Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua

While we were in Antigua I went to Nelson’s Dockyard. It was named for Admiral Horatio Nelson one of England’s most famous sailor’s. In the year 1671 English harbor was discovered, and by 1704 it was defended and by 1707 it had started to get use as a hurricane harbor. In 1728 it was developed into St. Helena, a small dockyard that only held supplies for repairs. Since it was a very safe harbor more and more ships came and St. Helena became too small. So in 1740 the construction of a much larger dockyard began. And in 1745 it had many more storehouses, but it still was too small. So over the span of 10 years (1755-1765) several more storehouses, sleeping quarters for high ranking officials, and a kitchen were built. A wall surrounding the dockyard was also built. Over time a hospital, The Engineer’s Office, a Pitch, a Tar Store, and extensions to the dockyard wall were also built. During this time Admiral Nelson spent 3 years at the dockyard (which soon after was re-named for him). After he left in 1787 several other shops opened including a Copper and Lumber shop, A blacksmith’s store, a saw pit, and a canvas store. Everything was expanded at least once and another house was built for high ranking officers. The last edition was the Clerk’s House before it was abandoned in the late 1800s. It was re-opened in 1961 as a tourist attraction and then became a fully-fledged marina over time having many docks, tourist attractions (such as a museum and recreation of the tar store), a hotel and several restaurants. In a way it came full circle because it still gets use as a dockyard and a ship repair stop. It was really fun to see and learn how it changed. Be sure to check out the pictures in the gallery below!

Heading for Acadia

We are finally in Maine and, well, I do like the change in weather.    I really can’t believe we are in the second most northern state in the continental US.  My mom and I have never been here before but my dad has been here once.  We are all loving it.  our cruising friends, Jon and Jill urged us to get here in June and we didn’t make it here till August 20th.  They said the more time you spend in Maine, the happier you will be.  Boy were they right and we only got here yesterday.  We are tied to a mooring in a beautiful harbor in Falmouth.  The marina has free launch service so we don’t even have to splash the dink which is great for me because that is my job.  And they have the nicest newest showers and bathrooms we have seen anywhere in 11 months of cruising.  My mom has been to the restaurant at the dock which is fancy and has a 180 degree view of the harbor but all of us are going to go for lunch tomorrow when my dad’s friend from high school drives here from where she lives in Maine.  After she leaves, we will make another passage – this time to Acadia National Park, the first national park east of the Mississippi River.  Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the United States. During certain times of the year, it is the first place in the U.S. to see sunrise.  We can’t wait!

At the helm with my dad

True Spirit

“True spirit” is a book by Jessica Watson, who is to this day the youngest person to circumnavigate the world. The book tells a great story about her life leading up to her wanting to circumnavigate the globe. It also tells of her actual circumnavigation and the time after. Some of the highlights of the book include her links to the videos she took on the sail, her brave and bold tales such as facing storms, and including the night she was hit by a massive cargo ship “Silver Yang”. Also it tells of her wonderful times at sea including a night where she saw a rainbow at night a “moonbow”. In “True Spirit, you can get a glimpse into what she experienced sailing around the world solo at 16. I loved the book, and found Jessica’s ability and determination to make her dream come true to be really cool.

My week in Charleston

We have been in Charleston, South Carolina for a week. On the first day we went to the markets where there are a million vendors and my dad bought a book about the history of Charleston. Each day I read a portion relating to what we were doing that day and then we went out touring. On the first day we went to the visitor’s center and bought tickets for the Charleston City bus tour. On the tour we learned all about Charleston’s general history. After that we went to visit Fort Sumter It was very interesting. We traveled there on a boat and our tour guide talked way too much. There was a ranger there who talked about the purpose of Fort Sumter, when it was built, the situation leading up to the Civil War and the fort’s role in the war.

The Market in Charleston

Cobblestone street in Charleston

Fort Sumter, the first shot fired in the Civil War

On the next day, my day and I took the water taxi over to the USS Yorktown which is a US Navy aircraft carrier. We took a tour down below and ate food that WWII soldiers ate — rice, meatballs and cauliflower. We went through the barracks and saw a generator and an engine that took up 5 rooms. We went up onto the flightdeck and saw about 20 planes that landed on the USS Yorktown. Then we went to the bridge and saw the NavStation. It made Troubadour’s NavStation look like an ant’s calculator. From there we went to look at the destroyer and went inside a giant cannon and watched a movie. Then we went over to the bridge on the destroyer. After that we went to the model war base for Vietnam in which American Navy troops camped. Then we got on the water taxi and came home. While I was there, I contemplated the fact my Grandpa Gillman was only 5 years older than I am when he served in World War Two.

The mess hall where we ate

Our yummy lunch.

Graham at the helm

The Yorktown

Today we went to the tiny Old Slave Mart museum. It was on one of only 7 cobblestone streets left in Charleston. Inside were facts about the history of slavery through the Civil war. The highest price fetched for a slave was $1,500 and that was when an African American person was 20. If you were younger or older than that, people would pay less for you. Babies and 60 year olds were only worth $50. We listened to an audio recording of what a slave auction was like. Slaves were hidden behind a curtain until the last minute. Then they could have been made to pull up their shirts or walk around to see if they were fit for work. It was very interesting but disturbing too.

The next day we went on the shuttle to the College of Charleston to see an art exhibit called: Return to the Sea: Saltworks. The artist, Motoi Yama Moto, is from Japan and always works only in salt. The major exhibit is a hurricane made up entirely of salt. It is cool. In a month, the public is invited to dismantle the exhibit by scraping the salt up from the floor and carrying it back to dump it in the ocean.

We were looking forward to one more day in Charleston but Chris Parker, the weatherman for water people said our weather window is for today so now we are scrambling around to get ready.

Universal Studios part 3

This blog is focused on the Jurassic park section of universal. The only ride there that is worth the wait, and we could go on, was the Jurassic Park river adventure. it basically was a narrator telling about random dinosaurs until you go into a raptor facility with escaped dinosaurs.

A flaming sign

Then at the very end a T-Rex tries to eat you and you go down an 85 foot drop. but the T-rex was not my favorite Dinosaur. My favorite was an Underwater dinosaur that shot up 15 feet in the air. It sorta looked like a combination of a unicorn and a goat. Yeah disturbing thought huh?

well anyway hope you enjoyed

Universal studios part 2

This part about universal is mainly the marvel super hero island attraction at universal.

Marvel superhero island. The first ride is the amazing spider-man ride. And the only way to describe this ride is to call it “sensory overload”.  You begin the ride by noticing the awesome job they have done in making the area you walk through while you in line.  You start by walking through the office of the “Daily Bugle newspaper”, where TV screens tell story you are about to see, basically doctor octopus stole the statue of liberty . With 3D glasses on, your ride begins.  Almost immediately, you will see that this will be a very different ride.  A state-of-the-art 4K high definition film and 16-channel audio thingy will make you feel like you’re in the driving in the the Streets of New York, allowing you to see every single tiny detail down to the sewing on Spidey’s gloves. In one part, Spider-Man appears to jump on the roof of your car/bus/thing, and the car/bus/thing responds to it.  Throughout the attraction, 3D villians such as “Scream” and “Doctor Octopus” appear to punch, kick and otherwise pummel your car/bus/thing into spins and even very high free falls. The other rides include the incredible hulk coaster, a very fast paced green roller coaster, and doctor dooms fear-fall.

All throughout the island are marvel characters and gift shops full to the brim of marvel merchandise. This area in universal had to be my favorite because of my love of spider-man. I also got a T-shirt that has picture of Venom (my favorite villain.) So, umm…………………………………………………… Derp?

This is the entrance for the amazing spiderman ride

Universal Studios part 1

Sorry i haven’t gotten round’ to this sooner, I’ve kind of been derping around going well this is fun what should i do. Well anyway this blog is about the harry potter attraction at universal. Hope you enjoy.

Harry Potter world. While entering harry potter world, the first thing you see is Hogwarts castle, standing tall and very beautiful. The castle is also home to The “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey” ride, an AWESOME simulation ride that

Hogwarts castle

takes you through Hogwarts and its grounds. You first start in the castle then outside to the Quidditch pitch and the have to battle certain creatures along the way. After the ride you are directed into Filch’s emporium, a gift shop packed to the brim with Harry Potter merchandise. Then you can follow a path to HogsMede the wizard town. The first few shops you see are Olivanders wand shop, Dervish and Banges wizarding shop, Honeydukes sweet shop, Zonkos joke shop, and The three broomsticks bar.  Inside Olivanders you get a wand presentation featuring three wands. Also in Dervish and Banges there is everything from wizard scarves to biting books. In Honeydukes there is everything from Bertie bots every flavor beans to Chocolate frogs and Peppermint toads. In Zonkos joke shop they have every joke and prank imaginable. And in the three broomsticks they many a food including giant turkey legs.

 

GIVE THE GRAHAM YOUR FOOD

 

But what really makes it so cool is the little details like hearing moaning myrtle in the bathrooms, and Butterbeer stands every few feet. All in all harry potter world is one of the coolest attractions at Universal Studios. Ya, so, umm, i can never end these well can I, oh well.

Rachel’s Bubble Bath

Today we took the dinghy to this place called Rachel’s Bubble Bath.  After we anchored, we hiked through water about a quarter mile up to a natural waterfall created by waves flowing through a coral rock canyon and splashing over a larger rock creating a bubble bath effect.  You can swim up to a rock and wait to be blasted back by waves.  We stayed for 2 ½ hours – it was a great way to spend my birthday – Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Swimming in Rachel's Bubble Bath

Curly Tails

Hello everybody who is still waiting for my next blog entry (sorry about the wait) here in the Bahamas it is great I’m doing lots of schoolwork (but still get weekends off) and am getting in the occasional scuba dive or the occasional snorkeling trip. We are now in Marsh Harbor (again still working on the boat) at a marina called Conch Inn Marina; here is a link to their website…http://www.conchinn.com/. I also am very excited because soon we are to going to our next location: The Exumas, but now to the title of my blog entry!!!!! :D

This Curly Tail joined us for lunch.

Curly tails is a short name for curly tailed lizard, a small lizard that is about 4 to 5 inches long with a long tail that curls up into a fish hook shape and they are EVERYWHERE. They are like very small ninjas like sometimes they’re on your shoe and you don’t even notice!!! They are very peaceful and love attention (or they really like what we feed them). Most of the time we feed them lettuce and if your lucky they will come right up to you and take it right out of your hand!!!!!!!! I haven’t been so lucky though 

Ok TYVM (Thank you very much) for taking the time to read my entry   :D

PS HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Grandma and Geema!!!!!!