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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders

Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.  

April 24, 2007
Position: Ushuaia Harbor, on anchor

Well, mi amigos, today there are no pictures. We don't want any distractions from this very important message about the origins of Life, The. This was prompted by a long e-mail from a Nordhavn cruising buddy sparked by the first paragraph of the 4-19-07 VofE. I'll copy the first few sentences below. After, I'll copy his e-mail in full but as importantly we'll give you the inside story on how Egret came to be sitting in Ushuaia, Harbor with a 50-50, happy, mom and pop team. These sage words are from two long distance boats who are 'doing it', have crossed oceans and are planing more.

(4-19-07) Well, mi amigos, here we go again, back in Ushuaia. Ten more days until MSIB (my sweetie is back). Groan. It truly does take a team of two to properly run one of these little ships. I say a team, not two individuals. We know and appreciate what each other does as their share of keeping our little floating world perking happily. HOWEVER, when one of us (like you know who) has to do it all, you REALLY appreciate the other's efforts.

Hello Lonely Scott,

You are a real trooper! When MSL (my sweetie leaves) I immediately revert to MBD (my bachelor days) and none of the chores you mention get done. I really don't notice the decay in the status of the boat until a few hours before X is due back. Then I panic, scurry around and try and restore it to before she left conditions, which never works. You get the picture... I think things are OK, but she KNOWS. I manage to stay on board because she is a great partner and forgives my many weaknesses.

Which picks up on two of the main themes in VofE - 1. quit dreaming, cast off the shore lines and go cruising and 2. the absolutely necessity for both partners to work well together to successfully operate one of these small voyaging boats.

I think the real reason more do not follow your call to leave the dock is for lack of 'the' partner.

You and I, Mary and X know how critical the team is, but I believe this vital ingredient is lost on the shore side dreamers who one day will "break away" and sail off. They are not as fortunate as we and therefore are condemned to the life of an armchair sailor.

So this is the way it is... excuse scenario one - never get going because of job, family, money, kids in college, wrong boat, wrong gear, bad time of year, car has a flat, spoon in the garbage disposal, cat just threw up...whatever, on and on... Real reason - no partner.

Worse yet, escalate to scenario two - some dreamers, deluded by their enthusiasm convince their reluctant partner to buy, outfit the boat and sail off, only to be forced to abandon their travels within a month or two because of discovering they really did not have a committed partner.

This just happened to an acquaintance of mine, a poor soul who bought an XYZ. He was ecstatic, finally being able to live his dream! After spending a year and lots of $mullah$ preparing, they finally shoved off. He was emailing me almost daily about all aspects of his cruise, the boat's operation, what ports to visit, weather conditions, etc. Then suddenly the emails stopped. I was baffled. About 2 weeks later I learned the boat was for sale, that his wife didn't dig it. Then it all made sense - no partner.

The VofE stories are upbeat and fascinating. I don't know how you would continue to weave this 'partner criticality into them', but if the dreamers don't get it they will waste a lot of time and money only to be sorely disappointed. Maybe too much reality... but you KNOW and I KNOW and our sweeties KNOW the way it is!

Best, X

If this (50-50 partnership) looks a bit daunting, there is hope and a simple solution. Very, very few boating couples start out 50-50 in the beginning. You guys, don't think you are always the ones to instigate leaning toward The Life. We met several women in the Med and one down here who were the instigators. We'll tell our story but first a little math to put things into perspective.

Picture yourselves belted into your race car, your mind is racing with incalculable details waiting for those second most famous three words in history...Start Your Engines!!!!!! These are seismic numbers calculated in electricity racing around your brain delivering messages. About 2.3 - 2.6 on the Richter scale (or something like that). Untold generations before your sweating body clothed in fireproof gloves, nomex clothes and helmeted noggin received those three words your knuckle dragging ancestors heard those three MOST famous words in history. In the beginning we may assume the very first coherent, compete sentence ever uttered by Man was "Come here baby, I've got something to show you". In due time the first complete sentence ever uttered by Woman may have been "Honey, I'm pregnant". For those of you who have been privileged enough to hear those words the first time, you know with certainty this rates a 4.6 - 4.8 on the Richter scale. Now, we'll put those figures to rest.

Think about this scenario. It's February 2000, at the Miami Boat Show. You are standing with your sweetie in the salon of a Nordhavn on display. You reach in your pocket and hand Jim Leishman from PAE a deposit check for your new, white fiberglass home. At the same time you turn to your sweetie and announce: I (not we) made the decision to sell our houses, boats, tings and we are going to take our new home to Cape Horn. We're taking about a 10 on the Richter. We're talking about an asteroid rattling around your sweetie's brain trying to comprehend what she just heard. We're talking about the ELLE synopsis. (Extinction of Life Level Event - yours) Think about it. Ain't gonna happen mi amigos.

There are three things certain in life: A cat will always land on its feet, you're gonna pay taxes, women are smart. Real smart. Particularly a life's partner for many years. They KNOW you. To give you the bottom line, this is what we did. We started accumulating sailboat magazines in 1994. We had no interest in sailing, however, sailboats went to some really great places. Time marched on. In 1997 or so we stumbled across Passagemaker Magazine. Here were stories about a long skinny aluminum boat pictured 600 miles off Acapulco, hmmmm. Then came the stories about Mad Dog and Hijinx and their trawler in the Sea of Cortez, the adventures of the Caunceys crossing the ocean in their home-built, wood/epoxy powerboat, etc. This lit the fires. Mary started reading some of the magazines without much comment...but, she's REAL smart. We started boating quite a lot together in our little shallow water boat. Obviously the story goes on and on but again, the bottom line is she was included and here we are. SHE WAS INCLUDED!!!! Education was the key. Her fears went away after reading stories of quite normal people enjoying themselves here and there.

In February, 2000, we did just what we said above during the Miami Boat Show. Those were exciting days filled with anticipation and probably a few doubts. Here we and our friends above are...living The Life.

If we may humbly suggest, have your other half read this VofE. Invite them to look at the pictures section (there are new pictures posted if you haven't seen them). Perhaps take their time and read a few VofE postings, Forum postings, and the rest. Yaneverno what might happen. We hope you both win and join us all enjoying The Life. Ciao

April 22, 2007
Position: Ushuaia, Argentina harbor on anchor

April 16

Well, mi amigos, did we step in it the other day or what? We invited our sailboat buddies to see a picture of their boat on 4-16 VofE and of course they read the text. Wellllll, Mallard is a 43 Westsail, not a 42. This took some time for the explanation which then launched into the over simplification statement of the two different types of sailboat bottoms we suggested. After some time on this we then got to the "living in a cave" deal. After this discourse I invited them to dinner and all was well. When today we offered a copy of Voyaging Under Power to read they declined. Oh well, I guess they will always stand in the freezing rain under way and try to dry off in the cave. We'll just have to be content being comfortable and not one with nature.

Oh, by the way. Our feathered friends are a kingfisher that helped with a past VofE and a meadowlark from Harberton Estancia.

Yesterday all the liveaboards in the anchorage were boat bound in the wind and cold rain/snow/hail/rain, etc. So we puttered around our little floating home cleanin n' putsin' n' eatin to much but was careful not to be overserved like a couple days after my sweetie left. Geeze. Bad day at Black Rock the next day.

Today, however, was a good day. We have had a persistent niggly oil leak into the bilge. Three different times we seriously went after the leak but were distracted by two different issues. One was a minor diesel leak from a failed return line on the %^*@#(&%^ wing and the other was the sooty water drained from the #@&%*(%$^ wing muffler when trying to get it started. The soot accumulated in the pan below the engine when the main engine heat evaporated the water. When a distilled water bottle stored under the main leaked it floated the soot up and into the bilge through a limber hole in the main engine pan. Ha...thought I had it. Wrong, again.

When running down a leak like this we revert to Sir Issac and his gravity deal. Gravity never fails. Soooo, we look at all the entrances into the bilge for the telltale oil trail. There are only a few sources for dirty oil. Main, gen, $#%^&$$^* wing and the oil change pump and its fittings. Every possible avenue for oil was checked and rechecked. All possibilities were spotless. HOWEVER, there was another possibility. In Mar del Plata, Arg. we bought enough Shell Rimula (Rotella T in the States) engine oil to last to New Zealand. (Yes, we are picky about our oil.) We always keep a 5 Gal (20 liter) empty pail in rotation for emptying the main. We had no storage room in the lazarette with the fresh oil so we put the 20 liter pail, (yes, with a gallon or so of dirty oil) in the anchor locker. In Barcelona, Spain we drilled the high fiddles on each side of the anchor locker shelves with a spade bitt and put in 10" or so hardwood pegs to hang spare anchor snubbers, lines, etc. We hung the 20 liter pail on two of those. TWICE I felt all around the pail to see if it had a leak. Both times the pail was clean with no trace of oil. Today I removed the pail to REALLY check and found oil everywhere (the pail was still clean). From Brazil to Ushuaia we had five major bounces. That oil was splattered everywhere on the walls of the anchor locker coming from the cap that was screwed in. That says something for THAT trip. Three, 3-gallon pails of scalding water with a bottle of detergent in each took care of the job. That was flushed from the bow to the bilge. Three additional pails were poured directly into the bilge. All the while we had bilge diapers floating in the water soaking up the oil. Now, all is well and our bilge is shiny gray again. Egret's kind of bilge.

Tomorrow we go after the #@$@%&*%&* wing...again. We'll letchano. Ciao.

April 19, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor, Argentina (on anchor)

April 16

Well, mi amigos, here we go again, back in Ushuaia. Ten more days until MSIB (my sweetie is back). Groan. It truly does take a team of two to properly run one of these little ships. I say a team, not two individuals. We know and appreciate what each other does as their share of keeping our little floating world perking happily. HOWEVER, when one of us (like you know who) has to do it all, you REALLY appreciate the other's efforts. As I type this drivel with dish pan hands, the dryer is drying the just washed clothes, two days in a row. Yes, the dishes ARE done and the bed is made. The head is clean, salon in order except for Mallard's loaned DVDs on the salon table we are working through, BUT...the dusting is way behind. So, after typing this VofE, folding clothes, etc., we will dust. Groan, again. Then, back to the grocery store pulling the Barcelona cart for another load. Enough whining, you get the picture.

After a week away, my Canadian cruising partner was getting itchy to get back to his boat. This was after great hiking, lunches at Estancia Harberton and interesting conversations with the owners. They even offered for their cook to prepare lunch for just us after closing to the public on April 15th. I completely and totally understand his wanting to get back. We all mother after our floating homes and worry when we are away. So, back we went.

We left Bahia Cambarceras with the snow gone from the tree line down in a slight easterly breeze. We had a wonderful ride back with calm water and lotsa flying critters to keep us company along with groups of fur seals along the way feeding or lying on their backs with their flippers in the air. Within a short distance from Bahia Cambaceras the snow was down to the water. It was the first time either of us had seen the precursor to what winter is going to be here in the deep south. Absolutely beautiful. We arrived late afternoon in Ushuaia to a cloudless and windless sky. It was cool but with no wind it felt nearly balmy. You'll have to humor us here. Understand we are from Florida and this is all new. Picture number one was taken a couple of months ago representing what Ushuaia looks like during the summer with occasional dusting of light snow, gone in a day. Picture number two was taken yesterday after most of the snow in town was gone. I can't wait to get into the Chilean Canals when Mary gets back. It will be beautiful beyond beautiful. Wait until you see THOSE pictures.

Doug Harlow, Nordhavn's web guru, has done an outstanding job with timely VofE postings, various other features along with Google Earth. I am still amazed when every so often we check the Google Earth display of Egret's anchorages. The last two of Bahia del Relegada and Bahia Cambaceras are amazing. Both times the green arrow was pointing to nearly exactly where Egret was anchored. Now, with those overheads you are able to picture the E-W road running along the top of the bays and the inland areas and peninsulas where we hike (paralleling the E/W Canal Beagle). Wild!!!!



April 16, 2007

Position: S54 52.35 W67 17.50 Bahia Cambaceras, Tierra del Fuego, Arg pp 603 Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide

Well, mi amigos, it's another beautiful day in The Life. (Remember, this is the Cruising Life, not our lives) Early this morning before breakfast there was a fox on patrol along the beach. Along the same shore were two kinds of ducks, a few gulls, and a heron. At this very moment there is a kingfisher sitting on the bow rail helping with this VofE. Off the starboard side there is a small fur seal fishing. There is not a ripple in the water. Since the snow the other day the leaves have accelerated in their change of colors. Beautiful. Whoops, now a trio of upland geese have landed on the shore directly in front of the bow. Since we have killed the pot of coffee my Canadian cruising buddy aboard for the past few days (while my sweetie is in the States), has just arrived with a cuppa tea. Ho hum.

Last night we watched a borrowed movie, Kill Bill. This has to be an American degenerative classic for all times. Is this what we Yanks have reduced ourselves to???? Kills per minute? Enough of that. We'll stick with with simple entertainment of the above paragraph. (This paragraph is a second commercial for The Life if you didn't read between the lines)

April 16

Photo number one is a picture of Mallard, a 1976 aft cockpit Westsail 42. The owners are Americans from Georgia enjoying The Life as well. They came down to this part of the world from the Galapagos. We were both anchored together in Bahia Relegada the past few days. We hiked in the morning (photo two) then went to Estancia Harberton for lunch. Lottsa fun. Later we were invited to Mallard for dinner. As the evening progressed and vino flowed the chatter between our Canuck friend (ultralight racing sailboat) and the Mallards (heavy, slow with a bottom similar to Egret) got somewhat amusing. As the barbs were hurled after time the Canuck hit the wall. He simply didn't believe that Mallard didn't pound to weather (sailing upwind and into the waves). (Egret has NEVER pounded.)

Most long term enthusiasts of long distance boating, whether power or sail, know the pluses and minuses of different designs. None are wrong, just different. In power boats you have flat bottom, relative light weight boats being driven by huge horsepower for speed on day trips. The second group are semi-displacement powerboats with somewhat less horsepower, with less speed, for coastal cruising. The third group are full displacement, low horsepower long distance boats with greatly reduced speed. The BIG difference is this last group of boats are comfortable AND can go wherever they wish.

Sailboats today have essentially (greatly simplified) two groups. Canoe (shallow) bottom, fin keel, spade rudder, lightweight and fast. The opposite are heavy, slow and COMFORTABLE. For a few extra knots the canoe bottom boats are fun to sail in the right conditions but in other conditions they are head bangers. The heavy, fat, full keel boats are always slow but as comfortable as a sailboat can be. In both you are still living in The Cave (belowdecks).

As usual the arguments ended in a classic draw because both consciously chose what makes them happy which is alway the bottom line. We had to throw in our two centavos worth defending 'heavy and slow' to support our decision to buy Egret. (Si, si, we would like to have 2 more knots as well but not at the price of comfort) It was a fun evening.

Along those lines a friend, not to be named but who is leading the Med Bound 2007 group, sent an e-mail to Egret and Tothill, another cruising buddy currently in Panama, asking our opinions about cameras. Tothill and Egret were exactly on the same page but Med Bound also solicited the opinion of another cruiser who chose a different quality brand. We don't know what MB will buy but it doesn't matter. Bottom line is MB will end up with a good camera and will have super photos of their Med experience so Tothill and Egret have done their job of gently nudging their mutual buddy into a quality camera taking them from snapshots to photographs.

Not to get off the subject, this presented another occasion to enjoy cruisers' pastime of barb hurling. Since our olympic years are long gone we are reduced to hurling the only things we ca...friendly barbs. In our e-mails back and forth discussing MB's camera issues we managed to accuse Tothill of "taking pictures of malaria infested critters". His reply is posted below.

Scott, I will send you some samples of our "malaria infested critters" here to your land based e-mail address. I hope it stops snowing there long enough for you to put on your snow shoes and slog your way to an Internet cafe to check your mail. By the way, I still have a bunch of Eddie Bauer cold winter gear that I bought in Chicago which I could send you in case the fuel for your diesel heater turns to jello, or you get stranded in your dinghy in a whiteout.

Well, gotta go. It's time to take another malaria pill and apply more bug spray.


Its all about fun mi amigos. This is The Life. We will copy our buddy on this VofE as well. Their reply may take a while since the sweat running down their fingers well may damage their keyboard. Ciao.

April 11, 2007
Postion: S54 52.32 W67 20.60 Bahia del Relegada, Argentina

March 20

Well, mi amigos, sun 'n' snow. The first photo is fur seals playing on the surface on the way from Ushuaia to Bahia del Relegada on the Canal Beagle. We have been seeing fur seals laying on their backs with their noses and flippers out of the water just floating along our last several trips. The second picture was taken today, one hour ago. (Wed) Egret's first heavy snowfall ever.

Mary left last Thursday for Ft. Lauderdale. She has been racing around picking up boat goodies, visiting Scott Jr, friends, tax man, doctor appts., etc. With the very poor 'on time' record of the Argentine airlines, she opted to leave a day early spending the night in Buenos Aires. We have been apart very little in our 38 years together, this time being the longest. Miss her already.

I have been having dinners with boat buddies in the evenings, early these days (dark at 7:30), and doing boat chores during the day. I have even been leaving tools laying all over the place with the floorboards up. Ha, take that sweetie. All is put away now, even after loosing the last of many rounds with the #@%^&*$(^ wing engine. We're close to a bonfire or at least part of a mooring. Grrrrr.

Sunday night most of the liveaboards (mooring folks, anchor folks AND the dockies) were up most of the night on anchor watch. We had winds to 55 knots. Yours truly slept (sort of) in the pilothouse dressed, including boots, with his blankie. Egret sailed around on her anchor chain but never drug an inch. (Thank you, TK) One dinghy was ripped from a sailboat and ruined ashore on the rocks, another flipped. The weather side dockies got their usual fender popping abuse.

Not wanting to get dock rot, Egret left Ushuaia yesterday (Tues), with a Canadian single handing sailboater. His 50' rocket (racing) sailboat is snugly swinging on her mooring. We had a nice ride down east in a bit of following wind riding the tide the whole way. We averaged about 4 mpg turning 1350 rpm. After arrival we dropped the little rubber dink and headed to Estancia Harberton for a spot of tea and their great chocolate cake. Again we met with the owner and his wife and had a great get together. Today we went back with pictures I had promised. We were invited into their house for lunch and great conversations. I wish Mary could have been there. We'll visit back during the winter and rekindle the friendship. She loaned us an out-of-print English version copy of Uddermost Part Of The World by E. Lucas Bridges published in 1948. He was the present Harberton owner's grandfather. Reading this book will take a bit of time but we will return it before we leave.

We walked to Harberton in a light snowfall that turned into a heavy snowfall by the time we left. As you can see from the second photo we got a bit of snow in the four hours or so we were gone. We have turned up the heater for its first real test. If that is not hot enough perhaps we can cut up the wing and burn it in a sandbox on the salon floor. Ciao


April 3, 2007
Position: Ushuaia, Arg. harbor.....on anchor

March 20

Well, mi amigos, we promised steamer ducks and you got steamer ducks. We have tried since we have gotten here in the deep south and run across a few steamers to get pictures. The other day in the Beagle we stumbled across this normally elusive but apparently LD threesome. They tried to play chicken with our 30+ ton little white fiberglass ship. After looking at each other with BIG eyes in the end they finally split leaving the wakes you see. These are flightless ducks. For normal cruising they paddle with their feet. When in a dither they use their wings like an old sidewheeler, or steamer, to help propel them out of harms way. Their top speed is 12 knots. We have tried in the past to run them down for pictures, but no way, baby. In the late 1800s when all merchant nationalities' ships were stripping the deep south of penguins, fur seals and whales (until the 1930s) the steamers got a break. Penguins were killed by the thousands for food. (In one of the Patrick O'Brien/Aubry books they took on three thousand in one landing) This was not because the steamers were so elusive but because you simply couldn't eat them. With their huge developed breasts you would think they would be first on everyone's list but in reading an 1800s account, in 1800s proper English, the bottom line was you couldn't eat steamers...even disguising "thee flavour with garlic".

For the past three months we have been singing the praises of the local specialty 'all you can eat Fuegian lamb' roasted over a wood fire. Well, here you have it. Fuegian lamb, steak, two kinds of sausages and pollo (poo-yo, chicken). This, and a salad bar to die for is 32 pesos. (3.07Pesos/$). About 10 bucks US. Egret's kind of deal. After Egret's return from our trek east we hit the Reuda Restaurant, our favorite, for the above. Urp. The only problem is Fuegian lamb goes through us like a goose so the meal and after have to be planned.

This afternoon in the grocery store we ran into our French family friends from Mar del Plata, Caeta Hornos, etc. They will be wintering here as well. We yupped it up for a while sharing information of places we have visited and will visit down here, etc. They just returned from a month in the Chilean Canals and will return in a week or so. Mary leaves for the States on Thur. When Mary returns we will hit the Canals as well. Down here we play the 90 day game as do all non-locals. Every 90 days max you can be in Argentina or Chile at a time so we will bounce between each other for the next year. It's going to be another great year. Ho hum.

In the ongoing wing engine saga we have determined the reason that the @$#%*& wing engine won't run is it can't breathe (clogged exhaust elbow). This was after a call to Mark Malo at Complete Yacht Service in Ft. Lauderdale (comyacht@aol.com), a great parts and service center. The elbow had scale rust. After a bit of chipping & so forth it would pass water well, so theoretically it would pass exhaust gas. Trying to do it right we removed the casting from the exhaust manifold that included that casting, the elbow and the connecting nipple with a hex in the middle. Of course the nipple was rusted. After soaking the assembly in Corrosion Block overnight we took the three-piece assembly to the shop's big vice at the Yacht Club along with our pipe wrench and a 3lb hammer. One thread of the nipple is right hand thread (to the exhaust casting) and the other is left hand thread (to the elbow). We have a spare nipple in spares so we figured we'll just remove the nipple and clean the elbow, etc. Welllll, the nipple was rusted and sheared off. Now the whole mess is in Danny's care, (the YC's do-everything man) to take it to a local machine shop with 2" IPS taps and a torch to remove the rusted/sheared nipple piece. (For our UK friends reading this, a torch is a hot wrench, not a flashlight.) When the pieces are returned and reassembled if the wing doesn't play you'll be able to see the glow in the night sky from North America.

So there you have it. Another few days in The Life. (The Life is an Egretism for the long distance cruising life, not our lives.) Ciao.

April 1, 2007
Position: Ushuaia harbor on anchor

March 20

Well, mi amigos, Egret is back in town after her brief hiatus cruising the southern shore of Tierra del Fuego. We spent the past two nights in Harberton anchored off the estancia. We hiked about a bazillion miles, found a new wind tell, photo one, and worked on nap chores, photo two. The new wind tell actually swivels to the wind if the wind is strong enough. It makes Egret look like a viking ship or perhaps a horny ship. Who knows?? Mary succumbed to nap chores while we were off chasing a pair of woodpeckers trying to get a good picture. We took over 50 shots of those elusive devils and came up with three acceptable pictures. This is to add to some great cormorant photos and today's overhead shots from the flybridge of steamer ducks. We'll include the steamers and their description on the next VofE.

We spent the entire trip back to Ushuaia in the flybridge. What a beautiful day. It was sunny, warm and no wind. There were young sea lions jumping and playing along the way. Birds of all types and penguins were everywhere along the route. We have made the trip enough times now we don't bother with using the electronic charts. We have them running in the pilothouse 'just in case' but never had to look at them. If there were more days like today and this place was easy to get to it would look like Georgetown, Cayman Islands in the winter. There are enough great days we decided not to leave this month cruising to New Zealand as we initially planned but will spend the winter/spring/summer in the close by area. Next summer we leave for New Zealand. The deep south will never become an over crowded cruising area simply because it is so large and secondly it is difficult to get to. For a long distance powerboat it isn't that difficult IF you come down the west coast of South America. The ideal is to depart from the Galapagos or Ecuador, stay west of the Humboldt Current then make a hard left into mainland Chile. From there it is relatively east to come down the Chilean Canals to Ushuaia. We are trying to get NAR buddies to make that trip now and join us here next spring & summer.

On a personal note, five years ago today was the first day of our retirement. At times it seems so long ago and again it seems like yesterday. We left Ft Lauderdale on April 3, 2002 for the Chesapeake. We have traveled so far, seen so much and had so many unforgettable experiences we couldn't possibly be able to describe this change to our previous lives. There was a lot of adventure in our previous lives however it was enjoyed by bits and pieces not the continuous treats we enjoy today. Had we have stayed Monday morning quarterbacking the past five years, we would have probably doubled our net worth by real estate appreciation, etc. We wouldn't trade the past five years for ten times that. It's just money, nothing more. We are no longer in the summer of our lives (we retired at 57/52). Sad but true. Every year from now on really counts. You get the picture.

We are planning a LOT more Egret miles in the future. There are a lot being planned beyond New Zealand. We enjoy sharing our musings on VofE. It is our little contribution to help others with information and inspiration trying to fill the gaps you can't get out of magazine articles alone. What will the next five years bring? We don't know but we promise it will be fun and you'll be along until its YOUR turn.


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