We’re having a BLAST!

How cute is this little guy?

How cute is this little guy?

Oh captain my captain.

Oh captain my captain.

Our friends the Edges

Our friends the Edges

Flowers along the Canal du Midi

Flowers along the Canal du Midi

Deux petit chat

Deux petit chat

Early morning strategy meeting

Early morning strategy meeting

Happy cruisers

Happy cruisers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful birdlife

Beautiful birdlife

Flamingos!

Flamingos!

Ah, this is the life.

Ah, this is the life.

Canal Cruising-23

The year that was … 2015

Opua, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand

We enjoyed having a full season in one place this year; hardly got more than 50 miles from Musket Cove, Fiji, the whole season and had a wonderful time with family and friends visiting and yachtie friends too.  

We are loving being back in cool and beautiful New Zealand (for a month now).  We haul the boat in February and leave him on the hard while we head north to Alaska for the Iditarod and family and friends and then the Pacific NW to visit family and friends there too, and see if the right piece of property calls to us for when we’re through cruising the South Pacific.  After some US touring we’re headed for France to cruise the more confined waters of the Canal du Midi; will be nice to not be concerned with weather or any of the other things that cruisers are; just “where shall we dine” and enjoy the wine and countryside.  After that back to NZ and then??

Below are some photos of our 2015.  May 2016 find you healthy, happy, prosperous and experiencing love, every day!

Cheers!

Richard & Fran

Fiji, Flowers, Friends and Fun!

We’ve been in Fiji about four months now.  We’ve had a visit from Fran’s sister Elizabeth and a friend from Alaska, Eileen!  Next week our Kiwi friends the MacMillan’s join us for fun in the sun….Can’t wait!

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RED sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful Orchids

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Snorkeling at the sand bar with my favorite puffer fish

Post Zipline Fun

Post Zipline Fun

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Parrot Fish

Orchid Garden 2

Orchid Garden

Orchid Garden

Actor Raymond Burr’s Orchid Garden….lovely.

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Finding Nemo, again and again.

Liz Island Bar

Liz at the Island Bar, Musket Cove

Liz & Fran Port D

Fran & Liz in Port Denarau at the Rhum Ba!

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So many pretty fish

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RED’s a SAILboat! Who knew? ‘Competing’ in the Around Malolo race during the Regatta.

F&R

Happy faces

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Dining at Dick’s Place, Musket Cove

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‘Competing’ in the Musket Cove Coconut Olympics, Regatta week.

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At Cloud9 with our good friends from the good ship Iolea

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Even the bugs are beautiful here in Fiji

 

 

 

 

Fran & Richard’s Grand Tour

Port Denarau Marina, Viti Levu, Fiji

July 5, 2015

Posted by: Fran

Happy Independence Day!   We celebrated by considering reading the Declaration of Independence over lunch on Fran’s phone, but because of the lack of reading glasses, decided to wait and read from the hardcopy version we have here on the boat.  Oh, yes, we do.

RED’s red hull was polished, so he was in fine spirits for the day.  And we had a lovely dinner at the Rhum-ba, while I can’t recommend the oysters, I can highly recommend the service.  Seems while sitting at the table, at the edge of the deck, one of my shoes went for a swim…  Not a big deal as they aren’t comfortable anyway, and it’s not a long walk home.  However, our server John tracked the shoe on the outgoing tide as it made its way to the fuel dock, where he valiantly rescued the flipping flop.  He then dried it and brought it to me at the table!  I’m NOT kidding!  How cool was that?

The Grand Tour:

We left RED ‘on the hard’ in Whangarei (pronounced Fang a ray) in late February.  We flew in to LAX and spent a night with a good friend there, then went up to Alaska for the Iditarod (see our earlier posts).  From there, we spent a couple of weeks in Oregon, celebrating “Kelly Week” (3 birthday’s, 2 anniversaries, Spring equinox, St. Paddy’s day, etc.)  That was a great, though fuzzy time.

Now, on to our trip to the East Coast part of the trip:

Our East Coast tour began by flying in to South Carolina.  We then drove to Asheville, North Carolina and had a great visit with really great friends.

Greenville/Spartanburg South Carolina airport has ROCKING CHAIRS!

Greenville/Spartanburg South Carolina airport has ROCKING CHAIRS!

We then drove (part of) The Blue Ridge Parkway up to visit my brother Michael in Virginia.

Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge

Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge

Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway

After a quick overnight there, we stayed with long-time friends just outside of Washington, DC.  It was so nice to be together again after many years – and it was like no time had passed.  We went into Washington each day on the Metro and toured until we couldn’t tour no more.  (We each had spent considerable time in Washington, but not together, so it was fun to show each other our favorite places.)

The National Art Gallery is where I saw my first, in person, Impressionist paintings.  Monet, Cezanne, Degas, Matisse and others.  How did I let myself get to this age without seeing those in person??  What a lovely day.

National Art Gallery

National Gallery of Art

 

DC Architecture

Inside the National Gallery of Art

Inside the National Gallery of Art

Inside the National Gallery of Art

Inside the National Gallery of Art

An unexpected treat while touring Washington, DC was spending the day with my brother Michael, and niece, Michelle.  Michelle was just finishing her Master’s degree at Washington University, and acted as gracious tour guide for the rest of us.  (BTW, expect to see her opening as lead soprano at the Metropolitan Opera soon!)

The tour group

The tour group

Burghers of Calais by Rodin, one of Richard's favorites.

Burghers of Calais by Rodin, one of Richard’s favorites.

DC License Plate - yup, that's what it says.

DC License Plate – yup, that’s what it says.

Richard and the Wright Brothers

Richard and the Wright Brothers

Julia Kitchen

Julia’s Kitchen

Richard's favorite: Apollo Soyuz.

Richard’s favorite: Apollo Soyuz.

A fascinating joint project between the US and the Soviet Union in 1975 (yup, it was still very ‘Cold’ at that time).  Read about Apollo Soyuz Test Project here.

We did a little jewelry shopping in DC.  Though this is quite nice, it's a little too 'much' for us ;-)  Hope Diamond

We did a little jewelry shopping in DC.  Though this is quite nice, it’s a little too ‘much’ for us 😉  Hope Diamond

 

Eventually we headed back to Oregon to prepare for our flight to RED in New Zealand.  We had a 12 hour layover in Detroit….fortunately, the airport has been updated and is no longer the ‘worst airport in the US’, as it was when I was living in Detroit, and flying regularly…  We enjoyed a day room at the hotel and chilled, though we did make time for a Coney Dog (at my brother Joe’s prompting – thanks Doh!)

Coney Dog in Detroit!  Mm, mmm, GREAT!

Coney Dog in Detroit! Mm, mmm, GREAT!

We left Washington on the “Vermonter” a very civilized Amtrak train that gave us about 12 hours to relax as we saw many states on our way north.  After the whirlwind touring and visiting we’d done, 12 hours with no responsibilities, and a bar car mere steps away was a treat.

View from the Vermonter.  Train from Washington, DC, to Essex Junction, Vermont

View from the Vermonter. Train from Washington, DC, to Essex Junction, Vermont

We reached Northern Vermont in a blizzard!  But it was beautiful.  We celebrated Ginger’s birthday with she and Wes (Daughter, Grandson).  Then had a blast watching Wes perform in a school play, written, acted and directed by the kids, most of whom are in the 14 year old range.  They did an amazing job and we laughed all the way through.

Now we’re back on RED, have snorkeled and kayaked some and are now preparing to head out to the Yasawa’s, the beautiful chain of islands on Fiji’s west side.  More soon!

 

 

Iditarod time – Alaska!

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In February and March, we were in Alaska with some of our Kiwi friends for the Iditarod!  What fun showing our friends around ‘our’ Alaska.  We all did some volunteer work for the race and generally went to the dogs…

Our visit with family and friends in Alaska was a real treat – love and miss you guys!