Happy Holidays to All

Wow, it has been quite a year for Phyllis and me. Sort of reminds me of the movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Only in our case it was one wedding, a funeral and an incredible Arctic voyage.

OK, the simile was a bit of a stretch, but I needed a first paragraph.

Like last Christmas, we thought it would be fun to share our year in the form of a slideshow. I have compressed a very full year into just 30 images, so if you want more detail, it can be found by following the links below the slideshow:

Click on the show to enlarge.

Slideshow requires a reasonably up to date copy of the Adobe Flash plug-in or iPhone/iPad or Android and that java script be enabled.

{ 20 comments… add one }

  • richard December 23, 2011, 8:14 pm

    thanks mucho for this fascinating summary…you are noticably quiet about any snafus along the way…does that mean there weren’t any ? somehow i doubt that…c’mon let’s have it

    i enjoyed the slide of the provisions all stacked up for loading…your smile looks more like a grimmace

    your slide approaching greenland showed your main all sheeted out yet i couldn’t find the preventer…no preventer ?

    can you hit the high spots of grete’s research for us please ?

    i take it that’s the bermuda ensign i see you flying

    you both dropped considerable weight…is this normal for you? do you follow any regular fitness regimen ?

    sounds like the boat will stay in charleston til spring…might there be an opportune period of time for a few hours visit between now and then ?

    fyi, we have a decent weather window here for the next week or so…i plan to cruise around this neck of the woods maybe as far south as marco island…planned my menus, shopped and filled up the fuel tank today in preparation for departure christmas day…this will give me right at 2,000 logged hours this year and about the same for mileage…last year i logged about 25% less hours and mileage…seems like every year i manage to log more than the previous and wouldn’t trade any of those hours nor miles for anything…richard in tampa bay (m/v cavu’s skipper, formerly s/v sidra’s skipper)…merry christmas

    • John December 26, 2011, 5:31 pm

      Hi Richard,

      To take you questions in order:

      No, no real SNAFUS along the way, I’m happy to say.

      Oops, caught out with no preventer! As I remember, we had just hoisted as we cleared a fjord and I took the shot prior to rigging it. That’s my story anyway.

      You can get all the details on Grete’s research here.

      Yes, its the Bermuda national ensign. That’s where I’m from.

      Yes, we do exercise regularly, but we both tend to lose weight on these Arctic voyages. Hard work, cold, constant vigilance and a good dose of anxiety do wonders for the waistline.

  • Robin Araujo December 23, 2011, 8:23 pm

    Hi Phyllis and John,
    You two are amazing. Thanks for sharing your photos and exciting life with all of us out here. You are an inspiration.
    Happy Holidays,

  • Heather Holm December 23, 2011, 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the summary. I can spot the times during the year that Phyllis showed up at yoga class in Nova Scotia! Drink in the warmth now, and have a lovely Christmas holiday.

    • Phyllis December 29, 2011, 11:40 am

      Hey, Heather; Great to hear from you. I can report that I am wholeheartedly enjoying the warm weather!

      Hope you have a good holiday season as well and all the best for 2012.

      See you at yoga in spring, GWWP (god willing, weather permitting!).

  • conny Harlin December 24, 2011, 7:45 am

    Thank you for the show,,,stunning pic’s…Have a wonderful Christmas and new year!! Looking forward to 2012 “pic’s” and reports. I’m heading Norway 2012,,,see you there?????

    • John December 26, 2011, 5:42 pm

      Hi Conny,

      Thanks for the kind comments. I don’t think you will see us in Norway in 2012, but hopefully some time after that. After last year, we are planning an easy year without too many miles for 2012.

  • Steve Arthur December 24, 2011, 11:41 am

    Thanks for sharing your life and photos … what an amazing adventure! Although many of the comments seem to come from fellow sailors…. as a landlubber, I find it’s quite a vicarious thrill to see your spectacular photography and read about your adventures. Congratulations on all the successes of the year! …. and thanks again for sharing.

  • Chris December 24, 2011, 12:42 pm

    John & Phyllis

    Once again, so nice to meet you both. Enjoy the Holidays!

    Chris & Janet

  • Victor Raymond December 24, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Thank you John and Phyllis for your incredible insights, photographs and compendium of all things nautical on your website. I am not sure how you do it but you do and so well.

    You are such an inspiration and your latest photos make us realize that the east coast of north america is more beautiful than we thought.

    We are at crossroads deciding whether to stay on the east or move to west side of north america and you make us understand that both are wonderful cruising grounds.

    Thank you again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Warren and Marti Fritz December 25, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Thank you, John and Phyllis, for your thrilling gift of sharing your sailing life with us these past years. We appreciate seeing your adventures, and reading about your encounters with nature. May you travel in safety and in health this coming year.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • Derek Mitchell December 25, 2011, 6:21 pm

    Wonderful year of travels and great photos John – thanks for sharing!
    Buon natale e felice anno nuovo!

  • Evan Selbiger December 28, 2011, 6:12 pm

    Have a wonderful holiday and a very Happy and Healthy New Year. I love all your photos. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for this year. Let me know if you ever come down to Florida.

  • Steve December 30, 2011, 11:03 am

    Am I incorrect in noticing that, according to your slideshow of the past year, you did nothing community-oriented this past year, nothing to aid those less fortunate than you (except purchase yacht supplies)? Just yachting around in your big yacht?

    Well, the haves are indeed lucky, that is for sure –but at least you appreciate it and let the rest of us live vicariously through your photographs and narrative. But something just seems askew…


    • John December 30, 2011, 11:17 am

      Hi Steve,

      That’s a very good point and one we think and talk about often. We do give to charity every year (Habitat for Humanity) but that is not the same as actual working in a community.

      I guess I could argue that this site is giving back to the community. But then again, that community is, by and large, a privileged one, so that does not really satisfy.

      I could also argue that assisting in the science project in the Arctic was community activism in a place we care about deeply. While we did get our out of pocket expenses paid, Phyllis and I donated our time, so I think that qualifies.

      For the future we are looking at ways to make this site pay, and one of our ideas is to then use some, or even most, of that money philanthropically.

      Anyway, thanks for making a really good point that all of us should be thinking about, what with the mess the world is in.

      • Nick Kats December 31, 2011, 2:58 pm

        Always remember on the boat; one hand for yourself & one for the ship! Meaning take care of yerself first!

  • Christian January 2, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Hi John,
    Thanks for inspirational slides.

    And – somewhat belatedly – thanks for your advice on my NA crossing from NYC to Falmouth in the spring of 2008. I made it across! If you are ever in Stavanger, let me know. Best regards, Christian Haaland

  • Nemo of Sweden January 4, 2012, 6:54 am

    Wow! GREAT pictures John! Nevermind my jibberish in the camera-thred, I see that you really take an honor in this. Good work!

    “Yes, we do exercise regularly, but we both tend to lose weight on these Arctic voyages. Hard work, cold, constant vigilance and a good dose of anxiety do wonders for the waistline.”

    But really, isn’t cold water crusing all about dieselstoves and warm chocolate in the evenings? And snacks at the helm? Just gained another kilo just going from S37 to S47 ;)

  • Colin Farrar January 4, 2012, 12:44 pm

    John and Phyllis,

    Thanks for the photos and congratulations on a safe, successful voyage. Can you tell us about the anchoring setup in the picture titled: “A brief stop in Newfoundland to ride out the remains of Hurrican Maria…?” Specifically, is the pink line to the buoy a snubber? A secondary anchor? Mooring pennant?

    Colin Farrar
    s/v Mufasa Brooklin, ME

    • John January 4, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Hi Colin,

      The pink line is a shorefast that we lead to two massive boulders 400 ft (120 meters) to windward. With this shorefast we were able to pull ourselves into a small cove and get out of the sea sweeping around a point just to port.


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