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terratin
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On 10/1/2019 at 10:11 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I have looked at a few cruises too.  Most of them only hit 2-3 countries.  However, there are some multi-month cruises that hit dozens of countries.  I've never been on a cruise and the only island I've been to in the Caribbean is Cuba.

 

Have you ever looked at the logistics for attempting Conch Shell Horn?   It's fairly close to Curacao though Trinidad and Tobago is closer.   From there, getting to Porlamar where a boat could be chartered would be the easiest way to get there.  

Sounds like you and a couple of others are only thinking along the 'big ship' approach.  Also consider river cruises through Europe if you're short on those countries, and looking for some great sites and history.  Took the Danube from Amsterdam to Budapest last year, and not only really enjoyed the trip, but added another couple of countries that way.

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On 11/24/2019 at 9:45 AM, ecanderson said:

Sounds like you and a couple of others are only thinking along the 'big ship' approach.

 

I'm always keen to hear about other options.

 

But not river cruises, I think I might die of boredom (sincerest apologies to those who enjoy that, just totally not my cup of tea - I'd trade that for a car that can visit the river and plenty of other places away from it, and I'm almost all out of European countries anyway and Sark, Malta, Faroe Islands aren't on rivers :)

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On 11/23/2019 at 3:45 PM, ecanderson said:

Sounds like you and a couple of others are only thinking along the 'big ship' approach.  Also consider river cruises through Europe if you're short on those countries, and looking for some great sites and history.  Took the Danube from Amsterdam to Budapest last year, and not only really enjoyed the trip, but added another couple of countries that way.

 

Yes, I was think more of the large cruise ships.  I've looked at the European river cruises but most of them wouldn't add any countries I already have (I've found caches in 15 countries in Europe, all in western Europe.)   My job has changed a bit over the last couple of years so I'm doing a lot less work internationally and don't know how much overseas traveling I'll be doing.

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46 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Yes, I was think more of the large cruise ships.  I've looked at the European river cruises but most of them wouldn't add any countries I already have (I've found caches in 15 countries in Europe, all in western Europe.)   My job has changed a bit over the last couple of years so I'm doing a lot less work internationally and don't know how much overseas traveling I'll be doing.

Looking at your profile, a Danube cruise would definitely add a few to your list.  A Danube river cruise would double up Germany for you, but would add Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

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1 minute ago, on4bam said:

The trip may take you through the Netherlands but not on the Danube, most take you by bus to the ship. ;)

Actually, the initial part of the trip is a Rhine river cruise (hence all the stops in Germany), eventually putting you onto the Danube.  The cruise starts within eyesight of TomTom headquarters in Amsterdam.

 

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1 hour ago, ecanderson said:

Looking at your profile, a Danube cruise would definitely add a few to your list.  A Danube river cruise would double up Germany for you, but would add Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

I wouldn't take a Danube cruise specifically for geocaching but it sounds interesting.  I already have a find in the Netherlands and in 4 regions of Germany but it would add several western European countries.  Croatia and Austria are a couple that I've wanted to visit and I have a friend and former co-worker that lives in Budapest.

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1 hour ago, on4bam said:

We never go on a trip for geocaching but add geocaching to destinations we want to see. The only exceptions are (longer) weekends away from home within a 300Km radius where we can drive to and where we go caching on foot/bike.

Fortunately not everyone thinks the same B)

 

A 300km radius wouldn't get many that live in the U.S. out of their own state, let alone the country.  I wouldn't really consider a 300km trip to be traveling to a new destination. For most of us, it takes more than a long weekend to visit another country.  It's doable but it doesn't leave much time to see the country.    

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

We've seen the large cruise ships when we were in Budapest and you couldn't get us on one for all the money in the world. We saw the people get on/off to go sightseeing in large groups, not something we would look forward to as we're used to travel on our own (and avoiding crowds). Budapest is a great city to visit and almost everything can be done on foot. The same goes for Vienna, although we did use public transport on one day.

We never go on a trip for geocaching but add geocaching to destinations we want to see. The only exceptions are (longer) weekends away from home within a 300Km radius where we can drive to and where we go caching on foot/bike.

Fortunately not everyone thinks the same B)

 

 

I've done the Danube, Main canal, Rhine, Budapest to Amsterdam and added quite a few countries but the geocaching was incidental. It was a great cruise. We went on a tour (included) in each city and in small groups. I had no complaints at all. They even made up a separate group for those with mobility issues, special  bus, slower walking pace, shorter tour. "They" is Avalon cruises.

Forgot to mention that free E bikes are provided if you want to zip around the cities doing your own thing, like rack up those numbers, or just see more.

Edited by colleda
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15 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

The long weekends are not about new countries. It usually means staying 2 nights somewhere in the Netherlands, the Belgian province of Limburg (we stayed near Hasselt a few times) or near Ypres (WW I battlegrounds). We prepare for high valued caches on these trips. We've also done Luxembourg like that and Amsterdam. The Northern French coast was visited on the way to the Paris airshow but we spend more time at WW II places than we searched for caches.

 

 

If you go back to Hasselt check out an Inn/restaurant called De Ploeg.  The rooms are pretty basic but the proprietors are amazing,  the restaurant is very good, and the beer selection is great.  It's a couple of km outside of the central town but an easy drive (or bicycle ride).  I took the train from Hasselt to Luxembourg for just an overnight.  It was more than 300km but wasn't even a long weekend.  

 

 

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17 hours ago, colleda said:

I've done the Danube, Main canal, Rhine, Budapest to Amsterdam and added quite a few countries but the geocaching was incidental. It was a great cruise. We went on a tour (included) in each city and in small groups. I had no complaints at all. They even made up a separate group for those with mobility issues, special  bus, slower walking pace, shorter tour. "They" is Avalon cruises.

Forgot to mention that free E bikes are provided if you want to zip around the cities doing your own thing, like rack up those numbers, or just see more.

 

I saw the Avalon cruises.  It looks like there are a lot of options for Danube cruises and they can get quite expensive.  I also found some good itineraries on Royal Caribbean.  One embarked from Venice, went to Montenegro,  Mykonos and Santorini in Greece,  Croatia then back to Venice.  It was only about $800 per person and would add 3 new countries for me (I've been to Italy a half dozen times).   

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Added Cyprus (43) last week.  The 75 F weather on the beach was a nice change from near freezing Germany, if but for a while.  Lovely spot.  Highly recommended, especially if you like cats - there are 6 for every 5 Cypriots.

 

We need to plan out our Christmas trip to Italy and San Marino (44), but the leave was approved and the tickets are bought, and that's half the battle right there.

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I am pleased that the UAE has now been given a souvenir. Although there are not that many caches there, lots of people make stopovers there, as it's one of the world's busiest airports.

I have found ten caches there over two visits.

 

I only have 15 countries where I have found caches, although I have visited other countries before I began caching; at least another dozen.

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On 12/4/2019 at 10:12 AM, colleda said:

I decided I should count up the number of countries from my last cruise ended 27/11. Eight. Italy, Spain, Portugal, Azores, Barbados, Martinique, Sint Maarten and Puerto Rico.

 

Nice, a few countries there I definitely want to add... :)

 

The Azores Archipelago is part of Portugal though.

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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On 12/3/2019 at 7:19 PM, Goldenwattle said:

I am pleased that the UAE has now been given a souvenir. Although there are not that many caches there, lots of people make stopovers there, as it's one of the world's busiest airports.

I have found ten caches there over two visits.

IMG_1170.thumb.png.ce335ad6c4c8eb68f64472d15cb74eaf.png

Technically not its own country, but Antarctica received its souvenir yesterday! I'm excited that the Frog is still planning to continually roll out souvenirs (and that they're retroactively given).

Edited by STNolan
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8 hours ago, STNolan said:

Technically not its own country, but Antarctica received its souvenir yesterday! I'm excited that the Frog is still planning to continually role out souvenirs (and that they're retroactively given).

 

Still trying to get there... My company for the past few years has sent 2 people each year down to Scott Base/McMurdo for a few weeks work, but not this year... :/

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Woefully unprepared, but I'll be going to Tokyo at the end of March - which seems to coincide with cherry blossom this year by sheer coincidence. I bought a super-cheap ticket, not knowing whether it would be possible to go with a new job, but all is fine. Phew. New country, and one more for Asia.

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16 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Good for you. I hope you'll find some free time to explore. We enjoyed Japan during our 4 week trip by car (Hokkaido to Tokyo)  in October and another trip by public transport 10 years ago (Tokyo to Beppu). I'm sure we'll go back (Okinawa) some day.

BTW, flying Finnair?

 

 

Wow, sounds like you had some fabulous trips! This is my first journey to Japan, and I'll mostly be staying in Tokyo, with likely a trip to Kamakura. I'm not sure yet what to do, apart from finding a few caches and eating fab food. A few gardens, temples, not sure what else. It's with Aeroflot. They had a 'sold out within minutes' deal of 280 Euros for a return. I could not resist. :wub:

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4 hours ago, on4bam said:

We noticed a lot more signs were in Western characters last October than 10 years ago, so that's good. We only arrived at Narita the evening before flying back so no idea how Tokyo changed since 2009. Last time signs in the Tokyo subway were Japanese only and we found very, very few Japanese who spoke English. They make good on that by being very helpful and friendly.

 

My wife and I were in Tokyo with a school group about ten years ago and we noticed a few businesses advertising  in English. Sometimes we noticed that a little information being lost in translation from kanji with funny results. One I clearly remember was on a tattoo parlour across the road from our hotel. The owner/s were proudly advertising their "Prick Room". :lol::lol::lol::o.

The kids were laughing about that one for days.

Narita was a stop over for us on a flight home from Helsinki eighteen months ago. A lovely town but it has sad memories for me as it was where my wife and I found our last geocache together before she passed away four weeks later.

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4 hours ago, on4bam said:

BTW, tattoos are frowned upon in Japan and you're not allowed in the "onsen" (hot bath) if you have them visible (that's always when you're naked).

 

 

While Japan is a long way behind western countries in acceptance of tattoos, those attitudes are changing.  Largely the younger generation are more accepting (and in fact more and more are getting tattoos themselves).  In my trravels I've met a bunch of japanese people that are heavily tattooed (guys mostly).  Or maybe they were all yakuza...

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On 1/18/2020 at 7:26 AM, on4bam said:

Just about every place we stayed had and had onsen had a clear "no visible tattoo" rule.

 

I wonder if this has anything to do with history and American sailors?

 

BTW, I was an American sailor in Japan.

Edited by bflentje
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Added Thailand to our list today. Been here 5 days so far and finally braved the heat. We also needed a SIM card which was in the same direction anyways.

 

Managed to pick up 4 States in Australia (plus the country itself) during our 4 1/2 months there prior to Phuket. Next stop will be Cambodia in a month or so to finally see Angkor Wat. 

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On 1/17/2020 at 12:40 PM, terratin said:

Woefully unprepared, but I'll be going to Tokyo at the end of March - which seems to coincide with cherry blossom this year by sheer coincidence. I bought a super-cheap ticket, not knowing whether it would be possible to go with a new job, but all is fine. Phew. New country, and one more for Asia.

 

You prepare?   I've gone on a couple of international trips with little time for preparation.  On my last trip to Ethiopia I booked my flight a week before I left.  One of my co-workers was supposed to go but decided he couldn't about a week before.   I'd been there twice before so knew my way around and what to expect.  

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5 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

You prepare?   I've gone on a couple of international trips with little time for preparation.  On my last trip to Ethiopia I booked my flight a week before I left.  One of my co-workers was supposed to go but decided he couldn't about a week before.   I'd been there twice before so knew my way around and what to expect.  

 

A week? Luxury!  I've had a couple of trips where I have had to pack and then fly the next day!

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Wow, I'm more of a last minute type. I leave for New Zealand this Sunday, still haven't packed. Only finished booking a weeks accommodation and a couple of tours last week. Today I updated my Garmin maps. I still haven't done any PQs I may need, perhaps tomorrow. After a week in the North Island I'll be cruising back to Sydney and only have one shore tour booked and that was done by one of my traveling companions. Usually I'll book a tour when I go ashore in whichever port. I'll most likely get a SIM at Auckland airport for caching on the fly with my phone.

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3 hours ago, on4bam said:

No preparation is OK traveling for work, but when traveling for fun it's best to prepare well in advance.

 

2 hours ago, colleda said:

Wow, I'm more of a last minute type. I leave for New Zealand this Sunday, still haven't packed. Only finished booking a weeks accommodation and a couple of tours last week.

 

4 minutes ago, on4bam said:

For our NZ holiday I started selecting caches months in advance

 

I think this just highlights how different we all are, which is a really great thing.

 

For me, the perfect trip is one where I've got the flights booked, I've got my transport booked (rental vehicle for maximum flexibility) and *maybe* the first night of accommodation booked.  Everything else including the route, where to stay, etc, is all done on the fly.  I'm smiling just reminiscing about all the adventures I've had travelling like this, and thinking about future travels...

 

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1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

Hope you have an awesome time over here! :)

Thank you. It's about my 5th or 6th trip over, lost count. Last time time (Mar 2019) I lasted one day before coming of my bike just out of Arthur's Pass in a storm. This time on on four wheels and not two.

On this trip geocaching is taking  a back seat due to my not interested muggle traveling companion on her first trip to the North Island.

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17 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

You prepare?   I've gone on a couple of international trips with little time for preparation.  On my last trip to Ethiopia I booked my flight a week before I left.  One of my co-workers was supposed to go but decided he couldn't about a week before.   I'd been there twice before so knew my way around and what to expect.  

 

Not preparing to cache, but for sightseeing of course. I don't even know yet what i want to see, and where. Some planning for such a megacity might be a good thing, otherwise I spend all day on trains, going from one part of town to the next.

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14 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

I think this just highlights how different we all are, which is a really great thing.

 

For me, the perfect trip is one where I've got the flights booked, I've got my transport booked (rental vehicle for maximum flexibility) and *maybe* the first night of accommodation booked.  Everything else including the route, where to stay, etc, is all done on the fly.  I'm smiling just reminiscing about all the adventures I've had travelling like this, and thinking about future travels...

 

We did this for six weeks in the British Isles - each night we booked the next night's stop.  Only a couple of Mega Events did we book rooms early.  It was quite the adventure.

 

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On 1/21/2020 at 3:44 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

 

 

 

I think this just highlights how different we all are, which is a really great thing.

 

For me, the perfect trip is one where I've got the flights booked, I've got my transport booked (rental vehicle for maximum flexibility) and *maybe* the first night of accommodation booked.  Everything else including the route, where to stay, etc, is all done on the fly.  I'm smiling just reminiscing about all the adventures I've had travelling like this, and thinking about future travels...

 

Yep, there's definitely something to be said for spontaneity.   It has it's risks, but can be very rewarding.

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On 1/21/2020 at 9:44 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

 

 

 

I think this just highlights how different we all are, which is a really great thing.

 

For me, the perfect trip is one where I've got the flights booked, I've got my transport booked (rental vehicle for maximum flexibility) and *maybe* the first night of accommodation booked.  Everything else including the route, where to stay, etc, is all done on the fly.  I'm smiling just reminiscing about all the adventures I've had travelling like this, and thinking about future travels...

 

 

Everyone is different. For me this would be stressful as I usually stay in one place. I don't want to be in a situation where I have to pack up everything and go somewhere else because of availability. I learned doing a road trip through Utah now nearly 2 years ago that such a vacation is just too tiresome for me. You just end up doing something every day as you're only there for a short time. Thus you make it count. I need a few days of doing nothing, reading books, etc.

 

On that note, I've just booked a trip to Prague for the Giga event. Well.. it will be a weekend trip to Prague and maybe a short visit to the Giga for the sake of it. And I'm currently planning my summer vacation, likely Montenegro, with possibly visits to Croatia (Likely fly to Croatia), Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia. Lots of hiking, visiting the last remaining rain forest in Europe, exploring historical sites, and reading books.

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On 1/18/2020 at 5:50 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

 

While Japan is a long way behind western countries in acceptance of tattoos, those attitudes are changing.  Largely the younger generation are more accepting (and in fact more and more are getting tattoos themselves).  In my trravels I've met a bunch of japanese people that are heavily tattooed (guys mostly).  Or maybe they were all yakuza...

What we thought was a hoot, and is a combination of the off-topics here, was when we saw a couple of well-tattoo'd bikers riding down the road with jackets emblazoned with silver studs on the back the saying "We Are Joyful Tourists".

 

Certainly wish I had known about geocaching back when I was still traveling in Asia for business.  Sometimes I look at the gc.com map for the places I worked and stayed.  Heck, there was one just outside in the little plaza where I always stayed in Tokyo -- never had any idea anything was there, or that I could be looking for it.  All added up, spent a year of my life there, and never scored a single cache!

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1 hour ago, terratin said:

New country souvenir this month: Vatican City State.

 

I was just looking at European microstates for a long weekend trip this year, but could not get any half affordable flights.

 

You're already in Europe aren't you? (*cough* Brexit jokes aside)  How about driving there? For a slightly longer long weekend of course... ;)

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2 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

You're already in Europe aren't you? (*cough* Brexit jokes aside)  How about driving there? For a slightly longer long weekend of course... ;)

 

Hmm.. that would blow the costs even more and take rather long. Not a good idea. For me that would be a trip to Monaco, Gibraltar or Andorra (French toll roads and a huge trip), most Channel Islands or Isle of Man (long-ish trip with car ferry). I'm still missing Iceland as well, but I'll keep that for a proper long vacation with a 4x4 one day. Two Baltic states are still missing as well. Not sure one's allowed to take a rental car to them as they're not EU (I have two bikes, but no car).

 

Not sure if I forgot something. I have Faroe, Malta, Liechtenstein, Aland, Vatican, Luxemburg, and one Channel Island (Alderney). :P

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2 hours ago, terratin said:

 

Hmm.. that would blow the costs even more and take rather long.

I know, it was rather tongue-in-cheek.... although personally I love road-trips like that :)

 

2 hours ago, terratin said:

Two Baltic states are still missing as well. Not sure one's allowed to take a rental car to them as they're not EU (I have two bikes, but no car).

I don't think the Baltic states are a problem, unless you're talking Russia.  I've taken a Peugeot Eurolease car (yes I know that's not actually a rental) through the Baltics and down through the Balkans as well.  Never had to show documentation through Scandinavia or the Baltics, just drive across the border or on and off ferries.

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On 1/21/2020 at 1:44 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

For me, the perfect trip is one where I've got the flights booked, I've got my transport booked (rental vehicle for maximum flexibility) and *maybe* the first night of accommodation booked. 

 

I'm in the spontaneity camp.  Book flights and the first night or three of hotel, then see what happens.  I love the flexibility.

 

I had some great flights figured out for Japan (new country!), would've been there right now, and almost clicked Buy, but spontaneously dropped the idea completely.  That virus.

 

I'm going into bunker mode for a while until I figure out what's really going on...

 

(Argh, I keep doing this: replying to a stale post, sorry.)

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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30 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

We were in China last year, so avoided that trouble.  Our next trip is round Australia with a day in Alotau.  Unlikely to get a new country, but should complete the set of Australian states. 

My wife and I were in China during SARS. We only knew there was a problem due to one of our group phoning home for news updates otherwise it was business as usual.

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34 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

We were in China last year, so avoided that trouble.  Our next trip is round Australia with a day in Alotau.  Unlikely to get a new country, but should complete the set of Australian states. 

I've been to Alotau and the only way cachers get a smiley there is by setting up an event beforehand. Unless there's another cacher on the ship it's a no show. I could have done the same but it wouldn't have felt right.

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22 minutes ago, colleda said:

I've been to Alotau and the only way cachers get a smiley there is by setting up an event beforehand. Unless there's another cacher on the ship it's a no show. I could have done the same but it wouldn't have felt right.

There's an earthcache there, so I may try for that if there's time.  Not that worried, though.

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4 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

There's an earthcache there, so I may try for that if there's time.  Not that worried, though.

 

4 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

There's an earthcache there, so I may try for that if there's time.  Not that worried, though.

I saw one when I researched Alotao.

This ?

GC6CCPJ

 

It's a long way (guessing about 60k by water) from Alotau, just a little uninhabited atoll out in the Solomon sea. I thought I may have got close enough on the way to Kiriwati(?) but it would have night and I don't expect the cruise ship would stop to let me score it anyway.:)

It would be doable by hiring a fast, reliable boat that could do 30kts  would get you there in about an hour or so. Not withstanding strong, currents/tides/wind cyclones. It would be an adventure.

BUT, I think some cruise ships (not mine - the Noordam) may stop somewhere close by, possibly P&O. Now that would be handy.

 

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