Sunday, 29 October 2017

Nearly November

All of a sudden the summer has gone and the daylight saving time has been removed so we are back to GMT or UTC. We seem to have been busy since returning from Mull.
Walkng in the forest

I replaced the broken screen on the Lenovo
We did a bit of gardening, fence painting, digging and then decided to return to Mull to sort out the shed roof. It took a week, but there was a noticeable improvement, I think.
Front garden shed BEFORE
Of course there were other jobs such as a new sink
and bath taps with shower to match
On the way home, we stopped at Skelmersdale for a thirty year reunion with my form which left West bank High School in 1987. Sorry it is a poor photo.
While we were there we passed our old house in Mossy Lea Road which is having an extension where the garage used to be.
Back in Suffolk, the weather was so reasonable we were able to have BBQ lunches in the garden.
Some days we got to see a grand child or two and we had a lot of fun

No children were permanently harmed in the posting of this blog. Finally, Sue a neighbour, went to Australia and could not find people to look after Blue her impeccably mannered, black Labrabor, so we had a house guest for a week or so.
And finally we attended a wonderful bonfire party at Whispering Pines where Em and Ben had worked very hard to feed and entertain over 60 guests.
Em and Sophie watch the display
No one ever gave me ear muffs when I was a child!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Back in the UK

We arrived safe and well in England and returned home to Suffolk at the end of July.
The garden needed sorting
We tested Em and Ben's new RIB
Kathy visited her Mum and sisters in the IOM
We visited Auntie Joyce in Brigg
We drove to lovely Tobermory
Ben, Emily, Ellie, Kathy and I went swimming at Caliach
Kathy and I went walking to the lighthouse
We enjoyed staying at the cottage
Sophie went exploring on the rocks
And all too soon we were back in Suffolk walking in the forest
We listened to the awful news about Hurricane Irma and the Mexican earthquake and prayed for the people suffering in those places which we have visited. We hoped that all our friends were safe and their boats undamaged. We are aware of how lucky we are in the UK to be secure from the kind of natural disasters which are ocurring in the world. We count our blessings daily.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Land Based USA

On the Sunday, before Sal Darago was hauled out, Kathy and I used public transport to travel to Sunnyvale where we borrowed Simon and Erin’s Pontiac Vibe. We used this to return to Sunnyvale on the Thursday night and based our future trips from there using their lovely AWD car. Here’s some of what we did.
We ate well
We tasted 57 wines
We borrowed some bikes
We relaxed
We were together

Kathy and I decided to borrow their car and..

We drove to Yosemite and saw the falls
We wandered up to Nevada Falls
I ate snow
Then found Dog Lake
And much to Kathy's delight we met a mule train
In the Gold Rush town of Columbia, we found a Wells Fargo Stagecoach
So Kathy persuaded them to let her ride SHOTGUN
And afterwards she had to have a sarsaparilla

Not content with that we tried a road trip next and...

We drove through Vegas and saw Trump Tower
We climbed Angels Landing in Zion Park
And reached the top
More driving and the Arches National Park. Wow!
Across to Canyonlands
The views were fantastic

And the formations fascinating

Followed by Monument Valley

And the Grand Canyon
One mile deep, vast, stunning and magnificent

Followed by the long drive back to Sunnyvale

Thanks Simon and Erin for putting up with us and loaning us the car to make this whole trip amazing.
The end.

San Francisco to Napa Valley Marina

Sailing under that bridge with Simon and Erin
Sensible Erin with lifejacket
Art Deco Redwood City cinema
The purpose of the trip was to see Simon and Erin, so we were delighted that they could join us on Saturday evening and sail down the Bay to Redwood City Marina on the Sunday. We had a delicious meal at their apartment before returning on Sunday night to SD. 
Kathy and I explored Redwood City which was quite interesting and “historic”. Many places claim to be “historic” in America, but we think that could be stretching things a little. The fact the city gained its name from importing wood from the north was interesting. We were sad the quay, which used to intersect the main street, had been filled in. Simon arrived by bike and he and I successfully connected our new transformer to convert the American 110v to 240v that SD requires.

We left Redwood at 0650 to try to catch both the tide north and the weaker morning winds. We were successful, arriving at the beautiful Clipper Cove Anchorage, Treasure Island at 1055.

Clipper Cove
At night

Unfortunately, we went aground at low tide in the tricky entrance; our excuse being it was just after the summer solstice and a very low tide. Antony at Treasure Island Marina, kindly let us use the dingy dock and Kathy and I walked around the island. We noted the fenced off areas with dire warnings of radiation poisoning from the previous use by the American Navy. We also found a useful general store.

Where is that Cable Car?

Ah, there it is.
Hanging on the outside
Alcatraz was sadly completely booked so we decided to buy a day pass on the transport system and enjoyed jumping on and off trams, seeing Pier 39, walking up to Coit Tower and lunch in Mario’s in Washington Square, before returning to SD by bus and dinghy.
Coit Tower
Mario's for lunch
We sailed to Sausalito to fill the diesel tank. We had lunch at anchor before motoring to China Camp for the evening. On Saturday 1st July, we motored and sailed up to Napa Valley Marina, where we were well received by Cory. Kathy and I worked very hard to clean all of the equipment and stow it by Thursday when Sal Darago was hauled out and placed on beams.
Up the Napa River
Sal Darago showing a clean bottom

  It was the end of another epic voyage in which our trusty Westerly had served us incredibly well.