It seemed like an endless journey, up the Orinoco River in a flat bottomed boat with the hypnotic chug of the aging diesel engine. Paquito made the trip a day longer by pulling up the wrong fork in the river, and had to back track. Finally he made it into Valencia with the precious bale of hammocks, hand woven by the Warao jungle people. Seaside Hammocks has always gone the distance to bring amazing products from the far reaches of the earth, and this is no exception. These hammocks are made exclusively of the fibers of the Moriche palm, boiled, spun, and strapped into a sumptuous weave that contains absolutely no commercial products whatsoever. The hammocks are smooth, spacious and earthily aromatic. This is the journey of dreams indeed. The actual journey, however, was complicated by the desperate political and economic situation in Venezuela. Cesar shipped by Fedex from Valencia, and, thankfully, there was still a truck with enough fuel to drive the bale to Caracas, where it sat disconsolate for over a week while FedEx agents attempted to find an airplane to fly it home to us here as Seaside Hammocks, your Relaxation Destination! Eventually they found one, and here they are. We will be sorting and grading these incredible hammocks throughout the weekend, and hope to have them onsite after the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day!
Your hammock awaits.
Friday, May 13/16
Essence of Man:
I remember how Cesar, our Venezuelan hammock dealer described the moriche palm fiber hammock to me, He proclaimed that, when your man is away, you will always be reminded of him, as “his essence” remains in the palm fibres of the hammock! In other words, you do not want to wash the moriche palm fibre hammock. I thought to myself, what an ideal “man cave” hammock this is!
Given the hugeness of the moriche open weave hammock, it is a very good hammock choice for the “prime mates” who may dwell in the cave. Besides, the “essence of man”, that Cesar described to me, the hammock fibre has a very earthy, sea grass smell as well. Also, it is soft to the touch and very supportive of the friendly giant girth! So ladies, consider this particular hammock as the gift that keeps on giving this Father’s Day, Sunday June the 19th.
The moriche hammock has been awarded the Tommy Hamaca seal of approval. This highly ranked hammock choice has been well tested on many a night especially after happy hour cocktails, or a fine Sunday afternoon Havana cigar and many a rainy day nap.
It’s raining, it’s pouring, this old gal is snoring, snoring aloud in my hammock bed of earthy fragrant delight. The dewy fragrance of my Venezuelan moriche palm fibre hammock reminds me of the lingering earth essence from the sea grass floor mats in our Seaside Hammocks shop, “Lantana” by the sea”. Rainy days are lazy hazy dreamy days, days to be dedicated to serious relaxation!
It was love at first sight! On display, hung the most beautiful hammock with a crochet border of scallop fringe, hand woven in natural cotton. How pretty. It was eighteen years ago, in a little hammock shop in Miami, where I first fell in love with the Nicaraguan style hammock. This was the beginning of my hammock fever, and the vision for a little seaside hammock shop on east Ocean Avenue, in the quaint hamlet called Lantana by the sea. The sign out front welcomed all to “Seaside Hammocks, your relaxation destination.”
This hammock romance springs eternal in my heart to this very day. Here in the ridge town of Lake Wales, our neighbours all have porch swings. When we moved in to this charming old manse home, the porch swing was replaced with the pretty hammock with the earthy, sweet fragrance in the cotton fibre cord. Cool mornings are good reason for a little snuggle in the “porch swing” Nicaraguan Wedding Hammock. I wrap the intricate crochet borders together, making a lacey coverlet to keep the morning chill away. Puppy Patchouli jumps up and joins in the cozy nest. This is a true moment of hammock bliss. What a dreamy wedding gift this Nicaraguan hammock would be for the bride and groom. It is spring, wedding season, and hammock season, a season full of flowers, love and adventure.
Speaking of memories, did you know that scent is the strongest tie to memory? Springtime up state New York and Connecticut is one of my favourite memories. Pop up blooms of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lily of the valley, flowering tree branches of forsythia, cherry, and dogwood, and the wisteria vines, these are all a few of my favourite things. Memories of heavenly bouquets of lilacs, and one in particular, is of an old photo of darling little Kelsey in her hammock hanging between two Oaks on Round Lake. I still remember my song to her as I pushed her to and fro,” Kelsey Kocoon, by the light of the moon, swinging in her hammock, Kelsey Kocoon by the light of the moon, creating lots of havoc”…
Posted by Garden Party Kim
Maybe it is the feeling of autumn in the air, yes, even down here in Central Florida, but I find myself reminiscing on the subject of, yes, you guessed it, hammocks. Was it yesterday, or 40 years ago I strung a Mayan hammock between two pear trees on my Napa California hillside rancho? Was it yesterday or 15 years ago we opened a little hammock shop in Lantana, Florida in the Village by the Sea? Nostalgia was once considered a mental disorder, not so much so now. The wistful looking back is a sweet pleasure, even though we may have bled from time to time.
At the beginnings of it all one actually had to go somewhere to find hammocks, Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, or Colombia. Not so much so now. I fell in love with hammocks. It was almost spiritual, lying between Heaven and Earth, suspended by the hand of God! It still is, now as much as ever.
The business has certainly changed. Ramona (Mike James), Ray Baur, Richard Fairly, the Mad Gringo, Paul at Key West, all were pioneers of the digital marketing era. All brought the hammock magic to the people of America and the world. They were and are real people with a real mission. Tommy Hamaca was proud to join them. Amongst us we created an amazing edifice of imports and education, of marketing and sales. Our crowning achievement though was not what we sold, but what we gave—relaxation, comfort, moments of peace, rest to a weary world.
I remember writing some years ago that it seemed that hammock shops were springing up on line like mushrooms after the rains. Most of them have been swept away by winter storms and summer heat, because they had no real roots, no passion. In the early years of Seaside Hammocks, my competitors were real hammock people with online businesses. Now, so many are gone, sucked up or crushed by the Great Satan of our era, Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, soulless giants devouring the souls and life blood of the individual creative spirit.
Yet we persevere, doing what they cannot, innovating real products, providing actual customer service by human beings. May we “live long and prosper” that we may continue to serve you with the absolute best!
The bear illustrates the love of all sentient beings for a hammock. The bear also illustrates our contention that hammocks without bars are less tippy and more comfortable!
All summer long your hammock has been a haven of relaxation and bliss, so much so in fact that you have been lulled into a false sense that this will go on forever. But, unless you are in South Florida or Hawaii, trouble is on its way in the form of stormy weather. The bite of frost, the drench of rain, the weight of snow and the tattering of the winds are waiting to demolish your peaceful haven.
All hammocks are woven of fibers, whether natural or synthetic. As such they are vulnerable to environmental attack. Imagine, if you will a soaking string as a hard frost hits. Ice crystals form, abrading the fiber and weakening it. Last winter, for example a fellow in the central part of Florida left his rope hammock out by the pool because it looked cool, and, I think, because he imagines himself to be a sort of southern polar bear. He thought he would take a few laps in the frigid pool from time to time and then thaw out in the sun on his trusty hammock. It can get pretty cold in that part of the state, and last winter was the coldest in memory. So it wasn’t until spring that he actually took his first swim. Meanwhile the hammock still looked fine. But it wasn’t. Repeated freezing and thaws had weakened its aging fibers. You can guess the rest. Into the pool, out of the pool, onto the hammock, through the hammock and onto the deck, thus occurred a cascading glissando of disaster.
There are, of course two cautionary tales here. The first one has an obvious solution—take your hammock in during the winter. It is important that the hammock be brought in clean and dry. You may need to wash it to remove a summer’s accumulation of pollutants and organic debris. Once clean, make sure it is absolutely dry. Then hang it in a dry protected area.
The second caution becomes relevant when you set the hammock out in the spring. At this time you need to check every aspect of the hammock to make sure it is still strong and sound. Examine the fabric, strings, or rope for signs of wear. Support ropes should be replaced once a year as they deteriorate in the sun. Any chains or other hardware should be checked for rust and corrosion. Replace as necessary.
Common sense makes a lot of sense, especially when you are dealing with the delicate fibers of life and happiness. Take care of your hammock and it will take care of you.
As we have had a very busy summer shipping Mayan hammocks to many customers who may be inexperienced or unfamiliar with their use, I dug up this old gem of an article from sometime back to help you get into the swing of things:
I see it every day at the store; and I know I have to do something about it. It all starts with simply knowing how to use a Mayan or Brazilian hammock, a skill, humble in conception, yet apparently fiendishly difficult to comprehend for many of my fellow Americans.
It starts with the fact that most people think they should align themselves with the long hanging axis of the hammock. In so doing they end up assuming the general shape of an unhappy banana. Since this happens even after I have coached them to lie in the hammock at a diagonal, and right in front of me, I have concluded that I need to publish a step by step guide. So below is my patent pending walk through of a lay down in a Mayan or Amazona style hammock.
• First assumption is that the hammock is installed properly according to the instructions given elsewhere.
• Secondly these instructions are for the larger Mayan hammocks. For smaller hammocks some fairly obvious adjustments will need to be made.
• Step one: stand next to the center, or lowest hanging part of the hammock, facing away from it, and reach back and grasp a handful of the far side of the hammock and lift it up over your head.
• Then grasp the front of the hammock with your other hand and sit down in the middle.
• Then gently lay straight back into that bunch of hammock you are holding over your head.
• Now swing your feet up in and stretch the hammock out to the full distance between your out stretched hands and feet, making sure you are centered in the hammock and that you are perpendicular to the hanging axis of the hammock. Your head should not be hanging over the edge, nor should your feet.
• For some people Nirvana is already happening. But if you plan to sleep in the thing and/or reach the zenith of comfort, you now move slowly toward the hanging axis of the hammock until you find a sweet spot that supports you evenly. This will be approximately a 45 degree angle off axis in the larger hammocks, and maybe a 30 degree angle in some of the narrower ones.
• Move around, don’t be bashful, the hammock will conform to you. Give it a shot.
• Once you are used to how the hammock supports you, you can move around into any type of free form position that you like.
The above directions, of course, are for the beginner in the path of hammock enlightenment. Veterans will find their way to the doorway of bliss, in a manner of their own devising.
Author Tom Sloane has devoted years to the study and development of improved hammocks, and countless thousands of hours in the testing of Mayan hammocks. Visit Seaside Hammocks where your host, Tommy Hamaca, will guide you to the perfect hammock for home or garden.