Saturday, 15 November 2014

July, August, 2014 - BACK HOME TO CANADA - POSTING #1

We return to Canada for a visit family and friends and to celibate son Mike's wedding and Mother in Law Loretta's 80th.

Before leaving England we help celibate our Daughter in Law Maria's Birthday.

Sandra and son James enjoy an English Pub lunch.

Back in Canada, I supervise Mike cleaning his fish pond.

While Mikes cleans the pond, Cathy enjoys a break on the back porch.

Our friend Fee Bee, as cute as a bug on a rug.

Mike and Cory's Wedding starts out with a thunderstorm.

The storm clears and they get hitched.

We are very happy to have Cory join the clan.

Let the party begin!

Our Sunday brunch bunch.

We visit with friends Brian and Cathy on their new boat.

The Sea Quin IV crew reunion BBQ.

The Sea Quin IV crew.
Back yard visitor.

Friday, 19 September 2014

July, 2014 - CAMBRIDGE, UK

A one and a half hour train ride takes us to Cambridge, the home of son James and DIL Maria.  they gave us a tour of the city, including the College where Maria studied.  We took in a Shakespeare in the Park presentation of a Mid Summer's Nights Dream.  It was a great visit.

We arrive early and use the time to explore a Catholic Church.

It has some interesting Gargoyles, but other than that is much like the churches we have seen to date.

The Colleges of Cambridge University usually surround a private central courtyard.

Cornwall Pasties have arrived in Cambridge.

The streets are crowded with a mix of students and tourists.

Sandra, with our guides, James and Maria.

Students take tourists punting on the river Cam.  I did not know that Cambridge is name for the bridge over the river Cam.  Good old English logic.

Many of the Colleges have gardens that are open to the public.

July, 2014 - SUTTON HOO, UK

We did a day trip to the Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, in the English county of Suffolk.  My favorite historical site so far in England.  The find changed the perception of the Saxons, from a barbaric warier people to a much more "civilized" one with accomplished craftsmen and artisans and a society where women played a significant role.  Also, about 70 to 80 % of the English language originated with the Saxons.

Mounds as seen from the property owners home.  She started the excavations in the 1930's after seeing ghostly Saxon Warriors walking across the burial site.

The main mound, up close and personal.

Me as a Saxon Warrior.

Warrior's Helmet.

Decorative pouch.

Belt Buckle.

Staff decoration.

Helmet reconstruction.

Friday, 8 August 2014


We spent an extra night in Ramsgate so that we could take a day trip to Canterbury Cathedral, a center of the Anglican Church and site of the murder of Thomas Becket.  We also attended an Evensong Service, which was a first for me.


A rather uneventful series of passages from Portsmouth to Brighton to Eastbourne to Ramsgate to Harwich to Ipswich.  Lots of planning required to work with the currents and tides.  We spent over 4 hours planning the passage through the Thames Estuary, then had to change our route to avoid a new wind farm.

Passat II at Hasslar Marina in Portsmouth.

One of 3 forts in the shallows at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor.  One is now a 5 star hotel.

Passat II in the lock at Brighton Marina.

The white cliffs of Dover.

Uncharted (new) Wind Farm in the Thames Estuary.


This is one of the most interesting warships ever made.  It was an iron hulled sailing battleship, with steam axillary power.  So far ahead of its time that it never had to fire a shot in anger.  It was known that no ship of its day could damage her.  She was saved from the scrap yard as the cost of dismantling her was considered too high.  She ended up as a bulk fuel barge before being rescued.

The restoration is stunning.

One of the last warships to have a figurehead.

It took up to 16 men to steer her. 8 on deck and 8 on the deck below.

It took over 700 men to sail her.  Look at all those lines, each with a name.

Cook stove for 700 crew.

Furnace room for the auxiliary steam engine.

All ahead slow.

The engine.

Model, showing how the propeller was lifted out of the water to reduce drag.  It took 500 men on the windless to raise it.