Cruise 2017 Adventure

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May 18th, 2020
Fred Flintstone
One of the symptoms of Corona is that the supply chain for spares has been effected. One of the cutting deck wheels on my mower gave up the ghost and with the grass growing like mad I needed a solution. Thoughts of good old Fred Flintstone inspired this oak wheel which looks like it will last forever.
May 18th, 2020
Blue Bells
Its amazing to think that we have been back in Cornwall for seven weeks for it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. This is partly due to the fact that we have been working away at a job list that has been neglected due to being away sailing. Everything from clearing tree's overhanging the lane to replacing the guttering on the barn has been signed off.

There's still lots more to do so there is no chance of time dragging. One of the jobs has been to strim the paths in the woods and as you can see the blue bells are drifting along nicely. We planted 500 English Blue Bells all over the woods in random groups of five bulbs and its this year that they seem to have come into their own. The hope is that they continue to drift into large areas for we love them.
April 3rd, 2020
April 1st, 2020
April 1st, 2020
Apologies for the delay in updating the blog but it has been a mad period of dawn to dusk effort to stay ahead of the coronavirus curve.

Pleased to report that prior to sitting down to write this I lit the fire and made Tracey a well-earned morning cuppa in bed. Yes, we made it to Cornwall, just, and we are so pleased to have done so for if there is anywhere to sit out this viral chaos its in our isolated woods. We are close to family and with spring in the air there is lots of life and plenty to keep us occupied. Its also nice, after eight months on the water, to be in one place. Life is all about change and in this instance, change for us is to be rooted for a bit.

From Georgetown we pushed hard for Chesapeake going offshore when the wind was favorable and diving into the ICW when it fought us. As we clawed our way north so the temperature dropped and we found ourselves in full thermals, hats, gloves and very grateful for Pearls wonderful heating system when we retired below for the night.

The day before passing through Norfolk we felt confident enough to book our flights and chose to go with BA, our national carrier, thinking that with the governments encouragement they are more likely to remain in service. Looking at the pattern of cancelations it seemed that they were favoring Wednesday and Saturday night flights and plumbed Saturday.

After some epic days we arrived in Herrington Harbour North Marina on Tuesday and slept like the dead until 05.00hrs. Our regimen was to get as many hours work on Pearl as we possibly could before our flight. Looking for weak links in our tenuous chain home we booked a hire car on Wednesday so as to maintain autonomy. The hire car company shut down two hours after I picked it up! We bought gels, foraged for masks and went into our winterizing routine for Pearl; Full engine service, pickled the water-maker, stripped the headsails and give her a three day deep clean to the point of being able to eat out of the bilges.

With things going into lockdown we left early for the airport to find the roads empty. Five hours early and the check in lady said good move for the flight was well over sold. As we waited in the departure lounge State borders were starting to close. I cashed in some air miles and upgraded to Premier Economy so we had a double seat with no one beside us. The flight was empty, food came in a bag, no alcohol. As we echoed our way through empty airports we reflected that the risk of infection was minimal, less than shopping for food in the supermarket.

A hire car to Cornwall kept us out of London, we stripped, changed and popped our flight clothes into a bin bag before wiping down the car and climbing in. It felt akin to NBC training during my time in the Royal Marines. Eliot and a good friend had bought a weeks worth of food each and so we were able to shut the gate to our woods and are now hunkered down to run the clock out and see if we have caught the virus.

An email has just popped up as I write to say that Pearl was lifted yesterday morning - at lunchtime the Governor put Maryland into full lockdown. The final piece of the jigsaw is placed just as the wave breaks. We're so glad we managed to ride it all the way home as one by one the lights turned out in our wake.
April 1st, 2020
Viral protection
March 18th, 2020
On the move
Talk about a close call - I was handing my boarding card in at the gate for another job in Finland when my mobile buzzed with DON'T GET ON THE PLANE WE HAVE CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. You should have seen the ladies face when I looked down the gangway, handed her the card and said Im afraid Im not getting on. Fortunately only ever travel with hand baggage so that side of things was easy. What was an oddity is that the US has its border in the airport so I had officially left the country and needed to re-enter. It all worked out in the end and I returned to the boat after three hours away!

Finding ourselves free agents and feeling that we had now done the Bahamas we decided to head back to the US. This was partly driven by a feeling that borders could be closing as the wave of Corona roars around the world. In a mad five day/three night trip we arrived in Georgetown South Carolina. Good old Pearl did her usual thing by looking after us with a safe and comfortable ride. As we arrived we noticed a lot of engine vibration so we had a lift out to find that a big lump of rope was wrapped round the prop. I would normally dive on something like this but the water here is like mud so I would have been blind and I didn't fancy the threat of a big Alligator taking a bite.

To celebrate our passage and the fact that all was well with the prop we popped down to a local bar for a red. The lady further along the bar is watching the Governor live on TV closing all bars and restaurants. I like to think that it was a deep seated six sense that drew us out on the last night for what could be a long time.
March 18th, 2020
I needed to buy a new tip for my pole spear and just couldn't resist this Tshirt.
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