About My Logs

January 30, 2014 in Blogs, Uncategorized

About My Logs

 I began to write these logs to keep friends and family in touch with us and Veleda IV as we continued our cruising lifestyle. As more people began to read them, I realized that this was a way to encourage readers to “Go ahead and live your dream”. Many people envy what we are doing, but do not pursue their dreams because of a variety of perceived obligations and limitations: We can’t afford it; We’ll miss our grandchildren; Our parents are getting older; I don’t know how to sail; etc. Most of these can be overcome or satisfactorily dealt with given a bit of honest evaluation: You don’t need a $100,000 boat! Living on board is cheaper than owning a house! You can come back and visit friends and family periodically, or have them visit you! You can learn to sail by taking courses and chartering boats for a few years. Get on with your life! Go for your dreams!

I am also writing nautical detail in my logs for those cruisers or would-be sailors who may wish to visit some of the areas mentioned in the logs. I give a bit of navigational information, including latitude and longitude of our anchorages and moorings, and our impressions of the locations. Being a history teacher, I am also interested in the historical and to some extent the political aspects of the countries visited. (Judy gets nervous with some of my political observations, especially in some of the less stable or more sensitive areas such as Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, the Ukraine, and even the U.S.) I try not to use excessively technical language, and attempt to explain some of the terms used, so that those who are not sailors can follow the adventure.

I write up my logs anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the events. We keep a running ship’s log that I use to refresh my memory of the sailing conditions we experienced, and refer to the various pilot books, travel guides (e.g. we use the Lonely Planet Guides for much local information) and Wikipedia, internet search engines and Google Maps for historical and geographical information. I write the logs, giving each a folio number for the region visited and an alphabetical designation for the specific time period or geographical area. For example Log #19c indicates folio  #19, which dealt with Spain; Log “c” described a situation in which we were almost dismasted in our trip from Barcelona to the Balearic Islands.

I indicate at the top of each log the Log #, the date it was started, and the location we were in when I was writing it. Sometimes I will start a log, but not finish it for several days or even weeks. (After all, I am retired, and enjoy our cruising. I don’t want to be a slave to my writing and so I write them when I have time.) Once finished, I then write a covering letter indicating that date, I give an update as to where we are at that time, and I paste the log at the bottom ready to send by E-mail at the next opportunity. That is why the logs start with a letter from me before the actual log is presented.

Sometimes I have to copy the log onto a floppy disc (that dates me, doesn’t it) or thumb drive and go to a local internet café or library to send it. Every country is different. In cruising, “Nothing is simple.” That is why although I enjoy getting feedback from my friends, I ask people not to send me attachments, pictures or jokes, as downloading these is very expensive and time consuming. Just send me text, please. It is not like a computer at home or office with a reliable high speed land line connection, broadband, etc.

As you can see from this, I write in an informal, personal style. I have been urged by many of my readers to convert this material into a book or several books about our adventures and way of life. Cruising is an enjoyable life style! The fraternity of cruisers is a community of like-minded individuals who cherish contacts with fellow cruisers met all over the world. Some keep in contact by shortwave or single sideband radio, while others such as us, without shortwave transmitters, enjoy chance meetings in various anchorages or marinas. We have friends we met while crossing the Atlantic in 1999, with whom we have shared anchorages and marinas for the six years through Europe and the Mediterranean. More have been enjoyed as we cruised the Caribbean, Central America and the east and west coasts of the USA and Canada.

Cruisers are very helpful and share their knowledge and expertise quite willingly as we all know that the difficulty one cruiser is experiencing falls into the category of, “There but for the Grace of God go I.” We had a good example of that when we broke an alternator belt and had no replacement, going into the Thames River at the Medway in England. A fisherman sent over, via another cruiser, a universal replacement belt which, as it turned out, we did not have to use; I dinghied into a nearby town to buy one. When I asked on the VHF radio if I could return it, the fisherman came on line and told me to keep it, and pass it on to someone else who needed it. I never did meet him. The camaraderie of the sea and of sailors!

Not everyone is cut out for cruising. But I feel it is important to follow your dreams, especially in or towards your retirement years (or as an escape for a year or so at the beginning or in the middle of your working life), while you still have the health and ability to do so: whether those dreams are to sail the world; just live on your boat; take an RV through North America, Europe or Africa; live in a tent or log cabin; climb mountains; dive exotic reefs; volunteer to teach English or whatever skill you have in foreign countries (such as Korea, China or Japan), or other international aid work; convert your cottage into a permanent home and live in it most of the year; take those vacations or cruises you have thought of; or just cherish the fruits of your labour, your home, the extended family, friends, hobbies, cultural events, and organizations you have enjoyed throughout your life. Dare to dream! Dare to follow your dreams! Life is to be enjoyed (responsibly).

I am fortunate that Judy shares my dream; in fact it is our dream. I hope you enjoy my logs as we share our dream with you.

You can access all our logs at www.veledaiv.ca , and if you wish to follow our logs as we continue our travels, you can contact me at svveledaiv@hotmail.com to get on our mailing list. See my List of Logs to help you identify the specific logs in which you might be interested. I hope you enjoy the logs and our experiences. All the best,

Aubrey

 

List of Logs

When the home page of my site comes up, it displays my latest logs, and on the left hand section it shows my latest info and a few of my random pictures. From the latest log on display one can (from the upper right hand corner) go back to the previous log. On the upper menu bar one can choose from Logs, Blogs, Galleries, Veleda Info and Contact Us menus.

The Logs menu allows you to choose the Year or the Log Folio number. I have updated all my logs on the website, right back to our departure in 1998. You can select the logs written in specific years from 1998 to 2013, or you can select specific logs from the folios of general areas. This latter approach might be the better avenue to see our experiences in specific places. The log folios are as follows:

Logs #2 – Toronto to North Channel (1998)                     Logs #28 – Winter 2002/2003 in Turkey

Logs #3 – The North Channel of Lake Huron                   Logs #29 – Greek Aegean to Istanbul (2003)

Logs #5 – Chicago and the Illinois River                                     Logs #30 – Bosporus & the Black Sea of Turkey

Logs # 6 – Mississippi Ten Tom to Mobile Bay               Logs #31 – 9 Months ashore 2003/2004

Logs # 7 – Gulf Coast ICW to Florida Everglades           Logs #32 – Istanbul and the Black Sea (2004)

Logs # 9 – Cuba (1999)                                                 (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine & Black Sea Fleet)

Logs #10 ­– Bahamas                                                     Logs #33 – Turkey & Greece to Rome

Logs # 11- Atlantic Crossing                                          Logs #34 – Rome, Corsica & Sardinia (2005)

Logs #12 – English Channel and SE coast rivers             Logs #35 – France 2 (Canal du Midi)

Logs #13 – Boats in Britain                                            Logs #36 – Spain 2 (Atlantic coast)

Logs #14 – London to Holland (2000)                             Logs #37 – Portugal & Madeira

Logs # 15 – The Baltic and North Sea                             Logs #38 – Canary Islands

Logs #16 – Scotland (Highlands and the Hebrides)         Logs #39 – Cape Verdes to Caribbean (2006)

Logs #17 – Ireland, Wales, Channel Islands to France      Logs #40 – Eastern Caribbean

Logs #18 – French canals to the Mediterranean

Logs # 19 – Spain (2001)                                               Logs #41 – Trinidad & the Manamo River

Logs #20 – Tunisia                                                        Logs #42 – Grenada to Jamaica (2006- 2007)

Logs #21 – Malta                                                           Logs #43 – Greater Antilles & Leeward Islands

Logs #22 – Croatia                                                        Logs #44 – Back in the eastern Caribbean

Logs #23 – Greece                                                        Logs #45 – Antigua to Puerto Rico (2008)

Logs #24 – Turkey                                                         Logs #46 – BVI’s to Grenada & Jamaica

Logs #25 – East Med Yacht Rally                                   Logs #47 – Jamaica, Cuba & ICW to Toronto

(2002)                                                              (Our Annus Horribilus of 2009)

Logs # 26 – Summer in Turkey (2002)                             Logs #48 – First RV experience

Logs #27 – Summer in Greek Aegean (2002)                   Logs #50 – St. Lawrence& Nfld Fjords (2010)

Logs #51 – Cruise to Antarctica

Logs #52 – Nova Scotia (2011)

Logs #53 – East Coast U.S.A.

Logs #54 – Mexico, Belize & Guatemala (2012)

Logs#55 – Across Canada by trailer

Logs #56 – Central America to Texas (2013)

Logs #57 – West Coast- Washington and B.C.

 

There are a couple of log folios skipped as I intended to complete them later, but never got around to it. Mea Culpa! I hope you can muddle through them. I have indicated the years covered by some of the folios in sequence.

The dates may also be mixed up a bit, as in each log I indicate the date and location I started each log, but then listed them by the date and location from which I completed the covering letters and sent them out. So please note the dates and locations for both the covering letters and the logs.

The Blogs menu is an interesting compilation of articles, jokes, summaries and commentaries in addition to my logs. The pictures Gallery will include more pictures than contained in my logs as well as some interesting albums of our travels. To date I have inserted all the pictures for Logs #50 to 57 and I am in the process of adding pictures to the earlier logs as well. I hope to update you as I add to the website.

People have often asked me when will I write a book of our experiences. Well, this website is the best thing rather than a book, as it is the raw experiences, with pictures, we have had in our 16 years of cruising. I am uncertain as to whether I will report our experiences in our trailer with as much detail as I did in Logs #55.

At present (winter 2013-2014), we have left Veleda at a marina on Thetis Island, one of the northern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, and are touring the southwest USA in our trailer. I will keep sending my logs out to my mailing list as I write them, but will also post them on the website. If you are not on my mailing list but wish to get either my logs or notifications of when I update my website, let me know.

I have written over 600 logs to date!

All the best,

Aubrey

Website – www.veledaiv.ca

E-mail – svveledaiv@hotmail.com