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New England for the 4th July

Patriotism is alive….A strong memory of our East coast USA trip will be the Stars and Strips fag. Folk proud to fly the US flag with flag poles in gardens, hanging from poles overhead doors, draped from porches, hanging from state building windows and of course on boats!. The Americas patriotic allegiance to their flag is on display everywhere and when it came to the 4th July celebration – they know how to celebrate independence. I think we have lost some of this proudeness in the UK and NZ and could do well to take a leaf out of the Americans display of patriotism. Why? – from what we have been part of ----it galvanizes folk, makes folk smile, talk to each other and exudes a feel good factor.

We were lucky to be in Bristol with the Ocean Cruising club for one of the oldest 4th July celebrations – and we certainly had a full on American experience. Hosted by local OCC members on the 3rd , with the backdrop of the harbour we were treated to some gyspy music played by a lovely

couple who built and sailed their own 27ft yacht which was full of soft toys – their alternative reality. Well into their 70s not only were they playing in Broadway orchestras, they wrote wonderful children’s stories. Rosie and Jim in real life.

Our 4th July Bristol experience was a 2.5 hour vibrant parade – everything from Soul music to Wrap,

Captain America to the gleaming white Naval Academy, and dray horses to helicopters. The day was beautiful and the colours, vibe and creativity – just awesome.- Go AMERICA…

Sadly we said goodbye to Lori in Bristol as she headed off to spend time with the lovely Charlie ( husband of one month!). A fab and memorable few weeks and a new sailing friend who may well join me in Tahiti.

New England was the setting for our second OCC cruise, where we again met fabulous people, even gained a new crew member for a day!. 11 year old Sophie who was a second time round circumnavigation with her fabulous parents on board Kailani: a 63ft Kiwi built boat.

Sophie was a real credit to her parents and had some great stories to tell!. The best one, about how they T boned a pier in South Africa was told beautifully by Sophie as we all drifted in dinghies tied together at sundown outside Edgartown on Mathas vineyard.

In true OCC style we cruised Newport and soaked in the “Robber Barons mansions”, a real display of what the “Guilded Age meant”. The Vanabelts , Rockafellas etc

certainly seemed to have the economy sown up with money to burn on beautiful house and of course beautiful yachts ( J class – I spied one sailing in Newport – beautiful). We cycled the beautiful Marthyas vineyard, battled fog to concquer Cuttyunk by sundown, and danced the night away ashore and afloat.

The last night was dinner at the Beverly yacht club in Marion, a small town with a beautiful small yacht club who were fabulous hosts. The bizzare thing was that blocking my way to the bar was dear Jack and Tommy Desomend friends we had met at a beach BBQ in Dominque. – This was their yacht club and where they lived…. Time to celebrate a reunion.. a thank you to Jack Gierhart the Commodore who made us most welcome and even presented us with the club burgee.

Last stop in New England was Provincetown. A place that has to be experienced and cannot be described. Overflowing with cheerful vibrancy and a upbeat welcoming weirdness that I cannot begin to put inot words. We even had a humpback whale and her calf greet us on arrival – an amazing sight. Provincetown is a place where anything goes, reguardless of age, gender, colour or background everyone is made to feel welcome and comfortable. “wacky” is alive and kicking and the T party was just extraordinary fun..

Next stop Nova Scotia……

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