Wishing to Sail the Seas

Something I have always wanted to do was go sailing. To be able to just throw my gear and provisions on a boat and just go where ever I pleased for next to nothing; to just disappear for years and visit the countries that I have not been to yet. I have been to 15 countries so far thanks to serving in the U.S. Army and after serving I went into defense contracting in the Middle East.

Gemini Catamaran
A Wonderful Shallow Draft

The idea of owning a boat seems great until you see the costs of a good sail boat. Whether it is a monohull (traditional boat) or a multihull (catamaran) the cost can be quite insane. More than most homes. But it is understandable, a lot has gone into making sea-worthy boats that are safe. They include floatation devices, life rafts, dinghies, crash lockers in the hulls, radar, sonar/depth finder, fish finders, GPS, auto-pilot, and so on. 

Cockpit and Control Station

After watching nearly a hundred plus videos on youtube on the differences of hull designs, performance, and capabilities, I have decided that I really want to own a Catamaran. I could easily live on it without a problem. They can be outfitted with many accessories. Many have solar panels, wind generators, and fresh water filtratation systems to include trapping rainwater. They can be equiped to have up to 5 berths, a few heads, a galley for cooking, and a cockpit on the back for relaxing in. Catamarans can be a self-sustaining home. I just want a simple one; 2 berths, 2 heads, and plenty of storage. The only down fall is head room. I am 6 feet and 4 inches tall. That’s the boat life I guess. They have multiple layout options.

The catamarans I think I will most likely ever afford some day might be the American made Gemini series. They are more reachable to the common man. 

Berth
Galley
Interior Lounge and Dining Area
Gemini Catamaran

The photos I used here on this post I found on Pinterest by searching, “Gemini Catamarans.” To me this is kinda like the poor man’s yacht. It’s enough for me to enjoy life a little more if ever I could afford it. Simple luxury without the super high costs. 

Not sure if a Gemini.

The Multihull boats have a much shallower draft than monohull’s do which means they can get closer to shore safely. That’s great if travelling with family and young children. You are basically able to lift rudders and back up to the beach and step into the shallows. 

The Catamaran seems to be the best choice for me all around. I will keep my eyes open online and maybe some day I will get my chance to afford one. My primary income is only disability from Veterans Affairs. Hard to afford much with that. So for now I will just chill.

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Harvesting The Rice

This morning when I woke up and started moving about the house I took a look out the window as usual. I just love seeing nature and this peaceful country side. The province life of the Philippines is so much better and healthier than being in the polluted concrete jungle called Manila. 

I noticed my neighbors were working the rice pad’s.  They are cutting it, stacking for drying, and separating the rice from the plant. It’s not easy work as light as rice seems. It’s a lot of bending over, swinging a blade, stacking, and being under direct sun. For me, if I was doing it, I am sure my back would be killing me.

Rice stacked for drying
Neighbours in the rice paddy

From an upper view the stack of rice looks similar to the shape of a doughnut. The rice that isn’t quite ready remains uncut as seen near the stack. 

Breaking for a moment
Burnt straw

Later they will burn the straw from the rice to return some of the nutrients back into the soil. 

When all the rice is gathered they will separate it under improvised shade made of palm leaves.

Separating the rice under improvised shade

Later they will lay it out again on tarpaulins for the rice to continue hardening in the husk. Some will be saved for seed and the rest will go to the mill and the rice grains will be separated from the husk. This is the Provincial farmers life.

Photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 APO DG MACRO zoom lens with hood. No editing or filters were used other than name and data stamp.

Thanks for reading my blog and viewing my photos. Please follow me here and on Instagram @david_lee_martin. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

April Flower’s Part 2

Once again I went around our Barangay Agaas taking macro photos of flower and such. Barangay Agaas is part of the Caramoan Municipality in Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines. I don’t know thw local or scientific names. I just enjoy them, so here they are. 

Some are very colorful, unique, and stand out. I just like how they can stand out from the background. I used manual focus without the flash. I wanted to isolated the flower from it’s surrounding’s. 

The Camera I used is a Canon EOS 1200D. The lens is a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro with Hood. No filters were used. No Photoshop either. 

If you like what you see in my photos you can follow me on Instagram: david_lee_martin

As always, thanks for viewing and reading. 
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

April Flower’s 

I thought I would share some shots of flowers I took this month here in the Philippines. Most of the shots are Macro.

Photo taken with Pentax Model X-5

Photo take with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 mobile phone

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO DG Macro lens
Photo taken with a Canon EOS 1200D with a Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO DG Macro lens
Photo taken with a Pentax Model X-5

When I get bored I sometimes grab the Camera or what’s always handy, the mobile, and just go for a walk. If I see something of interest that I like I take a photo of it. Living in the Philippines has been at an advantage for seeing a lot of beautiful scenery, flowers, nature, and wildlife. It’s a great place for photographers of many genres. I am still an Amateur photographer and I feel I am improving. I watch “how to” videos and observe the work of other photographers so I can have an Idea of what I want to get out of my shots. I been doing wildlife, macro, and landscapes. Soon I hope to get some portrait practice in that goes beyond selfies.  I dont use photo shop. I use a phone app to pute my name on the pictures. Let me know what you think. I am always open to constructive criticism.

As always, thanks for viewing and reading.

Follow me on Instagram: david_lee_martin
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

The Penetential Walk

Today is Good Friday and here in my area of Caramoan the locals have traditional penetential walk. It’s done barefoot from the driveway entrance of my village, Barangay Agaas, to the church in Barangay Tabgon. Just a little over 2 kilometers I think. We started with an opening prayer, a reading, and a blessing at 8:30 am and soon started walking. 

Penetential walk starting point

There were many loyal catholics of all ages who attended. There were easily over a hundred attendees. 

Waiting to start
Jesus will lead the way

The concrete’s texture along the road varied. At times it was smooth, rough, jagged, and almost like loose gravel. It was nearly unforgiving. I kept in my mind that through Christ I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it. My feet started hurting, small stones stuck into my feet. I developed blisters on the ball on my feet, the heels, and the toes. The last couple hundred yards was quite dreadful to me. Sucks having soft feet now.

Front view
Back view

Because I am tall and long legged the pace for me was super slow but I understand why. We had a lot of elderly and very young with us. It was cool in the shade and the further we went the hotter it had become. I really appreciated the shaded areas. 

Passion of Christ being played out in the streets

At the end the Church had a play of the “Passion of the Christ” going on. Mostly younger church members performing. 

First look at the blisters

It was a good lesson in suffering. It gives us a little glimpse of what Christ went through enroute to be crucified on the Mountain. Of course we will never know the extent of his suffering unless we are too crucified. His sacrifice is understood and I am Thankful. 

Photos were taken with a Samsung Note 4. 

As always, Thank You for viewing and reading. Have a Good Friday!

Instagram: david_lee_martin
David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

Hopping the Caramoan Islands

Yesterday I went Island hopping with the wife and her relatives. I had a good time and took some photos. I also got toasted by the sun. I get an allergic reaction to most creams and lotions. So trusting a sunblock is hard. Sucks when you feel the aftermath. 

Here are some images from our day on the Caramoan Islands. We started in Barangay Tabgon, Part of the Caramoan municipality in Caramoan, Camarines Sur,  Bicol, Philippines. 

Barangay Tabgon Port

Our mode of transportation were the Bangka style boats. They are narrow boats with outriggers for ballance support. 

The Leading Bangka Boat

Our first destination was Manlawi Sand bar and beach. There they had floating platforms for resting in the shade and eating. There were also local vendors there to sell snacks, drinks, and souvenirs. The wife and I bought two large conch shells. 

Floating Rest Platforms at Manlawi Sand Bar
Friendly Vendors at Manlawi Sand Bar
My wife Kristine on the Sand Bar after the tide went out.

There is a lot of beautiful wildlife and sealife here. I seen many fish and starfish of different colors. 

Small Starfish

Manlawi Beach and Mangroves

From Manlawi we travelled to Sabitang Laya. It’s a nice Island with two long beautiful beaches. The tide was low and in the tide pools and flat areas you could see a lot of sealife. The producers of Survivor also like to use this island in its show. Many countries have done their survivor series here. The US did twice. 

One of the many colorful fish around the Caramoan Islands
Yours truly holding a pair of large starfish

This is an excellent location for snorkeling and under water photography. I have yet to buy myself an underwater camera. Soon… I keep telling myself. 

Living coral attached to a rock
One of the Sabitang Laya beaches

One thing that amazed me is that you can see the peak to the Mayon Volcano. The volcano is on the opposite side of the bay, on the other side of the Caramoan Penninsula. It’s much taller than I thought. You can see it in the center of the Sabitang Laya beach photo. 

The last Island we stopped at was Haponan Island. Didn’t take any photos there. A local is building some nice cottages there. I imagine I will visit there again to show those. We waited there for about 2 hours until the tide returned. When the tide is out the boats cannot return to Tabgon Port because it is too shallow. 

If you like to see more photos please follow me on Instagram: david_lee_martin

As always, Thanks for viewing and reading. 

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran