To Antigua and Beyond…

Hello Boatbloggers ® and welcome this year’s first edition,

When we last wrote, we were stuck in the Virgin Islands waiting for a decent weather window to get to Antigua. Well, the wind never did quite come from where we wanted it to, but we set off anyway, thinking that the rainbow was a good omen.

Rainbow 2

We decided to break the trip up with a stop at St Maarten. (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but in case not, it was here that we came FIRST in the Heineken Regatta.)

A lot of other people had the same idea, including Steve Jobs. Well, probably not him personally seeing as how he’s dead, but nevertheless he parked his $100,000,000 superyacht next to ours. I expect he wanted to make a good impression.

IBoat

The iBoat.

Very nice, though to be honest, we though it just looked like a big iPhone 6. Apparently, to make it work you have to keep switching it on and off.

In case you didn’t know, St Maarten is split down the middle and is half dutch and half French. This time we spent more time on the French side of the island than the Dutch side. The food was better, but there were less tulips.

St Maarten

A VIEW FROM THE ESTAMINET

We couldn’t stay long. We had a flight to catch, so after just a few days we set sail again to Antigua. Once again we were beating all the way. You would think you’d get used to it. But you don’t…

We anchored up in Jolly Harbour, and it was here that we realised our transmission had gone. This meant we couldn’t motor forward, and had to go everywhere in reverse. As Ju thought, it was the drive cone and shifter that were knackered. These are relatively small parts costing a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately, being a boat, the only way to get at them is to take the boat out of the water, at enormous expense.

Photo

Once you’ve done that you then have to take the engine out, then the sail drive and finally you can begin work on what is otherwise a relatively simple job. But not one for Ju.

So we got Ivan at Extreme Marine to do it.

Ivan

 And that is how a $200 lump of metal no bigger than your fist ends up costing two thousand dollars to replace. No wonder Ivan is smiling.

Fellow cruisers – Ivan is brilliant. If you need a repair doing in Jolly Harbour, go and see this man!

While Ivan was busy mending our boat, we flew home for Christmas. We’d rented a cottage down in Devon, and had a week there with all the family.

Xmas

SANTA’S BEEN!

It was nice going for walks along the English beaches. Now I’m not one to criticise the Old Country, but…

ANTIGUA BEACH

Barbuda 2

DEVON BEACH

Devon Beach 1

There is a major sea pollution issue in Teignmouth, caused not as you would expect by oil spills and the like, but by something much more insidious…

Naughty Gulls 

Sadly we had to leave England, and head back to the Caribbean.(Aaaaah.) Unfortunately Domini was still out of the water, so we decided to go to Montserrat while Ivan carried on with the tricky stuff. We had passed it last year and anchored offshore, but had not been able to land because the anchorage was deep and not well protected. This time we decided to go by ferry, and stay at a place called Gingerbread Hill. It was delightful.

Montserat 4

ON THE VERANDA OF OUR VILLA AT “GINGERBREAD HILL.”

Montserrat was devastated a few years ago when the volcano erupted. That’s it you can see blowing out smoke behind us.

Volcano

It’s still active, and they won’t let you get too close.

No Entry

Though a bit of prosecution is probably the least of your worries if the volcano goes off.

This is all that is left of Plymouth, the capital city. It’s been buried under dust. It’s tragic when you see the photos of how it was before.

Capital  Plymouth

And this was one of the island’s famous luxury 5* hotels, The Montserrat Springs.

Luxury Hotel 1

Ju found this in one of the rooms.

Luxury Hotel 2

Dear Room Maintenance. There appears to be a volcano in my room.

The swimming pool was no longer so inviting.

Luxury Hotel 3

And this is all that is left of the George Martin’s legendary Air Studios, Montserrat.

Air Studios

This is where the likes of Sting, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and now Ju have recorded.

Julian Ronnie.LIVE at Air Studios Montserrat.mp3

It might be that Ju is now one of a very few select group of musicians who have recorded at all three Air Studios. He has recorded at Air on Oxford Street, Air Lyndhurst and now this. Not one to brag, but….

It’s a lovely island, with charming and it must be said, resilient people, and we were sorry to leave.

Montserat 8

Which we did on a plane as the ferries weren’t running.

A very small plane.

Plane 1

A Smart car of planes.

And so back to Antigua, where Domini was now back in the water.

Hermitage

And so were we…

Swimming

One way or another.

Kayak

Ju met with Gavin on Secret Smile, who is a fantastic jazz sax player, and they did a few gigs together.

Gig

Gavin used to be a Major in the British Army, so if the audience didn’t clap he could kill ’em. Of course it’s not all glamour.

Gig set up

One day we’ll have roadies.

But now we have to make our way south to Grenada, because James and Emma are coming out to visit us again. 

First stop Guadeloupe.

Which is tres Francais.

French Market

We could be in St Tropez.

Guadeloupe 1

We couldn’t stay too long, as we needed to move on to avoid a storm, and so here we are, back where our Caribbean adventure began in December 2015 – St Lucia.

Rodney Bay1

And this episode’s arty farty prize is a tie between Ju and Lyn. Bottle Bank and Rainbow.

Bottle Bank

 

Arty Rainbow

Yea Mon.

Later.

Ju & Lyn

2015 in review

Hello Boatblog® fans, and Happy New Year to you all!

Or should I say, Feliz Ano Novo!

Once a year The Boatblog stats helper monkeys prepare an “annual report” for this blog. We were pretty surprised to see that we had had about 3,700 visits last year, from over 93 countries. Mainly the UK, but followed closely by our fans in the US and Brazil!

We didn’t know we even knew anyone in Brazil.

But thank you and Obrigado for visiting.

Ju & Lyn

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Virgins Underwater

Hello again Boatblog® fans,

Welcome back to another exciting edition, this time coming to you live from Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands. To be honest, we hadn’t expected to be here for so long, but we have been waiting for a “weather window,” that would allow us to sail over to Antigua where we are catching our flights home for Christmas. Unfortunately, the wind has been pretty strong, and going in exactly the wrong direction, so we have been stranded here, forced against our will to while away long hours in beach bars supping cocktails.

Ju at The Bitter End

But it hasn’t all been idle time wasting . We attend self improvement classes in yoga…

Yoga

…and meditation.

Hammock

But fortunately, still manage to find time to go for lunch with friends.

The Hog In Heaven

At  Hog Heaven, with the Captain & Crew of Second Wind (Left to Right, Howard, Hope, Lyn, Ju and Ed). Not only are they justifiably famous for their barbecue ribs, there is a breathtaking view too.

View from The Hog In Heaven

The red arrow is pointing to Domini. And that’s Richard Branson’s place, Necker Island, in the top left corner. (Apparently they are called The Virgin Islands after his record company.)

But our thirst for adventure was growing, so we decided to go SCUBA diving. We dug out our PADI  diving licences, which have barely been used since we qualified…

Who is this boy?

Ju PADI

Check out these glasses…

Lyn PADI card

…and booked ourselves onto a dive boat.

At first we didn’t know our air supply from our elbows, but it wasn’t long before it all came flooding back, and soon we were jumping in with complete confidence…

Ju jumping

…even if the instructor did look a bit worried.

Next it was Lyn’s turn….

Lyn Jumping 2

It may look like she’s wearing a Santa hat, but that’s actually the dive flag.

Soon we were pulling ourselves down into the depths.

Roping Down.

We saw jellyfish…

Jellyfish 1

Stingrays…

Ray

Barracuda…

Barracuda Shoal

…and lunch.

Lobster for lunch

But most exciting of all…

We saw…

A….

Gigantic…

(Der, dum, der, dum…)

SHARK!!!

Shark  Ju

Now before you start panicking, this was the most friendly shark you could ever want to meet.

Shark 3

It’s a nurse shark, and apparently they don’t have much in the way of teeth. If ever Spielberg was going to do a movie sequel, he’d have to call it  “GUMS!”

Gums

It was quite happy just swimming around us.

Shark 1

A really amazing animal.

The coral is pretty too.

Coral 3

All too soon it was time to return to the surface.

Just have to get past the Giant Tarpon…

Giant Tarpon

…and the killer jellyfish.

Jellyfish 2

But everything was….

Divers Ju  Lyn OK

…O.K.

This edition’s arty farty prize goes to marine photographer Devin, who came down with us.

Arty Farty 1

Thanks to Kay and Ben at Sunchaser SCUBA who dived down with us, and reminded us how to do it.

That’s all for now Boatblog ® fans. We’ll get back to the exhausting work of waiting for the weather window.

Ju & Lyn

Diver Aces

X

The Salty Dawg Rally

Welcome Boatblog® fans,

 And in this instalment we bring you the Salty Dawg Diaries,

It’s been quite a tough crossing, what with dodging hurricanes, becalmings and strong headwinds, but we got here about one in the morning last night.

So we are now officially “Salty Dawgs!”

 
THE SALTY DAWG DIARIES
 
Monday 2nd

Morning
We’re all ready to go, but have just heard that our departure is to be postponed, possibly until Thursday and maybe even next week. The weather forecast is not looking great; indeed it’s pelting down with rain right now, so we’ll just sit it out until weather guru Chris Parker gives us the green light. 
 
 Delayed departure
ALL DRESSED UP, AND NO PLACE TO GO – sitting it out in Hampton VA waiting for the storms to pass
 
2pm
Which comes sooner than we expected. Chris Parker says tomorrow is a ‘Go.’ We go to bed early ready for a departure at first light. 
 
Tuesday 3rd
 
Midday
And it’s a great start to the rally. A nice beam reach means the going is fast and comfortable. It’s raining, but that’s ok. The wind is good and the sea not too high, and it won’t be long till we reach the Gulf Stream.
 
Which is when everything starts to change.
 
Evening
As the sun goes down, the wind veers to the south, which is not so good as it puts us on a beat. (Note to our landlubbers friends:- ‘Beating to windward’ is when the wind is coming from where you want to go, and you get involved in tacking and all that palaver. The boat is tipped over so it can be quite uncomfortable. It’s fun and exciting for a short while, but hard work. We don’t know why it’s called a beat, but it’s probably because the crew and boat both take a beating. If it’s not that, it should be.)
 
 Pretty tippy
 
Wednesday 4th
 
6am
We’ve been crossing the Gulf Stream all night and it has been choppy and uncomfortable, beating into strong wind, big seas, and torrential rain. It’s very dark with no moon at all, and we are cold, wet, and miserable.
 
Other boats have been struggling too. One called – somewhat ironically – Trouble, called the US coastguard out because it was taking on water. This of course led to lots of ridiculous mayday messages between the nearby boats and the rescue helicopter. “We’re looking for Trouble,” and that sort of thing.  Another boat was forced to turn back because its mainsail ripped. 
 
4pm
No let up from the weather. Still cold and we’re still beating, but at least it has stopped raining.
 
Pretty Cold
 
We had a bit of a disaster. A particularly strong gust broke the lazyjacks on one side making it difficult to lower the sail. Ju, Mr Incredible, has managed to lash it down for now, but we may need to live with the third reef in for the rest of the trip. Not a problem at the moment with the winds as strong as they are, but it may slow us down later. 
 
10pm
Some time ago, our Scottish friends, Stuart and Anne (Yes, the very  Stuart who led us to victory in the Heineken Regatta. As of the time of writing, Domini  remains undefeated in high level International competition.) taught us a new word. The adverb, “scunnered.” As in ‘To be scunnered.’ It means something like ‘fed up,’ or ‘hacked off,’ but these English expressions don’t really do it justice. To appreciate the full power of this word, it is no good saying it with a Home Counties accent. You need to imagine it as being said by a Scot.  
 
Picture if you will, a cold winter’s night in the middle of Glasgow. An inviting glow of a light beckons you to a local tavern, where you enjoy a few quiet pints round the fire. Perhaps a wee dram or two to round off a perfect evening, You espy a local and decide to engage him in conversation, and so you venture to enquire after your new Glaswegian friend’s health. He replies, “I’m completely scunner’d ya wee gob**ite. Now **** off.”
 
Perhaps now dear reader, you can appreciate the true majesty of this fine Scottish word. We encourage you to use it whenever possible so it may achieve the universality it deserves.
 
And it’s how we feel right now. We’ve been beating for what seems like forever. it’s cold. It’s raining. The seas are tossing us all over the place. Every time we go up on the foredeck to do something we get completely drenched. We’re wearing so many clothes, we look like the Michelin Man and can’t put our arms down by our sides, let alone move about and do anything.
 
We’re – there’s no other way to put it – scunner’d!
 
Thursday 5th
 
The wind has died down a bit, and so have the seas, so although it’s slower, it’s more pleasant. We’re fighting a pretty impressive current though, so must still be in the Gulf Stream. 
 
Lyn has come up with an ingenious solution to the problem of the broken lazyjacks. We manage to jury rig something using the spinnaker halyard and so we are once again able to use full sail. 
 
Lazyjacks repair
LAZYJACKS’ REPAIR – Hooray for Lyn! 
 
But the really good news is that we have made quite a bit of distance south, and it is now too warm for trousers, let alone full oilskins. We get out our shorts for the first time in months, and decide to wear our official OCC* polo shirts.
 
*OCC = Old Codgers’ Club
 
 Ju OCC T shirt
CAP’N DAWG
 
If all else fails, Lyn can always get a job on a superyacht.
 
 Hostess Lyn 2
DEPUTY DAWG
 
Woo woo. Caribbean here we come!
 
 
Friday 6th
 
We get news of possible tropical storm, so we tack east in the hope of avoiding it. We are now racing towards a safety line that Chris Parker tells us should be out of the danger area if it does indeed develop into a hurricane.
 
The cover has blown off the dinghy. Fortunately all those years working in the theatre weren’t completely wasted. Ju knows that there is NOTHING that can’t be repaired with gaffer tape. 
 
 Gaffer
 
Saturday 7th

More beating to get out of the danger zone. It feels like we’ve been beating since we started and it’s pretty exhausting.
 
The scunnerometer is high. 
 
With us being tipped up so much, it’s hard to eat without all the food falling on the floor. Fortunately we have our hi tech non-slip marine eating platforms on board.
 
 Dog Bowls
 THE LATEST IN MARINE GRADE NON-SLIP TABLEWARE –  also available at your local pet shop. 
 
But we know we’re in the middle of the ocean, because in the morning the decks are strewn with flying fish.
 
Flying Fish
 
And we’ve clocked up 10,000 miles on the ground log since we left Southampton. (That’s the number in the bottom left hand corner.)
 
Ground Log 10 000
 
Sunday 8th
 
And now it’s time for the calm after the storm.
 
Calm at last
 
We had to motor all day – or as us sailors say, ‘We hoisted the Iron Sail.’ But eventually the wind picked up and we had great night sail. Still beating, but the seas have died down so it’s not so rough. And at last we are actually heading in the direction of the Virgins, and not tacking all over the place in an effort to make some headway South and East. 
 
In the picture below, the straight yellow lines are the ones we wanted to take.
 
A long way round
 
The black wonky line is what we’ve actually done.
 
Hmmmm.
 
Monday 9th

The possible tropical storm now has a name – Hurricane Kate, so it was a good job we headed east when we did. It was a bit of a close call, but fortunately we seem to have skirted round it. We still get quite a few squalls though.
 
Squall
NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A SQUALL
 
Using both his extensive knowledge of the movement of the stars and planets acquired during his celestial navigation training, and his iPhone app, Ju is pleased to inform our readers that the white dot just above the cloud is Jupiter. 
 
Tuesday 10th
 
And now, for no very good reason, a series of pictures by Ju, who does the watch when the sun comes up, called “Pictures of the Morning.”
 
Pictures of the Morning 1
 
Pictures of the Morning 2
 
Picture Of The Morning 4
RED SKY IN THE MORNING…Gulp…
 
Wednesday 11th. 
 
 The wind has died and looks like being this way for the next 36 hours at least. So we’re motoring. Now the worry is whether or not we have enough fuel.
 
 Refuelling at sea
 RE-FUELING AT SEA
 
Thursday 12th
 
A completely moonless night, so the stars shone even more brightly than normal and right down to the horizon. Ju kept mistaking stars for boats, and was considering taking avoiding action in case he collided with Sirius. Lyn got this amazing picture of Jupiter on her watch, which was so bright it was like the moon reflecting on the sea.  
 
Jupiter 1
JUPITER
 
The winds are still avoiding us, but should build as we get south of parallel 22N. Little to report, but there is only enough fuel to last us till midnight tonight. 
 
Friday 13th
 
Oh no – Friday 13th!
 
Not that sailors are superstitious.
 
The wind finally picked up, about 6 hours before our fuel ran out! So we won’t have to do what sailors do when they are becalmed; pointlessly re-trim the sails, drink the grog, and talk about which one of the crew they are going to eat first.
 
Pennants
 THE PENNANTS ARE FLYING AGAIN
 
And so we kept going to the Bitter End…
 
Bitter End
THE BITTER END – British Virgin Islands
 
 
….and now we’re here it all seems worth it. Turquoise waters, warm enough to swim in, Painkiller cocktails, and of course, the sun.
 
Thanks to all at the Salty Dawg Rally. Especially Tatja for tracking us, Chris for the weather and for keeping us out of the way of the hurricane, and of course Bill and Linda for organising it all.
 
Gotta go…we have a ton of repairs to do. As they say, cruising is just boat maintenance in nice places.
 
Ju & Lyn
 
Salty Dawgs
 
 
 
 

Salty Dawg Tracking Information

Hello Boatbloggers,

As you probably know by now, we are about to set sail on the Salty Dawg Rally, from Hampton Virginia, to the British Virgin Islands. It’s about 1,300 miles, and should take about ten days.

If you want, you can track our progress in a number of ways. 

The first is the Delorme Inreach. You can get to that with this link:-

https://share.delorme.com/JulianRonnie

This has the advantage that as well as seeing where we are, you can also send us text messages. Just click on the “message” icon. Feel free to message away. It’s always good to hear from landlubbers (or even sailors) when we’re out in the middle of no-where.

OR:-

You can got to the Salty Dawg website

http://saltydawgrally.org

Go to the drop down menu, “Fall Rally,” and select “Follow the fleet.” And it will take you to a map of everyone who is doing the rally. It would be optimistic to say we’ll be somewhere near the front, but hopefully we won’t be right at the back!

Happy tracking!

Ju & Lyn

Salty Dawgs

Domini 4

Back to Virginia

Hi y’all Boatbloggers ® and welcome back to another exciting episode of The Boatblog.

This edition is coming to you live from Hampton, Virginia where we are preparing for another major crossing. This time back to the British Virgin Islands, which is about 1,250 miles away as the shark swims, and a little bit longer if you have to tack and gybe because of the wind. Details of how to follow our epic voyage will be announced in the next blog.

We left New York in the middle of September and headed down the East Coast to Cape May. It was a pretty horrible trip – the wind was on our nose and the tide against us for most of the time, so poor old Domini was slamming up and down like a bucking bronco with fleas. But we made it, and spent a couple of days there before heading up the Delaware Bay, through the C & D canal, and into The Chesapeake.

By now we realise it was time to change our flag. The Red Ensign that we so proudly fly as members of the British Merchant Fleet had turned orange in the sun and looked like something left over from the Battle of Trafalgar.

Orange Ensign

ORANGE ENSIGN

Red Ensign

RED ENSIGN – Or the Red Duster as ye olde salts call it.

Then we went down to the Sassafrass River in the Chesapeake Bay.

Sassafrass Sunset

It was when we were anchored there that we got the sad news that Ju’s dad had died, so we flew back home as quickly as we could.

Pa

RIP Pa. We love you.

While we were back in England, the eclipse of the Red Moon happened, and Ju stayed awake to watch it, and took photos in case there weren’t enough being taken already.

Red Moon

We’re not sure that NASA will need this, but if they do we have plenty of others.

When we got back to the States after Pa’s funeral, it was time for the Annapolis Boat Show. It’s a Park & Ride set up, and they take you there in those little yellow school buses that you see in all the movies.

School Bus

LYN & STUART trying to pass as teenagers.

They are great, except that they’re obviously designed for school kids, so you can hardly get your knees in between the seats. Very tricky for the larger adult, of which there are quite a few in Annapolis.

They had the actual America’s Cup at the show.

 The America s Cup

Hopefully it won’t be too long before you don’t have to go to America to see it. Come on Sir Ben!

We bought a new anchor at the boat show. Which seemed like a good idea till Ju found out how heavy it was. 44lbs to be precise, and it’s not much fun carrying that round a show and then onto a school bus.

Still, those of you who know about these things will recognise it as a Spade Anchor, and will no doubt be saying to yourselves, “Those two really know what they’re doing. No longer just rookie sailors – these guys are pros.”

The Spade

SPADE ANCHOR – The connoisseur’s choice

But it’s starting to get a bit cold. Not cold by English standards, but Ju has had to resort to putting his jeans on. Yes – it has come to that. There is definitely an autumn nip in the air.

Autumn In The Chesapeake

AUTUMN IN MARYLAND

So we decided to put the conservatory up.

The Conservatory

Looks a bit odd, but keeps you warm. (That’s the conservatory of course, not Lyn.)

And now here we are in Hampton VA. Our friend and legendary theatre director, David Taylor came up to visit and we went to colonial Williamsburg.

Williamsburg

…where we found out how nicely the British treated the colonials, and why they declared Independence.

In The Stocks  Williamsburg

But now alas we must leave you, because we are getting Domini ready for the Salty Dawg Rally to the BVI (http://saltydawgrally.org), and there is much to do. 

Look out for our next instalment live from the Caribbean.

 

Ju & Lyn

Salty Dawgs

 

Back To New York and Back

Welcome back to the latest edition of The Boatblog ® 

Since we left you last month in Newport, Rhode Island, we have travelled over 7,000 nautical miles. Which would be impressive, but 6,800 of them were with Virgin Airlines – but more of that later.

We were persuaded by our friends from the Ocean Cruising Club, Bill & Laurie Balme on Toodleoo to join them in Nantucket, which they promised us was like Martha’s Vineyard on steroids. it was quite a long sail, but having had our bottom scraped in Newport (ooh missus), and with the tide in our favour, we averaged nearly 9 knots over ground. Which for a cruiser is olympic standard. A Nantucket sleigh ride, as they say over here. 

And well worth the trip it was too. This is Nantucket harbour from the roof of the whaling museum.

Overlooking Nantucket

…and this is with Bill and Laurie.

With Bill  Laurie

We spent a day cycling round the island which was fun.

Nantucket Cycling

Alas, all too soon, it was time to leave. But where to next?

Where to next

So many places, so little time. We decided on Block Island, just the other side of Martha’s Vineyard.

The Bluffs Block Island

Climbing down The Bluffs on Block Island. The pictures of us climbing back up The Bluffs aren’t so smiley.

In fact we were so knackered we needed to go to the world famous Oars Bar to recover.

The Oars

World famous for it’s “Mudslides,” which are cocktails with an almost lethal alcohol content. Much fun was had trying to get back into the dinghy.

They like to celebrate strange numbers of years of living on Block Island. This stone was to commemorate 250 years since the first settlers arrived. Latin scholars will know this as the tercentennial. 

Settler s Rock

And a hundred years later, it was time to celebrate the semiseptenial, which I’m guessing means half of a septennial (which I presume is 700 years). So there you go. Three hundred and fifty years since the first settlers arrived.

The Semiseptenial

Can’t wait till the seminoncentenial.

Then from Block Island it was just a short hop to Montauk, where we spent a couple of days before heading across Long Island sound to Uncasville, where we had heard there was a Mohegan Powwow. 

PW1

The regalia was fantastic. As was the music and drumming.

PW2

We used our base in New London to explore Mystic Seaport, which is a sort of Disneyland with old boats.

The good ol days

The Good Ol’Days

Now that s what I call rigging

It makes putting our sail up seem like a doddle.

Lots of rope 2

That’s a lot of rope.

Soon we had to get back to New York, because Joe and Alice were coming out to see us. On the way down the river a submarine surfaced right next to us.

Sub

The guys in the little boats had huge machine guns aimed at us, and they suggested that we didn’t come any closer. We took their kind advice.

We met Joe and Alice in Port Washington, and sailed back down the East River to meet Rory in New York.

Joe bought us a telescope for the boat.

Lord Nelson

Alice only had a weekend with us, so Rory and Zoe took charge and showed us the sights of Brooklyn, and Manhattan, including Chelsea market and The Schmorgasburg.. Shmorguz… Shoegas…The Gourmet Food Market. We went ten pin bowling, where Ju and Lyn put the youngsters to shame, Ju winning and Lyn coming a close second. Ju always said that sailing is one of the few sports you can take up at fifty and still be the youngest one in the group. Other than bowls. And here was the proof.

Rory and Zoe then took us for the best Sunday Brunch in Manhattan, with their famous all-you-can-drink-in-two-hours cocktails. Now there’s a challenge.

This photo of the brunch is a result of Lyn experimenting with the panorama feature on her phone. 

Panorama

Either that or the two hours of cocktails have had a bigger effect than we thought. 

A Night At The Museum

A Night At The Museum

All too soon, Alice had to go back to England. While we went to San Fransisco (actually to Los Gatos, but you won’t have heard of that) with Joe to visit Lyn’s niece Vanessa, her husband Jez and their four fantastic kids, Olly, Max, Toby and Scarlett. So technically we are Great Uncle Julian and Great Aunt Lyn which makes us sound very old.

We left Domini in New York, and six hours later we were on the West Coast. Faster than sailing, but not so much fun. And you get jet lag. 

We were the typical West Coast tourists. We went to see the giant redwood trees.

Giant Redwood

Rode the trolley buses.

On the trolley car

Went to the beach.

On the Beach

Left to right:- Jez, Vanessa, Olly, Ju, Scarlett, Lyn & Joe. We think that’s Toby in the distance about to jump in the sea.

Photography: Max Crowe

 That’s The Pacific. We’ve not sailed that one.

Yet!

We went in a submarine..

Submariners

..saw Alcatraz…

Alcatraz 2

And went to an antique amusement arcade which was brilliant.

Pinball Wizard

Pinball Wizard

What every married woman

Helpful advice

Career advice

Interesting that in the good ol’ days, ‘nudist’ was considered a career choice. And we’ve no idea what a taxi dancer does, but as jobs go….

Jez, who is very high up at Apple, took us for lunch at his work. This is the entrance to the inner sanctum…

Inside apple

…or as you might say, the Apple core.

Boom! Tisch!

It’s the way I tell ’em.

Lone Cyprus

Overlooking the Lone Cypress.

Is Joe getting taller, or is Lyn shrinking?

Speed kings

Joe & Toby

We’d never realised that California was so dangerous. If the lions or the oak trees don’t get you…

Mountain Lions

..the spiders will.

Spider

And this blog’s prize for Arty Farty photo goes (for the first time) to Ju, for his picture of the World Trade Centre called “Can you get vertigo from below?”

World Trade Centre

…and a close second is “Tall Trees.”

Tall trees

That’s it for now. We’re just getting the boat ready now to begin the journey south.

Keep on boatblogging.

 

Ju & Lyn

 

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