WilsonSailingChronicles

19 September 2016 | London, England
19 September 2016 | Reigate, England
25 November 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey
25 November 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey
25 November 2015 | Marmaris, Turkey
19 November 2015 | Turkey
19 November 2015 | Turkey
19 November 2015 | Turkey
19 November 2015 | Greece
19 November 2015 | Greece
17 November 2015 | Greece
17 November 2015 | Greece
10 November 2015 | Greece
10 November 2015 | Greece
10 November 2015 | Greece
10 November 2015 | Greece
10 November 2015 | Greece
10 November 2015 | Greece

The Tower of London & St. Pauls, Dec 2015

19 September 2016 | London, England
Reg
London Tower Bridge, the London Tower (essentially the monarchs historical prison) and St Paul’s Cathedral were our final day in the city prior to heading north to Sheffield. The river was interesting to me, and I confirmed that there is a sailboat accessible marina immediately downstream from the tower bridge. Neat place to moor for a week or two in the summer? The tidal drop is significant and it is hard to imagine the “river men”, who made their living-rowing people across the Thames in small skiffs, handling the currents with just their arms and a pair of oars.

The London tower experience was aided by the presentation and tour conducted by one of the Beefeater guards who made the site much more relevant with his history at the various points around the site. One could walk right past the place where one of Henry’s queens was beheaded without knowing the significance of the little square. The actual tower houses a museum with various artifacts of English military history, including armour and weapons. Access to the uppermost area was closed. This was where various people were imprisoned, while the nobility dined and danced on the floors below.

St Paul’s Cathedral was not a priority for me, we have seen many churches and cathedrals and one more just did not excite me. Even more so when we had to pay good money to enter. However we persevered and I am very glad we did, it was the highlight of my day. It turns out the cathedral choir was doing a final rehearsal of the Christmas special of Handel’s Messiah, and we got to hear it from directly overhead as we climbed to the top of the dome. The choir and orchestra were very good and I really appreciated their performance, particularly in the setting. The interior is gorgeous, as one would expect after decades of the aristocratic British donating boxes of money acquired throughout their empire. Photos of the interior were not permitted, but Phoebe loves to interpret the rules and captured a few surreptitious shots. From the cupola on the top of the dome we had great views of the city and the river. Amazingly the cathedral was not hit by Germans bombs during the blitz, and one of the famous photos taken during the war was of the dome and upper structure of the cathedral emerging from the smoke from the bombing in the morning sun after one of the worst nights during the peak of the blitz. This inspiring photo is available on a poster through the cathedral’s online store and a copy will be my birthday gift to myself this year.

Chartwell & Brooklands, near Reigate, England Dec 2015

19 September 2016 | Reigate, England
Reg
We decided that on our way to our House Sit in Sheffield England we would drop in on friends that we met in Mazatlan, Mexico. They were friends of fellow Canadian boaters we had met and we took them up on their offer to visit if we were ever passing through. Great folks who boat themselves on the coast of England.

Following are some of the places they took us to. Thanks again Diana and Ian of Reigate, England.

I am a great admirer of Winston Churchill and so a day visiting his home, “Chartwell”, just a short drive from our hosts’ home, was a treat. We were not allowed in the home (being decorated for Christmas season) but we did get into his art gallery where he painted, the various gardens including the summer garden where he laid the brick for a significant portion of the enclosing wall, and a small room detailing his military history during the two world wars and the south African conflict.

The grounds were beautiful and frankly my principal interest since Churchill spent a number of his most intense moments during WWII walking the grounds in deep internal debate. He had built a large heated swimming pool and a few accent garden pools starting from the top of the grounds, which drained to the large pond in the bottom of the basin then pumped and filtered to the top of the grounds to circulate yet again. The view from his rose garden overlooking the ponds, gardens and orchards would entertain a person for hours if in a contemplative mood.

After a great country inn lunch our hosts took us to Brooklands. It was a racing track with very high banked corners dating from the early 1900’s which has since been turned into a museum. Many early speed records were made here using cars and motorcycles. During the war it was converted into a manufacturing site for Vickers aircraft and consequently was targeted and bombed successfully by the Luftwaffe. Now it hosts a great display of old cars, bicycles, old motorcycles and planes both old and more recent.

They have a very impressive display of a restored Concord, and a great story to go with it, which we enjoyed very much. I squeezed into a Harrier jet and kicked the tires on old racing cars and generally experienced a great “guy” day.

Oh My How Time Flies!!!! Blog Catch Up Sept 2016

19 September 2016 | Canada
Phoebe
I had so much trouble with my computer this year so was unable to do a lot of blog work. Now back in Canada I am working on Catching up. Hopefully it will not be too boring. We had a wonderful time in the latter part of December 2015 up until we came home in July 2016 touring Turkey and Greece. Our short stay in Sheffield England for six weeks in Dec 2015 and the early part of Jan 2016 was fantastic despite the rainy English winter. Will be posting blogs with photo albums attached. Enjoy!!!

Istanbul, Day Three and Four

25 November 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey
Reg
Day three was intended to be a relaxing day by boat to the Princes’ Islands, a group of islands a hour by fast ferry to the south east in the sea of Marmaris, followed by a tour of the Çirağan palace. However, the driver of our tour bus was delayed in traffic and we missed the 9:00am ferry, which meant we would not be back in time to tour the palace. So revising on the fly we elected to enjoy some casual dining in the Ortakoy district alongside the straight of Bosporus and visit the reputedly most beautiful Mosque of Istanbul.

It was a beautiful day, little wind and calm seas and the passage of 1:15 hrs was very relaxing, someone else had to be responsible. The first island visited was the largest called Büyükada (Big Island). It is famous as a residence for several people that I had never heard of except for Leon Trotsky, who stopped here for 4 years after fleeing Russia. We were at the very end of the season and the multitude of restaurants assaulted us on the street since tourist volume was nowhere near what was required to fill them all. We took the mandatory horse drawn carriage ride around the island. Most of the horses were not in great shape and the phaetons showed the results of daily use over the busy season. We had a great lunch in a place the locals frequented and then gratefully left for the smaller island next on the agenda.

The second island was called Heybeliada (Saddleback) and this one I enjoyed. We were not assaulted, the people were helpful and courteous, and we enjoyed a great walk. The walk up started with a climb past the naval academy, transitioned to a stroll past the Christian and Muslim segregated cemetery in the pine forest on the backside of the island and final ascent up an eroded gravel jeep track to the peak. It ended as a very steep walk down through the town streets to the ferry dock. This descent was hard on the knees, however overall it was a nice break from sitting and the boat ride back was a great opportunity to recover. On our ferry return we had the most entertaining presentation of a vegetable peeler, and we along with at least 20 other people are now the proud owners of the Cadillac of peelers.

In our stroll through the streets of Istanbul the day before we had been intrigued with the many booths selling baked potatoes. They cut them, fill with butter and/or cheese and mash the innards then top them with dressings of your choice; onions, beans, corn, olives, hot chilies, yogurt and more. So Ortakoy had a special appeal for us as it is well known for the rows of baked potato booths, and the beautiful mosque. All this is true, the mosque is beautiful, we got some great pictures of it, particularly in light, and the booths looked appealing but we had no appetite. A nice beer in a side street was welcome and then our time was over.

But then an unscheduled treat; a cup of tea and pastries at an open walled restaurant on the top of the cliffs overlooking Istanbul and the Bosporus Bridge. Great!


Day four, started with a tour for guy stuff, the Koch museum of industry. Privately funded it houses displays of old cars, ships and ship models, trains from Mussolini’s Italy and Turkey and complex train models , giant steam engines, airplanes including the wreckage of a USA bomber from WWII retrieved from the Med, guns, a tank, massive cranes, trucks, and I could go on. The ships models and the steam engines intrigued me, the doll houses caught Phoebe’s attention. We had 2 ½ hours and we did not have time to see it all. I realized I was old when the cars I drove at 18 were on display, but at least they brought back some interesting memories.

Lunch, which was expected to be the famous “fish” restaurant by the fishing pier, was not to happen. It seems the restaurant had been demolished to widen the bridge, and our trip to the other side of Istanbul for the alternative “fish” restaurant ended in the same state, as that was also demolished for a new road. We did see in the circumnavigation of what was the original boundary of Constantinople some of the remains of the cities massive fortifications. Lunch became a famous kebap restaurant. I learned that Shish kebap is recognizable meat on a stick, whereas kebap is minced meat of mixed origin on a stick. I had lamb shish kebap.

Our final stop was a museum of Dioramas (scale models). We had no idea what to expect but given the choice between the Navy museum and this one, the vote went to Dioramas much to the surprise of the ladies. Our guide had never been there, nor recently to the “fish” restaurants apparently. It was amazing. It is a recently opened privately funded museum of a collection by a family of all things military concerning Turkey, some in human scale, some in miniature. It was again too much, 5 stories of display with just an hour. The manager came to greet us and wondered how we tourists had heard of the place. It was certainly off the beaten path but I think will become very well known.

Istanbul, Day One & Two

25 November 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey
Reg
We took a four day organized tour to Istanbul. A friend of our daughter Emma, who we had met in Spain, had said his favourite city is Istanbul, and I can see why he is impressed. It is home to 16 ½ million people, more than half the population of my country. It is the site of the Roman city Constantinople, and has been a centre for early civilizations since we humans ceased our nomadic existence.

Our hotel was in the core of the ancient city of Constantinople, and so convenient to all of the museums and major sites. Day one, after depositing our bags at the hotel and a quick lunch we went through a very large mosque’s courtyard for an explanation of the traditional layout of the iconic structure on our way to Istanbul’s famous bazaar. If you need spice or a taste of Turkey there were numerous opportunities. Phoebe purchased a pashmina to be used as a head covering for our visit to a Mosque later that day. The intended mosque was recommended due to its beauty, and being a bit off the beaten path gave us an opportunity to see a mosque with the traditional beautiful blue tiled walls without having to endure the crowds associated with the larger famous “blue mosque” in the core of the city. It is a functioning Mosque, with people in prayer and we were required to remove our shoes step onto the entrance mat without touching the outside floor. Inside our guide Taș (pronounced Tash) explained the rituals of Muslim faith within a Mosque, including the use of prayer beads. After the mosque it was a short bus ride, but some time, to a cable car up to Pierre Loti, an overlook of the city and the body of water that was the eastern boundary of ancient Constantinople, the Golden Horn. I was captivated by what will become a hit at home once I develop the franchise and take it continent wide, a spiral cut potato, deep-fried and salted!!!!

Day two started with an extended tour of the museum of archeology inside the grounds of the Topkapi palace. The walk within the palace grounds was memorable for the large sycamore trees overhanging the paved paths and the fall remains of the gardens. It was absolutely overwhelming, containing over a million articles, since the site has been a population centre for many centuries, with ancient Bronze Age, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine and Ottoman dynasties. The entire tour group felt it was too much to retain, but it was fascinating. Troy, or the remains of Troy, is only a few miles away and archeologists have been working the site for years. So a series of large-scale models are on display illustrating what they have categorized as the seven periods of Troy’s history starting about 3000 BC. We persuaded our guide to take time to tour the cisterns. The Romans funneled water via aqueduct (parts still standing) to the city and stored it in a below ground cistern. It was constructed with 336 marble columns they took from other sites and reassembled in Constantinople. Consequently there is no consistency in the columns design. Most notably two of them incorporate the head of medusa in the base of the column. Hot chestnuts were the temptation we didn’t resist, even if we were headed to lunch.

After lunch it was the Hippodrome, the one time site of horse and chariot races in Greek and Roman times. Along one side are two monumental mosques, the Sophia Mosque and the Blue Mosque. We did not tour these structures, as time was too short. Note worthy to me, the Sophia mosque was originally a Catholic Cathedral, in fact the largest in the world for 1000 years. In the centre of what was the track stands an obelisk from Egypt, actually just the top 19.6 metres. The magnitude of the Obelisk is diminished, as the original track on which it was mounted is now 6-7’ below the current surface. Thutmose III erected the original 30-metre structure in 1490 BC in the region of Luxor. It was transported to Constantinople in 390 AD and raised (How the hell did they do this???) In an adjoining building dedicated to Islamic art was a display of portions of the original Koran. Tall grandstands in stone surrounded this area for spectators in Roman times. It must have been even more impressive then. The final site for the day was perhaps the most impressive, the Chora museum. At one time a Christian church, built by a wealthy businessman about 400 AD, then a mosque until an earthquake, now a museum. When converted to a mosque the Christian images were covered in plaster but this has been removed to reveal the unbelievable mosaic art. Interestingly, one of them depicts the businessman kneeling offering a church to Jesus. Tiny coloured stones, attached to domes, walls, and arches. It is absolutely amazing workmanship and thankfully being restored. Waiting for the group to reassemble for supper we took a photo of a pedestrian street to give an impression of the density of the population, and thankfully found a quiet few to enjoy a tea and stroll through.

Yacht Marina and City of Marmaris, Turkey

25 November 2015 | Marmaris, Turkey
Reg
So, under threat of thunderstorms, we stayed at the marina. It was definitely the right decision. A few weeks prior to the arrival of the Berkeleys and Sakers the yard crew constructed 30’ tall structures with canvas covers over the trees around the offices. They also secured braces to the trunks of the palms. The bar staff said this was to protect them from the rain and winds. Made me wonder if it wasn’t overkill but sure enough, our dinghy was full to overflowing after one overnight deluge. We had 4 days of this, off and on, but time passed comfortably with the help of good friends, the standard 500ml beers, a bar with pool table, and apparently some spouse huddles when I wasn’t looking.

Yat Marina Marmaris is reported to be the biggest marina in the Mediterranean. With capacity for 750 yachts in the water and 500+ on the hard it seems a credible claim. They have two travel lifts, one for boats we are used to and a larger beast. The 330 tonne travel lift, with wheels taller than a man, moves large yachts, some 150’ long and stories high, onto hard standing for maintenance with ease. Marmaris Bay is also the home to two other marinas, Netsel in the town proper and Albatross midway between the two. Consequently the yachting community is well served with skilled trades people and many competing chandleries.

During one sunny break we headed to the town of Marmaris to see the sights and maybe get an idea of where to go for the last night dinner. Marmaris is quite western, likely due to the strength of the tourist industry. Women dress in traditional Muslim fashion, some very traditional, and some in bare midriff and tattered jeans. Men “hang” in assorted cafes drinking tea and playing backgammon or work hard. Hotels abound and cover the waterfront for miles going east from the main street. Restaurants and shisha bars cover the waterfront going west to Netsel marina. Fountains and statues with tiled sidewalks along the waterfront make a very comfortable place to stop and people-watch with a beverage or a smoking rubber tube stuck in your mouth. Yes, Sue Saker had to check smoking a shisha off her bucket list. Seems we were inspired to add it to our bucket lists so we could check it off as well. So much for independent thought! Fortunately we men elected to not partake of the “Turkish” bath experience. Peter was adamant that no man was going to massage him or wash his armpits (I think was even more worried about other pits) and Mike and I stayed so he wouldn’t feel isolated. I think Mike was keen to go but….anyway, the “girls” went and finished much later than planned with no happy faces. Seems it was far less than expectations so a proper Turkish bath is still on the agenda for some. While the girls were getting rubbed and stuff we guys walked the bazaar. The Marmaris version is a large series of original streets covered with an arched roof and lined with all variety of shops. Leather, souvenir, women’s clothing, shoes, handbag shops abound with the occasional barber shop, that offer shaves as well. Tea houses, restaurants and ATM machines loiter around the various entrances. None of us “boys” bought a bag, but an Ouzo and order of fries passed as a multicultural snack on our second tour through the bazaar, a Turkish beer motivated the first.

All in all it wasn’t the coastal sailing we had planned but I for one had a pretty good time running with plan B.
Vessel Name: Three Sheets
Vessel Make/Model: Lafitte 44
Hailing Port: Sarnia Canada
Crew: Reg & Phoebe Wilson
About: We hail from a little village called Bayfield on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario Canada. We have retired, released our worldly possessions and have set off on our next adventure.
Extra: We crossed the pond and arrived in Lagos Portugal in June of 2014. A great trip across thanks to our crew Peter Berkely and Mike Saker. In between visits home we are now sailing in the Med. We have enjoyed the Balerics, Sardinia, Sicily, Greece and are now in Turkey.
Three Sheets's Photos - Main
A few pics of a day on our own, again took the train in, was great. Enjoyed the tower, so huge we barely had enough time to see it all (in fact we probably didn't). Great day in the big city of London!!
23 Photos
Created 19 September 2016
A few more pics of a day in London spent on our host Diana. Took the train in from Reigate and just walked around. I was pleased to be able to see the Changing of the Horse Guards. I just can't imagine what that would be like to just have to sit there for so long and then all of the pomp around changing to a new set of guards!!!
17 Photos
Created 19 September 2016
Pics of our visit to Churchills home and visit to Brooklands a very important racetrack before the war. One of the first places were race cars were developed.
19 Photos
Created 19 September 2016
Three Sheets is for sale so these are some pics of her. We have owned her for five years and sailed Three Sheets from San Diego, California to her current location in Marmaris, Turkey. We plan to start making our way back west towards Gibraltar.
21 Photos
Created 14 March 2016
Another great two days, the last one a very long one as we did not finally get home until after midnight, but worth it....
20 Photos
Created 25 November 2015
Amazing trip and I hope some great pics of our first two days in Istanbul. An incredible city...
19 Photos
Created 25 November 2015
A few pics of the marina where Three Sheets is docked and of the City of Marmaris which is nearby and travelled to by the local bus. Most of these pics were taken when the gang was here visting in October.
20 Photos
Created 25 November 2015
Travelled via a larger boat to the Dalyan River area where we got onto smaller boats. Toured the river and checked out the tombs built into the cliff face. Had a mud bath. Very crazy and likely my last, ha ha
13 Photos
Created 19 November 2015
This was a wild location. What with the mineral pools and the white mineral terraces to the huge city that was spread around the pools. Very old and not as well preserved.
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Created 19 November 2015
This place was amazing. It would have been a major hub, especially when it was actually a port. You can imagine how old this city is simply based on the fact that the harbour is completely silted in (that takes a lot of time) and the sea is over a mile away.
13 Photos
Created 19 November 2015
Pics of a very beautiful town. Our anchorage near the monastery was much nicer than the anchorage in the town itself. This is a very popular destination for cruisers, tour boats and ferries.
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Created 19 November 2015
Here are some pics of a side trip that Emma and I were able to take to Santorini. It is a spectacular very old volcanic caldera. It was hard decision to make as to which pics to put in!!!!
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Created 19 November 2015
A fantastic, well kept and sheltered anchorage. We had a great meal which was worth the hot long trek up to the main house. The fog the next day was a little worriesome but it eventually cleared.
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Created 17 November 2015
A few pics of our drive around Amorous, a climb to an ancient monastery and a very very nice lunch with our new friends Nigel and Debbie from Wales.
18 Photos
Created 17 November 2015
Reg said it all, WIND. As I can't actually photograph the wind you will have to take his word for it. Emma and our are both appreciative of Reg staying with the boat so we could go to Santorini worry free. Ios was a young people's party place and they came in droves on these hug ferries that caused us great alarm with their wake smushing us up against the dock....yes we did try to move but almost impossible...
12 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
Even though we only spend one day on Folegandros we really enjoyed the hike, the village and the views. Sikinos was very windy, although comfortable (no rolling) we did not really get a chance to enjoy anything there. We did make it to the beach once but it was very uncomfortable with sand blowing everywhere. Another time perhaps
16 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
We actually went to this site twice, the first time it was closed and the weather was pretty cold and rainy. The second time it was open and beautiful. Obviously people do get tired of seeing ruins etc but hopefully you can use your imagination to see what this huge fortress was like so many years ago. The views were spectacular and the site chosen for obvious reasons, you could see your emenies by sea or land.
14 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
Serifos a great village and Milos a quick overnight stop. Emma and I swam to shore in Milos which was pretty unusual for me. Reg then picked us up in the dinghy. Both very pretty spots
26 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
Some pics of Poros, where we arrived and then drove to Athens to pick up Emma. After that a few day trips, Epidavros twice, Acrocorinth Fortress and some really nice scenic driving. Kithnos was our first Island with Emma and we really enjoyed it except for the delay re our prop shaft issue. Even though it was a big costly inconvenience for us it was nice to know that the Greek Coast Guard was listening and were there to help if it had been a more dangerous situation. I had quite a discussion with them regarding the meaning of PAN PAN but was unable to convince them that it was not the same as a MAY DAY!!!
13 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
A great spot and often used for real concerts and plays in the summer. The anchorage was also quite nice was we were able to hook. We saw the theatre from the car and anchored in the village later.
9 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
A very short one day tour of Athens!!!
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Created 10 November 2015
We stopped here on the way to Athens to pick up Emma. This was a very old civilization. The site was amazing and you can see why it was chosen.
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Created 10 November 2015
Apparently the most expensive canal in the world, per foot!! Sure seemed like it to us but it did save a lot of time and fuel if we had had to go around. It was a good experience, a little nerve wracking but I am sure just standard stuff to the Greeks.
14 Photos
Created 26 July 2015
We anchored in Galaxadhi (for some reason I did not take any pictures of the town!) and used the bus to go and see the Delphi Oracle. Very well done museum and archealogical site. A very beautiful place and the views were fantastic. You almost feel like a "God" yourself way up there!!!
19 Photos
Created 26 July 2015
Just a few pics of the little village of Trizonia. Great free anchorage, nice tavernas, cute goat mascot.
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Created 26 July 2015
Pics of first stop in Greece, Argostoli, Cephanlonia. Great spot with great provisions, good food and the best feta cheese I have ever had. Traditional greek feta is made with sheep and goats milk or you can get just sheeps milk as well. The turtles around the fishing boats were amazing and the tourists were really enjoying them. Not sure how much fish was being sold!!!
13 Photos
Created 26 July 2015
Pics of our trip with the Massaro Family of San Francisco. We had three days to visit stuff that probably would have taken a week or two!!! We had to prioritize and do what we could.
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Created 26 July 2015
A few pics of the city of Siracusa where we had a beautiful safe anchorage and good provisioning. The market was amazing and the food cheap and fresh.
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Created 3 July 2015
This was an active volcano and you could have a sulpur mud bath if so inclined. The great part is we hooked up with our friends from San Francisco, Jennifer, Darold and Dante. We met these folks in the San Blas Islands Panama in 2014. It was great to be able to catch up!!!
15 Photos
Created 25 June 2015
Amazing town very built up right on the shore and interesting to see as you approach the anchorage. Enjoyed touring the town
15 Photos
Created 25 June 2015
Pics of our stay in the city of Cagliari. Big city, nice people and good supplies. Really enjoyed our tour of the museum. Pics of our anchorage which was very beautiful and quiet. Had a couple of great walks into town and up into the hills
18 Photos
Created 25 June 2015
Picks of our second stay on Mallorca, Menorca and some pics of Sardinia. Discovering a lot more lovely anchorages then on the coast of Spain so happy about that!!!!
11 Photos
Created 25 June 2015
This time when we stopped in Dublin to visit Emma on the way back to the boat we rented a car and headed for Northern Ireland. Really wanted to see the Giants Causeway. We visited castles, abbys, and old stuff!!! Belfast was interesting and had a wonderful museum about "the troubles". It was very well done and told the story of both sides. I learned a lot of things I really did not know or understand. There is still a little undercurrent between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland is a wonderful place to visit!!!
39 Photos
Created 23 June 2015
Pics from our visit with Emma last fall, rented a car and travelled around the Republic of Ireland. So much to see and so little time!!!!
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Created 10 June 2015
Here are a few pics when my sister Marg visited with us in Barcelona last October. We had a great time. Marg experienced the sailing life as we sailed from Barcelona to the Island of Menorca. We spent a few days there touring the Island. We sailed back to Roda de Bara where we left the boat for the winter. These were overnight sails both time and Marg was a real trooper especially when our Auto pilot quit. Thanks for coming to see us Marg it was a great trip...
33 Photos
Created 10 May 2015
The confluence of civilizations as well as its strategic harbour, together the rise of the local mining industry is manifested by a unique artistic heritage, with a number of landmarks such as the Roman Theatre, the second largest of the Iberian Peninsula after the one in Mérida, an abundance of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish remains, and a plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, a result of the bourgeoisie from the early 20th century. Well thats what they said in Wiki, ha ha. Anyway we were really surprised as the entrance to the harbour and the harbour itself not that attractive. However, just like it says the museums, the history and the buildings are fantastic.
20 Photos
Created 17 September 2014
The Alhambra: Part fortress (the Alcazaba), part palace (Palacios Nazaries), part garden (the Generalife) and part government city (the Medina), this medieval complex overlooking Granada is one of the top attractions in Spain, with many visitors coming to Granada expressly to see the Alhambra. The last Moorish stronghold in Europe, the Alhambra reflects the splendor of Moorish civilization in Andalusia and offers the visitor splendid ornamental architecture, spectacular and lush gardens, cascading and dripping water features, and breathtaking views of the city. There is just so much to see in here and it would take to long to describe everything but it is something that you should see if you decide to take the trip to Spain....
34 Photos
Created 16 September 2014
The Moorish conquest of 711 brought Islamic rule to the Iberian Peninsula and Granada was quickly established as one of the main cities of Al-Andalus, the Muslim name for the region. New agricultural practices were introduced as the old Roman infrastructure was put to use for irrigation, leading to a major expansion of the city as it grew from the river valley up to the hills currently occupied by the Alhambra and the Albayzín, with a major Jewish settlement, the Realejo, existing within the town. Following the fall of Córdoba in 1236 to the Christian Reconquista, the city became the capital of the Emirate of Granada, and for the next 250 years Granada stood as the heart of a powerful and self-sufficient kingdom with the construction of the royal palace and fortress, the Alhambra. Skirmishes continued between the Emirate of Granada and the Crown of Castile, and in the late 15th century the Christian Reconquista set its sights on Granada. Following a military campaign led by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, which included a siege of the walled town, King Boabdil of Granada was ultimately forced to surrender the town in 1492, bringing an end to Moorish rule in the Iberian peninsula and marking the end of the Reconquista. It is an amazing city and not far away you can go skiiing in the mountains. We only spent a few days here but I think you could use at least one week to really check out everything.
37 Photos
Created 16 September 2014
We arrived in Motril which is where we decided to leave the boat and take the bus to Granada and the Alhambra. It was a neat little place with no tourists!!! Nice yacht club and people were friendly. Emma took this series of pictures one morning while Reg and I slept away. I think it is a snowy egret (yellow feet) fishing for his early morning breakfast, with good results...
10 Photos
Created 16 September 2014
It never entered my mind that we would visit Morocco. When we realized how close we were we decided we had to give it a go. Especially when it was so easy to sail to Ceuta and then take a bus. I must say the trip was too short so we just had a tiny tiny taste!!!
31 Photos
Created 15 September 2014
We left Gibraltar and sailed over to Ceuta which is a small territory in Morroco belonging to Spain. Wow wonder what the politcs are there!!! Anyway we really enjoyed this place. It was nice, people were friendly. We stayed in a marina as there was no place to anchor. We also travelled from here by bus to Morroco but that is another album!!
16 Photos
Created 15 September 2014
Cádiz, the oldest continuously-inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in southwestern Europe,[1][2] has been a principal home port of the Spanish Navy since the accession of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. The city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. We met up with a friend of Emma's, David and his two boys. David also took us around the city in the evening to enjoy Tapas. David and the two boys opted to travel with us to Sancti-Petri where we would drop them off to meet up with his parents who spend their summers there. A little uncomfortable for the new sailors in a green sort of way but they soldiered on and we made it in time to spend some time on the beach. We enjoyed a very nice dinner compliments of David's family. The anchorage itself was a bit scary as the current was incredibly strong and you had to go in at high tide. Fortunately they had mooring balls and they assisted us to tie up. When we left we had the motor running as high as it could and we barely made two knots out to the ocean!!!
16 Photos
Created 5 September 2014
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has an area of 2.3 square miles and a northern border with the Province of Cádiz in Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is a densely populated city area, home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities. The territory was ceded to Britain "in perpetuity" under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. I am pretty sure Spain is not too happy about that today. There are certainly issues especially around fishing rights. Most of the Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve which is home to around 230 Barbary Macaques, the famous apes of Gibraltar, albeit that biologists insist that technically the apes are wild monkeys. These are the only wild apes or monkeys found in Europe. They are classified as endangered and three quarters of the population actually live in the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Across the border is La Linea where we anchored. It was free to anchor there and much less expensive then trying to get into a marina on either side. A lot of people go back and forth every day to and from work. We did the typical sight seeing on "The Rock". It was an amazing amount of walking so we were pretty sore and tired but really glad we did it. To get to the area you cross the border and then walk across the airport where the planes actually land and take off. If you stop they come over the loud speaker and tell you to keep moving!!!! Lots of people trying to stop and take pictures. It was a good stop for us as we got fuel on the way out at half the price of anywhere else, YAY!!!!
19 Photos
Created 5 September 2014
Time to move on and start heading to Spain. This was our last stop in Portugal and it was a neat anchorage. The beach was amazing and lots of shells!!! Culatra Island is an island in the Algarve, Portugal. It is divided into three parts: Farol, Hângares and Culatra. We only stayed in the anchorage, visited the little village, walked the boardwalk and spent time on the beach. It is a very popular sport for Spanish Tourists who come by the droves in ferries to spend the day on the beach.
11 Photos
Created 5 September 2014
After we left Coimbra we stopped at these old Roman Ruins on the way back to Portimao. Conímbriga is one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal, and is classified as a National Monument. Like many archaeological sites, Conímbriga was built in layers. The archaeological evidence tells us that Conímbriga was inhabited, at least, between the 9th century BC and 7th / 8th century AD.[1] The name Conimbriga derives from an early, possibly pre-Indo-European element meaning "rocky height or outcrop" and the Celtic briga, signifying a defended place.[2] Others think that the element coni may be related to the Conii people. When the Romans arrived, in the first half of the 2nd century BC, Conímbriga was a flourishing village. Of course they wasted no time in taking over as they spread their empire. Judging by the capacity of the amphitheater, the city had an estimated population of 10600. Following the deep political and administrative crisis of the Empire, Conímbriga suffered the consequences of the barbaric invasions. In 465 and 468. Can you imagine something that old!!! Although Conimbriga was not the largest Roman city in Portugal, it is the best preserved. Archaeologists estimate that only 10 percent of the city has been excavated until the early 2000s. This site is a work in progress but was definitely worth the visit.
15 Photos
Created 5 September 2014
Once we picked up Emma we headed back to the boat. We stopped in Coimbra and walked around the city visiting the botanical gardens (mostly abandoned now do to austerity measures) and the Machado Museum. It was a interesting place and also house a famous university which we visited.
19 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
Of course we had to visit Porto where all that good Porto is made!!! it is the second largest city second to Lisbon. It is a world heritage center and is famous for the Douro River wineries. The interesting part is that the City of Gaia across the river is where Port is really made. All of the port houses are located there. The name Port sounds better than Gaia so the name stuck even though there is no port made in Porto. It is an amazing place and full of tourists. This is where we picked up Emma to bring her back the boat.
28 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
We spent a few days here and there on our own and with Emma and Alia. It was a very sheltered basin which could only be entered and exited at high tide due to some sand bars. It was also the premier spot for kite boarding and wind surfing. A great little town but like all of the Algarve touristy.
15 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
This is Cape St Vincent which was called the end of the world back in the old sailing days. People thought this was it until the explorers set sail for the other side of the world. We came in so early in the morning that we did not see it very well and it was a bit overcast but it was a neat feeling.
7 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
A few pics of our visit with Alia, Emma and Mike - very glad they came we were getting kind of lonely!!!!
18 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
A few pics of the anchorage in Portimao. We stayed there while we took a trip to Porto. This was our best internet spot at a local cafe and we had free dockage for our dinghy at the yacht club which was very nice. Very touristy place and really loud music every night sometimes until 4 am
10 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
Well I am very very behind in my photo albums. I am going to start with our arrival in Portugal from the Azores. A few pics of the town, and the grottos. Lagos was a tourist place. The marina was good and everything was very convenient. This is where Peter and Mike took a bus to Lisboa and flew back home. We spent quite a bit of time here while we hung out and waited for Emma, Alia and Mike to come and join us for a visit. Now if we could only convince the other kids to come too!!!!!
17 Photos
Created 23 August 2014
A few pics of our journey from Bermuda to the Azores to Lagos, Portugal
24 Photos
Created 4 July 2014
Just some shots of our crew including the Captain and Co-Captain
20 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
We were delayed so we decided to take the ferry to Pico and rent a car. We tried to see as much as we could while we were there. It was quite different than Faial - much more laid back. There are a lot of grapes grown here.
18 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
This was a fascinating lighthouse and story around the volcano that erupted over a period of 13 months with the big one happening in 1959 which caused a lot of destruction. An interesting story after this a lot of people from here were invited to come to the United States and Canada to start over. Apparently is was very good for the island as it was overpopulated and things were not good. I guess this explains why there are strong communities of Portuguese people in Canada
11 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
A seaside village. This is basically what they call a beach!!!
11 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
Some pics of the dormant volcano we drove up to. Amazing
15 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
We rented a car and drove around the island. It was a beautiful sunny day
12 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
The area around Horta after we arrived
16 Photos
Created 26 June 2014
After our crew and their families arrived on May 10th we spend Sunday afternoon visiting the Crystal Caves. The pics pretty much speak for themselves.
18 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
Some pics of Bermuda. A really beautiful place with lots of lush green, flowers, very clean and people are very friendly
17 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
A album dedicated to my sister's Eva and Marg who both love horses. They roamed free in South Caicos and on Grand Turk. I am sure they were owned by someone but it was really cool to see them and feed them some treats!!! (Carrots and Apples)
18 Photos
Created 2 April 2014
When we turned around from our Bermuda attempt we headed back to Grand Turk. This is the capital of the Turks and Caicos and also where the cruise ships come in. We were there about a week and saw at least 6 ships come in. Not too much going on here except for government stuff and the tourists from the ships. I am pretty sure that is the only industry here. It was still a cool place to see.
20 Photos
Created 2 April 2014
One of the anchorages in the Turks and Caicos Islands, also the place where we checked into the country. Rustic but still suffering from hurricane in 2008. People were friendly. This is where I took the pics of the flamingos in the wild.
19 Photos
Created 2 April 2014
I promise this is the last fort. It was also cool and overlooked the harbour entrance. I just had to put some pics in.
14 Photos
Created 25 March 2014
This is our last major stop before continuing to head North East to the Turks & Caicos. It was a very interesting city, older than Havana. The people, as always, in Cuba were great
16 Photos
Created 25 March 2014
This is the area we sailed east from Cienfuego to Santiago de Cuba. It is a series of mangrove and sand islands along a reef. It was very beautiful and remote. We traveled with the British couple from the sailing vessel Emma Louise.
18 Photos
Created 25 March 2014
This is a lovely town near Cienfuego that we travelled to by taxi and spent a few nights. A lot of the tourists from the resorts come here so there is a lot of repair and renovation going on.
29 Photos
Created 25 March 2014
Yes, I know another fort, but they are cool!!! It is amazing to think that these forts were built and why. (Oh ya, I have one more after this!!)
14 Photos
Created 25 March 2014
Cuba was an amazing place, especially Havana. I am glad we got to see it.
13 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
We spent 2 amazing days in Havana with our own special tour guide, Ariel.
19 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
First landfall in Cuba
20 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
A quick stop before heading to Cuba for fuel, some fresh food. This is where we had to buy a new dinghy and motor!!!!
11 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
Our first stop after the San Blas Islands
22 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
This is called the Eastern Hollandes, known as the swimming pool and the small island is called BBQ sland
20 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
Pics of the various anchorages we stayed in, The Swimming Pool, Chichimi, Porvenier
16 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
Our first stop on the way to the San Blas Islands after leaving Shelter Bay Marina.
14 Photos
Created 18 March 2014
Pics of our home away from home
13 Photos
Created 12 November 2013
A few pics of my brother's visit and our trip inland to a small lodge
15 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
Pics as we travelled through the Panama Canal
18 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
A few pics of the canal before going through it ourselves. Location is the Miraflores Locks which is the first one going from west to east
11 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
Some pics of our 3 weeks stay in the Las Perlas Islands off the coast of Panama
25 Photos
Created 6 October 2013
a few pics of trip and our arrival in Panama
16 Photos
Created 3 June 2013
Our last stop before returning to Three Sheets. Great little B&B place where you can get your bird/animal fix!!!
13 Photos
Created 19 May 2013
A big tourist attraction of beautiful birds, gardens and waterfalls
25 Photos
Created 19 May 2013
A great hike on the trails around the volcano and a view of a crater lake
17 Photos
Created 19 May 2013
Pictures of some of the birds and wildlife we saw during our bird watching tour and hiking around the lodge.
20 Photos
Created 19 May 2013
Pics of our stay at the lodge which is located near the village of Los Angeles in Costa Rica
18 Photos
Created 19 May 2013
Curu was a privately owned nature preserve and Isla San Lucas was an old island prison that the government is starting to restore as a tourist attraction
19 Photos
Created 18 May 2013
Pics of some anchorages on our way south to Panama
20 Photos
Created 18 May 2013
15 Photos
Created 17 May 2013
We went back to Oaxaca and stopped at these markets before turning for home
16 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of our trip outside of Oaxaca city to see the "big" tree and the wool woven rugs
20 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of the ruins of Monte Alban - an amazing site
20 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of the main cathedral
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
A few pics while we were out and about
15 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of the Santa Domingo Church & our hotel
16 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of our stops in San Martin Tilcajete and the La Acuzena Zapoteca Restuarant
14 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Our visit to the Don Gabriel Finca and village of Pluma Hidalgo
18 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of our first stop to Oaxaca City
10 Photos
Created 6 April 2013
Pics of our trip south to Z-Town
15 Photos
Created 26 March 2013
A few pics of our trip south to La Cruz
8 Photos
Created 8 March 2013
A few pics of Alia's stay with us in Mazatlan. Thanks for coming Alia
20 Photos
Created 28 February 2013
Pics of the parade
21 Photos
Created 28 February 2013
Pics of our trip with Alia to Copala, Concordia
20 Photos
Created 28 February 2013
Pics of two visits to the interesting site of Las Labradas
14 Photos
Created 28 February 2013
Pics of two trips to El Quelite
20 Photos
Created 28 February 2013
Our sail south from Topo to Mazatlan with Peter, Donna, Mike and Sue as Crew
19 Photos
Created 21 February 2013
A few shots of the marina we stayed in while in Topo
7 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
Pics of our journey from San Carlos to Topo, but mostly of Topo
20 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
Some pics of the Shepherd Hacienda - not sure they do justice to what this place once would have looked like
7 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
Our drive from Creel to Divisadero to pick up the Train back to El Fuerte
20 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
A few pics of creel and area including our hotels
11 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
Pics of our trip from Creel to Batioplias and Back to Creel. There are many canyons in the "Copper Canyon" so I am sure I did not identify all of the canyons correctly.
20 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
Pics of the town and surrounding area
18 Photos
Created 3 December 2012
Pics, mostly of birds, ya I know boring!!!!
12 Photos
Created 3 December 2012
Pics of the town on our way to and our way back from Copper Canyon
12 Photos
Created 3 December 2012
Our trip, via train, from El Fuerte to Creel and Back
19 Photos
Created 30 November 2012
A little bit about San Carlos
10 Photos
Created 30 November 2012
Our final family feast of crabs from the mangroves
9 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
Our drive to the park - spectacular
20 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
Some pics Reg and I took while wandering around the city plus our last night in Cuenca dinner!!!
18 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
Panama Hats, Markets and Buildings
19 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
Our visit to the Ingapirca Ruins near Canar, Ecuador
20 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
Train ride through the devil's nose from Alausi to Station and back
22 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
The Tungurahua Volcano and the "La Case del Arbol" - The Tree house and swing
18 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Pics of the town of Banos in the mountains
21 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Our stop at the "Devil's Cauldron" waterfall on our way to Banos
18 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
The trip there and our stay at the Huella Verde Cabanas
28 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Some pics of our journey with a stop to see some monkeys and a orchid botanical preserve
20 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Our drive and "small" hike on the highest mountain in Ecuador
27 Photos
Created 23 April 2012
A side trip we took from Riobamba to the indigenous market in Guamote
12 Photos
Created 23 April 2012
Pics of our trip and stay in Riobamba
19 Photos
Created 23 April 2012
A few pics of the village that Alfredo and Emma lived in for a short time
15 Photos
Created 23 April 2012
Pics of some of our stops on the coast of Ecuador
20 Photos
Created 23 April 2012
BBQ Alfredo's Family
13 Photos
Created 21 April 2012
A few pics of our sight seeing with Alia, Emma and Alfredo
18 Photos
Created 21 April 2012
A steep walk uphill (444 steps) with great views to the lighthouse and church at the top. I am sorry the pictures are a bit out of order but you get the idea how lovely the scenery is on the way up and on the way down!!!
29 Photos
Created 28 February 2012
My first day, Emma & I walked around the area and onto the Malecon
17 Photos
Created 28 February 2012
A few pics of the area
10 Photos
Created 28 February 2012
Pics of New Year's Eve on the Malecon, whale watching, old town, La Cruz and our fishing trip
33 Photos
Created 31 January 2012
After a few days on the water we arrived at 6:30 am to the primitive island of Isabella and anchored off of the rocks called Las Monas
19 Photos
Created 4 January 2012
View of the last anchorage before heading back to La Paz
20 Photos
Created 4 January 2012
Isla San Jose just across from San Evaristo
10 Photos
Created 4 January 2012
Pics from more time spent outside of La Paz
18 Photos
Created 31 December 2011
Our hair raising trip back to La Paz
22 Photos
Created 31 December 2011
Pics of the village and some of Dale's house
23 Photos
Created 31 December 2011
A few pics of our stay in the El Carondel Anchorage which is situated on Isla Partida just north of La Paz
23 Photos
Created 4 December 2011
Anchorage after Caleta Lobos
46 Photos
Created 1 December 2011
More pics of La Paz and our first anchorage as we headed north to some of the Islands
19 Photos
Created 1 December 2011
Pics of our journey from Cabo to La Paz from Nov 8th to Nov 20th, 2011. Will likely leave in a few days to cruise some of the islands close by
30 Photos
Created 20 November 2011
Some highlights of our trip from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
94 Photos
Created 18 November 2011
This is an album created to keep track of people who have visited, stayed with us, or people we have met on our travels.
11 Photos
Created 18 November 2011
Various pics from our 5 week shakedown cruise in the Channel Islands off the coast of California
76 Photos
Created 9 September 2011
Some photos of our time here in San Diego, CA
18 Photos
Created 12 July 2011