Posts Tagged With: Eric Laschever

Day 6: “Everything that slows us down . . . is a help” May Sarton

The great capes are weather pivot points.  As we rounded Cape Hatteras, cool moist air enveloped us.  We added layers to the tee shirts and shorts that had been sufficient to the Cape’s south.  The sun inched up over the horizon, joining the moon which had risen late and remained high in the sky.  Cape Henry, the entrance to Chesapeake Bay lay less than 100 hundred miles away.  At 6 knots we would enter the commerce-dense Bay in darkness.  We preferred day light.  As the south wind gusted to twenty knots, we reduced our jib to a napkin.  Elizabeth Jean mosied her way up the Outer Banks at a leisurely 2 knots.  Slowing down helped us savor Elizabeth Jean‘s last day on the Atlantic Ocean.  With daylight’s arrival the following morning we passed the Bay’s fishing fleet putting out to sea and joined the cargo ships and naval vessels entering the Bay.  Around 1300 (1 pm),  we tethered Elizabeth Jean to the fuel dock at Salt Pond Marina in Hampton Virginia.  Four hours later, the squall hit.  The torrential rains and arcing lightning, when viewed from our secure dock, reminded us of our decision six days earlier to leave the Bahamas rather than linger and shorten our weather window.  Had we stayed in the Bahamas we would have been weathering the storm rounding Hatteras. 

Rounding Hatteras brought cooler weather.  Eric reviews possible marinas on his iPad and in the Waterway Guide for Chesapeake Bay.  Go Hawks!

Ocean Jedi, Aircraft Carrier #69, steamed towards Norfolk as we made our way to Hampton.


Elizabeth Jean, secure at Salt Pond Marina, over seven hundred miles from the Bahamas just hours before the squall hit.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments

“Around Nassau Town we did roam” Bahamian Folk Song

As was the case with the folk song’s author and his grandfather, Elizabeth Jean‘s crew and friends roamed Nassau Town for the better part of a month.  During that time, we eschewed “drinking all night and getting into fights.”  Instead we savored separate visits with our daughter Beth and friends Bill, Amy and Anna Ferron (and their Nassau-based nephew and niece-in-law Andrew and Emily).  Highlights of our Nassau sojourn included Beach Soccer championships, overnight sails to West Bay anchorage with its stunning sun sets, rich history and fine snorkeling, tours of Nassau’s cultural museum and museum of slavery and emancipation, conch fritters, salad, cracked conch and snapper at Bro B’s (under the bridge), and the flamingo parade.  In contrast to the Sloop John B‘s crew, Nassau did not leave us “wanting to go home,” but whetted our appetite for further island exploration.

Disney cruise ships lit up the night sky with fireworks during our night passage from Grand Bahama Island to New Providence Island (home to Nassau).    This ship’s larger than life mural only hints at the beauty lying under the sea.

FIFA’s regional beach soccer playoffs were in full swing during much of our Nassau stay.  Here the U.S. team stands for the pre-game flag ceremony.  The U.S. met the Bahamian team in the playoffs.  We were a decided minority in the stands.  Both teams advanced to the world championships in Nassau at the end of April.

The local fans fervently supported their team.

The flamingos paraded for us at the Adastra Garden, Zoo and Conservation Centre.

After the Revolutionary War, the British Government gave large land grants to British loyalists from the former colonies.  This map from the Clifton Beach Heritage area shows these large tracts.  The map also shows West Bay, a perfect anchorage when the wind is from any direction other than the west.  The Lyford tract is now a beautiful residential area that includes a marina.  Andrew and Emily hosted us and the Ferrons for a marvelous dinner in their Lyford Cay home.

These ruins suggest a harsh and primitive existence for the Royalists who fled the colonies with their slaves.

To access Jason de Caires Taylor’s Girl Holding Up the Ocean, our dinghy, Schooner, braved high winds and chop.  We secured her to a mooring ball and snorkeled over.  The water’s clarity made for excellent snorkeling here and at other West Bay sights.  For an account of the statute see:

For a brief history of the “Wreck of the Sloop John B,” first published in 1916 and popularized by Carl Sandburg in 1927 and the Beach Boys, see:


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

“We cannot cage the minute within its nets of gold” Louis MacNeice

In his poem “The Light On the Garden,” MacNeice captures the sun’s inexorable movement as it tallies our days.  One Floridian, A.E. Backus, spent his life capturing the tropical sun as it played across the landscape.  While lazing in Central Florida, we enjoyed an afternoon at the A.E. Backus Gallery savoring his depictions of sun on clouds, waters, sails, and wildlife.  His eye for tropical light heightened our awareness of the sun’s stunning palette during our visit.


One of Backus’ captivating images.  For more on Backus see:


Life imitates art in this photograph of a gathering with our Treasure Coast hosts, the Garritys and Humphreys on Elizabeth Jean‘s bow.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

“The World Turned Upside Down” Old Scottish Ballad

Yesterday, Elizabeth Jean scudded past Virginia’s York River under a reefed Genoa with 25-28 knots of north winds. The York was the scene of the British surrender to General George Washington, the end of the colonies’ revolution, and the United States’ entry onto the world stage. Legend has it that the British Band played “The World Turned Upside Down,” a traditional Scottish Ballad, as the vanquished Cornwallis paraded his troops past the victorious Continental Army.

Two days ago on November 9th, we awoke to our own upended world. As we prepare to head south through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, we have some appreciation of how the British troops must have felt as they moved past people who shared a common heritage, but who were on the other side of a deep and bitter divide.


With centuries of history providing perspective, we can reflect on how Great Britain and the United States found common ground. In time, the two nations together unified to defeat fascism during World War II and rebuild a free and democratic Europe during the Cold War.
We, however, live in the present and do not have centuries within which to enjoy the fruits of our shared roots. How then do we navigate our immediate uncertain times and the chasm that separates us from our fellows?  Elizabeth Jean and her crew have watch words that serve as our compass as we travel. We turn to them now.

We live in joy. Now, more than ever, we will find and create joy in our lives. We will do so in the everyday moments—a brisk sail to a quiet anchorage—and the major milestones—such as daughter Jean and Max’s June wedding.
We surrender to this moment. Surrender has many meanings. Here we commit to live in the present even when we cannot help but worry about the future that may unfold. We do not surrender to that future’s inevitability.
We share our lives. We are now on a different adventure than the one that might have been. With those of like mind, sharing this adventure will be easy and a comfort. With friends and family on the other side of the divide, such sharing is essential if difficult. We choose to believe there are common values on which we can build the community and world in which we want to live.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment

“To have a daughter is to know a special joy” Anonymous

As we were preparing Elizabeth Jean to depart Seattle three years ago, our daughter Beth (the Elizabeth in Elizabeth Jean) sent us a picture of an attractive New York City boat basin.  “Here’s where to come in when you get Elizabeth Jean to New York City to visit me,” she enthused.  While we have worked hard to manage our own and others’ expectations about our journey, we privately kept alive the goal of arriving in the New York area to visit Beth.  July 4th, therefore, provided a dual celebration: fulfillment of Beth’s optimistic prediction, along with our nation’s 240th birthday.  This visit also provided a daughterly bookend to our 2013 visit with Jean after our 1000 mile trip from Seattle to Newport Beach, California.  Our daughters’ enthusiastic support  of their namesake’s journey has buoyed her and our spirits along our way.


Joyously together.


Seastreak, a high speed ferry, docked ten minutes from our marina, provided an attractive alternative to accessing the Big Apple for a  busy holiday weekend.


From the ferry’s deck we relaxed and enjoyed New York Harbor and scouted Elizabeth Jean’s route to the East River.


Forty minutes after departing, Seastreak deposited us near Wall Street where July 4th celebrations were in full swing.  A short walk from the ferry dock is the site of George Washington’s inauguration as our first president.


We celebrated the festivities at Riis Beach to the vocal stylings of Raycee Jones, one of Beth’s college friends.


Captain Sullivan.  Action Hero.


We both got the memo to wear blue, but apparently not the memo about looking at each other while we dance.


A captain’s kiss.


 In September 2013, Jean helped us celebrate our arrival in Southern California. To have two daughters is to know joy’s abundance.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

“Cigar smoking knows no politics” Anonymous

Anonymous, who is so wise about so many things, appears to have been born before the U.S. embargo, which among many other things, outlawed Cuban cigars in the U.S.  In addition to the forbidden fruit aspect of the Cuban cigar, the beauty of the Pinar del Rio, Cuba’s tobacco growing region lured us to Vinales, the region’s center.   Our 1954 Plymouth managed the two and a half hour drive from Hemingway Marina with a bit of encouragement from Raul, our driver.  Our hosts for the day were Juan and Elena owners of Villa de la Finca.  After serving us lunch, we mounted Mojito, Mulatto and Coco Loco for a four hour horse back tour of tobacco country, coffee growing station and the national park.  As dusk descended over the Valley, Elena served us a lobster feast on the roof top of their house.

Vinales 057


Vinales 028

Our ride to the valley.

Vinales 021

Villa de La Finca, our base for exploring the countryside.  The Villa is a Casa Particulares, a privately owned and operated guest home.  We did not spend the night but the guest room was well kept and had its own bathroom.  Further information can be found at  For more on tourism and entrepreneurship in Vinales see:

Vinales 027

The chair is as comfortable as it is beautiful.

Vinales 071

Our ride through the valley.

Vinales 047

Tobacco plants against a backdrop of mogotes, the steep sided remains of limestone deposits that makes the Pinar del Rio so stunning.

Vinales 045


Photo credit: Keith Seiler


Our host Josel, dubbed the “holy roller” by Keith quickly rolled a cigar.  He dipped the end in honey, a local tradition, before offering it to us.  Photo credit: Keith Seiler


Twenty unmarked, handrolled Cuban cigars for $60.  We were unaware that the rules for bringing in cigars back to the U.S. had recently been relaxed and passed on the deal.  Photo credit: Keith Seiler.


Eric has his hands full.  Photo credit: Keith Seiler.


Half way through our trip we stopped at a hut where coco locos almost magically appeared.  Photo credit: Keith Seiler.

Vinales 131

Vinales 132

Our guides, Andres (who also helped us explore Havana) and Juan of Villa de la Finca.


Eulalie and Juan exchange hats.  Photo credit: Keith Seiler.

Vinales 114

More mogotes rising majestically out of the valley floor.


Coffee drying at the hill station.  The plastic bottles hold the finished product.

Vinales 150

Lobster tails in the mid ground, yucca, cucumbers and tomatoes, rice, beans and flan capped off a memorable day in the mountains.


Elizabeth Jean’s crew and our host and hostess, Juan and Elena.  When we left it felt like leaving family.






Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Throw Back Thursdays on Grand Cayman Island

Our month of Thursdays, on Grand Cayman Island provided ample opportunity to “throwback” to our 1982 visit for our honeymoon.  Back then the Caymans’ unparalleled scuba diving drew us.  Thirty-four years later, Grand Cayman provided a great stepping stone in our passage north through the Caribbean Sea.  Our visit provided time to get up close and personal with manta rays, snorkel off pure white beaches, visit with Eulalie’s sister Julie up from Jamaica, and to reflect on the changes that 34 years has worked upon this wonderful island and ourselves (see picture at end of post for recreation of our honeymoon pose).

Cayman Isle Honeymoon

We were all smiles on our honeymoon in 1982.  Eulalie is wearing an Institute for Marine Studies tee shirt.  We met at IMS in 1978 where we earned masters degrees in ocean resources management and policy.  Thirty-four years later the ocean and its resources still absorb and fascinate us.


 The above map shows the Cayman Islands, north of Providencia.


Elizabeth Jean at the customs dock in Georgetown.  We arrived at dawn with four large cruise ships, one of which looms at anchor in the background.


A short walk from the waterfront  is the town square.  This statue of a man using his sextant celebrates the Island’s maritime heritage.  The plaque in front of the monument catalogs vessels and crew lost at sea.


Colorful tiles telling the Islands’ history also line the town square.  This tile depicts the Wreck of the Ten Sail, the 1793 tragedy involving HMS Convert and the nine vessels it was escorting to the United States.  The Convert’s captain, believing he had already cleared Grand Cayman, ordered a change of course bringing the fleet on to the reefs on the Island’s south side.  Caymanians  came to the aid of the 10 ships and rescued the crews and passengers. Despite their efforts, eight lives were lost as a result of the wreck.   Among those lost was the master of the Britannia, who went down with his ship.


The National Museum is a worthwhile stop on the down town tour.  “Bending the Jib”, by Robert Farlow captures the Caymanian Seafaring tradition.


Sepia toned photos lined the wall at our marina’s restaurant creating a warm ambiance for sailing and history buffs alike.


We spent a morning at Stingray City, a sandbar that attracts rays in large numbers.  Eulalie was so taken by a particular ray, Eric was not sure he would get her to come home.

Cayman Catamaran

Although the hotel where we stayed on our honeymoon (along with most of Eric’s hair) has long since disappeared, we were able to find this catamaran on 7-mile beach to recreate the picture from our honeymoon.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at

Halcyon Wandering

Living by the compass

Nancy Pat's Blog

Sabbatical Travels


joyfully exploring, surrendering to this moment, sharing the adventure


Maine-Nova Scotia-Newfoundland 2014


joyfully exploring, surrendering to this moment, sharing the adventure

Three Sheets Northwest

Three Sheets Northwest Boating News

The Pros and Cons of Business Marketing

joyfully exploring, surrendering to this moment, sharing the adventure

Voyage of Rocinante

Larry and Vicki's Journey upon sailing yacht Rocinante

svZoë sails on

joyfully exploring, surrendering to this moment, sharing the adventure

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.