Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Sunshine Blogger Award



Seth and I were recently nominated by a fellow blogger for the Sunshine Blogger Award -thank you, Diana! Diana writes Handstands Around the World – about hiking, travel, and the outdoors. Diana is a former gymnast, hence the handstands and the name of her site. She has great pictures of the Mountain West and beyond!

What’s the Sunshine Blogger Award? It’s kind of like a chain letter… (did that date me?) given to bloggers by other bloggers who are “positive, creative, and inspiring”. We’ve really enjoyed other sailing and non-sailing blogs since we started writing Gone Floatabout, so it’s wonderful to know that others have enjoyed our site!

Here are our answers to Diana’s questions:

1. What is/are your travel goal(s) for 2017?

Our biggest goal is for Seth to successfully defend his PhD thesis in Geneva, Switzerland this winter. While this isn’t really a “travel goal”, it involves traveling back to Switzerland. We’d also like to make another voyage in Celeste this spring/summer.

2. What is your favorite holiday and why?

Hard to choose! I think we’ll have to go with the Fourth of July. After living abroad for so many years, it’s a lot of fun to get back into the Independence Day celebrations. 2015 was one of the best, celebrating with the Aleut Natives of St Paul Island in the Bering Sea!

3. Most unique travel destination you’ve visited?

To be cheeky, everywhere (except maybe Interstate stripmalls) is unique in that each place is the only one of its kind! But to answer the question in the spirit in which it was asked, I think Arctic Alaska is one of the most remote and interesting places either of us has been. Sea Ice, Arctic Ocean

4. What is one off-the-beaten path location that you recommend for me to visit?

Since I know from Diana’s blog that she enjoys hiking, I think I would recommend New Zealand. We only barely scratched the surface of all the incredible hikes, especially on the South Island. We’d both love to go back and do more! Fox Glacier

5. Share your favorite photo from your travels:

This is a super tough one – we have so many favorites! I think I’ll just have to link back to our Photography Page where a bunch of them are organized into galleries of Wildlife, Nature, and Adventure & People.

6. What is your advice for those trying to get into the world of blogging?

I guess just go ahead and start? Be yourself and write about what means something to you.

7. What is your favorite song?

I don’t think either of us really has a favorite song… we like a lot of different music… recently we’ve been listening to a jazz artist called Brad Mehldau.

8. Worst travel experience ever?

Being robbed by our cab-driver in Panama City. Or maybe getting horrendous food poisoning in the Galapagos Islands.

9. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten while traveling?

Aside from E. coli? (Just kidding…)

In Fiji we caught a fish we couldn’t identify that was covered with hard armored plates rather than scales – any of our readers have an idea what that might have been? It was fairly large and had good-tasting white meat.

Kava (in Fiji and Vanuatu – a mild narcotic drink made from the root of a plant related to pepper) was also kind of interesting, though that’s a drink, not a food.

And in Arctic Alaska we were offered and tried muktuk, a traditional Inupiat and Inuit food, the raw blubber of a bowhead whale!

Whale meat and muktuk

Muktuk is what he’s cutting up in upper part of the photo. The red meat on the plate is raw meat of the bowhead whale.


10. Where are you from, and what is the most common stereotype or misconception about your home town/state/country? 

I was born in Northern California, and yes, I get depressed in rainy weather, think earthquakes are normal, put avocados on everything, do Pilates, and never call my home-state “Cali” (ugh). Yes, to me comfort food means either Chow Fun or a tamale and snow should be something you drive to in order to ski (just kidding – well, maybe not really). But no, I don’t hate Southern California, I didn’t learn to surf before I could walk, I don’t have a medical marijuana card, I don’t know any celebrities, and I’ve never ridden a cable car or been to LA (or Disneyland). Oh, and I don’t own a tech start-up.

Seth was born in Downeast Maine, and yes, he owns L.L. Bean boots, drinks Moxie, used to drive a Subaru, is good at ice-skating, can be fairly taciturn if he wants to be, and is familiar with shoveling snow. He’s a natural on a quad (ATV or 4-wheeler, for all you non-New Englanders), and all his bonfires light with his first match. Yes, his parents have a big woodworking shop incorporated into their garage, and yes, Seth knows how to use all the tools in it. But no, he doesn’t see a moose behind every tree or wear only flannel or drop his Rs when he talks. And he doesn’t like lobster or shellfish. (In fact he likes Chow Fun better. You’d think he was married to Californian or something….)

11. What is one important lesson you’ve learned in your travels? 

Being flexible. The joke with sailboats is that your plans are written in sand at low tide. Nothing ever goes according to plan – boat projects, weather, etc. – so it’s best just to take things as they come and not get all flustered if everything doesn’t run smoothly or if you don’t end up following through with your original ideas. Almost always, things end up working out for the best! (E.g.: We had originally planned on a 2-year circumnavigation of the globe but ended up taking 4 years and saw a lot more of our beautiful planet!)

Our Nominees:


Astrolabe Sailing

s/v Take It Easy

s/v The Red Thread

Roam Wild and Free

Adventure 69 Degrees North

Planet Bell

Dinghy Dreams

Pink Tank Scuba

Hike Bike Safari

Blissful Britt

Our Questions to our Nominees:

NB: I’m re-using a lot of Diana’s questions here because I either had so much fun with them or because I’m excited to hear what our nominees might have to say in response. So thanks, Diana for a lot of fun and some great inspiration!

  1. What is the best part about traveling (and/or hiking and/or sailing – if applicable) for you?
  2. What is the most difficult part about traveling (and/or hiking and/or sailing – if applicable) for you?
  3. What camera do you use (and – if applicable – what photo processing software)?
  4. What is one off-the-beaten path location you’d recommend that we visit?
  5. If you have a book you re-read often, what is it? If not, what’s your favorite book?
  6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten or drunk while traveling?
  7. Why did you start blogging?
  8. Where would you most like to re-visit and why?
  9. How do you approach your travels? (i.e. Do you have everything mapped out ahead of time, or do you get to a place and figure things out, or something in between? Do you use guidebooks? What works best for you?)
  10. Where are you from, and what is the most common stereotype or misconception about your home town/state/country? 
  11. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your travels?

The “rules” of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the eleven questions set by the person who nominated you (Note from me: I think 11 is kind of a lot of questions, so if our nominees would rather not answer all of them, that’s cool with me.)
  • Nominate eleven other blogs and give them eleven questions to answer (Again, this seems like kind of a lot, so if you’d rather nominate fewer or none, I won’t be bothered… though I suppose true chain letter aficionados would think that bad luck or something…)
  • Notify your nominees
  • List the “rules” and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

Looking forward to reading everyone’s responses, though no worries if you’d rather not accept the chain letter!

Author: Ellen

sailor, writer, photographer

12 thoughts on “Sunshine Blogger Award

  1. I’m a little late in getting around to reading this…but I really enjoyed your answers! And I can’t wait to go to New Zealand some day!

  2. Thanks guys, very flattered you thought of us! Will respond soon! Congrats for your own well deserved nomination too!

  3. Thank you for thinking of us. You’re one of our favorites, and we’re flattered. ~Jessie

  4. This is great! And a well deserved nomination – congrats!

  5. Whoop whoop! Thanks for the nomination. I am going to start writing my reply now!

  6. Congratulations. A good peer review is very satisfying.

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