|Vessel Name:||Blue Hour|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Westerly Ocean 49|
|Crew:||Jonathon, Nina, Joni, Jonas|
Temple of Poseidon
After Hydra, we sailed to Sunion. It was wilderness except for a hotel and the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon. We arrived in late afternoon and walked up to the Temple of Poseidon. We came back in the dark and it was cool to look up and see the Temple lit up at the top of the hill. When we got back, [...]
Retrieving the cross
After Astros, we sailed to Leonidio. The town of Leonidio was four km inland, but there was a village with only five buildings right next to the harbour. The next morning, it was epiphany, which is a Christian holiday commemorating the baptizing of Jesus Christ. In Greece, the priests throw the cross [...]
Scenery surrounding Mycenae
After visiting Freddy and Freida, we walked around town. There are many cool shops in Nafplio, like a shop that sells interesting chocolates such as strawberry pepper, apple cinnamon, and caramelized rice. There is also a pottery shop that sells home-made pottery, and a wood carving shop.
Another Fort higher up on the hill.
The golden one is Freida and the black and brown one is Freddy.
At the Fort
We sailed to Nafplio, because we wanted to be somewhere secure for Christmas. It was a nice place to be for Christmas, since there were a lot of nice shops and snow covered mountains. We did our Christmas food shopping and Mom and I prepared the food. The next morning, which was the twenty-fourth, we [...]
We walked around the town of Hydra. Leonard Cohen had lived there and wrote some of his songs there, so we went and saw the house where he lived. We also saw a picture of him on the Internet standing on a plank of wood right where Blue Hour was docked. Then we realized that he was standing on the same [...]
We stayed in Russian Bay for two more days. We went on shore and cut some branches from a huge pine tree to make a Christmas tree. After lugging them back to Blue Hour on Zoom, we strapped them to the mast to make a very makeshift Christmas tree and decorated it with my origami and Jonas's model boats [...]
Part of the Sanctuary of Poseidon
The main mode of transportation in Greece is motorcycles. We sat on a bench and watched people ride by. The funniest were the old men on tiny scooters and people with kids in from of them.
We spent the next day in Russian Bay, which was the cove we were anchored in. We went hiking around the island and saw a lot of goats. Then we took Zoom to the town of Poros which was about a ten minute dinghy ride away to see if it would be good to dock there when the south wind came. We explored the town and walked up to the clock tower, then brought Blue Hour alongside the dock. It was windy the next day, which was why we wanted to be in Poros where it was protected from the south and not Russian Bay. There was a road to the Sanctuary of Poseidon so we decided we should go and see it since Poseidon was the God of the sea and worshiped by navigators. It started raining as we were riding and the road went up a big hill. We were out of breath since the road was steep, so we had to walk our bikes some of the way. By the time we got there, we were exhausted. The Sanctuary of Poseidon was more crumbled than the other ruins we saw, but the scenery was beautiful and lush. The bike ride down was fun; I didn't have to pedal the whole way. My hands were numb from holding the brakes because I didn't want to go too fast because the roads were slippery.
In the monastery, the men had to wear pants and the women had to wear skirts. Since Dad and Jonas were wearing shorts, and Mom and I were wearing pants, we had to wear the clothes offered there. They didn't fit Jonas so well.
After Athens, we sailed to Aegina, a small island. We took a taxi to the ruins of the temple of Aphaea, a Greek Goddess who was worshiped only on the island of Aegina. Then we visited a monastery. We went on a bike ride across the island which was very scenic. We passed Ancient Greek ruins of a temple that had only one column still standing and looked a bit funny. The island is known for pistachios, so we bought some. They were really good and different form the pistachios we found elsewhere. They were flavoured with lemon and salt and roasted. We also bought some covered in honey and sesame seeds. Then we went out for dinner and had really good baklava for dessert. We sailed to Poros and anchored in a cove that is almost wilderness. Jonas sailed Pierre the optimist sailing dinghy and I read in Jorge the Hammock. Dad and Jonas went swimming and I baked a cheesecake.
Part of the temple of Athena, in the Acropolis.
Gulf of Corinth
We sailed to the city of Corinth. It was really sketchy docking because it was rough in the harbour and we had to tie up to a flimsy floating dock that was moving up and down a lot with the waves. We tied to shore just incase the floating dock broke.
The navel of the world
Temple of Athena.
We stayed in Patras one more day. I baked and Dad went and got a package that had come in the mail. It had the insides of an advent calendar from Oma and Opa. It was a pleasant surprise, because I didn't think I would be getting an advent calendar. The next day, we sailed to Galaxidi. It is a small town [...]
In the town on top of the mountain.
In Kioni, we walked around town, but we hardly saw anyone because it wasn’t tourist season. There were orange and lemon trees everywhere, but we didn’t pick any because they looked like they belonged to people. The next day, we tried to hike to the point, but the path didn’t go all the way there, [...]
Sixth century basilica
In Fiskardho, a town on the island of Kefalonia, we went for a really short hike to a lighthouse and a sixth century basilica. Most of the walls had crumbled, but there were a few still standing. There were cats everywhere, on the dock, and in stores and restaurants. We had a snack at Irida's, a cafe across from Blue Hour. We ate Greek meatballs and fed the fish some bread, since we were at the edge of a stone walkway on the water. Irida's granddaughters, Angelica and Athena, served us the food, and then they tried to catch some fish with a net with Jonas. They caught two octopi, but they didn't keep them. The next day was a make-and-mend day, so I baked and Dad and Jonas repaired the cockpit enclosure and one of our sails, while Mom cleaned. Then Jonas and I made Triple Cheese Macaroni, one of my specialties, for dinner and we went to Irida's for some baklava. Her two cats were roaming around her cafe and sat on me and Dad's laps. The day after that, we said goodbye to Irida and sailed to Kioni on the island Ithaca.
In Taormina, we hiked to a town on top of a big hill. There was an old Roman amphitheatre there and people still did concerts and plays on the stage. We went out for our last Italian dinner, because we were leaving for Greece to next day. One of the dishes we ate was spaghetti with squid ink. It tasted [...]
The Aeolian Islands were really nice. We sailed to Lipari. We walked around town and went to an archeology museum. We saw ancient pottery and Greek and Roman sculptures. Then we sailed to an active volcano named Stromboli. There were no good anchorages, so we sailed past the island and then to Panarea. [...]
Stinky sulfer smoke.
The crater at the top of the volcano.
Old man in the rock.
We went to three empty marinas in a row. The first one was called Arenella and we left the next morning. Then we sailed to Cefalu. It was sketchy because it was a fishing harbour and only had concrete walls instead of pontoons. The walls were rough and had many things sticking out of it, so we had our [...]
We went on a 1 1/2 day passage to Sicily, another Italian island, on November 8th and arrived on the 9th. It was pretty easy and nobody was really seasick. We arrived at a place called Trapani. We walked in town and then went on a really long cable car ride to the top of a mountain. There was a medieval village on top and people still lived there. There were also a lot of old castles, including the Castle of Venus. The village was all made of stone and there were a lot of winding streets that you could easily get lost in. The castles were not entirely in ruins, and the buildings and carvings were still there. Then we took the cable car back down and went to a famous pizza place. The next day, Mom went to the bakery and bought croissants for breakfast. Then we walked around town again. The day after that, we sailed to Castelammare. We walked around and played tag in a square and the ate fresh, steamed artichokes and Sicilian shrimp on pasta for dinner that we bought at the market in Trapani.
Sardinia was very nice because it was not as built up as the Balearics. At the restaurant in Portoscuso, we ate spaghetti vongole (spaghetti with clams), ravioli, and calamari for dinner. For dessert, we ate a Sardinian dessert called pardula (a little cake inside crunchy pastry) and deep fried ravioli [...]
Device for winding up fish nets in the 16th century shipyard.
16th century shipyard.
We did a one night passage to Sardinia, a big Italian island west of mainland Italy. It was rough for the first few hours, but then it was fine. We arrived in a place called Portoscuso just before lunch on the second day and Dad and Mom took a nap. We calculated that it had been exactly 64 hours since we had been in a place this calm, since Cala Gran was rough after we came home from grocery shopping, Cala de Binibeca was rough and we didn’t go to shore, and we had been at sea the rest of the time. We walked to a shipyard from the 16th century and along the water. Then we ate tuna shish kebabs from two small tunas we caught off the coast of Sardinia for dinner. Today, we walked around town, but everything was closed. We will go to an Italian restaurant for dinner tonight and I am really excited!
Near the lighthouse.
It was a very windy day and we hiked up to a lighthouse. We sailed to Cala Gran on the island Mallorca the next day to go shopping, because we were low on food, and the day after that sailed to Cala de Binibecab on the island Menorca. We had an early Halloween there (October 30) because on the real Halloween, we would be at sea heading to Italy. For Halloween, Jonas and I walked around the deck and trick-or-treated on our door. Mom and Dad dressed up as different people each time we knocked and gave us candy. Jonas dressed up as a Newfoundland fisherman and I dressed up as a fortune teller from a book called Harry Potter, named Professor Trelawney.
Really long, narrow, dark, spiral staircase
We left Badella, the first place we were in in the Balearic Islands, because the mooring weren't so sturdy and we were afraid of crashing into the rocks. We sailed to Porroig and went snorkelling, but there was loud music playing from a nearby house until 5:00 a.m., and we figured out why the island we were on was nicknamed "Party Island." We finally found a quiet spot, called Es Palmador, which was not on "Party Island" anymore. The water was really warm and we snorkelled to the beach. Jonas and I got stung by jellyfish. We hung around on the beach and in the water for almost 2 days, before sailing to Cala Llonga. It was a town, so we went out for dinner at a place called Can Nuts. Then we went to Cabrera, a national park and also a military base. There is an old castle here, and we hiked up to it. You can walk in the castle and up a really long, narrow, curvy, and dark staircase to the top, where you can see, Mallorca, another island in the Balearics. Today, we had a low-key day and relaxed on Blue Hour.
The Balearic Islands
We sailed to Cartagena, and for once arrived in the afternoon instead of at night. There was an old Roman amphitheatre there, so we went to see it. It was very cool. There were the remains of old columns and the seating area was more or less intact, but the stage had been redone. People had been building [...]
Doing school under weigh (while sailing).
All along Costa de Sol, there are white tarps covering the ground. They are greenhouses to keep in moisture, but they look like glaciers.
We sailed back to Gibraltar, then left the next morning to sail to a place in Spain called Fuengirola. We arrived in the evening and went out for gelato. The next day, Mom and I went shopping for glasses for my Halloween costume. We sailed to Caleta de Valez and the next morning, went to Almerimar. On the way, we caught 2 tuna, which we made into sushi rolls. Today, we actually sailed without using the engine for the first time in a while.
The blue town
We left Gibraltar and sailed to Marina Smir, Morocco. It was a short trip, since Morocco is just across the Straits of Gibraltar. We took a taxi to the nearest big city, Tetouan, where a guide took us aroundo the old town. We were really glad we had a guide because there was a maze of alleyways that [...]
St. Michael’s Cave
We went out for a breakfast of toast, eggs, bacon, sausages, french fries, and beans. Then we took a cable car up to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. There were monkeys (a type called Barbary Macaque) everywhere. They stole a woman’s bag of popcorn. Then we went to St. Michael’s cave, which is a huge cave full of weirdly shaped stalactites and stalagmites. It had been converted into an auditorium, so there were rows of chairs between the stalagmites and a stage at the back. Then we walked back down, across a suspension bridge. Today, we were hoping to make a pumpkin pie for a belated Thanksgiving dessert, but we couldn’t find pumpkin purée, so I made apple pie instead.
Beach fire-grilled fish
I sewed matching aprons for me and Jonas for his birthday
We spent a bunch more days in Ria Formosa. It was Oma's birthday on October 5, and so we went swimming off the beach and ate quail that we had bought at the market for dinner. On October 7 it was Jonas's birthday, so we had a beach fire and roasted clams and sea bream. We went out for dinner and ate [...]
After Cascais, we sailed to Sines and said goodbye to Nereida because they were going to Madeira. We went out for dinner and happened to sit next to a couple from Toronto, Canada. The next day, we rounded Cabo Sao Vicente to the south coast of Portugal. Since it was the southwest corner of Europe, we threw messages in bottles overboard. We stopped at Sagres and went swimming and body surfing off a beach, since the water was suddenly warm. Then we went into the Faro Lagoon. On the way, we trolled a fishing line off Blue Hour's stern, and caught a Mahi Mahi. We took Zoom to the town across the lagoon called Olhao. The market was just closing, so we walked around a bit then took Zoom to Culatra, the island on the other side of the lagoon and went to the beach. The next day, Mom and I took a train into a city called Faro to meet Oma and Opa, who were getting off another train from Lisbon. We all took a train back to Olhao, then went for ice cream. A few hours later, we went out for dinner. The day after that, we went to the market and bought some Portuguese hats. When we got back to the boat, I read in the hammock and Jonas went fishing. He caught a cuttlefish and 3 sea bream, which we ate for dinner.
At the beach, Bo and I dug a boat out of the sand.
We bought some chestnuts that a man was roasting on the street.
The sail to Porto, in Portugal, was very foggy. We sailed most of the day and Kim, Jonas, and I made a LEGO movie. There was a giant chess set at the marina so we played there and happened to see another boat with kids that we met in Ireland, called Nereida. We went out for dinner and the next day, we [...]
Sand sculptures from left to right:
We went to Vigo, a city across the bay, to pick up our friend Kim who was going to stay with us for a few days. We picked her up from the train station and on the way back we saw a 100 meter new Indonesian sailing ship. People were allowed to go and explore the ship, so we went on board and found out that it had just finished being built in Spain and was about to do it's maiden voyage. We went to the pool, and when we came back we heard drumming. We looked around and saw that the sailors from the Indonesian boat were doing a parade through the city as a thank you for building their boat. We followed the parade and it was really cool. There were drums, trumpets, bells, a xylophone, people in walrus costumes and people doing tricks. Then we went for dinner. The next day, we sailed to an island called Isla de Cies. We went to the beach and Kim and me started sculpting a mermaid out of sand. Jonas and Mom joined in and we made many sea creatures. The day after that, we went for a hike. Today, we are sailing to Porto.
Church in Combarro.
We sailed to Combarro and Dad rigged up the spare halyard to the bosun's chair so we could swing on it. We pushed off the hull with our feet and swung outward over the water, then pushed off the hull again. We called it Boat Sprangen because when we were in Iceland, we did something similar, but on a cliff face instead off a hull and it was called Sprangen. Then we took Zoom to a nearby city. When we got there, a man met us at the dock and said that we were supposed to have called before we entered he harbour. He eventually let us stay for only 2 hours, so we couldn't eat dinner there. The next day, we sailed to Cangas. We went to shore and ate out for dinner.
The one spicy pepper...
At the beach, we used Jonas's kayak for a paddle board.
After Camerinas, we sailed to Muros. We went to a pulperia (octopus restaurant) for dinner. The next day, we went to the market and in the afternoon the fish market. We accidentally walked into a fish auction for restaurant and market owners. Then we found the right fish store and bought some fish. We [...]
Sea urchins growing on trees!
After Cedeira, we sailed to A Coruna to pick up some packages and fix the winch motor. After Dad had finished delivering the motor to the repair place, we went for a walk and tried to find a place to eat dinner. We couldn't find anything because Spanish people eat dinner at 8:00 pm, so that is when the restaurants open, and it was only 7:00 pm. We eventually ate at a cafe and had lunch food for dinner. We ate really good gelato for dessert. The next day, we sailed to a place called Redes. It is a small town with a really nice beach, so we played there all afternoon. We had planned for Dad to take a bus back to A Coruna to pick up the repaired motor and some packages that had just arrived, but the weather forecast said that today would be the only good day to round a corner. We took Blue Hour to A Coruna then sailed to Camerinas instead. Today, we explored the town of Camerinas. Jonas put the creel down, but when he was pulling it up, the line snapped. Mom retrieved the creel from the bottom with a cod jig, but a chunk from the middle of the line was missing. Dad went snorkelling to see if it was caught on the boat. It was wrapped around the propellor, but we managed to get it off and everything was fine.
How most people eat at a tapas bar
Eating at a tapas a bar
Jonas on an exercising machine.
We left Ireland in the morning and had a 3 day passage to the north coast of Spain. It was pretty good, but it got a bit rough from the first afternoon and overnight. We landed in a place called Cedeira. We went to the beach in the morning because it is really hot here, and I wore shorts and a t-shirt all day for the first time since I left Toronto. We went to a tapas bar for dinner. A tapas bar is a a place that serves everyone small plates of food and everybody shares. Most people stand by the counter or outside while they eat, and there was only 2 small tables with three stools each in the restaurant. We ordered shark (which tasted like chicken), fox (which tasted like hot dog, really good calamari, and bonito (a type of fish). The next day, we had a quiet day on the boat. The day after that, we went grocery shopping and got a lot of fruits and vegetables from Spain, including a giant watermelon. Then we went to the beach again.
We went upwind to Arklow, where we met another boat with kids. We played on the dock with them and left the next day. The water was probably the most dirty water we had ever been in because they dumped sewage in the harbour and there was a bucket of fish heads just below the surface. Then we bashed upwind [...]
Some harbours are dry at low tide.
The tide went down so much, it was like Blue Hour was in a crater.
Dad flew to Manchester for a work meeting on Monday morning, and we did school and went to the Harbour Master's office. He was supposed to be back late that night, but his plane got delayed. We were planing to leave the next morning, but his plane got delayed three times, so we couldn't leave because there is a gate in the entrance of the harbour to prevent it drying out, since the tide is so big. The gate only opened at high tide, and since Dad got home in the late afternoon, 18 hours later than we thought, we missed the opening. While we were waiting for him, Jonas played with a boy from another boat docked near us and his friends. They caught crab on the dock. Since it was a really hot and sunny day (which is unusual), we went to the beach with the boys we met. The next day, we invited our friend that we had met yesterday for breakfast and then crashed upwind to Ardglass in Northern Ireland. Since we had missed our weather window the day before, it was a bit rough. Yesterday, we sailed to the Rebublic of Ireland, to a place called Howth. It is like Florida because there are palm trees and a wide road with ocean on one side and cafe's and ice cream stores on the other. We went walking in town after dinner and played at the playground in the dark, which we were really exited about, since it had only just started getting dark at 9:00.
The Thomas the Train books are based on the railway in the Isle of Man that we went on.
Dad had a phone meeting with work and me and Jonas had to be quiet, but we both were trying not to laugh.
At the House of Manannan, we could dress up like the early settlers on Isle of Man.
We sailed to the Isle of Man (an island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland that is its own country). There are really big tides there and the harbour that we went to, Peel, has a sill to keep it from drying out. (A sill is a gate that is closed at low tide to keep the harbour full of water while the entrance is dried out and opens at high tide to let boats in.) We walked around town and went to the playground after dinner. The next day, we went to an old castle that was in the harbour entrance. The roof had caved in, but there was a lot of walls still standing. We played tag and capture the flag in one of the rooms, since it was outside. The day after that, we went on a hike on a coastal trail and got a great view of Isle of Man and could even see a bit of Ireland. We played at the beach and went for ice cream at a place that is apparently the best in Isle of Man. We then went to the House off Manannan, a museum about the Isle of Man. We learned that Isle of Man was named after a god called Manannan who protected the island by shrouding it in mist. Today, we caught a bus to the capital, Douglas, and from there took a steam train to Port Erin. We played on the beach, and when we went back to Peel, we went out for dinner and I found Manx (from the Isle of Man) poutine!
We arrived in Strangford in the late afternoon. There was a town on the side of the lough that we were docked at and a bigger town on the other side. We took Zoom to the bigger side and went to the visitors centre and then ate dinner at a place called Captain Jack's. They had really good fish and chips [...]
After breakfast, we went to the Titanic museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast, so there was a lot of information on it there. We could listen to tracks about the the exhibits, but we were in there for many hours and we only got to number 22 of the 24 tracks before we got hungry for lunch and our feet [...]
This is the Leaning Clock. It looks really slanted, but you can only see how tilted it is in the picture if you look at the edge of it in relation to the building behind it.
We arrived in Belfast in late afternoon. There was a really long harbour getting in and it had skyscrapers, which we hadn't seen since Toronto. After dinner, we went for a walk. There was a leaning clock tower and we played in a feild before going home. The next day, we took a bus to the Enniskillen castle. It was the Maguire Castle, so we wanted to see it. It was a museum, and after we went to an annual party that was in the field right next to us. We took the bus back and then Dad, Jonas, and I went exploring in the building next door. We saw a Canadian Sports Bar there and we thought it was funny how there are a lot of Irish Pubs in Canada and a Canadian Sports Bar in Ireland.
Wild Palm trees
White sand beach!
We left Tayvallich and went to the island of Gigha (pronounced Gia). We had heared that there was a nice bicycle ride, so we rode to the beach. I built a sandcastle based on Inveraray castle, but it didn't really look like it. By the time we got back, it was late and we were starving, so we went to a restaurant right next to our dock. There was really fresh seafood there. The next day, we went for another bike ride, this time to Achamor Gardens. It was really cool,because they looked like tropical gardens. There are palm trees in the garden, as well as in the town. The gardens were big, but not huge. It would take about 15 minutes to walk from either end, and it turns out that me, Mom, and Jonas were all pretty bad navigators. There was a map that we each took a photo of on all three \cameras to try and take the route around the pond. We were all in agreement that we were going the right way, just about to come to the bridge, but when we came to a You Are Here sign, it said that we were in the opposite corner of the gardens. After that, we cycled to the harbour and then home.
The weapons room
Lottie had offered to lend us Dougie's car, so we drove to Inveraray to see a castle. The Duke and duchess live in one part, but the other part is a museum. The kitchen was huge and they had a cabinet bigger than my dresser full of drawers of ingredients. We went out for lunch and then drove back. It was very challenging because the cars were stick shift, they drove on the opposite side of the road, and it was a single-lane road. Dad tried to stay on the left side, but once he went to far over and branches came in the window. I really needed to update my blog, so we are at the pub right now because it has internet.
A lot of packages
Cool rock formations
After we left Rum, we went to Loch Moidart. There was a really old castle that was built 700 years ago there and we could go inside, although most of the roofs had caved in. We looked for mussels and clams and ate them for dinner. There was one mussel that Jonas was chewing for about 5 minutes. He started laughing and it "fell out" into my hair. When we were in the entrance, we picked up the old creel (a shellfish trap) that we had put down when we were going in to Loch Moidart. We had gotten it from a fisherman and had caught 3 crabs. We went to the town of Tobermory and the next day we went to Loch Teacuis. The next place, Loch Drumbuie, Dad had to be on a phone meeting, but the only place there was phone access was right next to a Dutch boat. In Scotland, people try to anchor as far away from each other as possible, so they thought we were being a bit rude. The next day, we did a day stop in the Treshnish Isles. We went for a hike and saw a lot of puffins really close up on the cliff top. Apparently, they come close when there are a lot of people because they know that when humans are there, their predators go away. It was good timing because we were there at the same time as a tourist boat. We left later that day because it was a really sketchy anchorage and went to Craigaig Bay. The previous owner of the cruising guide had written that there was a clearance village there. We had no idea what that was, so we decided to go look. It was really just some old ruins. The day after, we did another day stop in Staffa, where there was cool rock formations. We went into a cave in Zoom, and then got back to Blue Hour very quickly, because it was even more sketchy there and we were rolling around like crazy. In the afternoon, we sailed to Tinker's Hole. It was a cozy spot, but we had to anchor and tie to shore because there was not enough swinging room. I sold some of my baked goods to some other boaters there. It cost 50 pence or a book and I called it the Blue Hour Bakery. Next we went to Loch Tarbert in the Isle of Jura. There was a nice bothy (a house that is left unlocked for people to stay in for the night) there, and we flew our stunt kite that we had bought a few summers ago in the Magdalen Islands. Right now we are in a town called Tayvalich. Our friend Dougie had offered let us send some packages to his address there where his girlfriend lives. There were a lot of packages. We were joking that Dad was looking forward to getting his coffee maker out of one of the boxes, I was looking forward to my book, Jonas was looking forward to his fishing lures, and Mom was getting a toilet seat lid. We went out for dinner with Dougie's girlfriend, Lottie, then went home and unpacked all the packages. It is 10:05 pm and Dad is still not done.
We left Malaig in the morning and sailed to the Island of Rum (it has nothing to do with the drink, I think it means something in Norse). It was upwind, so we crashed and banged a lot. There is a very small community there, with only 35 residents. There is a 150 year old summer mansion there and since it was pretty intact, we went ashore and got a tour of it. We went back to Blue Hour and saw the boat called Nina Soraya that we had seen in Loch Scavaig this summer and Greenland the summer before. We invited them over for blueberry pie. The next day it was slightly sunny, so we went for a hike up a hill. It was even wetter that yesterday up there, and we got soaked.
Going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct
On the train
Eating dirt, vomit, earwax, earthworm, rotten egg, and grass flavoured jellybeans
We had a delicious breakfast of croissants from the bakery next door and then did school. The train that departs from the town where Blue Hour is and arrives in another town called Fort William was the same one that was filmed in the Harry Potter movies, so we really wanted to get a ticket on it. The train was fully booked for months in advance and we didn't have a ticket, so we decided to ask if there were any empty seats when the train came in and hope for the best. We were there a few minutes early, and when the train came in we asked a lady who worked there if there were any empty seats. She said there were 4 left, so we bought the tickets. 30 seconds later, another person asked if they could but tickets, but the lady said it was all full because we had bought the last 4. On the train, we bought two sweets from Harry Potter called chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. The jelly beans were really every flavour. There were good ones like cherry and marshmallow, but there were also bad ones like vomit, earthworm, earwax, dirt and a lot more. We took turns picking jelly beans randomly from the box and trying to guess what flavour they were. The train was a steam engine, so we could see the smoke wafting past the windows. We went over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is where the scene of the Hogwarts Express going over a bridge in the Harry Potter movies is filmed. When we got to Fort William, we took a regular modern train back to the town Mallaig where we were staying. We went for dinner at a really good pizzeria beside Blue Hour, where I had the best cheese pizza in my life.
In Loch Scavaig, we pulled Zoom up while we were hiking. There is 15 foot tide here and when we got back, Zoom was high and dry and it wasn't even low tide yet.
Getting really dizzy
In a place called Opsay Basin, the ground was covered in knee-high humps of moss. They were bouncy and we had fun playing tag there. The next place we went to was Flodday Sound. We did a short hike and then we all went swimming, even Mom and Dad, but Dad wouldn't jump over the side and only got his bum [...]
Swimming in the ocean!
In one anchorage, we saw people farming seaweed in these vehicles.
The morning after arriving in Ullapool, Grandma and Grandpa left to go on a bus to Inverness. We went swimming and found out that the Scottish pools were not nearly as good as the Icelandic ones. We went for lunch at a place called the Seafood Shack. It served a locally caught fish, and the menu changed every day. The food was really delicious, but there was no indoor seating and it was pouring rain outside. On the second day in Ullapool, we went back to the seafood shack because it was so delicious and then went for a hike up Ullapool hill. At the top, it was so windy that you could stand into it and I almost fell over. After a few more days in Ullapool, we sailed to the Shiant islands. They are a small island group between mainland Scotland and the Outer Hebrides and are really beautiful. We talked to the owner and he told us that we should climb up one of the mountains there. It was really hot, and I actually wore shorts for the first time this summer. We thought that we probably shouldn't stay in the Shiants over night because they weren't sheltered very well, so we went to a place in Loch Claidh that I have no idea how to pronounce called Eilean Thinngarstaigh. The next day, we went hiking but it was really hot again and we were taking as much clothe off as possible. When we got back to Blue Hour, I baked and Jonas caught pollock for dinner. Today, we went up Loch Seaport and are in the Narrows Anchorage. We explored a bit and when we got back, me and Jonas decided to go swimming. We got into our wet suites and jumped off the side. The seals on shore watched us.
The last spoonful of Skyr
What are those green blobby things with brown stems?
Lots of sheep
Sorry I haven't written in so long, we haven't had internet. The west coast of Scotland is beautiful! After leaving the Orkneys, we landed in a place called Loch Eriboll, on the north coast before rounding Cape Wrath to the west coast. Loch Eriboll was our first wilderness anchorage since the start of our cruise in June, so we were really excited. There were stone ruins of a building and kilns. There were also lots of sheep and one of them had a blue patch on the wool behind his head that looked a bit like a mohawk. The next day, we sailed to Badcall Bay (I don't know why it was called that, because it was actually quite nice) and did a lot of kayaking and Opti sailing. We went for a walk along a really fast highway and Grandma bought some langoustine for dinner. We stayed there for 2 nights before sailing to Loch Roe. There was a forest and we were all excited to see one for the first time since Toronto. There were seals everywhere with their pups. We went for a really nice hike and saw some people on horseback. We tried to paddle up a stream, but the current was too strong. After dinner, we sadly finished off our stash of Skyr (an Icelandic product that is sort of like yogourt but way yummier and made from skim-milk) that we had stocked up on in Iceland, and then when we saw that they had it in the Faroe Islands, bought as much as would fill our fridge there, too. Right now, we are sailing into a town called Ullapool and will arrive there in about an hour.
Old fuel pump house used as a museum.
We finally left Stromness today and had a nice sail to a place called Lyness. It is mostly wilderness exept for the remnants of a naval base and the Scapa Flow museum. After eating lunch, we went to the museum, which is about WWI and WWII history. The main building was the old fuel pump house and still had all the machines inside. Me and Grandma went for a walk after we had looked around the museum a bit. When we came back, Mom, Dad, Jonas and Grandpa were watching a documentary in a fuel tank that was set up like a movie theatre, but it wasn't very smart of the people who decided to make it like that because it was a big room so the sound was very quiet and it was made out of metal so there was a lot of echoes. When we got home, we had a special dinner of home-made hamburgers and mashed potatoes.
Grandma came to visit us today. She arrived at about 5:00 pm, and in the morning after school, we went for a walk. Me and Dad went to what we thought was a sewing store to get supplies for my sewing, but it was actually a dressmaker's shop. She was very nice and gave us some scrap fabric even though we had come to the wrong spot. She told us that the right place to go was a store called Rosie's. They had everything there, so we got what we needed. We bought lunch ate a nearby bakery and sat on a bench outside to eat it. Then we went to the art gallery and back to the boat. I had kayaked my kayak called Sunset and Jonas had sailed his Opti, Pierre, for the first time this year yesterday. It was very fun. Jonas went Opti sailing and I started cutting out my fabric but then I realized that I needed a few more things from Rosie's. The shop closed at 5:00 pm and it was 4:45 pm, so me and Mom quickly ran there and bought what we needed. When we got back, Grandma had arrived and we went put for dinner at a Scottush pub ( it was a different pub than the one we ate dinner at a few days ago). We went for ice cream and then back to Blue Hour
A house in a 5,000 year old settlement
We had a very good crossing to the Orkney Islands, which are an archipelago next to and belonging to Scotland. We played on deck part of the time and then dolphins were all around us for as far as we could see for at least half and hour. We arrived in the morning and were very exited to have finally arrived in Scotland. A nice lady who worked at the marina filled our oil tanks and told us what was good to see there. We went on a bus tour on a double-decker bus. It was open at the top so we sat there. We had a really good view, but it was very windy. Our first stop was a settlement that was 5,000 years old. We could see some of their houses and we played on the first big beach that we had seen on a long time. There was also an old mansion that they had restored so we could walk around inside. Our second stop was to some standing stones. There were about 30 of them in a circle. After that, we went back to the town where Blue Hour was docked, called Stromness, and went for dinner at a Scottish pub. The food was very good.
Cod cooked in parchment paper
There is no trees that big in the Faroe Islands, so this one must have washed up. There was a seat carved into it and we were excited to see that much wood.
Just after lunch, we left Torshavn and went to an island a short distance away, called Nolsoy. It was a bit like Toronto Island is to mainland Toronto. It's a small island away form the busy city and there is a small town there with almost no cars. There is a short ferry ride to get there and people form the mainland come there to walk around. We went for a short walk in Nolsoy and then went to a cafe there. It was really good and we ate cod steamed in parchment paper. For dessert, we had really good home-made waffles with cardamom, which is one of my favourite foods. There was a girl about Jonas's age serving there who lived there named Simona. She went for a hike with us and showed us the way. Then she and her family came over for pie.
Canada Day party
Happy Canada Day! It was a rainy day so we stayed on the boat most of the day. We got gigantic mussels called horse mussles for lunch and the man selling them told us how to open and clean them. But we had trouble opening them so we went back and asked him to show us again. We still were having trouble but then Dad came home from grocery shopping and did it properly. We pan-fried them and served them on bread. After that, we went back to the market and bought some scallops for dinner. They were small with a red thing at the end. Me, Mom, Dad, and Jonas played twister and then we ate the Canada Day cake I made. Then we played twister again and ate the scallops for dinner (I didn't eat either then mussles or the scallops because I don't like them, but apparently they were really good). After dinner, we went for a walk and went to the playground with the trampolines again. The picture above, going right to left shows us opening the mussels, cleaning them, serving them, and the raw scallops.
The cliffs of insanity
Traditional Faroese building
We went to a market outside our boat after breakfast and school. It was the locals selling traditional Faroese food such as wind-dried sheep, whale meat, and a bird called fulmar. We bought some fish cakes for dinner. Then we went to a playground that had little trampolines built into the ground. After [...]
Successful maiden voyage
Cod for dinner!
After school, we wandered up to the school in Vestmanna and played at the playground there. Then we headed out for the capital of the Faroe Islands, called Torshavn, and ate lunch underway. We stopped partway through to go cod jigging and Jonas caught the only fish. It was a shock once we got to Torshavn because it was a city and we were used to small towns. Then we wandered around and found an ice cream store where we got ice cream. Then we went home and ate the cod for dinner. Jonas had built a boat out of styrofoam and wood called Card Shark and it had a successful maiden voyage.
Fixing the flag halyard
Blue Hour in Eidi
We left in the morning for the 36 hour passage to the Faroe Islands, which is an archipelago belonging to Denmark between Iceland and Scotland. It was fairly calm for the ocean and we saw 2 seals, a pod of dolphins, a minke whale, a pod of orca whales, and 3 gannets. We arrived near dinner on the second day in a place in the Faroe Islands called Eidi (it's pronounced Aya, but I don't know why). In the morning, we looked around and went for a walk to the top of a cliff that was one of the highest sheer drops into water in the world. At the bottom, we could see some islands that are called the Giant and the Hag because they were apparently once a giant and a hag who were trying to drag the Faroes to Iceland but the sun came out and petrified them. Then we went to the next place called Vestmanna. I got to go up the mast to put the Faroese flag up. It was beautiful scenery on the trip there and the ocean was flat calm. There are a lot of green roofs in the Faroe Islands and they provide very good insolation. After dinner, we went for a walk and went to a restaurant for dessert. Jonas wanted me to tell you that he caught 5 fish and that he climbed shrouds all the way up to the spreaders.
After breakfast we went on a road trip in a rental car. Our first stop was the Glacier Lagoon where you could see many icebergs that had broken off a glacier. We ate lunch there and then we drove to a hike to a glacier. Mom, Grandpa, and Jonas turned back because they were tired but me and Dad went to [...]
Eating lobster soup at lobsterfest
View behind the boat
We did school on the French boat that was rafted to us, called Tonga so I could improve my french. They had a girl who who was learning to read so I learned with her. After that the girl, Eva, came over and played chess with Jonas. There was a festival going on in Hofn called Lobsterfest and one of the events was lobster soup. They were serving it in someone's front to yard and it was very good. Then we went to another event that was and Icelandic band playing. They were all wearing knitted sweaters and skirts and ankle-rubber boots.
Statues along the bike path
Part of the maritime museum
After school and lunch, we walked to tourist info, a car rental place, and a maritime museum. Then we went for a bike/rollerblade ride along a bike path. Along the bike path there were little models of the planets in our solar system. The sun was at the start of the bike path, and Neptune was at the end. After that, we went swimming. There were 3 water slides and 1 was pitch black inside. Then we had dinner.
Harbour at Hofn
We arrived in the morning and ate breakfast. We were all feeling a bit sick, so we had a really lazy day. After a late lunch, we finally went to explore Hofn. We went to the visitor's centre but then went back to the boat. We were invited to dinner on another boat that was there, called Tonga. They had sailed from France and had 2 kids. We had cod that a fisherman had given them for dinner and then we went to bed.
This was what it looked like overnight.