Marina ZarPar and Boca Chica

It's Marina ZarPar in the Dominican Republic

It’s Marina ZarPar in the Dominican Republic

Eventually I did arrive at Marina ZarPar in Boca Chica. The marina is comfortable and offers all the usual yachting services (though at a premium), from laundry to WiFi. Even free transport to the local supermarket. But it suffers one large drawback (for me anyway).

View from the marina

View from the marina

A marina that does not allow me to bring visitors onto the premises, or to my boat, will inevitably get poor reviews. To be fair, it is possible. Just pay a fee and sign the person on as temporary crew. But frankly, I find this requirement both cumbersome and borderline insulting.

My boat is my house, and I feel I have the right to invite anyone I please to it. Locals with boats at the marina have no such restriction! So what gives?

Now that I have expressed my indignation, I’ll switch to the proverbial “good stuff”… and even allude to the reasons why I find the marina rules so restrictive… 😉

Marina ZarPar is well placed, beside a popular beach that extends all the way to Boca Chica, and this beach is where “it” all happens.

One continuous party extending for miles.

Pictures describe the scene better than any words so without further ado let me present:

Life is a beach in Boca Chica

Life is a beach in Boca Chica

The beach.

See if you can spot the tourist in this photo!

As you can see, if you want crowds…, no problem,

Waiter...., bring me a beer!

Waiter…., bring me a beer!

If you are more the 5 star beach resort type…

Lay down on your deck chair and order pina coladas to your hearts content.

I think I will go and chill out over here...

I think I will go and chill out over here…

Want to idle away a few hours in rustic solitude…

Pull up a chair!

Fantastic! But what makes the Dominican Republic a must see tourist destination in my book are the people. Why?

For a start nobody here is camera shy. What a joy to have someone smile at you when you take their photo instead of looking at you as if you had just committed a crime.

Now don't be camera shy...

Now don’t be camera shy…

See what I mean?

The only place I’ve visited that displayed a similarly positive reaction to my camera was the Cape Verde Islands.

I'll buy 10!

I’ll buy 12!

For a smile like that I’ll buy a dozen bags of peanuts!

Who's up for a banana ride?

Who’s up for a banana ride?

Over Easter everyone was out to have a good time.

Music please maestro!!

Music please maestro!!

To the accompaniment of bachata music to be sure, whether on the beach

Music in the streets!

Music in the streets!

or in the streets.

Hello sailor...

Hello sailor…

I even found a bar that catered exclusively to sailors! Sort of…

Not quite the usual fish & chips

Not quite the usual fish & chips

Hungry? Take your pick. Fine dining or the Dominican Republic’s version of fish and chips.


Would you like to see my boat?

Would you like to see my boat?

I could have stayed a month or a lifetime…! If the marina had allowed me visitors.

Horrendous Haiti???

Haiti, a paradise spoilt

Haiti, a paradise spoilt

It’s not the easiest sail across the Jamaica Channel. I’ll even go so far as to admit that all the sailing since leaving Mexico hasn’t been easy. But then what was I expecting when it’s East I’m headed, against the trade winds and against the current.

Closing a deal on Ile a Vache?

Closing a deal on Ile a Vache?

But the Jamaica Channel gets a special mention because of the difficulty I had getting round Haiti’s most southern headland, Pointe a Gravois. The current had pushed Eileen some 15 nautical miles Northwest of this cape and it seemed at the time I was not getting anywhere. Imagine the frustration of having to motor sail at half a knot for hours on end to slowly work your way out of the main current. Now double it!

Who wouldn't want to drop anchor here?

Who wouldn’t want to drop anchor here?

No wonder that by the time a sailor has rounded Haiti’s southern cape and views Ile a Vache (Cow Island) just five miles away, he is inclined to drop anchor there to take a breather. Especially when it really is such a lovely little anchorage.

Hanging out with the Haiti gang.

Hanging out with the Haiti gang.

The anchorages popularity stems from the fact that, like the Salvation Islands off Kourou in French Guiana, there is (or was), no need to check in with the authorities. They knew sailors were just there to rest a while before moving on.

Not now kids... I need some sleep!

Not now kids… I need some sleep!

I can’t stress this enough, because for some reason both the authorities, who plan to turn the island into an international marina resort, and the islanders themselves, who seem to think we are there to play Santa Claus, have got it all wrong (and as a result, risk loosing what has become a very lucrative source of income).

Here comes the supply boat...

Here comes the supply boat…

That’s not to say that Ile a Vache isn’t worth visiting, (if you happen to be passing by). But I will suggest that it’s not the irresistible charms of the locals or welcome smiles that bring us here. For better or for worse, Haiti isn’t on many a tourists list of must see international destinations.

The crew of Maureva. Look at the smiles of the locals...

The crew of Maureva. Look at the smiles of the locals…

And when you find yourself:

  • surrounded by boat boys nagging incessantly for give-aways (not trinkets mind you but your valuable items), or paid work (but it’s illegal to employ a child), not once or twice a day, but until you have nothing left to give,

  • are boarded by armed officials (from the mainland) to pay your 20 dollar per passport immigration fee,

  • or failing that (as in my case as I was on shore at the time) are **threatened with imprisonment if I do not accompany the self elected local immigration enforcers to the mainland to pay the aforementioned 20 dollars,

OK, maybe it is worth the trouble...

OK, maybe it is worth the trouble…

you begin to wonder whether it’s worth all the trouble.

If you want my opinion, it isn’t.

Food aid still pours in to Haiti

Food aid still pours in to Haiti

There are half a dozen smaller islands to the North-east that will serve admirably instead.

Some sailors don't have a choice but to stay.

Some sailors don’t have a choice but to stay.

**Two brothers (one runs a local internet café and bar) boarded Eileen the morning after a random visit by armed officials (I had been on shore at the time, in the very Internet café run by them and missed the excitement). They stated that as I was “hiding” from the officials I now had to accompany them (for a fee) to the mainland to complete formalities.

If I refused to do so, they would call the coast guard and I would likely have my boat confiscated and face imprisonment. This just as I was preparing to leave. Since they were phoning the immigration office at the time, and as I had (and continue to have), no intention of disobeying local laws with regards to my sailing habits…, I asked to speak with the official over the phone.

Fortunately I speak French so it did not take long to arrange to leave copies of my passport and boat papers with the 20 US dollar immigration fee to be collected later.

Having sorted this out, the brothers threats ceased, but now, as they saw it, they were doing me a favour, so what was I prepared to give them in return? My ice box perhaps?

To their dismay they received only my thanks as I weighed anchor and sailed away from this little paradise. A paradise spoilt.

I won’t be back.

The importance of being “Nobody”

On my way to San Andres, Colombia

On my way to San Andres, Colombia

Another five days of monotonous routine and solitary introspection at sea. No matter, the excitement can always wait until after I have set my anchor.

Though it does make me wonder how other crews manage similar voyages. If a couple, I don’t suppose it makes much difference. One is on watch while the other sleeps. I guess you need at least three to make passage making a sociable event, otherwise it’s inevitable there will be long hours of solitude.

I wonder whether too much of this is healthy.

Fortunately, in San Andres, there were plenty of opportunities to socialise.

Nene's Marina certainly has character.

Nene’s Marina certainly has character.

My first impressions were positive. How could they have been otherwise when the first words directed at me (in English), as I anchored off Nene’s Marina were; “I admire you”.

That from the captain of a motor launch slowing for a closer look at Eileen.

I must say, being seen on a Yarmouth23 certainly does have its advantages. Too bad I can’t take her with me everywhere and prolong the admiration. All too soon I’m relegated the to the lofty status of “Mr Nobody” from the moment I step ashore.

Or even before I step ashore, given that I have to paddle there on my humble kayak.

Which, come to think of it, is just the way I want it to be.

Being nobody I get to:

Life is a beach in San Andres

Life is a beach in San Andres

Unobtrusively take photos of fellow nobody’s at the beach;

Wandering about town...

Wandering about town…

or in town for that matter.

I onlly went there looking for Aguila girls!

I only went there looking for Aguila girls!

Be proverbially growled at for sitting too close to the supposedly reserved VIP section of the bar in this establishment (where only the “beautiful people” are supposed to party).

Don't even contemplate it buddy!

Don’t even contemplate it buddy!

Be literally growled at for wanting to sit too close to the section of the wall reserved for dexterous local fauna…

I'm busy.... Doing nothing...

I’m busy…. Doing nothing…

Do nothing… other than sit and patiently wait out the bad weather…. (growling).

My conclusion?

A pleasant stopover. Somewhat bureaucratic (especially for sailors), with a distinct social dichotomy between tourists and locals. But is that not the norm?

I’d have only seen the one side (guess which), had I not chanced upon a resident sailor who took it upon himself to show me the “real” San Andres.

And where is this real San Andres?

All over… It’s where you get to enjoy good company, good food, good wine, and great music, without having to call for “la cuenta por favor” before you leave.

With a little help I was able to see the real San Andres

With a little help I was able to see the real San Andres

It’s in the houses and homes… not the hotels.

A rare privilege indeed Damien.



Sailing to Paramaribo Suriname

GPS track, French Guiana to Suriname

As you can see, I eventually did manage to sail to Suriname. 30 hours from anchorage to anchorage, but a trivial sail nonetheless. Just aim to make a nice neat arc out to the 20 meter depth contour!

The Surinamese fishermen are the only navigational difficulty (and the reason for the occasional zigzag in my GPS track). They have a habit of stringing their three mile long gill nets across the main shipping channels, or better still, attaching one end to navigational buoys. Some have been dragged miles from their correct position. Sailors beware!

Yacht obstacles off Suriname!

I had the pleasure of having this particular fishermen place his net across my path just as I approached Paramaribo. I wonder if he understood why I was forced to follow him for the next two miles as he laid his yacht trap!

Sailing under the bridge in Paramaribo at night.

I arrived at the safe water mark at sunset and while it should have been a simple matter of following the lit buoys in to Paramaribo, Suriname’s penchant for towers with blinking red lights atop makes this an exacting task. Start by aiming for the green ones (lights that is), and take note of the following GPS coordinates (marking my boats position as I passed each buoy), for a trouble free night entry.

I had to wait for this odd localized squall to pass before making my final approach!

Squall over Paramaribo delays Eileen’s arrival.

6º 04.988 N        55º 12.820 W  Safe water Mark
6º 03.235 N        55º 12.905 W
6º 01.876 N        55º 12.897 W
6º 00.443 N        55º 12.923 W
5º 59.022 N        55º 12.934 W
5º 57.537 N        55º 12.120 W
*            5º 57.120 N         55º 11.384 W    (I anchored here temporarily to await the tide)
5º 56.619 N        55º 10.692 W
5º 55.932 N        55º 09.594 W
5º 55.195 N        55º 08.413 W
5º 54.330 N        55º 07.155 W Red
5º 53.296 N        55º 06.143 W
5º 53.356 N        55º 06.023 W
5º 52.013 N        55º 05.535 W White Flashing
5º 50.284 N        55º 05.791 W Red
5º 49.697 N        55º 06.177 W Red
5º 49.350 N         55º 06.649 W Red
5º 49.091 N        55º 07.342 W Red
5º 49.080 N        55º 08.232 W Red
5º 49.010 N        55º 09.532 W Wreck BEWARE
5º 48.333 N        55º 09.833 W Bridge
5º 46.846 N        55º 09.341 W
5º 46.418 N        55º 08.975 W
5º 45.598 N        55º 08.171 W
5º 44.842 N        55º 07.405 W
5º 44.115 N        55º 06.691 W
5º 42.229 N        55º 04.851 W anchor here!

More obstacles for the unwary sailor.

Take special care of the wreck indicated above! It’s unlit, and I didn’t see it at all on my way in… I’m claiming ‘t was the “luck of the Irish” (Eileen’s heritage) that spared me from probable collision.

Domburg anchorage at dawn.

It’s a long way from the mouth of the Suriname River to the anchorage at Domburg. It took all night!!! Not as easy as I was led to believe (from what’s published on the Internet) either….

More on that subject later…


What happens afterward?

I think I read a book with this title when I was in the 6th grade. It unraveled the mysteries behind what happened to Humpty Dumpty after his fall, and shed light on Sleeping Beauty’s subsequent years of insomnia… Riveting stuff, believe me!

Which logically leads me to wondering, what happens to all those blogs when their authors finish playing Odysseus?

Some just “peter away” while others end abruptly… but why?

From the few that I’ve actively followed, I can at least shed light on some of the whys…

For many, it all ends when:

The boat is sold and the blog dies because they got to where they were going…

Logical and very pragmatic. Back to life ashore…


An unexpected stork delivery causes a strategic rethink

Happened to my Swedish friends… The ones I first met in Lanzarote sailing Mazarin.

Two blogs had an abrupt end in their case (but only the second for this particular reason).

I’m betting there will be a trifecta. 🙂


Someone dies!

This happens more often than you might think. If it’s not the sailors themselves it’s a close relative. Understandably many abandon the journey and/or the keyboard at this point. Shortly afterward the “Server not found” message greets blog access attempts.


The author makes a point of disappearing…

Perhaps they are tax refugees or the visa expired three months ago and they intend to stay. I’ve come across both types in South America and the Caribbean. In either case it’s obvious that keeping the blog project alive gets relegated to the “this is potentially detrimental to my health” bin.


They go commercial (a fate worse than blog death).

I theorize that when this happens, it’s intentional. Making money was the plan from the outset. The blog only served as a stepping stone for building “street cred” and to gain a following with a targeted audience. The pheonix web blog rising from its ashes is a horribly mutated promotional beast that makes all Internet purists shudder. I’m sure there is even a complete “HowTo” devoted to the technique in web marketing courses.

When I start franchising stores selling the “man of constant leisure” line of clothing for real adventurers you will say “Ah, I knew there was a catch…”

The label does has a certain charismatic ring to it does it not? Textile magnates reading this can contact me to discuss the deal.


They stop chasing rainbows because they realize there’s no pot of gold to be found after all.

Warning! This is the blog fate reserved for romantic idealist and dreamers. Beyond the horizon lie only dragons and disillusionment, but do set out anyway. I for one will be savoring each and every post up to its tragic but inevitable conclusion.

You see, the art of cynicism is not dead…

I wonder which reason will eventually lead to this blogs demise?


Until then,  let me conclude this post with a practical solution to premature blog termination.

While what happens afterward will still remain a mystery, sailing blogs that end (for what ever reason) need not die. For the sake of posterity, if you can no longer host it, I will (archived, but accessible nonetheless).

No strings attached.


Never occurred to me to wonder why I blog

Yet another blog article is created…

Anchorage bound and feeling borderline apathetic, it’s obviously time for another rant from yea “not so old” gaffer…

While making a recent backup of my web site, I made the following startling discovery. I’ve been writing about my sailing adventures with Eileen of Avoca for nearly six years, and despite my spasmodic posting habits, I’ve managed to notch up the magical 90000 word count for a decent sized novel!

Having reached this questionable landmark, a feat to be duly entered in the annals of of…

But surely comparable with the conquest of Everest, or the taming of someones shrew…. ( So momentous that I’m struggling for correct let alone applicable analogies…), Frankly speaking, I’m amazed that I’ve reached this far. There were times…..

Fortunately my motives for compiling this literary marvel were not exclusively focused on gaining fame and fortune.

Those f words are reserved for single-handed, non-stop, round the world prepubescents….

… and rightly so. I’ll dutifully be the first to buy a copy of their latest book with accompanying plastic back scratcher… I can only applaud their accomplishments.

Especially since I’m no stranger to monetary gains or popular acclaim myself. 😉

Sailing blog statistics

With currently generating a hefty $2 a week in ad revenue and ranking # 6,552,083 in the world… (Right up there with the likes of www.londonbusinessloans in the UK and www.pesticide of Romania), despite sailing writers being a dime a dozen…. one can only be duly impressed. Or not. 😛

Those resilient few who have somehow managed to digest my early ramblings, largely based on the intricacies of navigation, such as which course was set, how far I traveled in a day and what sail combination was most suitable, will perhaps appreciate the web sites dramatic evolution.

Has not the trip report (something I’d grown accustomed to producing as an active member of a 4×4 club member (in a previous life), and felt compelled to repeat for both my benefit and that of the Yarmouth23 Owners Association who’s members regularly documented their outings), not grown into something more? (Which course was set, how far I traveled that day and what sail combination was most suitable…plus… who I met when I got there with accompanying photo of their derrière)?


But even if that’s not the case, I’ve at least managed to compile myself a detailed aide memoir. I’ll be able to hand out laminated copies to all the other residents of the nursing home for itinerants (in what I dearly hope will be the extremely distant future), and proudly say….

When I was young….


Am I mistaken or has a little negative sentiment been creeping into my content of late?


I’m evil and inferior… What’s new, I’m male aren’t I?

Anchorage at Crown Point, Store Bay, Tobago

So this is what life for the wandering sailor is like in Tobago…. Crystal clear waters, sandy white beaches, a protected anchorage with local “watering hole” (aka Bago’s Bar) within swimming distance.

A cruisers paradise?

Unwittingly breaking the law by wearing camo pants!



The following article contains adult themes

and may be detrimental to relationships!

If your wife or girlfriend visits Tobago regularly on “business”,

read no further…


 Where were we… ah, yes, a cruisers paradise?

Not quite… Unless I rapidly age 20 years and swap my Y for an extra X chromosome. Apparently I’ve stumbled across one of the Caribbeans more discrete “sex tourist” destinations, and last time I checked, I’m not biologically equipped to take advantage of it.

Collecting the garbage?

Never fear, plane loads of prospective clients arrive from Europe and the USA on a weekly basis. All seeking a taste of Caribbean surf, sea and sun.

These “garbage trucks” are greeted with open arms!

But what, do I hear you wonder, on earth is a “garbage truck”?

It’s the local term for sugar mummy… Ouch! Do I detect a touch of animosity here?

Evidently Tobago is the place where middle aged women come to find themselves a young play thing to call their own for a week or two. The process is colloquially known as “collecting the garbage” (I live and learn…).

Armed with this inside information, I’ve placed myself at all potential collection points… “Sunday School at Buccoo”, various bars, restaurants and beaches in Crown Point and Pigeon Point, nearby nightclubs and casinos, but despite my eagerness to find a sponsor to pay for “a lifestyle I wish to become accustomed to”, I’ve failed miserably at having myself collected!

Apparently it’s because I’m blighted with skin pigment deficiency… I’m melanin challenged…. or to put it bluntly, just too darn white. Everybody here knows that the discerning sugar mummy prefers her men in black…

Are you being served?

No problem… I’ll just go hang out with the Rasta types instead….

Aren’t Rastafarian’s supposed to be laid-back marijuana smoking, long haired hippie types? Wouldn’t a sailing bum be warmly welcomed as an honorary well-traveled spiritual brother? Apparently not!

According to the Britannica… [ source of all wisdom :p ]

  • Rastafarian’s worship Haile Selassie I, former emperor of Ethiopia, under his precoronation name, Ras (Prince) Tafari. They consider the Ethiopian emperor to have been a divine being, the Messiah, and the champion of the black race. “

So far so good… worship whatever divine being you wish to as far as I’m concerned… but…

  • According to the Rastafarians, blacks are the Israelites reincarnated and have been subjected to the evil and inferior white race in divine punishment for their sins; they will eventually be redeemed by repatriation to Africa, their true home and heaven on earth, and will compel the whites to serve them.”

Wow, heavy stuff man… Not wanting to disappoint I’ve since been doing my best to live up to my evil reputation by subjecting all and sundry (in Tobago) to my degenerate and “inferior” ways.

Don't touch it.... It's evil....

Carino, Ribadeo and on to Gijon

Overtaken by the Dutch

The forecast swell was under 1.5m for the next three days so I made good progress under power despite frequent showers and little wind. At least the fishing was good, withing 30 minutes of leaving the marina I had already hooked another Bonito!

This very patriotic racer (judging from the size of his ensign), overtook me just 15 miles out from La Coruna despite my liberal use of the iron topsail.

At just under 45 nautical miles, and traveling at 4.5kts, I reached my first stop at the anchorage in Carino well before dark and spent the night rolling about despite the relatively benign conditions.

The rolling itself doesn’t really bother me, but the washboards and the companionway steps tend to creak when Eileen sways from side to side, and this together with the thumping of the rudder as it shifts in its fastenings tends to irritate me after the first few hours of sleep deprivation.

Anchorage off Carino, Northern Spain

Carino has a pontoon with small fingers, but I couldn’t be bothered to make my way through all the moorings to get there, or dig out my fenders for that matter. A larger boat should not even consider berthing there.

In the morning mist and drizzle I made my way to what must be the northern most headland of Spain, Punta Estaca de Bares, and set my course for Ribadeo, covering approximately 45NM (motor sailing) by late afternoon.

Wet ride in a J-boat

I found myself moored next to the same Dutch racer (a J-boat) that had overtaken me leaving La Coruna, and judging from the foul weather gear hanging out to dry, they had had a very wet ride. Smugly dry, I made my traditional offering of fish pate (this time mixed with avocado), and we sat down to exchange travel adventures over drinks.

I didn’t really get to see much of Ribadeo, which is a shame because from what I’ve read it’s a picturesque town. But at the time I had more pressing concerns. I’d forgotten to return my gate/shower key before the office closed and that meant I’d have a late start (if I wanted my deposit back) for my next and longest leg to Gijon (almost 70NM away).

Resigned to arriving well after dark, I set a relaxed pace (still motor sailing), and passed the time solving complex algebraic equations…

If you believe that last remark, I have some fine real estate for sale in Nigeria… 🙂 The only algebra I do while cruising is something along the lines of: If x=relaxing, and z=sleep find y… hmmm y bother about it…

I spend most of my time just watching the world go by and daydreaming. 🙂

Rope caught on the propeller

Obviously not much happened on this leg. Apart from a 30 second skinny dip to remove another propeller entanglement, which I don’t really mind doing provided the sea is relatively tranquil. Mind you, I do dread the day it happens at night and in boisterous seas.

The toughest part of this passage was rounding Cabo Penas at sunset. I had to battle a west flowing current in freshening Force 5 north easterlies. At just 1.5kts SOG, it took quite a while. It even prompted a looking over by the Aduanas (customs) boat. I gave them a wave and they left me to continue my game of hobby horse around the cape.

My approach to Gijon was also somewhat noteworthy. My hand-held GPS plotter didn’t show a newly built breakwater which obscured half the lights off Banco las Amosucas and the inner breakwater. Adding to the confusion were a series of green lights that would flash and then turn red. What kind of sectored lights do that when I’m simply maintaining my course? The answer? Pedestrian traffic lights that just happen to be on the recommended track to the marina.

Never mind… I still made it to the visitors pontoon (by 1:30am), which was just in time to have a celebratory drink at one of the numerous waterfront nightclubs. My 30 minutes of nightlife at the Habana club left my ears ringing and did much to renew my latent agoraphobic tendencies.

Siracusa to Catania

Off Rip Auto?

Off Rip Auto?

After checking the weather at a local Internet cafe (the marina told us that their WiFi didn’t work) it became apparent that we would have to change plans as any attempt to reach Malta (Matts’ departure point) in the following week would be bordering suicidal in a small boat.

While the conditions remained stable we chose to move Eileen to Catania, 35NM further north, where Matt could catch the weekly ferry service to Malta.

We arrived just as the weather closed in and moored at the yacht club in Porto Nuovo. A good choice as we were enthusiastically welcomed by the staff and made to feel at home (thanks Massimo).

For anyone visiting Catania, be sure to ask Massimo where to get the best “brontosaurus size” steak in Sicily.

Between frequent downpours (always forecast at least 2 minutes in advance by plagues of umbrella vendors spontaneously emerging from the woodwork), we managed to do some sightseeing and get a taste of Catania nightlife. Fascinating, but I’d think twice about having my car serviced here after coming across this premises (see photo). 😉

The travel plan is still on track.

A little gymnastics is required to get on and off Eileen when she is moored “Med. style”. I have to haul on the warps to get the bowsprit to within a meter of the quay before making a proverbial “leap of faith” as the boat swings back into position. Not so easy when loaded with all manner of impedimenta.

Encumbered with my kayak tender this morning, I found myself taking an unexpected first-light swim in my Sunday’s best! Fortunately, nobody was looking, even if I could have used help dragging myself back onto the quay.

The rest of the day was spent on odd jobs: changing spent navigation lights, sorting through miscellaneous gear and removing the hastily repaired and somewhat troublesome “Tiller Pilot” mount. Thoroughly exciting so I’ll spare you additional details.

There was not much time to play tourist but I did wander into the heart of town on occasion. On one such visit I came across a most unusual spectacle. An old man wrestling with his goose (literally!). A small crowd had gathered to watch the senior citizen as he took a firm grip of the birds beak and gave it a vigorous shake. The goose was not phased in the least! Evidently this was a frequent and affable encounter which leads me to wonder; given the disagreeable nature of geese (flashback to childhood memories of being pursued by a gaggle of angry avians), how does one even think to grapple with a wild goose in order to acclimate it to head shaking in the first place?

All too soon it was time to pack and prepare for my trip back to Belgium. So, what was the point to all this travel especially as I didn’t get to do any sailing? Well, I delivered a handsome new Jeckells sail wardrobe for Eileen and paid my mooring fees, but more importantly I had a chance to reassure myself that despite a spate of last minute hindrances to the grand get away plan, the envisaged journey was still largely on track.