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 [...]


Question: How do you make great travel photographs? Answer: F8 and be there. Ok, it’s an old one. And I guess it applies to just about any kind of travel. But somehow the voyaging life that I have lived for over twenty years seems, at least to me, to yield more, and more wonderful, photo [...]

It’s So Nice When I Stop

WBD Hebrides 2012  091 721P4173

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 [...]

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 [...]


We were tied up alongside a fishery wharf in northern Newfoundland when the roar of powerful engines brought us tumbling up from below to see two seine boats attached stern to stern by a thick line and both at full throttle. Now I have heard of truck pulls in the USA and our own Nova [...]

It Was A Very Good Year

Sailing to Scalpay

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 weighing luggage in preparation for our trip to look after aluminum expedition sailboat Polaris near Aasiaat on the Greenland West Coast.

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

Ovni under sail at sunset

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*

Tromsø, Norway, where we lived the winters of 2001/02 and 2002/03

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

Phyllis looking down on Morgan's Cloud anchored at Valley Cove, Somes Sound, Maine

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

Aluminum sailboat Morgan's Cloud at anchor in the fog in the Mud Hole, Downeast Maine.

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 [...]

The Journey Is The Reward

Phyllis looks out at a beautiful sunset while sailing to windward on aluminum sailboat Morgan's Cloud down the west coast of Newfoundland.

Though John and I always feel totally disconnected with our destination after flying somewhere, when sailing from place to place on Morgan’s Cloud we feel like active participants in the small bit of the world surrounding us. The slower pace and lack of hustle and bustle out at sea allows us to see and smell [...]

Puke Therapy

We are in the third year of a one year refit and up until two weeks ago it was getting to me—big time. As far as I was concerned, all marine equipment was junk and almost everyone in the marine business was a crook. Our boat seemed to be a collection of half finished projects [...]

Messing Around In Boats

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours in our neighbour's Boston Whaler sounding out the inlet our cabin is on and then carefully positioning a plastic bottle anchored by a rock as a marker for the barge that will drop our new mooring. Getting to the Whaler required using a very small and tippy round [...]