Log #31b Merry Christmas

December 22, 2003 in Log Series 30-39, Logs by Series, Series 31 Nine Months Ashore, The Logs

Dec. 22, 2003


734 O’ Connor Drive

Toronto, Ontario

Canada M4C 3A9



Hi Folks,


This is a Christmas message to wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a Happy Hanukah from Judy and myself. I have been meaning to get out a land log of our travels and experiences, but have procrastinated and so am sending this epistle to get to you before Christmas.


As you know Ruth, Judy’s mother, died Sept. 9th. This has not been a good year, with a couple of other deaths in Judy’s extended family as well, plus her father’s broken leg. We are fine, except for seasonal illnesses, none of which we have ever experienced while cruising on Veleda. I have had a bout of influenza for the past month and am still hacking and coughing.


We had a good trip down to Florida in a borrowed VW camper van for the month of November, going to the Seven Seas conference in Melbourne, Florida. En route we visited Russ and Lynne from Blue Highway who are now down in Naples, and Charlie and Barb who are visiting family and friends in the Detroit area before returning to Sayonara, presently in Venice. At Melbourne we were impressed with a heavy weather/storm sail that hanks over the furled genoa, and picked one up. After visiting Barbara, Judy’s sister, and her family in Panama City we made our way back slowly taking in several state parks, conservation areas such as Okeefenokee Swamp, Wakulla Springs, and Mammoth Caves, as well as couple of Civil War Battlefield Parks at Chattanooga, and Fort McAllister outside of Savannah.


At St George Island on the Gulf Coast I cut my heel on their oyster shell walkways. It bled profusely and Judy insisted I see a doctor as she was not sure how deep it was or if she got out all the dirt. So we visited a clinic in Carabelle to have it looked at next day. It cost $90.00 (US) for the brief doctor’s visit and another $100.00 (US) for some antibiotics. That would be nearly $300.00 Canadian! When back in Canada I asked my doctor what an office visit for such a minor service would cost – about $12.00 (Canadian) or $9.00 (US). At my local pharmacy I asked the price of the prescription for the antibiotics, to be told they would cost about $64.00 Canadian or about $48.00 (US). In Canada I would have paid nothing for the doctor’s visit, and only $7.00 Cdn ($5.00 US) prescription fee for the medicine as I am now over 65.  We appreciate our government medicare program in spite of some of its shortcomings.


We will be making several slide presentations over the next two months. On Jan. 11th & 12th, we will be giving one of the seminars at the Toronto Boat Show at 4:00 pm each of those days on the East Mediterranean Yacht Rally. On Jan. 28 we will be making a presentation at 1200 to the Naval Officers Association at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club on cruising the Dardanelles, Bosphorus and the Black Sea. On Feb. 4 at 2000 we will be at the Port Credit Yacht Club, and on Feb. 26 at 1900 at Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club presenting to the World Cruising Club. If any of you living in this area around Toronto wish to attend any of these, you would be most welcome.


I am getting bored living on land and am looking forward to getting back to Veleda in March. Had we been able to have gotten Veleda down to Kemer, we would have gone back by now and enjoyed the winter there with our cruising friends and community. There are no liveaboards in Istanbul and the weather there is about as bad as Toronto’s, cold, occasional snow, and overcast most of the winter. So we will go back in March, to set sail into the Black Sea again in April, going to Bulgaria and Romania first, then the Ukraine for the Russian Black Sea Fleet Reviev the third week of July. From there we will go back into the Aegean and down to Crete for the latter part of August. From there we plan a passage across the Greek Peloponessos and over to Sicily, through the Strait of Messina, and winter in a marina just outside of Rome. Because of the family emergency we only sailed 1500 miles in the three months we were on the water from Kemer around to Istanbul and the Turkish coast of the Black Sea. We hope for a full sailing season next year.


That brings me back to our Christmas greetings and best wishes for all of you who have been following our travels. We appreciate the feedback and interest you have shown, thank you. We wish you all the best for the holidays and a happy and fulfilling New Year. Go for your dreams.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,


Aubrey & Judy