News About The Greer Family

September 9, 2003: Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada, September, 2003 (photo Ian Broadfoot)

Our two-year adventure has ended and we have returned to our home in Vancouver, BC, Canada, but life moves on. We have been adjusting to a land-based life and so far our biggest surprise is that there is no surprise. As we go through each day, it often feels like we had never left. Our house and neighbourhood has changed little and Vancouver even less. But as we interact with people we find that our world-view has changed. For example, we notice that everywhere in Vancouver we can communicate in English, something we could not take for granted in most of the countries that we visited. The changes are small and subtle, but our experience has given us a different attitude to life.

Bodrum, Turkey
Bodrum, Turkey

While many of the changes have been internal, everyone comments on the physical changes to Jocelyn, Kevin, and Allen. Two years has made a big difference to their physical and emotional development. To get a better idea of the physical changes, take a look at our family pictures which show all five of us before, during, and after our Mediterranean adventure.

A Big Sink
A Big Sink

One thing that we did notice when we first got home was access to things like water. The first time I filled our kitchen sink with water I had ever person in the family asking me if I had left the water on. Just one of our kitchen sinks is larger than both of the sinks on Dragonsinger. In the picture above, the amount of water in the bottom of the right-hand sink would be enough to fill one of Dragonsinger's sinks one-third full. We have also enjoyed long showers and the luxury of a bath.

Dragonsinger

Yat Lift, Turkey
Yat Lift, Turkey

We decided to leave our Jeanneau 43DS sailboat Dragonsinger in the Yat Lift boat yard near Bodrum, Turkey. After having lived onboard for twenty-two months Dragonsinger was lifted out of the water and blocked in place among the olive trees. We shed a few tears as Dragonsinger was pulled out of the water, but we are comfortable with her new home. We have not decided on what we are going to do with the boat next. We may come back and sail her some more, we may ship Dragonsinger back to Canada, or we may sell her. Knowing that our sailboat is safe in Turkey gives us the means to study the alternatives and make a considered choice for the future of the special sailboat that carried us around the Mediterranean.

School

Allen and Kevin
Allen and Kevin

Since returning to Vancouver, we have spent much of our time getting the three children ready for school. For the last two years we have home-schooled all three children using the Greater Vancouver Distance Education School. This year Kevin and Allen are back at West Point Grey Academy, the school they attended before we left on our adventure.

Janis Ridsdel
Janis Ridsdel

While we were traveling Jocelyn met Janis Ridsdel. Janis is a fellow Canadian who lived on her parent's sailboat when she was the same age as Jocelyn is now. After crossing the Atlantic twice, Janis attended International Baccalaureate schools once she returned to a land-based life. This was the first that Jocelyn or the rest of us had heard of IB schools. Jocelyn was interested enough in these schools that she applied at one of only two schools in Vancouver that offer the IB program. Jocelyn was accepted in the Brittania Venture program which will lead her to the IB program in Grades 10, 11, and 12.

There are 129 IB schools in 49 countries. The IB program is administered from Geneva, Switzerland and all students take similar curriculum and use the same exams and markers. Universities around the world recognize the IB program and when Jocelyn graduates she will have an academic background that should let her continue her education at any university she chooses.

Back Sailing

Kevin Sailing
Kevin Sailing a Laser

We may not have a boat in Vancouver, but it didn't take us long to get back into sailing. We are members of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and we missed the club enough that we had lunch there on the day we arrived back in Vancouver. Jocelyn and Kevin have decided to join the RVYC race team. They attended an orientation meeting, equipment handout, and last Sunday spent the day out on the water getting to know their boats. Racing is different than cruising, but we think they will catch on quickly.

Travel Pictures

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque, Istanbul

We took many pictures during our travels through Greece and Turkey. We have started to organize them into galleries. Please follow the links below to view the individual galleries. Galleries are one to three Web pages in length. After viewing the gallery use your back button to return here or click on the "News" link on the left-hand side of each gallery to return to this Web page.

Port Vell Sunset
Port Vell Sunset, Barcelona, Spain

While trying to reflect on our two-year journey, we realized that we had not published any picture galleries on Spain. The following three picture galleries gather together pictures from some of the outstanding Spanish places we visited:

A Year of Travel

In two years we have travelled over 5,500 nautical miles (more than 10,000 kilometers). To put this in perspective, David and Karalee had only travelled 5,000 nautical miles in their previous twenty years experience of cruising the West Coast of Canada. The Mediterranean looks small on the map of the world, but it is a large and challenging sea for cruisers. This year we spent more than thirteen days on passage and in two years we spent forty-one days travelling. We have kept track of all of our Mediterranean passages and by selecting the link below you can see all of the details:

Summer Travel

Route
Our routes in the Aegean

Since our last update, we have travelled from Athens to Turkey. The map above gives an overview of the routes that we followed. We backtracked through many of our routes, so you have to use your imagination to try and follow our explorations in the Aegean.

Sailing
Boisterous Sailing in the Aegean

Every summer for thousands of years a wind blows from the North in the Aegean Sea. This wind, called the Meltemi, can blow for a few days or a few weeks. This summer the Meltemi started a month earlier than usual and it continued through the summer. We tried to work North against this powerful wind, but after a week of pounding into wind and waves we gave up and went with the wind rather than fighting it. The wind often blew more than thirty knots (60 km/hr) with gusts of ten knots. This was the most challenging sailing of our two-year adventure and on good days Dragonsinger blasted along eating up the miles during several long passages.

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