And the Dream began.....

And the Dream began... I can remember my very first sailboat as if it were yesterday...the shiny, bright red hull, the brilliant white sail that could blind you in the afternoon sun as it danced across the water. I loved that boat and would have done anything to keep it safe. Even fall off the dock and almost drown...but that was many moons ago and I was only 3. Thank goodness for a quick dad! My pride and joy and I were both safe and lived to sail another day. There have been many more loves in my life since that wonderful week on Keuka Lake and a good a share of them have been the sailing variety. So I guess that it was only natural that over time the dream to sail around the world would become a passion. I am very lucky that the man in my life, my husband Gar, has humored me in following this dream. We are getting there and hope to set sail once we retire but the journey has been fun. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

San Juan del Sur to Lima

Highlights of Week 2
We covered some ground this week and have seen 4 new countries and ports. And seen is the operative word. We are used to going some place and spending a few weeks and living like the natives!! That is our first preference but we are looking at our 30 days around South America as the Big Red Bus Tour! You know, like those wonderful tours you take the first day you arrive in a city to get your bearings!!! Our plan was to spend an additional 60 days exploring South America when we get off the ship and the cruise was an excellent vehicle to see a lot of the continent in a short time. Mission Accomplished!!
After awhile they all sort of look the same.  This is a repositioning cruise so many of the ports we dock at are mainly to resupply the ship.  We are also docking in the industrial areas because these ports aren’t quite ready to cruise tourism which has its good and bad points.  Not much to see but you do get to enjoy small, unspoiled villages.
One thing they forgot to tell you, when it says Quito or Lima, they are often many miles in-land and if you want to see these places, it involves many hours back and forth and maybe an hour or two at the most at your destination…not exactly Dreamchaser ideals! So we usually explore the local area on our own.
First port of call this week was the large fishing village of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.   It has yet to be discovered and wonderful place to wander along the beach looking for a café to spend the afternoon.
We ended up at Vivian’s quite a ways down the beach.  Cold beer, more ceviche and some tasty fish.  Wonderful lunch and a great view!

Soccer on the beach is the national pastime.
We actually met two couples from Vancouver who were sailing on to the Panama Canal to spend the winter in the Caribbean.  It is neat to see someone already living the dream!
Finished the day with a little island music as we headed back to the ship!
Second port this week was Puntarenas, Costa Rica, another coastal port. We decided to do the Corobici River rafting cruise and were not disappointed.  Had a wonderful time, monkeys, parrots and all.
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We were soon off to  Manta, Ecuador, our first stop in South America.  Manta is the jumping off point for Quito and the Galapagos Islands. Another day of walking the malecon, looking at local crafts and searching for the next lunch. 
Local beers, fish and you see a pattern here??
Manta is a huge industrial port and probably one of the neatest things was watching the ship next to us unload a cargo of tuna.  Pretty neat.
Last port for the week was Callao, the port for the city of Lima, Peru. This is a huge area with a population of 8 million people.  Our destination was the Miraflores area.  A little touristy but right on the water with awesome views. We strolled through the neighborhood and the headed back to the water and lunch!
The Pisco Sours were killer…and the whole meal!
Our new friends from the Lake District of Chile.
It was one heck of a week.  Lots of beautiful places and wonderful memories!

To see more photos of the ports of call just click on the red ports to visit "Dreamchaser Travels" at Shutterfly.

Puerto Quetzal to Lima - 2, 126 Nautical Miles

Till next time,
Don’t forget to relax and get some sand between your toes!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We are off!!!

Highlights of Week 1
Can’t believe that we are actually on our way.  The Star Princess departed San Francisco on the evening of December 5th, final destination Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Mexico, Cabo San Lucas
First stop, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Saturday, December 8th.  Beautiful scenery, cold beer and good food.  This could be fun!! Some really amazing scenery in Cabo.  Even had a private boat tour from a local gentleman.

Chef's Table Dinner
On December 9th, we were very fortunate to be able to participate in the Chef’s Table.  5 couples, the head chief Brent Waterson, Maître de Rui Pederio, Sommelier Stefano.  Started with marvelous appetizers and champagne after a galley tour.  Then it was on to the main dining room and a most awesome dinner with beautiful wines.  We were the last table to leave and they had to roll us out. 
Guatemala, Puerto Quetzal
Tuesday, December 11th found us leading into Guatemala.  The ceviche was awesome!  And I was a little surprised to find this cute little port of Puerto Quetzal .  We didn’t have any tours planned so this was our only option and it was a good one.  Nice waterfront restaurant and the vendors were subdued.  That I like.
Week one has been wonderful. The verdict is still out on cruising but it has been a very interesting week.

To see more photos of the ports of call just click the red port to visit "Dreamchaser Travels" at Shutterfly.

San Francisco to Puerto Quetzal - 2,459 Nautical Miles

Until next time…..Sante!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Adventure Has Begun!!

December 3rd, 2012, found us flying out to San Francisco for a 30 day South American cruise.  You who know us understand that we are really not cruisers, unless we are at the helm so the fact that Gary decided to celebrate his retirement with a Princess cruise was even a little surprising to me.  November 16th was his big day and after a lovely Thanksgiving with all the kids, we were off.
San Francisco has always been one of our favorites and it was a plus that the cruise started there.  Any excuse for a few days in the city by the bay is a good excuse!  We were staying at the Nob Hill Hotel.  It looked better on the website but all and all not a bad place.  Décor in our room was Victorian bordello.  I have never stayed in a place with so many Tiffany lights.
Dinner on Monday night was at State Bird Provisions on Fillmore Street.  They serve a tapas type menu with the most wonderful, fresh ingredients.  I think we had one of everything before the evening was up.

Of course, no visit to San Francisco is complete without a trip to the Wharf
and some Dungeness crab.  We have been known to schedule trips around crab season and I firmly believe that a crab a day keeps the doctor away….
Our sail away day was on Wednesday, the 5th!  I was looking forward to getting on the water and sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge.  San Francisco Bay is Dreamchaser’s old stomping grounds so now I was able to see where she used to sail! The view of the city at night as we departed was awesome and the bay didn’t disappoint as the fog rolled in as we headed out to sea.



We were on our way…hang on, it’s going to be quite a ride!!!

Till next time....Sante!!