Tag Archives: Bavaria 430 Lagoon

Jan 2020: Back to the UK for a while

Back in the Shire.

In mid-January, we arrived back in the UK.  We checked up on Linea in her winter berth at Base Nautica Flavia Gioia in Gaeta with our neighbours there and were assured all was well with her.

After a quick visit to Keira in Oxford and Paddy, Sarah, Sam and Louis in London it was immediately  time to sort out a house that a vacating tenant had left in disarray (to say the least!) We emptied, cleaned, re-painted, re-carpeted and cleaned some more. We were very pleased with the results; especially the kitchen units which we (well Jake!) stripped of vinyl and painted.  They look great. 

Ian delayed his departure back to Gaeta whilst I landed the plumb job of dog and house sitting for Claire and Nick in the Shire.   I was so thrilled to be home and enjoyed some great walks and catching up with people.  Although there was an incredible amount of rain in February; and snow; and wind!  But I LOVED it!

Ian set off back to Gaeta and cracked on with boat jobs.  I completed a couple of proof reading jobs and time flew by.  Most days I drove my friend Paula to Leeds for her treatment and relished the time we had together in the car to catch up and chat. 

COVID 19

On the 3rd March Ian popped back for a quick visit prior to us both returning to Italy to go to the Six Nations Rugby in Rome, and then further developments on the Covid 19 front really began to kick in.  We decided not to go back to Rome for the rugby, which was postponed soon after in any case. We phoned our winter liveaboard friend in the marina and asked them the remove the cheese, yogurt and random vegetables from our fridge!

Our friends for whom we were house sitting decided to come home early.  Over the following two weeks the situation began to worsen and it became clear to us that we needed a longer term solution for our accommodation. Whilst Nick and Claire, were incredibly kind in letting us stay on with them it wasn’t feasible for too much longer.  We started to make enquiries about renting an unoccupied holiday home.  No one seemed interested.  We put out feelers on facebook and in the post office window and finally, a landlady in Kettlewell agreed to have us to stay.

Whilst all this was on going we were concerned about Erin and Josh in India.  We knew that they had just arrived in Delhi because they were staying briefly with the son of an old family friend.  Thank you, Cam.  They then planned to take a train to Jaisalmer and other areas of Rajasthan. On the Monday 16th March they caught the night train to Jaisalmer, half way there we sent them a message to suggest they come straight back! 

They stayed long enough to complete their overnight camp in the desert and then they returned to Delhi.  The train was deserted.  Lock down was beginning in India.  In the meantime they tried to book flights.  All too quickly, they were booked by someone else prior to them getting to click the ‘book’ button themselves.  It was all quite stressful.  With some luck they did book a flight with Emirates via Bahrain and were on the last flight to leave India pre-lock down. 

So, we now had a place to live for the foreseeable, our youngest on her way home, and our eldest saying she would like to come up north for lockdown, if it happened. 

Ian drove down south.  He picked Erin and Josh up from Josh’s parents and whisked over to Oxford to pick up Keira.  They arrived back on the 23rd March about 5 mins before Boris Johnson’s lock down broadcast on TV!

It was a massive family reunion.  We had not seen Erin and Josh for 18 months as they had been travelling and working in Australia, Sri Lanka and India.  We had a wonderful time. This is all recorded for posterity on Erin and Josh’s You tube channel The Travel Tapes.

Soon Ian had secured a job with Tescos working in the on line orders team.  Erin and Josh soon followed working as pickers.  Keira was beavering away at home in the cottage in Kettlewell using the ironing board as a makeshift table!

Once Paula’s treatment was completed in April I too would begin to look for work.  I found a job in housekeeping at a local care home.  So we were all gainfully employed but found Kettlewell a little far away and so we were lucky enough to find a lovely cottage down at Linton Falls which meant that I could walk to work, and we were more back in our own welcoming community.

On our first day there I found a note stuck to the windscreen of the car demanding that we go home, as tourists and visitors were not welcome!

Needless to say we were a little shocked.

Ian found out who had written the cowardly note and gently explained our provenance and our situation but things were never overly warm and friendly between us and our new neighbours after that.

Time flew by.  The weather was amazingly good.  We had virtually no rain at all.  We missed seeing our friends but we did manage a Thursday night quiz with the Wharfedale gang and Saturday night quiz with friends and family spread around the world. 

There was talk of allowing some travel.  Josh went down south to see his parents.  We needed to get back to the boat as the prices were set to hike up to level ridiculous in July.  So we booked a flight for the 21st June.  (I was sorry to be leaving the nursing home but had been suffering from some dreadful eye and facial allergy and it was being exacerbated by the warm working conditions so it was time to say goodbye.)

It all went ahead.  We moved out of Linton Falls.  Keira packed up the little car we had bought and drove down to Oxford, re-packed and then set off to France to be with Sam, her boyfriend, who had been living there since the end of his season in Val d’Isere.

Our time together was coming to an end.  It had been such a good time; good weather; good food, good walks, games, virtual quizzes, jigsaws, cooking, sour dough, V E Day street party, neighbours, old friends.

The Dales.

Terra firma.

Bliss!

Getting to know Gaeta

Once the thunder and rain storms had passed we ventured out. When we discovered that we were the only liveaboard boat we did begin to wonder if we had been right to leave the comfort blanket of Marina di Ragusa and its vibrant community.

Jayne Koehler, who is the port officer here came round to say hello and before long I was being whisked into town to be shown around.

To start with Jayne showed me Via Independenza which is an narrow alleyway full of small shops, stalls, wine merchants, tiellerie, (local pie shops), bakers, butchers, clothes shops, estate agents, bars, coffee shops, stationers, pizzerie, trattorie, casalinghue, ferramente – you name it, you can find it here.

She introduced me to most of the shop keepers and I felt warmly welcomed.

Later that day I showed Ian what I had discovered. We loved the quirky street. It is like a throw back. The signs above the doors have not changed in decades. It is scruffy but beguiling and everyone is so friendly.

The town is literally right on the door step of the boat and I think we are going to be happy here.

The next day, we walked down to the old part of town. The historic centre. The walk is a stunning stroll down a leafy boulevarde, along a huge promenade called the Lungomare. It must be four kilometres in length. Palm trees rustle over head and the tall flat topped pines cast a useful shade under their umbrella fronds.

We happened upon a tennis club which I would love to join….I made tentative enquiries, we’ll see if I’m brave enough to actually join.

We loved the winding streets, the steps and hairpin bends, the churches and old castle walls. We were fascinated to note that their was an international symposium of scholars of ancient manuscripts gathering for a two day conference on the future of studying manuscripts! Perhaps something was lost in translation but it was amazing to us that there even was such a thing!

We came across a talented artist in her ceramics workshop. Soon we were on first name terms. I hope to see her again. Maybe I can try my hand at decorating a ceramic tile?

On the way home we visited the wine shop. Wine is decanted into your own bottles. Luckily, in our bag, there were three we had the foresight to bring with us! We tasted the wine. I don’t know why exactly, as we were sure to buy! They were a bargain at E1.60 a litre!

Things were looking up!

The nearest beach

The next day we walked across the isthmus to investigate the beach. On the northwest facing side of the Gaeta promontory is a massive beach. The beach concessions were in the process of dismantling fencing, umbrella holders and equipment, so, once that is done the beach will be the territory of the winter residents once more.

Looking up to Monte di Spaccata

Our walk the next day was a more strenuous stroll up hill towards the Monastry of the Spaccata. This monastery/church was built into a split in the rock literally hovering a hundred metres from the sea below. The views were incredible from the top and we had the added bonus of people watching the congregation as the disgorged from church.

Big man, small car.

There are lots more walks around the Parco d’Orlando which we will do when it is less hot.

We have now discovered that there will be five other boats arriving for the winter. Of these the crew of three of them will spend most of the winter here. Another boat is being lifted onto the hard but they may visit for a holiday. So there will be a small community here, plus Jayne, the port officer.

Winds batter us and send waves over the pontoon

Today we walked North along the prom into the strong winds buffeting the outer pontoons of the marina. It has been quite wild out and we, for one, are very glad of the breakwater effect that USS Mount Whitney has on our berth.

Dominic the bike guy.

We have bought ourselves some bikes today which Dominic at the bike shop will buy back from us when we leave for half of what we paid for them. Seems like a bargain.

We have also hired a car for a few days so that we can do errands, shopping, gas refills, sewing machine repairs, laundry and most importantly go over the Appennines to Penne, Abruzzo to meet up with my great friends Paula, Lyndsay and Peter.

Guest Blog; Keira and Lucy on Linea

20/08/19-01/09/19

A few highlights from a fantastic two week holiday in Croatia…

After a flying visit to Dubrovnik with Keira, we travelled 4 hours by ferry on Wednesday to Milna on the island of Brač. Sarah and Ian were on the town quay awaiting our arrival and we walked to where Linea was moored. After a long catch up, a delicious homemade curry, and a few glasses of wine, we were ready for bed, and slept soundly for the first night on the boat.

Thursday, we set off to Smrka bay, which was beautiful, it even housed an old Military tunnel left over from the Former Yugoslavia, and an old house left in its ori​ginal state.

The house was complete with an outside shower and toilet, as well as a large open fire in the main room of the house, used for cooking a traditional supper for dinner guests who wish to enjoy a traditional Croatian meal.

Friday, we managed to sail the full 19 miles to Vis as we were lucky with the 5.6 knots of wind in our favour.

The incredible dolphin sightings out at sea- thanks Ian for always spotting them whilst we were deeply involved in our respective books

Saturday was by far the most interesting day as we set off from Vis town by Land Rover to visit three different military bases. Equipped with helmets and headlamps, the tour started in the underground tunnels. We explored the labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers, saw the remains of cannons and abandoned warehouses.

The views from the top were incredible! The tour guide pointed out Tito’s cave and informed us that the leader used this as a Partisan hideout from the invading Nazi forces during the Second World War. We were left fascinated by a tour so rich in culture and history that afterwards, we spent some time discussing it with our guide over a well-earned beer.

The view from the top

Sunday, we sailed 30 miles to Korčula.

I think now it is the right time to mention that England thrashed Australia in the Ashes. Despite mine and Keira’s disinterest in the cricket, I know that S+I will be thrilled that I mention this here, it did create a buzzy atmosphere on the boat and we celebrated by enjoying G+T’s on the top deck and were introduced to ‘Black Mariah’.

The following three days were spent in Lastovo’s Archipelago Nature park- the most idyllic place of all. We were spoilt by the luscious vegetation and marine life that surrounded us. Some personal highlights from this wonderful island: locals who travelled around by dinghy delivering bread and pastries to any anchored vessel, the four of us star gazing on the top deck- mesmerised by the little air pollution, the exhausting yet thoroughly enjoyable 20 mile cycle around the island topped with a fantastic lunch in ‘Fumari’.

Next up was a 30 mile sail to Ston, we spent the evening in a restaurant where a large table of crew members dined from the world’s second largest super yacht named ‘Perlorus’.

The ‘much talked about’ Pelorus super yacht

We indulged in freshly barbequed fish and home grown salad and chips and enjoyed conversing with the crew members and learning how ‘the other half live’! Keira and I spent our last night on the boat in Cavtat before S+I took us to shore to wave us goodbye as we parted ways. A truly unforgettable holiday filled with cultural discoveries, delicious food, some exercise, and great company- thank you Sarah and Ian for a wonderful boating experience. 

I don’t know if you want to put this in the blog but I just wanted to say a special thank you to Ian for teaching me the basics about sailing, I can confidently work out the maths when it comes to calculating the distance, speed, and duration from destination to destination (just about!) Sarah, thank you for inspiring me with your cooking and acting as nurse when I fell over and cut my knee. I am so grateful to you both for inviting me onto the boat, you spoilt me! I look back with such fond memories that will stay with me forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you!