The Adventures of Alexandra and David

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

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

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!!
16 December 2015 | Hermitage Bay, Antigua
05 November 2015 | St George's, Grenada
20 October 2015 | Ronde Island, Grenada
18 October 2015 | Saline Island, Carriacou
18 October 2015 | Saline Island, Carriacou
17 October 2015 | Mopion Island
15 October 2015 | Sandy Island, Carriacou
07 October 2015 | Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada
06 October 2015 | Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada
04 October 2015 | Port Louis Marina, Grenada
03 October 2015 | Port Louis Marina, Grenada
02 October 2015
30 September 2015 | Port Louis Marina, Grenada
28 September 2015 | Port Louis Marina, Grenada
27 September 2015 | Port Louis Marina, Grenada
22 September 2015 | Port Louis Marina, Grenada
20 September 2015 | Vincennes, Grenada
19 September 2015
18 September 2015

Not Just Any ArmChair Discussion, PartAY

23 June 2017
TGIFriday!! Time for us to get up close and personal again. Just for Fun, Just for You, All About Us, Always on Fridays!


If you're just joining and today is your First Friday with Us then Welcome Aboard! Please click here for the What and Why of our Fridays in June Series. And then click here to read our second instalment, La Vie à Deux.

And today? It's Friday and where'd the week go?? and it's time for Part Three!
"What'd you say? Part-Ay?" Asked Dave, teasingly.
"No, silly" I laughed, "Although, what a great idea. Hmm, what could we celebrate? Who could we invite?"

And then I get a little more serious, as I keep on thinking {and writing}: "Today is Part Three! And the theme today {is kind of, sort of} related to a PartAy"

Read OnOn, for our answers to the questions you, our readers, are sending us. And how and why it sort of relates to a PartAy. But first, from our armchair to yours, thank you for commenting and playing along. It sure makes writing this blog a lot easier!

"The RV lifestyle is just not the same as the Cruising Lifestyle. Is that true?" Was the gist of many of the questions submitted by quite a few of you.

Sadly, we think so. There's JUST something about the Cruising Lifestyle that JUST doesn't compare to the RV lifestyle. We don't know what it is. Perhaps the exuberant travels at sea and salt air have something to do with it? But cruisers, be it strangers or longtime friends, regularly (re)unite for SunDowners. It's a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) and BAtS (Bring Appies to Share) type of gathering.

It's always a sharing of information about where we've been, where we're going, passage routes, chit chat of weather and inevtaibely? Boat Problems (and solutions). And happens anywhere really, and always when the Sun goes down. Almost like a celebration of a day well spent. AHA!

And sometimes, when you least expect it, it can and does turn into a PartAy. Don't fret though, they don't last long. Everyone is usually home by Cruisers Midnight (aka 9 pm!)

But would that happen in a Campground? In the RV world? It sure does, but not quite as much.

When we're out and about Adventuring, we're always saying "Hello" to the people we cross paths with. The Response? Dismal to None. We are constantly amazed and perplexed at this. The few who might respond, we often come to find out later, if we pursue the conversation, are Adventurers themselves.

"I hear you can stop overnight at WalMart?" Is often asked of us and we are quietly and unashamedly happy to call ourselves WalMart'ians!!

When in transit (meaning we're going from A to B, and not really in a particular area to explore) we sure are pleased that there is a place such as this for us to stop overnight. We're not there to camp. We just want somewhere safe to park, have supper, sleep, and move on the next morning.
We sit in our spot for a little bit, feeling the vibe, and that allows us to determine whether we stay or go.

"Remember that time we drove away from the THIRD drug deal going down right outside our bedroom window?" He Said?
"Or that time we woke up at 3 a.m when the WalMart Zamboni (aka parking lot vacuum cleaner) was circling around us a few too many times?" She Said.

"It's not just about WalMart. There's also Casino's, small town waterfront piers, churches, big box stores, restaurants...." He said.
"And you can sign up for a minimal fee at Harvest Hosts Where you can overnight at participating Wineries (and/or) Farms. We hear there's one for Golfers soon coming online." She said.

Here's one of our Almost BoonDocking stops, look at the view!!

Courtesy of the Nearby Hotel, Free for the Night. Sweet.

One recent visitor to our MoHo said: "I just couldn't live without my bathtub" and another one said "I love my backyard, I couldn't live without sitting out there, enjoying the view".

Our friends Annie and Cam, on Sailing on Annecam recently commented on FB with just the perfect answer. And we echo their sentiments exactly. Our backyard, our view, changes as often as we want it to.

On the RV we have the largest back yard. Ever. And when we're on the boat? We have the largest bathtub in the world. Bar None.

Back to Being WalMart'ians. Not only do they allow you free overnight parking, but there's the ability to go shopping if you feel the need, while you're there. Which brings us directly to many of you who've said: "I just couldn't live without...", "How did you get rid of everything...?", "Don't you miss having...?"

Dave being a military man, got moved often throughout his career, probably allowing him to, with time, develop a minimalist type of lifestyle. And as for me, I'm a minimalist by nature and at heart. But did accumulate a lot of stuff that goes with raising two children and providing a home for us. Not having a lot of money, and not believing in buying something if you don't have the money for it, we made do with what we had. Besides it wasn't surprising to see that the kids enjoyed playing with the box their present came in, more than the large, shiny, colourful, automated (and expensive) present they got.

So when we were in the full throes of planning for our Retirement Dream, one of the biggest challenges we faced was to get rid of stuff. We kept a few key pieces, but sold/gave away/donated everything. We still shake our heads at how much stuff we had. Today we recognize what a liberating experience downsizing was. And would you believe that 5 years later we did it again, from 40 feet of boat space to 25 feet of RV space.

"And we still find we have too much stuff!" we both, wholeheartedly, agree.

Being minimalists by nature, we both find it a bit of a difficulty to integrate ourselves back to land life. We sure live in the land of plenty, don't we? Although we certainly appreciate having anything and everything at our fingertips these days, if we want to head out and buy it, but we still shake our heads as we drive by the many Storage for Rent spaces that now seem to exist on every street corner.

"Stuff doesn't define you! Our identity is not a combination of all our stuff." So what is it, then?

Our friends, Jeff and Izzy of MV IzzyR,

summed it up perfectly when they said, "it's all about the people we meet".

This was a comment they made to us during our first year out and we were still high from our adventurings (having sailed from Nova Scotia to Grenada) and we nodded our heads in agreement. Oh, how we thought we understood. In retrospect, and in hindsight, and after 5 years of Adventurings, both on Land AND Sea, AND five years of friendships later, we now (think) we (finally!) Get It.

And today, we couldn't agree more. The people we meet inspire us and motivate us. Or in the very worst case scenario (and it happens) show us how we don't want to be. {{ giggle }}

Our Adventures allow us to Grow. To Be. To BeCome. With time we've grown and become a sum of the people we've met and the places we've been and seen. Certainly NOT anything we might've bought along the way has withstood the test of time as much as our memories have.

"One of the most important things we all make are memories."

I don't remember the last piece of clothing I bought. The last pair of shoes I own (and for the record I own four). But I sure as hell do remember that hike we took up the active volcano that is Mt Pelée (Martinique),

and the PartAy afterwards, which consisted of baguettes and cheese, and a Lorraine.

And I sure as hell remember the 6 hour hike from Lake Louise to the Beehive (up there behind us somewhere)!

That was challenging on so many levels, we didn't think we'd make it. Yet it was one of the most invigorating and exhilarating moments of my life.

"Me too" He said.
"I don't think we walked for two days after that hike" She Said.
"Might've been three" moaned He.

"Do you have Cable? How do you watch T.V.?" is the next leading question and ties in nicely with the PartAy theme.

We don't. On the sailboat, we {{ GASP }} don't have a TV. For those rare nights when it's raining or we're feeling the need to chill, we use our laptop and load a movie or show from our hard drive.

On the RV, we have two {{ SHOCKING GASP }} TV's: in the dining area, and in the bedroom. While in most populated places, we can easily pick up public TV which is all we need. And we can link that same hard drive of movies and shows to watch, to the TV if/when we need to sit back and chill.

Last night, as the sun started to duck behind the treetops, we took a stroll around the campground. We say hello as we walk by the only couple that's enjoying an evening campfire, and they shyly smile back. Most of the RV's around us are occupied, and we can tell the TV is on as it broadcasts its telltale flickering lights out the window. Which brings us to the next comment.

Over the many recent reunions with friends, conversation often turns to "Have you seen/Have you watched..." And we remain gobsmacked at the realization of how much time people spend watching Netflix instead of...?

To paraphrase (again!) something else our friends Jeff and Izzy have said:

"Our greatest fear is to sit on that couch with the TV remote in hand".

You know what? After five years of Sea and Land Adventurings, after five years of People we've met, friendships made (and friendships lost), We totally Get This Too.

Get rid of your stuff. Put down that remote and Get off the Couch. Invite your friends over. Have some fun. Go for a walk. Meet your neighbours. Say Hi. Smile. Have a Part-Ay.

Make some Memories. They'll last you your lifetime! We promise you that.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed today's Questions and Answers. And now it's your turn. Message us your questions. From the reality of our home to yours, from our comfy cozy armchairs to yours, we'll do our best to answer them, as honestly as we can, up close and personal. Just for Fun, Just for You, All About Us, Always on Fridays.

Muchas Merci Ripples

20 June 2017 | Aa
Ever notice how the raindrops landing on puddles send out never ending and ever expanding ripples? Sometimes you come across some awesome experiences, great people and really good customer service. In today's blog, I want to share two such instances, because, you know... Ripples.


"Hello, my name is Alexandra. I don't know if you remember me, but we've been writing back and forth all year, regarding my Canon camera?"

Last summer I dropped my camera off at Henry's. They took a boo at it, and told me that it would take up to 6 weeks, as they had to send it to the Big City.

Since we had a schedule of sorts, we left them with the camera (albeit a little hesitantly), anticipating that, once repaired, it could and would be sent to the BoatYard in Florida, and would in all probability be there by the time we got there.

For the first time, in a very long time, I was WITHOUT a camera in hand.

{{ GASP}}

I don't know if you've ever had that LOST feeling? I sure did. Felt like my right arm had nothing to carry. There was nothing to ZOOM in on. Not having a camera kind of cast a dreary shadow on everything. All our Adventures just seemed to pale without being able to snap the photos. Although we had a brand new iPhone, {{ which by the way has an insanely excellent camera }} it just somehow... wasn't.. the same.

I moaned my cameraless days away until one day, Andrew, the manager at Henry's, who'd been keeping in touch with me regularly, emailed.

"Your Camera is ready!" He wrote, and sure enough, within a week it arrived in Florida. It was like Christmas. I opened the box, and wait. What? There was a camera there. But it was Not.My.Camera.

I emailed Andrew and he quickly explained the mistake away. Turns out the repairs were taking longer than expected, and Canon didn't want me to be without, so sent me a refurbished {lesser quality one} for "in the meantime". Sigh.

By then, we were on a real schedule. Our Cruising Permit was about to expire, and we really had to leave the States. So the camera, in its box, sailed to the Bahamas with us, until months later when my sister visited us. And after a wonderful week of Vacationing with us (without many photos) we sent her home with Not.My.Camera so she could mail it back to Andrew @ Henry's.

And then in the spring, the InBox dinged once again.
"Your new camera is here" wrote Andrew's. "The SX720 is waiting for pickup."
I sighed.
The SX720 was Not.My.Camera. The SX710 was.
And new? It was only supposed to be refurbished?

Once again, Andrew quickly came to the answer when he replied that I'd been upgraded. Courtesy of Canon. For all my troubles.


It was hard to wait out the next couple of months, and they passed in slow anticipation. As soon as we got back home, we unpacked the box, and there she was!

We immediately walked into Henry's and asked to speak to Andrew, the manager. Which is where this story started, about a year ago now.

I totally believe in spreading the good words of great customer service. And although this was a long experience, not anyone's fault, just our series of unusual circumstances, I would like to say that both Henry's and Canon, as well as Andrew, deserve a total double Thumbs UP. Very Very Satisfied Customers here.

And you know what, in a weird sort of way, I feel whole again, somewhat like a caterpillar that has morphed into a butterfly !! Everything feels and looks better and brighter.

With camera in Hand, I am now eagerly anticipating and planning, attending and experiencing, and best of all, photographing the memories of our many Adventures.

And speaking of New Adventures, you might've noticed that we've added some extra tires to our Six Wheels. We are the proud new owners of Giant Bicycles.

We shopped around the different bike stores in the Halifax area. Dave did his usual virtual research. Yet the one store we kept returning to was Giant. Barry helped us on several occasions, and his knowledgeable and informative chats, as well as our test drives around Citadel Hill, helped seal the deal and made the whole process of bike buying much simpler.

While we waited for the bikes to be shipped, we purchased the Swagman Hitch, and not one day after it arrived, so did the bikes.

Our current home in Shubie Campground has us right next to the trails by Shubenacadie Canal. We've been riding on the different terrains as we acclimatize to two wheels, the speeds and brakes, not to mention the sweaty heartbeats of a different type of exercise.

We're really pleased with the bikes. They're responsive. They're performing excellently on all terrains we've encountered so far, from asphalt roads and pathways, to dirt paths to compact gravel to wooden boardwalks and bridges.

We've skidded some on loose gravel, pushed our thighs hard as we challenged the uphills and let ourselves fly downhills, and the rainy Nova Scotia weather had us going through some muddy puddles. And all of it great riding!

Serious Fun, but a couple of hours each day for the last week has us with seriously ouchie sit bones. Back to Barry we went and told him how much we loved our bikes, but... have sore butts. His response?

"That's good. That means you're out there riding!" He immediately sent us home with some padded seats and two complimentary bike bells. "Whoa, thanks!"

We're totally thrilled with the experience and expertise of Barry (and his staff), the Giant store here in Halifax, and the great customer service we received from him each and every time we've gone in there.

It's pouring rain here today, which means we're NOT out there riding the trails or photographing our adventures. Instead we're indoors, sitting on comfy chairs ('cause you know, sore sit bones!), writing words of thanks.

Muchas Merci Barry @ Giant Halifax and Andrew @ Henry's @ Canon.

'Cause you know. Ripples.
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 tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
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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9 Photos
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8 Photos
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22 Photos
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1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 11 August 2009
Photos from the first ever sailing Regatta to raise money for Breast Cancer research
12 Photos
Created 12 July 2009
Photos from our cruise on Mahone Bay.
13 Photos
Created 9 July 2009
Our baby
7 Photos
Created 3 July 2009

The Adventures of Alexandra and David

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

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

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!!