All tagged Travel

Reflections and random thoughts...

V has raised a number questions about the voyage and the ship and I have received other questions from readers and friends; I plan to do a post in the next couple of days to try and answer as many of these as I can. In the meantime I thought I’d jot down some of the interesting incidents/experiences of the last couple of weeks.

Flying fish really do fly or at least glide. I’m sure everyone already knows this but it was truly facinating and amazing to see them actually do it…

Arriving in the Azores!

When last heard from, we were approaching the Azores but unsure, with wind and weather, when we would arrive. The seas had been relatively calm and the winds, while helpful, were somewhat low so that it did not appear as if we would get to Porta Delga in the Azores until sometime on Saturday, 3 days later than our scheduled arrival. I called V on my satellite phone to let her know and promised to get back in touch if there was a change.

Later that Wednesday afternoon, 16 days out of Bermuda, the winds picked up, the swells grew…

At sea - Week 2

Week 2 was considerably easier than week 1. During the first week we had reduced sail as the winds increased, removing the top sails, taking down the outer jib which was putting an immense strain on the masts and rigging and reefing the main and fore sails. Even so we were sometimes making 8-9 knots and in the first 4 days we covered 650 nautical miles. Had the winds continued and had they been pushing us in the right direction we could have made the crossing in 12 days instead of the 18 days that it eventually took.

After our first week of sailing the winds dropped significantly over the course of one night…

Trinidad

We arrived in Tobago a couple of days ago, Dec 29, after a few days in Port of Spain. We have spent lots of time and trips in Barbados over the years, as this is where my mother’s family live and where I grew up and went to school, boarding at Lodge School until we left for Canada. However I was born in Trinidad, the home of my father’s family, but left at a very early age when my parents, following the war (WW II), moved to Barbados my mother’s birthplace from Trinidad, my father’s birthplace.

While I always hear the siren call of Barbados, I felt that we were long overdue to rebuild the connections to my Trinidad family...

Have begun the process of planning a trip to Namibia and beyond next September/October. Very early to start I know but want to fly on points and Aeroplan Business Class points bookings, even this far in advance, are scarce and require convoluted itineraries.

I have a ton of points that I want to burn and then will never bother with Aeroplan again. Reasons why to follow in another post when I'm feeling appropriately cranky.

Last night I was idly reading a NY Times Sunday magazine, one of a stack that had piled up when we were in France, and came across the following article by Helen Macdonald. I'm quoting it in its entirety as I was strongly caught by its message and I really wanted to share it.....

Ethiopia - Day 1 Addis

Today was an utterly wasted day. V joins me tomorrow and things will start to get back to travel normal. V and I are on different schedules partly because I had a credit with Air Canada for a trip that I had cancelled some time ago and that needed to be used within a year or be lost. I made my flight bookings with Air Canada and the only flight combination that worked for me was the flight that I described yesterday. As an aside don't ever make the mistake that I did and book flights with an airline who books all the flight itineraries on other airlines. My ticketing carrier is AC but my flights were with Lufthansa going out and will be with Air Brussels returning. When you need to talk with someone or make any changes AC and the other airline point at each other, wink, and say, Not my problem. You need to be a certified hostage negotiator in order to make any adjustments or get current information....[Continue Reading]

Ethiopia in transit

Long, long day. Lufthansa to Frankfurt in Business and then a flight to Addis with a stop in Khartoum en route, also Lufthansa Business. In the 24 hours leading up to departure I had my usual fit of nostalgia and early homesickness. Weird but I guess it's good to get it out of the way early so that it doesn't actually get in the way while on the road. Nevertheless it is inevitable, no matter how many times I travel, that I always get homesick before I leave. Once underway all is good, but the preliminary pre-departure mood always includes a significant component of early homesickness, nostalgia for my cats and a deep sense of wonder about quite why I'm doing this. I find that as I'm getting older this mood comes earlier and is more intense; I suppose that the logical extension is that one day I may just say, enough, I'd rather stay home with the cats and rip up the tickets. Mood always passes but.....