Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hi everyone - we are leaving Catalina Island today after waiting for some nasty weather to pass. Today is the day! Catalina is a nice place, a little quirky but nice. I found a couple of Bison to play with and a Rattle snake! I have taken photos and will spend some in Hawaii loading them on when we have some spare time. We are all well and eagerly awaiting sailing out through the heads of the harbour.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hi all we are just about to pull out of Dana Point marina - probably as this uploads. We have maybe a six hour sail to Catalina island were we will spend a day and night before we head of in to the big blue yonder. I am really looking forward to heading off as this part of the trip has taken longer than expected! We have met some really nice people here in Dana Point and I wouldn't mind returning one day. America was pleasantly nicer than I imagined it would be, even though they drive one the wrong side of the road in the wrong side of their cars! Hopefully we will have a chance to message before we leave Catalina but we will see - it may be a long time before we can update you all so 'wait out'.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fat Tuesday Party

We went to a party at the yacht club on Tuesday night. The party was for Fat Tuesday, which sounds bad but when I asked what that meant one of the club members asked me if I knew what Mardi Gras was. I replied that I did know, it was when all the homosexuals get dressed up and go out onto the street for a parade to celebrate their sexuality (like in Sydney). He and his wife looked a bit shocked and asked if I knew about lent and explained Fat Tuesday is the last night before lent and was an opportunity to have one last party before you give up the vice of your choice! Trust me to be the un-educated bozo who got that wrong. I bet that guy won't forget me - ever!

Bottles of alcohol are very cheap here and as a result, huge! The photo above is of me attempting, in my jet lagged state, to pour a cup of mojito with out spilling it. This bottle cost about $20US. We have brought some Tanqueray gin in a 1.75L bottle for $30US which is absolutely unheard of at home.

These photos are of us at the party. We became true celebrities and the party continued a our table long after everyone else had left. They all asked heaps of questions about our trip and our home. The marina is quite a well to do area and most people here have been to Australia at some time of their lives. They all love to share their experiences. Some people have said they love Tasmania so much that "When we are done with America, we wanna move there"(broad American drawl).
To get to the party we rowed across the marina in the dinghy (or dingy as American's say). On that note, Bruce went to get some fishing bits today and asked for some gear to get catch tuna. he guy looked at him blankly but with a smile, so I said 'toonah' and then he knew straight away what we meant! We are having some really weird moments like that. People here are very weird about the word toilet. If you ask where the toilet is they quickly say 'Oh, the restrooms/bathrooms are over there and look at us like we just said something rude. I drank some really nice cider in San Francisco made from pears. We have been trying to find it ever since, but for some reason no-one can understand what we are saying. It is so bad we have to write it down! As a result I may never taste it again - sad.

We met some lovely people at the party and they all said they would pray for us while we are away. That is normal to say here - it does not mean they think anything bad will happen........ I think! Dinner at the party included Claw fish. Which are like tiny crayfish and very yummy. We did comment hey would want to taste nice becouse they are very fiddly to open. We also sampled gumbo which I quite liked.

We a going to move to Catalina Island tomorrow. We are not officially starting our trip then because it is bad luck to start a sailing trip on a Friday but we have said if it were Australian time it would be Saturday anyway. We are unsure if phones or internet will work there so this may be it for a while. We will still write but can't put it on the net till Hawaii. We hope our journey is enjoyable and we have lots of exciting stories for you at the other end. Thanks for reading and for sending us your messages. We get very excited when we hear from you! So long for now........ sorry, that was very American!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This should be the spot tracker that is on the boat. All is good things are going a little slower than expected but I will keep you up to date ... did i mention earlier that some guy in a 'gas station' asked me if I was German!! The squid they catch here grow up to 60lbs. I am going to try and catch one later!

Monday, February 15, 2010

San Francisco

Bruce and I are leaving San Francisco this morning after 4 lovely days here. We acheived quite a lot in this short time but the city is very organised to allow this type of trip. We purchased a 3 day pass for what we thought was just the cable car but it ended up being for all forms of transport! We have done heaps of walking and we hired bikes the day we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first trip on the cable cars was eventful with the car we were needed to perform an emergency stop to avoid plowing into the side of a car that had not given way. One passenger smashed his head onto the glass window of the cabin and it crazed in a head shape pattern. Other passengers were thrown forward but no one was really hurt thank goodness! We transferred onto another cable car and promptly came across a car being towed blocking the road with lots of petrol (or gas) spilling all over the road. This nearly caused a second emergency stop. We gave the cable cars a rest for that day! On a less dramatic note there is a photo attached of the view from the cable car).

During our walks around the city we came across what Bruce likes to refer to as 'Gang Banger Land'. This was a bit freaky for me with more people vomiting in the street than I have ever seen- even in hospital! Lots of dodgy stuff happening there with the constant smell of weed in the air.

As I said, we hired bikes to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. People from here surf just under the city side of the bridge. It is very close to the rocks on the shore and a bit dangerous if you ask me! We got some good shots of the bridge and us on the bridge. We also got very saddle sore bottoms but it was all worth it. (see photos below)

We went to dinner at Fisherman's Wharf and had a big feed of yummy crab which just tastes superb! On the way there we saw this amazing guy doing art work with spray cans. He took just 10 minutes to complete each piece but the results were very sectacular. We have a video of him at work. I will see if it will fit to show you. Very impressive to watch.

Yesterday we ferried to Alcatraz on the island in the harbour. It was a very foggy morning and you could not even see he island before we arrived making it even more eerie. The day cleared later and we photographed the 'Crooked Street' Lombard Street and alked to the other side of town. We then caught the bus to Golden Gate park which is massive and must be where all the city goes at the weekend to find some space. Most houses here are appartments so no gardens. If you want to sit in the garden you go to the park. Nearly everyone here has a dog! They must be well trained to not pee until outside. No Noodle here but we have seen a couple of Jilly's.

We fly back to LAX this morning. Hope the plane is not too painful this time.

Here are the photos of this bit. Love to everyone. Hope you are all as happy as we are!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hi all - Claire and I started our journey to San Fransisco with a drive to L.A to return the rental car...no dramas there. We allowed ourselves about an hour and a half to get through air port screening, and nearly missed our flight! people were lined up out side the terminal waiting to get through the check points. we would have missed our flight but a guy cam out side and was asking everyone their departure times. He fast tracked us to a security check point and we made it. Once on the plane it waited an hour on the run way for clearance from San Fran airport. With an hour flight it was not to bad ... we were almost to the airport when the pilot informed us that air traffic control had put him in a holding pattern (doing big doughnuts) and we stayed there
for two and a half hours. We eventually landed and are have had a really good time here. San Fransisco is awesome! We rode across the Golden Gate bridge today which was a good way to see it - I am however a little 'saddle sore'.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hi all slide show failed - will try agian later so I have uploaded photo's from heaven (yes you can take a camera to heaven)
1. is a yellow fin lunch meal
2. Is kentuky alligator.
You can gues the rest!

OK today we adventured up to Ontario and then to Rancho Cucamonga - this is home to the single greatest shopping experience a man can have. I will show you what I mean check out the attached slide. I don't really know what to say I have been lost for words since about ten o'clock when I saw the beams of sunlight from heaven that showed the way to Bass Pro. In fact I was so excited as I passed through the gates of heaven .........

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hi all from the US of A! We made it in one piece even after our full body frisk in New Zealand, we weren't even wearing any woolen clothing. Stu and Kym picked us up at LAX and then Stu introduced us to highway driving 'gang banga' style.... not cool. The weirdest thing we discovered about it was looking into all the cars and seeing them being driven by the passenger! All the cars speed and crossing the road is nearly more scary than driving because cars come at you in all directions!
The marina where we are staying is massive. There are about 4000 yachts here. Some people live on their yachts but other people never take their yachts out on the water. They just use it to have drinks with their friends, "cocktails on the yacht"!
There are so many dogs here. Every day you see heaps of dogs being walked. Some even live on the yachts. There are nearly more pet shops than supermarkets.
Alcohol is so cheap here. Nearly cheaper than water! A 2 litre container of gin is $17! The bottles are so big they have grip holes in the sides so you can pick it up!
We ordered our wet weather gear today. It should arrive on Friday.
We hope to go to San Fransisco later in the week. Tomorrow Bruce and I are going to a big outdoor shop called Bass Pro. Look it up if you can. Bruce is going to get fishing gear and weapons ready for the trip. He will be in Bruce heaven!
Till next time xxx

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some of Claire's lovely work mates have conjured up what they believe to be 'future predictive photos' that I am sharing with you!
We have finished packing and the house is spic and span! I want to leave already .... I heard from Capt. Watson he informed me that he was yummying' down on some tasty burritos and slurping down long neck Coronas ($10 bucks for 12). All is well and he and Kym are having a good but busy time preping the yacht.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Instalment number two: 04 February 2010

Still in the preparatory stage - not liking the ship chandleries in Hobart or Telstra. However I will get over these dislikes no doubt, once the pilot hits the noise button when we are on the runway of Hobart’s airport.

I would like to say at this early stage I am excited at the prospect of discovering treasure on some small island in the middle of nowhere. Treasure you say …. I will have you know that treasure has uncanny knack of arriving in my hands. I have located a number of items worthy of the tag treasure my first discovery was located while scuba diving deep in a murky kelp forest ‘Tomb Raider’ style. I unearthed a very early beer bottle sounds mundane? It was in fact a stoneware bottle luckily the glazed label was still decipherable enabling the identification of the bottle as a Cascade Brewery’s Dandelion Ale bottle. I presented with the bottle to the Cascade Brewery museum to have it dated only to be told that it was so old that they didn’t keep records! Some research has suggested that it dates back to the early 1820s. So the discovery of treasure is not out of the question watch this space.

The first entry 04 February 2010

Well here we go! years of training and preparation are about to be put to the test, as the two intrepid adventurers Bruce (me) and Claire prepare to join captain Watson and his shiply side kick Kruger on the the Good ship 'Pelon'. Pelon is lying in Dana Point California USA, being fully prepped for the transcontinental crossing - USA to the island colony of Australia via lots of other little islands. (when I say years of training and preparation I mean ...... none)