We Sail. We Travel. We Explore and We Adventure. It's the Trip of our Life.

The Adventures of Dave and Alexandra

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.

WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

but we're not Tweeting or Instagramming.

Should We #HashTag?

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
26 May 2016 | Badlands and Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
21 May 2016 | Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada
16 May 2016 | Winkler, Manitoba, Canada
13 May 2016 | Jacksonville, Florida, USA
06 May 2016 | The Landing at Ortega River, Jacksonville, Florida
16 April 2016 | Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
31 March 2016 | Bahamas
03 March 2016 | Long Island, Bahamas
29 February 2016 | Abraham's Bay, Mayaguana, Bahamas
25 February 2016 | Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales, TCI
23 February 2016 | Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales, TCI
22 February 2016 | Cockburn Harbour, South Caicos, TCi
19 February 2016 | Las Terrenas, Samanà
14 February 2016 | Paraiso Caño Hondo, Los Haitises National Park
12 February 2016 | The Bridge to Nowhere, Samanà, Dominican Republic
08 February 2016 | Los Haitises National Park, Bahìa Samanà, D.R.

Zoom Zooming

26 May 2016 | Badlands and Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
Sunny and hot, with a chance of awesomeness.
On the Road in the Badlands, South Dakota.


We've officially inaugurated ourselves as RV'ers, by staying overnight at a Walmart in Fargo (North Dakota). We've heard how (many) WalMart's welcome RV'ers to stay overnight, free of charge. The benefit to them, of course, is the shopping we do. The benefit to us, of course, is a place to stop, when making tracks, all free. Sort of akin to anchoring, in the sailing world.

Of course we stopped in to buy "a few" things, promptly returned one thing, and came back to enjoy a lovely dinner of steak sandwiches.

Leisure Travel Vans had simply replaced the "I'm not sure what's wrong" Microwave/Convection with a new one, and it was one more system that needed testing, and Dave heartily approved.

We sat back and enjoyed the evening, in the parking lot.

"What on Earth is that?" Dave muttered as he leapt out of bed at two o'clock in the morning when a zamboni-like noise just outside our window woke us up with heart thumping noise. A quick check out the window revealed a Vacum Sweeper doing circles around the parking lot, and then, seemingly, sounded like he was doing circles around our van. Cleaning up debris. Walmart garbage?

After morning coffee, we were zoom-zooming along on the open flatlands of the prairie type roads.

and just as we reached the Exit to the Badlands, the brown tourism sign pointed to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

"Let's go" we both exclaimed with surprise!

Dave, trained as a Naval Weapons Tech, was most eager to visit and as for myself, well I had not idea what a Minuteman was, so of course we had to go.

"There's a tour starting in just ten minutes" said the Park Ranger, "and there's two tickets left, and you have time to get there..."

Back in our van and off we zoom-zoomed to the D-1 site, hidden in plain sight, just off the I-90.

It was an educational & informative visit to what was, only a few short years ago, serious and scary business, with many complexes hidden across areas in the USA and this one, hidden in plain sight just off Highway I-90.

The biggest shock factor for me, and one thing I didn't know I didn't realize, was learning that once launched, there was no Hollywood FailSafe factor. There was no Tom Cruise in hair rising action, who would, just three seconds away from Detonation and Destruction, save the World by pressing that button that saves all of humanity.

In the real world, the one we live on, once launched, there would be Definite Detonation and somewhere Dire Destruction.

After miles of driving in flat prairie type of lands, surrounded by never-ending fields of green, perhaps an occasional tree or two, where the road spreads out for miles ahead of you and behind you, seemingly forever, where you can watch the car in front of you drive on and never disappear, where we saw miles and miles of train just sitting on the tracks,

and even caught a crop-duster in action,

and saw remnants of an old homestead, what was once someone's home, in remote and undoubtedly harsh conditions,

we finally, and rather excitedly saw some unusual brown lumpy formations just ahead of us.

What followed was incredible moments of starting and stopping the van, clambering out, walking the trails, snapping photos, pointing here and there and everywhere, witness to jaw dropping moments of incredible and incredulous beauty here in The Badlands,

The Badlands were once, way back when, land under a stream and what we were looking at today was the resulting evaporation of it,

that had left behind impressive, hardened yet crumbly, pebbles and clumps of land and sand,

formations that rise high into pointy peaks and drop low into galleys and canyons, as far as the eye could see.

The Lakota Indians described this area as the Paha Ska (White Hills). The French Trappers in the 1700's were frustrated by the sharp peaks and crumbling rocks, and called this area "les mauvaises terres", which translates into Bad Lands.

We walked a few of the trails, stopped for lunch at one of the picnic grounds,

and even shared some time with a curious visitor,

Spectacular !!

As we exited the park, the green fields reappeared and look what we saw!!

Isn't he adorable? And then, oh my goodness!!

Bison (or is it Buffalo?) Whoa and WOW.

We drove into the impressive Black Hills and stopped at one of the National Park Campgrounds

got set up in under 5 minutes,

and promptly went for a walk around the Lake.

Horsethief Lake was created in the 1930's when the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) built a dam on Pine Creek. The CCC was a President Roosevelt's program that sent young unemployed men to work on conservation projects.

"For this hard work, they earned $1.00/day" I read out loud, and both Dave and I looked up, and marvelled and enjoyed the fruits of their labour.

On our way back to the campsite, life stopped for a moment as this deer slowly crossed the road.

We somehow felt the same way of our day today. Time had stood still for many moments as we explored such surreal and seemingly otherworldly areas, that we were still gobsmacked at all that we'd seen.

Note: Many more photos published on our FaceBook page. Pop on by and give us a like or two!

Spirited Sands and Serious Systems Testing

21 May 2016 | Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada
The long weekend was looming ahead of us and we needed Somewhere to Go and Something to Do.


We'd been spending the last few days getting ourselves sorted and stocked. We were, as you know, walking into our new home facing rather empty walls, beds, and cupboards. The Unity came with a bedsham and pillow covers, part of the Mirage Decor we'd chosen, but that's about it.

It was easy shopping in the nearby Walmart and Superstore,

and the Capt'N had, in the past few months, ordered a few items online, that were delivered straight to the factory, and held there for our arrival.

The collapsable ladder was a good find,

and allowed for easy access to the roof to check the solar panels up there.

"We need to do a Systems Check before we can really leave the area" said the Ever Serious Capt'N.
"Yes, yes we do" I replied, and...
"Mm-hmm" he muttered as he added another item to his list,
"...guess what?" I continued.
"What?" he asked.
"Guess who is near us?"

Serious Friends from our Caribbean Cruising Days, Dalynn 'n' Glen of SV Amoray. They'd sold their boat last year, returned to their home, bought an RV and were now also cruising on land and heading West to East. Our paths were about to cross and we were going to be in the same province at the same time!

We quickly set up plans to meet over the long weekend in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.

The Chartplotter (aka Nav System) onboard was intuitive and once we figured out a few up and down and enter buttons,

turned out to be easy to use.

The weather, glorious. The drive, unbelievable. We had approx 150 km's to cover and we were impressed. She drives comfortably and quietly. Of course, the highway was as flat as could be.

It being a new engine, we have to drive "prudently and economically", and Dave was quick to add,

"The Autopilot sucks..."
"What?" I said, "Why?"
"You have to hand steer the whole time".

We were there within hours of our friends, and the hugs and selfie photo-ops, were instantaneous and immediate,

as was the hiking. No rest for Team Adventure !!

Our camp was just a short hike to the Sprit Sands Trailhead. Sands? In the middle of the Flat Prairie Lands that are Manitoba? Indeed. Spruce Woods Park is in one of the few Sand Dune areas in Canada. Sand Dunes?

While it may look like it, it's not a true desert but rather a sand dune and part of the Assiniboine River sandy delta

With lunches packed, we had ourselves a serious hike ahead of us. A few hours of walking in some serious sand. Every bench was an occasion to sit down and empty our sneakers of enough sand to fill any beach buckets we might've carried with us.

Spirit Sands is detailed on all billboards as a Native Spiritual Place,

and there are many meanings to the different areas. For example, the East Gate is the Place of Beginnings, the South is The Place of Plenty, the North the Place of Wisdom and the West is the Place of Endings.

And then the long trek into the Devil's Punch Bowl. From a distance it looks rather like a green-blue pond. But it's is formed by an underground stream and in fact sand slides into the 45 meter depression and disappears.

The scenery spectacular in different shades of green and trees

and if you sit still long enough you can hear not only the birds, but see the frogs!

It was two days of spectacular fun with great friends and some serious and incredible hiking.

And as for system testing? The heater works, but we didn't need it. The A/C works and with windows wide open, we thankfully didn't need that either. The convection oven blew something and stopped working, and then, about ten minutes later, started again. And the solar panels weren't registering any incoming amps.

Great friends. Great times. Great reunions. The spirit of the moon kept us company that night, and we toasted our New Beginnings, Our Home of Plenty, Questioned our Wisdom in 6 hour daily hikes, and another Ending (for now) to a most amazing few days with friends.

Note: When we called LTV, we were told to come in first thing Tuesday morning. They replaced our microwave, no questions asked. And reconnected a wiring connection with the solar panels. All systems checked out and once again, we were on our way.

This time, we're heading South, to go West.
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest photos and tales about what we do and where we've been. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
Banyan's Photos - Main
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1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
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Photos from the first ever sailing Regatta to raise money for Breast Cancer research
12 Photos
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Photos from our cruise on Mahone Bay.
13 Photos
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Our baby
7 Photos
Created 3 July 2009

The Adventures of Dave and Alexandra

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.

WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

but we're not Tweeting or Instagramming.

Should We #HashTag?

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!