The Drone Report

PXL 20201227 134017414

Readers of this blog have asked us for more video, but we have both been so busy these past months, we have not followed through on those requests. Part of it is because we are at the bottom of the learning curve on using lots of our gear, and we haven’t had the patience to get out the manuals again and read up and put in the hours to learn how to do it. When I logged in to our YouTube Channel, I saw that it was August 22 of last year, almost exactly one year ago, when we posted our last set of boat tour videos and I know it is high time we do a One-Year Later Update.

So, this past week, I decided to get out all the gear and dive back in. Time to learn how to do time-lapse photography on the GoPro, how to navigate in the DJI Fly app, and how to use the handheld gimballed DJI Osmo 2. We really enjoy watching YouTube videos, especially sailing, power boating and travel channels, and the stunning drone shots are often what stand out the most for me. For that reason, I decided to go to work first on becoming an expert drone pilot. 

I was curious about how long this would take. This week I found out it takes MUCH longer than I thought.

Fair winds!

Christine

 

The Joys of Deafening Silence! XPM78-01 Möbius LACK of Progress Update July 6-24 2021

Just a relatively short update for all of you that have been wondering about the “deafening silence” for the past 3 weeks from your more typically ebullient and brevity challenged author.  In case you missed the ending of my last posting, Christine and I flew up to Istanbul to meet our daughter Lia, hubby Brian and our two granddaughters Brynn (7) and Blair (5) as they got off their non stop plane ride from LAX to spend THREE WEEKS with us!  This would be a grand gift at any time but having not been able to get together for almost two years now, this was a HUGEY big gift! 

And a jam packed three weeks it was as we shared the Turkey we have come to know and love with them AND got to host them for the first real passage on Möbius!  Christine will be posting a bit more about our wonderful two day trip with the six of us aboard Möbius as we cruised the awemazing coastline from Antalya to Finike and here are just a few photos from our other adventures in planes, trains, automobiles AND hot air balloons!

PXL_20210706_062324614We walked and ate our way throughout the truly world class city of Istanbul for the first three days and this is just one of our many Turkish kahvaltı, aka breakfasts.
PXL_20210713_134952413.MPShort flight back from Istanbul to Antalya, test run for our new mariners with an overnight anchor at the nearby Rock Island to celebrate Brynn’s 7th Birthday!

See Christine’s post for much more about all this.

Thumbs up from all the crew and so we headed out for the first actual passage on Möbius.
PXL_20210713_151553498.MPSlipped into this little spot that the girls dubbed as “Mermaid Cove” for another night on anchor and lots of swimming.
PXL_20210712_113310631.MPOnward to some land based adventures, we went white water rafting in Köprülü Canyon National Park which is about 90 minutes from from where we lived in Antalya.
PXL_20210716_150115938.MPSwimming through the thermal mineral …….
Pamukkale pools …….  pools of Pamukkale
PXL_20210717_150135123Climbing through the ruins of Sagalossos dating back to 600 BCE.
PXL_20210720_085859596.MPThree nights in our two Cave Hotel rooms which were literally carved into the volcanic rock cliffs in Cappadocia.
PXL_20210719_020252306Up the next morning at 3AM to catch the sunrise in …..
PXL_20210719_021259004……. our very own Hot Air Balloon.
PXL_20210719_021909039Floating over the otherworldly “Fairy Chimneys” of Cappadocia
PXL_20210719_024855169.MP90 minutes went by SO fast!
PXL_20210719_034145291.MPUntil we gently touched down with the expert touch of …….
PXL_20210719_034549327.MP……  our favorite pilot Hakan (Black shirt far Left) from our previous ride with him 2 years ago for a champagne finish!
We bid our family adieux for their return flight to IST and then on to LAX the next morning and Christine and I drove the 9 hour trip back to Möbius.


Finike marinaWhere we had left her peacefully tied up in Finke marina which will be our home port for the rest of this year.
Whew!  We have spent the weekend savoring all these newest family memories and catching our breath from the wonderful whirlwind that our life has been for the past three weeks, indeed the past three years! 

Tomorrow (Monday here) we will renew our efforts to get through the long and seemingly growing list of jobs to do in order to get Möbius fully sea worthy and ready for our next adventures.  So we will resume our regular programming here on Mobius.World and do our best to continue to entertain and inform you about our ongoing adventures aboard the good ship Möbius.

Please tune in again next week for the next chapter and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued interest and comments.  Be sure to add more in the “Join the Discussion” box below.

-Wayne
 


Taking a break for family time

Just a quick note from Christine here. Wayne and I have had a fabulous time with our California family visit . I know that many of you have come to expect the weekly blogs, but Wayne has not had a minute to write. We will return to our slower speed of life soon, and I’m certain that Wayne will put together a blog not long thereafter to fill you in on the latest news about Möbius and Mr. Gee.

In the meantime, here are some quick notes about our two and a half weeks showing off this beautiful country and our new home, Möbius.

We met the family in Istanbul and spent three days being tourists in that splendid city. We mostly walked from our Airbnb close to the Galata Tower and crossed the bridge over the Golden Horn to the old city. Another night we walked to Taksim Square and ate dinner at a restaurant along the way home.

TaksimSquare

And of course we did go for a ride on a speedy cruise boat on the Bosphorus. It wasn’t Möbius, but we still enjoyed the ride.

Bosphorus cruise boat

Cruising the Bosphorus is just such a great way to see the city.

Maiden

When we returned to Antalya, we picked up our rental car, a Dacia Lodgy-Logan. This 7-passenger diesel Romanian car has been taking us all around Antalya and now Turkey.

The two grand-girls took to the boat right away. In fact, never have more fearsome pirates roamed this historic coast.

Pirate girls

We tested out the family to see if we were going to have any seasickness problems with another trip to the little island outside the port of Antalya. Happy to say all went well, not a single green member of the crew. In fact, one young pirate turns out to be quite patient with her own fishing pole as well. Don’t tell her that Gramma bought a whole fish at the market, and Grampa snagged her line underwater and aided in the hooking of her monster catch! 

Fishing

After some side trips around Antalya, including some white water rafting, we took the gang on a 60-mile passage around the southernmost tip of Turkey and to our new homeport of Finike. The weather was fairly quiet for the two-day trip, and it was so wonderful to finally be out at sea on Möbius after all the years of the build. Wayne had always said that the bow was going to be his favorite seat on the boat.

Wayne bow

Thanks to a comment from our reader Peter, we split the trip into two days and spent the night in the lovely anchorage at Cineviz Limani below. We had a great sunset swim with only a few other boats in the bay. However, the next morning there was a Turkish gullet (tourist boat) invasion, and we were happy to take off and start the second half of our trip.

Anchorage

The summer weather here in Turkey often goes over 100 degrees. We haven’t decided yet what we want to do about blinds in the main salon, and it was starting to get really toasty in there. Before we left Antalya, we went to the big hardware super store BauHaus and bought ourselves 20 meters of this shade cloth in the garden department. We have it clamped to the handrails around the outside of the salon. It’s not exactly elegant, but it doesn’t look THAT bad, and it sure has made a difference in the temperature inside the boat.

Shade cloth

The family is now gone and Möbius is tucked in to her Med-moored slip out along the breakwater here in Finike Marina. An extra plus with the shade cloth is it provides us with more privacy in these tight quarters. Wayne and I have been taking a little breather the last couple of days and exploring our new home town. The list of jobs to do is extremely long, as we have had a few system failures, but Wayne will try to get out a blog in the next day or two.

Mobius Finike

 

Fair winds!

Christine

The simple comment that Changed My Life Forever Better

Barney from first contact my talking pet videoSeven years ago today, this little fella, aka Barney the Yorkshire Terror, changed my life in ways and degrees that I am still unable to fully comprehend. 

More accurately, it was seeing him for the first time in the short 25 second video below that captured my attention, so take a look and a listen and then come on on back for the rest of this wonderful story.

Vuda Pt Marina Aerial-tight-Marina-and-SaweniFriday November 22nd, 2013 started out no different than any other of my days in Fiji at Vuda Point Marina, where I, ably assisted by Ruby the Wonderdog, was working feverishly to complete the latest and largest renovation on my 52’ steel sailboat sv Learnativity. 
Map Marshall IslandsAs with most such boat projects it was taking MUCH longer than expected and I was working non-stop because the Cyclone season begins in November and I should have left for Majuro in the Marshall Islands long before now.   (click to enlarge the map or any photo)
Map-Pacific-IslandsThese two maps will fill in some of the geographic information and the short story is that in general, as a liveaboard sailor, to be outside of the cyclone zone in the South Pacific, you want to be no more than 10 degrees from the equator.  Vuda Pt. Marina is on the far SW corner of Fiji sits at 17º41’04”S
177º23’02”E so it well into the Cyclone Zone and yes, you can ask me how I know!


Majuro Marshall IslandsThe atoll of Majuro, pictured here, is at 7.0667° N, 171.2667° E is well below the 10 degree limit and I had been there twice before to get out of the Cyclone Zone and just loved it so I was anxious to get back there ASAP.


Screenshot Vuda Pt to Majuro distanceIf it were a straight line, the passage to sail those 24 degrees from Fiji at 17° S to Majuro at 7° N is about 2895 km/1799 miles/1563 nm but the actual sea miles of this passage are about 2000 nm, assuming not much tacking, would typically be about a 14-15 day sail.
Rotuma island Fiji_mapBut for me, a stop in the tiny spec of an island called Rotuma is a must.  Rotuma is a much longer and fascinating story which I serendipitously stumbled upon when I read that it was still part of Fiji even though it is WAY up in the far NW corner about 500 nm from any other part of Fiji which meant I could wait till I got to Rotuma and still officially check out of Fiji.

So this stop over adds a few days to the passage and has taken me 17-18 days in the past.
OK, Wayne but what the heck does this have to do with the Barney video that changed your life so incredibly? 

Ahhh, right.  

So back aboard the good ship Learnativity, that Friday morning 7 years ago, Ruby the Wonderdog (my little Black Spoodle who had been with me since I started my single handed sailing adventures in San Francisco in March 2007), and I were up just after sunrise as usual for most sailors, had fixed my breakfast and was sipping my morning Latte and enjoying yet another beautiful sunny morning up in the cockpit of LTY (Learnativity). 

This was typically the only time each day when I could sit and relax a wee bit catch up with all the Emails and other online content that had come in the past 24 hours.  As I was zipping through all those Emails I came across an auto-generated one informing me that there was a new post on the Write on the Water blog which was of the several hundred blogs that I subscribe to on a wild range of topics. 

Little did I know that clicking on that link was going to be one of the most life changing events of my already VERY eventful life! 

Seeing that “Write on the Water” name, I vaguely recalled that I had been subscribed to this blog several years ago because, Christine Kling, one of four writers/sailors who wrote one post a week on Write on the Water (get it?), and she was not only an author of some very good best seller mystery novels, she was also a fellow single handed and very experienced sailor, currently sailing around the Caribbean islands on her sailboat sv Tale Spinner from her home Port in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

The link opened up the blog post fine, but there was no text, no story?  Simply the Title “Barney the Yorkshire Terror” and that little face staring up at me with a “Click to Play” button on his nose.  I hit Play and as I suspect he might have just done for you, Barney gave ma a good morning chuckle.  It also piqued my curiosity as to how this cute little animated dog video had been made?  So I quickly fired off a short comment to the author which just happen to have saved and it reads;

Wayne says: November 22, 2013 at 07:17 am  (Fiji Time)
Very cute and fun Christine. I too am out single handed sailing with my 6 year old “Spoodle” Ruby the Wonderdog and we are currently in Vuda Pt. marina in Fiji finishing up the latest refit in preparation for the next few years sailing through the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and making my way through Indonesia. I’d be interested to know more about how you made this little video if you care to share?
Also enjoying your books and have several loaded on my Kindle for upcoming passages. Thanks for all.
Wayne
 

I finished up my coffee and Email updates and got back to work on Learnativity.

Next morning, same routine and as I was enjoying my first coffee and going through the latest Emails, one was a WordPress comment from the Write on the Water blog, which thanks to the wonders of cloud storage and my somewhat geeky nature, I also still have a copy of so you can read it for yourself.

Christine's answer to my first question about Barney videoApparently two of Christine’s blog followers had asked the same question so as you can see her response was to both Wayne and Gerald.
Nice of her to respond I thought as so many such questions go unanswered, and so being Canadian and just doing what I think is important, I wrote back a short note to thank her for getting back to me and that I would try out this little “My Talking Pet” app and maybe use it to make one with Ruby the Wonderdog.  And then it was back to work for me and I never gave it another thought.

Well, as I was to learn weeks later, Christine was quite taken aback that someone had actually said “Thank You” ?  Apparently when she dutifully  answers all the thousands of questions a famous author receives, she rarely receives anything but more questions and never a Thank You.  Who knew??? 

And so she wrote me back, and the following Email was on my screen as I was sipping my first coffee the next day:  (click to enlarge if you want to read it)

Christine's first response to my Thank You on her blog with Barney video Pg 1

Christine's first response to my Thank You on her blog with Barney video Pg 2
No need to read the whole Email, but if you do, you will see what a catastrophic error she makes in the very first sentence when she starts off with;  “Hi Wayne,  Thank you so much for the interesting note full of info about you and your boat. I love getting long emails, so don’t ever
worry about writing too much.”

Oh the poor innocent dear!  She has NO idea that she is saying that to Mr. Neveraparagraphwhenasentencewilldo!  Though she might have started to clue in when I wrote back:

Wayne's first full Email to Christine after Barney video

I will spare my full response, lucky you!! and just share the first of my brief four page Email response.
Not to worry, I am NOT about to share ALL our Emails back and forth in the coming days and weeks, again Lucky, Lucky you!

Suffice it to say, that the Email exchanges got longer and longer and more and more often. 

Then Emails led to voice calls which followed my same “brevity challenged” arc.

Voice calls quickly led to Skype calls and let’s just say neither one of us got too much sleep in those first two weeks or so as we were living literally on the opposite sides of the world and I was on the other side of the International Date Line so we were not only many hours apart in different Time Zones, we were also on different days!  Hence  we were both on Skype calls in either the wee hours of our respective mornings or on very late night hours.  Our internet connection had quite literally become the “International Date Line”. 

Think about it for a minute and I’ll wait till you get it ……………………………….

OK, OK, enough already Wayne!! 

You know where this is going so let me just quickly summarize what happened from there.

Video calls are fascinating, especially when you start logging hundreds of hours of them with someone you have never met.  They pretty much cancel out any chances that either of you can be “faking it”, so you do end up learning more and more about the very real person on that screen for hours and in your ears and in hour head.  But it still isn’t the same as the “real thing” and so at some point we started to talk about how, when and where we could meet up in person and find out if all the sparks that were flying back and forth through the ether were really real or just our twitterpated imaginations?

It was now December and so my first suggestions had been that I would sail up to Majuro and get Learnativity safely moored there as I had done in the past few years and then get the short flight from Majuro to Honolulu which happens 3 days a week and we could meet there.  A bit longer but easy to get flights for Christine to fly from Florida to Honolulu and so that was the tentative plan.  Emphasis on “tentative” of course because WAYNE still needed to finish the work on LTY, get her all sea worthy and ship shape for a relatively long passage and only then be able to know what sort of dates we could fly and meet.

Of course things never go as planned, especially when it comes to big boat projects. I was working longer and longer days, as was Christine who was in the midst of finishing and publishing her latest book at the time “Dragon’s Triangle”  and we were both getting more and more frustrated that our “Launch Date” for this distant blooming romance seemed to be getting more and more elusive and later. 

Hmmm, why does that sound so familiar??

Several hours into one of our Skype calls at that time, partly out of pure frustration, partly for some levity, I said something like “You know what would be really crazy, would be if you just flew here to Fiji and we could have our first date be the sail up to Rotuma and Majuro”. 

Keep in mind that it is now only about two weeks before Christmas and I was sure that she would not want to be away from her family in Florida over the holidays so maybe Honolulu in the New Year would be best after all.  So we started to look a the calendar and figure out the likely length of my sail up to Majuro and what dates early in the New Year we might be able to fly there and meet.  So I simply asked “What date do you think you could fly?”    And surely she understood I was talking about her flying to Honolulu right? 

I had already learned that Christine can have some VERY “pregnant pauses” with her responses so I just patiently waited after asking what date she thought she could fly as I watched her eyes look up as if she was searching some calendar on the ceiling and then watched her lips moving a bit as she seemed to be doing some calculations in her head.  After several minutes of this, she looked back at me on the screen and said “Tuesday”.

Huh?  “Tuesday” I said?  What do you mean “Tuesday”?

Never missing a beat and with a very quizzical look on her most serious face, she said; “I can be in Fiji on Tuesday.” 

This was all happening late on a Friday night on Christine’s side of the International Date Line and in a very rare for me “pregnant pause” with my mind reeling with what I thought I had just heard I think I simply said “Are you kidding me?!?!?!”

2013-12-19 001She wasn’t kidding and while I don’t remember much of those next few days, I found myself standing in the Nadi airport early on the morning of December 19, 2013 intently watching the passengers of the just landed red-eye flight from LAX walk to the baggage claim when THIS vision of loveliness walked through those glass doors and into my heart.
IMG_2103_45340We drove back to the marina where I had Learnativity pretty much finished and waiting for her to see for the first time and we were both giddy with excitement, nervousness and disbelief that this was all REALLY happening?!!!
80444437

I had borrowed my dear friends Ian and Coleen’s car to drive the 25km or so to the Nadi airport from Vuda Pt. Marina as their beautiful big boat mv Summer Spirt and had been my dock neighbors as you can see here, for all the months I had been there in Fiji over the last few years.

This is our first photo together, thanks Coleen, on the aft deck of Summer Spirit.
2013-12-22 002Ian and Coleen invited us over to mv Summer Sprit for lunch and so they could meet this mysterious woman who their dockside friend Wayne had been talking with and about endlessly for the past month.

Fast forwarding through the months and years that followed:

IMG_2441We had a VERY eventful 18 day “First Date” passage up to Majuro and that’s a much longer story for another time.
2013-12-31 006Captain of my heart by now and the only REAL sailor onboard.
IMG_2463We made it to Rotuma for another longer story of our first New Year’s Eve.
80445112Crossed the equator for the first time as a couple after multiple times by ourselves.  And Wayne was FINALLY able to swim across the equator, yet another much longer story for another time.
Majuro from the airSailed into the atoll of Major with no rudder and no steering.  Another story for another time.

82626928Flew back to Florida to meet Christine’s family there, then flew to St. Martin to drop of Ruby with our dearest friends the Alonso’s who were living there on their boat sv Discovery.


80446861Took off a few days later for a whirlwind tour of Europe that Christine had previously all planned out as research for her next book that became “Knight’s Cross”. First stop the island of Malta
80448640Where I proposed up on a grassy hillside overlooking a little harbour in Malta.  And she said YES!!!


OK, OK OK!!!  Seriously this time, ENOUGH WAYNE!!!!

More of those stories for another time. 

Right now, I sit here in Antalya Turkey with my Beautiful Bride of six years making us another one of her delicious meals and we have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge that I’m about to go pop so we can celebrate the 7th anniversary of our First Contact.


Barney from first contact my talking pet videoWhich was all thanks to THIS little guy who is sitting here at my feet tonight.

Thanks Barney!

I am the luckiest and richest man in the world all thanks to YOU!
Happy Anniversary! 

I LOVE You Christine Louise!!

Flying high over a magical world

Flying high over a magical world

IMG 8200

As Wayne mentioned in his blog this week, we took a couple of days away from the boatyard to see one of Turkey’s most visited and photographed regions: Cappadocia, famous for the unique “fairy chimney” structures on the landscape, cave dwellings, and the underground cities first built by the Hittites around 3000 BC, and enlarged by the Byzantine Christians, the Romans, the Ottomans, and used by the Turks as food storage until they were discovered by archeologists who made several into museums.

I had started to be afraid that we would never get our chance to visit this magical place before leaving Turkey, but a surprise visit by friends made us decide to take the risk in these unsettled times. We didn’t want to go in a hot air balloon with over 20 strangers, but we were able to make a reservation for four people and a pilot.

IMG 8270

We were visited by our Swiss friend Philip, whom Wayne has known ever since they first met in Ecuador while single handing their very different vessels: Philip was aboard his Outremer 43 catamaran Blue Bie, and Wayne was on his Bruce Roberts Custom 52′ steel cutter, Learnativity. Throughout the next ten years, they would meet up in some corner of the South Pacific. And we had the much anticipated opportunity to meet our friend’s partner, Nancy, a fascinating American woman who met Philip at the end of her two year stay in Vanuatu with the Peace Corps. 

After a couple of days of local sightseeing around Antalya, we flew on a very short direct flight to Kayseri, the city with an airport closest to the Cappadocia region. There we picked up a rental car and drove for an hour to get to our hotel in Göreme, one of the small villages where there are cave hotels. Some of these are actually in caves, while most are just designed to look like caves. There are several other small towns spread among valleys in this stunning region, each known for something different. 

Turkey map

The reason this landscape has grown into this eery Middle Earth like place is because of Mount Erciyes, the highest mountain in central Anatolia, with its summit at 3,916 meters. I saw a huge mountain out the airplane window as we approached the airport at Kayseri, and I suspect it was the volcano that erupted thousands of years before mankind settled in the area.

IMG 0655

Several eruptions over the centuries rained thick layers of ash down more than 100-meters deep on the area we know as Cappadocia. The ash hardened into something called tuff, which is a very soft stone. Sometimes the different layers would have more hard stone in them. The oddly shaped towers came about because one layer would not erode and it would form a little hat or roof on top of the column of softer tuff, protecting it from the rain.

IMG 0722

And yes, one of the valleys in the region was named Love Valley by a Frenchman because of the resemblance between these towers and a part of human anatomy.

So the best way to show you the stunning beauty of the area is to take you along with us on our balloon flight. And you won’t even have to get up at 5:00 in the morning like we did!

Fair winds!

Christine

Captain Christine’s 2020 Birthday Adventure

IMG_20200313_222106Captain Christine, AKA my Beautiful Bride, completed her latest circumnavigation of the sun this past Sunday March 15th and as is our policy, we give experiences for gifts rather than “things” so we flew over to London for a few days as one of her experiential gifts was to fulfill a live long wish to see a play at one of London’s iconic theatres, the Apollo Victoria.

Wish granted. 

Wish fulfilled!

Happy Birthday Baby!
IMG_20200313_222308As usual in London, there are way too many great choices but I decided that Wicked at the Apollo Victoria would be the just right choice for my musical loving Captain and as her smile after the experience seems to indicate that I guessed correct.  It was a great play and we both enjoyed it and the whole experience thoroughly.
IMG_20200313_095916We flew over to London Gatwick on Thursday night so we had the whole day Friday before going to see Wicked at the Apollo and the Spring weather was fabulous so we took advantage and drove the whole SE coastline from Brighton to Whitstable just north of Canterbury.  It was cool and windy but very sunny so perfect for a good Birthday drive.
IMG_20200313_124003_MPThe ocean is like a magnet for both of us and it is constantly calling our names so we drove up around the SE corner to the little harbour town of Whitstable where I’d been once before and I treated my Birthday Girl to some of THE best Fish and Chips at Wee Willie Winkles. 
IMG_0226Why drive all the way around the SE corner to the Canterbury area you ask?

Because that is were Mr. Gee, our Gardner 6LXB engine is from and we can’t be THAT close and not go for a visit to Gardner Marine now can we?  Plus Christine had not been yet and of course there were a few “bits and bobs” I needed to pick up for Mr. Gee’s “born again” process.
IMG_0228

In this photo I am talking with James who is an walking encyclopedia, as is everyone at Gardner Marine of both the history and the technical details of all things Gardner and he graciously let me pick his brain for several hours as we walked around the expanding Gardner Marine facilities.
20132710_10155688267755572_903598832_oThis is a picture from my first visit to Gardner Marine several years ago to meet Mr. Gee for the first time just after he had been taken out of a tugboat on the River Thames after almost 50 years of non-stop service.  Michael Harrison who is the CEO of Gardner Marine spent the better part of that day with me to answer all my questions and take me through the finer points of the 6LXB engines.
While we didn’t know it at the time it was a harbinger that was not able to meet with us this visit because he had just returned from a trip looking after some other Gardner engine installations in Spain and France so he was taking the precaution to self isolate himself at home until he could be tested.  As we know now, we were all about to be in a similar situation.


IMG_0239Back to the present, James is taking me through just one of three of the side by side two story buildings which hold the treasure trove of “a few” Gardner engines of all ages and sizes as well as all their rebuilding equipment and eXtreme eXtensive spare parts inventory of Gardner Marine.  They are about to expand into the fourth building next door as business continues to grow.
IMG_0237Can you tell that I’m in one of my “Happy Places”???

My fellow gearheads will appreciate that places like this are akin to the Louvre for the works of art and engineering that Gardner Engines embody.
IMG_20200313_222308_1Back to the Birthday Girl, we dashed back to London just in time to check into our lovely little AirBnB there and catch an Uber over to the Apollo Victoria to see Wicked.

Wow, Wee Willie Winkle Fish & Chips, Gardner Marine and Wicked at the Apollo all in the same day!?!  Now you know why we call these “experiential adventures” and why we a life so densely packed with them.
IMG_20200314_122017Next day we continued the adventure by taking advantage of being in London where one of our “god children” and most special people Kate now lives as she attends the London campus of Florida Sate University.
IMG_20200314_122801While not sunny, the temps were Spring like and the lighting was outstanding for photos of beautiful women as you can see here. 
IMG_20200314_124616We spent the entire day, 22,000 steps Christine’s watch says, strolling throughout “Kate’s downtown London”.
IMG_20200314_125526It might have been Christine’s birthday but I seemed to get much of the gifts such as chances for more hugs with the phenomenal and powerful women I am so fortunate to get to share this life with.
IMG_20200314_143354_MPLondon’s skyline may not be as high as some but it is a marvel to see such a mix of the new architecture ……….
PANO_20200314_160032.vr….. and the old.
But wait!  There’s More!

IMG_20200315_134040While we had to fly back to Antalya a day earlier than originally planned we were able to meet up with some very dear friends, Robin and Jayne and go see the new acreage they and their children have just acquired out in the rural countryside not far from Gatwick airport.

IMG_20200315_123216This was on Sunday which was Christine’s actual Birthday and Robin’s is next week so we treated the both Birthday Babies to a fabulous Pub Lunch at a nearby 15th century pub. 
IMG_20200315_123239_MPWhat could be more fittingly delicious and British than roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding and gravy with such good friends? 

The perfect end to Christine’s 2020 B’day experiential adventure.
Or so we thought ……………………….

IMG_20200312_084341Turns out that the adventure continued into the next day as our flights from both Gatwick to Istanbul and connecting flight to Antalya were both delayed and we didn’t get home until well after 3am on Monday.  But it was GREAT as always come home to the welcoming party of Ruby and Barney.  Particularly so in the the context of the current and rapidly evolving situation we all find ourselves in right now.

To Turkey’s credit everyone flying in from out of the country had to fill out new forms with all our personal info, flight and seat numbers and places visited so they can be aware of each person’s travel history.  We were also all advised to “self isolate” ourselves at home and do as much “social distancing” as possible for the next 14 days.  Naval Yachts to their credit as well has asked that we and any others who have recently traveled outside of Turkey self isolate themselves  for the next 14 days. 

Christine and I had decided to voluntarily join the new “self isolation Club” in any case so we will be staying home and won’t be going back to the shipyard for the next 14 days.  While challenging and disappointing in the eXtreme, this was an easy decision to make as it is simply the smart and right thing to do right now.   As my cousin who is also in a similar situation at her home in Qatar reminded me we are now members of a not very exclusive new Club! 

As with the storms we encounter out sailing the world, Christine and I know that “this too shall pass” and we continue to count ourselves as most appreciative members of the “most fortunate people in the world Club”.  We are both healthy and happy, we have each other and our friends and family and we see this as being the start of but our latest eXtraordinary adventures in this awemazing life we are so privileged to live.

I hope that all of you reading this are finding your own ways to be happy and healthy by doing whatever is best for you to get through this latest “storm”.  As for me, I am grateful for this opportunity to be isolated with my best friend, partner, Captain, Bride and beautiful young lady.  Could I be any more fortunate or appreciative?  Me thinks NOT!!!