Saturday, 20 December 2014

Musings on America...

I think the thing that has been the most mind blowing, has been the hospitality that we have received.

From people we knew – Ashley & Graham, Michael & Rebecca, David & Diana and Beryl

To complete strangers (some of who became friends) – a stranger who offered for us to use her car in Maine, another stranger who drove us to a Supermarket in Maine, Martha & Warren from Rockford who took us to their home for a meal, The Lobster Buyer in Martinicus who “gave” us lobsters, Anne West, who drove us around Washington DC, Steve & Wendy from Annapolis who had us to their home for dinner at Halloween, Karl Weiss who helped us with contacts, Anna Hines who we enjoyed NZ wines with, Susan our Angel in Disguise from Beaufort and finally Peter & Carla, the not so mythical cousins…

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to each and everyone of you
for your extraordinary hospitality…

The scenery has been amazing.  Having now experienced from Miami to Penobscot Bay (north Maine) some highlights were:

Maine – Islands of Matinicus & Butter, amazing cruising grounds, albeit with an excessive amount of lobster pots!

The Thimbles – granite rock appearing from the ocean

New York – the city that never sleeps

Charleston – the civil war feeling

Annapolis – the amazing boat show

Chesapeake/Shenandoah – the fall colors – extraordinary

Boston – North End, what a wonderful “Little Italy”

In General we noted there was little wind north of New York and we ended up motoring a lot more than we anticipated.

We found the people (in general terms) are VERY passionate about three things in particular 
– Politics, Relgion and Guns!

There are a “lot” of different accents, from South to North, 
a lot of Americans found it hard to understand our accent!

Thank You USA for a wonderful time!

Angel in Disguise...

Leaving Sarah Creek it was -1C…
A beautiful clear day of motor sailing to Hampton River.

It was time to wait for a weather window to get around Cape Hatteras.
It was very wet and windy, however we patiently waited.

Finally we had a weather window.  The afternoon before leaving we went ashore, and unfortunately I had a fall on the dock.  Richard helped me into the dinghy and back home to Our Rose.  The next morning getting up early to leave, I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg (knee) (oh no…)
Richard helped “lift” me up to the helm seat for my watches.  We had a lovely 25+ knot following breeze leaving, which slowly dissipated during the day.
Cape Hatteras, (which can be notoriously rough) was beautiful and calm for our night rounding.

Arriving at Beaufort Saturday afternoon,
we immediately went ashore and straight to A & E.
X-Rays showed no breaks, however I needed to see an Orthopedic Surgeon.

Sunday, sitting with my leg up, and we saw a lady and her beautiful doggie come paddling to Our Rose.

Turning out to be an “Angel” in disguise, this was when we first met Susan and “Kiwi”.  She had seen our NZ flag, and “had” to come and see us.
Susan insisted on taking us to the Surgeon when we got the appointment, then onto the MRI.  Driving us to get our propane filled.
Two days later, Susan collected us again to go back to the Surgeon – the great news was no serious damage to the knee.  I could slowly start using the knee and get rid of the crutches as soon as I could.

Susan even came and collected me and took me get get my hair done.
She was nothing short of an Angel and a wonderful friend to boot.

On a foggy night it was the Christmas Lighted Boat Flotilla,

Many boats with amazing Christmas lights and coupled to music...

This is Santa with his Dolphin Reindeer
 From Beaufort, we had a great weather window of sailing down to Fort Pierce, 500 (or so) nm.  This was our last stop in the USA before leaving for the Bahamas.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Beyond Halloween...

Steve Madden (from M Yacht Services) and his wife Wendy  
were kind enough to invite us to their home for Halloween
Arriving, they had the front of their property looking great...

The children, and parents that came knocking on the door were gorgeous,
All dressed up… We had many Ninjas, The Simpsons, Wonder Woman,  Little Policemen.  

Wendy had made us Roast Lamb for dinner, we had a great night of wonderful food, free flowing wine and great company!

We had spent one month in Annapolis.
Our Rose had all the jobs completed on her that we had organized (thank you to M Yacht Services)…

We reprovisioned to overflowing, taking the opportunity of having an address for a month and stocked up on filters, cleaning products and anything else we had found hard to source, then finally it was time to move on.

We anchored at a spot at Solomons Islands.  We walked to the Annie Marie Gardens and Sculture.

There was an art exhibition on showing “edible” type art - the first two are both "knotted" fabric

This mural is made out of plastic bottles…

The sculpture gardens were great, with lots of artistic bird houses

And many other sculptures, 

including this “miniture” park bench in a playhouse

We dropped anchorage at a beautiful spot in Irvington…

We walked to the local vineyard and had a winetasting

While in Irvington we bought insulation to wrap around our hot water cylinder – it is certainly cooling down!

It is now getting extremely cold.

This is "ice" in the bottom of our dinghy.  

Washington DC

We were so lucky that a friend of Beryls – Ann called and invited us to join her for a day of custom Site-Seeing.

Ann picked us up in her car at Arlington Cemetary… where we began.

Arlington is a military cemetery, now the resting place for over 400,000 people, 
one of these being Ann’s late husband

Whilst there, we saw a horse-drawn caisson, carrying an American flag-draped casket.  We stopped to pay respect as the lone bugler played the 24 lingering notes of Taps, and the 21 gun salute

We went to the final resting place of John F Kennedy and Jacqui Onassis Kennedy

A lot of the places we went were quite surreal, having seen them in movies

The view from Arlington House, The Robert E Lee Memorial was beautiful

We then went to the Kennedy Arts Centre Building...

They had flags of the states and flags of the world
- we were amazed that the NZ flag was so prominent!..

The DC Cathedral, which took 83 years to build was amazing

with beautiful stained glass throughout

We are extremely grateful to Ann for a wonderful day.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Mythical Cousin...

Knowing we were going to be in Annapolis for a month, we contacted Richards Cousin Peter - the Mythical Cousin!  Hearing of him over the years from family, however never meeting.

What a treat we were in for!

We spent last weekend with Peter and his lovely wife Carla.  
We had the most fantastic time.
We chatted together as if we had known each other all our lives
We wined and dined, eating Maryland Oysters and Crab
They took us touring around their town - Baltimore, 
showing us the family home from when Peter was a lad…
They even taught us the game of "American Football"

It was sad to say goodbye, however we have no doubt we will meet again somewhere

They showed us the art of eating "Crab" - yes the table is loaded with whole Crab
(using your hands and a hammer is the trick to it)

While showing us around, we came across this little town with the most interesting name!...

The scenery was gorgoues...

Two guesses what time of the year it is???

Richard with his (not mythical) cousin Peter...

Thank you Carla and Peter for a lovely weekend!