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I don't stop...
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Feel free to share this blog.
Visit @SailGirl Design on Instagram!
Hey, blog readers! I notice when I get this blog in my email it only seems to show single pics. Some of the sections of most posts have a slideshow imbedded. Please let me know if you are seeing the slide shows. If you are not, try viewing the blog in your browser. This is easy to do by clicking on the title of the blog in your email.
You can always visit our website- www.sailgirldesign.com and check out the last page of the site which is the blog.
Thanks!! Just wanted to make sure you were seeing all the fun pics.
Peggy and Corey
So, I do keep a fairly regular blog on this site. It's primary purpose is to keep family and friends up to date on our wanderings. As a somewhat regular "tweeter" I ran across a contest for amateur photographers and figure, why not?
The mission is to create a blog with photos that fall under these categories...
Let's see what Black's thinks of my examples of Wild, Fast, Panoramic, and Epic:
This was taken from a beach in the Similan Islands, Thailand. We were on a live aboard dive boat over Christmas.
A gorgeous place, where even mermaids may be spotted...
Well, Corey has been in Thailand pretty much full time for over a year. I have finally caught up with him and even remain employed by CareFusion! My new title is Clinical Application Manager- Asia. Basically, I'm doing pretty much the same things as I did in Asia before I relocated but now I'm officially- here. I will be based in Singapore but traveling back and forth to Phuket, Thailand (to hang out with Corey) pretty much weekly, as well as working all over Asia. So, we are now officially transferred out of Australia and living quite near the equator. Pretty exciting stuff! If you are looking for a hot, humid vacation come visit!
This picture is from our recent live aboard dive trip. We spent the 4 nights over Christmas on a boat in the Similan Islands of Thailand. It was a fabulous trip! Kath, our tour leader and the entire crew were amazing! Plus, we had a great group of divers aboard. A few photos are below. The trip started in Chalong, Phuket Island and as we motored out of the harbor the crew set off firecrackers to frighten away any bad spirits or bad luck that may affect our trip. There was also a wonderful banquet and flowers presented on the bow to ask for safe travel and blessings. It must have worked as we had great weather, smooth sailing and beautiful diving. Corey took more of the underwater photos this trip and we were having some equipment challenges. At least I got some fun topside pics. The topography in the Similans is quite unique. Lots of big boulders both above and below the multi-hued water. Our fireworks must have also spooked the whale sharks that had been sighted recently. No worries, Kath took us to her favorite spots and I now can't wait to go back for more.
Before I jump too far ahead to Asia, I have to talk about leaving Australia and it was downright hard to do! I have made friends for life in both Australia and New Zealand. I absolutely will miss everyone and I hope that we meet again, sooner rather than later.
After returning from America, I was basically "homeless." This was a non-issue as many people offered me a place to stay. I house sat for Maree for almost 2 months which was quite an opportunity. Her cute little house was just down the road from where I was living before, so it made getting around easy- I just continued to ride my bike! Then after Maree returned, I bunked at Stephen and Louise Devine's. Living at the Devine's was DEVINE! Louise is a great cook, they love good wine, and have a nice warm pool... what else could anyone ask for. Oh, did I mention they are a lot of fun! Part of the time I was there, it became a bit of a hostel as I roomed with Josie. So much fun and many, many laughs. Thanks for everything Louise and Stephen.
Oh, and just before leaving Australia we took a quick trip to Byron Bay. I LOVE that place! The friends I went with made it extra special. In addition to a lovely trip to Byron, I had party after party to attend. Christmas parties and going away parties. Also squeezed in a couple big dance nights at the Mon Komo and as much yoga as I could... I'm so missing my yoga on the beach and particularly my yogi friends!
I really can't say enough about everyone I love in Australia. The people truly made it feel like home because it is a long way from where I'm from. I miss you already but know I will see you soon! That is why I really couldn't say goodbye, I stuck with "See Ya Latah." Hopefully done in my best Aussie accent.
Corey has become the first person to ever jump a tandem skydive over Phuket. He also was part of another air show and did a solo skydive, landing on Patong Beach, one of the main tourist beaches in Phuket- See below. Stay tuned, Skydiving in Phuket in slowly becoming a reality. In the meantime have a very happy New Year's Celebration where ever you may be. Here's to a happy and healthy 2014- Cheers!
p.s. I have more pictures to load but am out of patience tonight. Keep checking back for more!
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to take a business trip to Queenstown, NZ. What a spectacular place! Many people had told me that I "just had to get to Queenstown" while in this part of the world. I am so happy I was able to do so. Queenstown is famous for being a thrill seeker's paradise. Adventures from skiing, skydiving, parasailing, jet boating, to bungy jumping and more are all available. If I had more time I would have liked to hire a car to drive around the lake. Lots to do and see!
First off, flying into and landing in Queenstown is a bit of a thrill, especially on a windy day. As you swoop down into a valley between snow dusted mountains the plane shudders and wiggles as the pilot attempts to wrestle it to the earth. The actual touchdown wasn't the softest but I was glad to feel the wheels touch ground.
As an American that has grown up in the NW, lived for 5 years in Colorado, but prefers the tropics- I wasn't sure I'd truly appreciate the mountain scenery especially with the chilly weather forecast. Queenstown certainly did NOT disappoint, in fact, it felt quite familiar and I often found myself smiling for no apparent reason. Seeing mountains rise out of gorgeous blue water reminded me of past hikes and good times. My visit to Qtown was short but the days were sunny, the air temps brisk, and views of distant peaks crystal clear.
One of the best parts of Queenstown was the food, and of course, the wine. I had a tasty lunch at the BathHouse- see the pics below. Toasty warm in a windowed sunroom, I sipped wine while watching waves of Lake Wakatipu slap the shore.
For dinner one night I had salmon and a Marlborough Pinot Noir at Pier 19. If you are in Qtown I highly recommend this restaurant. The service was as excellent as the food. The Empanada Kitchen is an open air, cart style food venue that basically just serves… yep, you guessed it- empanadas. I tried lamb with green olive tampenade, yum!
My trip across the lake on The Steamship Earnslaw (TSS Earnslaw) felt like a quick trip back in time. The boat has been taking passengers on Lake Wakatipu for many years. It was the only way to travel around the region early in it's settlement. A pianist inside at the bow played sing-along folk songs. Luckily the songs reminded me of home and family reunions past and kept thoughts of the Titanic from the forefront of my mind. I just can't resist getting on a boat when I have a chance.
Walking through town I happened into the Ivan Clarke Gallery. His work is quite unique as it is portraits of dogs that are uncannily humanlike. His original work started from the love a pooch, a long haired dachshund.
Enjoy the pics and don't miss the captions. Maybe you will feel like you took a quick visit to Qtown too- or at least make you think twice about adding it to your bucket list, along with a bungy jump, of course!
This past week I spent at a medical conference in Hobart, Tasmania. Needless to say, we didn't get much time to play but what little I was able to take in of Hobart, I loved! It is a seaside town, which are always my favorite. There is also a river running through it, a big one. The story of Hobart is an interesting one and I was lucky enough to visit the local museum and a few antique shops in town. Unluckily, I didn't make it to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) which is said to be spectacular. Next time... next time. I do hope to return to see more of this oversized island. Hobart itself is charming, full of art, amazing fresh food-including great coffee, music, and local characters. I must say that a local Hobart accent is almost as tough to decipher as a Northern Queenslander and I'm quite fluent now in Australian, even Kiwi.
I was able to spend a couple of hours wandering through the Salamanca Saturday Market. I only wished I was heading home so I could purchase more gifts and fresh honey. Instead I'm on my way to Singapore so only limited shopping was in the cards. The food, people watching, and chance to listen to local buskers made it well worthwhile.
One night we went to dinner at Maldini's in Salamanca. Yum! If you are in Hobart and hankering for some good Italian, give it a go. In fact, that evening as we were headed to eat, we ran into a free concert being played. The setting was the back wall of Salamanca Courtyard, actually the stone of the cliff behind the square and spirits were high! It was the end of a sunny summer day and everyone was enjoying the evening. See the pictures below. Click on images to see them in full detail.
Did you know that Hobart's ports are one of the main "jump off" points to Antartica? It is really, really far south. I have a strong feeling that I wouldn't like Hobart or Tasmania as much in the winter. However, the few days we were there, the sun was out and the smiles were big. People were lazing about in city parks and eating fish and chips along the docks. Since Tasmania is well within the "roaring 40's" the wind never stopped blowing. For the non-sailor types out there, the 40's refer to the latitude and the roaring refers to the wind. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is legendary for good reason! The winds alone would make it quite exciting, not to mention the size of waves that are built by consistent strong winds.
The history of Tasmania is a seafaring one and it is evident every where. The air smells of the sea and the brisk wind makes one dream of the hardy souls that populated such places. While still in Portland, OR we were lucky enough to attend an amazing night at the Portland Storytellers Theatre. The reason I bring it up is that the story told that night by Howard himself was of Mawson and the ill fated Antarctic journey that he made. The expedition was ravaged by bad luck and Mawson was lucky to live through the ordeal. There is a monument to this man and the others brave enough to venture towards the land of penguins and ice.
On one of my short outings to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air I traveled up the "Kelly Stairs." The little neighborhood at the top was absolutely delightful! The pictures above are some of the sweet cottages and in particular their welcoming entries. I felt like I had stumbled back in time, possibly across to the UK somewhere...
My last dinner in Hobart was amazing! Fresh shucked oysters and mussels in white wine, garlic, and butter sauce. All topped off with a nice glass of local Sauvignon Blanc and a view of the docks. The seafood in Hobart was spectacular and the wines are excellent. The overall quality of food in Tasmania is stunning. In fact, I will miss the freshness and quality of Australian produce and meats when we head off to the next adventure.
Leaving Tasmania at dawn... off to Singapore for another medical conference! More adventure in store. Stay tuned!
I was getting ready to write a new blog and update you all on what's been happening and realised that I never answered the big question in the previous post titled, "Once in a Lifetime." Those of you who haven't read it- you may want to drop down and read it first-- spoiler alert! It's a pretty good story and true at that! Or as they say in Aussie-STRUTH!
I may be a bit of a piratess but I am a truthful one so for those inquiring minds--- the map below of Captain Cook's world voyages was REAL! Yep, sure enough, my pal Louise was completely correct. It was likely drawn up in approximately 1785 as I've had it professionally assessed. Some of you realise I have been an avid fan of TV shows like Antique Roadshow and this is something I have dreamed about for years. Finding a treasure... and yes, I did draw a ship on my best ever antique find.
The story wraps up with a bit of a twist. Once I discovered the map was an original (and possibly worth a few thousand dollars) I decided to find out who donated it to the Deuba School Yard Sale as most of the donations came from fellow yogis. Turns out, it was donated by a friend of mine! Long story short, I've had the map restored and my friend and rightful owner of the map is looking to sell it. She will reimburse my costs of restoration and I'll definitely ask for my investment of $1 back as well. (Just kidding)
Anyone interested? Cheers!
Here is the tale of possibly (but I hope not) a once in a lifetime occurrence that happened to me recently. Before heading off to Fiji, the Simply Yoga tribe held a yard sale. We all donated goods and raised almost $1000 for the Deuba school in Fiji. If you haven't read that blog and seen the pics, take a peek, as it's just below and Fiji was fantastic! We all spent time volunteering at the sale and at it's completion there was an old nautical chart in a broken frame leaning against the outside of the house. It seemed like the perfect canvas for an art project so I added another dollar (that was what it was priced) to the money I'd already spent at the sale and brought it home. You all know I'm a sucker for anything to do with boats and travel.
Upon removal of the frame, I found two old newspapers from "Rhodesia," now Zimbabwe. These were dated 1968 and one was from Christmas that year. On December 25, 1968 an Apollo mission was in progress, and this was the feature on the front page. The papers were intriguing and I actually put them on Ebay thinking they may be worth a few bucks. No bites from Ebay for the newspapers, so on to the art project.
After closer inspection of the chart I realised it was of Captain Cook's journeys so I decided to draw a picture of the Endeavor, his famous ship. I had gotten about this far, see the attached photo (a little further as some of my work is removed already), and one of my Aussie pals dropped by. Louise asked me if I had checked to see how old the chart was; I said it was at least dated 1968 and we took a look at the newspapers. Louise's family had also lived in Africa so the papers were fun to look at together. When Louise left she urged me to check on the age of the chart and I said, "sure, sure Louise" truly thinking that it would amount to nothing. Now we realise that Louise should probably work on Antiques Roadshow.
Lying on the couch that night, watching some brainless TV show, I typed the title of the chart into my iPad. Up pops a webpage with almost the same map, dated 1785, being sold for $3500. I bolted straight up on the couch and my stomach did some flip flops. I jumped up, turned on the lights, and looked at the chart... oops! All of a sudden the great idea of using this old map as a canvas felt like a very, very bad idea. At least I only used pencil! After reviewing multiple Google hits and finding another similar chart that had sold for a few thousand dollars I also found one copy of the same chart from the 1960's for sale- priced at $50. I exhaled a quick sigh of relief. My very next thought was, "how do you tell which ones are old?" I did a little more research and noticed that the older, original maps were a certain size. I measured the map on my table and it matched the older style; the ones worth the big bucks. Oops!
As you can imagine, I was now quite intrigued. I took some pictures of the map and emailed them to two different antique document dealers online. Within 48 hours I had two answers, one from Melbourne Australia and one from California. Both dealers informed me that the map was likely from the late 1700's and of course would be worth much more without the boat. Oops!
At this point I realised I needed to try to find out where it came from. After consulting a few of my yogi pals we came to the realisation that one of our fellow yoginis had donated the map. One day after yoga I let her know and you know what she said? Yep, good guess. "Oops!" and of course, "WOW!"
Last weekend, I drove up the coast to a market where a man was exhibiting old photos, maps, and more. I had gotten his name from the map dealer in Melbourne and I had set up a chance to have our yoga map validated once and for all. I walked through the market with the carefully protected treasure under my arm. It was pouring rain but many dealers were gamely showing their wares. When I found Edwin's stall, he and his wife eagerly but gently unrolled the old paper and he got out his magnifying glass. I found myself holding my breath, hoping it was really old and also hoping is wasn't, since I had admitted to being the idiot who drew on it.
After about a minute of examination, while still bent over the chart with his magnifying glass, Edwin says, "well it's definitely not 20th century." At first thought I figured he meant it's not very old, then he says, "it's definitely from the late 1700's and no later than 1810. OOPS!
(to be continued...)
A day out sailing is a great way to get your mind off of anything but what is going on at that very moment. When the wind is straining sails, lines, and winches, things need to happen quickly and correctly. There is not time to think about anything else. It's a great place to be when life has become a holding pattern. Waiting has never been my strong suite.
Here in my part of the world the local boat club races a few days a week. I had been invited over the past year to sail by a yoga friend who has become a racing regular and I finally hopped on board yesterday! I now have 2 yoga friends who also sail and am so glad they've both kept at me to join in. Many of you know that racing is not really my thing, but... I think I may be turning over a new leaf. The start of a race is still a bit stressful but running out into Moreton Bay and only tacking or jibing a couple of times over 3 hours or so is my kind of racing! As luck would have it I was allowed to crew on Nigel and Janet's amazing 39 foot catamaran! It was a spectacular day, even if it is the middle of winter. Cat Ballou is a spacious boat and I now freely admit that cats are pretty awesome. It sailed well and even points into the wind quite nicely as it is equipped with a board that can be dropped to help it get a little more angle. I could definitely live on a catamaran.
As you can see by this pic of Nigel we did have some need for extra layers yesterday and I could have used a couple more. We only got drizzled on for a few minutes but those skies gave us 15-22 knot winds or so and on our best reach we were scooting along at just under 10 knots. Sweet! I am heading out on a monohull tomorrow with Helen and Nick. It is a public holiday, the Queen's Birthday, and the water is calling. I have decided to bundle up and enjoy.
Corey and I are still in a waiting game with Thailand and CareFusion. I had expected to blog an update last week but alas, no news on either front. Corey is up in Northern Thailand this week doing some skydiving and exploring. He was lucky enough to drop into Lao and see Vientiene. I have never been there but it's on my list. I do hope to hear from work this next week about my request to do my job from Asia. As soon as something breaks loose, a blog will be forthcoming.
I hope everyone in Aussie has a fabulous holiday tomorrow. Although we are into winter, our weather isn't too shabby here in Queensland. We are still able to do yoga next to the beach most mornings and I've been riding my bike almost daily. My American family and friends are just getting into the summer season and I'm loving to see all the lovely Facebook posts about warm weather fun.
If you haven't seen the rest of this this website please check it out! Also, head on over to my Redbubble site. There are a few more goodies to see. Thanks!! www.redbubble.com/people/sailgirl