People of the Salt Water

13 April 2017 | Washington DC
20 March 2017 | Deltaville, Virginia, US
13 March 2017 | New Zealand
01 March 2017 | New Zealand
01 March 2017 | New Zealand
22 February 2017 | Sydney, Australia
12 February 2017 | Australia
23 August 2016 | Virginia, USA
26 July 2016 | Deltaville, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia USA
13 July 2016 | Norfolk, Virginia
13 June 2016 | Charleston S. Carolina
22 May 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida
06 May 2016 | Varadero, Cuba
02 May 2016 | Marina Gaviota, Varedero, Cuba
27 April 2016 | Boot Key Harbour, Florida Keys
10 March 2016 | Green Cove Springs, Florida
28 December 2015

Afloat again - first stop Washington DC

13 April 2017 | Washington DC
Belinda & Kit
Picture shows The Washington Monument viewed from Quilcene moored in Washington Channel

More pics soon

We enjoyed staying in the little cabin, far more comfortable than living on the boat in the yard!! Our hard work paid off and Quilcene was soon looking good and ready for launch. We returned the hire car, it had to go to Williamsburg 50 miles away. Our neighbour Jim in the boatyard, very kindly offered us the use of his car so I could follow Kit in the hire car and then return to Deltaville. We've been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown by people we hardly know.

Launch went OK and we tied up on the dock whilst we put sails on and got the boat ready to go. Every day the boat was covered with a fine yellow dust which we soon discovered was pollen from the surrounding trees. There was so much that it settled like a film on the water and was blown into the docks (see pic - link above). Locals told us that it would be over in a couple of weeks.

Two storms passed through; it was probably quite early in the season although mostly we had fine dry weather if a little cold. The wind during one storm gusted 60 mph and the wave movement pushed Quilcene onto the dock pilings. Two guys came to help but despite our efforts to fend off we sustained a little damage to the toe rail. It was strange how the wind was so strong one minute we were fighting with the fenders; next minute it suddenly stopped as if a switch had been flicked and the wind and waves died off!

Finally we set off to sail north in Chesapeake Bay and up to Washington DC, 98 miles upriver from the mouth of the Potomac. The Potomac River is very wide at the mouth and you can hardly see the far bank. Once into the river we tentatively picked our way into a pretty creek on the south bank to anchor for the first night, avoiding the crabpots that seemed to be everywhere.

Next day we continued upriver following the buoyed channel. We thought it was a bit hazy then realised that it was clouds of pollen dust blowing up from the trees and across the river (see google pics). I have never suffered from hay fever but this had me sneezing with my eyes watering.

We could see on the chart that we were approaching a military firing range so Kit called them up to check it was OK to pass. A very polite young man told us there would be firing so we had to move over and keep to the north side of the river. Naturally we complied but were a little sceptical about the firing - how wrong can you be?? Sudden deafening booms rang out and we almost jumped out of our skins! Coastguard and military vessels were out in force and no doubt monitored our progress through the zone.

After a second quiet night anchored this time at the side of the river, the wind turned against us as the river narrowed causing an uncomfortable wind/tide effect that saw us bashing into quite big waves! Luckily it didn't last for too long and the final stretches were relatively quiet.

We passed by Mount Vernon, the historic house where George Washington lived with his wife Martha in the 1700's. We could see lots of tourists wandering around the grounds and felt lucky to have a great view of the house from the river.

As far away as Alexandria, 5 miles downriver of DC we could see the tall Washington Monument and the dome of Capitol Hill. Planes flew low overhead as they approached Ronald Reagan Airport on the west bank of the Potomac in Washington.

We motored into the Washington Channel and picked up a mooring just off the waterfront. We could see the Monument towering above all the buildings on one side and the green swath of East Potomac Park and golf course on the other.

A great spot for a base to go exploring!

Back in the USA

20 March 2017 | Deltaville, Virginia, US
Belinda and Kit
This sweet little cabin on the shore of Chesapeake Bay is our home for a week!

We landed in Washington amidst snow and ice! Deltaville is clear thank goodness, although still cold! We're relieved to find Quilcene in good shape, all present and correct! Now comes the hard work!

Yes - it really IS Kit!

Kiwi Campers

13 March 2017 | New Zealand
Belinda and Kit
Picture taken on the road; single lane bridge crossing wide river plain

More pics can be seen in Google Pics;

Campervan travelling was great fun; we were sooooo fortunate with the weather for most of the time - we had lovely sunshine on the North Island except for one night, and our luck held as we travelled across on the ferry and down the rugged West Coast of the South Island.

As we left the West Coast to drive over the Haast Pass bad weather closed in, mostly grey skies and intermittent rain, and sadly we couldn't see the mountains due to the low cloudbase.

We free camped most of the time, a brilliant app called WikiCamps led us to remote Dept of Conservation sites where wild camping is allowed if you have a 'self contained' vehicle. Often there were on-site toilets and more facilities, usually well maintained and clean. Many were scenic lake/sea- side places as you can see from our pictures (link above).

New Zealand is a wild and beautiful country that is sparsely populated away from the main cities and towns; often we'd come to a 'township' where the name on the sign was followed by 'population 30'! We drove over 2000km and saw forests, rivers, hot volcanic mud pools, falls, lakes, mountains and even a glacier! Too much to describe - take a look at the pictures (link above). It's like Scotland on steroids, complete with midges, or in this case sand flies which are like big midges with a voracious appetite! They seemed to be more of a nuisance in parts on the west coast. I guess every great place has its drawbacks!

Phone and internet connections are patchy, especially in the mountains. The roads have been mostly good, usually just two-way with many single lane bridges. One single lane bridge carried not only cars but trains too! (see Pics) No prizes for guessing who had to give way!

The people have been friendly and helpful and we'll be sorry to leave.

We returned the campervan today and are now in Christchurch hoping for a dry afternoon so we can take a quick look around.

Tomorrow we fly back to the US and Quilcene; and we're no doubt in for a busy time getting her ready for this season's sailing.

Auckland, NZ

01 March 2017 | New Zealand
Belinda & Kit
Picture shows the view from our 34th floor hotel apartment

Jumped on a bus down to Auckland yesterday, Weds 1st March and stayed in a high rise hotel.

Today, 2nd March we pick up a camper van and begin the second part of our New Zealand trip; driving down through the North and south islands seeing as much as we can - watch this space!

A week in Whangarei, NZ

01 March 2017 | New Zealand
Belinda & Kit
Picture shows us with John and Janine celebrating our reunion!

More pics can be seen in Google Pics;

Jan and John met us at Auckland Airport, ..and how wonderful it was to see them again! We met whilst overwintering in Finike, Turkey, then again in Sicily.
They’d visited us in Modbury in 2015 which was the last time we’d seen them so lots to catch up on!

We drove up to their home in Whangarei and spent a lovely week reminiscing, sightseeing, celebrating and discussing respective future plans. They were great hosts and took us around the local Marinas, Bays and inlets – as yachties do!

The Bay of Islands to the north is particularly beautiful; and appealing to us cruisers - lots of safe sheltered anchorages in clean blue waters, with the fabulous backdrop of vibrant green hills and distant mountains.

The woods and forests are alive with cicada’s and tropical birdsong that reminded us of the rainforest in Suriname.

Australia; The Pacific Highway and Brisbane

01 March 2017
Belinda & Kit
Picture shows funky dinasaur exhibit at the Brisbane Modern Art Gallery

More pics can be seen in Google Pics;

Leaving Katoomba in the Blue Mountains we had a long drive; almost all the way back into Sydney and then up the east coast to Coffs Harbour.

We’d actually requested a small rental car but had been given a big green monster – however it turned out to be a good thing as we had a comfortable ride.
The Pacific Highway was a little disappointing as it runs up the coast just inland, with few views of the sea. We did turn off to look at various places – in particular that well-known surf spot, Byron Bay. Fabulous beaches for sure!

We stopped for a couple of days in Coffs Harbour, a touristy town with a lovely sandy estuary. Another overnight stop was Mermaid Beach, where we discovered we’d driven back into an earlier time zone and we gained an hour’s rest on arrival! From there we drove into Brisbane and dropped our car off.

What struck us about Brisbane is that it’s a lovely clean city, at least the parts we saw. We made use of the free hop on/hop off ferry to see the sights along the river and again wandered around the cool interior of the Modern Art Gallery.

We’d managed to book a ‘suite’ in an ‘apart-hotel’ at a reasonable price, so we had a small kitchenette where Kit cooked a lovely curry! ..and the hotel had a pool so I was happy!

Soon it was time to leave Australia and fly to New Zealand for the second part of our Antipodean trip!

We’d enjoyed seeing the southeast ‘corner’ of Australia, although of course it IS only a small part of such a large country. I guess younger people will fall in love with the surf beaches on the east coast, but we’d particularly loved the Great Ocean Road with its wonderful rugged coastline.

Vessel Name: Quilcene
Vessel Make/Model: Bowman 40
Hailing Port: Plymouth, UK
Crew: Kit and Belinda
In our previous lives, Belinda worked as a marine biologist at the MBA Plymouth and Kit was a surveyor for a marine civil engineering company. Over the years we had sailed the south west of England and northern France. [...]
Extra: Quilcene, a Bowman 40, is a masthead cutter designed by Chuck Paine and built in 1991. The name is an American Indian word meaning 'People of the Salt Water', which we feel suits us very well. Quilcene is also a town on the West coast of the USA near Seattle.
Quilcene's Photos - Main
1 Photo
Created 20 March 2017
33 Photos
Created 21 February 2017
Melbourne and driving the Great Ocean Road
27 Photos
Created 7 February 2017
34 Photos
Created 1 August 2016
16 Photos
Created 26 July 2016