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Travel. Sailing. World

Sailing-centric snapshots of boats I’ve been on, traveling around the world.

Photo Credit: Matt Ray, sunset shot of Slipaway, a friend’s boat in St Helena Harbor

I decided to create a unique collection of sailing-centric shots that one doesn’t normally see. They’re all on different boats I have seen or been on as I’ve traveled around the world, circumnavigating the globe from 2016 to 2019 as I was crewing or what I call Global Hitchhiking. If you’d like to know more about this concept, follow the link or feel free to ask me questions. I basically sailed on other people’s boats all the way around the world for the cost of my food and normal daily expenses.

Caribbean Reiki, 2016

I began my journey on Caribbean Reiki in November…


Photo by Lucas Carl on Unsplash, I really love old churches, despite my feelings about religion

How I see religion since leaving Mormonism in 2015

I left the Mormon church in 2015. Up until that point I had always been a pretty good Mormon. I was raised as a Mormon by Mormon parents. In fact, I’ve had Mormons in my family for generations. Most of my siblings and relatives are Mormon. But, I decided it was no working longer for me at 40.

Mormons spend a lot of time studying Christianity. They consider themselves Christian, they study the Bible and profess to accept Jesus as their Savior and claim that he died for their sins. So, yes, in my mind, Mormons are Christians. “Mainstream Christians”…


Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay

A poem about mending from lost love

There’s a hole in my heart I must mend
A boater’s bung might do to stop the leak that sprung there
Perhaps some epoxy or rubber cement, for lover’s lament
Bit’s of twine or superglue might fix the thru-hull
Some coagulant might assist in slowing it down
Gauze and tape from the medical kit could sanitize it
But probably do nothing to ease the pain

There’s a hole in my heart I must mend Rivets and sheet metal can be used to shore it up Against future weakness and vulnerabilities Once a heart has been weakened Hardening is the only…


Travel. British Isles.

One of many unexpected islands along my journey, circumnavigating by Global HitchHiking

Photo Credit: Matt Ray, Jamestown, St Helena

In 2019, with two companions on a 43-foot sailboat, we sailed from Walvis Bay, Namibia to a small island you may have never heard of, St Helena. It is in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, is a British Protectorate, and is best known for being the last resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte. It is where the British Empire exiled him and where he died under their guard. It also happens to be about a 10-day passage by sailboat to arrive there from Namibia. At least that’s how long it took us to get there from Walvis Bay.


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

A poem about sailing in the open ocean

Ah the morning hours at sea
Before the sun arrives
There’s light on the horizon
But the stars still fill the skies

I look up at the sails
Configured wing on wing
And outlined by the stars
As bright as anything

The sails are gently slicing
Star-sky as they sway
Tradewinds push us westward
Briskly on our way

A single sea bird circles
Around the boat and mast
Why did it ever come this far?
Where does it go so fast?

The ocean rises ‘neath my boat It lifts and pushes me And with the wind upon my sails I’m…


Climbing the “Ladder of Death” in St Helena, a popular tourist attraction

While in St Helena a couple of years ago, I decided to cave into the challenge of climbing a set of steps called Jacobs Ladder, which I nicknamed the Ladder of Death.

For those of you unfamiliar with St Helena, it’s a small island in the middle of the South Atlantic. I got there by sailboat from Namibia, a 10-day passage away. It was part of a circumnavigation I completed in 2019, by crewing on sailboats or what I call Global HitchHiking. For more information, click on the link or feel free to ask me about it in the comments.

Jacob’s Ladder


Image by daxwise from Pixabay

A poem about watching the wake behind your sailboat

Looking from the cockpit
The thought occurred to me
Everything that’s happened
I leave behind in the sea

Just like the wake of the boat
Trailing behind for miles
I’ve left the places I’ve been to
Far beyond the isles

The water in the wake
Has passed under the boat
Stabilized by keel and hull
Now smooth and flat it floats

Checking angles of your wake
Can sometimes tell your course
The same with life through looking back
Can help you live from source

© Matt Ray 2021

Want to connect…


Photo by Juri Noga on Unsplash

Some prose about a directional star that came up to guide us on our sailboat

While sailing through the Caribbean, we were sailing without an autopilot for several days and found that we could more easily sail at night using stars than anything else since they stayed constantly fixed, relatively speaking. We also found we could just as easily steer by looking at stars behind us as stars in front of us. This is about one of those stars.

It’s 4 am A new bright star on the horizon just appeared As we sail along we use you to guide our way Keeping you directly behind us We know you’ll stay there until daylight Which…

Matt Ray

Top Writer in Travel & Photography. Recently circum-sailed around the world for 3 years. Most photos used are my own. I follow back! https://lilliving.com/blog

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