The Haul Out

It’s time to close this years chapter on cruising. We have had an amazing year and are sorry to see it end. After much deliberation, we have decide to leave Idyll Time in Sidney, B.C. over the winter. She will stay out of water in Van Isle Marina’s Yacht Park. It is always an anxious […]

St. Kilda

Historic St. Kilda is on the edge of the edge. Lying 40nm west of the Outer Hebrides, the archipelago has no all-weather anchorage and is exposed to the full force of Atlantic storms. The islands are the first Scottish UNESCO World-Heritage Site and Scotland’s only Natural World Heritage site. The dramatic scenery there is enough…

19 October 2017 – More D.C Adventures

     At our D.C marina, 300 tickets were sold for a charity to those who were curious to see what different types and brands of boats look like on the inside and to ask questions of the owners about living aboard a boat. Many benevolent live-aboards offered to participate (for a worthy cause). Can you imagine all those people traipsing through your home??? When the gates were flung open at 10 AM, I was reminded of The Running of the Bulls so Bill and I (not willing participants) took off in separate directions—he to Arlington Memorial Cemetery for a guided historic walking tour and I went to Art on the Avenue in Del Ray, Alexandria, VA. This is their annual arts festival and the exhibitors were legion!! The little tents occupied both sides of the street for blocks and blocks. Beautiful and varied art and superb bands of many genres. The day is sunny, clear skies and a gentle little breeze. Another day to store in our memory banks.

     The marvelous opportunity has been ours on several occasions to sit in on interviews at The Washington Post and TWP columnist, Kathleen Parker’s interview with former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson, was one of them. This was also to kick off the national tour of Carlson’s new book, “Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back.”

      Gretchen spoke candidly about her experience as a leading news anchor who decided to speak out about sexual harassment in the workplace and discuss how that decision – and the response she received – inspired her to advocate for women on issues of discrimination, harassment and equality.

      The bottom line–how men treat women and why women allow disrespect and sexual harrassment starts with how we, as parents, role-model and parent our children. Girls need to see the respect that her father has for her mother as well as other women and boys need to be taught by their dads the proper way to treat a woman as he sees the interaction between his dad and mom. 

     Gretchen has had a one-on-one conversation with her young pre-teen son and daughter about pornography– #1 its degradation of women and #2-what’s depicted isnt a true relationship based on love. She has a very calming demeanor and is a huge proponent of “Me, too.” I’m most eager to read her book.
     Got an early start to cycle Capital Hill and explore the H and U Street neighborhoods. We had lunch at the famous Ben’s Original Chile Bowl, A Washington landmark since 1958. Many ‘famous’ people have eaten there and it’s quite an eclectic little dive. Bill loved it and would go back in a skinny minute. I’m glad we went to’ve checked it off our list but it isn’t my “cuisine”.

     It was fun to wander the neighborhood and poke around in interesting shops and marvel at many murals in the area.

Difficult to see but above the windows is U.S. Post Office–from long ago.
   We were curious to see Meridan Hill Park, now better known as Malcolm X Park. It is/was one of the nicest and least appreciated parks in D.C. Its 12 acres sit on a hill overlooking downtown and the monuments. John Quincy Adams lived in a mansion here after leaving the White House. Today, there are spooky statues and an empty 13 basin concrete aggregate cascading paved route that water once took.

                        View from the bottom-sadly dry as a bone

                                          View from the top

     It is more reminiscent of a neglected European chateau garden than a National Park Service tract. In 1910 when the U.S. government purchased the grounds, they hired landscape architects George Burnap and Horace Peaslee to plan the Italian style garden.We didn’t visit on a Sunday afternoon but for those who do, they can dance to the sounds of the ad hoc drum circle that meets there weekly since the 1950s.

Joan of Arc statue is only equestrian statue of a woman in Washington, D.C.

  The significance of this park is its architecture and landscape design, both of which are sadly in need of care and maintenance. It was once a garden fit for an aristocrat. In 1819, John Porter erected a mansion here on Meridian Hill, so called because it was on the exact longitude of the original District of Columbia milestone marker, set down on April 15, 1791.  After its conversion to a public park, Union troops encamped on the grounds during the Civil War.
                 Dante statue
      Opportunites are calling so must scoot!

Bill and Laura
Washington, DC


As is often the case, once we’d arrived in Stornoway we liked our berth and the town so much that we immediately extended our stay from four days to a week. We toured the Isle of Lewis, walked all over town, reprovisioned, visited the excellent Museum nan Eilean and, of course, checked out the local…

Isle of Lewis

In reaching the Butt of Lewis at the north end of Lewis Island, we’d been to both the most northern light in the Outer Hebrides and the most southern, on Berneray Island. Our day trip around Lewis Island also included stops at scenic Mangestra, the Standing Stones of Callanish, an historic roundhouse and several traditional…


“This is Your Yam.”Port Vila, VanuatuOctober 14, 2013″This is your Yam – Ambryn.”  Words spoken to Capt. Cook by the Ambryn chief during his visit.  Of course, Ambryn is famous for its twin active volcanoes, and it truly is an island deeply c…


Envoy is now in Lefkas marina for the Greek winter. It’s now Friday and next Wednesday we fly home to NZ.
Back to our cruising adventures with Amy.

Amy loves to have dinner by candlelight and we have various candle holders aboard, mostly bought in Turkey.

Early September we’re anchored in Sivota with several yachts anchored around us. 
As we return to Envoy from dinner ashore we all comment on how perfectly still the air is and how calm the sea is. Talk about the calm before the storm! 
At 1230 we’re all rudely awoken by huge gusts of wind buffeting Envoy, then thunder, lightning and heavy rain. We all immediately get up and reaching the pilothouse see a Belgian aluminium yacht, Grand Chalem, dragging sideways down onto our bow. There is no time to take any evasive action before her starboard side squarely slams into our stretched-out anchor chain, bounces off, then slides bow first down our starboard side before disappearing into the night. 
Other yachts are also dragging their anchors so we put on our deck lights to make ourselves more visible while they maneuver themselves out of trouble. We see gusts over 40 knots, but Envoy doesn’t drag and only moves around to the wind shifts – the GPS drift alarm, set for 0.003 miles or about 54 metres doesn’t go off. Within about half an hour the storm passes, the boats settle to their anchors and we go back to bed wondering if there is any damage to Envoy’s newly painted hull. 
I’m up the next morning at first light checking Envoy’s hull from our RHIB, delighted to find no damage except the faintest of minor small paint scratches that’s not worth worrying about. 
Grand Chalem’s skipper comes over in his RHIB to check and is also relieved there is to damage to either boat, probably because he had fenders on his hull. However he says is wife is somewhat traumatised by the experience and they will spend a few days secured to a pontoon in the harbour until they’re ready to venture forth again.
We’d hoped that at least the heavy rain would have given Envoy a good fresh water wash but that wasn’t to be either as the rain was laden with red dust, which turns quickly to mud and stains everything unless removed quickly.
Sudden thunder storms are reasonably common here at this time of year and they usually bring squalls and wind shifts so from now on we’ll put out fenders at night when anchored close to other boats.
At Meganisi Is this yacht got into trouble trying to reverse to a the quay and ended up broadside to the other moored yachts

Amy and Laurie enjoying late afternoon drinks at Meganisi

After a stopping at Meganisi Island we head back to Lefkas so that Amy can catch a flight back to London.
We had a fantastic time with Amy aboard for 6 weeks, cruising 419 miles, re-visiting some of our favourite places and finding new ones.
We start heading north towards Corfu where we will clear out of Greece, spend a few days in nearby Albania and then come back to Greece. This is partly because we need to take Envoy out of the EU periodically to avoid the need to pay VAT and partly because we need a new Greek Transit Log since our present 18 month one is about to expire.

We spotted this huge open RHIB at Gouvia Marina – about 13m and even has a small RHIB on its stern

On the way we anchor at Preveza, Parga and Mourtos – all of which are now a lot quieter as the season comes to an end.

Envoy anchored at Mourtos

Same anchorage shot from the idyllic beach

An interesting flower bed at Mourtos

A day tripper boat enters a sea cave near Mourtos

When the tour boat leaves we enter the cave

From Corfu we cruise across to Albania. Having already visited Sarande in Albania we only stay a couple of days and on returning to Corfu we refuel for the first (and will be only) time this year taking on 1,300 litres of diesel at Euro 1.41 (approx NZ$ 2.17) per litre. The fuel quay attendant tells me our purchase is relatively small and a motor boat recently took on 200,000 litres, requiring ten tankers each holding 20,000 litres. At the price we paid this would have been Euros 282,000 or about NZ$434,000.
While at Corfu the water maker technician, Angelos, tells us our water maker high pressure pump is ready for installation. It’s been checked by the main dealer in Athens who found nothing wrong with it, which doesn’t help solve the issue of why the system isn’t working properly. After it’s installed we test the system and it still doesn’t work properly – the output is too low and the salinity too high. Angelos believes there is some restriction in the seawater supply so gets a diver to check the under-hull seawater inlet but that’s all clear. The next step is to get a technician from Athens to come and take a look.

2017-16 Channel Islands to Marina del Rey

Friday, October 13, 2017:9AM: The Wild Blue is moving further down the coast today.  It’s a short 6-hour motor from the Channel Islands Harbor to Marina del Rey.  Crew Dick Squire is along for the ride and great story telling.  Ocean is …

Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Harbour was only the second marina we’ve stopped at since arriving in Scotland two months ago, and again we weren’t the only Nordhavn there. At James Watt Dock Marina near Glasgow, Nordhavn 55 Odyssey was moored behind us. At Stornoway, Nordhavn 68 Vesper was one pontoon away from us. We spent the afternoon of…

Putting things back together.

Next couple of weeks after the haulout were spent cleaning and putting everything back together inside the boat. The forepeak deck had to be rebuilt, with a bigger hatch to access the bow thruster hydraulic equipment:Boxed in some trip ballast:Went wit…