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the culprit



child, baby, boat, boating, yacht, aboard
Deck pooper watch
My name is Francesco Silva, I was born in Monte Argentario Tuscany, Italy in 1970. My parents used to cruise the Med back in the 60'/70's on a converted fishing boat, with me, grandma and a Vespa on deck. Apparently I was quite content both in good and bad weather, my playground was fishermen's nets and playmates the harbor cats.
Later we kept sailing locally, me taking sailing courses, while they ran a shop in Italy's first pleasure yacht marina Cala Galera: boats and the sea have been my natural element since birth.
I'd also visit the harbor master every day in his control tower, he'd offer me a mint and let me stick around while explaining how barometers and radios worked. I was hooked. Meanwhile my parents bought a caravan and so we traveled through Tunisia, Algeria a bit of the Sahara etc., and we kept traveling pretty much through my whole youth.

In Algeria
Father at the helm

schooner, ranger, classic, staysail, sail, sailing, costa rica
The Schooner "Racy" Ranger
I started working and traveling (on my own) at 14, then at the first chance I escaped my small town for New York City to pursue bigger dreams: I worked for fashion black and white printing studio, for an international news photo agency, but also as a cook, painter, babysitter, home renovator, antique restorer, translator, interpreter, music festival runner to make ends meet. NYC was an absolute blast, but eventually I realized that I was trying to fit in a lifestyle to which I did not belong. After five years then I wanted to move closer to my family and friends, so I quit NYC and went to work in Rome. I moved in with an old friend near the via Veneto of Fellinian memories and got work for a music video TV channel, and then in Italy's second largest photo agency (but it was never about me taking pictures, I know I'm not that good). After three years of uncertain paychecks and vile treatment for long hours, I could feel the "sea bug" coming back: luckily my neighbor had a little 20' boat parked in his garden he didn't plan to use, and let me have it for nothing. Nothing in fact was left of it but the hull and the mast, and after two years of scrounging around boatyards I got her back in the water and got sailing again, dreaming and not quite believing I would be able and confident enough to shoot for the "BIG dream". Wanting to build up my confidence and knowledge I started crewing in the winters which led me to a 1914 102' schooner in Costa Rica where I stayed six months, then sailing in Baja, Mexico, going to Namibia to a boat that was supposed to go look for wrecks but went nowhere (meanwhile I got to hitch a ride on a commercial truck through South Africa, then ride a motorcycle and camp in the Namib desert).
In the summers I worked for a charter company doing maintenance and deliveries (there I learned tons about the charter industry, navigation and boat maintenance).
Chance took me to Warsaw, found me a way to travel to Tokyo to organize a fashion show, made me live in Japan under entirely different circumstances, I even managed to organize an export of silks from India. But still, pretending to be a businessman I was as believable as the Marx brothers combined.
In the midst of this I got an offer form my old friend Tom of Karaka (old friend since we sailed together for six months in Costa Rica on the Ranger pictured above) to go sail the Malacca strait and from there 1400 miles to Maldives and Chagos in the Indian Ocean.
After six months of sailing, gone back home to Italy, I got another sailing gig but I worked hard and never saw a penny, which set me off in fury to go out there and get what I really wanted: a good "budget" boat to sail off with and leave conventional living behind, hopefully for good.
I found Keturah and it was love at the first mile...
The learning curve has been rough, since having little money I would still occasionally would scrounge in marina garbage bins for parts I might use; but while I renovated the boat one piece at a time (from steering and hull repairs, engine rebuild, carpentry, electrical and so on), I managed to sail Keturah from New Zealand through Melanesia, Micronesia, Palau, across South East Asia South China and Sulu sea 3 times. Then the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka, Chagos, Rodrigues, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa and the Transat, to Brazil via St. Helena. Then on to cruise the Caribbean for a total so far of well over 40000 miles.
Simian brotherIn 2014 my wife and I were offered the opportunity to captain a 65.5' Privilege luxury catamaran, where I rounded my "training" with fiberglass and carbon fiber handling, generator and water-maker troubleshooting, wi-fi boosters and vacuum toilets.
On the Privilege 65 we also organized all the marketing and liaise with the central agent in order to promote the boat for charter in the Caribbean. In 2015 me and now wife Michela moved again, this time to Belize as we were offered to work a charter company. Here we work as Captain / Chef-Steward team doing charters on Leopard 47 and Lagoon 500 catamarans.
We really enjoy working there so at present we're confirming for a second season our engagement (winter-spring '16/'17).
This unfortunately means that we don't have anymore the time and resources to keep Keturah in good working order and so the very sad decision to sell her.
It's been a wonderful, mystifying, life-changing nearly ten years of cruising...to be put on hold until the next boat.
My other social/web pastimes:
Flickr
Mixcloud
Soundcloud
Linkedin