Where in the world?

Where in the world are Mindy and Reinhart now?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Sail Rockhopper to Europe

We've enjoyed our winter in the Virgins and St. Martin, but we are ready to head north once again.  This time, we'll take a turn eastward and head to Europe instead of back to North America. It will be sad to say goodbye to the warm water and swimming holes, but we've dreamed of sailing to Europe for many years, and it is nice to finally be taking that leap.

We’ll be leaving St. Martin on May 12 headed for Bermuda.  We’ll stay there a few days and then head off to the Azores. The trip to Bermuda is about a week, and the trip from there to the Azores is 2 to 3 weeks. 

This time you might be able to track us at https://farkwar.com/boats/rockhoppers. I plan to send an update email to them at least once a day, but I'm not sure it will work the entire trip.  

We’ll try to keep the stopover in Bermuda on the short side, 7-10 days, weather permitting. We’d like to be in the Azores by June 20, which would give us about a month to enjoy those islands. We believe we’ll head to the UK from there. enjoy our Autumn along the English Channel, and then look for a good spot to keep Rockhopper for the winter.  It will be interesting to see how much time we choose to spend on Rockhopper over the winter, and how much we spend taking advantage of everyone's hospitality. 

Once we get over there, Rockhopper will most likely stay a few years. Reinhart and I would make long trips back to the US every winter to visit. We’ll stick around northern Europe for a few seasons, and then most likely head down to the Mediterranean for a few more years. As always, plans are written in the sand. We may abandon the trip to Europe and go back to gorgeous Nova Scotia instead. Or we could get to Europe and decide not to stay, but to come back to the Caribbean via the Canaries.  Whatever we do, I'll probably post about it here a few months after we've left.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Year in The Life

Nova Scotia's famous Bluenose schooner
It has been well over a year since I updated the blog, and it is hard to figure out how to resolve this. So here’s a quick update of the past year and our plans for the future. 

We traveled to Canada from Bermuda in 2017 and spent the summer falling in love with Nova Scotia, particularly Halifax and the Bras D’Or Lakes. We swung by Acadia National Park in Maine on our way down to Annapolis for the fall boat show. We decided we wanted a winter season in the US in order to visit friends and family, so Rockhopper stayed in Annapolis while we traveled by Yaris.   

Dolphins alongside Rockhopper outside Long Island, NY
In November, the dermatologist found a melanoma on Mindy’s face, and several weeks of appointments, evaluations, and surgeries followed. Over the course of 6 months we made 3 road trips to Colorado, staying with Anthony for weeks at a time (thanks Anthony!). We also spent 2 wonderful months in Austria visiting family for the holidays. All of this time in Colorado and Austria, and we didn’t do a day of skiing!

Newfoundland's remote southern coast
We pulled ourselves away from Annapolis in spring ’18 and headed down to coastal NC to do more visiting. We sailed offshore to Bermuda in May and spent weeks there before sailing back up to Nova Scotia in July. This year we joined the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron on their summer cruise and made friends while cruising the Cape Breton area. We spent a couple of remarkable weeks in Newfoundland, but had to start heading south before we visited all of the spots we planned. We sailed back down to Annapolis, made another road trip to NC and CO, and worked the Annapolis Boat Show one last time.

Bras D'Or Lakes, Nova Scotia
That brings us back up to the present! Spending a cold winter on the boat was a lousy idea, so Rockhopper will be headed south to the Caribbean this month. We’ll be at the tail end of the Salty Dawg Rally. Our original departure date was set for November 3 from Hampton VA, but we are taking our time waiting for a nice weather window even though most of the boats have already left. (You can track us during this trip at www.snap.ocens.com, and just enter “Rockhopper” for the name.)  

 A puffin in flight!
As for the future, we’ll hang out in the Caribbean for the winter. We are planning to finally sail to Europe this coming spring, but if that starts falling apart, we’ll be thrilled to make it back to Canada. 

So there is our past, present, and future. Obviously I haven’t been very inspired to keep up the blog, but I am rethinking its format, and will try to buckle down and do something, anything, with it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reflecting on Bermuda

It has been 3 months since we updated you and I’m going to blame our increasingly social lifestyle.  It all started last November when we met up with a bunch of Salty Dawgs in Virginia and joined the Ocean Cruising Club.  Ever since then we come across boats we know in every harbor we visit.  

Our friend's ancestral home on Trunk Island
It was no different when we got to Bermuda.  We arrived with several other boats and met lots of new friends in the 6 weeks we were there.  We thought St. George might be packed due to the America’s Cup, and there were a few more boats than usual, but not overly crowded.  There were lots of extra events going on throughout the island though, and we were thrilled to see Bermuda experiencing a surge in tourism.  Oh, and our picture from 10 years ago is still in the Visitors brochure, so we are still famous in the information office.  

New Zealand Team Emirates, the 35th America's Cup winner

Oracle Team USA, the defender
Once we arrived, we figured out we could get an America’s Cup spectator flag for $35, which allowed us to view any of the races from our own boat!  We took Rockhopper and friends to the races several times,  squeezed in amongst the other boats at the edge of the course, and had a blast.  It was also fun to watch with the enthusiastic groups in the restaurants and bars, which we did often, but the ludicrous speed of the boats was so much more remarkable in person. 

The elegant J boats.  Boats like these competed in year's past.
We had a lot of time to hike the scenic trails and caves, we experienced Bermuda’s unique glow worm mating ritual, we revisited the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, and we met some local sailors and spent some time on their private island!  As usual we never tired of Bermuda and we look forward to spending a couple of months there next year.  We left Bermuda at the end of June and those beautiful turquoise waters are still clear in our minds.  We’ve been in Canada ever since and we’ll update you on our Canadian experiences soon (really).  
Mindy at a picnic spot on the south side of the island

Reinhart in a park on the north side of island
The Tall Ship regatta was in Bermuda as well


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Back to Bermuda

North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI
The weeks flew by and it is already time to leave the Caribbean.  We spent lots of time in the Virgins, a month in St. Martin, and a few days in St. Barth.  As usual, everything was beautiful and serene.  We are looking forward to getting up to Bermuda, one of our favorite places.  Bermuda is the host of the America’s Cup this year, so we expect that things will be even more colorful than usual. 

We are leaving this week and sailing 900 miles which should take 7 to 9 days.  If you are interested in tracking us, there are a couple of options:

  • The Salty Dawgs have a tracking page.  Either enter “Rockhopper" under Name to track us, or enter “SDR” under Group to see the whole Salty Dawg Rally.  Update the dates, using a start date of May 15, and hit View Map. 

We expect to stay in Bermuda about a month and then head to Canada at the end of June or early July.  We’ll make our way into the northeast US and spend August and September in Maine-Rhode Island.  I expect we’ll be in Annapolis for the boat show in October.  We are still trying to make up our minds if we are staying in the US for the winter, or bringing Rockhopper back to the Caribbean.  Whether we stay in the US or head back to the Caribbean, I feel a US road trip coming up this year.   
Nicol in the Virgins
Rockhopper on passage to Caribbean

Mindy and her ice cream

Saba Rock and Gorda Sound

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A vacation from our vacation

Back in November, we sailed down to the BVIs with the Salty Dawg Rally.  Lots of boats left on time heading out in front of a strong weather system off the US, but we were part of a pack that stayed behind a few days and followed the storm out.  It was great going south with a rally - we spoke with folks every morning on the SSB radio, and having a weather router knocked 2 days off of our expected time.  We arrived in Virgin Gorda 9 days after we left Hampton, VA.

We spent a couple of weeks in the BVIs, mostly hanging out with the Salty Dawgs, and then we headed over to St. Thomas in the USVI to leave the boat in Red Hook while we went to Austria for the holidays.  Our friends Kristi and Will got us to the airport for our vacation away from our vacation.

We were with family and friends in Austria and Switzerland for 6 weeks this year.  It is a long time to be away from Rockhopper, but it is always so wonderful spending all of that time with Reinhart’s Mom.  It doesn’t matter how long you stay, though, because there are always folks you don’t manage to see.   I expect we’ll be back next year. 

Now we are back in the Virgins.  We left Red Hook and came around the corner to spend a few days in Secret Harbor which we enjoyed so much back in March.  And once again, Kristi and Will have been so generous with their time and home.  We are heading over to St. John tomorrow to stay for a few days, and then we’ll be back to St. Thomas next week to pick up Lori!

We’ve got a few folks coming to visit over the next few weeks in the Virgins, and then we’ll be heading over to St. Martin towards mid-March and trying to decide whether we are going much further south.  We’ll be going back to Bermuda sometime in May and heading up to Canada in June. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Virgin Bound

It has been ages since I updated the blog.  Honestly, we are so busy having fun, I can’t figure out when we ever had the time to work.  When we last wrote, we were debating about whether to leave Southwest Harbor in Maine.  We ended up staying another couple of weeks, doing more hiking, biking, museum-ing, and even getting to visit with friends Jeri and Marty who were up in Maine for training.  We stayed so long that we had to make one big 24-hour hop down to meet friends in the Portsmouth/Kittery area.  We got to spend more time with Christy (and Steve, and Sierra) which was lovely, and Karen came down from New Hampshire for a couple of days.  We took Karen on a miserable pounding motorsail over to Isle of Shoals, but had such a delightful anchorage, that all was forgotten.  We had a nice sail back to Kittery, which was over too fast, and we were ferrying Karen back to her car and saying tearful goodbyes. 

We always have to make a little time for Gloucester, so we stopped by for a couple of days before heading on down to Annapolis, MD.  We arrived in Woodsback Marina on September 27 after a 72-hour sail from Massachusetts.  We were excited to have friends visit from DC (Clair, Neal, and Cara) and to catch up with our cruising friends before the boat show took over.  The boat show still manages to kick our butts for 3 weeks, but we get a little more time off than we used to, so we don’t live in a state of complete exhaustion.  We certainly had time to spend lots of money, so we left Annapolis after having done our part for the US economy. 

We managed to get in a quick roadtrip to NC to see friends and family, but of course, we didn’t see everyone we hoped to.  Sooner or later, there will be enough time to see everyone!  We rushed back up to Annapolis to finish off a serious bit of maintenance, say goodbye to John and Woodsback, and set sail for Hampton, VA. 

Now we are in Hampton, VA with a group called the Salty Dawgs.  We are going to the Caribbean together, headed for the British Virgin Islands.  Our original speculative departure date was set for Wednesday, Nov 2.  Due to the weather, lots of boats left a day early, and about 25 boats decided to wait a few more days.  As of this writing, it looks like we’ll be leaving in a few hours, at 3am on Saturday, Nov 5.  It should take us 10-14 days to get to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.  The next time we write, Rockhopper will be in the Caribbean, and as usual, you are all invited (seriously)! 

Either enter “Rockhopper" under Name to track us, or enter “SDR” under Group to see the whole Salty Dawg Rally.  Update the dates (using a start date of Nov 1 should be fine), and hit View Map. 

Rockhopper Anchorages:
44°16.770N 068°18.549W; Southwest Harbor, ME; 18Aug-15Sep16
43°04.758N 070°42.356W; Pepperell Cove mooring; Kittery, ME; 16Sep16
42°58.730N 070°36.706W; Isle of Shoals mooring (NH/ME border); 17Sep16
43°04.764N 070°42.363W; Pepperell Cove mooring; Kittery, ME; 18-20Sep16
42°36.652N 070°39.362W; Gloucester (mooring), MA; 21-22Sep16
42°36.748N 070°39.048W; Brown’s Fuel Dock, Gloucester, MA; 23Sep16
37°57.989N 076°29.014W; Woodsback; Eastport, MD; 27Sep15-28Oct16
37°00.982N 076°20.477W; Bluewater Marina; Hampton, VA; 29Oct-05Nov16

Thursday, September 1, 2016


We’ve loved Mt. Desert Island since the first time we were here 10 years ago, and, like a decade ago,  we are spending weeks rather than days here.  We’ve been in the same anchorage for 2 weeks and we aren’t showing any signs of getting ready to head out.   Once we arrived we didn’t see any more of those pesky flies, we had remarkably nice weather, and our friends Jage and Bob aboard Beach House were here for company - all making it easier to stay!

We have been anchored in a calm and wildlife rich spot near the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor.  A majority of the Acadia National Park is on Mt. Desert Island and there is so much to do here.  We can hike breathtaking coastland or magnificent woodlands, bike miles of pleasant carriage roads, and browse the museums and shops of the park and the quaint coastal towns.  We aren’t quite as connected up here as we were just a few miles south - we don’t have wifi or TV at anchor, and we don’t have predictable cell service at the boat or even in town.  So, at the moment we are sitting in Southwest Harbor’s charming library, where the wifi is free and plentiful. 

We aren’t quite sure what we’ll be doing with our next couple of weeks.   There are really only two choices, stay-put or move-on, and we haven’t quite decided.  We thought that if we came here we might be ending our chances of getting to Canada this year, and this is the case.  Our Canadian courtesy flag will just have to stand by for another year.

What we are sure of is that we are planning on meeting friends further south in mid September and then moving on down to Annapolis around September 23.  We’ll stay at Woodsback Marina again this year while we work the boat shows.  We are planning to drive down to NC at the end of October for a quick visit before sailing down to the Caribbean in November.  We’ll be leaving the boat for several weeks in December while we go to Austria for the holidays.  Rockhopper will be ready for Caribbean guests by mid-January. 

Rockhopper Anchorages:
44°16.770N 068°18.549W; Southwest Harbor, ME; 18Aug16…

It has been a long time since we’ve posted any photos, so here are a few: 

Our neighborhood seal

A foggy morning race

You are right Denise, once you start looking, owls ARE everywhere!

Echo Lake and Somes Sound behind it were formed by glaciers

A carriage road bridge 

We really appreciate the beautiful gardens.