Judy and Reed spent last winter as our neighbors in the Arsenal on their beautiful yacht, Pastiche. They cruised off in the Spring for adventures in northern Europe.
Dear Bill and Nancy,
Greetings or I should say "Bonjour" from Kiel, Germany. Reed and I have been moving,
moving, moving since leaving the port on May 2. We made it to the Netherlands in 3 weeks
and have gone from the northernmost city in that country to the Baltic sea in 5 days
passing through several canals, three rivers, and 6 hours in the North Sea. Tomorrow we
will leave at 6:00 a.m. and make our passage to Aero Island in Denmark. Then we will slow
down. Today we received an e-mail from Lee and Vicki on Ruda who we met in the Port last
winter and they are moored on Falster Island, Denmark. We hope to meet them in our
Since our goal was Scandanavia this year we did not do a lot of sight-seeing on the way up
to this point. We did get to see Brugge, Belgium, and Delft, Holland, - both places we
had on our list of cities to visit. Both were well worth the visit and it was fun to
actually have the boat there. Our friends, also from winter in the Arsenal on Thistle,
left their boat in Gent while training to Brugge. A most reasonable option, too.
We were reminded of our winter home a few days ago when we stopped at a marina which was a
yacht club. This was in Bremerhaven, Germany. The dockmaster asked Reed for his yacht
club affiliation in order to have moorage for the night and Reed produced our card from
the Paris-Bastille YC. How handy that was! Of course, we really don't feel that we
belong anymore there but this didn't stop us from using it.
I have been writing to Charlette in French but after being confronted with Dutch and
German I'm afraid my French has gone down hill (which she duly noted in her last message
to me). Also, my 500 French verb book is currently in deep storage. Oh well, there will
always be another visit in Paris.
We hope you are both well and we wanted to say "hi" and say again how much we enjoyed our
winter in the marina and how much we enjoyed meeting you. We hope you have a good summer
and when we pass through Paris (without the boat) next February we would love to stop by
and say "hello". Also please give our best regards to Claude and his wife for us. Thanks
Judy and Reed Jopling
Baltic Bay Marina
30 August 2009
Hi Bill and Nancy,
We are in Sneek, NL, which is one of our favorite places. A very pretty town and completely given over to nautical pursuits. But first I have to answer your question about whether we saw Lee and Vicki. We did finally see them in Goteborg, Sweden, after many near misses in Denmark. They certainly had a difficult summer with 2 months lost to expensive engine repairs. When we saw them they were in high spirits at being on the move again and eager to explore Sweden. We had a very good dinner on their boat and, in fact, I have been imitating her menu often here on Pastiche.It is amazing what they do without electricity! They did say they were hoping to leave Ruda in Sweden for the winter and hope they have found a place by now.
Our time in the Baltic was delightful. We spent our first week with Danish friends (we met in Turkey) at their tiny town on the island of Fyn. They have a sailboat on which they are living but are building a very unique modern house near the water. It is ultra-insulated and they think they will barely have to add any heat even in mid-winter. In their neighborhood of traditional Danish houses their's definitely stands out with its dual curved roof-line and large windows. We are eager to have to opportunity to return as house guests.
While in Denmark we had the chance to spend midsummer night in Copenhagen and the Danish tradition is to build a big bonfire with a witch on top. When the fire burns the ashes of the witch are said to fly off to Germany and keeping everyone safe for another year. A little strange but very fun. Since we were in the middle of old Copenhagen the bonfire was lit on a steel raft in the center of the channel which is along the lines of the Arsenal but narrower. Thousands of people lined the quay and when the fire was lit they all sang a special song together while it burned. It was moving.
From Copenhagen where we spent 5 days we crossed over to Malmo, Sweden, and began our exploration of that beautiful country. I won't go into a lot of detail but we found it very interesting in that the geography is much more varied than Denmark or Holland and each town was different as well. Naturally, they were all neat as a pin. There were lush green forests, wide sandy beaches, low islands, and many inlets. We were able to leave the boat in a harbor for 4 days and go to Stockholm by train and we both agreed that it was one of the best cities we've every visited. The food was fantastic - every meal memorable and this was accomplished by just walking and looking at menus. There was lots of fish and all fresh and cooked innovatively to perfection. We only wished we could get hungry sooner after each meal.
Well, we are back in the "continent" and are now planning to stop cruising and put our boat on the market. We feel its time to spend some time with our family (siblings) and friends before they forget what we look like. It has been an unforgettable 7 years. We will return to the states around the first of November. That's as far as our plans take us. We send you our best wishes and throw a kiss to Charlette across the channel - I do wish I could see her new "do".
Have a great winter season - we'll be thinking of you in our favorite city.
All the best,
Judy and Reed
23 September 2009
Hi Nancy and Bill,
Our summer was truly amazing and we stocked up on memories to last for a long time.
Our current news is that we put our boat on the market with De Valk yacht brokers at their Sneek location and it sold in 2-1/2 weeks. Quite naturally, this has put us into a state of mild shock. For the first time in years we cheer every time the dollar weakens another cent since at this point with the exchange we have cruised 7 years and are taking home more $ than we spent. Of course, this is fuzzy math since we put a few euros into it.
Now we are almost packed and ready to send our things back to Seattle where our storage space is located. We intend to live in San Diego though and will have everything sent there when we find a place small, near the sea, and within bicycle distance of the market. That is what we're taking from Europe - a very clear idea of how to organize our life on a human level. Probably we won't be able to live in CA without a car but we hope to use it infrequently.
Also, we have two Abyssinian kittens reserved from the breeder who lives on the Left Bank. They are to be born in November which is one year after our beloved Sufi died and when I wrote the breeder saying our plans had changed and we couldn't pick up the new babies in March she said, "Don't worry, I'll bring them to you!" So, we'll have a little bit of our Sufi and Paris in our new home.
Of course, neither of us can imagine a life that doesn't include visits to the City of Light. We will stop by when we visit in the future. Also, since you are connected to CA also, know we would love to see you or hear from you when you are back in the "home" country. Kisses to Claude and his wife, and, of course, Charlette.
Judy and Reed