People of the Salt Water

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
22 June 2015 | Toronto, Canada

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.

Sydney and the Blue Mountains

22 February 2017 | Sydney, Australia
Belinda and Kit
Picture shows us having pre-opera drinks at the Opera House Bar

More pics can be seen in Google Pics;

...or in the Gallery; Just click on 'Gallery' above then the album 'Sydney and the Blue Mountains'

Next on the agenda was Sydney; the train took 11 hours from Melbourne and was very expensive, so we opted to fly - 1.5 hours and half of the train fare!
Friends Alison and Geoff (SY Saraoni) happened to be in Sydney for a few days and picked us up from the airport in their rental car. It was really great to see them again, we'd first met in Finike, Turkey and last met up when Quilcene and Saraoni were in the Caribbean so lots to catch up on!

The Saraonis took us for a coastal drive around the Sydney area, seeing Bondi Beach, Watson Bay, Botany Bay and the nearby Royal National Park, before leaving us to set off another epic trip - this time cycling from Sydney to Melbourne. They have travelled widely and already sailed right around the world. Here's a link to their amazing adventures - it makes impressive reading!

Alone again we set about exploring Sydney, we stayed in an 'Air BnB' apartment in the Potts Point area, close to Kings Cross station and within walking distance of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House. Unfortunately we were there in the middle of a heatwave so on the hottest day (44C) we took the ferry from Circular Quay over to Manly Beach for a few hours where it was nice and breezy. I'd forgotten my swimmers but that was just as well; loudspeaker announcements warned of 'bluebottle' stingers coming in on the tide - Portuguese Man 'o War to us! Suddenly a swim didn't seem like such a good idea!

One of the highlights of our stay in Sydney was a visit to the Opera House; we'd booked for an early evening performance of 'best of..' arias from famous operas. It was wonderful to be inside the famous Opera House, and we treated ourselves to a glass of champagne during the interval. Afterward we walked back toward our apartment through the Botanic Gardens and stopped for pie 'n peas at Harry's famous pie stand in Woolomoolo Bay - a classy establishment!

One wet morning we took shelter in the Museum of Contemporary Arts and had an interesting time looking at Aboriginal Artworks. Later the ferry to Darling Harbour landed us right outside the National Maritime Museum so we spent the afternoon in another museum!

After all that culture we managed to find Sydney's Hard Rock Café just in time for Happy Hour!

Despite the heatwave we really enjoyed our week in Sydney, there was lots to see and do and the ferries were a great way to see the sights. It took a bit of getting used to seeing Ibis walking around on the city pavements - locals say they're a nuisance and treat them like we treat pigeons and seagulls in England. They shush them away and we take pics!!!

Soon it was time to head up into the Blue Mountains - named for the blue haze that is airborne droplets of eucalyptus oil combined with dust particles and water vapour, refracting rays of mainly blue light - or so I'm told!

It wasn't a lot cooler up there but it was very pretty! ...and the views across the escarpments were stunning! The heat prevented us from setting off on adventurous bushwalks, but we did hike along some of the shorter trails and loved hearing the exotic birdsong!

Katoomba where we stayed had some really interesting Art Deco style buildings, including the Carrington Hotel - where we didn't stay but would have loved to! Instead we settled for a sundowner on the terrace.
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