Recent Articles in Scrapbook

A miscellany of chit-chat, quizzes, and articles about the places we have visited

Space Oddity

“For here am I floating in my tin can…” Three weeks of luxurious living aboard the RMS St Helena had rather spoiled our kids. When they first set eyes on the vessel which was to be their new home, Caesar peered into the empty, unbuilt interior of the fifty-footer and said, “She’s very small…”. Clearly, it was going to be difficult to find space for the moat which he had planned to construct around his cabin. I forget what words…

For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne

Nick gathered up the paperwork, and prepared to set off to do our clearance. Finally, after weeks and months of talking about leaving, we ready to go – more or less. Leaving with us aboard Mollymawk would be two Chilean friends: Manu, a hippy from Concepcion, and Yona, a fisherman and lost soul from the fiords. It just so happened that it was Manu’s birthday, and she suddenly realised that this meant that her ID card was due for renewal.…

Farewell and Adieu

The tide was expected to turn at 17.00 – and so that was the hour at which we planned to cast off our lines and begin our journey away from Valdivia. To be exact, we would flow down the river on a current swollen by the moon’s additional influence. But in the river’s entrance we would pause for a moment or three; because, to be frank, we were still not ready to set off across the ocean. After a year…

Lena

I knew, as soon as I got the message from Mikael, that something bad had happened. “Look at our website” – that was all he said. Thinking back, there seems no reason why I should have suspected a calamity. Thinking back, I wonder why I didn’t assume that Mikael wanted to share some happy news or some information about a favourite island. But, as I say, I knew. “They’ve lost the boat,” I thought to myself as I opened the…

It’s Been a Funny Year

It’s been six months since we posted a new article on the website, and people are beginning to wonder: “Have they given up cruising?” “Maybe they sank…” The answer is, no. Mollymawk is fine. Four-fifths of the family are still passionate about travelling under sail; and three-fifths of us still have the boat as our Primary Residence. The fourth fifth is on the point of investing in her own boat. But, despite this, the past year has been spent Not…

The Roof of the Americas

Part Seven of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile This tale seems to be dragging on – whereas the journey itself did not – so I’ve decided to wrap up the last three days of the adventure in one post.

Flamingoes

Part Six of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile It’s all Lewis Carroll’s fault. Other people watching flamingoes marvel at the bird’s grace. They remark upon the fabulous plumage; they see elegance and beauty. But I see croquet mallets.

A Visit to the Moon

Part Five of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Orange mountains; a clear blue sky; and pinned to the blue sky, ahead of the mountains, two colourful hot-air balloons. This was the sight which greeted me when I peeped my head out of our roof-top tent after our night on the salt-pan.

Altitude Sickness

Part Four of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile “Anyone going higher than 3,000m needs to be aware of the risks of altitude sickness.” So reads the health section in our old and very ‘pre-loved’ edition of the Rough Guide to Chile. The author goes on to explain how the reduced atmospheric pressure at high altitude leads to a corresponding reduction in oxygen. “Don’t be tempted to whizz straight up to the altiplano from sea level,” he explains…

Conquering Armies

Part Three of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Although we had zipped up the door in order to stay warm, the next morning when we awoke there was no condensation on the nylon walls of our roof-top tent. So arid is the air flowing over the Atacama Desert that the damp breath from four bodies was easily absorbed. We wriggled into our clothes, squirmed our way out of the door, and dropped down the ladder, one by…