Sailing with Allegria

18 August 2019 | Rockland, ME
14 July 2019 | Ort Jeff, NY
11 June 2019 | Annapolis
26 May 2019 | St Mary's, MD
13 May 2019 | Belhaven,NC
15 April 2019 | Titusville
19 March 2019 | Palm Beach
11 January 2019 | Anna Maria
18 November 2018 | Anna Maria
31 October 2018 | Palm Beach
10 October 2018 | Pungo River, NC
13 September 2018 | Galesville, MD
30 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
23 August 2018 | Louse Harbor, Nova Scotia
13 August 2018 | North Bay Newfoundland
02 August 2018 | Shelburn, NS
21 July 2018 | Seal Bay, Vinalhaven, Maine
08 July 2018 | Gloucester, Mass
25 June 2018 | Cape May, NJ

Off to Maine

18 August 2019 | Rockland, ME
We got a lazy start after breakfast out of Port Jeff and to catch the ebb tide down the Sound. We were off to Fisher’s Island, part of New York, even though it’s positioned just off the Connecticut shore. We had never been there despite passing it by many times. There are a couple of pretty anchorages there but no going ashore. It’s all private and exclusive.
The next day we were off eastbound to the anchorage at Point Judith, another spot that we’ve passed by many times and never stopped. It’s called a harbor of refuge and is a man made harbor with a seawall surrounding the entrance to Point Judith, RI, designed as a safe spot to wait out weather when transiting Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It turned out to be a very comfortable overnight with an easy in and out.
The next day dawned with thick fog and after waiting a few hours for it to burn off to no avail, we left with zero visibility. Thank goodness for the radar and plotter. After a couple of hours a 40 knot squall came roaring through and blew all the fog away. We had a great sail down Buzzards Bay to Onset, Mass, a favorite anchorage. We waited there a day to let some weather pass by, but didn’t get off the boat, as Molly was still recovering from her injuries. While there we heard the Cape Cod Canal Authority and Onset Harbor Master announce on the radio that they were escorting a humpback whale through the canal. I guess it can be a wildlife shortcut as well as for marine traffic.
The next day, after fueling up, we caught a fair tide through the canal and out into Cape Cod Bay. It was flat calm and we were motoring out into Massachusetts Bay and over the Stellwagan Bank, home to the right whales. We usually see some when we pass by here, but no sightings this time. We did see some boats fishing for tuna, and drug a line ourselves but no luck catching.
As night fell, the wind filled in and we had a nice sail north and as the sun rose the next morning, we sighted Seguin Island and the Maine coast. We headed up the Sheepscot River to Southport, planning to visit old Whitby friends there. We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed their company for several days, before heading past Boothbay Harbor and across Muscongus Bay to Penobscot Bay. It was a quiet day and we were motorsailing slowly along, enjoying the beautiful rocky and wooded coastline. We saw many sunfish, the unusual fish that swims on its side and is all head, and even saw a shark swimming along. We turned the corner and went up the Muscle Ridge Channel past many wave washed granite islands with spruce trees somehow finding enough soil to grow. We shot through Owl’s Head passage and around the corner and into Rockland Harbor.
Rockland is a typical Maine community and harbor, a fairly large town by Maine standards, protected by a mile long breakwater with an iconic lighthouse at the end. It, in the past, was a fish and lobster processing center and was a stinky place, but now, although the processing plants are still here, it is a tourist and boating mecca and the smells are gone. There are art museums and galleries galore and restaurants of all persuasions. All manner of repairs and supplies are also available making it a favorite destination.
We were here for the SSCA Downeast Gam, a cruising get together. We had a good time seeing old friends and also visiting the Sail and Steam Museum, where the Gam was held. We spent and extra day for provisioning and visiting Molly’s sister and then sailed out of Rockland harbor and over to Vinalhaven Island and the Fox Thorofare, a passage between Vinalhaven and North Haven Islands. We were able to sail across West Penobscot Bay and ghosted through the thorofare in company with one of the big schooners carrying passengers out of Rockland for a taste of old maritime Maine. We drifted out the eastern end of the passage and into the eastern bay and went around and down to Seal Bay on Vinalhaven. We entered the harbor at low tide and, in keeping with the name, there must have been a dozen or more seals sunning themselves out on the rocks. Invariably some of them slide into the water and come over to check us out. They look like dogs as they stick their heads up out of the water to take a peek and then quickly go under to hide. We spent several idyllic days there relaxing, reading, and letting Molly rest her leg. The eagles and ospreys kept us entertained as well as watching the seals fishing.
Then we were off to Mount Desert and Acadia Park. We sailed past Stonington , across Jerico Bay and Blue Hill Bay to Southwest Harbor and came to anchor in Norwood Cove. The next morning we dinghied over to SW Harbor and had breakfast at the Common Good. They are a community organization that provides for people who need help in the winter with food and supplies. In the summer they make popovers and oatmeal for breakfast and it’s all free, but everyone leaves a donation to support the cause. The popovers are the best and the cause is good, so the donation box stays full. If you get by this way, it’s definitely highly recommended. A stop at the bakery for some of the best raisin nut bread in the world completed our visit.
Then we headed up Some’s Sound, the only fiord in the lower 48, to Somesville, a favorite anchorage of ours. A very protected spot and a good place to catch the Island Explorer free bus makes it one of the best. We usually use it as a base of operations to hike the park, but this year we did no hiking due to Molly’s injuries. We did go into Bar Harbor for lunch and took a bus ride around the park for Molly’s birthday, and enjoyed the antics of the seals and eagles.
We headed back down the sound and around the corner to pick up a mooring in Northeast Harbor. A good laundry to wash clothes and showers to wash bodies was the attraction, as well as being a beautiful spot. It is also the home of the Docksider restaurant, one of our favorites. We had to stop in for a lobster roll and blueberry pie with ice cream.
We were out the harbor the next morning and back down the Western Way and around the south end of Mount Desert and up to the Wooden Boat School. After a quick visit to the school and store, we were back on the boat relaxing for the evening. The next morning was thick with fog but it burned off for the most part by noon and we were off up the Eggemogin Reach. The wind at our back kept us moving slowly up the reach and in and out of the fog. Watching the green hills and rocky shoreline pass by never gets old. We sailed out of the north end of the reach and into the fog, but saw it lift as we passed by the south end of Cape Rosier. Around the corner and we arrived at Castine and sailed into the harbor and around to Smith’s Cove. We just got the anchor down and boat secured when the fog came back in and soon the rain started. Today we remain in this snug anchorage to wait out the weather and let the sun return. Hopefully tomorrow we can head over to Belfast, another favorite place and have another visit with Molly’s sister and family. Look for a few new pictures in the gallery.

France- Deuxie'me Partie (Part Two)

14 July 2019 | Ort Jeff, NY
It was back to Port Jeff and we put Allegria on a mooring in preparation for our trip to France. The evening before we were scheduled to leave Molly fell in the companionway, a drop of around 5-6 feet. I’m not sure what happened, on moment she was there and then the next she was on the cabin sole. The loud noise emanating from her confirmed that she hadn’t killed herself, and there was no obvious deformity or broken parts. The old adage about the doctor who has himself as a physician, has a fool for a doctor probably applies here, but since she was moving everything and, although hurting, seemed intact, we decided not to go to the hospital.
We decided to see how things went and she got off the boat and was able to get around fairly well. The next day, Lisa dropped us off at the train and we went to JFK and caught the plane to Paris. Thank goodness for some pain meds we had on the boat, which together with high doses of anti-inflammatories, kept Molly going, although slowly. It looks like she probably cracked a rib or two and had a bad, deep bruise on her hip and leg which made it painful to walk. She is a tough old bear, so she persevered. We caught the bus from the airport to the train station in Paris, but the traffic was terrible and we missed our train. The nonrefundable tickets were a loss but I was able to get us on the next train to Rennes, where our rental car awaited. Molly was able to barely get to the car and we were off to Treguier in Brittany.
We were staying at Tara B&B right in the village. It is a wonderful place built in the 12th century and is full of antiques and rooms with character. It is presided over by Mare Louise, who is one of the kindest and friendliest people we’ve met. Molly crashed into bed and the next day pretty much stayed there, while I went over to the boat yard and had meetings with Jean- Francois Eeman and Brice, the electrical and electronics guy, and we sorted though all the issues regarding the new boat. As always there were some compromises, but all in all, I’m very excited about the systems designed for the new boat. It’s heart will be a lithium house battery bank of around 800 amp hours, being charged by solar, wind and hydro chargers as well as a 12 volt generator. This navigational and instrument packages are also state of the art. We can’t wait to see it all come together.
The hull was just completed and has just been turned upright so I was able to meet her in person, as well as all the guys responsible for putting her together. The next day, Molly mobilized and we both went to the yard and picked out colors and countertops and went through some other options. Molly got to meet the new boat as well.
With the business of the trip out of the way, we set about doing some sightseeing. Molly was slowly improving and although she was still having great difficulty walking, we were able to take some drives around the countryside. We followed the coastline on some country one lane roads and past small farms and villages overflowing with beautiful flowers. The hydrangeas were the most striking and, many different colors.
The coast is very rough and rocky, and the water crystal clear, so it was a pleasure to just sit by the sea and watch the tide. The tides here are incredible, with 30 feet being the norm and up to 45 feet at spring tides. An incredible amount of real estate becomes exposed at low tide and islands become accessible on foot. There are signs everywhere warning to be aware of the tide, because of the danger of being swept away.
With Molly continuing to improve, we decided to visit St Malo, an old walled city a few hours east of Treguier. It was a very cool place and very old, reminding us very much of Cartagena, Columbia. It was also very full of tourists, many from England just across the channel. A very convenient ferry runs direct. We parked in a remote lot and took a bus to town as all the close parking was full. It was great fun, but we overdid it a bit because Molly began to have much pain again. We took the next day off and Molly hung out and rested, while I wandered around Treguier, taking pictures.
Every morning, Marie Louise made breakfast and we ate in a dining room filled with antique furniture and pictures. A couple of the pictures were reproductions of portions of a tapestry called The Tapestry of Bayeux, which tells the story of the Duke of Normandy invading England and becoming the King, William the Conqueror. Marie Lou told us the story and we started looking at maps and sure enough, Bayeux was only a few miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the D Day invasions took place. The next day we were off to Normandy.
We had wanted to go to Mont St Michel, but thought it wouldn’t be possible for Molly to enjoy it so Normandy was our fall back. We first went to Bayeux and saw the tapestry. It is incredible, as it is 70 meters long and 1 meter wide. It is displayed in a dark room and is in a climate controlled case. You are given a handset which describes what you are seeing as you stroll along the tapestry. It tells the story in pictures of exquisite embroidery and is just amazing. We had a lunch at a sidewalk café and then a visit to the cathedral which is the Notre Dame de Bayeux. It is reminiscent of the Notre Dame in Paris on a smaller scale.
We then headed to the beach. Omaha beach is a beautiful place now full of vacationers and sun seekers. It’s hard to imagine that it was the place where the liberation of Europe began and was witness to the carnage on D Day. There are many museums around but the most dramatic place is the American Cemetery, where many of the Americans killed in the invasion are interred. It is a reminder of the horror of war and of the selflessness and honor of the Greatest Generation, who gave their all in support of the cause of freedom.
The next day we bid goodbye to Marie Louise and Treguier and headed back to Rennes and the train to Paris. We spent the night at the airport and were up the next day for the flight home. By the way, we stayed at a hotel called Citizen M. They are up and coming and there are several around. I would highly recommend it, the price is reasonable and it is very cool.
After a long plane ride back to LFK and the train back to Port Jeff, we are back on the boat. We spent a few days here with Lisa and now are planning to head out tomorrow and ultimately to Maine. Molly continues to improve, but it looks like it will be a slow process, so we plan to take it easy on the way.
Look for some pictures of all this in the gallery.

Long Island, Short visits and off to France

30 June 2019 | Essex, Ct
We raced down the Potomac, fighting a few showers and squalls with an increasing wind in our face. We were trying for the Yeocomico River, right at the mouth of the Potomac, but we ran out of daylight and pulled into the Lower Machodoc Creek and into a delightful anchorage and a good night’s rest. We were up early again for the run up the bay to Annapolis and this time we had the wind at our back and made good time despite a few more squalls along the way. We pulled into Harness Creek and found a few boats already there but found a good spot and settled in.
The weather was fore cast to be bad for a couple of days with wind out of the north and storms so we planned to sit tight and enjoy one of our favorite places. We walked into town and stopped at all the stores, West Marine and Fawcett’s. We also made time for lunch at the Main Ingredient, one of our favorite restaurants in the world.
With an improving weather outlook, we made another marathon jump up the bay and through the C&D Canal and into Delaware Bay and came to rest at Reedy Island just before dark and just before a giant squall. We saw 50 knots of wind and hung on for dear life, but stayed put with no problems. A boat anchored in front of us slid back a bit and gave us something to keep an eye on but he eventually stopped and hung tight. The next morning we waited for the tide to turn in our favor and had 30 knots of wind to blow us down the bay and around Cape May. As we headed north the wind laid down and eventually died, so we motored past Atlantic City and all the lights and dawn found us off Manasquan Inlet. We needed to be at the Battery in lower Manhattan at 3 PM so we took our time around Sandy Hook and then up New York Harbor and under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. We were still a little early at 2:30 but into the East River we went. We had a little adverse current at first, but it soon turned and we flew through the city and under all the bridges. The last one being Throg’s Neck and then around the corner and into Port Washington and we picked up a free mooring for the night. We were able to have a relaxed departure the next morning for a change and motor sailed over to Port Jefferson and settled into our normal anchoring spot for a visit with Lisa.
She is at the end of her educational experience and is almost done with her dissertation and is now looking for a job. She has had some interviews but nothing firm yet. We have our fingers crossed that something will come up. She seems confident. We are going to be helping her get ready to move to where ever she goes, so she and Molly are going though everything and making keep and get rid of piles.
After a couple of days we moved over to Essex Connecticut for a SSCA Gam. Our boat was one selected to be an example for people interested in Blue Water Cruising, and we thought it would be a good venue to show her to prospective buyers. We had a good get together, and several people looked at Allegria with interest.
Tonight we are planning to go to the Griswald Inn, built in 1776 and eat dinner and attend a show where they sing sea chanteys. It is supposed to be very good. Then we are up early tomorrow to head back over to Port Jefferson and visit with Lisa some more and continue to help her get her stuff organized.
Then in 1 week we are off to France to check on the new boat and discuss some of the layout and equipment options for her. Very exciting stuff. Check out some new photos in the Gallery.

Washington, DC

11 June 2019 | Annapolis
We gunk holed our way up the Potomac going up some of the creeks and bays that are tributaries of this great river. One was Breton Bay and the town of Leonardtown. It was in the past an important shipping point for tobacco, but now is a sleepy historic town full of friendly people. There is a STS bus called the Leonardtown Loop that will take you to the grocery and shopping. 50 cents for seniors and $1.00 for whippersnappers.
We also stopped at Mattawoman Creek, just up from Quantico, a great place for a swim. Our next stop was Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. It was purchased from his heirs and restored by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and is available to see 365 days a year.
We anchored right in front of the mansion and dinghied over to the wharf. The plantation complex is a self contained unit of many buildings which enabled the inhabitants to produce and maintain anything they needed. It was an 8,000 acre farm at its height. Washington was interested in advancing agriculture and experimented with many innovative growing techniques and breeding programs. He had a heated greenhouse which enabled him to grow tropical plants and fruit.
All the buildings and gardens have been restored and are available to see. The mansion is very interesting. The exterior looks like stone, but is actually pine cut and finished to get that look. There are also several museums exhibitions and a learning center to get immersed in the culture of that time. If you get a chance to come, please do and plan most of a day to spend here. For those on boats, it’s really a treat.
We then traveled further up the Potomac to Washington. There is a small anchorage which is marked by 4 yellow buoys just south of the police pier and is the only anchorage now in Washington. We were the only boat there and it was very nice. After anchoring you should notify the harbor police of your presence on VHF 16 or at 202-727-4582. From the anchorage you can dinghy to the Gangplank marina or the Capitol Yacht Club to tie up for $10.00 per day which includes use of the facilities. Both are just a couple of blocks from the National Mall and all the museums and monuments. There is also a great new development on the waterfront called the Wharf, full of shops and restaurants.
We began a whirlwind tour of museums with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, new since our last visit here. It’s a very dramatic building and even more so inside. It’s a good idea to go to their website and get a pass to enter ahead of time. It’s all free but doing that ahead will save time. We spent most of the day exploring the museum and all its exhibits. We left with the hope that in our lifetimes, we all, when asked what our race is, that our response will be the Human Race. I also got a new quote that is my current fav.
“ If you don’t have it, you can’t show it.
If you do have it, you can’t hide it.”
Zora Neal Hurston

We continued with the Museum of the American Indian, National Art Gallery, American History, Natural History, Air and Space, Renwick Gallery, Hirshorn Gallery, and the Freer/ Sackler museum. As you can see, we are becoming very cultured. Highlights were the Native American cultures and learning the unspeakable treatment they received, the delightful Renwick Gallery, the precious stones and minerals exhibit at the Natural History Museum and the modern exhibit in the National Gallery.
We were surprised at the crowds, very many kids on tours from school and masses of humanity in all the major museums. Despite this the National Mall was clean and beautiful, thanks to the continuous efforts of the Park Service. We saw many things and learned much, but only scratched the surface of what is available.
The last museum we went to was the Museum of the Holocaust. As you might imagine, it was quite moving. There is no way to answer the question why, it’s just not humanly possible to understand why these atrocities could occur and still continue with other communities of people. When we look into the past and see the history of abuse of Native Americans, Africans, and Jews, there is no answer, no rationalization. Each of us must look into ourselves and accept all people as human beings and end hatred. We must be tolerant enough to accept that each person should be allowed to believe what they wish and have a good life. The miracle of the world and life should be open to all, and making that possible starts with each of us removing hate from our hearts.
We ended our stay in Washington with the reason we came, a wedding of our good friends, Megan and Michael, daughter of Bob and Marlene Perez, our very good friends from Tampa. It was a wonderful party and set us back on track to move north. So we are off down the Potomac racing the weather, as usual. Look for some pictures in the gallery.

Into the Chesapeake

26 May 2019 | St Mary's, MD
We left Belhaven after a front passed through and move just a couple of hours up the ICW to the anchorage in the headwaters of the Pungo River and at the entrance to the Alligator Pungo Canal. We have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time as far as thunderstorms. We dodged a big one at Belhaven and then another when we were at the Pungo anchorage that crossed right over where we were anchored in Belhaven. We need to keep recharging the Karma Bank.
After a pleasant night, we got an early start through the canal and down the Alligator River. The canal is always fun for spotting wildlife and we saw deer and turkeys grazing along the way. We sailed across the Albemarle Sound and then to anchor just south of Buck Island. Another early start saw us up the North River and across the Currituck Sound and into the North Landing River. There was bridge work going on at the North Landing bridge that we thought was going to hold us up but they finished just as we were approaching and through we went and then followed a Corp of Engineers Tug through the next two bridges without any wait. The good Karma continues.
We tied up for the night at the free wall in Great Bridge and did laundry and grocery shopping and had a burger out. The next morning we passed through the lock and into the Elizabeth River and down passed all the navy shipyards and came to anchor at the Navy Hospital in Norfolk. We stopped for fuel at the Top Rack Marina on the way, taking advantage of the cheapest fuel prices on the ICW.
We are calling this our Smell the Roses cruise because we are stopping at places along the way that we usually blow by. Norfolk is one of those. We have usually been in a rush to get further north and so we have not gotten off the boat here. There are a couple of free walls on the Portsmouth side of the river if not full and the anchorage at Hospital Point, where we were, is a good one. We spent a couple of days sightseeing. In Portsmouth there are good restaurants and the Commodore Theater. The Commodore is a restored Art Deco masterpiece. You can sit at a table and have dinner while you watch a movie. We had a blast watching the Avengers End Game. On the Norfolk side there is the Nauticus Museum and the Battleship Wisconsin, both highly recommended and also downtown a few blocks away is the MacArthur Museum, a must see. For those interested, if you on a boat, there is a dingy dock free for those going to Nauticus at their marina. There was a cruise ship in when we were there so we couldn’t use that but found a bulkhead to tie the dinghy to on the other side of the battleship, also free.
From Norfolk we went over to Hampton for a couple of nights. Molly had gotten a coupon for a free night at the city marina last year at the Annapolis Boat Show, so we took advantage of that. While there we visited the Air and Space Museum and took a boat tour of the harbor and Naval Base, as well as a visit to the Hampton Museum. All are available at a large discount with a Sea to Stars card available at the Visitors Center.
We sailed out of Hampton, and up the bay in company with a Boreal 55. We had a nice chat on the radio with the German owners and got a taste of what our new boat will be like. We pulled in to our usual anchorage at Deltaville and then an early start saw us heading north again and into the Potomac River. We sailed up the river a ways and into the St Mary’s River and up to St. Mary’s City, the site of St. Mary’s College and the 4th oldest English community in North America. It was established in the 1630’s and was an early experiment in religious freedom. All could worship how they chose and not worry about persecution. There was separation of church and state and also opportunity for free men to prosper and hold office no matter color or race. Unfortunately, eventually slavery was introduced and religious discrimination returned.
The city was the capital of Maryland, but the capital was moved to Annapolis and the town fell into oblivion and eventually was lost in time. Only with an extensive archeological exploration has the town been rediscovered and now a reproduction of many of the buildings are available to tour with townspeople dressed in period costume to explain what you see. We saw proprietors of an Ordinary(Bar, Hotel) and an early general store. We also met a printer and saw a reproduction of a local church, as well as the oldest barn in Maryland, formerly used as a tobacco drying house.
We plan to spend a couple of days here and then move on up the Potomac to Washington, DC. Check the gallery for some pictures.
Don’t forget Allegria is for sale and if anyone is interested, we’d be happy to show her if we are in your area.

And we're off

13 May 2019 | Belhaven,NC
Robert Strickland
Allegria splashed back into the water after almost 5 weeks in the yard, but with a brand new paintjob on her topsides and bottom that has her looking really spiffy. We also accomplished all the routine maintenance items and a few other projects that had been languishing on the bottom of the list. One hold up was the new decal names for the sides of the boat. I had ordered them back before the end of the year and received them quickly, but didn’t check them . These are the third set we’ve ordered form this company over the years and all have been perfect. Putting these names on was one of the last things to do before our splash back into the water. When I dug them out and saw that we only had one name decal (we have Allegria on each side of the boat), I almost choked. I sent a quick email to the company and they quickly made a replacement set, but sent it by ground instead of by overnight as I requested. So that held us up a while, but did allow us to get to the bottom of the to do list.
At any rate, we are now back in the water and floating, so all in all a successful haul out. Our plan was to wait for a weather window to try to get as far north as possible, going out the Ponce inlet and around Hatteras, but the weather was not cooperating. So up the ICW we went. We spent a comfortable night in Daytona and then moved on up to St Augustine. We had the anchor up in time for the 7:30 opening at the Bridge of Lions and out the inlet we went and up to the St Mary’s River and Cumberland Island.
We spent a day boat bound with bad weather but had another good day following to walk the island and visit all the wildlife. We saw the wild horses, deer, turkeys, armadillos and had a great time walking through the oak forest. With all the old trees it seemed a perfect place for hobbits to be frolicking about.
We got a break in the weather and jumped out to head north and had a two night sail up to Cape Fear, and stopped at Wrightsville Beach for a day and a night. What a wonderful place with a great grocery, a wonderful beach and full of friendly people. From there it was an overnight sail up to the Beaufort Inlet and then back into the ICW and to anchor at Adam’s Creek. We wanted to stop again at Oriental but the docks were full so we passed it by and dropped anchor at Belhaven, where we are now. From here we move up to Norfolk over the next few days and then into the Chesapeake.
I have posted a few pictures in the Gallery so have a look if you have the time.
Vessel Name: Allegria
Vessel Make/Model: Whitby 42
Hailing Port: Tampa
Crew: Dee and Molly Strickland
Dee grew up in central Florida and was sailing if the wind was blowing and skiing if it was flat. During his residency for oral and maxillofacial surgery in Cleveland he met the love of his life, Molly working as a nurse in the E.R. [...]
Extra: Dee, Molly and daughter Lisa left Tampa Bay in 1994 and sailed to Trinidad and Venezuela, and then back up the US east coast. Lisa was home schooled and then we returned to Tampa Bay where she skipped 4th grade and moved to 5th. She is now studying for her PhD in Art History at SUNY at Stoney Brook.
Allegria's Photos - Family Island Regatta
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The party is about to begin
The party is about to begin
Added 1 May 2016