Time Bandit

It’s back to the Caribbean leaving a chilly USA east coast for the winter months in the sun.

22 July 2024
29 June 2024 | The Hamptons, Long Island Sound
08 June 2024
07 June 2024 | Port Washington
21 May 2024 | Island Wanderer from ARC 2011
12 May 2024
04 May 2024
25 April 2024
03 April 2024
04 March 2024
14 February 2024
01 February 2024
06 December 2023
23 November 2023
18 November 2023
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15 November 2023
10 November 2023

Gawp, Gawp…

29 June 2024 | The Hamptons, Long Island Sound
Stuart Letton
(Gawp:- to stare with incredulity)

Once again, we’re on the Ocean Cruising Club cruise around Long Island Sound, and I’m sure that will bring back some memories for a few readers. Once again, the locals are showing us around their home ports and favourite anchorages.

As some readers will know, our “home port”, Bridge of Allan, is a small village of around five thousand souls just outside the city of Stirling in Scotland.

The village was first mentioned in 1146 when those in charge, at that time the nuns of North Berwick, were in a bit of a to-do with the monks of Dunfermline Abbey over who should get the taxes from the, no doubt, poor, impoverished villagers. Some things never change.

Later, much later, the village became famous as a spa town where the wealthy would come to “take the waters. Robert Louis Stevenson, the prolific but poorly author, had a splash around but ultimately opted for the somewhat better, all-year-round climate of Samoa.

From the mid to late eighteen hundreds, the village’s fame, its waters and its proximity to Glasgow and Edinburgh made it an ideal commuter town for Glasgow’s merchants and shipping magnates.

Consequently, Bridge of Allan boasts a few grand estates and a sizeable number of what can only be called mansions. However, the extensive estates, like the shipyards, are now essentially given over to housing for the riff-raff, and the grand estate houses have been converted into apartment blocks.

However, many large, sandstone mansions sitting majestically among their rhododendron bushes and Douglas Firs remain.

Of an evening, before we took to the waters in our own way, Anne and I would often enjoy a walk along Kennilworth Drive where most of these mansions sit at the end of their long, paved driveways.

All in all, right on our doorstep, we have a plethora of beautiful homes.

The difference between home, the Bridge of Allan, and where we are now, Long Island Sound, is that at home, we walk down just one road to see all the grand houses. Out here, you can gawp at similar-sized grand mansions costing several millions of US dollars, with their lawns rolling down to the sea, but you can do this, not for one street but for hundreds of miles. And half of them are holiday homes.

Isn’t it just lovely to see the colony doing so well.
Comments
Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer 51
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with a super sleek cat and still cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: Next up....the Caribbean. We've left South Africa in our wake and now off to Namibia, St Helena, Brazil, Suriname and into the Caribbean. Well, that' the vague plan. We'll see what happens.
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