The End of the Journey

Most of you thought this would never come and many times I have thought so also.  It has been hard for me to write the final blog of this Journey as it really means the incredible 15-16 Clipper Round the World race is over and Clipper Telemed is no longer my home and our fabulous crew is no longer with me every day.  However, it is a time that will live on for me in many different moments.  Having the opportunity to do 5 presentations with more to come about my Journey has awakened many moments and memories back into my heart.  Great friendships, incredible people, amazing sights and insights into different countries and cultures.

Even today while rehearsing for a Christmas program for church tomorrow, as I heard the choir sing so beautifully I had thoughts of that moment on Leg 1 when our watch was awoken to the Karaoke singing of Sweet Caroline at 2am.  Those sounds did not compare to what it was like listening to angels sing this morning. Continue reading

Update on what is happening now that I am home

Yes Yes Yes, I know that you are waiting for more about my Journey.  Please be patient as life has been hectic since I have been back.  Be sure to read to end and help me with future thoughts for you and to organize me!

Having trouble adjusting to all the TRAFFIC and crazy drivers and my driving.  1st day home managed to run over several curbs while making right hand turns (for you friends that drive on the wrong side of the road, this is the side we drive on…the right side of the road in the direction we are going!), couldn’t remember how the cruise control worked so kept turning it off when wanting to lower speeds (yes, I remembered to hit the brake, just when I was ready to put speed in I would manage to turn it off). Continue reading

Special Announcement from Linda

Yes I am slow, but if you can be patient I will finish my journey in due time.  There is so much to share.  Currently working on slide show for TEAMability Welcome Home Party.  Read further for details.

The above picture is where I was able to rejoin Clipper Telemed as they made their way up the Thames.  It is called the Thames Barrier.  Once I was released from the hospital I mad my way back to London and then caught the media boat early the morning of July 30th to join the boats as they came into London.  No, I did not officially finish the race, but did rejoin and yes I did finish the circumnavigation somewhere in the Atlantic during the race from NYC to Derry.  I just missed the finish by approximately 35 miles.

Getting back on boat

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Den Helder to London, the Last Race

As you can see by the above picture, everyone gets tired and sometimes has to find a safe place to sleep if the boat is heeling quite a bit and is on the tack that most likely will throw one out of one’s bunk.  Such was the case when I was caught on film.

Our usual parade of ships start but this time with some interesting boats to check out.

Once again we were treated to a fireboat showering the area.  After we passed we saw how massive their water spray was as it completely covered the boat’s image.

Start was good, everyone popped their kite up and it was interesting as some went with Code 1 and others Code 2.  Supposedly Code 2 is better on a tight reach.  Air though was very light and we went with Code 2.  Not sure if Matt was concerned about reaching at some point or not sure our repair job on Code 1 would hold. Continue reading

Den Helder

Den Helder is a quiet town/village that seems to run on bicycle power.  Everywhere one looks there are people riding bikes.  Not that many cars out so very peaceful to walk around and enjoy especially after coming off the boat and not dealing with traffic for an extended length of time.

 

And then there are the canal boats (both sailboats and barge type boats) that people are living on that one walks by.

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Centerpiece of town with the local seagull on the lamp post.

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Derry to Den Helder

Time spent in Derry weather wise was like living on the Pacific Northwest coast.  Lots of cloudy, drizzly days.  But our day of departure turned out mostly sunny and no rain.

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A choir meets on the dock as we prepare to depart and sings for us.  They even did a moving version of “Danny Boy”.

Then our usual parade of sail around the harbor and finally up the Foyle river. Continue reading

Do I Really have to Leave DERRY?

 

Obviously we were having way too much fun here at the Clipper Festival.  The sad news is that the grant that they had to put the festival on has run out and the future looks rather quiet for this event.  Keep your fingers crossed that it will somehow return.

The first version of the Clipper Round the world race boat.  It is a 60 foot boat and I am not sure how many crew.  Clipper has come a long way in developing the event and the boat!

Different views of our sleek racing machine the Clipper 70.  Quite a change.  So I am providing a little history.  It’s good for you!

And here are some of the adventures that you can have while at Derry!  You can be the pirate or just do some paddling around in one form or another.

And my first glance at SAILability.  Sailing for disabled of all ages.  They are made in Australia and have a special seat that lays back and a joystick to steer with.

All kinds of events happening from Pirates to drumlines to Orange Parade with Percussion and accordion bands to weddings on the pier.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

 

Musicians everywhere.  Even came across  Irish Paul listening to his friend play guitar.

Then there was a recruitment sail to take people interested in the adventure out for a trial run.  Some were just about ready to sign up and definitely should. They had a chance to do some winch grinding, hoist sails, tack and gybe.  Then of course they learned to bring down the Yankee in a very wonderful way as taught by Jo.  A really fun day for all of us!  I look forward to checking the crew website for the 2017-18 race to see if I recognize any of these fun people.

Patsy and Nick Rainey (crew legs 2, 3, 4) with Regina (crew legs 4 and 8) and then RTWs Gavin and Kat with Kat’s sister.  Discovered that Nick was a sculptor and after seeing some pictures from his gallery know that he is also an amazing artist as well as sailor.  Gavin is the young man that rescued a man stuck at the top of a mast during the Hobart to Airlie Beach race.  His boat Mission Performance answered a mayday call from a non clipper boat and went to their rescue.  Gavin then proceeded to work with the man for a couple of hours to get him down safely.  Great young man.

Monuments everywhere and they remember all servicemen from all countries.  I had trouble getting up on the chairs for this table.  Think it might be for Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk.  However I did have some great ice cream and pizza with no egg on it!  The church is actually a fitness center currently.

 

ClipperTelemed Derry prize giving
Then the awards ceremony that included a parade in which we were the participants.  We went through the old town with bagpipes and drums and ended at the square where all the music events had taken place all week.  Of course there was a drumline warmup, then Judith and Elaine helped lead us down the path.  As all parades do, they stop for some reason.  Lucky for us there were no horses at the front of this parade.  Just other boat crews.  Up in the tower were the Clipper media crew taking pictures of the event.  And of course I couldn’t leave out a shot of my Aggie friend Drake who was crew on UNICEF.  Go Telemed.

 

And for our final night a lighted boat parade ending in fireworks.  Ryan was our flare bearer as we went.  Beautiful night with moon and entertainment both visually and musically.  The bottom two pictures are from the Clipper Round the World website.The story behind the lighted festival is as follows (from Clipper Round the World website).

The River Foyle will be transformed into a magical, mythical stage tonight as the Clipper Race fleet takes the lead role in the theatrical finale to the Foyle Maritime Festival 2016, The Voyage of Sunniva – Night of the Two Moons.

Sunniva was a medieval Irish Queen, who, when an invading king wanted to marry her, fled with her people in small boats and without navigation, trusting to her god and to the elements.

Their journey took her north through storms and conflict to the caves of the Norwegian gateway island of Selja. Later, when armed men came for them, they hid and prayed for their caves to collapse, which they did saving them from being ravaged.

The legend then tells of the island glowing with light, of sweet smelling bones and years later of her intact body being uncovered seemingly asleep and being transported to the new cathedral in Bergen, of which she is now the patron Saint.

St Sunniva is a maritime saint and there have been various craft named after her.Tonight mysterious figures will walk the Quayside before joining their Queen for a final parade of light on the river as Sunniva and her followers prepare for their journey.

Derry it was a pleasure being your guest.  Great people and amazing town.  Thank you!

 

Fun Tour in Ireland

As usual, I am a bit late in sharing my trip, but hope that you will enjoy these pictures taken during some tours that we went on in the region and in Derry.  Above I am enjoying a view at Carrick-a-Rode (The wobbly bridge).

 

Tour of the city of Derry.  Above are some of the cannons still in place on the Wall that surrounded the city.  Jen, Alex, Jill and Clem at one of the cannons.

From Wikipedia about the walls.  “Derry is the only remaining completely intact walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe.  The walls constitute the largest monument in State care in Northern Ireland and, as the last walled city to be built in Europe, stands as the most complete and spectacular.

The Walls were built in 1613–1619 by The Honourable The Irish Society as defences for early 17th century settlers from England and Scotland. The Walls, which are approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) in circumference and which vary in height and width between 3.7 and 10.7 metres (12 and 35 feet), are completely intact and form a walkway around the inner city. They provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance style street plan. The four original gates to the Walled City are Bishop’s Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Butcher Gate and Shipquay Gate. Three further gates were added later, Magazine Gate, Castle Gate and New Gate, making seven gates in total. Historic buildings within the walls include the 1633 Gothic cathedral of St Columb, the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and the courthouse.

It is one of the few cities in Europe that never saw its fortifications breached, withstanding several sieges including one in 1689 which lasted 105 days, hence the city’s nickname, The Maiden City.

The church left is St. Columb’s Cathedral and the one on the right is Church of Ireland, St. Augustine’s Church.

Our tour guide gave us quite a historical view of Derry and the political strife that it had been through and that he had grown up during.  Very moving emotionally and educationally.  Above are photos from the part of Derry that still wants to remember its past and continue to look for peace.  I did not know that Bloody Sunday had happened here so now I have learned some history.  The dove of peace mural and the mural of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Sister Teresa signify to me that they are looking for peace even now.

And of course we had to see the remnants of a castle.  Dunluce Castle which was built between the 15th and 17th century controlled both the land and sea routes of North Ulster.  It is in the state of being fixed up with most of it completed.

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Interesting in that in order to use the toilets, we had to buy some food and sit down to eat.  Laura, Jill, Clem, Jen, and Elaine (trying to disguise herself) all enjoying some great tea and cakes.  No pictures of food as we were all starved!

 

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Just a point of interest.  Northern Ireland is nestled both under, and over to the side of the Irish Republic.  When it was explained that Northern Ireland was actually south of Ireland I did not understand until I saw this map.  Not totally south but partially.

And then we came to the Giant’s Causeway.  Truly AMAZING!!

From Wikipedia:  “The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcaniceruption.[1][2] It is also known as Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFomhórach in Irish[3] and tha Giant’s Causey in Ulster-Scots.[4]

Around 50 to 60 million years ago,[1] during the Paleocene Epoch, Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, when highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled, contractionoccurred. Horizontal contraction fractured in a similar way to drying mud, with the cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving pillarlike structures, which are also fractured horizontally into “biscuits”. In many cases the horizontal fracture has resulted in a bottom face that is convex while the upper face of the lower segment is concave, producing what are called “ball and socket” joints. The size of the columns is primarily determined by the speed at which lava from a volcanic eruption cools.[7] The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today. The basalts were originally part of a great volcanic plateaucalled the Thulean Plateau which formed during the Paleocene.[8]

There is also a legend that goes with this area and how it got its name, but you will have to go to Wikipedia and read it.

Amazing stepping stones and color.  Do you think the giant used these or are they too little for his big feet?

Just thought you needed some water as a refresher.  The bottom three pictures are from left to right, the wall of stone from a distance and then closer up.  Pretty amazing.

Some of the rocks even curve.  Amazing and makes me want to go to Pompeii to see the volcanic action there.

Below is the hike back to the start of our journey at the Causeway.  So we really do get to exercise our legs at times.

Checking out balance on the “Onion Rocks” and just sharing some of the beauty of nature on the trail.

Continuing on to Carrick-a-Rode, the suspension bridge.

The bridge with courageous travelers and with guide helping a frightened patron back to safety.

Clem, Han, Laura and Elaine ready to go for their walk across.  The picture on the left is the rescue boat should anyone take a swim.  The one on the right is an interesting cave below.

Mother nature at her finest!  If I don’t have sunsets or sunrises for you I just have to find something else interesting.

Elaine, Shelly and Neil on return trip to land.  Shelly is the one that made my return to the boat for finish possible!! (After my exciting end of journey!)

And to end the day a trip to Bushmills.  We did not take the tour or tasting, but did manage to get one taste.  This is one of those should I or should I?

End of tour for today!  Definitely Derry is a place to visit!!

A Ride in the Sky

Apparently, sailing around the world – 40,000 miles, 330 days, 14 ports  – wasn’t enough for Linda.

To add some excitement, she just HAD to add a helicopter ride into the mix.

According to Linda’s text message (below) and an update from Clipper HQ, on the last leg of the Clipper Race from Holland to London, Linda took a tumble below decks and hurt her shoulder.

Suspecting the shoulder was dislocated and taking no chances, the Clipper support team had Linda airlifted by helicopter and examined at a shoreside hospital in Colchester.

Thankfully, all turned out well. Linda was discharged from the hospital with a sprained shoulder, and will rejoin the team Saturday morning on London’s River Thames where she will complete the journey with her team.

Next stop after London? Back to Austin – via airplane.

Here is Linda’s sat-phone text:

Had a misadventure on boat this afternoon that ended in a dislocated shoulder. They were not sure if it was dislocated or broken so made me helicopter evac to colchester to hospital. Am fine. Dislocation is back in place. Sling to keep from hurting worse. Am meeting back up with boat in morning to come into london.

 

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Linda going for a ride in the sky. Source: Colin Blears (Legs 5 and 8, Mission Performance)

Source: onEdition

Source: onEdition

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Source: Clipper Race