Vacation in Norway

01/11/08

 

 

As July came to an end we set sail for Jolly Harbor on the west side of Antigua. The sail there is always wonderful. We sail along the coast towards Cades Reef in the south west. Then sail behind the reef and into the shallow areas on the west coast. Here the water is between 3 and 10 meters deep. Since the water is crystal clear you can count the fish at the bottom as you sail past. It is not for the faint hearted! The color of the water is spectacular. All greens from nearly white where there is sand to the dark green where the bottom is covered with sea grass.

Lifting the boat is always nerve wrecking. To see Coconut hanging up in the air supported by a couple of straps is against nature. To take the mast off is even worse. Especially as the marina lift operator started having cold feet about the whole thing. Coming out she looked like a coral reef! The antifouling had lost the battle against the tropics and the 4 coats of International Mille was gone and replaced with an amazing variety of marine life. Luckily most off it came off after close contact with the high pressure hose.

After Coconut was put on hard stands and strapped to the concrete and we left her for Norway.  We had decided to go so that my parents could see the kids. It was the last chance for a year and a half before we reach Australia. As soon as you go through Panama it is very difficult to get home there just isn't that many airports out there, and not many discount airlines!

Norway was a whirlwind of experiences, visiting friends and family. It was great to see everybody and to touch base with our "normal" life. We did Lego land in Denmark and visited a friend on a farm there complete with horses and dirt bikes. We saw my brother from France and his family as well as my brother that lives in Oslo. We where on the dock wishing S/Y Hurra welcome home after their one-year-Caribbean-and-back trip. We spent a few days with S/C Noravind in Tønsberg and witnessed how they where getting into land based life. We met up with S/Y Veto and S/C Noravind in Son for a yachtie dinner and stopped in Larvik to visit friends. We visited the newborn baby of Hanne and Alf,  little"Kaia". Camilla and Colin had sleepovers at friends houses. I got to meet business colleagues, Camilla got to ride, Colin spent time with his friends and Lesley met colleagues from the kindergarten. It was all a whirlwind of activity until we absolutely exhausted got on the plane back to Antigua via Manchester. We did get a fright when Camilla developed asthma like symptoms on arriving in Manchester. We visited the clinic and the hospital only to be issued with an asthma pump and told not to worry.

       Legoland ,Denmark              Larvik,Norway

Norway was in many ways a great experience for us. I guess it gave us a good picture of all the things we love about Norway as well as all the things we love about other places (read Antigua). It did remind us of what we have to get back to after our adventures. It was important to re-connect with everyone. I had been back a few times but this was the first time for Lesley for over a year, and the first since October for the kids. Camilla re-connected with her friends as did Colin. The kids very much appreciated seeing their grandparents again. They got to spend quite a bit of time together which was important for both parties.Hopefully we will meet up with the grandparents and family in South Afica after our trip too.Its been a few years since we were there.

Arriving in Antigua we where met by our new land lady, Janie. She took us back down to English Harbour and Spring Hill which is her property. Spring Hill overlooks Falmouth harbour and is right next to the stables. The property has three houses and a swimming pool all set in a lush tropical garden. It is very peaceful, very beautiful.She has four dogs which the kids love playing with.

Being next to the stables was a major point for Camilla. She got to lease a horse, Prince, and has spent most of her time there since we came back, only coming home to eat and sleep. She has become  very good at riding. The coach, Jeremiah, has been very good for her and she has progressed at an amazing speed. She won the riding competiton the other day with the best time and no faults. It was an incredible experience to see her ride. She is only 10 but she can ride like the wind! Colin started playing basketball at the school and loves going hiking and taking photographs

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 Every Sunday a group of friends meet up and we go hiking through the rainforest, to some remote beaches or to some of the historical sites around here.Lesley has been looking for old artifacts up at the old forts, and has now collected all sorts of fragments of pottery and musket shot,dating from around 1785-1825.

Ceramics, musket shot,canonball and an alabaster marble.

After settling in it was time for me to go again. I was off to Norway to do a two day workshop. It was a hectic week. Fly in, help my parents with a couple of things, do the workshop and evaluate the session, pack and fly home again. The kids started back at school and they both had new teachers from Canada.Lesley has been helping out as a supply teacher and i have been asked to teach business studies at the High Schol a couple of times a week. In between all this  I am preparing the boat to go back in the water mid-November. Then its off again on new adventures.

 

 

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