Thyboron, Denmark

The largest naval battle in history took place 55nm west of Thyboron, Denmark. In 1916, 99 ships German High Seas fleet faced 151 ships of the British Grand Fleet in the World War I Battle of Jutland. One of the reasons we’d stopped at Thyboron was to visit the Sea War Museum there, with its…

Sony 100-400 G Master with A9 Body Tracking

There are a lot of Canon and Nikon shooters wondering if Sony has gotten competitive on focus tracking. The following …Read More

31 October 2018 Ocala, FL

1 October 
     Today is the day I thought would never come! We closed this morning and began moving in this afternoon. 

     A friend and new neighbor planted Flah Flamingo in our yard to welcome us home this morning. We’ve almost been flocked!

2 October 
     Yesterday, I promised photos but last night we were weary to the bone so here are a few this morning. 

     At day’s end we had dinner at The Club and came home to savor a bottle of champagne brought over by another new friend and neighbor. We slept here last night on an air mattress and enjoyed our coffee in our wonderful chairs that we’ve not seen for ever so long. The shot to left of kitchen is from the back yard and our lanai. Southerners call that a “screened porch”.  ‘Lanai’ is far too fancy for us. We are most happy to be home.

10 October
     Today was my inaugural swim in one of our beautiful pools. This one is just a five minute stroll up the street. My swim was puny but it’s been so long since I’ve had the opportunity and I intend to get stronger every day. I have eagerly anticipated the day that I could swim at the slightest whim. 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️ Not in any of the pools have I had to clamber for a lane to myself.

     To all my Facebook friends. I am no longer using FB Messenger. I see that I have many messages but I am not going to re-install it. So communicate with me either by email, text, an old fashioned phone call, or Messages, please.

12 October
     Tonight we were enthralled, grinning the entire time, during Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits performance. It was so much fun to know every song and to sing along (quietly).

15 October
     Our bedroom suit that we ordered in March was delivered today and 2 of the 5 crates were in splinters.  They HOPE they can get replacements to us by Christmas.

     Both of us deplore shopping but we have been in the trenches and have certainly boosted Ocala’s economy. And sadly, we ain’t through yet. Overheard a man complaining in an interior design studio, “it costs as much to furnish and decorate this #@%* house as it did to buy it!” I wholeheartedly agree.

     We aren’t novices to moving. Several times during my “singlehood” I moved all alone and by myself but all of our moves combined were never as burdensome, complicated, thorny, and problematic as this one has been and continues to be. That must mean that moving is for the youthful.

25 October
It seems that Pickle Ball is what old folks migrate to—many of whom used to play tennis.  It’s been many moons since I was a tennis player so I was game to give Pickle Ball a whirl. Bill and I have taken a couple of lessons and it is SO much fun to run and pick up the ball because my paddle has great difficulty “connecting”. All of the players, even the Hot Dawgs, were so welcoming, friendly, and patient with us. We love it but I haven’t been to the courts many times because there are so many other things I want to do so I need to finish trying them all out so I can prioritize. I did peek in on the ballet and everyone there welcomed me with outstretched arms. They’ll never confuse me with Pavlova!

     Today we ordered our sofa and were told to expect delivery in four months! :-(   We’re so empty that we echo.

26 October
We take any and every opportunity to celebrate everything! Today is our son, Andy’s 48th birthday as well as the 21st anniversary of our first date. We went to a lovely French restaurant owned by a couple from France and as was our last experience here, there, food and presentation were spectacular. We each ordered their filet mignon and it very well may beat out our favorite filet restaurant in Brunswick. They were so tender and delectable. A duo entertained us through our long and drawn out dining experience. Both sang and each played an instrument—guitar and flute. Their voices and their instrumentation blended impeccably.

30 October
     Today Bill drove to Jacksonville to bring another load of our carnage home. I think this is the 5th trip with the car packed to the gills. How in the world did we collect so much junque??? He hopes to be home tomorrow and he’s gotta be because we have a very fun thing to do on the 1st but you’ll need to wait another month to find out what that is and see photos.

31 October
     Friends have asked if we miss the boat. I miss our mattress!!! I think of Kindred Spirit III  often but am dumbfounded that I don’t pine for rocking at anchor and cruising the waterways. I thought I’d shed copious tears every day…that may transpire when she sells and leaves us standing on the shore as the new owners steam away from us.

     There are just SO many things to do here that, so far, there is hardly time to taste them all. I’m up before dawn, hit the deck running with no extraneous time during the day, and long for the sun to set so I can hit the hay. 

     Neither of us are sleeping well. It takes forever to fall asleep and then our thoughts awaken us despite the list we made before bedtime— sometimes it may be 1 AM or 3 AM and we’re up and at ‘em for the endurance.

     What brings me more joy than having enough room so that we don’t have to pat each others’ fannies when we need to pass or having a dishwasher and a washer and dryer that who-knows-who didn’t just washed their car mats and dog beds, is watching Bill playing in his garage. That poor baby has languished and yearned for years for a garage that he could outfit and begin his old car collection. In the middle of the night, if he’s not beside me, I know exactly where he is…and I’m right. For instance, he was showing me a little shim that looked like a domino sans spots, that he made for a shelf and explained to me how and where it would fit. All I could come up with was, “Billy, that’s such a clever idea and perfectly constructed.” After all these years, what should I expect from an engineer? It’s his attention to detail with everything that is such a superb gift. When I enter a room in the dark, the light switch is exactly where I’d expect it to be. Outlets are numerous and well placed. I can’t begin to enumerate all the things he thought of that would’ve never crossed my mind till we’d have closed and then it’d be “too dadgum bad!!!” I used to kid him about his obsession with minutia but now I praise him for it. Opposites certainly do attract.

     Thanks to you all for hanging in there with us all these years.

Bill and Laura
Ocala, FL

North Sea Crossing to Denmark

In early October, we made a 180-mile overnight crossing of the North Sea from Stavanger, Norway to Thyboron, Denmark. We’d had an incredible five months in Norway and wish we could have stayed for a year or more. The North Sea has a fearsome reputation, but we had a blissfully easy run with winds less…


Welcome to the Kosmos Travel Log. All the stories from our 2007-2009 global circumnavigation aboard Kosmos are here, as well surrounding stories. There are over 800 posts covering all kinds of topics. Some good places to start: Highlights FAQ About Christi, Eric, and Keith Our Books About Our Blog About Our Boat Note we had … Continue reading Welcome



October 26, 2018
La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

DOMINO deserve a badge: 50,000 NM under the hulls, and counting.

Honolulu to Cabo San Lucas in less than 11 days, it was my kind of Transpac; one with absolutely nothing to report, no mechanical problem beyond a blown fuse that stopped the autopilot for a few minutes, no engine problem beyond a distended alternator belt (easy fix) and the best weather window we could have hoped for… expect for Hurricane WILLA that was waiting for us in Cabo.

Leaving Hawaii behind, sunrise to the east
For weeks, JP had watched the weather and patterns for this 2,660 NM trip.  Since this route is traditionally against Force 4 winds (11-16kts) and 8’ seas, running against 05-1 Knt current, he had been looking for a bit of a break, hoping for lesser winds.  PredictWind could give us a 10-day outlook, so the plan was to leave when Predict Wind was clear and to make the crossing as quickly as possible, hopefully in 10 days, clocking 260 NM/day.  We waited and waited, and suddenly a window opened.

October 10: take the Honolulu bus to Pier 1 and get our Zarpe from Customs to please the Mexican authorities.

The fuel dock in Ala Wai no longer sells fuel to the public.  It is now privately owned.
BUT.. for a fee ($200) the owner will let you dock and fuel up from a truck.
We used the Fuel Man
On October 11, at 0400, in pitch darkness, we eased to the old fuel dock at Ala Wai Marina in Honolulu, paid a $200 fee to the owner of the dock to use the space (yikes!) and the Fuel Man truck rolled in.  Two hours later, we had loaded 2,600 gallons and lowered our waterline by a foot.  A bit of cleaning up, a nice breakfast, a last run to the store for croissants, and by 1100 we were off.
The first 2 days were a dream: less than 10 knots of SE wind and flat seas, a Dorado in the cooler.  We were running 10-5 to 10.7 kts.

The next 2 days were rougher, 20-25 kts E wind on the nose, 6’ swells with a crossed 2’ wind chop.

Going upwind, 13-18Kts of wind, 10.5 Kts boat speed

The last 6 days were just peachy, the wind stabilized around 15-18 kts,  seas 4-6’.  It was a good time for fishing and catching another Dorado. While we were running East, the wind backed progressively from SE to E, then gently to ENE, N, and to NW 1 day out of Cabo.  We were expecting to make 14 Kts on the last day (1500 rpm) but, surprisingly, we were working against 1.5 to 2 knots of current.  So yes, it was uphill all the way, except maybe for the last 50 miles.

Five-day outlook: we knew it was going to be close
Our only concern was Hurricane WILLA.  We kew it had a chance of developing even before we left Honolulu.  After sort of petering out on day 1 and 2, WILLA reappeared on day 3 and looked horrendous, as if it were going to hit Cabo and run up the west coast of Baja the way GEORGE had just done.  We decided to wait and see, slow down to 8.5 kts, not just because the going was rough that day, but we also wanted to see what that hurricane was doing.  

Arriving Cabo: we need to keep on going!
The next day, WILLA had stalled in her track and we decided to make a run for it, go as fast as possible with keeping a 500 gal reserve just in case we would have to ditch our route.  And, as the days went by, running faster and faster (up to 13kts) as our load got lighter, we ducked the storm and made our destination at last.

Our daily recon: WP14, we clocked 283 NM that day

By the numbers:  
  • Distance: 2,661 NM
  • Time: 10 days, 18 hours
  • Average speed: 10.3 kts
  • Fuel used: 2,000 Gal.
  • Reserve: 600 Gal.
Arriving Cabo ahead of WILLA

We arrived Cabo San Lucas early on the morning of October 22 as WILLA’s outer bands were churning overhead, the sky heavy with clouds, the air misty, but no big wind. The barometric pressure had dropped to 1009, 12 ticks in the last 3 days.  

The beautiful white rocks at Cabo San Lucas.  We arrived with drizzle and flat seas, no wind

We had just turned the Cape when the Port Captain announced that he had closed all the beaches, anchoring in the bay and was warning agains high-sea navigation since WILLA was but hours away.

Would you know there is a hurricane coming?

There was nothing for us to do but keep on running, all the way to the safe harbor of La Paz.  

Rounding Cabo San Lucas, the cave.
Nobody on the beaches, the Port Captain has shut down the beaches,
restricted navigation to wharf-to-wharf only.

We slowed down and enjoyed the scenery, trying to adjust to the heady smell of Mexican scrub brush, lazing on 1 engine wile 2-meter waves from the south were pushing us along.  A last PredictWind download confirmed that we would be safe to anchor at Bahia de los Sueños (B. de los Muertos) and so we did, loathe to navigate the San Lorenzo channel at night.

Bahia de los Muertos (rebaptized Bahia de los Sueños)

It was nigh when we arrived at the anchorage and, of course, after some 800 anchor drops without a hitch, Big Bertha’s foot switch refused to work.  And that is why we have 2 anchors!  We dropped Lit’l Lou (43Kg Raya) and left it at that.  JP would replace the foot switch’s corroded connector in the morning.

It was a splendid night, clear to the north, clouds churning to the south, and a small swell rocking us gently.  

WILLA to the South… we are just at the edge of the weather system

From there, it was another half-day run to La Paz where Marina La Paz happened to have a vacancy for a few days.

Marina de La Paz: Great docks, spa time for DOMINO
And so we are!  Washing and scrubbing and rinsing and waxing and giving our Big D. a full spa treatment.  She worked hard once again and did it all happily.  Darn, we love that boat!

Off to the islands…
till next time


Forward Spotlight Upgrade

Most fish boats run both deck lights and forward lights. They use the deck lights for working at night and the forward-facing lights to see further in front of the boat better. Our experience from operating around commercial fishing vessels at night is their forward-facing spotlights can be seen from great distances. We sometimes find…


Sorry about the delay since our last Blog posting – we’ve had an issue loading images, but I’ll do another Post shortly, even without pictures.
Our prospective buyer arrived from Australia last Tuesday with his surveyor friend and a boating friend from UK. The buyer and I had already exchanged dozens of emails and had several phone conversations, but had never met, so on a rainy Tuesday afternoon we had a quick tour of Envoy followed by a dinner so we could all get to know each other. This included my brother Charles, a qualified shipwright and very experienced yachtsman, who came over from Scotland where he works as a Harbour Master.
On the Wednesday the rain passed, the weather was great again and the buying team did a thorough inspection and sea trial. They were well pleased and commented that Envoy’s appearance surpassed their expectations and their impressions from photographs. On Thursday we lifted Envoy out of the water for a hull survey. On completion the surveyor said Envoy’s condition was better than another Nordhavn ten years newer that he saw out of the water recently.
On that afternoon after having a consultation with his colleagues, the buyer met with us and we concluded the sale arrangements. He and his team are staying on until Monday evening so we can impart as much knowledge about Envoy as possible.
Obviously there is some sadness in parting with Envoy – a major part of our lives for the last 12 years, but we’ll have many extremely happy memories of the many great times we’ve shared with family and close friends and we’re delighted to see Envoy going to caring new owners who plan to continue Med cruising based out of Lefkada.
We leave here 8 November and arrive home on the 12th.
New Post in next few days.

Norwegian Oil Museum

We spent most of our final day in Stavanger at the exceptional Norwegian Oil Museum in Stavanger. The museum details the history and technology behind Norway’s growth as an oil nation through models, interactive displays and actual industry equipment. Below are trip highlights from October 4th and 5th in Stavanger, Norway. Click any image for…

Stavanger Storm and Tender Tour

We didn’t require much preparation for our run across the North Sea from Stavanager, Norway to Denmark. All we really wanted was fuel and some good weather. We got the fuel soon after arriving, but not the weather. A major storm system passed through, bringing strong northerly winds and generating large waves in the north-exposed…