Monthly Archives: October 2019

Newport, RI ~ Home Of The Giant Boats

This last two weeks has been one for the travel books, which sounds weird since we live a traveling lifestyle.  However,  we flew from California to Texas, Texas to Annapolis and Annapolis to Rhode Island. And tomorrow we fly back to California via Chicago.

Texas was all about doctor visits and was so quick we hardly saw anyone! 😦

Annapolis was all about the sailboat show and visiting with sailing friends new and long term. (Notice I do not say “old” about friends anymore!)  We had a great time reconnecting with some of our 2016 Sail to the Sun Rally Group. If you are interested in our experience with this rally, see our posts from October through December 2016.  Spoiler Alert:  We had a blast and are still in touch with many of the Ralliers!

We traveled to Bristol, RI to complete the hands on portion of the Safety at Sea Course, which was excellent! We highly recommend this course and I will write a blog specifically about the class very soon.

The reason for this quick blog is to share photos from our stop at the Newport Harbor today.  We went to visit Chris Bailet (captain extraordinaire) who was the commissioning skipper for Ticket To Ride.  Our visit with Chris was great and fun and informative, as always.

But walking through the boatyard was like walking through a museum of beautiful boats! You know you are surrounded by some amazing boats when 66 foot catamarans look small.

I took a few quick shots with my phone because the boats were just so pretty and impressive.

First lets start with the boats with which I am familiar:

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HH66 Nala ~ a stunner.

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Turn 45 degrees and oh, look, it’s Phedo, a beautiful Gunboat.

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Speaking of Gunboat ~ here is the new 68′ “Condor”

But enough of the catamarans, how about a little variety?

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This 140′ monohull is in fabulous condition!

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Check out the wrap on this racer! And those dagger boards!

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Notice the keel?

This boat might not catch your eye immediately, well except for its sheer size. But hey, you want to go shallow? Can you see the rather unusual keel? Check out the close up below.

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This keel folds up in shallow water!

But perhaps you are more of a motor sailor…. how about a cute little tug boat that has been refitted?

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Isn’t that great? And I am sure you can carry all the toys you desire!

But perhaps you prefer to travel in a slightly more luxurious style.  This motor yacht might strike your fancy.

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Gitana is giganta!

Notice that Gitana is still attached to the travel lift which we saw move her back into the water.  I was nervous when TTR was lifted, so imagine how it feels to have this boat hauled!

Oh, by the way, that is a 500 metric ton travel lift!!!

Hmmm, I thought they did things BIG in Texas…. wonder if there are Texas yards to rival this one?

Which one of these boats is your favorite?

Enough ogling of giant boats for me.  I am truly content with TTR and I can hardly wait to fly home tomorrow.

But I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures of these very impressive boats.

Thanks for stopping to read our blog.  Feel free to comment below. And if you want to hear from us more often, please check out our Facebook page: HH55 Ticket To Ride.

Santa Barbara And Point Dume ~ In The Blink Of An Eye.

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Nighttime Santa Barbara from TTR’s cockpit

After Santa Cruz, we headed to the lights of the mainland at Santa Barbara for a quick visit.  We only had one full day to explore Santa Barbara, so out came the e-scooters for a tour around town.

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Exploring by e-scooter

Santa Barbara was very clean and pretty.  It’s impossible to see it in one day on an e-scooter, but one place we stumbled upon in the midst of the city captured our regard.

There is a one square block park in the heart of Santa Barbara that is a nirvana of green space ~ Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden.

The property where the park lies has traded hands several times since the inception of Santa Barbara in 1850.  In 1903, Mary Miles Herter built a grand home with beautiful grounds on this block. Upon Herter’s death, her sons transformed the home into a hotel and they built bungalows all around the main hotel.  “El Marisol” became THE place for wealthy folks to mingle and find retreat.

In 1920 the property was bought by Frederick Clift who maintained the gold standard of El Marisol until he sold it in 1940.  For the next 35 years, the property changed hands and its use varied.

In 1975, Alice Keck Park anonymously purchased the property and donated it to the city of Santa Barbara with specific instructions that it was to be used only as a public space. She also specified that her identity was not to be revealed until after her death.

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Shade and sun dapple the park.

Alice Keck Park’s original gift of the land included enough funds to turn the then neglected land into a beautiful park and maintain the grounds going forward.

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Birdsong was louder in the park than the sounds of nearby traffic.

Today the park is a bubble of beauty with pockets of themed gardens like the butterfly garden or the water feature overflowing with turtles and ducks.  Within the park is a sensory garden area where visually and physically impaired visitors can enjoy the variety of scents, sounds and textures.

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This is a brugmansia arborea or Angel’s Trumpet.

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Angel’s Trumpet close up.

A special thank you to my SIL, Emily, who told me the name of this plant.  Em also informed me that the flowers and leaves are poisonous…. I cannot believe that here in California there wasn’t a giant sign warning about this tree!!

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Giant palms towered over flowering bushes.

Although we stumbled upon this park, it was so pretty and serene that we ended up spending about an hour just exploring the various areas and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere.

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To the left was the pond with the butterfly garden beyond it.

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A map showing the 75 different types of trees within the garden. 

One final  picture to share from Santa Barbara…. we scootered past this house and it was so cute and quirky that I had to snap a photo.

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This is so inviting but I’m sure the plants would die under my care.

We left Santa Barbara early the next morning and sailed to Point Dume.  We anchored off of a small cove where some friends live.  Point Dume was also a quick stop but it was full of fun thanks to Sydney and Michael whose hospitality was amazing!

Sydney put together a really delicious dinner on the beach and we enjoyed sharing their company while watching the sunlight disappear.

The views from TTR while anchored off Pt. Dume were gorgeous in the morning light.

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Looking east from TTR

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Love the circle of light in the clouds.

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The little beach where we had dinner is on the left.

Frank and I took a long walk and saw some pretty homes and pretty views from the cliffs.

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The view looking out to the water instead of in from the ocean.

Last year when we were traveling in our RV, fires were ravaging many parts of the west where we visited.  Our plans were altered to avoid the fires and we never really saw the results of the fires.  While walking in Pt. Dume, we were stunned by the remaining evidence of the fires California suffered.  The capriciousness of the fire witnessed by the path of the destruction and how the fire destroyed one home and didn’t even touch another was shocking.

Many homeowners have yet to begin the rebuilding process.  It is truly sad to see the homes that were destroyed and imagine the lives that were lost and permanently altered.

Next up for us is a visit back to Texas, followed by the Annapolis Boat Show then a quick stop in Rhode Island for a hands on safety at sea course where we will actually use our PFDs (personal flotation device), deploy and climb into a life raft, and gain hands on experience with other safety equipment. The safety at sea class is part of our efforts to make sure we are as prepared as possible for our sailing adventures, though we certainly hope never to use any of this particular knowledge!

Thank you for pausing to read our blog. Please feel free to add your comments below.  If you are interested in hearing from us more often, please take a look at our Facebook page.

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