Sailing Esprit - A McWilliam Family Adventure
Sailing Esprit - A McWilliam Family Adventure

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May 14, 2014

Since my last post, we crossed the Atlantic in nineteen boring days, and made landfall in Grenada where we left Esprit for four months while returning home for Christmas. We turned once more to the ocean in April and spent 5 weeks cruising Grenada and St. Vincent & the Grenadines before taking Esprit to Trinidad. Highlights were seeing EOS (the world's largest sailboat over-all) & Rafoly (my friend Jonny's 92ft catamaran).
Hauling in a fifty lb tuna
And this would be what is called a "flower."

October 22, 2013

If life were an island, then the last few months were the golden sand beach that delicately greets the sapphire waves. After Sardinia, we arrived in Corsica, which really didn't have a whole lot going for it. From there, however, we sailed to Monte Carlo, which can best be described as heaven with more Rolls-Royce's. Super-yachts, sports cars, beautiful, ancient architecture, low taxes, and private banking all conspire to make this Monacan city an isolated business paradise. After a tearful goodbye to the grand (yet miniscule) country of Monaco, we sailed for France, where we cruised the Riviera and saw the world's coolest boat (s/y Maltese Falcon, pictured below). Once we had visited Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands, we arrived in Cartagena, where we left the boat for a month in order to attend my grandmother's funeral. When we arrived back on Esprit, we departed and sailed to Gibraltar, otherwise known as "The Rock" (a nickname shared with Malta, Alcatraz, Monte Carlo, and Sydney). Here we took a week-long trip to Seville and Portugal. Now we are back on the boat, awaiting the perfect weather window to open so we can sail out the Straits of Gibraltar into the Atlantic. 
Me & Mom kayaking
Starfish I found while diving on the anchor
Classic Rolls-Royce (Did I say Monte Carlo was heaven or what?)
Ford GT (Can it get any more heavenly?)
The fort in Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo - Prince's Car Collection
Me & Mom in front of the Hotel de Paris
Monte Carlo Casino and fountain
The Maltese Falcon - beauty defined
Front Royal, on the French Riviera
Finally - a decent anchorage with nice clear water
Train to Soller on Isla de Mallorca
Apparently the Ministry of Magic is closed
The Seville Bullring, Spain
At the helm
On watch on the battlements
Sintra, Portugal (Described by the guidebook as a "wonderful fairyland")
No, I didn't plan to be color coordinated
Panoramic view of the Bay of Gibraltar
Me & Dad - on the Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar during WWII

June 30,2013

Between the 270ft superyacht berthed a hundred yards away, and the three Bugatti Veyron's sitting in the marina parking lot, Porto Cervo is pretty awesome. Sadly, before arriving at this ritzy eden, we had to take a stop in Tunisia, an Islamic country on the north coast of Africa. While there, we took an inland tour, which involved a camel safari into the Sahara. From there we took a two day sail to Sardinia. After arriving safely in the marina, my parents promptly decided to go hiking into the "Grand Canyon of Europe" (which, like everything else here, pales in comparison to the natural beauties of America). Three hours of exhausting hiking later, we had seen the tiny creek that flowed at the bottom, and the miniscule white cliffs, and gladly returned to Esprit.
Camel safari in the Sahara Desert
I'm Moses & it's my hill
Mom & Me at a salt pond on the Tunisian Great Salt Lake
Not me....
Me after 2 hours of hiking in the hot sun

May 14, 2013

Finally, the return to Esprit is imminent. After taking my SAT, ACT, two SAT Subject Tests, two AP tests, and my Driving Test, I don't think I have ever looked more forward to escaping to the boat. Finally, tomorrow, I board a plane that will take me (36 hours later) to my private paradise in the Mediterranean.
Yellowstone National Park - on the way to Montana
You know, just the average Bison standing on the side of the road.
Go Montana State!
And... Go UW!
Slides are the boss!
Cedar Breaks - Utah
My Catch
Serenading the trees and the babbling stream
Sweet! - My new car

February 11, 2013

The last few months have been very full, what with all the Holiday-related family gatherings, getting my Learner's Permit, ALOT of school, and taking both the SAT and ACT. With Christmas done, I am completely ready to return to our Paradise with Sails.
Target shooting in the desert
Outside the DMV the day I got my driver's permit!
Sword fighting with icicle in Big Bear!
November 12, 2012

A visit to the Golden Gate Bridge - We went to the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco (the one that's hosting the America's Cup), and gave a presentation about our journies. We saw all the main sights, and then headed up the coast some more to visit some cruising friends that we hadn't seen in eight years. After three days of looking out their bay window at the Pacific Ocean rolling calmly (mostly) by, I came back home to gymnastics and a 1931 Ford that's waiting to be restored.
Football in Big Bear
San Francisco
Me giving my part of the speech at the St. Francis Yacht Club
Just had to take a trolley ride in San Fran
Lombard St., San Francisco
A window, a cliff, the Pacific, and beyond...

October 12, 2012 - Finally back in good ol' Boulder City, Nevada. Since September 5th, we sailed down to Malta, did some exploring, and spent a couple weeks doing pre-coming-home boat chores. Then, after ariving at McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas, we drove home, unpacked, and fell asleep. Hard. The next day we did boring food-shopping, and then the day after that, my dad and I went up to our cabin in Big Bear, California where we cut down some trees and then cut them up into firewood, and resealed the driveway. Now, we are all back in Boulder City where it is storming and raining - just another average day in the Nevadan desert.
September 5, 2012 - Well, not alot of sailing since my last update, but we hopped a couple trains and saw inland Italy. As soon as we sailed from Venice to Ancona, we boarded a train (with a layover) to Florence, where we saw a bunch of paintings, and even mor churches. We climbed up the inside of their giant dome (really freaky) in their church, the Duomo. From there we went to Pisa, saw the leaning tower and their basilica, climbed the leaning tower (also really freaky), and enjoyed some seriously delicious Italian food (for some reason they have alot of that type of food here o.O). Then on to Rome, where we saw St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican, the coliseum, the forum, and lots of other fountains and piazzas (random squares throughout the city). Then we ate some more pizza, and came back to our boat.
Raindrops at sunset - Ancona

August 13, 2012 - Well since I last updated, weve managed to see tons of awesome stuff in Greece, get kicked out of Montenegro, and pick up my cousin in Split, Croatia. We saw Athens. We saw Corinth. We saw Delphi. We saw pretty much all of Greece. Then we left from a place called Corfu (where they have an amazingly sick swimming pool) and then we went to Montenegro, where we stayed for one night before getting kicked out because my dad wasn't "competent" enough. Then we did an overnighter to Croatia, where we got my cousin Sarah, and cruised with her through the beautiful (if somewhat mundane) islands that run its coast. After this we';l head to the City of Canals: Venice.
June 23, 2012 - Esprit is finally in Europe after spending so long in westernized, yet sill muslim Turkey. The past couple months have been insanely busy, with tons of ruins and swimming and the like. When we left Marmaris we slowly worked our way down the southern coast of Turkey until we reached the beautiful Fethiye, then further on until we met up with our old friends on Bebe in Kas. We perfected our med-mooring-to-a-rock routine, which is basically just dropping our anchor and then pulling back towards shore where we'd tie onto a rock. In Bodrum, our last stop in Turkey, we finally got those tattoos we've been putting off getting for over six years. Greece has been pretty cool so far, but the sailing had been quite an... adventure. On the way from the small island of Patmos to Paros where we are now, we had over 35 knots of wind (a gale) and 15 ft high waves. Not fun. But at least the anchorage we nestled into has crystal clear water, and great protection from the winds, even if it somewhat lacks in beautiful natural scenery.
April 26, 2012 - Well I'm finally back on the boat and its just a couple more days until we're done working and get to go sailing again! We started out in Istanbul and traveled our way down through places like Ephesus where St. Paul did some missionary work until we got to Marmaris where Eprit is. Marmaris is nice, especially since they have the BEST Doner Kebab restaurant in the world here. Since ive been back ive been super busy doing school, writing my book, and doin chores around the boat like replacing the sound-proofing in our generator room and redoing our dinghy's protective coating.

Intro - So it was back in 2003 when my parents decided to cast off and head for open waters. We then spent the end of 03-2005 going down central america from Mexico to Ecuador. From there we sailed across the pacific, stopping at the gorgeous atolls of the Tuamotus, Tahiti, and Bora Bora among other places. Eventually we ended up in New Zealand where we stayed for a year and celebrated our first Christmas on the boat. I can tell you myself that Fiji is not all it's cracked up to be. But Vanuatu on the other hand was pretty nice, and so was New Caledonia. Then we went to the dirty waters of the great barrier reef in Australia, and slowly made our way up to Darwin. In 2010, we sailed up through Indonesia to the amazingly high-tech Singapore. Then, after heading through Malaysia to Thailand, we went to an amazing New Years Eve party on a yacht in Bangkok. After cruising Thailand a little bit, we headed across to Sri Lanka, where we got a great tour from a friend-of-a-friend-of-our priest. Next, in India, we traveled around and saw the Taj Mahal and other cool things. We were a week out of India when we heard that our friends on the sailboat Quest had been killed by the pirates, and so we decided to turn around and head back to India, where after a long and tedious adventure, we stayed for a few weeks while we got a ship to ship us to Turkey. So we headed down to the Maldives and had quite a few sweet dives (including our first night dive) while waiting for the freighter to come pick up Esprit. On the way to Turkey we spent a 5 day lay-over in Dubai, saw the worlds tallest building, and continued on to Egypt. After enjoying the pool at our hotel, we went out and saw the pyramids, temples, sphynxes, and other ancient Egyptian sights. From there we went back through Dubai and stayed at a hotel right in the airport where you have to pay by the hour ;). Once in Turkey it was a short wait till our boat was delivered, and we went to work getting ready to come home. I'm not going to bore you with all the stuff I've done since I got home, but I can tell you I am ready to go back to the med and start sailing again! You can check out some of my pics below.
Learning to drive the dinghy in Mexico (2004)
Jamie enjoying dinner with Molly & Nancy of Jade in a tent set up on Jade
Firestick routine on the beach at Lizard Island (2009)
Jamie with Indonesian security guards (2010)
Jamie enjoying a burger with Jaryd (Tin Soldier) and Kent Harris (Convergence) (2010)
Bathing with the elephants in Thailand (2010)
New Years Eve in Bangkok (Dec 31, 2010)
Jamie with the owner (wearing Jamie's hat) of the best doner kebabs (wraps) in Marmaris (April 2011)
14! (May 1, 2011)
Overlooking the Bosphorous Strait (April 2012)
Legionare McWilliam - at the Pergamum ruins (April 2012)
The carving of Nike at Efes - note the Nike logo shape of the ruin (April 2012)
Posing on top of a Greek king's tomb - at Efes (April 2012)
One of many Genuine Fake Watch shops (April 2012)
It took me forever to catch this sucker - Baby Slider turtle at the Temple of Artemis (April 2012)
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