ready if I join in one of your escapades..😀

 by Lisa Adelaide
Donate & Follow

Mike and I read this together and are so very excited for your family and your journey. We wish we were on the high seas with you for another adventure. We still talk about our amazing boat trip in the Philippines!

You guys should get Instagram! Introduce yourselves on there and share your journey! I think a lot of people would love to follow along with a real adventure family!

Review

96%

96%

3 Comments

  1. Pat. Gavin

    Just remember life’s not fair family first and one step at a time enjoy every minute of every day you have been blessed with a wonderful life keep exploring enjoy. Bless your family my friend I’m still jealous of all your experiences .just got done with a week hiking in the sawtooth range found out I’m getting older but I’m planning a return trip in Sept one foot in front of the other never quit
    Be mentally strong and always go one step more miss you my friend!!!

    Reply
    • belarminoventures

      @ Pat Gavin. I agree that life is not fair, nevertheless, do what inspires you. Life is too short, family first and love what you do every day. Complaining will not get anything done.

      Reply
  2. Marissa

    Todd/ Janet..you have a wonderful life story..H and Amihan are amazing, they are the heroes of your books..keep exploring and I always savor the smoky coffee out on the terrace while Amihan is telling me the story about the dangerous STING of a jellyfish she saw swimming around but she said ‘jumping’ around because it doesn’t have fins.lol

    Reply

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