View Larger Map
Position N 27° 22.225’.
W 82° 37.075’.
Longboat Key Club Moorings, FL.
The 16th September was my Mothers 90th
birthday. My parents were married in 1946 and remained happy and together until
my Father died in 1994. My mother did well on her own living in their flat in
Winchester, England until the age of 80 when it was felt she needed some
assistance and she willingly sold the flat and moved into an assisted living
home where she is today. My parents were the greatest loving parents and I
always felt that I had a wonderful upbringing and so much support. I went to a
private boarding school and upon graduation at the age of 16 went to sea as an
indentured navigation cadet with P & O Shipping Company. My life was full
of adventure, my parents really tried hard to give me a happy childhood but
with some memorable events along the way. I was a boy scout and participated in
a number of the The Duke of Edinburgh's Outward bound events, all exciting stuff. I am
sad today however...over the years I have spoken to my Mother weekly on a
Sunday, she started the routine by calling me at the same time every Sunday, it
was nice and very motherly, she would check on me and ask me what mischief I
had been up to since we last spoke then she would deliver all the UK news, complain
about the weather, all the usual things and we did this, initiated by her, for
years; in fact until 2008. During the early 2000’s she visited us several times
and flew across the Atlantic without concern all by herself. However, on her
last visit it was apparent that it would be her last. She was finally showing
age and complained mildly about the flight. Her memory was failing and life
appeared not as much fun to her, she was far more content to just sit and gaze
while listening to her collection of classical music that she had collected over
the years and adored.
For a while after her return I initiated the call on Sundays and we
continued for a few more years with this routine. Of late the calls have
stopped. Lavinia and I visited England earlier in May this year and, of course
paid several visits to see her. Since that visit she has rapidly gone downhill
and the onset of deafness is becoming severe. The sadness refers to me calling
her on her birthday to congratulate her on the achievement of making it to 90!
Sadly, when the nurse took the phone to her all she said was “I can’t hear
anything but thank you for calling” she didn’t even know it was me. I realized
we had had our last conversation, there would not be any more listening to her
laugh and tell me the news of the week, complaining that she hadn’t met any
eligible good looking 60 year olds to take her out on a date! I said to Lavinia
that I was so glad we were able to make our trip in May this year...
My brother Doug, granddaughter Victoria,
Mother, YT & HT. In the front:
Bryony my eldest daughter and
The latest big news is that the Admiral is no longer working at Sarasota Memorial Hospital; last Thursday was her last day! This is a significant step towards casting off the lines. With mixed emotions after 20 years there she said her goodbye's and that was that. We will still be at the dock for another six months though as it is our plan to finish equipping ‘Partners’ then travel north to spend the Summer of 2013 in the Canadian Maritimes and New England, travelling slowly back towards Florida from where we will cross to the Bahamas in late November and carry on South to the Caribbean. No more getting up at 5:20 A.M. or at least having to, which was the time HT had to turn to in order to be ready for work. We still wake up fairly early although now it is because of habit as opposed to being woken by the alarm clock.
|Our new Viking offshore life raft.|
In readiness for next year and the beginning of our cruising lives I am preparing a budget for the retirement stage of our lives. Included in our annual budget is, of course, the cost of ‘Partners’ insurance. We are currently insured with Pantaenius and until now have been satisfied with the premium and the coverage given. I am proposing to be, at all times, during the period Jul. 1st to Oct. 31st, outside the hurricane zone, which is usually considered between 31.00° N and 10.50° N, not with Pantaenius; they have come up with requiring a hurricane plan for travel to the Caribbean at any time of the year and do not have a specified southern limit to the hurricane belt? They even consider as far south as 15° S still requiring a hurricane plan. Any tropical disturbance is extremely rare in the South Atlantic, it is known as the calmest ocean in the world and I don’t think the rare likelihood of a cyclone forming should be overlooked by an insurance company. Some risk has to fall back to the insurance provider. In other words we would be subject to higher deductibles and premium in order to spend the hurricane season, in say Trinidad, where we would be anchored or moored alongside other boats insured by different companies where a hurricane plan was not required. They would not have higher deductibles and would not have been levied a higher premium. The hurricane plan is a ‘catch’ as any deviation from it gives the insurance company an out. To me it seems too one sided a relationship and I am currently shopping for an alternative to Pantaenius. A fellow cruiser who owns an identical boat to mine is now in Granada, he is insured with Pantaenius as well and is also considering changing insurance companies. He was once insured with Markel who do have a southern limit to their hurricane zone and he is thinking of changing back. I have applied to Markel for insurance too and will report again when I know the result.
Many of you following cruising blogs are familiar with Scott & Mary Flanders and their travels in ‘Egret’ their Norhavn 46’. I have just found out that they are insured with Markel and have been since 2006. They are extremely happy with the service and coverage. Okay, that has clinched it for me and as we now have been accepted by Markel I will be changing to them on November 1st this year. As an aside the lady I have been corresponding with at International Marine Insurance Services (IMIS), her name is Susan, is currently using Sailmail over her SSB radio to e-mail me as she is in the Pacific Ocean travelling between Fakarava Atoll and Tahiti; technology has come a long way!
Cheerio for now...