Psst! You Still Here??? (A Long Overdue Update)

cheeky monkey sailing turf to surf

Psst! You Still Here??? (A Long Overdue Update) post image

Looking at the date of my last post, I have not written anything on Turf to Surf for two and a half years. What?! TWO AND A HALF YEARS?!

That sounds about right, actually. I kind of feel like I’m just waking up from a coma.

In any case, I apologize for disappearing so abruptly and without explanation (apart from this post on Facebook). When my life took a drastic U-turn a few years ago, I found myself suddenly without a boat, a family, or ownership of this blog, where I’ve been writing about my sailing and travel adventures since 2012.

Side note: If you want to know more about what happened, you can read about it here –  Believe: A New Chapter. I have created a new site called Tasha’s Turf (www.tashasturf.com), where I write about things much broader than sailing and travel – life changes, my on-going projects (one of which is writing a book) and things that are generally more life-related, rather than just sailing and travel-related.

One of the reasons for building another site was to motivate me to get back to writing, especially since ownership of this site has been in dispute since the start of my divorce proceedings two years ago.

But as the long, arduous (not to mention, expensive) process of getting divorced is finally coming to a close, I am finding my feet again, and starting to come out of hiding.

For most of the last two years, I’ve been hibernating up in the mountains of Lake Tahoe, trying to heal. When I left s/v Cheeky Monkey in Tahiti, after my marriage fell apart, I think I just wanted to do the opposite of sailing and living on a boat. And skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking seemed like just the thing to make me forget my past life on the high seas for a while.

tasha turf to surf skiing

From surf to turf: the mountains are my current playground.

But I haven’t stayed away from boats entirely. In fact, I’ve been slowing dipping my toes back in the water, checking to see if I still like it.

And it turns out, I do! In the last two years, I’ve sailed with friends from the Bahamas to Cuba, then on to Jamaica. I’ve raced boats in the Caribbean. And I studied for and passed my exams for my US Coast Guard Captain’s License.

Little by little, over the past two years, I’ve taken baby steps towards becoming the captain of my own ship, both literally and metaphorically. And I have some exciting plans on that front, which I will be writing about here.

Most recently, I was invited down to Sint Maarten to do media coverage for the Heineken Regatta, which turned out to be an incredible week of sailing, photographing racing yachts, meeting some amazing boaters and writers, and catching up with many friends who have been cruising in the Caribbean and all over the world since I last saw them. It was just the thing I needed to remind me how much I love the sailing community, and how much I’ve missed my boating life.

turf to surf heineken regatta st maarten

Not a hard job, capturing the beauty of St. Maarten during the Heineken Regatta.

And now that I’ve earned the official title of “Captain Tasha,” I have plans…oh, do I have plans!

I’ll be posting about all of that, including stories about my week at the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten here on Turf to Surf.

But I thought it would be weird to just pop up here, after two and a half years of silence, telling stories of my sailing exploits as though nothing happened. Because a LOT has happened. And a lot of it was too difficult for me to write about for a very long time.

So I’m here to let you know, “I’m baaaaack!”

Keep an eye on this page, as well as Turf to Surf Facebook and @turftosurf Instagram, if you’re still interested in following along on my sailing and travel adventures.

And with that little update, I’m signing off to that tune by Chumbawumba… “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down…”

tasha turf to surf sailing blog

Thank you, all, for your patience – the last 2 years hasn’t exactly been rainbows and piña coladas.

The post Psst! You Still Here??? (A Long Overdue Update) appeared first on Turf to Surf.

The Ruins of Fort de la Chartreuse, Liege

The Ruins of Fort de la Chartreuse, Liege.(Image: Trougnouf)

Eerie photos of this derelict military fort, with all its empty corridors, stairways, barracks, bedrooms, passageways, halls and ancillary buildings, can be seen on Wikimedia Commons. The gloomy and desolate set of ruins are those of Fort de la Chartreuse, a 19th century stronghold built to defend the old steel-making city of Liege, Belgium, nestled on a spot once occupied by a Carthusian monastery. Pictures often speak louder than words where the world’s abandonments are concerned. But for more information, click here.

Fort de la Chartreuse, Liege.(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

Fort de la Chartreuse.(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

(Image: Trougnouf)

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Forgotten Rollingstock at Janakpur Railway Station, Nepal

(Image: Bijay chaurasia)

There’s something elegantly decayed about this forgotten Nepal railway coach at Janakpur railway station. Photographer Bijay Chaurasia writes: “Abandoned Train at Janakpur station The Nepal Railways Corporation Ltd. (NRC) is owned by the government of Nepal. It maintains and operates two railway lines: a 6 km, 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) line from Raxaul in India to Sirsiya Inland Container Depot or Dry Port near Birganj in Nepal and a 53 km 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge line from Jaynagar in India to Bijalpura in Nepal.” As with all railways, the shadows of long disused rolling stock are never far away.

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Faded Farmhouse in Rural Virginia

(Image: PumpkinSky)

This image by photographer “PumpkinSky” on Wikimedia Commons illustrates a style of architecture that increasingly seems to be a thing of the past, as sprawling track mansions and ever-expanding conurbations encroach on the Mid-Atlantic countryside. Fortunately, though, America is a big place. And though they may not build them anymore, there’s plenty of hidden architectural gems to be found.

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Frisco: A Utah Ghost Town

Ruins of Frisco, Utah, a ghost town in Beaver County.(Image: © Michael Gäbler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0. Ruins of Frisco, Utah, a ghost town in Beaver County.)

As with other Old West boom towns of the 19th century American gold rush, the sudden rise of Frisco, Utah was mirrored by its decline just a few short decades later. (Related: uncover more historic ghost towns.)

Founded a few years after the 1875 discovery of tens of millions of dollars worth of metal ore, including gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc, the Beaver County camp swiftly grew into a thriving mining settlement which, at its zenith in the mid 1880s, was home to as many as 6,000 residents.

(Image: Gerth Michael)

At its heart was the Horn Silver Mine, which saw metals extracted and shipped across the region. It wasn’t long before Frisco boasted a post office. The settlement also stood at the end of a Utah Southern Railroad branch line.

But like many contemporaneous settlements in America’s fabled Wild West, Frisco was no place for the fainthearted. Life in the Beaver County mining town was tough and violent crime was reportedly a factor of Frisco’s daily routine. With more than 20 active saloons, the alcohol flows and tempers often flared.

Abandoned charcoal kiln in Frisco ghost town, Utah.(Image: Bureau of Land Management. Abandoned charcoal kiln in Frisco ghost town, Utah)

And like other boom towns of its era, Fricso’s prosperous years were short, and its decline swift. When the Horn Silver Mine collapsed, literally, in 1885, the writing was on the wall. The beginning of the end was nigh.

Charcoal kilns in the Old West.(Image: HABS. Charcoal kilns)

A church was established during the first decade of the 20th century. But as an increasing number of the district’s mines were closed and jobs were lost, the congregation was forced to move on and the church closed its doors. By 1929, the year of the stock market crash, Frisco, Utah was little more than a ghost town.

Interestingly, however, this wasn’t to be the final chapter in the abandoned mining town’s story. According to Legends of America: “In 2002, a mining company began to rework the mines of Frisco, so only the charcoal kilns and cemetery are accessible today. Frisco, Utah, is just off route 21, 15 miles west of Milford.”

The smelter in Frisco, Utah(Image: HABS. The smelter in Frisco, Utah)

Related: 20 Haunting Ghost Towns of the World (Part Two)

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Concrete Echoes of Brean Down Bombing Range

Brean Down concrete directional arrow from World War Two, Somerset coast.(Image: Chris Talbot / Brean Down – Bombing Range Directional Arrow / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Not only is beautiful Brean Down in Somerset, England, known for its captivating Bronze Age history, the promontory also played an important part in the Second World War. Just a stones throw from the popular Victorian seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, a massive concrete arrows lies set into the earth, a reminder of the days when British and Allied aircraft dropped training bombs into the chilly waters of Bridgwater Bay. The giant Brean Down directional arrow is clearly illustrated in the above image.

From our previous article covering Brean Down and other ranges: “Located between Brean Down and the tiny hamlet of Lilstock, a Second World War gunnery range was established in connection with RNAS Yeovilton. The Lilstock Royal Navy Range is still in use for Fleet Air Arm helicopter crews to practice their gunnery skills. It was also used by fixed-wing aircraft dropping inert bombs until 1995.”

“…The shallows may be out of bounds (for good reason) and navigational aids far more sophisticated than their World War Two predecessors, but the abandoned concrete directional arrow built to guide bomber crews onto their dummy targets remains extant – assuming you know where to look. Read more here.

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Former St Kentigern’s Church, Hidden Behind Edinburgh Tenements

The former St Kentigern's Church in Edinburgh, Scotland.(Image: Kim Traynor. The former St Kentigern’s Church by Edinburgh’s Union Canal)

Take a stroll over the Viewforth Bridge – which crosses Edinburgh‘s Union Canal and connects the Fountainbridge area to Gilmore Place – and you may notice a curious abandoned church standing on a seemingly-inaccessible plot of land behind a row of Victorian tenements. The structure, long disused for its original purpose, has been steadily hemmed in by modern canal-side redevelopment. The land around it, which is accessed via a gated pend under St Peter’s Place, is now used for private car parking.

The forgotten Episcopalian church has been threatened with demolition. (Image: Thomas Nugent)

The intriguing ecclesiastical structure was once St Kentigern’s Church, a mission station of St John’s Episcopal Church in the city’s West End. St Kentigern’s was designed by Scottish architect John More Dick Peddie (of Caledonian Waldorf Astoria fame) and opened in 1897. It ceased operating as a church in 1941. Subsequently used as a garage and nursery, it later became a warehouse.Built in 1897, St Kentigern's Church by the Union Canal closed in 1941 and was later used as a nursery and warehouse.(Image: Mr H)

There were plans some years ago to demolish the abandoned church and replace it with a mixed use development incorporating modern flats and a bar amid ongoing redevelopment along the Union Canal. But concerns were raised by local residents and preservationists who didn’t want the historic structure flattened.

(Image: Stephen Craven)

David McDonald of the Cockburn Association told the Scotsman: “Apart from the building’s appealing scale and aesthetics, it is also one of very few buildings of historic interest on this section of the Union Canal. Saving this building will help safeguard a diversity of building styles on the canal frontage. Potential uses we envisage could include a cafe, restaurant, nursery, office or even a residential unit.”

In 2015, the Edinburgh Evening News reported that a police swoop on the former St Kentigern’s Church had revealed an extensive cannabis farm with a street value of £50,000 to £75,000. Fast forward several years and the handsome Episcopalian building still endures, its environs shrouded by greenery amid the encroaching developments of today.

The post Former St Kentigern’s Church, Hidden Behind Edinburgh Tenements appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Former St Kentigern’s Church, Hidden Behind Edinburgh Tenements

The former St Kentigern's Church in Edinburgh, Scotland.(Image: Kim Traynor. The former St Kentigern’s Church by Edinburgh’s Union Canal)

Take a stroll over the Viewforth Bridge – which crosses Edinburgh‘s Union Canal and connects the Fountainbridge area to Gilmore Place – and you may notice a curious abandoned church standing on a seemingly-inaccessible plot of land behind a row of Victorian tenements. The structure, long disused for its original purpose, has been steadily hemmed in by modern canal-side redevelopment. The land around it, which is accessed via a gated pend under St Peter’s Place, is now used for private car parking.

The forgotten Episcopalian church has been threatened with demolition. (Image: Thomas Nugent)

The intriguing ecclesiastical structure was once St Kentigern’s Church, a mission station of St John’s Episcopal Church in the city’s West End. St Kentigern’s was designed by Scottish architect John More Dick Peddie (of Caledonian Waldorf Astoria fame) and opened in 1897. It ceased operating as a church in 1941. Subsequently used as a garage and nursery, it later became a warehouse.Built in 1897, St Kentigern's Church by the Union Canal closed in 1941 and was later used as a nursery and warehouse.(Image: Mr H)

There were plans some years ago to demolish the abandoned church and replace it with a mixed use development incorporating modern flats and a bar amid ongoing redevelopment along the Union Canal. But concerns were raised by local residents and preservationists who didn’t want the historic structure flattened.

(Image: Stephen Craven)

David McDonald of the Cockburn Association told the Scotsman: “Apart from the building’s appealing scale and aesthetics, it is also one of very few buildings of historic interest on this section of the Union Canal. Saving this building will help safeguard a diversity of building styles on the canal frontage. Potential uses we envisage could include a cafe, restaurant, nursery, office or even a residential unit.”

In 2015, the Edinburgh Evening News reported that a police swoop on the former St Kentigern’s Church had revealed an extensive cannabis farm with a street value of £50,000 to £75,000. Fast forward several years and the handsome Episcopalian building still endures, its environs shrouded by greenery amid the encroaching developments of today.

The post Former St Kentigern’s Church, Hidden Behind Edinburgh Tenements appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

“Man in the Hole”: Lone Survivor of Remote Amazonian Tribe Caught on Film (VIDEO)

A remarkable story published in The Independent tells of an indigenous man who is believed to be the last survivor of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe that was reportedly decimated by commercial interests more than two decades ago.

Spotted chopping down a tree in the Brazilian rainforest, the lone tribesman, who has lived a solitary existence for at least 22 years, is reported to be “in good health and capable of hunting and farming food.”

Nicknamed “the man in the hole” due to the deep pits he dug, perhaps in order to take shelter or ambush prey, he was last noted in 1996 by government workers following an attack on his community by illegal logging and farming interests. But he made clear he wanted nothing to do with the outsiders, who put in place an exclusion zone to protect him in the future.

A spokesperson for Funai, the country’s National Indian Foundation, said: “In the 1980s, disorderly colonisation, the establishment of farms and illegal logging led to repeated attacks on the isolated indigenous peoples who had lived there until then, in a constant process of expulsion from their lands and death.”

They added: “This man, unknown to us, even losing everything, like his people and a series of cultural practices, has proved that, even then, alone in the middle of the bush, it is possible to survive and resist allying with society.”

The man in the hole now lives in the Tanaru indigenous reserve. Discrete monitoring is in place to ensure his continued wellbeing and protection from unwanted outsiders.

Featured image by Shao (cc-sa-3.0)

Read Also: Abandoned School Bus Near San Pedro de Atacama

The post “Man in the Hole”: Lone Survivor of Remote Amazonian Tribe Caught on Film (VIDEO) appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

“Man in the Hole”: Lone Survivor of Remote Amazonian Tribe Caught on Film (VIDEO)

A remarkable story published in The Independent tells of an indigenous man who is believed to be the last survivor of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe that was reportedly decimated by commercial interests more than two decades ago.

Spotted chopping down a tree in the Brazilian rainforest, the lone tribesman, who has lived a solitary existence for at least 22 years, is reported to be “in good health and capable of hunting and farming food.”

Nicknamed “the man in the hole” due to the deep pits he dug, perhaps in order to take shelter or ambush prey, he was last noted in 1996 by government workers following an attack on his community by illegal logging and farming interests. But he made clear he wanted nothing to do with the outsiders, who put in place an exclusion zone to protect him in the future.

A spokesperson for Funai, the country’s National Indian Foundation, said: “In the 1980s, disorderly colonisation, the establishment of farms and illegal logging led to repeated attacks on the isolated indigenous peoples who had lived there until then, in a constant process of expulsion from their lands and death.”

They added: “This man, unknown to us, even losing everything, like his people and a series of cultural practices, has proved that, even then, alone in the middle of the bush, it is possible to survive and resist allying with society.”

The man in the hole now lives in the Tanaru indigenous reserve. Discrete monitoring is in place to ensure his continued wellbeing and protection from unwanted outsiders.

Featured image by Shao (cc-sa-3.0)

Read Also: Abandoned School Bus Near San Pedro de Atacama

The post “Man in the Hole”: Lone Survivor of Remote Amazonian Tribe Caught on Film (VIDEO) appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.