Log of Calypso

06 August 2022
01 August 2022 | Stonehaven, Scotland
28 July 2022
25 July 2022
22 July 2022 | Edinburgh, Scotland
21 July 2022 | Glasgow
19 July 2022 | Edinburgh Scotland
19 July 2022
25 June 2020
03 June 2019
03 May 2019 | Charleston, SC
01 May 2019 | Brunswick, Ga
27 March 2019 | Palm Coast, Fl
11 February 2019 | South of the Tropic of Cancer
26 January 2019 | Red Shanks
12 January 2019 | Georgetown, Great Exuma Island
15 December 2018 | No Name Harbor, ICW Mile 1096

The Cutting Room Floor

06 August 2022
Jeff & Wendy Gower
After nearly 12 hours in the air and countless more in airport terminals, check-in lines, and three security check points, we arrived home to our "Beach Cottage".

After unpacking, sorting through mail, and catching up on some needed sleep, we discovered several photos and some video footage that didn't make it into our blog, the first time.

So, we put together, as a YouTube. We hope you enjoy this short look back at Scotland from what we picked up off, "The Cutting Room Floor".

Cheers,
Jeff and Wendy

Tail of Two Bus Rides

01 August 2022 | Stonehaven, Scotland
Jeff & Wendy Gower
Several months ago when we started the planning of this trip we soon discovered that many of the places we wanted to go to were not linked by rail. Not a problem, we thought, we'll take a bus.

We soon discovered an eBook Guide called, "How to Travel Aberdeenshire by Bus", by Marisa Vogiatzi.

A non-driving student at Aberdeen University she wrote it as a survival guide to other non-drivers in Scotland. Since then she has graduated and publishes other guides and a blog on Solo Traveling, a younger, and prettier, Rick Steves!


After Balmoral's success we were off to explore Stonehaven. This picturesque yet somewhat quirky seaside village, 40 minutes from Aberdeen, was enchanting.


It offered us a walk on the pebble strewn beach.



Down a well designed boardwalk with protective, art decorated, Rip-Rap on one side....


... and manicured gardens on the other.


Being, lunch-o'clock, we spotted Seafood Bothy. The word Bothy comes from the Gaelic word for a little hut, or in today's thinking, more like a Tiny House.


As we waited for lunch, several boats returned with thier catch, lunch would certainly be fresh!


Before lunch we talked about hiking taking the cliff trail to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle.

But, less than 5 minutes later we were feasting on the fresh North Sea seafood. We split, two crab tacos and a lobster and prawn burrito.

As you can guess with full stomachs all we wanted is a nap, not a hike. So, we loaded on the bus back to Aberdeen with thoughts of when we could return.


Two days later we loaded back aboard the bus to Stonehaven. After a hearty breakfast of porridge, we were ready for the castle.

Over 440 Million years ago the rock on which the Castle stands called conglomerate known as "pudding stone" was forced to the surface of the earth. Since 5000 BC, Picts, Saints, Kings, and Conquerors have lived, worshiped, and fought at this site.


The 1.82 mile one way trek along the coastal path took us from sea level to 160' in a matter of steps. Once inside the ruins of this one elaborate strong hold the history of it, came alive. Stories of William Wallace (aka Bravehart), Mary Queen of Scots, and the daring deception to save the Scottish Crown Jewels while Oliver Cromwell laid siege to the castle for nearly a year.


Walking back towards Stonehaven, we were glad that we did the most of the uphill version of this hike first. However, we stopped so many times it is impossible to count. This time not to just catch our breath, but to look back a a major component in Scottish history.

Sla'inte Mhath (Good Health),
Jeff and Wendy

Balmoral

28 July 2022
Jeff & Wendy Gower
At 0955, we reached the entrance to the grounds of Balmoral Castle after a bus ride of a bit more than 2 hours.

We walked across the entrance bridge designed by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Edward, which was completed in 1856. This bridge over Scotland’s Dee River is just one of the engineering successes by this German born Monarch.

Our tour was broken into three parts: First, Balmoral Castle. Since this is a private residence, except for the Ball Room (which is the largest room in the Castle), it is the only interior room available for viewing.

The next are the gardens. Flowers for bouquets and veg for family, guests, and staff are grown with the help of 4 gardeners and a dedicated group of volunteers.

Finally, the rest of the 60,000 acre estate, which we were fortunate enough to tour some of with a ranger, is used for recreation, such as salmon fishing, and deer hunting, by personal invitation of the Queen only. There is also timber harvesting and several holiday cabins which can be rented.

The YouTube hopefully gives you a feel for this 100+ year old estate.


Enjoy,
Jeff and Wendy

Exploring Aberdeen-Day 1

26 July 2022
Jeff & Wendy Gower
Exploring Aberdeen-Day 1

Tucked away on a quiet one way road with several building between us and a major thoroughfare, our AirBnB is in the lowest level of a building constructed in the 1800’s. But what else would you expect, this is Scotland!

On first impressions, Aberdeen like Edinburgh, is a college town giving both city’s, filled with old grey buildings, a young vibe.


Like this umbrella Project, launched in Aberdeen, featuring multi-coloured umbrellas suspended across city centre streets, to bring awareness to neurodiversity. This includes conditions such as; ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia.


The biggest difference we notice in Aberdeen, is the relative lack of tourism. While Edinburgh thrives on it, Aberdeen has something much more permanent, the sea. The Port of Aberdeen brings in more than £2Billion annually and employs more than 15,000 people.


While visiting the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, free to the public, we were amazed how the port had developed, and changed since it first engaged in trade around 100AD.


Over the years it’s focus has changed from fishing, to ship building and repair, to even whaling.



Today Aberdeen’s maritime focus is on North Sea Oil. This impressive scale model of a North Sea Oil Rig is 4 stories tall in the museum emphasizing the importance of oil to Scotland.

Cheers,
Jeff and Wendy

Dawyck (Doy-K) Gardens

25 July 2022
Jeff & Wendy Gower
Traveling is always an adventure!

As the light mist of Scotland fell Saturday morning and we prepared to leave Edinburgh we were also were glad that we booked a taxi to take us past the steep cobblestone steps in our walking route to the Bus Station.


After an hour, on the X62 bus, we were in the Scottish Boarders Town of Peebles. After finding our AirBnB that would be our home for the next 48 hours, we headed out to explore this picturesque city.


The Tweed River is only about 1’ deep as it runs through Peebles. Along both banks are footpaths which were fairly active on this warm Saturday afternoon.


But just one finger in the water of this mountain fueled river was enough to convince us to leave the wading to the Blue Heron and several young children who were laughing, splashing, and playing.


Centered at one end of High Street, the large Church of Scotland Kirk (Church) dominates with it’s steeple, a replica of the St. Giles Church’s back in Edinburgh. As bells called out for Sunday morning services we discovered that the bus to our next destination was not running. So, another taxi to the rescue.

We were heading for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Dawyck. Located on 2 square Kilometers in the hills near Peebles, these gardens were established in the early 17th Century.



Dawyck has one of Scotland’s finest tree collections including some of Britain’s oldest and tallest trees, including Douglas fir, European Silver fir and Giant Sierra redwoods, dating back to 1680.



Dawyck is home to many Douglas firs grown from seed collected by David Douglas himself. This is a multi-stemmed specimen planted in 1835.


Other heritage trees at the Garden include European larch which overlooks Dynamo Pond ( part of Dawyck’s Hydro (Electric) Scheme. This area was reputedly planted in 1725 in the presence of Carl Linnaeus, the forefather of plant nomenclature and classification.


The Rhododendron collection is a good place to appreciate some of the original rhododendron plantings, some in excess of 100 years old.


We missed many blooming trees and shrubs, but along the miles of trails they made up for it with their deep rich colored foliage.




Monday we head to Aberdeen.

Enjoy,
Jeff and Wendy

Edinburgh-Until Next Time

22 July 2022 | Edinburgh, Scotland
Jeff & Wendy Gower
Tomorrow ,Saturday, we leave on the X62 Bus for Peebles. You'll have to tune in then to see why we are heading several miles south.

The people make Edinburgh unique and this time we were not disappointed.

From the tourists to the musicians, locals to students, all help make every turn its own adventure.

A highlight has been traveling to Glasgow to meet with Stuart and the amazing athletes of his Rock Steady group who work tremendously hard to help make their own lives better.

Words cannot accurately describe everything we've experienced here, so enjoy this YouTube


Until next time,
Jeff and Wendy
Vessel Name: Ex-Calypso
Hailing Port: Morehead City, NC
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Repair to Calypso's foredeck, mast step, rudder, & Seacock replacement
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Created 3 November 2016