The day we arrived back in Belize, after the Caribbean Sea crossing, we got the news that Rufus’ mom was ill. None of us knew at that stage that she had Leukemia but, over the next few days during the prep for our next charter, it escalated from being “tired and needing blood transfusions” to “full blown, advanced AML” and emergency prep for chemo. There is always a time of stress before a charter begins, the last few hours to get everything perfect before the guests arrive (which isn’t so bad actually, unless you are a perfectionist…) and then there is the…

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Moving from country to country, working expat contracts and being relocated (or choosing to relocate) has taught us to let go of things and collect experiences instead. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. You have to, especially when you cannot take all your precious possessions with you everywhere you go.  What we are attached to though, is a space we can call home. It doesn’t have to be fancy or stationary, it just has to be our space. At this time in our lives our home space is Melody – our trusty 38ft steel boat. After 4 months working in Belize,…

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When we returned to Belize from our Cuba trip, we went straight back into work. We started with a tandem Christmas charter for two fantastic families, the Hogans and Ivies. Christmas charters can be stressful as there is a lot of pressure. We were especially tense for this one because one of the children planned to propose to his girlfriend on one of the private islands and we had to make sure that it played out perfectly. It turned out that we didnt need to stress at all. They all arrived wearing “Father Christmas” hats and T-shirts emblazoned with “BELIZE NAVIDAD” –…

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Many people we meet are heavily reliant on a multitude of apps to make their travels easier. Others refuse to use them because they believe it destroys the authenticity and spontaneity. We fit somewhere in between. Apps do help make our travel life easier, especially in countries where we don’t speak the language. We like to use them only when we really need them and try to keep our experiences less online and more in real life. The apps we use the most are primarily “offline” as a lot of the areas we travel, we either don’t have data service for my iPhone or the wifi is expensive/limited/non-existent.…

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In the previous post I said that on our last day in Cuba we ticked off all the remaining “to do’s” on our list. That is not entirely true… We, or rather Rufus, had one more left and it was the most tricky so far. Rufus LOVES motorbikes. I like them too but I usually leave him to enjoy his motocross with his guy friends on the farm (when we are in South Africa). In Cuba there are quite a few vintage WW2 style motorbikes on the streets but what caught his eye were the sidecars. They are mostly vintage Soviet Union made and all…

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On our last day in Cuba, back in Havana City, we crammed in all the activities we hadn’t yet ticked off our list – Camera Obscura, vintage car ride, Museo del Chocolate (that was actually a repeat but it was definitely worth a 3rd visit!), another walk around Habana Vieja, the vintage market, the rest of the Malecon, Hemingway’s Hotel, Che Guevara’s private residence, the statue of Jesus Christ in Casablanca, the fort across the Havana Harbour mouth from Havana Vieja, a ride in a bicycle taxi, cocktails at some of the modern local bars in Old Havana City and a couple of other things I…

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“El Malecon, officially Avenida de Maceo, is a promenade, roadway and seawall, which stretches for 8km along the coast of Havana. It runs from the mount of Havana Harbour in Old Havana, along the north side of Habana Centro neighbourhood, ending in the Vedado neighbourhood.”  We walked along the Malecon almost every day we were in Havana. The temperature and wind were a bit cool then, especially in the shade, but the views were beautiful and the people fascinating to watch. It goes without saying that we love being close to the ocean so this was an essential part of our…

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On the second and last day of our stay in Vinales we rented bicycles and explored the surrounding countryside. As cruisers we are very much at home on bicycles  – it is the cheapest, fastest way for us to get around in each country we sail to. Also it keeps us fit and in shape. We have our own fold up aluminium “monkey bikes” onboard Melody and I have a borderline unhealthy attachment to mine. It’s the one thing I am always most excited about whenever we return to Melody. Rufus knows that his first task is always to get my bike out…

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Viñales was the highlight of our trip to Cuba. The hustle and bustle of La Habana is fascinating and exciting but the peace & quiet and natural beauty of Viñales’ “Valley of Silence” really appealed to the “cruiser” side of Rufus & I. We joined Charlette and Ben (the Kiwis from our casa) on the 3hr bus ride south west from Havana city to the Pinar del Rio province to experience something a little different.  We arrived in the afternoon and decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. I somehow managed to overdose on some really rich hot chocolate at the…

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La Habana Vieja, or Old Habana, is exactly what it’s title suggests, the oldest part of the city. Over the course of two days we explored the area with our new friends from the casa. A lot of the buildings are run down and in need of some serious TLC but the government seems to be investing in the rehabilitation of a select few grand hotels and ateliers . There are areas which are more commercial, and crowded with tourists, but there are also quieter areas where trendy little bars and restaurants have started to spring up in between the dilapidated private residential buildings.…

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The initial purpose of this blog was to keep our family informed and involved in our travels. It’s the easiest, fastest way to reach everyone. The most frequent comment we get from friends and family is: “We can never keep track of you two!”. And it’s the truth. Rufus and I have an unpredictable life together, we enjoy the excitement of not always knowing what is around the corner and not always being able to plan things.  In all honesty, who can successfully and accurately plan every detail of their future?! No one, ever. We have just actively chosen to embrace that uncertainty rather…

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