Blue Heron

Vessel Name: Blue Heron
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 43
Hailing Port: Delaware City, DE
Crew: Bob & Eric Frantz
About: Bob retired in January, 2011 from a career as an environmental attorney and manager, and Eric earned his Bachelor's Degree from The George Washington University in Washington, DC in December, 2010. They began their circumnavigation February 6, 2011.
Extra: In the words of that great American author, Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
19 June 2012
13 June 2012 | Fishing Bay Harbor Marina, Deltaville, VA
12 June 2012
09 June 2012
05 June 2012 | Cannonsport Marina, Palm Beach Shores, Florida
01 June 2012 | in passage to Bahamas
25 May 2012 | Sapodilla Bay
21 May 2012 | Jost van Dyke
18 May 2012
17 May 2012 | BVI
14 May 2012
07 May 2012 | Simpson Bay
03 May 2012 | Charlestown Harbour
01 May 2012
15 April 2012 | St. Lucia
13 April 2012
11 April 2012
06 April 2012
Recent Blog Posts
19 June 2012

The Blue Heron did it!

Today is the 500th day since we began our adventure around the world. We did it! We've completed our circumnavigation! We have not only crossed our wake but have passed the point from which we originally set sail on February 6, 2011. All that remains is to get us and the Blue Heron home. She has [...]

13 June 2012 | Fishing Bay Harbor Marina, Deltaville, VA

Waiting to get back on our way

We passed Little Creek Marina in Norfolk, VA during the middle of the night last night -- that's where our dream voyage began 16 months ago. We then made our way to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay where we were greeted with a howling hello in the form of 30+ knot winds on the nose. Making any headway was almost impossible so, we have diverted for safe harbor once more to wait for this weather system to pass. If anything, the North Atlantic lives up to it's reputation as being predictably unpredictable. Now, we wait (impatiently) for another weather window so that we can make our way home.

12 June 2012

Big Fish - take a look

Our steady progress and, generally, uneventful passage thusfar was punctuated with excitement yesterday afternoon when Eric called out, "I've got one!" He caught a White Marlin in the late afternoon. The fish fought hard and we had quite a time getting the fish on board. The fish measured 6'4" and [...]

09 June 2012

on our way north

This morning we left West Palm Beach at 8:15AM and are making our way north. We're hopeful that weather will be in our favor the entire final passage home -- we'll see. We've started with the benefit of both the gulf stream and favorable winds and are moving along at about 9 knots.

05 June 2012 | Cannonsport Marina, Palm Beach Shores, Florida

weather detour

We're stopping in Palm Beach for a day or so to wait out some weather due to come offshore from the Carolinas. Then we'll continue our northbound journey for home.

The Capes and Wine Country

21 January 2012
South Africa is home to some of the finest wineries in the world, and they happen to be just outside Cape Town, so our visit wouldn't be complete without a few days spent in the wine country. A trip to Avis secured our mode of transportation and before long we were off on our adventure, driving on the "wrong" side of the road, of course.
We started out heading south, not to the wine country but to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. The South African government created a national park on the peninsula where these capes are found, and the drive there provides spectacular views of the sea and surrounding areas. The route there takes you through a little town called Simon's Town, which has a port on False Bay, the bay bordered by the peninsula. It's a great little town, with beautiful views, attractive shops and restaurants, and a little museum. We only had time for a walk through town and a coffee at a seaside restaurant, but it was a fun break.
The trip to the Capes was only a short drive further south on the peninsula. The peninsula is covered with a type of vegetation called fynbos, literally "fine bush" in Afrikaans, which contains a wide range of plant species, heather- and heath-like, that give the landscape a very textured and soft feel. From Cape Point & Good Hope Once there, we hiked up to the lighthouse at Cape Point (you can also take the funicular up). From Cape Point & Good Hope
The views from the top were phenomenal, allowing us to see across False Bay and all the way to Cape Agulhas. From Cape Point & Good HopeWe discovered from a plaque at the top of the lighthouse that, after building it, the government found that its light was often invisible to mariners due to fog because it was too high. Although its height provided great views for us, it didn't work as a lighthouse. As a result, it was supplemented a few years later by another light further offshore, and lower.
We finished our tour by heading out to the Cape of Good Hope, a short distance away across the peninsula. The South African parks authority has attempted to retain some cachet to this Cape, because it isn't the southernmost point in Africa (Cape Agulhas is), by describing it as the "most southwestern" point in Africa. From Cape Point & Good Hope
As we left the National Park, we headed up along the shoreline of False Bay. Here there were large sand dunes, some of which the road ran through. The beaches were alive with South African surf fisherman, casting into the surf, or watching their pole while sitting in a beach chair and drinking a beer.
We made our way to South Africa's wine country, with the first stop in Franschoek, one of the two primary wine towns, the other being Stellenbosch. Franschoek is the further town from Cape Town, and we've arranged to stay at a B&B there for one night. It is a picturesque little town, with a quaint main street of restaurants and shops lined with trees, all set against a backdrop of mountains that rise about 3000 feet. Dinner that evening was right in the downtown area at a restaurant that specializes in steaks and other meats. The food was excellent.
The next morning, we were off to do some sightseeing in the morning and wine tasting in the afternoon. We began with a drive over the mountain pass for some spectacular views of the wine valley. From Wine Tasting 1From Wine Tasting 1 After that we visited the Rupert wine estate with its renowned car museum, where we saw vintage Rolls Royce's, Maserati's, Lamborghinis as well as Buicks, Oldsmobiles and VWs. It was quite a collection. From Wine TastingFrom Wine TastingFrom Wine Tasting After the tour, we sampled some of their wines. We had 1:00 PM reservations for lunch at Terroi restaurant, so we headed off to get there in time.
Lunch was wonderful. We were seated in an outdoor courtyard with grapes growing on overhead trellises for shade. The restaurant is located at the Kleine Salze winery so there were views of the vineyards from the courtyard. The food was delicious and, of course, we had wine with lunch. From Wine Tasting 1Afterward, we were able to taste some more of the winery's wines.

Because it was Sunday, some of the winery tasting rooms were not open, but we did manage to get to one or two more before going to the Stellenbosch hotel, where we had reservations for the night. Stellenbosch is also a very attractive town, and it's quite a bit bigger than Franschoek. It is the home of Stellenbosch University, a fairly large and well regarded South African university. We discovered that it's also a destination for US students studying abroad, when we happened to be sitting at dinner at a table next to an American student and his father, who had accompanied him to start his semester abroad.
Our final day started with a walk around the town and a visit to the Village Museum, which is designed to represent 150 years of Stellenbosch history, from 1700 to 1850, roughly coinciding with the period of Dutch colonization. Four homes of different architecture period are decorated in their period style, and there are even gardens planted as they would have been during that time. From Wine Tasting 1From Wine Tasting 1Docents in period dress gave us insights into what life was like in those days.
We headed next off to get a detailed cellar tour and description of winemaking at Bergkelder Winery. From Wine Tasting 1The guide provided a great tour, taking us through the winemaking process, from growing the grapes through fermentation and the barrel aging process. From Wine Tasting 1From Wine Tasting 1 We also learned during the tour that a professor at Stellenbosch University had been the first to create Pilotage grapes. He did this by crossing a Pinot Noir grape with a Hermitage (Cinsaut) grape, and calling it Pinotage.
We tasted wine at a few other wineries, wishing that we had a designated driver to allow for more. I will just mention one--Asara winery--not for the wine, which was good, but for the views and setting. Set at the base of steep mountains, its beautiful grounds and the mountains make for stunning views. From Wine Tasting 1
In all, in was a great few days, which we highly recommend to anyone visiting South Africa.
Blue Heron's Photos - Main
COP17, TOPtoTOP, and Essenwood Market
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Created 15 December 2011
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Created 7 June 2011

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