Weblog van Laura

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18-10-2014

The last 2 months I have been busy with some presentations and visiting family. Time in Europe flew by. I went to Spain where I was invited for the "Sail in" Festival. I loved walking around Bilbao, which is an old city with lots of beautiful architecture, I also really enjoyed meeting the other sailors that were at the festival. Racers of big boats were present as well as those that cruise the oceans using only astronavigation in their tiny boats. Capucine Trochet was one of the speakers who really fascinated me with her story. She is sailing mostly singlehanded using only celestial navigation. Her boat is a tiny boat from Bangladesh that is made from canvas jute (40%) , Polyester and recycled materials. This is the first boat made like this and she hopes to sail it back to Bangladesh to prove it's strength. Go Capucine! :)

Unfortunately I don't understand spanish and therefor couldn't follow what was being said on the festival. Which means that I had to get the personal stories by asking the people for an english version. Luckily a lot of video material was included, which made it more interesting for me :) 

The following week I found myself in Copenhagen. With its typical buildings and lots of water, it reminded me a lot of Holland. Prior to the presentation I went for a sail with the host on her boat. We sailed a little around Copenhagen and into the harbor where the mermaid sits. I love seeing the differences between boats in various places of the world. In Copenhagen I found a lot of old Colin archer type boats. Very wide and mainly wooden.  

But then it was really time to get back to poor Guppy - who has been on her own for 6 months! On the way back I made one more presentation-stop - this time in Lake Tahoe, California. 

I stayed there for four days, enjoying the area and its people. I got to go wake-boarding on the Lake and jumped of a cliff into one of the clearest lakes in the USA! The area is perfect for adventurers on many levels, and I connected well with the people living there. There were about 350 people who turned up for my presentation, which I thought was pretty awesome for it being in a relatively small town. 

After another long plane ride I arrived in Auckland, where I took the bus back to Guppy. She was as expected full of Spiders,but not as much as I was expecting. Or maybe I just didn't find them all yet. It is so good being back! I had an awesome nights sleep and it felt so right to open my eyes and realize I am home. It is still a little to cold at night for my comfort zone though. Or maybe I should just close the windows a bit more.. The next couple of days I will be busy cleaning up Guppy and seeing if everything still works as she certainly doesn't get any better from sitting in the berth on her own. Oh and as I arrived back home, I found another nice surprise - the certificate of my Yacht Master Offshore! :) I had done the practical just before we left to Tahiti so that I didn't get to see it before.

Next month I will be busy doing a bit of a book tour through New Zealand. My book has finally been translated into english and will be published on the first of November this year by Harper Collins in New Zealand! :) 

 

Laura 

 

 Kim an I enjoying time together. 

  

 My Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate :) 

  The english version of my book, only two weeks to go before it will be in the stores! :) 


31-7-2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe

 

On the 31st of July we left New York and headed to Frankfurt with a stopover in Paris. I had decided that I actually wanted to go to Holland after the flight was booked and thought it would work to get off in Paris. Dad had his boat in a dry dock in Zeeland and I really wanted to see it before it would go back into the water. Last time I saw Havorn dry, was when it had been let in the water for the first time - so this was a special moment that I did not want to miss. In JFK I asked if it was possible to get my luggage off the plane in Paris, but they told me there was no way. I didn't really try hard, as we were very late for our flight, very late means, the check-in had already been closed and we were just very lucky to still get on the plane involving much running. Daniel would continue to Frankfurt to his family and could take my backpack along. From Paris I took a bus to Rotterdam where my grandparents picked me up. I had not told my dad I would come to Europe and so when I finally arrived at the dry dock and he came out it was a big surprise! That night I also got a big surprise - Daniel told me that the stewardess in the plane had asked where I was, and when he said I had gone out they told him my luggage had to go as well, so they checked for it but came back with the message that my luggage wasn't there anymore. And so Daniel thought, great Laura got her luggage of the plane, which I didn't. When he told me this I did got a little distressed. I was almost ready to call the airport in Paris, but then he told me that he did actually have my luggage, and just wanted to give me shock - which worked! Turned out that both the backpacks had been put on Daniel's name and therefore not been taken off the plane. I was very lucky that my backpack came straight after Daniels' pack in Frankfurt, because he had already assumed it was with me, and would not have waited for it.

Time with my dad was great, I helped with getting the last things ready on the boat and then sailed it back to Den Osse with him, after it was let back in the water. After that I spend a week traveling with my sister who was working in the circus again. Now I am visiting the rest of my family in Holland. I will be in Spain for a sail event from the 4th to the 6th and on the 12th in Denmark for a presentation, and for after that, I got more adventures planned, but more to that later :)



 

 Havorn in the drydock

 The dry dock has been filled with water again and we are getting ready to go out. 

 Leaving the dry-dock

 My Dad, Skipper, designer and builder of the Havorn.

 Heading back home.

 Of course I needed to test her new abilities as well. 

My 16 year old Sister Kim in circus Fantasia. 

 

 

 

 


20-7-2014

East Coast


The last couple of days before flying to Europe, we stayed with old friends of Daniel. They live in Pennsylvania and have two kids. We spend a lot of time playing with them. I got the mum inspired to raise her 5 year old by doing some more housework. I told her how I always had to do the dishes and fold the laundry and how much I complained about that, but that I am happy now that Dad raised me like that. So she started to do that with her child, and the little one now hangs up the washing and does the dishes as well. Isn't that awesome?! They live in Amish country. I had not really heard of Amish folk before and it was interesting to see how these people live. In the area where they live there were both Amish and Mennonites. Some of them are still riding horse-buggies only, without rubber or electricity. They all farm themselves. Somehow I really liked the way they think about things, like growing their own food and making things themselves. I don't think I would be able to live the way they do though, for many reasons.


15-7-2014


California and the wild west


From the Redwood forest we kept on heading South, following the coastline. Compared to the temperatures further inland the west-coast was very cold and going for a swim didn't sound as attractive anymore. Along the way we admired the beautiful beaches and adorable old villages with a very typical beach and surfing culture. We drove as far south as Santa Cruz, where we left the amazingly beautiful west coast and started heading east. I found the Californian coast very beautiful and wished I could have spend some more time. The surfing culture, wildlife, villages and sharp cliffs along the coastline reminded me somewhat of New Zealand. But that beauty soon disappeared,and so did the cold. It became very hot very soon, with temperatures up to 45 degrees, there was nothing left of anything we had seen in California. Only dry plants and a lot of sand caught our eyes. We were on our way into Death Valley. The highways so far hadn't impressed us much, so we often chose to take smaller roads leading us to all sorts of magical places. This time we ended up on a small dirt road leading us into some mountains that where so dry they seemed to be big sand hills. When we finally came out of the hills we overlooked a flat area where there was, well.. basically nothing. It seemed like nothing, nothing but sand and dry rock. Just like I expected Death Valley to be. But once we actually drove in this endless place of nothing, I was a lot more impressed than I expected. There are amazing rock formations, sand-hills and clay pans that somehow had the same effect on me as the nothingness of the ocean. Seemingly nothing, but in fact something. Hard to explain, but very impressing. I was not much impressed by the heat though.. We did have an air conditioner in the car, but with this heat it wasn't doing much anymore. I found the heat the hardest to deal with at night. As much as I had experienced desserts, I knew that the temperature drops at night. But here I don't think it dropped at all. We slept in the car somewhere along the road as usual, but much sleep I couldn't get. With all doors open it was still to hot. I even felt like it was worse, as the hot wind burned my skin. The next day we drove into Las Vegas. One other crazy place on this world. I am not to sure what to write about Las Vegas, especially as I feel like there has been written enough about it. Both of us weren't to interested, and so we only spend half a day to see if it really was as people told us. And yes, it definitely is a crazy place where everything seems possible. The weirdest was to see a huge town like that in the middle of a big dessert. That night we stayed near a big lake not far east of Las Vegas. Big dark thunderstorms made the sky a vivid grey and the sand got whipped up so violently that we had to jump into the car, otherwise we would get sandblasted. From here the Grand Canyon wasn't so far anymore either. It took us a little longer as we went off the highways again and actually ended up going really off-road. We had hoped to see the Grand Canyon without paying the fee to see the crowded park area, but that has been made pretty impossible and so we ended up entering the park, and well at 5 in the morning.

The rainstorms that had been with us again all night hadn't been blown away yet and with the sun trying to peak through, it made for a beautiful scenery. By late morning rain and clouds were gone and a hot sun was shining on our head. Halfway through the park we found a steep path leading into the canyon, whose call we couldn't resist - and soon found us sweating on rough ground. It turned out to be an amazing walk, very steep but incredibly beautiful. The Grand Canyon is unimaginably big, and with more colors and shapes than I could imagine. We ended up very glad to have paid the entrance fee and gone into the park.  

When we drove into New Mexico a bit of green finally started coming back. I loved the rock formations in the Grand Canyon and the rest of the dry places as well, but a fresh river to swim in and some trees and wood to make campfires again were very welcome. We drove through New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee. All of them had their own beauty. In New Mexico we saw a whole town that was build in utopian style, with clay, round forms, …just the cutest and most beautiful town I have ever seen. Oklahoma put us on many straight roads. And I mean really straight! We hoped to see a Tornado and chase it, but we drove through fairly quickly and did not see one. In Tennessee fireflies danced around us at night, looking like little stars giving us a private performance.

 

 Northern Californian coast. 

 Golden gate bridge, San Fransisco.

 Modern roadsigns? California

 Upcoming moon. 

          Doing a hike is a nice change from all the driving. 

 Bushfire's burn down whole forests, these are some of the remains. 

 Going off-road we end up in some magical places, and sometimes in a whole heap of sand. 

 Entering Death Valley..

  Feeling how sharp the cactus is, very sharp! 

 Death Valley. 

 

       Clay pans in Death Valley. 

 

 

          Las Vegas.

 

 

 Beautiful lake just past Las Vegas, vivid grey skies and thunderstorms. 

 Grand Canyon, early morning. The rainstorms are leaving and the sun is taking their place. 

 

           A squirrel enjoying the endless depths of the Grand Canyon.

 

        Utah

        A river in New Mexico

      The Mexican Hat. 

 


11-7-2014

Redwood & Northern California

We have now come into the Redwood forest, which lay in the north of California. The trees are amazing and Daniel, being a tree lover, is totally in his habitat. I am very much in my habitat too, not really because of the trees, but because we have finally reached the pacific ocean on the west coast, after 14 days of no salt water. It always makes me very happy and relieved to see that the ocean didn’t run away while I was gone. While staying close to the ocean we ventured into the forest, to look at these amazing big and ancient giants of the earth. Some of which had survived lightning, flood, the axe and wild fires. They’re tough for sure!

 

 

First sight of the Pacific ocean in Cresent city, after driving across the whole of the USA.

 

 

 

Driving through the redwoods, giant and ancient trees surround us. 

 

 

Fallen, hollow redwoods tree.  


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