A Second Epic Journey

This next week I’ll be back on my epic sailing journey through the Med. What’s that? What does this mean for blogging? Let’s dig in.

My Last Journey

As you may recall, last fall, we picked up a boat in France and “commissioned” it, which is another word for buying everything you’ll need for a journey and trying to make sure everything works. We then road-tripped south through France and Spain and met the boat in Gibraltar. Why not sail it that far south? I knew my wife had signed up for the more chill Mediterranean Sea rather than the rougher Atlantic.

From there, we sailed along the coast of southern Spain and, after three weeks of stopping here and there, finished our journey in Valencia, Spain. Valencia was magical, a truly great city like Barcelona without most of the tourist scene. After several frantic days trying to get the boat ready for storage, we left it “on the hard” (out of the water).

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This Journey

This journey will start back in Valencia, heading down to Denia, Spain, and then crossing to Ibiza. From there, we will head to Mallorca, then to Menorca. After three weeks with just my wife and I, we will head back to Valencia to pick up the kids and then back to the Balearic islands. Finally, we’ll head back to Valencia and then head back home.

Common Questions I Get from Patients

First, what are all of those lines above? That’s a picture of part of “The Office” for the next six weeks. Those are one set of clutches that run everything from the spinnaker to the tension on the boom and main sail, to raising the main sail, to the reefing system that reduces sail area in high winds. It all looks intimidating, but trust me; you get the hang of it!!

Do you have a captain? Yep, that would be me. We are usually a crew of two (my wife and I).

Is it hard to sail the boat with just two people? Not really. Modern sailing boats are designed to be navigated “short-handed” so couples can easily tackle them.

What’s the hardest thing to do? Getting in and out of tight European marinas. There is generally less room than in American marinas, and you end up “stern to,” meaning that you back the boat up to a pier and then tie it off with lines at the stern and then lines that you fish out of the water in the front (called a “med Mooring”). These bow lines are called “slime lines” because they live in the water and are, in fact, quite slimy. Oftentimes the berth they assign is way too small by American standards, so as I’m backing the boat in, my wife is often pushing some other boat out of the way. It’s often “stack ’em, rack ’em, and pack ’em.”

What kind of boat is it? It’s a 44-foot catamaran that’s sort of like a condo will sails.

How do you know how to get where you’re going and when you can sail where? Modern technology has made what old salty dog sailors used to do a breeze. While the boat has a Chartplotter (a GPS system with maps), every cell phone is also a redundant GPS navigation system due to apps like Navionics. So getting from point A to B is now much more straightforward. No more paper charts and no more dead reckoning.

How about where you can go and when? An app called PredictWind also makes it easy as you set a route, and the service uses multiple weather models to check the wind angles, the sea states, and the shape and sail area of the exact boat model to tell you the best time or day to leave. For example, below, the system calculated several routes that leave on different days from Denia to Ibiza. The straighter lines mean a faster route on what’s called a “beam reach”:

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While I’m Gone

I have prepared six videos to be released on my YouTube channel and the Regenexx and Centeno-Schultz Facebook pages. These will go out every Monday at 1 pm MST. I’ll also jump on Facebook Live once or twice while on Euro time and will blog a bit if I can.

I will still see telemedicine patients on the boat twice a week, aided by Starlink and/or a trusty 5G router. I will also be checking emails.

The upshot? I’m headed out on the ocean again for a break; however, I’ve pre-prepared lots of content for my readers. Wish me fair winds and following seas!

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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