London walk

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Short day in London

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Happened to have a long layover en route to Greece so I took the train to London and landed in the middle of “Refugee Protester” day. After stumbling in a full blown claustrophobic fit from alleyway to book store to garden to Birdcage walk trying desperately to get a 3 foot circle of my own space- I made it to Covet Gardens!
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I sat next to these cool girl Londoners and was able to be the “Handy American” providing all the names of actors, lines from movies, authors of books and names of cities in Texas (and what bangs are!!).
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Made it to Westminster bridge for some sundown shots with 50 million other photo snapping tourists. So glad V for Vendetta was kind enough to leave this building intact.
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Note on Protests- normal people don’t protest. You will primarily only see one side represented. NORMAL people spend saturday having a barbecue with their friends, not marching. GROW UP, PEOPLE!! DO we really want to move toward MOB based politics? Plus, IT FREAKS ME OUT to get pushed and shoved by humans filling streets like cattle. Consider the Claustrophobe!!!

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Ithaka- home of Odysseus

I am a bit dumbfounded by Ithaka, Odeseus’s home island (?), if this is in fact the actual island, not the western half of Cephalonia, as Cephalonia claims. Even if the tale was fiction, it was written 800 BC is about the king of this island who went to fight in the Trojan war and pulled a sailor’s bender for 10 years before he got home. (I would have had a good story to tell my wife too, if it took me 10 years to get back from a 1 month voyage.) Today what remains is a few taverns, a ferry dock, lots of small houses and fishing boats. It is stunningly beautiful, but how is it that this is one of the birthplaces of civilization? It apparently moved off eons ago. Today, there are people sitting in taverns- men mostly, sitting in cafes, smoking and drinking coffee, then beer, then ouzo? It really is too hot to endure much else, so how was anyone ever able? I guess it hasn’t always been July.

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On the way here from somewhere else, it was hot. Very hot. We passed a beach bar and voted to throw out the anchor and swim to shore for a cold beer.

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I was first in the water with my waterproof camera- thanks, Gary!. It was a private camp that only served a tour boat that had already been by and eaten all the food and drank all the beer. sigh. I was swimming back before the captain, Mauro could even make it to shore.

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So I swam back. But look at this water! It was a good swim, and I had beer in the fridge.

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Shipwreck Cove in Zachynthos, Greece

I’ll just letter the color blue do all the talking. This made me mad at the word blue, and all its synonymic friends, for falling so short. For even more photos of this place see my flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/99158351@N03/sets/72157656365039109

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A very popular spot, we were nearly run down by an ass day-tripper captain, who I hope is enjoying his public shame.

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We hopped in the dinghy and went for a ride and a swim.

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Next day we drove to the top. So here is the view from above. Did I mention the blue of the water?

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Keeping the bees away

Irida’s Cafe, Fiskardo, Cephalonia Island, Greece

We went for breakfast. The hostess, who I assumed, then asked and confirmed was Irida, saunterred over- blond, well aged but well tended, dressed and bejewelled at 800, said she would bring us some Greek coffee. We thought it was to drink. She brought us a metal cup with smoke billowing  out, and proclaimed it Greek coffee, “For smoking.” I was rather confused. It was lit and smoking indeed. I thought maybe a huka or some other tradition I was not yet aware of would follow. I looked confused and she said, “For the bees.” I had noticed that just about every meal involves swatting away a dozen or so little pesky bees, the kind we get in Tahoe, not in your garden, but at your barbecue. We call them meat bees. We had none. We ordered food, and ate in peace, until 2 seconds after our coffee went out. A swarm of bees attacked us. I summoned Irida and she brought more smoking coffee and they instantly disappeared. It’s so fun to learn something useful against bees after 50 years of swatting bees. I asked if you can use any coffee. She said only Greek coffee, and dry, not used. She said she spends more on bee coffee than customer coffee. I wonder if it works for mosquitos. I asked the all knowing Mary if she knew about this and she told me anything would run from Greek coffee.

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The company we keep

In the sentiment of my blogging and general -living the dream- mentor Mary, things have been too good to waste time reporting on them! (or too hot to sit at a computer)
In fact, by a near miracle of coincidence, that very same Mentor Mary and her hubby Larry on Berkeley East happened to be sailing up the Ionians as we were sailing down, so despite years of not planning it, we had a mini Hylas Rendezvous in Paxos, Greece. Amante is on the the left, and the one month older, but looking brand new Berkeley East is to the right.

The miraculousness comes from a few factors:

1) Neither of us plan super far in advance (we don’t plan at all) without ready back-out plans, plans b,c, and for us often even d. Then weather makes us do something else anyway.

2) We picked an anchorage that they have not been in and we spent 4 nights here last year, so we were the experts on this spot. What makes this more odd, is that we are simply following their cruise plan from 3 years ago (almost maniacally, I sometimes complain, but Neal reminds me that they went to all the trouble to write it down and then SHARE it with us, so we pretty much are following them anchorage by anchorage through the Med), and

3) They STILL agreed to meet up with us, not call the Coast Guard and report us as stalkers.

Those of you who remember, Larry and Mary invited us to a week of sailing Berkeley East in September 2011, and that trip helped us decide to bring Amante to the Med. Larry and I share birth weeks, so after a week of sailing and sweating in Sicily together, we celebrated birthdays, and hopefully, we can do it again this year, on Amante. We owe these guys very much. Grazie, BE!

Vanessa

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Collection of selfies

Where we went, what we did, all less interesting than the collection of selfies, most impressive, IMHO, the foursome selfies during Lance and Laura’s visit. Selfie sticks are for wimps!

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What’s cuter than a bare butt baby feeding a wild animal?

IMG_4153 Not much. The deer on Badija island seem quite tame, and Mom stood by to check things out. IMG_4145 Baby was sorry to see the deer go! babydeer We anchored just off Badjia island to visit Korčula again, as have millions of other boaters. So many that the wild deer have a known food source and have become their own tourist attraction! Lance and Laura enjoyed feeding the deer, too, but they weren’t half as cute… IMG_6957 IMG_6966

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Best part of having a boat

Reunion in Dubrovnik with BFF from age 12. When we get together we are still 12, Laura!!!

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Korčula

I know I’ve posted before, and I’ve posted photos before. But it really is too beautiful to sail past without reaching for the camera and snap snap snapping. So here again, is the beautiful, walled city of Korćula, on the island of the same name.

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Just try to take fewer photos!

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