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Flashback Friday: Great Moments in Boats

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

I treasure my travel memories. I have a lot of trips and great memories behind me. I have tens of thousands of images and now I have a blog. I'm going to pick and choose some favourites from past travels. This week features boats! I have a fondness for boats. Dad served in the British Navy. He and my uncles all owned sailboats and we spent a significant chunk of time sailing. My community is a picturesque mix of working fishing village, historic tourist site, film location, and residential neighbourhood all within a thriving, diverse suburb of Vancouver, BC. I live a couple of blocks from the site of this photo.

The summer of 2019, I undertook The Great Canadian Road Trip. I was thrilled when it was foggy the morning we went to Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia. Like home, this is also a working fishing village, historic tourist site, film location, and residential neighbourhood. It takes much sturdier folks to live in this village straddled on cliffs and stilts, huddled behind bare rock, trying to brace against the nasty Atlantic storms.

The little wooden fishing boats of Greece are quite remarkable.

This is a typical boat for an island fisherman. These fishers are working enough to support their island life. Most are looking for the evening's dinner at a couple of local restaurants. Many of these little boats go in the later afternoon, so their catch is delivered fresh to the chefs. There were several outstanding meals on islands where the chef figured out the menu based upon the daily catch. This picture was taken in Hydra harbour in 2017.

One of my favourite cities is Venice. I will try to add Italy to any European trip and once I'm in Italy, I will always find an excuse to get to Venice. I've been there multiple times. This gondola photo is from the last student trip I chaperoned in March 2018. We had a great group of young musicians and my daughter Emi came along as an extra chaperone. I always loved sharing travel with teenagers and literally watching them mature in front of my eyes. It was really special to be able to share that experience with Emi. The best part about taking teens to Venice? You HAVE to do a gondola ride. I have been able to do this every time I've been. I love it. Here we are about to go under the Bridge of Sighs leading to the Doge's Prison.

In 2018, I joined a six day tour led by Wildlife Amazon Peru into the Amazon along the Manu River in Peru. What a magical experience. We went deep into the jungle, soaked in hot springs, saw amazing wildlife, and visited remote indigenous communities. It was an amazing experience that I want to do again. This was taken as we were returning after a soak in a hot spring pool a few steps from the river's edge. We spent a lot of hours in that boat. The cooks who travelled with us could prep and cook amazing meals while we were enroute. Those fellows were awesome.

Lake Titicaca is located between Peru and Bolivia, On the Peruvian side, off the coast of the city of Puno, there is an indigenous community which has been living on man-made floating islands, known as the Uros islands.. Their entire existence requires the weaving of lake reeds and peat. These reeds are the foundation of the islands where they live, and are formed into elaborate boats, like the one pictured, with double-headed serpents. Larger ones like this would be used to transport entire families to other islands for courting rituals, weddings and other celebrations. Each island has it's own unique purpose. Most are the residence of a single family group. Some are for schools, or to raise livestock. If you look carefully, you'll see solar panels and satellite dishes.

Summer 2016 was a tour of the UK in a zebra campervan. In Falkirk, Scotland there is an amazing wheel boat lift system for transferring boats between two canals of vastly different elevations. This is a shot along the canal close to the Falkirk Kelpies. We ended up spending more time in the area than our original plan because we wanted to ride The Wheel and it was having mechanical issues. When we learned they had on site camping, we decided to stay overnight. We were directed to a great camping spot with an amazing view, and access to hot showers and flush toilets.

Later on that same trip, we stopped at Cambridge. We enjoyed a punt ride along the River Cam. Cambridge was founded in the 13th century while the Roman Empire was still thing. We enjoyed the sunny day and the running commentary within the guided tour. Our punt driver was a local fellow who felt a strong rivalry with "that other place" (Oxford), even though he had never studied in any of the colleges under the umbrella of "Cambridge University". Each of the punting companies has a rule for naming all their punts. Can you figure out what the requirement is in naming these boats?

2015 was The Iberian Adventure covering Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. The city of Porto is quite magnificent. These traditional port boats were used to transport the barrels of port down the river. Silence was important to avoid the various tax collectors, legitimate and bandit. The bridge in the background is used by local youth as a diving platform. There seems to be a subculture of bridge divers.

This last image is a bit of a cheat but it is one of my favourite shots of Solfar (Sun Voyager), a stunning sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason of a viking ship skeleton installed along the waterfront in Reykjavik. In 2014, we went to Iceland. This was a couple of years before tourism really exploded. Iceland is a fascinating country with a culture and history worthy of huge pride. Icelandic culture is what we all should aspire to be when we grow up. The absolute equality of all people is palpable in every interaction. We were struck by their respect for nature and humanity. It was the first trip that Mady and I did road tripping in a camper van.

It was a lot of fun looking through photos to find boat pictures but it was a huge challenge to decide which ones to include in this first flashback post. I have to admit I had a lot more photos of boats than I realized! It's going to be interesting for me to notice other theme subject catch my interest. Have you noticed you are attracted to certain themes when you record your adventures? What's your favourite method of recording your travels (journals, photos, sketches, etc)?

I'm going to move to a more manageable posting schedule. For the next couple of weeks, I will have new content Monday, Wednesdays, and Friday. I will eventually move to posting twice a week. My goal is to build and maintain an audience outside of the Facebook platform that would include friends and family but also people with whom I am not already connected. You can help me achieve my goal by spreading the word. Please like this post, become a member, follow along, send the link to a friend, comment, and let's chat. :)

No boat post would be complete without giving a shoutout and link to my cousin's website. Mark is an artist who creates amazing whimsical boats (and bots) from recycled materials. Visit his website: Plunger Cove

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