Wednesday, April 5

Vacation_: Driving in St. John

I really liked this Picture because it says it all. Driving in the islands is all done on the left hand side of the road. The credit for this photo goes to Mark Pellitier. There is a link to his website in my links section and you should go check it out. I have his permission to use some of his photos from his St. John trip and over the next couple of months my posts will contain some of his shots as well as some of mine. In any case this post is supposed to be about driving in the Islands. A couple of weeks ago I told Billy that driving was on the left hand side of the road. He said that he would be interested in trying it out on a country road. Well Billy, they are all country roads. Speed limit in Cruz bay is 10 mph and on the island roads 20mph. People, dogs, cats, chickens, goats and cows have right of way. The roads are narrow and the surface can be rough. If you are driving keep the grass on your side. It is easy going up hill because the driver is next to the mountain. Coming down though the driver gets the view into the valley. There are not a lot of flat roads you are either going up or coming down. When you are going into a swichback beep the horn to let the car coming down know you are coming up . I asked Tim for his advise and he offered the following:

"Driving on the left has its challenges and can have a rather "steep" learning curve. Left lane navigation affords the driver the ability to easily determine where the edge of the road (term used lightly) ends and the beginning of the cliff starts. This is done by leaning a head out the driver side window and carefully maneuvering along the edge of the donkey path. For fun add on-coming traffic.

One of the hardest parts of the learning this new driving style is maintaining proper lanes while making turns at intersections. One of the fastest ways to overcome this hurdle is try and convince the local driver of a large, speeding truck that HE is in fact on the wrong side of the road.

The USVI government has done a good job posting signs in high tourist traffic areas: "Keep Left" is as good a reminder as any. Good Luck."

When Ellen & I were there we drove out the North Road. It goes along the beaches and is not particularly hilly as we remember. We stayed off Centerline road because it went down the center of the island. We wanted the water vistas rather than the mountain views. Looking at a topografical map our villa is up the hill, so we will get a lot of practice driving to and from the beaches. The navigators job alongwith keeping the driver going in the right direction is to keep him or her(we are going to need a woman driver to take the girls shopping) on the left side of the road.

Massachusetts drivers are going to feel right at home driving on St. John, there aren't any road signs. The roads have names but no signs to tell you which one you are on. Directions are given by the locals to turn at so & so's house or as another one of Mark's picture shows the.....

Thursday, March 30

Vacation_:St. John Here We Come

A view from Tim's house on St. Thomas Posted by Picasa

Well we have done it!!

We have booked "Paradise Revisited" for the first week of March 2007. If you visit my link section you can open the link and view the house that we are going to be spending 8 days in. The view above was taken from Tim's porch in St. Thomas looking west. Every morning that Tim got up and headed off to work he had to look out at this view. When he was there for 2 years he told me he had to leave- nothing to do, boring, no where to go. He really needed to leave. Now when we ask him about St. Thomas vs. Delray, he has only fond memories of his 2 years and now plots and plans to return. We will probably be going back before him, (although I have heard a rumor that Carol at Crowne Bay has put in a request for his return for brief period of time).

The weather was a little hazy when I took this shot and it would be easier if you enlarged the picture to see the islands.( click on it and it should pop up) Starting from the left- The dark island is Jos Van Dyke and the next large one in the haze is Tortola. Both in the BVI's, (British Virgin Islands). In the haze on the very right is St. John. The nice blue water just below us is Magen's Bay. If you look up on the hills above Magen's , where the houses are and then to the little hills beyond them,( still a part of St. Thomas and then look a little to the left you will see 2 small islands one of which is Congo Cay a really great snorkleing spot. The other island is Lovengo. Local history has it that this island originally had a brothel on it and that is where the name came from- Love N Go.

If we rent a boat, we will go to Congo Cay, Jost van Dyke, ( to clear customs entering BVI and have a Pain Killer at Foxy's), Sandy Cay, and the Indians for snorkeling. Although with over 30 beaches on St John, there may not be the need to leave the island.

Thursday, March 9

Home_:Florida Vacation

We are in Naples visiting Cis & David. The weather is warm and nice, couldn't be better. We had a good visit with Tim at the beginning of the week and will be heading back over to Delray on Saturday. We have added to our geocache finds and are now over 75. On Sunday we borrowed Tim's friend's boat and had a nice cruise down the ICW from Boynton to Delray. Lots of big houses. We understand that there is a lot of buying up of the small single story older houses and tearing them down to put up McMansions. One actually had a mountain with water slide going into the infinity pool. Castle towers and Spanish architecture dominate the designs. Tim did a little fishing on the way down but didn't catch anything. On the way home we saw a dolphin. Brian's 21 foot Mako is for sale and for $11,000 you can buy it. On Monday we had lunch with Ted in Delray at Boston's on A1A, right across from the beach. People viewing was really great, lots of nice cars and other things going up and down the road. Ted is doing well although he will be going in for surgery on his knee at the end of this month. He was in a car accident and his knee was damaged. We did not see Barbara who was having a bad day from her Chemo. She has a ways to go on this therapy but Ted says she is doing well and has lots of medical support. Later on Ellen went for a swim. It was the nicest day we had. Warm with hardly a breeze. Tuesday brought a strong wind out of the north and cooler tempertures. The weather is starting to warm up again and it will be up in the mid 80's for the weekend. Tim is going to take us people watching on South Beach on Saturday. Should be an interesting afternoon. So for the next couple of days we are Reading & Relaxing

When we drove over to Naples we went the Northern route so we could see the middle of Florida and Lake Okeechobee. It was like driving thru the plains flat, flat and more flat with a sprinkling of orange trees, lettuce and other crops and lots of cattle. Tim said that we would be able to see the lake for a good while, but the view was blocked by a large levee. It must have been at least 50 feet high and ran parallel to the road. We finally figured that we needed to pull into a park so we could drive over the levee to see the lake. In future visits, we will take Alligator alley which is a much shorter ride. Of course that view is swamp and more swamp.

Tuesday, February 28

Home_: Heading South

Well it is 7 degrees outside this morning . Second day in a row the temperature is in single digits and it has been 5 days of very cold, windy weather. We will be flying South on Friday to visit Tim and Cis & David in Naples. I have my geocaches all planned and we will be spending a good bit of time outside. It seems of late that we are doing more Geocaching in Florida than up here in Massachusetts. I hope to be able to post some pictures of our adventures after we get to Naples,( and a computer). So I would ask you all to check back in occasionally.

Last year, after watching Survivor, at our friends farm, we decided to drive to Providence. It had started to snow, so we thought that it would be better & safer to be at the airport for the night rather than chance the drive in the morning. It worked out well although the drive in the snowstorm was a bit hairy at times. I was glad we had new tires on the car. This year we will be going over to the farm to drop off Neilli and watch Survivor on Thursday night. The prediction for Thursday is Snow .

The prediction for this year is that the snow is going to stop by 7 pm and we have a later flight so we will stay home and drive in on Friday morning. Stay Warm

Tuesday, February 14

Weather_: After the Storm

6 inches-Certainly less than the 18 to 20 inches predicted. We had the wind. I saw reports at the Buzzards Bay bouy of winds in excess of 50 mph and seas running over 7 feet. The storm came in at low tide for us, which means that there wasn't much erosion. We don't get a lot of erosion in the Bay anyway. We had a minimal power outage and no basement flooding. For a comparison to the previous post the Triceretops nostrils are at 22". They are the yellow dots that show in both pictures if you look closely. It is sunny again today. Temperatures are supposed to be back up in the 50's tomorrow. Have a nice day.Posted by Picasa

Vacation_:Time to Head South

Feb. 12, 2006 storm. It's days like this that we dream of heading south. It would be nice to be in the sun, snorkleing in crystal clear water. We are heading south around the first of March but the waters in and around Delray Beach are not warm enough to go swimming. At least not for us. If you look closely at our boat you will notice the bottom paint is slowly dissappearing. A few more weekends and it should be all gone. For those that care I only work 1/2 hour per day. No great extended exertions. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11

Weather_: First snow

It's 11:30 pm and no snow so far. The temperature got up to 35 this afternoon and I was able to continue my half hour boat bottom scraping. Just about the whole bottom has been scraped. The wind is starting to pick up and the Buzzards Bay bouy is reporting gusts to 35 kts. The weather map does show precipitation approaching, so I would expect snow to start in our area in about an hour. The current predictions have increased to 18 to 24 inches of light fluffy snow. I moved my snow stick back to the nose of the Triceretops from the middle of the lawn so we will have a better comparison. Stay warm we will see you in the morning.

Weather_: Impending Snow Storm

The Snow Stick is out and awaiting the coming snow storm. We awoke this morning to clear blue skies with the sun up and shining. It is still sunny but the clouds are starting to come in. The prediction is for 10 to 14 inches tomorrow morning with 3 to 4 this evening. This is the first major snowstorm of 2006 and the weathermen are going to town with dire predictions for high wind and mucho snow. We are wondering how much hype this is and how much we are actually going to get.

I was hoping that the storm was going to track further to the East, but it does seem that it is coming closer. In which case we will get more snow. I have one of the kids down the street coming to dig us out. I do not want to worry anyone thinking that I will be out shoveling-may be the front step. If you would like a serious weather discussion of this storm and the weather for the rest of February check out . I did not have a measuring stick last year but you should be able to get an idea of the depth from looking at the triceretops. Click on the thumnail for a better view. I need to go out now and bring in some wood so we can stay warm during the power outage. Luckly the family room is being heated with a gas wood stove and is unaffected by the loss of electricity. Have a nice day.

Friday, February 10

Sailing_: Branwyn's first sail

Branwyn's first sail crossing Narragansett bay heading towad her new home in Marion. The credit for this photo goes to Paula Myers. We thank John & Paula for coming out to meet us as we headed for their dock in Tiverton. It took us 2 days to bring our new sailboat home. The most sailing we did was on the first day. The second day was all under power. We know that the engine works well. We had a good summer, overnighted at Tarpaulin Cove, Bassett's Island and Quisette Harbor. Lots of evening sails and the boat was hauled in early October and now sits in our front yard.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 27

Sailing_:Tien Ho at the mooring

Getting ready for a sail on a blustery day. This picture was taken a number of years ago when we were both younger and more nimble. The boat is now for sale as we have moved up to one with full standing headroom. We will get some pictures of the new boat up sometime. We had a lot of fun on Tien Ho-did some cruising and a lot of day sails in Buzzards Bay. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 26


Here we go on a new adventure. This is of course the anniversary of last years scare and I am happy to say that all is well this year and I am in good health.

On the homebrewing Front, last Monday I put up 54 bottles of Irish Cream Stout. It should be ready for St. Patrick's day. The initial tasting after fermentation, showed some chocolate overtures in a nice Black Stout. It should be one of my best brews. This was the second brewing in 2005. Timothy helped, gave me moral support, over Christmas.

I plan to use this site to discuss our latest adventures and post some pictures to go along with the words. I hope you come to visit often, your comments are always welcome as well as your suggestions. I have left the comment section open, although I do have some control on what is published. If you prefer that only I read your coments, please post that at the beginning of your coments as everyone else will be able to read.

The adventures for this year are:

Sean's & Nicole's wedding on August 5.

Travel Plans for 2007

Sailing adventures

Hiking & Geocaching adventures

That should be enough to get started