Adventures of Will-O-The-Wisp

A Good Traveler Has No Fixed Plans and Is Not Intent Upon Arriving! (tao)

10 January 2020
31 March 2019 | Cameron NC
02 June 2018 | Amsterdam
13 May 2018 | Amsterdam
27 March 2018 | Currently in Tailand
07 February 2018 | Queenstown
31 January 2018
26 January 2018 | New Zealand
29 December 2017 | New Bern
16 June 2017 | Wrightsville Beach, NC
06 June 2017 | On the Intercoastal Waterway
27 March 2017
13 March 2017
08 January 2017 | Ortega river marina
25 September 2016 | Mull Island
01 May 2016
28 February 2016 | Galapagos
18 January 2016 | Near the equator!
18 September 2015 | Halifax, Nova Scotia


10 January 2020
Walter & Honoree Cooper

Rented a bungalow for the month of January. Our first time in Hawaii so we wanted to immerse ourselves. Figured out the cheap bus system our first week here, but found we were limited to the trails we wanted to hike and the time it took to get places. So we rented a car for the rest of the month which gave us a new found freedom.

We have seen rainbows almost everyday, which means rain showers every day too. Nothing an umbrella won’t fix and snorkeling, who cares. Seeing lots of Pacific Ocean species, although not any lion fish as yet, guess they all moved to the Caribbean. Snorkeled with a Monk Seal, an endangered, earless creature.

Hoping for the big swell while we are here when the waves reach four stories in height. The surfers around the world are given 48 hour heads up and the competition begins. Now the waves are ten to twenty feet and the surfers abound waiting and practicing and hoping for the big ride.

Tree farming at Mule Pond Place

31 March 2019 | Cameron NC
Honoree Cooper
Perhaps I have discovered a new business as a byproduct of our long leaf pine tree farm. Did you know that a cup of pine needle tea has three to five times as much vitamin C as an orange? Plus a multitude of health benefits. Still in the research mode, but as soon as I figure it all out the name will change to Mule Pond Tea Plantation. Reminds me of when we started looking for a sailboat, the name Will of the Wisp came first and the boat followed soon thereafter.

So a bit of history about our tree farm. Within our thirty acres lies one of the oldest ponds in the east which was mule dug at the turn of the century for providing water for the steam train that passed directly behind our property. The mules carted the dirt that was hand dug. Two older local gents told us the story of frog gigging at our pond when they were youngsters.

About five years ago we cleared the overgrown forest of loblolly pines and various hardwoods, did a burn and herbicide spray to keep the competition at bay. Then a small contingency of workers planted 10,000 long leaf pines in a morning. The seedlings were very small, 12" at best. There was still a lot of competitive growth, briars, scrub oak, loblolly seedlings, etc. So five years later, our work was really cut out for us. We needed to bush hog between all the long leaf pines that had grown between two feet and twenty. Plus we had to chain saw all the oak and loblolly that had grown equally as fast as the long leaf pines. Then came Hurricanes Florence and Matthew knocking a good many of the trees over. Standing them back up is a regular chore, for some I have propped back up ten times. The deer run into the string, a strong wind will blow them over again, the string chafts, the post comes up or gets eaten by termites, a multitude of reasons. However as spring is upon us and the ground is finally drying out, the trees are becoming more stable as the tap roots grow deeper.

We are enjoying the hard work as we can now appreciate the benefits of watching the trees grow and flourish and drinking the tasty tea.

Pictures include the five different stages of the tree cycle, the seedling, the grass, the bottlebrush, the sapling, and the adult. In a few years we can begin to harvest the needles that are used for mulch. In fifteen years the cones can be harvested for seeds. All a wonderful process!

The Dutch masters

02 June 2018 | Amsterdam
Thoroughly enjoying the art here in Amsterdam, from Escher to Rembrandt and all those in between. Take a walk through the museums with us in the gallery.

Amsterdam, Keukenhof Gardens

13 May 2018 | Amsterdam
Spring like
One of the most beautiful places on this planet. We believe it should be one of the wonders of this world. Here are some facts:

There are about 30 full-time gardeners, who work year-round at Keukenhof.
Each autumn, the gardeners plant the bulbs, by hand, in a completely new design. It takes about 3 months. Keukenhof is only open eight weeks each year and, in that time, welcomes close to a million visitors.
Nearly 50 million people have visited Keukenhof since it first opened and, nowadays, 75% come from more than 100 countries abroad.
More than 7 million bulbs are planted in Keukenhof’s 32 hectares (79 acres), which are supplied, for free, by 100 bulb growers.
The gardeners dig out these bulbs, at the end of each open season, and destroy them (by order of the growers). Most are used as food for livestock.

The striped tulips, so popular in the 17th century, got their colouring from a virus, transferred by aphids, only discovered in 1931. These days, multi-coloured tulips are bred to look that way.

Tulip Mania’ reached its peak in Holland between 1634 and 1637, when one bulb could fetch more than a thousand guilders, more than the cost of a canal house in Amsterdam.

Despite its long association with the Netherlands, the tulip actually originates in the Tian Shan mountain region of the Himalaya.
Tulips came to Holland via Turkey, in the 16th century, where sultans organised tulip parties each spring.

World cruise

27 March 2018 | Currently in Tailand
Humid and hot
What an amazing cruise we are having! Learning so much from geography to Tai Chi to energy healing. Not to mention all the different cultures we are visiting and witnessing the problems of the world.

Yes, what a life style. Could get used to this. There are 1500 passengers and 600 crew. We don’t have to lift a finger other than to do our own laundry, and even that can be doled out for a small ransom. I have begun to wonder about the daily chores of shopping and cleaning, will I abhor those mundane duties once we return. We are finding that many people enjoy this kind of traveling and have completed many world tours. What comes with a gold cruising status, free laundry and WiFi.

Left Sydney, Australia, and cruised up the eastern coast of Australia to the rebuilt city of Darwin, damaged in a cyclone years ago, and totally destroyed in WW11.

The sea state has been very calm, you hardly know you are at sea. I hope we can continue to say that. And yes we can, now that we have completed the cruise and reflecting back on what a journey it was. Tours of the galley, talking with the crew members from all over the world, a dinner with the captain, bonding with our nightly dinner mates, to learning Tai Chi for two months were the major highlights of life on board. Then there were the excursions at the ports of call where we touched on the the cultures of twenty different counties from Australia to Gibraltar, passing through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

Our first stop was Yorkey’s Knob, Australia where we snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef. Learning how difficult it is to get to, it will be a place to come back to, for we just touched upon a very small crowded Reef with not many fish and bleached coral. Darwin, Australia, the next stop, and yes named after Charles Darwin, in honor of their former shipmate when the captain of the Beagle sailed into port. Today Darwin is a thriving city with one of the fastest growing economies in Australia after 70% of the city was destroyed in 1974 by cyclone Tracy. Darwin is known worldwide for its saltwater crocodiles, the largest living reptiles which can grow to be 22 feet. Also known as Australia’s gateway to Southeast Asia, a mere 2.5 hours from Indonesia.

Ko Samui, Thailand, lies south of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand. It was settled 1500 years ago by coconut farmers, which still provides a major source of income today along with tourism.

Sculptures of the day

07 February 2018 | Queenstown
Sunny and cool
Another great hike in Queenstown around Lake Wakatipu. Beautiful houses on one side and the lake on the other, and in between a trail with sculptures interspersed along the way.
Vessel Name: Will-O-The-Wisp
Vessel Make/Model: 1970 Banjer Motor Sailor Ketch rig
Hailing Port: Carthage North Carolina
Crew: Honoree & Walt Cooper
About: Just a couple of free spirits seeing the world!
Extra: We will continue until it isn't fun any longer.....
Home Page:
Will-O-The-Wisp's Photos - Main
All about long leaf pines
19 Photos
Created 31 March 2019
From Escher to Rembrandt
26 Photos
Created 2 June 2018
Enjoy the garden!
19 Photos
Created 13 May 2018
Joined the cruise ship in Sydney, Australia after spending about a month in New Zealand. Final destination, Tilbury England.
31 Photos
Created 27 March 2018
Along the trail around Lake Wakatipu
10 Photos
Created 7 February 2018
21 Photos
Created 31 January 2018
Aukland and beyond
39 Photos
Created 26 January 2018
From July to December
22 Photos
Created 29 December 2017
A brooding colony in Wrightsville Beach near the inlet.
7 Photos
Created 16 June 2017
The first leg of the loop!
19 Photos
Created 6 June 2017
Birds and alligators and more birds!
14 Photos
Created 27 March 2017
Lots of memories
12 Photos
Created 27 March 2017
The wildlife and waterway through south Florida
11 Photos
Created 13 March 2017
Bow thruster, sail bags, upholstering the settee, curtains, replacing teak, just an overall facelift to our 1970 Banjer Motorsailer.
17 Photos
Created 8 January 2017
The sights of Wales, Scotland and England
63 Photos
Created 25 September 2016
Living in a small resort town of Los Posidas just south of Mancora. It's beautiful beaches, fine resorts and restaurants attract the well to do Peruvians from Lima.
29 Photos
Created 1 May 2016
Diving, snorkeling, hiking, site seeing !
33 Photos
Created 6 March 2016
Botanical garden and teleferico
28 Photos
Created 18 January 2016
Put it on the bucket list!
28 Photos
Created 18 September 2015
Photos taken by Walt with his upgraded Canon 70D
13 Photos
Created 8 September 2015
10 Photos
Created 23 August 2015
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland
25 Photos
Created 22 August 2015
Travels between New Hampshire and Vermont
18 Photos
Created 24 July 2015
Diving the Vandenberg wreck and touring the city.
21 Photos
Created 29 April 2015
Fairchild Botanical Garden, Coral Gables, FL
20 Photos
Created 20 March 2015
Snorkeling and diving in Bonaire.
23 Photos
Created 26 January 2015
Oh Miami!
20 Photos
Created 19 January 2015
Holidays along the intercoastal!
14 Photos
Created 4 January 2015
Washington DC
31 Photos
Created 2 October 2014
Family, grandkids, remodeling, and on the hard!
37 Photos
Created 22 September 2014
Painting, and creating
8 Photos
Created 19 October 2013
Rendering assistance in an emergency
6 Photos
Created 1 August 2013
9 Photos
Created 29 June 2013
Diving and visitors
11 Photos
Created 26 May 2013
The colors of the Mayans
10 Photos
Created 5 January 2013
3 Photos
Created 26 October 2012
Still camping, but much warmer
10 Photos
Created 15 October 2012
The tenting experience!
78 Photos
Created 18 August 2012
Biking and hiking all along the way from NC to Alaska
7 Photos
Created 28 June 2012
A celebration of life.
1 Photo
Created 8 June 2012
All the creatures of the sea we have seen in Roatan.
35 Photos
Created 22 April 2012
Diving in West End during Easter
8 Photos
Created 11 April 2012
Walt's underwater photos
11 Photos
Created 24 March 2012
Fire in the hold
10 Photos
Created 19 January 2012
The Mayan mystery!
15 Photos
Created 15 January 2012
Southern France canal trip with friends
14 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
Arriving in Cannes, Monaco, and the villages of Grasse & Capris. Taking the 747 and not Will-O-the-Wisp[
13 Photos
Created 24 September 2011
Visibility 75 to 100; water temp 84; corals and creatures the best.
24 Photos
Created 7 June 2011
Leaving Panama headed to Honduras
30 Photos
Created 14 April 2011
Zip lining, Boquete, and hiking in Bocas Del Toro
14 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 January 2011
Eating out!!!
8 Photos
Created 4 November 2010
40th Exeter High School Reunion
33 Photos
Created 14 September 2010
10 Photos
Created 12 August 2010
12 Photos
Created 15 July 2010
19 Photos
Created 3 July 2010
What a nice hike..
35 Photos
Created 23 June 2010
Costa Rica pic's
51 Photos
Created 19 June 2010
Peru Trek with our friends Scott & Heather
110 Photos
Created 19 June 2010
Bonaire Diving
63 Photos
Created 19 June 2010
Various Shots of old buildings and things.
53 Photos
Created 19 June 2010
Photos taken along the way!!
87 Photos
Created 11 June 2010
Our Boat!
5 Photos
Created 11 June 2010