s/v Charabia

20 April 2015 | Bimini - North End
19 April 2015 | Bimini - North End
18 April 2015 | Bimini - South End
17 April 2015 | Bimini - North End
16 April 2015 | Great Bahama Banks
15 April 2015 | Bonds Cay, Berry Islands
14 April 2015 | Nassau, New Providence Island
13 April 2015 | Nassau, New Providence Island
12 April 2015 | Athol Island, Nassau
11 April 2015 | Allens Cay, Exumas
10 April 2015 | Pipe Cay, Exumas
09 April 2015 | Little Darby Cay, Exumas
08 April 2015 | George Town, Exumas
07 April 2015 | George Town, Exumas
06 April 2015 | Georgetown
05 April 2015 | Georgetown
04 April 2015 | Staniel Cay
03 April 2015 | Warerick Wells - Exuma Land and Sea Park
02 April 2015 | Warerick Wells - Exuma Land and Sea Park
01 April 2015 | Normans Cay

Queen Mary 2 - Sea Day - 07/17/19

17 July 2019 | North Sea
We actually slept in today. We woke up around 8:30. I do believe we both slept better. Watched some news. Mark was able to get some cell coverage off our close proximity to Ireland. I was trying to send a photo with an email, last night, but there was no signal. That email finally sent this morning. Headed to Deck 7, Lido, for breakfast today. We each had an omelet with veggies, bacon and a muffin. The roaming waiters took our drink order for orange juice and water. Then we got some tea and water to take back to our cabin. Our cabin steward had not yet cleaned our cabin, so we went for a walk around the ship. It was cold and rainy outside, so we stayed indoors. It was only 16C today. The seas were up to 10 foot and we could feel a bit of motion at times. The strong breeze, kept me indoors today. My sinus cold was so much better today. So, thanks to all of you that were sending me healing. Mark and I stopped at the many game tables and played scrabble. Most of the other games were taken. I was the winner when we finally gave up. By this time it was well after lunch. We decided to go to the dining room for lunch today, just to try it out. It was one of the best meals I have had. Mark enjoyed his too. We shared our table with a couple from Pennsylvania and two ladies from the UK. We had a lovely conversation. After lunch was over, we headed to the Royal Court Theater with the Celebrity Lecturer, Margaret Gilmore on Superpowers And Spies. It was very interesting. She drew a huge crowd. After it was over, we walked around some of the other decks. We walked outside briefly, but it was still very windy. The sun shone briefly as the rains stopped. We came back to our cabin and rested. Actually, we watched a movie. We received a call reminding us of our Kings Court Alternative dining scheduled for 7pm tonight. We showered and got ready for the 5:15 pm cocktails in the Queens Room. The line up to greet the captain was too long, so we went in the second entrance. We met the Vice Captain, Carl, and enjoyed a lovely chat with him. He was very interested in our sailing adventure. Mark gave him one of our boat cards. The waiters greeted us with full trays of assorted beverages. We both selected a fruity rum drink. We were invited to join a table of Canadians from Toronto. We had a lovely chat with them. The Cruise Director introduced the Captain, who gave a short speech welcoming everyone on board. He mentioned there were 81 passengers from Canada and over 800 from the US. Most passengers were from the UK. Then he introduced his Senior Officers. Decided to head to the casino and play some roulette. We each started with $20 and had incredible luck today. I decided to cash out as I had tripled my initial stake. Mark played a few more rounds and had two additional hits. We cleared $100. We happily headed back to our cabin, as our dinner was at a later time tonight. We arrived at the Kings Court dining room at 7pm. We were seated at a table for 2 right in front of a window. It was cloudy outside and the waves were still quite sizable. The restaurant was on Deck 7, which is also the walking deck. We got to see a few people getting some exercise while we ate. Most of what we ordered was very good. However, they did not cook my beef enough, plus it was not very tender. We each had too much food, so I was not going to replace it with anything else. Plus, we wanted to be done in time to get a seat at the tonight's Singer and Dancing show called Apassionata. It was an extravaganza of exciting styles of dances from around the world. They did a great job. We headed back to our cabin. The ship has a lot more motion as we head much further north in the North Sea. Created the blog which Mark will post shortly. We bought some Wifi minutes. Thanks to all for your emails and messages. We will have limited wifi going forward, but we will continue to post the blog each night. Enjoy your day.

Ashore in Liverpool - 07/16/19

16 July 2019 | Mersey River
We woke up around 7:30 but tried to sleep a bit more. We could get off the ship any time, but most of the tourist places would not open early. So, we took our time. Got up and dressed and headed to Deck 7, Lido, for breakfast. We each had omelets. Drank lots of orange juice today, trying to fight off my sinus cold. We vacated our cabin just after 9 am. The cabin staff was ready to let in the maintenance staff to repair the flooring in our cabin. There was a noticeable dip and I was afraid of tripping and falling. We walked down to Deck 2, but still had to go one more deck down in order to get to the gang plank. It was a good walk to get to the floating dock and over to shore. They had a few areas with locks. We were told that the tides are around 25 feet and on both sides of the Mersey River, they built up special surfaces of rock which are recipients of the the low to high tide waves. They also protect the land from sliding away. We walked along the water front, stopping at one of the buildings. We could have taken a tour, but decided to wait till later in the day. We did visit the Maritime Museum. Lots of history and artifacts from ships along the years. There were also several memorials built to honor the fallen ones from all wars. So much history. We saw the Fab Four statue and cafe along the water. We worked our way over to the main shopping area. We stopped for a coffee and hot chocolate as I was needing something mid morning. We found a big indoor shopping mall. Mark was in search of a white shirt, since he didn't buy one along the way and he did not pack one from home. He was successful in finding a shirt and it turned out to be half price, which was even better. I visited with a local, who was also a sailor and loved to hear about our adventure. We walked around the main city area. Mark was looking for a wine store. Eventually, we found a Tesco store, which was great. Also, picked up some laundry detergent as they have a laundry room on our deck, very close to our cabin. It's probably time to run a couple of loads. We walked back to the ship around 2 pm. Dropped off our purchased in our cabin and noticed that our floor repair was complete. It's a lot better. Then we headed up to Deck 7, Lido, for lunch. I ate some cooked veggies and a slice of turkey plus a spinach crepe. Drank some more orange juice as well as some hot chamomile tea. There is a great selection of foods, hot and cold, plus a variety of desserts. Then headed back to our cabin. Caught up on our emails while we still have coverage. I posted pictures on Facebook. The took a short nap. They interrupted our sleep time with the mandatory safety drill for the passengers newly onboard. We did notice a lot of suitcases put out last night. Many people got on in Southampton and got off the ship today. That meant that many new passengers got on today. I think I had just fallen asleep. We got up and showered. Mark booked us a rental car in Iceland. That is our next stop. Our ship will remain there overnight, so we have two days of touring. Should be exciting. Got dressed up for dinner. I wore a pair of short white pants with a nice colorful top. Mark wore slacks and a golf shirt with his mandatory suit jacket. They won't allow any men in the dining room if they are not wearing a jacket. Terry and Sheila were already at our table. John & Nancy missed dinner as they had booked a length bus ride tour to Wales. Had a lovely dinner tonight. I skipped the starter, but enjoyed a dessert. Our dining time was much faster tonight. We decided to head back to our cabin and watch the send-off party from our balcony. The shore was full of Liverpool-ites. Lots of people and very crowded in places. There was a stage set up with a band and singers performing a special concert for us. We were supposed to leave around 7:30pm. They added a band with more songs and ended with some opera singers. It was fun to watch. We made a few phone calls. What a lovely way to end our stay today. They dropped the many dock lines and shot off a good amount of fireworks. We are heading out the Mersey River now. The sun has not yet set. It's 21C and very flat waters. It will take us a couple of hours to get thru to the mouth of the river. We are traveling slowly as the tide is very low. We missed our Comic Show tonight as we want to take advantage of our wifi connection as long as we can see land. Thanks for the many emails and messages. We can feel some vibrations. Not sure what that means. Our next stop will be Iceland. Our garmin will be working and marking out our course. Please send us a message, if you can. Would love to hear from you.

Queen Mary 2 Sea Day - 07/15/19

15 July 2019 | St George's Channel
Woke up late today. Took our time getting up. Missed the breakfast time in the main dining room, so got dressed and headed to Deck 7, Lido. We each had eggs and bacon, plus a fresh muffin. We walked around Deck 7, along with many other passengers. Some were running. One guy wore a t-shirt stating that he had run 52 marathons in 52 weeks. How incredible! The weather was warmer and sunny out. The many lounge chairs along the edge were all taken with passengers. Some were reading, some were in shorts, catching a few rays. Surprised to see so many outside. We also saw a few people in the hot tub, but no one was in the any of the pools. Maybe the water is too cold for that. The high today was just around room temperature. Light winds made it very pleasant. We discovered an elevator on each side of the ship with a glass wall so we could see the ocean on each side. We found some hallways out to the front of the ship and took some pictures. Mark noticed several dolphins off the bow. Not sure if any of them made it to our pictures. Then we headed to the Royal Court Theater for a talk on The Terrorist Hunters with a former BBC reporter named Margaret Gilmore. She will be doing more talks throughout this cruise. We then attended our first show in the Illuminations Planetarium titled 'Wildest Weather in the Solar System'. It was entertaining. We headed back to Deck 7, Lido, for a late lunch. We did some more walking before heading back to our cabin. I decided to see if I could fall asleep, as I was not feeling that well. I am coming down with a cold. Mark went to listen to a lecture from the Astronomer, Dr Johnathon Crass, on 'Our Place in the Universe'. Mark says he is trying to arrange a dark sky night, which would be great. We showered and changed for our formal dining night. Met up with Terry, Shiela, John and Nancy. We were entertained by a few string classical musicians. It seemed like our service was very slow as it took a full two hours for our dinner. We were likely the last table to leave today. Decided to try our luck at the casino, for the first time. They accept US dollars and just $1 minimum on the roulette table. Our numbers were not selected. We got to see a huge amount of very large wind mills out in the water beside our ship. Not many of them were working. The water was pretty glassy, so must have been a lack of wind to blame. We headed up to Deck 7, Lido, to pick up a hot drink. Mark enjoyed the self-serve ice cream. Catching up on wifi as it was not working thru the day. We must have been too far off shore to connect with their cell towers. It is 17C here at 10 pm. The water is very flat. Our speed is only 11 knots as we are getting closer to Liverpool. The tide will be high just after midnight which will be the correct time to enter the river or channel on route to Liverpool. We will be at the dock long before we wake up as the tv channel showing our current position is stating we will be at the dock at 1 am. Thanks for your emails and messages. Enjoy your day!

Boarded the Queen Mary 2 - 07/14/19

15 July 2019 | English Channel
The alarm woke us up at 7 am. We got dressed and finished packing up. Mark took our gym towels and key back to the front desk. Loaded our bags into the car and we were off before 8 am. We drove about an hour before stopping at a rest stop and had some breakfast. Mark kept noticing people wearing F1 shirts, as they were most likely heading to Silverstone for today's British F1 Race. Mark asked someone if they were going to the race and they said yes. Then he asked how far was the track and they said they didn't know. I guess they were using Google Maps or their GPS to get them there. We later heard that there were 130K people in attendance. It was a cool morning, or at least I felt cold walking outside. The sky was very overcast at times. It drizzled some as we headed towards Southampton. Our drive time was around 3 hours. There were plenty of cars on the high ways. Some of the major high ways were closed with the F1 race today. We passed thru green hillsides, some filled with sheep and others with crops like wheat and something that I didn't recognize. We headed towards London before branching off to a different M high way. We were thankful for the car having a good gps. The only issue was the way they mark the exits on the round abouts, or should I say the lack of markings. It would be so very helpful, if they could better identify each of the exits as some did not match the gps. A few of the round abouts had traffic lights in-between and also printed the high way number on each lane. That was the better ones. We had to go around one of them twice as the high way number was included on two different exits and Mark missed the first one. We arrived early in Southampton, so we checked into the recommended tourists locations. We decided to check out Bargate. These ruins were left over from the original stone gate and wall around the city from hundreds of years ago. I got a lot of good visions from touching it. Then we walked a block or so away and found Tudor House and paid 5 Pounds each to get in. They gave us an audio device so we could hear the history on each room and . Watched a movie for a while and then did the tour. The gardens were beautiful. We loved all the canons and artifacts from years gone by. Lots of royals visited this house. They also had stone walls which gave me a glimpse of life a long time ago. They even had a bunker in the basement level, which was used during WWII. We cut our stay short as it was getting after lunch time and we had to return our rental car by 1 pm. We drove to the hotel that was storing our one suitcase and picked it up. Then we drove to the Eurocar location, but it was closed today. We dropped off the car and Mark arranged an Uber ride to take us the short distance to the ship. It was 1 pm when we arrived at the Queens Elizabeth II Cruise Terminal. We dropped off our two big suitcases and kept our small bags as we headed to the line. The line was huge wound around and all the way outside of the terminal. We didn't realize that it was going to take us two hours of inching in their queues to get to the check in area. None of the passengers were happy. I posted some queue pictures on Facebook. Even the Queen Mary II Captain mentioned it in his welcome speech prior to the Safety Drill. He did not offer an explanation of why it took so long to get aboard. We located our cabin on Deck 4 and our luggage was already there. We met our cabin steward, Lito. Then we headed to Deck 7, Lido, for a very late lunch as it was already after 3 pm. We had a quick bite as we knew that our Mandatory Safety Drill was coming up at 4:30. Mark was happy to see the self-serve ice cream! We had to carry our life jackets with us. We got there early and were able to find an empty seat. Then there were multiple ship announcements about delays. We really don't know the reason for the delays. Several elderly passengers showed up and had to stand as there was no more seats available. Mark donated his seat to an old lady, who was very grateful. We took our life jackets back to the cabin and started unloading our suitcases. We didn't get finished as our 6:00 dinner hour was rapidly approaching. We got dressed and headed to Deck 3. Two other couples joined us. John & Nancy were from north of Toronto in Canada, and Terry and Sheila were from England. The Canadians arrived a couple of days ago while the Brits took a 9 hour bus ride today. We didn't eat much for dinner, as we had eaten lunch so late. After dinner, we headed up to the highest decks to take some pictures of our ship heading out the Solent. We stopped by our cabin, briefly and then headed to Deck 2, to watch the Beatles Experience. It was lots of fun with all familiar songs performed. Then we walked around a little bit, but I wanted to get back to our cabin as my nose was starting to run. Not sure where I picked this up. We are not seeing people using the hand sanitizers, like they did on the Sea Princess. As soon as I finish this blog, I am planning on heading to sleep. We have gotten to the end of the Solent and are heading out into the English Channel. We have tomorrow as a day at sea before our first port stop in Liverpool, England. Thanks for the many emails and messages. Have a great rest of your day!

England - 07/13/19

13 July 2019 | Forest of Arden, England
The alarm went off at 7 am. We caught up with today's news and weather report. It was supposed to be 24C today. We showered and dressed and then headed to the dining room. Today, there were lots of other guests in the dining room, plus the adjacent private dining area. Mark and I both had an egg, bacon and toast meal. I asked if they would cook mine very well. However, it came as a fried egg that looked to be cooked only on one side. So, I sent it back and asked them to cook it longer. It came back brand new and in the same condition, so I really didn't eat it. They had some fried bread, which actually tasted like bread crumbs, so I didn't eat it either. They also had several types of fresh fruits and cereals to offer for breakfast. After breakfast, we headed back to our room and got packed up to leave. It was around 9 before we headed to Nottingham. We were a little early, so we stopped by the Nottingham Castle, only to find it was under construction until next year. We got to see some of the statues and plaques, but that was it. Then we drove to The Railway restaurant. Imelda, Lorraine and John were already there. It was so nice to meet up with our cousins that we haven't seen in way too many years. We caught up over a very delicious lunch. Then just as we were wrapping up, Imelda, who walks with a cane, fell on the hardwood floors. Luckily, there was a doctor in the table next to us, who helped out. An ambulance was called and we waited until she was safely loaded in and off to the hospital. We found out later that she needed to wait for a ct scan to see if there was any damage in her neck. We said good-bye to John & Lorraine and drove towards Southampton, to a hotel that Mark had already booked in Forest of Arden. We didn't realize this was a golfing paradise. There were many golfers on the course and in the hotel area. We went for a walk on their trail, but it was quite overgrown with long branches with thorns. We decided to head back to the hotel and check it out. They had a huge indoor pool, work out room and at least two restaurant/cafes. We enjoyed a bite to eat at the cafe. Then got changed into our swim suits and headed to the pool area. They had a hot tub, sauna and steam room as well as a pool. We tried them all out. The sauna was 80C. We didn't stay too long since the facilities were closing at 10 pm. Headed back to our room and showered. Caught up on emails and messages. Thanks for sending them our way. We plan to get an early start tomorrow, heading to Southampton. We need to retrieve our suitcase and return our rental car and board the Queen Mary II after lunch. As we drove up to the hotel, we noticed a sign to watch out for peacocks. Then we remembered that yesterday, a peacock ran across our path as we drove back to the Kilworth House. We stopped and ran out with my camera to get a picture. However, the peacock ran away at great speed and I didn't get a picture at all. Our time in England has flown by. We packed so much into our days here.

England - 07/12/19

12 July 2019 | Leicestershire, England
Woke up around 7 today. Showered and got dressed. Watched some tv in our room. Caught up on the internet. Mark has mentioned a few times that this hotel reminds him of the British Hurlingham Club in the city where he grew up in Argentina. Our hotel is like a private castle. Breakfast was included, so we walked around the hotel to the dining area. Enjoyed our breakfast. It was wet outside, so it must have rained over night. We tried, yet again, to get tickets to Silverstone's F1 Practice today. However, they published that the tickets were all sold out. So, we changed our plans today. Our waiter suggested visiting the Richard III Museum in Leicester. Mark watched some of today's F1 practice on our room tv. We could see some rain at the track. We headed to Leicester, which was about 15 miles from the hotel. This city was quite large compared to the tiny towns we have visited lately. We parked on a street close to the museum and were able to get a parking tag from the machine. First, we had to find a shop with some coins to exchange our bills, as the machine only took coins. We enjoyed our visit to this museum. Apparently, Richard III was killed in a battle several miles from here. His soldiers were on the losing end of the battle. They transported his body to Leicester, where he was buried. That was hundreds of years ago and eventually the town built a parking lot over it. Someone did a lot of research and narrowed down his location. There was something published stating that he was buried in an Earl's garden, but over the years that property was sold. In 2012, they were successful in recovering the body. DNA testing was used. They even computer generated his head using the recovered skull. The museum had a lot of history. It was an enjoyable visit. After we were done, Mark added some more money into the parking meter. I wanted to find a place that did acrylic nails, so they will look good for the cruise. I had to wait for my turn as the waiting room was full. Mark took advantage of my down time to find a barber. However, there were too many people waiting there and he changed his mind. After I was done, we headed next door to Five Guys for lunch. Walked around a multi story mall which was built into some very old buildings. Mark found a Boots Drug store, which he remembered from Canada, and bought us some throat lozenges. We went back to the shop to see if they had any Stugeron. We have carried this brand of sea sickness pills for years on our sailboats. We bought a couple of boxes to take home. It is only sold in British countries. We drove back to the hotel around 3:30 pm. Mark took a nap. I was watching some Wimbledon tennis finals. We are nearby the stadium. Have not watched any tennis in many years. We decided to get some exercise and headed out to the many trails around this hotel. We followed the path out thru some forested areas. There were beautiful flowers along the way. The sun was shining and the temperature was over 75 degrees. However, there was a cool breeze and I was glad to have worn my sweater. It was nice to get some walking exercise. We found the entrance to the theater that is part of this hotel. Nothing is played for several weeks. They advertised some great one-night bookings that are coming up. Mark found another pub, closer to the hotel. We drove over to the Black Horse. The parking lot was full, so we had to park up the street. No one worried about parking permits there. We shared a pizza for dinner. Then we headed back to the hotel. We watched some more tennis on tv. We were told that the many people around this hotel were attending a Murder Mystery dinner and show. It sounded like something that would have interested us, but it was sold out. Mark also asked if they had any available rooms for tomorrow night, but was told that the entire hotel was booked for a wedding. It is definitely a stunning place. We are doing research on our upcoming plans. Thanks for the many emails and messages. We are driving to Nottingham tomorrow. Can't wait to meet up with my cousins who I haven't see in a very long time. Enjoy your day!!

Vessel Name: Charabia
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot / Athena
Hailing Port: Jacksonville, FL
Crew: Mark &Helen
We are both computer folks that were live aboard cruisers back in the 90s. We settled in Jacksonville Florida after escaping the great white north and cruising the Bahamas, T&C, DR and points south down to Trinidad. [...]
Extra: Charabia is a French slang word for nonsense or gibberish. It derives from Arabic "sharab" which means alcohol.When you drink (too much) alcohol, you start talking Charabia. The original owners named her and Mark liked the name so it stuck.
Charabia's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 20 of 20
Nov 2017 trip south from Jacksonville
9 Photos
Created 23 August 2018
Upgrades and maintenance to Charabia
79 Photos
Created 27 June 2017
72 Photos
Created 16 May 2015
46 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
72 Photos
Created 7 April 2015
95 Photos
Created 4 April 2015
106 Photos
Created 31 March 2015
Get the boat ready to cruise.
10 Photos
Created 14 March 2015