Saturday, September 5, 2009

So this is goodbye

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The hottest shooting

A few days after my arrival, I've asked Claude & Daniel to sit down & tell the story of Kim in the Antarctic. As the location for the shooting, we chose a room above the Sun Marin workshop.

While Dani & I were working hard to make the room as dark as possible, we've realized that our new studio is quite a sauna. Never the less, this specific day was actually dated as the hottest day, this summer, in all of Europe.

To add to our unfortunate situation, Daniel was just released from the hospital, recovering from a hand surgery.

Needless to say, the two French explorers kept their cool, for the full two hours of the shoot, while Dani & I sitting in front of them, half naked & half drunk.

Here are some more pictures from those days:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Off topic: A day trip in the Camargue

Just before Dani (cameraman) & Yuval (big brother) left, we took the rental for a day trip in the Camargue.

You can watch the pictures (& read the captions) below, but it's very recommended to try the full screen experience.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The fish I am

In the moments before entering the marina of Port Camargue, I was trying hard to find my enthusiasm. A racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, a lump in my throat… nothing. After so many days at sea, I was hoping to finally feel something.

Actually, the only thing I do remember was anxiety. I set out on this voyage hoping to feel grief at last. To take myself to the limits of my soul & enjoy the darkest things I would find inside; & then, just before my voyage ended, I was going trough my inventory of emotions, wondering if I had accomplish my desires.

Thinking back, I had my moments, when darkness overcame, but it wasn't pitch black as one would imagine or as sweet as I expected it to be. It was short & accurate, so I guess only time will make the difference.

I think, somewhere along the way, in the past few years, I transformed from the emotional little fish I was, into a thinking wooden being, pushing away any feeling that may have hurt me; & then when I wanted to hurt a little, there was almost nothing left inside. So, I took my father's boat & set sail on an artificial-emotional journey, trying to transform myself back into that little fish. Hopefully, now I am somewhat of a hybrid – a thinking wooden fish.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The last sail?

Two days after I arrived in Port Camargue, Daniel & I took Black Dolores out sailing again, to what will probably be my last time sailing this boat in open sea. We were joined by Virginie, who spent her childhood & teenage years between Takai (Claude's boat) & Mowgli (Black Dolores' original name). Her first visit to the boat, the night before, ended in tears (of joy, I guess), but on this day of sailing, she just had a constant smile on her face, holding the tiller & sailing the boat again (or actually, any boat), for the first time in 17 years.

Daniel, on the other hand, did not feel the need to take the wheel. He just ran up & down the deck, checking his boat's condition, straining the stays & enjoying the way his old love was still flying on the sea.

& me? For me, it was the first time in a long time I was actually sailing like I remember sailing with my father – going with the wind, no need for destination, just letting Black Dolores make love with the water.

Here are some pictures of my first few days in Port Camargue:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Port Camargue - Mission accomplished

On the 41st day of our voyage, we finally reached our destination. People have the tendency to ask if you're excited, just before your moment of truth. Usually my answer would be 'no'. I'm usually not excited till the moment is on. So, while we were making our way to the entrance of Port Camargue's marina, I was waiting anxiously for the instant when it will hit me; & then, a distant flashing light was pointing our way – a boat in the dark, getting closer & closer, till we could hear the cheering people on board. I guess they had to remind me it's excitement time & I was feeling it right away. When Dani turned his camera light in their direction, I could finally see the long awaited faces of Claude & Daniel, two of the original French explores & makers of Black Dolores. After guiding us into the gates of the marina, Daniel Jumped on board of Black Dolores & drove his old boat back in her familiar waters. In a maneuver I didn’t know my boat was capable of, he gently glided Black Dolores into a tight spot, I could hardly park my car in.

After Claude, Daniel & their wives finished exploring every inch of the boat, we could finally open our bottle of champagne & declare: "Around the world in 22 years!".

Monday, August 24, 2009


On the 15th of august we arrived in Marseille. There, after 40 days of sailing & almost a year of separation, our family was once again complete (in our new, never really complete, version).

I don’t think my mother ever sailed without my father & I wasn't really sure she ever really liked it. I planned this voyage for her to have just one symbolic day of sailing, hoping for it to be as tranquile as she remembers. So, as my wish was the wind's command, it seemed to take a rest for that specific day, leaving us with the sea, as quiet is it can be.

It wasn't too long before I realized how wrong I was. It was when I saw my mother's disappointment as the lack of wind prevented Black Dolores from tilting enough to let my mother dip her legs in the big blue sea. I don’t know if it was a real love for the sea or the longing for my father, but when he suddenly appeared in the form of a gentle wind, tilting his first & second love just enough to let some water race against their skin, it was impossible not to notice my mother's genuine smile.

As she later told me, Black Dolores & her did not love from the first sight. On their first voyage to Cyprus, my mother refused to spend the night on board in the marina
& demanded my father to book an hotel room. When she saw him in his misery – being so close & yet so far away from Black Dolores, she decided to embrace his new young lover & do her best to love her too.


When I shot my first film, Better Then The Beatles, I was hoping to capture the breakthrough of my brothers' hip hop band, but eventually, I captured my own personal growing up process - The long for moment, when I would finally stop feeling like the kid brother & managed to become a friend to my older siblings.

On the 9th of August, in the city of Rome, both of my brothers & a German cameraman boarded the deck of Black Dolores. My brothers, who have been living in New York for the past 12 year, came directly from my father's memorial service in Kibbutz Einat. Itamar & Yuval did not sail since my father died & much before that.

When our father was around, we almost had no worries. If he was sailing this ship we could have all slept like new born babies, all the way to France. Now, I felt that I have to take the role of eldest of the tribe, to be the one my brothers can put their trust in.

& then of course, faith has decided to test me again. When we eventually left Rome, on our way to Sardinia, the gods of wind were exhaling a bit stronger then accepted. I can't say we were in a storm, but for a first day on board, the wind & the waves were quite a stomach blender. I will not mention any names, but some of our new crew members could barely hold their breakfast in & stress was in the air.

I'll try to be has honest has I can – just before arriving in Rome, the wind & the waves were quite the same & I did not make any effort to hide the fact that I'm not enjoying this ride; But the moment my brothers boarded the ship, I tried to wear my father's shoes, pretend to be a life long sailor & keep a giant smile on my face. It wasn't an easy task at first, but slowly, I started enjoying myself. It was not my new role that gave me pleasure, not at all. It was my new state of mind, bearing my father within me, with his love to the sea. Not referring to the situation has a battle, but more like a ballet – watching Black Dolores dancing beautifully between the waves.

Here are some pictures of the more pleasant momants of that voyage with the brothers:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The perfect storm

Before leaving Israel, my skipper insisted to make it clear - this is not going to be an all fun & play cruise, this voyage will not compare to the easy sailing I used to have with my father on those sunny Saturdays. Choosing to sail the Mediterranean, in this season, in that direction, could lead to some stormy situations, as I was soon to find out. After a week of sailing on a sea, that seemed to look like a big-flat-oily-mirror, I was actually wishing for something to happen - every documentary needs it's drama.

& then, just a spit away from Crete, the gods of wind decided to test the strength of Black Dolores & her crew. While we were sailing along the east coast of the island, the wind started to grow & the sea began to feel like a huge washing machine.

It wasn't too long before monstrous waves were braking on Dolore's walls, spraying buckets of sea into the cockpit. I remember looking at the wind speed meter, asking for it to settle. As the captain would later proudly tell everyone, the pick of the storm was 49 knots (while the wind forecast maps usually top at 50 knots). The fact that the land was so close was not very helpful – on the east side of the island there are no marinas. The first marina on the north coast was not very far, but the wind was so strong, it would not let us to keep our course. As there where no other options, we had to go with the wind back east, while trying to climb as north as possible, before tacking back to the island. This maneuver had to be done quite a few times in the following day & night.

The captain & his first mate, Yaron, started that day early in the morning & finished it, soaked & tired, the morning after.

When we finally landed in the marina of Ayios Nikolaos & after exchanging some of our battle stories with the locals, we have come to understand that it's very common to encounter strong winds on north-east corner of Crete, but no one could remember a storm this strong for the past 20 years.

I guess when I wished for drama, I got more then I bargained for - this storm was not fun for one moment, but I think I will always be somewhat grateful for that extreme experience.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sea encounters – The hitchhikers

After crossing the Strait of Messina, between Sardinia & Italy, we’ve decided to anchor in a little bay on the coast of Vulcano Island. A few steaks for dinner, a morning swim & we were set to go.

As we were leaving the Island, we noticed a skinny man, wearing a straw hat, trying to paddle his tiny 'Hobby 16' catamaran in a windless weather, while his beautiful daughter is still having her beauty sleep, under the mast. As our merciful captain suggested, we drove by their little boat & offered them a ride. Paul & Bianca seemed very surprised & grateful while Paul was tying our red rope to his mast.

We spent a magical hour with the modest architect & his shy daughter, on the deck of Black Dolores, having a morning beer & some Israeli peanuts.

Before entering our new anchorage spot in Lipari Island, Paul jumped in the water to untie the catamaran. The shy Bianca, who could probably not bare a moment alone with those generous strangers, jumped right after, screaming "Papi!" from the top of her petit lungs, leaving us with the perfect new word for our impersonations lexicon.

Here are some more pictures of our voyage between Sardinia & Rome:

(BTW: I've reached my destination. More on that in the next posts).