Monday, June 30, 2008

Biltmore Estate - North Carolina

The Biltmore Mansion

Today we visited the Biltmore Estate. For those who are trying to find out how much the entrance fee is it is $47 for an adult day ticket. It sounds like alot (well it is) but it is money well spent. A whole day is not even enough if you plan on seeing absolutely everything. We visited the actual mansion, gardens and the winery and that took us the best part of a day. Won't bore you with all the details,but an amazing place, beautiful gardens, extremely large grounds and from what I hear good quality wine (I am not a wine drinker so cannot tell you about that!).

So far it has not ceased to amaze me at how organised everywhere is...............whether it is somewhere like the Biltmore to the information centres on the honours for efficiency and organisation. And last but no means least is the politeness of everyone. Whoever you talk to or pass by they are just so polite - I think some of us Maltese should come over here and be trained in communication manners!!

So.................last night we found a sleazy (but very clean) biker's motel to stay in which was very overpriced (though still quite cheap for European standards) and we had a real laugh. There was a terrific thunderstorm too which was very exciting to watch. Well tonight we are on the banks (more or less) of the Nolichuky river on the edge of the National Park (one of them in the Appalachians). We came to enquire about something at a little wooden place to find it accommodated campers, had a hostel room and some cabins. So we rented a cabin for $57 and it's terrific. Bedroom, extra pullout bed in the sitting room,shower and fully equipped kitchenette. Brilliant! Just outside we have a little porch which you can sit out on listening to the water flowing by in the Nolichuky.

Now tomorrow morning we have an early start to go white water rafting. Don't think it will be as wild as the rafting I did in the Dominican Rep cos the water level is not so high, but I am quite sure it is going to be great fun and I know the scenery is going to be absolutely stunning. So will let you know how we get on! Until then......................................

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Arrived and on the Road!

Hi Y'all! Sittin' in a ''biker's'' motel right now and having a scream of a time! Had a really great and smooth trip over- didn't miss any connections and actually arrived around 40 minutes early! NorthWest airlines proved to be a good surprise cos was expecting not such good service etc after reading comments on Tripadvisor.

Was met by my cousins and it is just so great to see them all. They have a super house on a lake and the following morning I was out fishing on the canoe with my cousin's son for over 3 hours. I cannot begin to describe the peace and atmosphere out on the lake fishing. Not a human sound-just the natural sounds of nature.............bull frogs,birds of all kinds and silence! We caught a few fish....bass, pumpkin seed (?) and something else. Not big enough to keep though 3 or 4 I caught must have been just under the required length. Then my cousin caught a lovely sized Bass - around a kilo to a kilo and a half. We kept it alive but then let it go.

Yesterday we started our road trip down from Michigan to S.Carolina. A long drive down near Asheville, NC......................but I will carry this on tonight cos right now my cousin is waiting for me to change so we can go out for a walk!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sea is lovely right now!

Sunset over L-Ahrax and channel

Haven't been blogging much lately. Getting organised for departing to the US tomorrow morning.

Summer and the heat has set in well and good! The usual summer activity of crazy boat and jetbike riders on the water. The highlight moments this past week were getting out on the boat and enjoying it (pics above taken on boat last Sunday) and going down for an early evening swim each day.................water absolute heaven!

Will try and keep blog going while away - all depends on access of a computer with internet.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Just had a look at the new site for Chirstof Kirschner's centre in Prasonisi, Rhodes. Have a look at the new videos on . Great place when the wind is good - you have both waves and flat water in one location.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Gollito and Paskowski Video

Have sent the new Youtube video of Gollito and Andre Paskowski, taken in Dahab, to my blog twice but still hasn't come up - so here is the link

The stuff these guys are doing are just mind boggling!

............A Bit of Humour

I can laugh at 'wife humour' too!

David Bissonette:
"When a man steals your wife,
there is no better revenge than to let him keep her. "

"By all means marry.
If you get a good wife, you'll be happy.
If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."

Dumas : The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does a woman want?"

Sigmund Freud: "I had some words with my wife,
and she had some paragraphs with me."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

........more about Action Cameras

Go Pro Digital Hero

Further to my searching for cheap but functional cameras that can get wet without breaking the bank...........I came across this one which I think I am going to get. Nothing fancy but think it will do the job. Go onto to see their stuff. If I get it will ofcourse give a full run down of it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Digital Camera in a Mask

Heard from a friend this morning about this new camera mask (as shown above). It seems to be a really novel gadget and great fun. It doesn't cost a terrible amount of money and wondering if it's worth a try. Am still thinking about the Olympus waterproof camera but the fact it doesn't have a view finder worries me cos not so sure I can get what I want by just looking thru the screen. The above could work if I swim out into the waves and get some interesting close ups of windsurfing. Not quite sure of the distance clarity (haven't exactly looked into it in detail) .
Have a look on this website
(I have to abandon the click on link thingy - I am doing everything right so it has to be my computer or something)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

My Training El Yaque Winter 08

This is Yoli's latest video. Wish I could do the stuff she does. Keep on dreaming!

Friday, June 06, 2008

This is a ''Fish On Fridays'' for you Horsey!

John came back with a nice size Barracudda last night weighing in at 2 kilos (around 4lbs). He caught a small one last week which was delicious - this one is going on the BBQ with his friends tonight!
The above pic I dedicate to old Horsey who, as I have said on another occasion, has a sleazey ''Fish On Fridays'' section - though he did dedicate one to me which is more to my taste .........thanks for that!
Now why did I manage to get one link workable and not the other??? This automatic linking business is driving me crazy. I am following instructions word for word and step by step and there is always something wrong. I am beginning to think that it is Blogger and not me!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Thanks 'Horsey' for this great link. A woman to really admire and even more so to see someone still practicing the sport at her age. I don't feel so old after all! Her name is Ava Hollaman and you should read her history on her site - . Very interesting.

Both 'Puffy' and 'Horsey' have sent me instructions how to creat links to sites without having to write out the whole address but they just don't work for me. Don't know what I am doing wrong! Any easier way?? Stupid question ofcourse.

Monday, June 02, 2008

John Skye Winter 07-08

Excellent video of John Skye.

Treatment of Blistered Hands

Above image is not my hand but taken off the net from
Anyone who windsurfs has experienced the pain of burst blisters on their hands. If you windsurf at home a couple of days a week then they are a 'proud trophy' - so what, they'll heal before the next session and the skin will be even harder and better to cope with the constant friction on the boom next time you sail.
Go away for a windsurfing holiday. Great you think - non stop windurfing all day long for a whole week.............2 weeks maybe.............if you are luckier 3 weeks. So the first couple of days you are on your hol you give it all you have (after all you have a whole lot of energy to burn). Come day 3 and your hands are starting to worry you, so they are taped up or the gloves go on (or are bought at the local beach boutique). Half way thru the third day the agony and misery starts to set in. The pain is starting to get beyond a joke. By day 4 you can hardly even open your hands, hold a cup and the agony of putting them under fresh water in the shower is almost unbearable. By the end of the week the puss has set in and the blisters are oozing gunge and the antibiotic cream is being slapped on. Now if your hands are in this state after the first week did you really enjoy the only week of windurfing you have in 'paradise'?? If you are staying longer what are you going to do during week 2 or 3?? Well if you are staying 3 weeks you will have had to take a couple of days off to help your hands heal a bit.
After going on numerous windsurfing holidays of varying lengths I think I am FINALLY getting the 'blister business' sorted and got it down to quite a fine art. I have had enough of not being able to sail properly because it is just too painful to be able to hold the boom with sharp needle jabbing pains going thru the palms of my hands and right up my arms. So this is MY way of looking after your hands while on a windsurfing holiday (by the way it is not totally pain free but I reckon it's as pain free as you will ever get unless you have hands made of leather that never blister).
For the first three days wear gloves (I HATE wearing them....BUT WEAR THEM!). If after surfing you feel sore spots on your fingers just under the first joint nearest the tip of your fingers (basically where the cut off fingers of your gloves end) then strap them up with elastoplast (bandaid to the folks on the other side of the Atlantic!). Allow yourself the pleasure of sailing without the gloves for just the last half hour of sailing on each of those days. Don't do any more or the blisters will come up badly. If your hands are feeling ok on the last two days of the week then discard the gloves, but keep a very close check and put the gloves back on before it gets too late. On your last day chuck the gloves off and give it all you've got! If you are staying longer then very very gradually lengthen the amount of time sailing without gloves. It would also be a good idea to give your hands a day of rest if they still get quite bad.
In all probability you will still get blisters even though you are wearing gloves. I came across a brilliant (and miraculous) product by chance. It is a cream that is used in the burns unit in hospital and as far as I know can only be bought on prescription. I came across it when my daughter had burned herself with splattered boiling oil. It is called ''BIAFINE'' and is made by Medix in France.
If you put this cream on at the very first signs of any blistering it practically dries them up overnight. You have to religiously put the cream on about 3 times a day. It doesn't soften up the hands at all but instead strengthens the skin. Last week I sailed 3 days in a row and only had to use my gloves for the last hour on the third day. I had used this cream each day and although I had minor blisters they were dried up completely after just one day not windsurfing.
Not quite sure if the above is very clear but to put the basic points down:
1. Use your gloves straight away and not when it is too late. Expose your bare hands to just a very short while surfing each day.
2. Get the BIAFINE cream (or local equivalent) and rub the palms of your hands with it 3 times a day (even if hands have no visible blisters).
3. If you are holidaying for more than a week don't wear out and rip your hands apart completely in the first week or the rest of the holiday will be ruined. Ease your hands into it and nurse them with care - after all if your hands can't function how are you going to surf?
The above certainly isn't 'definite no blistered hands' but I have found it to be the closest I can get to a ''blistered hands remedy''.


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