Married!

Marjorie and I tied the knot in Palavas-Les-Flots, France.
Loads of great food, fabby friends that flew in from all over the world.
Everything was just so sensational!

Selfy with the Mayor of Palavas
We were married by the Mayor of Palavas-Les-Flots in an amazing ceremony full of laughs and good cheer. Marjories Dad, Serge, on the left talking to the Mayor while I hang onto my new wife and take a selfy at the same time. Multi tasking!

The Mayor gave us lots of presents! A book of Palavassian cooking YUM!; A medal, commemorative plate and coffee cups. Such wonderful thoughts.
Crikey!! All the good food when you organise your own wedding! including Marjories favourite pate.

My sister, Deb, came from Australia!

Lynn and Emily (R) came from London to keep us laughing

Yikes! We’re getting Married!

Crikey! It’s been so long that you probably thought we were lost at sea in the Atlantic. Updating can be a pain in the butt so today I’m learning to do it from my phone.

Marjorie & I are in France checking out the farm/stable/castle. She keeps asking what I want for the wedding reception. I say “Beer”. How can this be an inappropriate response?

“Should we have candles here?” “Beer”

Heading for the Caribbean today!!

Sailing out of Cherbourg, France, to St Martin in the Caribbean. A trip of about 4,000 nautical miles / 8,000 kilometres.
Its an interesting navigation exercise for Marjorie and me … and about 35 days of enforced togetherness. And fishing.

You can watch us trickle accross the ocean… see the links below.
Here is a guestimate of the course:

From Cherbourg we head South keeping a long distance off Carbo Finisterre as it gets stormy in a wind compression zone. Then continue on the blue line or the red line. The Yellow line is the southern edge of the light winds and SW storms so we will stay south of that. Then its onwards to the Caribbean! If we are lucky the wind will be good on the course we want, otherwise we need to go further south… that makes the trip a bit longer, but the fishing better! πŸ™‚

If you want to see where we are right now:


SV_SeaLife (predictwind.com)


or

Trip: Sea Life (spotwalla.com)

Mark πŸ™‚ and Marjorie πŸ™‚

Not me up there!!

Sea Life is undergoing a month of work getting ready for our 4,000 nautical mile (8,000 kilometres!) passage from Cherbourg, France to the Caribbean.
OK, I’ll admit it: I don’t like heights!! So we sent a rigger up the mast to do a full check of all the rigging, halyards, blocks etc and to install 2 new halyards (ropes up the mast to raise sails).

I enjoy watching from below! πŸ™‚

Mark

2014 Caribbean

Current Location: St Martin, The Caribbean

Hold STILL! Nothing ever listens to me! I have decided I need some great Hummingbird photos… but needs, wants and ability are crashing and buring here.

This is a Green Throated Carib. I will go for a better photo over the next few days.

This is a Antillean Crested Hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus). OK, I am not absolutly sure… Email me if you know, please.

The Hike from Hell

I don’t remember whose stupid idea it was to trek the mountain tops that make the spine of St Maarten and St Martin. Even if it was me I don’t feel totally responsible for what happened…

Looking like that well known tribe from lowest is Richard and Jennifer for “Our Rose”; Belinda “Free Spirit”; Lindsey of “Pegusus of London”; and moi. This is just the start.

Hmmm

Some of the survivors enjoying the views: Richard and Jennifer. Note behind then the cliffs are shear down to Grand Marche on the Phillipsburg side.

The Lagoon is foreground, Isle de Sol to the left, Simpson Bay in the background.

Jean off “Free Spirit” has to throw caution to the wind and jump to Richard.

Isle Forchue, The Caribbean

Isle Forchue is an island off St Barts thats uninhabited. Even the goats gave it up as too steep. So we climbed all the peaks!

Jean off “Free Spirit” offers me some advice on mountin’ goatin’.

Having ascended through the clouds I am lucky that Belinda is a doctor and can give me CPR.

New Years Eve

2014 started in St Barts. Now this is a seriously interesting place for New Years Eve. Serious ‘people watching’. The worlds billionaires flock in with the movie star friends… and the girls that want to hook up with either. Pity I forgot my camera!

This is a screen shot of the AIS showing some of the biggest Superyachts in the world all trying to park near Sea Life.

2013 The Caribbean

2013 – The Caribbean

Current Location: Grenada, The Caribbean

Grenada Carnival!

A full week of the most exciting, colourful and weird parades throughout Grenada. Many center on the Carinage in St Georges.

J’Ouvert starts before dawn and it the weirdest parade I have seen in the world. Holding fish in their teeth, dragging chains and covered in old oil its spooky seeing them trudge through the remnants of the night. And whats with the horns?

The colour is what we all expect!

The Lion Fish, an introduced pest, is taking over but the fishermen treat it with a respect. https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88182796&show_artwork=true

Maclain Christie from The Great Outloud interviews me about my sailing.

Fire Destroys Boat “Uisge Beatha” in Grenada June 14 2013.

A hundred meters from Sea Life a beautiful new 80 foot Jongert built Aluminum boat “Uisge Beatha” caught fire before dawn 14th June.

May 2013, The Caribbean

Nat wishes Sea Life goodbye in Martinique.

Fort De France, Martinique is a stunning small historic town surrounded by a much more modern city. The anchorage is bliss at sunset.

May 2013 in Deshaies, Guadeloupe sees a very strange yacht race with traditional boats. Theres a fleet of 40, all immaculately maintained, sailing most Sundays.

Nat did give Ali a hair cut before Ali could head to London. One doesn’t want Aussie performers looking like wooly sheep in Piccadilly!

St Johns is not on the cruisers path, so we had the town and the anchorage to ourselves. Its so pretty, and the people so friendly. Mind you when we saw this band appear from nowhere I was reminded of James Bonds Dr No.

Ali flew out of St Johns, Antigua, but we tried to get her to have this manicure first.

The anchorage at Colombeir, St Barths. You may have heard that St Barths is pretty pricey. Well, its free to anchor here! But dont even think about getting off the boat without a stuffed wallet! St Barths is lovely, really pretty, and only about 25% more expensive than St Martin, but without local busses travel around the island is a killer. We had a friend of Nat’s, Chrystal, to drive us around.

Well, its only a small island how could anyone get lost? Fourchue has piles of cairns for those who can’t make the trek up the hill. Kinda the king of the castle for the vertically challenged.

Between St Martin and St Barths is a small islands Isle Fourchue. Nat looks at the boat whilst taking a breath after a pretty steep climb to the summit overlooking the bay.

April 2013 looks a great month! Nat (Natalia) and Ali (Allison) both independently took six months to arrange their visit to Sea Life… and ended up arriving on the same day! So we started at the St Martin Yacht Club, of course.

Matt and Kate have dumped the boat and bought on Terra Firma. Not a bad view over Simpson Bay, St Martin!

2013 started in Key West, USA with a 13 day upwind, up current passage to St Martin in the Caribbean. A long and difficult passage by Sea Life handled it well!

2012 Bahamas to New York

United States of America!

2012 started in St Martin in the Caribbean. Sea Life had a safe voyage through the Bahamas to the USA and up to New York City.

She is much better to see from the deck of your own boat after a week long voyage!

Lots of people drop in when you’re in New York. Ali from Sydney bumped into Catherine working in NY and bumped into Megan so they all decided to bump into Sea Life!

Off Cape Hatteras

I have never seen more dolphins than in the area Cape Hatteras to New York. Most amazing is when they first see you… they may be patrolling looking for fish and then one jumps and sees the boat and then turns directly towards you calling the others and the RUSH towards the boat!

Bahamas

Shroud Cay, the Exumas, Bahamas. When the wind don’t blow and the ship don’t go, at least you can tell if there’s a shark about to bite ya toes.

Georgetown, the Exumas, Bahamas. How do the cruisers wile away a winter?

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