Monday, December 10, 2012

We made it!

At 7:00 am this Monday morning we arrived in Antigua and crossed our previous path from 2006, almost 7 years later and making us official circumnavigators. We have worked hard and are really proud for finishing safe and healthy considering we are old!!! This dream began in May 1973 on our honeymoon as a wild hair idea that now come to fruition. Cyan has logged over 34,000 miles in all our travels on blue water [not counting the US coast]. Remember that most of it was at the speed of a fast walk!

This Atlantic crossing was just miserable...I won't go into all the discomfort but as far as ocean crossing goes it was a royal pain holding on, cooking, all kinds of sail trim. We are so glad to be in English Harbour...we liked it last time and it is so peaceful to come in after a night of 25-30 knots all night long....but we were trying to slow down to arrive in daylight and that's not easy!

I will post some photos of events on the passage as soon as we get to a net connection. We will check in tomorrow...we went to sleep for 4 hours as soon as we anchored, we were so tired.

We now have a journey of more than 1000 miles ahead of us to get to Bradenton, FL by first of the year and we sure hope we have a nice passage since it's our last.

Mostly today, I thank God for being with us so we could be the best sailors we can and recognize the security of our safe boat. I was to the point of neurosis worried about this passage. Our other voyages were so perfect and I was so afraid we would have some dreadful event to equal it all out but it was only annoying swell, waves, wind shifts, etc and that's just a part of the while deal. I am now relieved to the point of a coma!!! As relaxed as I ever get anyway! We did have fun together, never missing happy hour, and our supportive net of other crossers, the highlight of each day.

We thank our friends and family who supported us and were actually interested in our life. We especially value the very best thing we experienced from this whole adventure and that's the loving friendship of all our other cruiser friends. It's a little known secret that voyaging sailors are the best, most accomplished, most accepting and most fascinating people in the world. They will always stay in our hearts and you know who you are!

Please stay in touch with us as we make our way to being "land people" once again.

Lynn on CYAN and Chuck, too.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Cyan in the Atlantic

So far the Atlantic is on the bottom of our list of ocean passages! We just passed halfway last night so we have about 1100 more miles to go before we reach Antigua, cross our earlier path and complete our circumnavigation.

It hasn't been dangerous but has been a lot of work holding on and changing sail configurations and trying to sleep! We have had lots of "washing machine" mixed swell and waves from several directions. Until last night we had 20 knots usually unless we were going thru a weather cell and then all hell breaks lose!!! Actually, it's not as bad as thunderstorms...we just got old!! We should have clocked more than 120 miles a day going 6-7 knots but we are going way up and down and also zigzagging back and forth under the windvane in swooshy seas. The windvane has held the course awesomely! And another boat like our out here has had situations of the autopilot not holding the course so we really appreciate the Hydrovane.

These first days haven't all been weary...we did have 3 very nice sailing days and the nights have been bright with incredible moonlight. I tried and could actually read my Kindle by it!!! I do use big print on the Kindle. Books, Podcasts, music and ipad games keep us busy until time to try and sleep.

Now we are at 17 06 N, 44 15 W and have under 10 knots of wind in 3' seas [still jerky] so we are going walking speed, 3-4 knots or mph for the lubbers. Now, we find out that there is some weather system sucking all the wind into the Caribbean and it's gonna be "slow to NO" for who knows how long. All the other boats in our "net pod" stretched across the Atlantic, have had rain except us so we are nice and salty. One big breaker exploded right beside the boat when 3 12' crests seem to come together...that was exciting and left us salty. Shoulda heard me scream! We have had short waves...walls of water come upon us...up to 15' high and we slide down them like some sort of tilt-a-whirl. It has been exciting to watch us go up as they slip under us and 2-3 more are right behind them coming from different directions twisting the boat from side to side. This isn't as sloppy as rounding Sri Lanka but it's not something we wanna do for many days and nights. We think we may have left too early for the trade winds to get all "set in" but, if we weren't willing to gamble we wouldn't be here!

We have not seen any other being for 1100 miles except flying fish [about 3 a day on deck] and seabirds. No fish yet and we have been trying. This is no shipping zone! Good thing we have our net of other voyagers to talk to and compare weather notes.

At least today it's calm enough and we are having our thanksgiving dinner of baked chicken breast over seafood stuffing, baked yams, waldorf salad and Champaign! We are thankful for so much. We did have a little service from the prayer book on first sunday in Advent. It's is always an awesome and spiritual experience to be on an ocean passage. This adventure will make for a meaningful Christmas, if we make it by then!

Thanks for the prayers and wishes of encouragement. It means a lot to know folks are thinking of us. There is a lot of time to reflect during passages, and things come into perspective. There is just nothing like it and even if this passage was our best, and not at the bottom, we would treasure it. It's something few get to experience. Life will never be the same.

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heading West in Med

We left Marina di Ragusa in Sicily later than most cruisers due to solving a corrupted fuel issue. We'd filled with some dreadful "biodiesel" in Turkey and ended up with "fuel snot" that clogged the filters. While the biocide was eating the bad stuff in the fuel tank we took 5 weeks and traveled around Great Britain during the rainest April on record. Still had a great time going counterclockwise from London up to Scotland and to Wales and Dartmoor and back. We spent 7 days in London. It was one of our very best trips and we plan to return as soon as we have saved enough money. It doesn't come cheap.

So in June, after fixing up CYAN to cruise, we took off from Sicily saying goodbye with a tear to the grand time we had in Italy. We thought we would spend some time in Sardinia but we hate marinas and the anchorages are dreadful. They are open and rolly and I get cranky with bad sleep. So we took off for the Balearics hearing that the anchorages are better. When getting a Vodaphone usb key for net connection our credit card was compromised by the dealer [we hadn't used it anywhere else and within minutes over $1000 was charged] and we had to have some new ones sent to Spain, held for our arrival. It was caught immediately by our faithful account rep, Helene, at Merrill Lynch...bless her.
                               It's often Clothing optional for the Captain!

The Balearic Islands; Minorca, Mallorca and Ibiza, did have better anchorages but most were just filled with discos blaring until 5am, jetskiers, water skiers, and super yachts moving around way too fast. this makes it more rolly than the sea! We are not big fans of cruising in the Med even though we have enjoyed seeing the European locations with their history and art but at great expense....more than the USA now.

                                                Water is crystal clear

We are in the south of Spain at present, waiting for a few miscellaneous parts and doing a great clean up. Here in Almerimar, they have blocks and blocks built huge condos that are unoccupied or unfinished and already going dirty and getting rundown with graffiti and fruit flies that are astounding. Remember the big Med Fly trauma years ago? Now we know why they worked so hard to keep them out. You have to cover your mouth to talk! In a few days we head to Gibraltar for a while and get to travel around Spain for a few weeks.
                               Impressive rock cliff anchorage in Mallorca

In about September we hope to be heading to Morocco and perhaps on to Senegal in Africa. Then it's the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic and in December we head home to Florida.

Compared to our other locations and adventures our latest travels have been pretty routine so excuse our lack of enthusiasm. We do hear good things about Africa and we usually find third world countries to be more interesting and welcoming.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I just listened to this program from This American Life. It was presented earlier this year and you may have heard it. It will only be available for listening for about another week and then I think they start charging $1for back copies. It was fascinating and well worth the time to take a listen.

The subject this The History of Money

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here are photos from our travels around Croatia that just briefly touch on the beauty of this wonderful country. We really loved it there. We were most impressed with the fact that it has remained so civilized for so long...since early man... and was not as damaged by the dark ages. It has also remained seriously Christian since the first century followers. The scenery is just beautiful each place we looked: from the country villages, to the mountains, to the ancient fairy-tale like cities. We enjoyed ancient Roman ruins, Palaces, Castles, Monasteries, still working aqueducts from Roman times, nature walks, and even Hospital visits when I broke my wrist. But the Doctors don't look as yummy as the Croatian doctor on ER did! We just couldn't show everything here on the BLOG!
Wall around Dubrovnik
Architectural accent on building in old Dubrovnik
Rugged coastline
View at our anchorage while going between islands
Church near Marco Polo's House in Korcula
Local craft in Korcula
Lynn enjoys the flowers at a local market in Trogir
CYAN at anchor at a small village of Luka on the Island of Sipan
Monestery from 12th century on Mljet, pronounced miliet
At anchor in National Park Island of Mljet
Medieval wall along some city
Trogir rooftops withCYAN in distance
Trogir storefronts
Trogir courtyard

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Exploring Knidos, Turkey

What fun to pretend we are archeologists and try to see ancient buildings in big piles of block and wonderfully carved marble. That’s what the old port city of Knidos in Turkey is today.

Looking through the theater across the stoa or market

Here below is the fallen church facing east and curved on that end with a baptismal well.

On the left is me holding a carved shard of pottery, of course!

From 400 BC to 1000 or so AD it was a prosperous port and educational center in the Carian Empire exporting all kinds of products around the Med and famous for it’s builders and educators. One was the builder of the lighthouse in Alexandria; Sostratus, quite famous. Another, Praxiteles sculpted the statue “Aphrodite of Cnidus” there and it was said to be so enticing that it had to be covered to keep men in line! It was the first life-sized female nude statue.

This city was even known as a medical center. As yet very little has been done to excavate the damage of time, war and earthquakes. This made walking all around the site even more intriguing. We could try to imagine how the buildings were used by ancient civilizations. It was quite a large city covering hills on both sides of the isthmus where it was filled between two islands to form two harbors: one for defense and one for trade. Knidos was rediscovered from rubble in 1812 but not even sorted for over 100 years. Some university in Russia is working on it now.

The main street of marble steps going up the hill

Just part of a column laying right at the waters edge

Today there are just cruise boats and a restaurant and you can see CYAN there among them. We took long walks in the morning and got lots of exercise before taking off for the next stop.

CYAN is just to the right of the catamaran in the center.

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Here is the “loud ass” that woke us up!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Istanbul Skyline

While CYAN was docked in Finike...we had paid for a months dockage to have some work done ...we flew to Istanbul for a few days. That’s all it takes to see the main attractions there but they are interesting and exotic.

Hagia Sophia

The architecture of the Hagia Sophia was so remarkable for it’s early age and it has made it through the ages so well considering the fact that it was turned into a mosque and then into a museum. We have included a photo the icon of Christ that is in so many art books. It was inspiring to see this artwork in it’s element and to so many others like it in detail.

Icon of Christ

We visited the Topkapi Palace. This huge Ottoman palace is where hundreds of wives and concubines were housed for 400 years and the most you could say is that it’s really big and very over done with not much architectural significance or consistency that I could see. There is some culture and history and the gardens were nice. The middle-easterners really get into rugs and pillows and tiles all in a vast number of contrasting designs and colors. There were huge numbers of jewel encrusted weapons and decorative items on display that we had to wait in lines to see....then wondered why! Sort of overwhelming!

Tiles at Topkapi Palace

We saw the gigantic Blue Mosque that the residents all want to make sure you see but we were not as impressed with it as we were the Hagia Sopia. No one says “you must see the Hagia Sophia” because it was originally built as a church...they all want you to see the Blue Mosque. It is just big and blocky and almost trying to outdo the Hagia Sophia. It was built almost 1000 years later. It has thousands of textured tiles stuck all over it instead of icons and levels but they make for a beautiful interior view.

Exterior of Blus Mosque

Interior of Blue Mosque

On another note...the tile murals in the public transportation stations areas were just amazing. Turkey has some great new artists coming along today. I was very entertained as a modest ceramic worker myself, to see them all over Istanbul and loved them all.

We also might mention that the food in Turkey is really some of our favorite. We have especially liked the food since coming to the middle east and it’s been quite a surprise.

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar was grand but there were no bargains to be found at all. the vendors were very polite and friendly though.

We made a special effort to visit a Church, turned mosque, turned museum in north Istanbul called Chora Church known for out standing ancient frescos and mosaic icons dating 1300's and the foundation of the building from 600AD when it was a monastery. We really liked the curious design and were impressed at the quality of the work...inspirational!

Chora Church

As much as we liked Istanbul, it just doesn’t compare to the wonderful coastal towns. The people and the villages and the markets with their fresh veggies are making Turkey such a joy and now we can see why some of our cruiser friends have been raving about it here and we have made a special effort to get here.

We are at Topkapi Gardens overlooking the Bosphorus,

the body of water connecting the Black Sea to Sea of Maramara