Thursday, October 23, 2014


We had dinner in Alstadt "old town" last night.  Another traditional German dinner and plenty of Alt beer.  My dinner was meatloaf, which I found out is really ham steak here.

We also took time to research some bakeries and sample their products.

Good pretzels, cougan, and bread
One beer served - Alt
Rhine river at Dusseldorf Alstadt


We have been at the glass show two days and this is our last day.  Both FeneTech and RoviSys are exhibiting.  The show attendance seems good, but not great.  We had a jazz band at the end of the day yesterday and it attracted a crowd.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


We're cruising the Autobahn at 175 kph between Berlin and Dusseldorf.  Driving this fast requires concentration and absolutely no texting....

Our VW SUV rides good at 110 mph

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bye Bye Berlin

This was our final day in Berlin, which is a nice city.  We romped about the neighborhoods, both east and west, and saw how the locals live.

A Berlin Wall memorial was located about an hour walk north and it was very interesting.  We also went to the top of the Berlin TV tower which had a great view.

Berlin Wall Memorial
Pretty Tall
German Grub and Suds

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nazi Murders

It seems like every time we come to Europe we get to experience a travel interruption.  This time the rail is on strike, so we had to get a driver to get us out to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

We left early on this quiet sunny Sunday morning to visit the camp.  After three hours touring the site, our stomachs  were in knots.  This was a very eye opening experience that should be viewed by all who can.  It should affirm that being a political isolationist can allow unlimited terror and death.  It was amazing how much planning the Nazis undertook, as early as 1933, to murder 7 million people... and their implementation was deplorable.

Our driver  was a talker and offered to take us to a German outdoor military museum located on an airbase.  This airfield supported one third of the Berlin airlift flights to keep West Berlin from falling to the Soviets.

Sachsenhaus Concentration Camp
Prisoners couldn't escape camp or death
100s of aircraft in hangers and on field
Another 10 miles on foot required nutrition

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gates, Walls, and Checkpoints

We left early to see many of the iconic Berlin sights; Brandenburgen Gate, Jewish Hollocost Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, Gestapo headquarters, and the Victory Column.  We also saw many other sights since we put over 13 miles on our boots.

Brandenburgen Gate in early morning fog
Memorial for Murdered Jews
Checkpoint Charlie
Last pieces of Berlin Wall

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hello Berlin!

Today we took a 5 hour train from Prague to Berlin.... which was a pleasant ride.  After settling in at our hotel it was off to eat weinersnichel and potatoes and more beer.  The black lager was really good.

We walked to the Brandenburg gate and we were treated to a laser light show.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Prague Prancing

When the day is done we will be over 10 miles traveled upon foot.  Today we explored the east bank of the city and found nice and not so nice neighborhoods.   Unfortunately a major attraction, the Jewish Quarter, was closed for a Jewish holiday....

It seems Prague has become too touristy with an abundance  of cheap gift shops and an insane number of umbrella led tour groups.

East Bank of Prague
A Convent without Nuns
Pleasant outdoor lunch with Ron and Tammy

Family in Prague

Last night we met up with Rich (brother-in-law) who was in town for Honeywell.  We had a welcomed non-Czeck dinner at a seafood establishment.  We then continued our dialog at a Nouvou beer hall over more fine pilsner. 

We are still struggling to get a decent night's rest.... between our traveling and the noisy streets of Prague, it has been difficult.

Three Cheers for Great Beer

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ascending Prague

It is time to cool off our feet before heading back out to dinner.  So far we have walked 12 miles with two major ascents; the South Tower of St. Vidus (273 steps) and the Petrin Tower "Prague's Eiffle Tower" (300 steps). The Prague Castle was full of interesting architecture and our early morning arrival beat the crowds.

Rubbing good luck statues on Charles bridge
View from St. Vitus South Tower (Prague Castle)
High up on Petrin Tower
Goooood hot chocolate!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shake Down

Notice anything odd about these bills?  I didn't  either..... A  guy at the ATM right next to us ( within 2 feet) was withdrawing cash and asked us to exchange a 2000 for 4 500s.... He was convincing, dressed nicely, and well spoken... but, it turns out a scam and his 500s were Russian and virtually worthless.  The Czech underground economy is $100 richer.... and we are smarter (I think).

U Fkeku est. 1499

We just had dinner at the oldest beer hall (1499) in Prague.  We had potatoes pancakes, roast duck, roast pork, sausage, cabbage (red and sour), dumplings, and bread.  Not many veggies or salads here.... U Flecku is famous for their dark lager.  It is their only beer and it is very tasty.  They just keep slamming them down on the table.... making leaving very difficult!

Leaving Motor City

Linda and I are on our way to Prague, Berlin, and Dusseldorf.  Our first leg of the journey is from Detroit to Frankfurt.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Final Apple Harvest

It was a rough year for our apples.  The extreme cold temperatures this winter resulted in many trees without blossoms.  We lost all of our peaches, apricots, and plums.  Spencer is busy making an apple pie from our late pickings.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Slow Ride to Lexington

We had a tough day at sea today.  It took us 5 1/2 hours to travel 67 nm against head seas.  The forecast was very wrong as we experienced 20 to 30 kt headwinds which developed 5 to 7 foot seas (and bigger).  The ship and most of the crew did well in these sporty conditions.

Today was a crew change.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fishing in Hessel

Been in Hessel the last two days fishing.  Hessel is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It is remote and great for star gazing.  Also no Internet or time to post to blog.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

S.O.Bum Crew Shipped Off to Florida

After being evicted from the Mothership, Bumboat, half the SOB crew said "screw it" and decided to fly south to Florida. ENJOY THE STURGEON, ROVISYS CREW. WE'LL BE SWIMMING WITH MANETEES. 


-Olivia and Victoria 


The weather cleared, but the wind was still blowing 20 knots from the northwest.  Our plan was to go to Washington Island in Wisconsin.  After we cleared the Leelanau Peninsula we saw the full force of the winds and waves on Lake Michigan.  A 4+ hour trip into 4 to 6 foot head seas didn't sound fun, so we reversed course and headed to Northport.

After lunch we headed out on what would turn out to be a 10 mile hike through the cherry orchards and over to Lake Michigan.  Bryan did the hike in his deck shoes which almost turned his toes into cherries.  His entertainment streak ended tonight after being upstaged by a 90 year old pianist who attracted all of the golden agers and left Bryan humming Frank Sinatra tunes.

Pancakes before heading to sea

Overlooking Grand Traverse Bay

Our 10 mile cherry hike

Northport Harbor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Holed Up in Traverse City

The strategy of coming to Traverse City to sit out the weather was solid.  Today we had non-stop rain from last night until the afternoon.  The wind was howling to 30 knots and the seas were forecast to be large.  The other good news is the marina had a great lounge which allowed the crew to relax in luxurious conditions, rather than tripping over each other on the Bumboat.

We had a great meal at an Asian restaurant (Red Ginger) where we could only get five seats at the bar.  Tom, who screwed up the reservation, had to eat standing up to the rear of us.  He finally got a seat after we bought dessert for our adjacent seat mates.  Of course, the night wouldn't be right if Bryan didn't entertain us.... so, he took advantage of open mike night.

Bryan's poncho was below specifications for heavy rain

Our ship bounced about at the dock

Crew refuge during storm

Evening entertainment by Dave "Bryan" Mathews

Rock star worked the crowd

Monday, August 11, 2014

Traverse City

The weather forecast was poor; rain, wind, and big waves (10 feet) the next few days.  We changed our plans from being in Frankfort to hike Sleeping Bear Dunes to the cover of Grand Traverse Bay.  Our run from Beaver Island to Traverse City was in 2 foot waves and showers.  Traverse Bay was also a good choice for a crew change.

We had dinner at a local microbrewery and the food and beer was marginal.  Moving on to a local pub, we experienced two pitchers of horrid beer (JWH selections).  The night quickly changed when Bryan, our software nerd, did a bit of coding on his phone and began wireless controlling the jukebox.  The girls swarmed him with requests for their songs and to purge other patrons songs from the queue.  Bryan was less enthused with his new football friend (2000 NFL draft) who wasn't amused by his jukebox antics.

Leg 1 crew did an excellent job cleaning ship before departure

Leg 1 and Leg 2 crew exchange

Leg 2 crew settling into life aboard

Our new Pro Football friend

Bryan's Juke Box Junkies