2018 – More Adventures on Exotica

A dull and wet day in Venice on Exotica and so a good time to embark on the blog for 2018.  If you read this do please make a comment at the end as we like to know that we are not broadcasting to empty ether.

A long wait on Auckland tarmac

Our 2018 season began on April 17th, flying Air NZ to Vancouver via New Zealand. The trip made somewhat longer when we sat for two hours on the tarmac in Auckland waiting for the hold to warm up for the transportation of fifty thousand New Zealand bees to Canada. Crew and passengers became increasingly restless at the delay and we arrived in Vancouver very late and a number of people missed their connections.  We will never know if the bees made it to their destination alive.

Designer kitchen

Our son, Edward, and fiancé, Charmaine, had just moved into their duplex in the tiny ski resort Sun Peaks. Complete with babbling brook at the bottom of the garden which was thick with snow slowly melting in the cold but sunny days of our wonderful eight day stay, some of the time spent, in overalls, painting their basement.

1328 Burfield Drive, Sun Peaks

Ski runs in view from the balcony






Snow melting on roofs

Sundowners “at home”



Ed and Terry

The Lord Nelson pub, Brightwell Bidwell with Caroline Curnock, Penny Narbrough and Jilly Thornton. Old HK friends


A week in UK, staying in Princes Risborough with Terry’s sister. Lunches with friends and an entertaining evening at the Duke of York Theatre for The Moderate Soprano, a delightful play telling the story of Glyndebourne’s beginning.

Bermuda lunch at Angel in the Fields, Marylebone

The Moderate Soprano


Story of Glyndebourne

You never know what the traffic will be like on the M25, so we allowed four and a half hours before our flight from Heathrow to Frankfurt, normally a forty-minute drive from Princes Risborough. All was going splendidly until the M40 meets the M25. An accident happened only minutes ahead of us and there we sat in our hire car, stationary, for two hours discussing the logistics of getting another flight and thence to Karlsruhe, without our tour group. By the skin of our teeth we did make the flight, extremely frazzled.

Schloss Karlsruhe, now a museum

Act 1 was so effective it gave us false security for the rest!

The first of our three Ring Cycles this summer was with Travel for the Arts in the quiet town of Karlsruhe, near Baden Baden. It is dubbed the Diversity Ring. Four different directors for the four operas. We are told they had a meeting in Iceland to discuss the production, but this was patently a waste of time. These young men had little respect for Wagner, the audience or the cast. Their aim was to get a reaction, no matter what. In that they succeeded, at the end of the first act of Gotterdammerung one of our group was heard to boom “RUBBISH”, with good cause.



Too many sliding doors in Act 1


Ride of the Valkyries was on flying motor bikes, all with parachutes, terrific.

The opera Wahnfried , confronting and powerful tale of Houston Chamberlain’s influence on the Wagners after Richard’s death. Composed by Israeli, Avner Dorman. Conductor Justin Brown.

Katharine Tier as Erda, far right





Gotterdammerung. Norns and Rhinemaidens characterized as the three previous directos trying to get the Ring to give back to the Rhinemaidens during the entire performance. So the nine female roles became two, Waltraute was the director of Rhinegold!

Final curtain call


We dressed up for the orchestra, conductor, Justin Brown and the cast!

Heidi Melton and Katharine Tier


Musically the standard was exceptional and we were delighted to have dinner with Katharine Tier, the Australian mezzo soprano, who sang Fricka, Erda, Waltraute, First Norn and a Rhinemaiden in Gotterdammerung. The star of the show we thought.


Day tour to Heidelberg

Impressive catholic cathedral, Heidelberg

Quirky “Holy Spirit” in the cathedral

Ludwigsburg Schloss, built 1718-1733, untouched by wars is perfectly preserved

Our first visit to Strasbourg

Most ancient houses are restaurants now


Strasbourg cathedral

Exotica re-launched in Marina Veruda May 15


We flew to Pula on May 14th finding Exotica had been very well cared for over the winter. A couple of days to commission the boat and then we did the 70 nautical mile passage to Venice on the 18th in very good time, albeit motoring across a very calm Adriatic. Spotted one dolphin and two turtles.

Dawn leaving Veruda May 18th

The new carbon fibre passerelle

Our adventure begins

Sunrise over Pula


And so now a month in Marina Sant Elena. Very good engineers at this marina who diagnosed and fixed a fresh water leak in the bilge. Some sun, some rain but we are in Venice…

Always exciting entering Venezia Lagoon, Terry hoisting Italian courtesy flag

Distinctive lighthouse


It takes a good half hour to motor up the channel being careful to stay within the marker buoys.

Settled in Marina Sant Elena

The fly in the ointment, a fresh water leak. We seem to spend our life sopping out bilges. Thankfully traced to the anchor locker shower which must have frozen during the winter.

Two days of persistent rain, so pleased we have a month here!




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