Wednesday, January 21, 2009


There really is nothing more beautiful or more perfect than any of God's creations, be it a sunset, a perfect wave, a magnificent valley or an awesome flower. Takes this orchid as a classic example. So beautiful and so perfect. Along the coastal highway we found some succulents in full bloom. Miles of them in fact amidst the palm and sea grapes on the dune fringe. We have escaped again for the weekend to southern Florida and Vero Beach. This winter is turning out to be the coldest in the last six years.

At Cocoa Beach we drove past the RON JON Emporium, what must surely be the world's largest Surf Shop together with original and modern "woodies" parked in front. the buildings run from right to left. It took two photos to give you an idea and the "woodies" don't even show in the pics.

Within two weeks the new owners of "SVEA" will arrive to begin their journey back to Southport, Queensland Australia. Let the adventures finally begin.
Double-click on the little picture of "SVEA" and you will see what a beautiful classic she really is.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The exquisite palm stem with the colored seed pods in the photo on the right is to give some contrast to the color co-ordinated "slick biker chick" on the left. Just look at the symmetry of the fuel tank with its duel filler caps.

When all the selected stuff and equipment was loaded onto ARITA we were pretty deep in the water, but with our delayed departure both of us have continued to add things without ever taking anything off. This situation needs urgent attention. As mentioned earlier in our postings, if anyone left the toilet pump in the open position it would fill the bowl to within an inch of the top (always assuming the boat sat level). Well, those days are well and truly gone. If the pump is now left in the open position the water level would be an inch over the top of the bowl. Now I know that an inch is not very much................but. We've been lucky so far.
O.K., so much for head etiquette

We are counting the days again to departure and continueing to do modifications and changes. In many ways our extended stay on board in the Marina has provided some advantages in coming to grips with the extended living on board. There are new ways of passing each other in the passage. Equipment has been extensively checked. The on-board generator has been changed out for a "wait-for-it"......a LIGHTER MODEL. New snorkel gear has been purchased. There is a new spot light on board. 17 million candlepower. When you stand it up on end it will do three eggs, sunny side up with bacon at the same time. The BBQ grill too has been tested for both fish and steak. Full marks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


The New Year is here. We saw the huge fireworks in SYDNEY on the little screen in the front cabin. Wow..... Shameful to say, but we spent New Year's eve snuggled up in bed watching a most awesome DVD on an "Underwater Journey through Papua New Guinea" by Joni Hildal. That's the videographic genius right there in the photo below. The lady on the right however, is Laurie, the "Queen of Florida" (as if you didn't know that by now). Yoga meditation is great in the morning in mid-winter. What a contrast of poses. Laurie, motionless and poised on the dock with the railway bridge, also poised and motionless in the background. All hell breaks lose when a mile-long train comes rumbling through heralded first by this archealogical monstrocity slowly coming down. We are used to the noise now that we have turned the boat around and facing away from the railway.

We have been fortunate to see the fireworks in Jacksonville many times on New Year's Eve, so that we really didn't miss it one bit and certainly no-one in Florida has the right to complain about the cold, not when you see the tons of snow and blizzard conditions throughout the rest of the country, even though some of the tropical flowers are a little the worse for wear.

Joni and Ken in the photo below, have an incredible 50ft Catamaran, a showstopper fully fitted out for extended cruising and diving and are heading through the Caribbean to the Pacific. It was invigorating to spend time with them during the week at Ponce Inlet, not only in hearing their wonderful stories of a life well lived, but in planning to make our cruise so much more rewarding. While in Bali (Indonesia) they had some door portals carved in teak. Art beyond art. These handcrafted pieces have to be seen to be believed. Be our guest and double-click on them. Their catamaran's name is "Dancing Walrus" the centrepiece above the door. The mermaid is an extra for good measure. Ken and Joni are two delightful people on the water. They are impressive in their vision, their practical approach towards cruising and in their choices about what really matters in life.

KEN and JONI on DANCING WALRUS at Ponce Inlet, Florida. One of the few inlets without bridges. Their mast height prevents them from entering in many other areas of inland Florida or the Intracoastal waterway.

The chess set and inlaid carved table also has to be seen to be believed. Each piece is an exquisite masterpiece. Collectors items. Playing with pieces like that would lead you to lose all concentration on the game, just in seeing the artistry of the carving. We are looking forward to crossing tracks with them again real soon.