The most authentic experience for visiting the west coast of Scotland.
About a year from now, we will have sailed across the Atlantic to the Azores. The final destination is the Isle of Arran, Firth of Clyde, Western Scotland. Often called ‘Scotland in Miniature’ , Arran has many of the best elements of Scotland: beaches, mountains, castles, golf courses, not to mention a whisky distillery and a brewery!
And this is were Lindsay’s relatives live, and we’d really love for you to meet them.
This is a picture of Lindsay and her second cousin Margie. Margie has three sons that still live and work on the island. Come witness the island life in Western Scotland. Try your best to understand every word they say. Catch yourself just gazing off into the beautiful vistas that surround you.
Please consider this opportunity of a lifetime and fly to Scotland to join us. Jump on a train from Glasgow, and a ferry from the mainland to meet us on the beautiful island of Arran. It is the gateway to the Islands of the Firth of Clyde and the Southern Hebrides.
We’d love to have you enjoy all or just part of your Scottish holiday.
See more pictures from Arran and read more about it here:
The first of many video blogs (vlogs) about our silly boating adventures aboard MAKARA. This one is the first in the series of a major (expensive) maintenance program that addresses several issues related to the vessel’s age.
Please be aware that we are giving you the day-by-day reality of shock over prices, disappointment in other people, general let-downs in situations and some of the profanity that ensues.
These are the shitty days in paradise. Sorry.
This is a spring called Three Sisters in Crystal River. Springs are fed from rain water that is filtered through the ground and as the pressure builds up it gets pushed back to the surface. That is one way that nature filters water until its clean.
So the locals organized and preserved the property from development. In 1994 Jacque Cousteau filmed “Forgotten Mermaids” here, and now the Dept. of the Interior owns it. Pretty cool.
We rode this trolley that was made decades ago out of cast iron and merry-go-round parts to get out to this refuge so we could walk around and learn something.
My parents were interested in taking us to see Manatees on the Three Sisters Springs, but it was not the right time of year for that.
So I’m guessing that there were at least ten of these diesel-spewing monsters made.
I think Dad’s having a nice time but his mouth doesn’t know it.
We got a guide that was retired from the Dept. of the Interior, who volunteers a couple times a week to talk about the local wetlands project. We walked around the newly created wetland, which is a successful experiment in cleaning the nutrients out of runoff water.
Here is what water looks like when you and I are done with it. This is the water that comes into this very small wetland for cleaning.
The Bull Rushes were hand planted a year ago. They’re thriving.
The birds came almost immediately afterward.
Blue swamp iris. That’s wild.
The birds eat the Apple snails that are plentiful here.
Remember, this is just over a year old.
This is a Lantana. Also wild.
Towards the end of the small wetland the water ran clear.
This is Northwest Florida, called the nature coast. It’s hasn’t been developed with condos like the rest of the State.
One of the springs. I’m told the manatees love the steady temperatures here in the winter. Me too.
Nobody there could identify this orange stringy plant.
We’re coming back next year when the gulf is colder so we can swim with manatees!
The bad: The horrible photos people take. Here’s our homage to bad tourist pics.
We just recently had a family aboard on charter. They had a 14-year-old son with a brand new toy. A drone with a video camera attached to it. He was kind enough to allow us to have some of the footage. We have updated our webpage “About the boat” to include four cool videos of Makara and the reef in Key West. Here’s a sample.
When we bought our catamaran, she came with the name Makara. We could, of course, change the name of the boat. Even though it is considered by some as terribly bad luck, there is a delightfully elaborate ceremony that you can perform (as we did to change Tadd’s original sailboat from Praxithea to Third Aye) to appease the gods of the elements and the great Neptune. But as Makara didn’t pose the difficulty of having to constantly spell the name out to all the world over the radio, and because we liked it, we chose to keep the name (and just change to home port to Key West).
So What Does Makara Mean?
Makara, chosen by the previous owners, means ‘sea dragon’ or ‘aquatic-monster,’ in Sanskrit (मकर). Long thought to be a mythical creature in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, paintings and sculptures of this fantastical creature are found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan — practically everywhere in Asia.
In India Makara is known to be the vahana (vehicle) of Ganga-devi – the goddess of the river Ganges and the vahana of the god of the sea, Varuna. And in Hindu astrology the Makara is also the astrological sign of Capricorn. A little research reveals this strange mythical creature to have been very popular both in ancient times and in our present day.
The Makara is often depicted with the head of a crocodile, horns of a goat, the body of an antelope and a snake, the tail of a fish or peacock and the feet of a panther. Varuna is said to be the only one who can control the Makara and does not fear them.
Makara are considered guardians of gateways and thresholds, protecting throne rooms as well as entryways to temples; it is the most commonly recurring creature in Hindu and Buddhist temple iconography, and also frequently appears as a gargoyle or as a spout attached to a natural spring. Makara ornaments are a popular traditional wedding gift for the bride; these makara-shaped earrings called Makarakundalas are sometimes worn by the Hindu gods, for example Shiva, the Destroyer, or the Preserver-god Vishnu, the Sun god Surya, and the Mother Goddess Chandi. Makara is also the insignia of the love god Kamadeva, who has no dedicated temples and is also known as Makaradhvaja, “one whose flag depicts a makara”.
The leading Hindu temple architect and builder Ganapati Sthapati describes Makara as a mythical animal with the body of a fish, trunk of an elephant, feet of a lion, eyes of a monkey, ears of a pig, and the tail of a peacock. A more succinct explanation is provided: “An ancient mythological symbol, the hybrid creature is formed from a number of animals such that collectively possess the nature of a crocodile. It has the lower jaw of a crocodile, the snout or trunk of an elephant, the tusks and ears of a wild boar, the darting eyes of a monkey, the scales and the flexible body of a fish, and the swirling tailing feathers of a peacock.”
All in all a pretty cool name for a boat… so we’ll keep it!
And just like that, the low pressure system DID NOT DEVELOP like all of the models forecasted.
Sometimes they do that. Right Captain Ron?