Black sand beaches. I'm getting scratchy just thinking of all the bugs at this anchorage. Even though we all wanted to leave well before sunrise, it makes our favourite list because it was so beautiful and we were the only boat there - hmmm, there's a surprise.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Monday, 27 September 2010
Friday, 24 September 2010
Daisie is getting ready to fly from the States to Australia in a couple of week's time. Donna and Dawn have trained her well; being in the crate means she get treats.
After a few more visits with the vet, she'll be ready for the big journey, 14 hours flying time from LA to Sydney.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Owen and Elliot have been night diving, swimming, sailing and generally having a good time. Lots of photos taken but the slow connection does not allow image uploads!
Good news with Miss Daisie, she has received approval to enter Australia and will have 30 days quarantine in Sydney before she is released to us. Yes, it does feel something like a jail sentence.
Our Pacific Crossing is fast coming to an end. We are all looking forward to being reunited with family, Daisie, seeing friends and rediscovering our Aussie home after so many years away.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
On the weekends, Panamanians flock by ferry to the islands. We enjoyed Taboga, about 5 miles from Panama City, so much we sailed there twice while waiting for parts from the States. That's Bristol Rose in the center of the picture.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
|Turquoise, Blue and Grey|
|Another Grey Day|
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
|Bristol Rose from Inspiration Lady|
Photo taken by Jackie King aboard Inspiration Lady en route (18 days) Galapagos to the Marquesas. This is one of our favourite photos of Bristol Rose, thanks Jackie
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
It's spring in the southern hemisphere! The first day of September is the first day of spring in Australia - memories of warm sunny days and cooling breezes in Sydney. We're celebrating with a picture of a daffodil taken at our home in Maryland.
Spring in the tropics here in Fiji (and generally in the Tropics) enters with a whisper. We're really going to miss all those northern hemisphere plants and the dramatic changes with each season. The English might be known for their cottage gardens but the Americans know how to put on a real spring show with pots overflowing with a riot of colors, flowering trees aglow, and gardens bursting out with spring bulbs.
30,000. That's the number of hits on the Bristol Rose blog. Thanks for dropping in.
Sunday, 12 September 2010
|Daisie is doing some window shopping on Rodeo Drive, Hollywood.|
Huge thanks to Donna, Rick, Daniel and Leah for all their love and care of Daisie in Maryland.
She is now sharing the love with Dawn, Mike, Nora, Ian, and furry friends in California. Last seen, she was cruisin' Rodeo Drive, on the look out for Richard Gere. She really identifies with Julia in Pretty Woman.
Miss Daisie is a lucky girl!
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Monday, 6 September 2010
Day 4, Sat, Sept. 4, 2010
Tonga is a special place, like no other. Tonga might be one of the poorest countries in the Pacific, but Tonga has captured time. "Where time begins", "where time stands still", whatever. Tonga is the first country to welcome in the new day each dawn. Despite the fact that Tonga is geographically in the western hemisphere (east of longitude 180 degrees), the country was successful in lobbying to have the International Dateline moved so Tonga would coincide with the same day as Fiji, hence Tonga has the unique time of UTC plus 13 hours. Confused? More on this some other time.
Tonga is a Kingdom, a country of beautiful islands, a sanctuary for whales, a place where the friendly and charming locals, men and women, wear woven "mats" around their middles as a mark of respect for their royalty. The churches are grand, the singing sublime and the restaurants excellent. You might think you've seen blowholes. The coastline of the largest island Tongatapu, breathes like a herd of dragons as blowholes blast forth their awesome watery mist.
I don't know where you'd find the greatest ocean depth but the Tonga Trench seems ridiculously deep. At its deepest it's more than 10,000 meters; about twice as deep as the Rocky Mountains are high. If you dropped a stone overboard I wonder how long it would take to touch bottom? If whales frolic in the shallows around the islands, what kind of beasties live at those crazy depths in the Tongan Trench?
If you're a cruiser and you've dreamed of finding your own uninhabited tropical island with no other boat to clutter your anchorage, the Ha'apai Group of Tonga is the place to realize your dream. In fact you could probably pick up your own island there for a cool US$6 million, as advertised for Kelefesia. Even if you're tempted, you might want to ask how a purchase can work in a country where the land is owned by the nobles and leased to the commoners. You'd want a long lease for that kind of money but then you couldn't be described as a regular commoner if you're in that league.
For all its magnificence, there is a downside to this paradise if you like your water to taste like, nothing, I suppose. Tongan water has a taste and a colour (brown) and it does not work well in the morning coffee. For only the second time in our two years of cruising we had to buy bottled water to drink. The other time was in the Galapagos. By the way, local Tongan coffee called Tupu'anga, meaning grow from your roots, is very good!
Surely the good people of Tonga deserve better drinking water, to start the day off right.
Friday, 3 September 2010
Day 3, Friday, Sept 3rd, 2010. Tonga to Fiji
Today is slow going but at least the sun is shining and the temperature is a little warmer. We left Nuku'alofa on Wednesday around 2.30pm and had cold, cold rain for the next 12 hours. Had to bring out the foul weather gear, first time since the USA in Nov/Dec 2008. Winter has just officially ended in the Southern Hemisphere.
We bid a sad farewell to Tonga before setting out on our 420nm passage to Fiji. We spent longer in Tonga than we had planned, because we enjoyed the country so much. Owen and Elliot did their PADI diving certification while there and even got to swim with a whale and her calf.
Tonga is one of those forks in the road for cruisers crossing the Pacific. Many will head south to New Zealand for the summer, others head further west to Australia. We bid farewell to Anthem, Dignity, Inspiration Lady, Jackster, Albatross III, Lilith, MaaMalni and so many others. We do hope to see them all in Australia next year.
We continue to make new friends, that's what cruising is about, hellos and goodbyes and sharing experiences in between with some amazing people. Like John on Sea Angel who we met in Niue, headed for his home in New Zealand. We hope to see him and Maria and the crew again. Whiskers, Fine Gold, InnforaPenny II, Salacia, Toroa III, Joule, Zenitude and Delacado are all headed for Australia so we might catch up with them in Fiji.
Will we see those Bubbles Boys in Fiji? Not sure but we hope so. The Bubbles crew has made cruising the Pacific more than a laugh and a half - oh, to be young and carefree.