Nancy and I recently retired and travel on board any conveyance we can find. We like to see things we have never seen before. This blog will hopefully help us remember and allow our friends to follow along and know we are alive and well.
  • Day135

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    April 28, 2015 in Puerto Rico

    A great city to end our round the world tour. Beautiful but hot weather and a very clean and welcoming city. We were the last cruise ship in for a while but during the season they have up to 8 at a time with some as big as 8000? passengers. That sound huge compared to our little boat with 380. Some of the shops didn't even open today for such a small boat but we were through touring and back on the boat early just because we were exhausted.Read more

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  • Day134

    Gustavia, St. Barts

    April 27, 2015 in Saint Barthélemy

    Beach day today. Nothing but sitting on the beach and soaking up the warmth while watching the small planes land on the little runway that runs out into the ocean. After a morning of that we had the best cheeseburger on the island. This is the island where Jimmy Buffett wrote "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and the place he was talking about was supposedly a restaurant call "Le Select". That was before one called "Do Brazil" opened up on Shell Beach. The burgers there are even better then "Paradise" and at $35 apiece with fries they should have been good.:-) We had a great time on a beautiful (but expensive) island.Read more

  • Day133

    Castries, St. Lucia

    April 26, 2015 in Saint Lucia

    We took the final bus tour of our trip today. We went down the west side of the island and saw the "drive in" volcano, some botanical gardens and waterfalls and had lunch at an old plantation. Lots of fun but riding around those hills in a little bus was hair-raising. Better to sleep through it as I did. :-)

  • Day132

    Georgetown, Grenada

    April 25, 2015 in Grenada

    We stopped in the wonderful little town of Georgetown with the unfortunate distinction of being the site of the invasion of Grenada during the 80's. Pretty much like the rest of the islands now though in that it is very tourism dependent and a little depressed since the recession in 2009. It was very pretty but also very hot.

  • Day131

    Bridgetown, Barbados

    April 24, 2015 in Barbados

    Now we're talking my kind of cruising. Beautiful islands, white sand beaches, hot sun but cool breeze and my favorite rum distillery. It doesn't get much better then Barbados. We walked around the town which is about the least touristy town in the island chain since Barbados actually has some economy here that is not directly tied to tourism. Then we hired a taxi driver to take us around the island. The Caribbean side is mainly developed by high end resorts although they were hit pretty hard by the recession of 2009 that has not really reversed yet. There is still a lot of construction that is sitting around incomplete so when the economy ever picks up there is lots to finish.
    The Atlantic side, in contrast, is not very developed and very rugged and beautiful. The interior is mainly open and has farm land and some smaller developments but not much. They do have one of the most expensive resorts in the world though in Sandy Lane. At $3000 a night or so you can cavort with celebrities and important people from around the world. Or if you want a little privacy you can get a villa for $25000 a night for just you and your entourage. :-)
    We felt a little underdressed so just ate at a local diner (Tim;s Place, Inc) and then headed for the highlight of the day, the tour of the Mount Gay distillery. Drinking rum straight at 3 in the afternoon is never a smart thing to do but when Nancy kept pouring the rest of her tasting into my glass I was thinking that a swim was needed. So after just a couple more rum punches and a final Mojito for my we walked all the way across the street to a little (only a mile of two) beach and took a great swim in the warm Caribbean. The couple mile walk home did sober us a little but Jeff was kind enough to have a couple bottles of Proscecco ready for us in less then an hour so we could watch the sunset while the newbies on board went through the lifeboat drill. Then followed a huge buffet that stretched around the entire pool and dancing to a steel drum band. By 9pm I was begging for mercy. It could have been the Pina Coloda's too but I am not sure. Needless to say we are on the final home stretch and there is not any fun that is safe for the next 7 days. :-)
    Photos to follow.
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  • Day129

    Devil's Island, French Guaina

    April 22, 2015 in French Guiana

    We finally made landfall at the little island grouping famous for it's incredible violence and mistreatment of prisoners, Devil's Island. Actually we landed on Isl de Salut which is the main island of a three island group that includes Isl de Diablo or Devil's Island where the political prisoners lived for about 100 years of so before human rights outcry brought the prison to it's close in the 1950's. The island was made famous by the movie Papillon but now is just some ruins standing off the coast of French Guiana that has a few caretakers and daily tour groups. It is very pretty but also very hot and humid which since it was not even summer yet did make the horror of being a prisoner here pretty real.
    The island behind Nancy on the picture is Devil's Island. The little bit of water between the island is off limits because of strong currents and sharks. No wonder people didn't escape often.
    No the island is inhabited predominantly by a couple of species of monkeys and a large rodent type animal called the aguta (or something like that). They were actually pretty cute.
    Really it was just good to be on land after 8 days crossing the Atlantic. The passage was pretty good but did get a little rough the last couple days. We were worried that we might not be able to land here but the ship turned itself between the wind and the tender and the waves were not so bad. No one got hurt here. Last time they were here someone had a compound fracture and multiple people got stitches so the crew were pretty excited everyone got back in one piece.
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  • Day122

    Georgetown, Ascension Island

    April 15, 2015 in Saint Helena

    We spent tax day sailing to an island of 800 people that is about as far away as you can get from anywhere. The folks here are either military, BBC or researchers as the island has no permanent inhabitants. It is basically an airport in the middle of the Atlantic that can be used for such strategic things as a refueling station for the Falklands Islands War back in 1982 and with it's 2 mile runway it was a backup landing strip back with the space shuttle was flying since it could actually take the Shuttle.
    Now it is a bunch of satellite towers and sensors that are probably pulling all the internet traffic that we are using right now into the NSA computers. :-)
    Unfortunately the waves were too high to safely get on land with all the old people we have aboard but the researchers brought some slides and a video onboard which was very informative. Probably better then walking around the little island but I was hoping to get a sighting of the green sea turtle as this was one it's nesting areas and they set up to 300 a night coming up and laying eggs.
    Now for the big slog across the ocean. 6 days at sea ending in the little prison island of Devil's Island off French Guiana. The weather has been good so far so we are expecting bad weather as we just can't be this lucky the entire trip so I will let you know if we start rocking and rolling. :-)
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  • Day120

    Jamestown, St. Helena

    April 13, 2015 in Saint Helena

    We are now truly in the middle of nowhere. St. Helena Island is a British territory where Napoleon was exiled after he was defeated by the British. He spent his last few years here before his death and now the island has about 3800 people that live there for otherwise no good reason. It is incredibly small and is like going back in time. They have no airport (or not until the one they are building is finished next year). They have no cell phone service although they are going to be putting a tower up soon we are told. The internet is slow and expensive so they have no ATM or credit card use on the island. It is kind of pretty but much of it is just rock with the central part being fairly lush. The port is not protected and it the waves are very high you actually can't land ashore. They get a boat that makes a circuit between Capetown, Ascension Island and St. Helena every three weeks so other then taking one of the 3 or so cruise ships that stop by every year that is the only way to get on the island.
    The people are incredible friendly though and it was a very pleasant place to be. There is an old stairway with 699 steps that goes from the town to an old fort on the hill along the lines of an old funicular. The thing that everyone has to do is try to climb the stairs which Nancy and I did with several stops to rest along the way. We were very proud until we met a 66 year old women at the top who did it everyday as part of her exercise routine. :-) We strolled back down on the winding road that led back to town. There were about 10 cruising boats in the mooring area and we saw some folks around town that looked like they were cruisers so at least they get a few visitors from passing sailboats too.
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  • Day116

    Walvis Bay, Namibia

    April 9, 2015 in Namibia

    Wow, what a way to leave Africa. We left the more modern town of Walvis Bay for a little resort town of Swakopmund to the north not really knowing what to expect except that it was supposed to be nice and Angelina Jolie had one of her babies here or something like that so we though it was worth a check out. What a surprise. Tucked into the desert on the coast was this cool little resort town with good shopping, dining, hotels and B&B's and a great beach. Outside of town are some of the biggest sand dunes you have ever seen and then later we went into the desert for one of the Silver Seas "Events" called "Dinner in the Desert". It was magical.
    We drove way out in the desert (seeing a real oasis along the way) until we got to a little canyon with a beautiful view where we had a great dinner with entertainment by the Namibian Youth Choir and some fire dancers/slingers. The night started with a most unusual rainbow just above the canyon walls from a rare rain cloud in this desert during the dry season. I took advantage of the camels that had been brought up from the oasis and took a short camel ride and then the darkness fell and the true majesty of desert fell on all of us as the lights went out and the singers started and the stars could be seen over the canyon walls. It was easily the best night of the trip and left us all with a great impression of Namibia. The raw beauty of the desert is not something we have ever experienced and we look forward to exploring it some more.
    Namibia has only been a country a little over 20 years or so but feels to be well on their way to putting over 25 years of civil war and apartheid behind it. We look forward to coming back on our next trip to the south of Africa.
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  • Day115

    Luderitz, Namibia

    April 8, 2015 in Namibia

    Luderitz was quite a surprise. It was a little German town plunked down in the middle of the desert that looked more like a movie set then a town. Built during the diamond rush the town went into decline when the big diamond company moved their headquarters out of the area. Recently it is seeing a little resurgence since one of the diamond mines opened up again and the country is focusing more on tourism. They built the dock are and are constructing a little waterfront that should be nice. Right now though it has a bunch of restored or kept up old German style homes and churches and a small downtown with a few nice local stores. There is not a native tree in the whole area. The homes have there foundations in the rock that makes up the hills around the little bay. The whole town is surrounded by this barren desert. It is quaint but spooky in some ways. I can't even imagine the thinking of the original inhabitants in this area. There was no fresh water supply (they hauled water from Cape Town). There were diamonds though so I guess that was enough for a lot of people. :-)Read more

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