This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Cruise Holiday

How can you take a holiday when you are already on holidays? ................ but we're doing it. We leave today for almost 4 weeks of cruising the Caribbean so this will be our last post until December 17th. We are back in port Nov 27th and again Dec 4th so will see if we are able to use our Verizon card and connect on those dates. If we can, we will post, if not, then for sure on Dec 17th. See you shortly Bonnie and Winston.

 Thanks so much for dropping by.  We look forward to your input when we get back.

Safe travels.

Friday, 18 November 2011


I C W stands for Inter  Coastal  Waterway and that's where we met Julie, Greg, Madelin and Jessica. It wasn't the best weather to get together but it was the only day we could arrange it. With rain clouds heavy overhead  we drove north to Vero Beach in Florida for our planned rendezvous.

Their boat is called Cee Jem and is tucked behind the two masted schooner in the middle of the picture. Both boats are sharing the same mooring ball in Vero Beach Marina.

Off to the beach, a short hike from the marina.

Waves, wind, and happy girls dancing along the sea shore. Jessica and Madelin are having a truly unique year exploring the eastern shore of North America and then the Bahamas Islands.

I love Julie's expression. Not sure what she was thinking but she looks like she just swallowed the prize.

Greg was a wealth of knowledge, explaining  to the girls what the creatures were they found along the sea shore.

Can you tell Aunt Mary loves children? She can't wait to be a grandma.

Another creature another learning experience, what a classroom these girls are in this year. Every child should be so fortunate to have such wonderful learning experiences. Greg and Julie are doing a fine job of "home schooling" the girls this year.

We're not lost ..................... just let me check my I-pod. OK, lets go west .........

Glad we didn't have to swim out to Cee Jem. Greg was the gracious taxi driver making sure we didn't fall overboard.

Yes, the photo is a little blurry, but I love Madelin's expression as she looks into her mom's eyes.

Back on shore and one last look across the harbour.

Thanks for supper and a great day. Safe travels.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Beach Bums

I love to sit on the beach and watch the waves roll in.  Mary prefers to go off collecting shells and walking the length of the beach, I'm happy watching the birds, people and boats sailing past.

We are camped near Jupiterr Beach so spent yesterday enjoying the seashore.

Lots of public beach access and you can stroll for miles on soft sand between your toes.

This guy was looking for a handout .............while the one below;

came up empty several times before   ..........................

he got lucky. Can you see the fish in his talons?

Looking at this picture I cam almost hear the waves rolling in.

Be sure to bring your binoculars when you come down, there's plenty to see.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Highway A1A, Florida

Decided to take the slow, scenic route yesterday and drove the A1A in Florida.

This is the life. ..................... Stopped here for a walk on the beach and lunch, a perfect break from the stop and go driving along A1A.

These little guys were running all over the beach, chasing the waves back into the ocean, poking their bill into the sand searching for food. I think he's a sandpiper but not 100% sure.

This is the tourist route, development on both sides and now and then a chance to see or enjoy the ocean.

You are travelling the outer banks with the island connected by bridges and causeways. The day was warm, our windows were down and we were drinking lots of water.

I remember "Dad, are we there yet" from those little voices in the back seat years ago. Well,  after five hours we did arrive and will stay here until our cruise leaves on Sunday.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Gadgets and Driveways

Have you noticed how camping has changed? My parents gave me my first tent when I was in grade six. No, Mom wasn't encouraging me to run away. I think she thought "sleep-overs" would be easier if relegated to the backyard. That tent was made from canvas, had no floor, wooden poles, the ridge pole sagged under the weight of the canvas and all kinds of critters crawled under the walls which didn't always reach the ground.

To-day we no longer camp in canvas tents, we camp off the ground in vehicles that cost more than my first house and they have more gadgets than most people have in their home.

This is the gadget that has saved me money. Look closely in the bottom right corner. See the 44 and 72? The 72 is the speed in km. for the road you are on. The 44 is the speed you are driving at. For some roads the speed seems to change without notice and that's when the blue radar gun catches you in their cross-hairs. Time to pay up. This gadget helps to stack the cards more in your favour, of getting through the gauntlet without encountering a speeding ticket. I know it's helped me. I think we were just pulling away from a stop light, that would explain the great difference in speed. I prefer to pull the trailer just at the posted speed, not 30 km. below what is posted.

Driveway parking. We had a lovely time parked on Kathy and Steve's front lawn last week. We met them over the internet and spent two lovely days enjoying their friendly, southern hospitality. Thanks so much for making two strangers feel so welcome. We talked so much I forgot to get their picture. Guess we will just have to go back.

We had a great day driving A1A in Florida today. I'll write about that route in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Last night we drove in to St.Marys, Georgia and walked along the waterfront.

The sun was setting, the water calm and the weather perfect.

This entire area has been redeveloped and the waterfront is a delight to stroll through; lots of nautical shops,  gently winding paths and the fishermen love the easy access to the harbour.

We've been watching for Cee Jem but so far no luck. Discovered later that they are further south than we are.

After our stroll it was time to sit on the balcony and enjoy supper, watch the tourist come back from Cumberland Island and the full moon dance across the still water. Thanks for stopping by and allowing us to share the moment.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Fort McAllister

Yesterday being Remembrance Day, I toured Fort McAllister and thought of the sacrifices men and women have made down through the centuries to give us the freedom we enjoy today.

When you look through the arch made by the trees you are looking at Fort McAllister. The Union army didn't even know it existed until they followed a rebel blockade runner up the Ogeechee River and discovered the fort by accident. This fort was a vital defence link in the protection of Savannah.

This is an earthwork fortification. There are no wall or buildings above ground; everything is buried under 10 feet of dirt. This was an excellent design for warfare in the 1860s. Bombs would explode as the fell on the fort but do very little damage because of the soil and vegetation cover.

Looking across the Ogeechee River where the Union gunboats would moor to launch their barrage of shells against the fort. This fort was attacked 7 times by the Union army and didn't fall until attacked by land during General Sherman's "March to the Sea" campaign in 1864.

The soldiers' barracks deep underground. This was used as a hospital when the fort was under siege.

One of the heavy guns used to defend the fort. There is also an excellent museum here depicting life and events of the civil war era. Doug, you would have enjoyed the tour.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Trolley Ride Savannah

If you decide to visit Savannah, take the trolley ride from the visitors' centre located in the downtown core. Parking is $1.00/hour, you can get maps and advice at the visitors' centre, see a movie about the history of Savannah and get yourself organized for the day, and a day won't be enough.

The trolley ride takes about 90 minutes, it has 15 stops and you can get on and off at your pleasure. I liked the open air trolleys which allowed easy photographs from either side as we drove through the narrow streets of old Savannah.

The architect here is rich and varied, with many beautifully restored homes, once owned by famous people who played a major roll in the founding of the city and colony.

The main entrance was usually at the second story level. There were two reasons for this, the kitchen was located at ground level as well as the servants' quarters, and the home owners kept their living quarters separate from them

Old Savannah has a park every two blocks. The streets are laied out in a grid pattern and every second intersection was a square or common area. No the founding fathers were not into providing leisurely quiet areas, these squares served a military purpose. The militia would practise their manoeuvres on them and if the enemy entered the city they could be easily confronted as the moved through a square. It was all about defence back in the 1700s.

If you prefer a horse drawn carriage ride for your tour those are also available. With the sun shining and the sky a dark blue a horse drawn carriage would be the perfect way to see the city.

Because Savannah played a vital role in the formation of the American colonies and the American revolution there are plenty of statues to commemorate their history. This monument acknowledges the role played by American Haitians during the American Revolution when she fought and won her independence from Britain. I believe that war was over taxes, wonder what the revolutionaries would think of the present tax structure?

Savannah is the second busiest container port on the east coast and it is their major industry. Can you guess what their second most important industry is? ............................ Tourism, with over 11 million visitors a year.

This is the "Waving Lady" a symbol of southern hospitality. Apparently for 40 years this lady (Lucy) would step out onto her from veranda and wave at the ships coming into port.

We didn't do much more than scratch the surface of all that's available to see and do in Savannah. The museums are free, the food is delicious, and the trolley rides and parking make it all more enjoyable. If you are thinking of visiting, give yourself a week; a day or two just wets your appetite.

Bird Hike

Yesterday was a busy day; started at 8 a.m. by the visitors' centre where we joined a conducted bird hike .

We first had to set our binoculars for our eyes and make sure we could focus properly.

Kathy, from Maine, who volunteers in the park lead the hike and was an excellent guide. Kathy and her husband have been full time RVers since 2004 and love it, spending a part of each year working as camp hosts in Georgia and Texas.

Kathy had a  bird book on her wrist which gave a picture but also played the bird's song. Technology!

We walked the boardwalk to the salt marshes and saw serveral different species.

This was one, I believe it is a Mocking bird.

After the hike we drove into old Savannah for a trolley tour. I'll post those pictures tomorrow. Today we are moving 35 miles south to Fort McAllister.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Pulled in here Sunday intending to stay a day and here it is Wednesday and we haven't moved. That's the beauty of travelling in your RV. No schedule. We find a place we like, we stay longer than planned, stop and wish we hadn't, move on. One of the truly wonderful aspects of travelling this way is meeting wonderful people who take the time to chat and have interesting lives to share.

So this has been our home for the past four days. Unfortunately the park is fully booked for the weekend so we have to leave Thursday morning. We are thinking of travelling 35 miles south and stopping to see Fort McAllister. Check back in a few days to see if that actually happened.

Here's Dave and Julie, fellow "Airstreamers" who are travelling for the next 6 months, much like we are. Friendly folks who enjoying sharing their strategies for travelling on a budget and enjoying the places they visit without spending the whole bank account. Frugal travellers, that's who we are when you travel for such extended periods of time.

See that bag over Mary's shoulder, that's her knitting bag and Julie made it. Two talented women sharing ideas and crafts.

Safe travels, Dave and Julie, it was a pleasure meeting you.