It's funny...people we meet often assume that Phyllis and I are great travelers. And it's easy to see how they might come to that conclusion. After all we have spent most of the last 20 years moving from place to place around the Atlantic rim. But actually nothing could be further from the truth. That [...]

Sometimes It Seemed Like it Might Never Happen

Chapter 3 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

This time last year we arrived in the Canary Islands with the plan to lift out, scrub off and re-launch, then off to the South and beyond. Little did we know... One year on and we’re about to leave, after a marathon session of work to get Pèlerin ocean ready again. A couple of false [...]

It’s So Nice When I Stop

Over twenty years ago I received an offer from Britain’s leading whale and dolphin researcher to become a reserve skipper on his annual survey in the western isles of Scotland. Wow, I thought, what an opportunity, and promptly seized it with both hands. Which only goes to show that you should always look before you [...]

Why The High Latitudes, #4—The Adventure

Chapter 4 of 4 in the Online Book Why The High Latitudes

This fall, on our way south bound for Charleston, SC after a challenging Arctic cruise to West Greenland, Baffin Island and Labrador, we were met on the dock in Northeast Harbor, Maine by our friend, Phil, a rock climber of some renown. The first words out of his mouth were, “Have you got over the [...]

Contrasts in Cruising

Question: What do these two photographs have in common? Answer: I made them both from the deck of Morgan’s Cloud. The first while crossing Upernavik Icefjord on the north west coast of Greenland, one of the wilder places on the planet, and the second while leaving New York harbour, one of the most urban. I [...]

Why The High Latitudes, #3—The People

Chapter 3 of 4 in the Online Book Why The High Latitudes

Genevieve from Bonavista, Newfoundland stands at the gate of her summer place When we first went to Newfoundland in the early 1990s, very few foreign boats cruised there, and so, when we entered a harbour, the entire population of the outport would gather on the docks to silently observe us and Morgan’s Cloud. They would [...]

Why The High Latitudes #2—The Scenery

Chapter 2 of 4 in the Online Book Why The High Latitudes

When John wrote the first post in this series back in 2007, we were planning a trip to Greenland for 2009. Well, for various reasons—including boat refit leftovers, a repower, and moving to Canada—we never made it to Greenland in 2009 and we never continued with the series. But here we are again—7th time for [...]

Cruising With A Purpose

The liveaboard life appeals on many levels, but in common with many cruising couples that we have encountered, we have found that it can feel a little purposeless at times. This is partly due to us still shaking off many years of frenetic career work, but we’ve found we’re far from alone in this regard. [...]

It Was A Very Good Year

When you cast your mind back at the end of a season, what do you remember from it? Memory being selective as time passes, the bad stuff tends to get filed under futile, and the good just keeps coming into focus. For us 2009 was a great year, with only a few bad moments—busting our [...]

Running Away With Home

Phyllis and I recently prepared for and executed a two-month trip that included 11 flights and a month on a sailboat wintering over in Greenland. Since we were traveling on some small aircraft, all of our combined checked baggage had to total less than 40kg, together with two small 8kg carry-on bags. Included in this [...]

Departures And Arrivals

There is nothing quite like the final moment of departure at the start of a long cruise or voyage. A strong mixture of anticipation and apprehension, it generally follows a stressful period, with all of the usual last minute glitches and hassles, however careful your planning and preparation. Then there are the goodbyes to friends [...]

Life is a Voyage*

We received a question a while ago that got us both thinking: “Why did you start cruising, why do you keep cruising, and how long will you keep doing it?” The first part of the question is easy to answer: Our sailing life has been a natural progression from trips during work vacations, to six-month [...]

Back on Board

Our last extended cruise ended in the fall of 2003 when John and I hauled Morgan’s Cloud in Maine so that we could spend the winter at our house in Bermuda. We had a big decision to make: If we wanted to refit Morgan’s Cloud and keep on cruising, the house would have to be [...]

Gone Sailing

Three weeks ago we sailed away from our cottage in Nova Scotia where we had spent most of the summer while Morgan’s Cloud went round and round her mooring and we did boat chores in an effort to tie up the loose ends left over from our refit. As we left the inlet bound west [...]