Sailing Diary – The Hurricane Season


The last two years we spent Hurricane Season down in Grenada with a bunch of other cruiser friends in hopes of staying low enough and east enough to be out of the path of any hurricanes – statistically speaking of course. Our very first year we hightailed it down there since we were very green and wanted to play it safe, though that caused us to miss a lot of the islands without fully exploring the way we wanted to.

The second year we pushed our luck a little and didn’t leave the Virgins until the end of July. Our trip south was rushed again but we made it safe and sound.

This year was a little different. This year we were working in BVI into the first part of August. I wasn’t comfortable with traveling south from BVI to Grenada that late into hurricane season. It also happened to mark three years since we’d been back to the states. After some discussion, Peter and I both decided it would be best to haul our boat out of the water, secure it on stands and fly out to visit family and friends in California and Washington state. It wasn’t an easy decision though, because it would mean a lot of work to prepare the boat.


Let’s just say it had been a long time since we had to back this full keel into a slip. The Travellift is designed in such a way that we have to back in, otherwise the mast would have to come down. It took a few tries because of the wind, but finally we sprung into place with the help of some linehandlers from the yard.

Even though we arrived for our haulout appointment at 9am, it literally took all day for the crew at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour to deliver and finish securing our boat on jackstands in her permanent location. It was very hot outside. Of course I didn’t plan to be standing around in the sun all day so I totally forgot to put sunscreen on!! My skin peeled for weeks after that mistake 🙁 We had only been off work for half a day before we left to bring the boat up to Virgin Gorda so there was still plenty of work to do before we departed the next morning. We finished stowing all the cushions, setting up dehumidifiers, vacuuming and wiping down all surfaces inside the boat. We finished packing and made a sad little quesadilla dinner out of the remaining food we had left on board. All was still in the yard that night, yet we were bubbling with excitement to start our vacation 😉


Luckily, Betsy was having a sleepover with our friends on Three Sheets that night. It would have been really challenging trying to get her up and down that ladder in the yard. First thing the next morning we ferried over to Tortola where our friend Scott picked us up. We made a pitstop in West End to check out of the country and pick up Betsy, then made the journey to St. Thomas by boat.

There, our friend William from Mango Media was waiting for us. We spent the morning with him running a few errands – like going to the Vet for Betsy’s paperwork, going to AT&T to get a US cell phone sim card and stopping for lunch at a really awesome secret local spot. It’s so secret I would never be able to find it again!

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to make our flight. Everything up to this point was a complete whirlwind and was completely made possible thanks to all the help we got from our friends. Sometimes it takes a village when you’re in the islands!


Fast forward two months… We’ve actually just arrived back in Tortola after visiting all of our family. Don’t worry, I hope to catch you up on our adventures on land sometime this week…

When we booked our plane tickets back in April, we only left ourselves a total of TWO WEEKS (though now we’re down to a week and a half) to get a LOT of work done on our boat after getting back to the islands. She’s currently still on the hard in Virgin Gorda. We will arrive there later this afternoon to begin project-mode trying to get as much done as we can. Unfortunately there are certain jobs that must be done while she’s hauled out of the water so the rest of the month is critical for us, as we don’t plan on hauling her out again for a couple of years. (Knock on teak!) You might ask why we didn’t have someone else do the work while we were gone but Peter prefers to be there while all work is being done. We’re gearing up for another busy charter season so we know we really need to get the critical items taken care of now before our entire focus returns to work.

Vacation mode is *OFFICIALLY* over! Hurricane season technically isn’t over until the end of November but the worst of it has hopefully passed. Even though we’ll still be watching the weather closely, this is a great time of year to be working down here. The tourism traffic is already ramping back up for a new charter season!

While we can’t wait to see all our friends here in the islands, the next week and a half will literally be madness as we scramble to get the work done on our boat. Wish us luck!!!!


Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Greece

“Luxury boutique hotel with the view that takes your breath away”

Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Greece

From the moment my dear friend Madeleine and I arrived, we knew that this resort was exceptional. We got offered champagne and extremely fast check- in VIP lounge with orientation on a property and the island on the map. We also got help with recommendations for good places to eat and party (unfortunately at the end of the season most of all nightclubs and many restaurants are already closed).

Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Greece

Style, decor & character

The blend of classic and romantic style with minimalistic details.

The property is very light, stylish and beautiful. The bar has a lovely terrace with a beautiful view.

There is a library which looks trendy and modern.

Service & facilities

The service was excellent. Everybody was friendly, always smiling which creates a truly fantastic atmosphere.

The big blue refreshing saltwater pool is a real highlight which offers a great view over the sea. The resort has a complimentary tennis court and a private beach. The beach area is small but beautiful and clean with sun beds and cabanas.

Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Greece

The water is colorful and bright.

There were complimentary shuttles to the town of Mykonos each night every hour from 7 PM onwards. It would be nice if shuttles started at 18.00 to catch up the sunset in the city, you order a taxi (about 10 euros one way) or public bus (2 euros). The latest shuttle picked up at 10:30 pm, so if you want to stay longer, take a cab (be aware that it take some time to get one).

The beach is mostly private and quiet, without noisy water sports. The spa includes a squash court and a gym. There is a large seawater outdoor pool equipped with comfortable daybeds, squishy cushions, and cabanas.

The Spa was an amazing experience. We had chosen the “Deep cleansing facial treatment.” Excellent results, painful, but worth it. The girl was very professional, explained everything about the process and products used. Try to make your booking in advance as they get full quite quickly.


We had a sea view superior room (I would say a small apartment) with two balconies, guest room, bathtub, and kitchen. The room is very fresh and newly renovated. White, spacious and clean with beautiful details.

Food and Drink

There are two restaurants: casual poolside Aqua e Sole for lunch, or more formal Dolphins of Delos higher up, where buffet breakfast served.

The breakfast included all that you need, delicious (better quality end quantity). Great selection of cheese and pastries, smoothie, fresh orange juice and variating from day to day fruits. Many options for vegetarians. The staff was fantastic there.


Staying at the Mykonos Grand Resort is an unforgettable experience. Hospitality and service on top, like the rest of the hotel. The sunrises and sunsets were phenomenal.

 I would highly recommend this resort to anyone that is looking for a luxury, modern, five-star resort with home atmosphere.


Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet


Sailing Cruise – Santorini, Greece

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

“From a 100-year-old prison to a magnificent luxurious hotel.” 


Fantastic location – only five minutes walk to Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace. Very close to Grand Bazaar.

Style, decor & character

An elegant interior with beautiful furniture. It is a charming hotel with a different and traditional style of rooms.

Service & facilities

Helpful reception and staff, always good atmosphere as you would expect from a Four Seasons. Facilities include a health club offering Balinese massage treatments and a rooftop lounge.


All rooms are spacious, comfortable, and individual in design. Some of them with balconies most of them have a view onto the courtyard filled with beautiful plants. Luxurious Bathroom with large tubs and separate showers.Very comfortable bed like always in all Four Seasons hotels and resorts.

Food and Drink

Breakfast served in a glass pavilion or outside on its fantastic terrace. Excellent quality with fresh local ingredients. Excellent choice from the buffet as well ala cart.

In good weather, you can enjoy a dinner or drinks on the rooftop terrace with fantastic views to Sophia or Blue Mosque. Unforgettable view!

Summery of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Everything about this hotel is perfect in Sultanahmet area of Istanbul. Location only a few minutes up the street to Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. Fantastic service is excellent as you would expect from a Four Seasons. Intimate restaurant with fabulous food.  Boutique-sized property that makes you feel like a home and staff can easy remember your name and preferences.

Tevkifhane Sok., No:1, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, 34110, Turkey.

00 90 212 638 8200

Atatürk International Airport is 19 kilometers west, and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is 45 kilometers southeast.

Best rooftop bars and terraces with views in Istanbul


Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Greece

Best rooftop bars and terraces with views in Istanbul

Rooftop bars and terraces with views in Istanbul are becoming more popular. Cozy and chilled atmosphere with a magnificent view over the city. Many of rooftops turned into restaurants, lounges, and bars. For many locals, this is the best way to escape from the crowded streets of the Istanbul. ” 

Here are the best rooftop bars and terraces to enjoy Istanbul’s spectacular atmosphere.

Balkon Cafe Bar

This Wonderful place has one of the best views over Istanbul. The place is very relaxed and has a beautiful local atmosphere. The best time to visit the Balkon during sunset and the night.

Asmalı Mescit Mh., Şehbender sok No:5,

The 360

Restaurant, bar and club located on an island on top of the Hilton Doubletree hotel in the Bosporus between Asa and Europe. On the top of the restaurant you get a 360 view of Istanbul cityThe club comes alive on the weekends, offering DJs and vocalists with live dancers and performances, and non-stop partying until the early morning hours.

 Istiklal Caddesi Misir Apt. No:311 K:8 Beyoglu


Neolokal is a new restaurant from celebrity Turkish chef Maksut Aşkar, located in an old bank building which now houses an art institute. Neolokal serves traditional local dishes in a modern way, and each dish has a story. The outdoor terrace offers views of the old City.

 Salt Galata, Bankalar Caddesi No. 11, Karaköy; 


Located at the top of the Marmara Pera, the roof terrace bar is slightly surreal, in the midst of jasmine scents accompanied by the chilling breeze of Galata, you feel like anything is possible in this city.

 The Marmara Pera Hotel, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No. 15, 

Georges Hotel Galata

The rooftop bar located at the Fantastic little a French-style design boutique hotel. The cozy rooftop terrace offers a stunning view of the Bosporus and Istanbul city.

 Müeyyedzade, Serdar-ı Ekrem Cd. 24, Beyoğlu


Located in Karakoy Haze Hotel’s roof. A new restaurant opened by the owner of Leblon of Asmalı designed as a modern “meyhane” with a good variety of cold and hot mezze. The restaurant opened at the end of summer 2015, quickly become one of the favorite spots in the lively, hip neighborhood of Karaköy.

 Kemankeş Karamustafapaşa Mahallesi, Maliye Caddesi No.8A Karaköy

Leb-i Derya

Lebiderya in Istanbul was chosen one of the top 15 bars in the world by Sunday Times. Leb-i derya is one of those fancy restaurants perched high above the streets of Beyoğlu with fantastic views of the Bosporus, Maiden’s Tower, Asia and old Istanbul’s peninsula.

 Şahkulu Mah., Kumbaracı Ykş. No:57, 34425 Tünel/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

Gaja Roof

On the 16th floor of the Swissotel, you find this magnificent rooftop terrace. A perfect rooftop bar in Istanbul for all who like relaxation. It is a variety of wines and cocktails. An excellent kitchen and live DJs who create a good atmosphere for all guests. In the summer, this is the place to be.
 Bayildim Cad. No.2 Macka, 34357 Besiktas, Istanbul


Wolfgang Puck’s first international Spago spot overlooks Maçka Park and the Bosphorous from the roof of the St. Regis Istanbul hotel in uptown Nişantaşı. Diners can expect nothing less than fantastic dishes and impeccable service.

  The St. Regis Istanbul, Mim Kemal Öke Caddesi No. 35, Nişantaşı

A’YA Rooftop Lounge

Located on the rooftop of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, A’YA Rooftop Lounge is one of the most awe-inspiring terraces in Istanbul with its unbeatable view of Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.
 Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet – Tevkifhane Sokak No. 1, 34122 Sultanahmet-Eminönü, Istanbul 

Best rooftop bars and terraces with views in IstanbulBest rooftop bars and terraces with views in Istanbul


Zuma bar and terrace attract a sophisticated crowd; This is a place to see and be seen. A perfect venue to spend time with friends.

 İstinye, Bayır Çk., 34460 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey


Safran offers the finest in Turkish and Ottoman cuisine and spectacular views of the Bosphorus. The covered terrace provides the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views all year round in this elegant and sophisticated setting.

 Şht. Muhtar, kat 15, Dolapdere Taksim Cd No:1, 34435 İstanbul/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey



Kayumanis Nusa Dua Private Villas & Spa, Bali


Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

The Author

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Kayumanis Nusa Dua Private Villas & Spa, Bali

From the moment our driver picked us up, we knew this was going to be a pleasant stay to remember. At the reception, the service and hospitality were one of the best we ever tried. Kayumanis resort – a peaceful and relaxing green oasis gem in the middle of noisy and touristy Nusa Dua area.


We stayed in the Kayumanis Honeymoon suite villa surrounded by an exotic tropical garden. Our one bedroom villa was spacious with separate living room and outdoor shower and bathtub. The most important part was a private swimming pool with sundeck terrace located in the harmony of the villa. Not many resorts can offer such a big and beautiful private swimming pool. We had there everything we needed; always a lot of bottles of water, fresh fruits, nuts and homemade cookies.

Restaurants And Bars

We had breakfast brought to the villa every day. The quality of the food and beverages was delicious, and you can order anytime, so you don’t need to think about time. The resort offer á la carte Breakfast in the restaurant if you want something different.

The resort provides two restaurants, offering outdoor and indoor dining with an Italian and Indonesian kitchen.

We didn’t try the Italian but had dinner in the Indonesian restaurant. The food was splendid and beautiful prepared.


Nusa Dua beach is only 5 minutes walk from the resort. You may also enjoy a small private part. In our opinion, Nusa Dua beach isn’t great for swimming, but it was wonderful to have it close by, so you could go for an evening walk or watch the amazing sunrise.


Last, but not least we loved the Kayamanis Spa. We decide to try a 90-minute Balinese massage. You can always find a cheaper Spa in Nusa Dua, but I’d argue that a quality and service it is well worth spending time there.

The spa and massage were very relaxing and soothing, followed by a hot ginger tea.

Insider Info

Kayumanis Nusa Dua awarded as Indonesia Villa Of The Year (2012/2013)
Anytime Breakfast in your villa.

You can enjoy a sunrise breakfast at 6:00 am on the beach.

Kayumanis Nusa Dua does not accommodate children below 16 years old.

Kayumanis is near the shopping centre with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars.

You can use bicycles for free

Kayumanis provide free shuttle service to Nusa Dua and Jimbaran areas.


Kayumanis Nusa Dua, Bali is an adult resort. Perfect for couples or honeymooners who want privacy in an adorable green environment. The whole concept of Kayumanis is to make you feel like a very special guest. The people are making this hotel as special, always helpful, very friendly and attentive. They made our stay very enjoyable and comfortable as at home. For those who prefer a more personal and private resort hotels, Kayumanis is a perfect choice!

We would recommend this oasis to any couple looking for a relaxing getaway with the luxurious and relaxing atmosphere, tranquillity and fantastic hotel staff.