16 Jan 2017:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA:
Circling Back

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Back in the U.S.A., and headed home to rinse the sand from our toes.

We wish guests safe travels, and  look forward to seeing them again somewhere on this wondrous, aqueous sphere.

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We’ll be back in May on Silver Wind for a peripatetic tour: the Mediterranean, a circle of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and then a jaunt up the west coast of Norway. We will twice sail up the River Thames and through the Tower Bridge, a feat that only a few cruise ships are able to accomplish. I hope you’ll join me here.

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

13 Jan 2017
Samaná, Dominican Republic:
Gimme Shelter

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Our original plan had been to visit the tony resort complex of Punta Cana in the far east corner of the Dominican Republic.

Alas, the seas were not in our favor for use of the ship’s tenders and our captain decided against anchoring offshore. Instead, we called at the tourist enclave of Samaná, considerably more sheltered in its fine bay.

A bit off the tourist path is St. Peter’s Evangelical Church.

This church was brought from America in the early 19th century by freed and escaped slaves who were invited to resettle on Hispaniola by the government which was the first in the new world to throw off their slave holders.  There was also aid by American abolitionists who sought a place to resettle African slaves.

About 6,000 came to Hispaniola;  most did not stay,  but a community of descendants live in and around Samaná.

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Los Haitises National Park is on the southern side of Samaná Bay, about 15 kilometers or 10 miles from Samana. This is a protected virgin forest, accessible primarily by boat from Samaná, with little road access.

Haitis means highland or mountain range in the Taino language, although the hills aren’t that tall: about 20 to 40 meters or 100 to 130 feet.

There are many sea caverns along the coast, some with ancient pictographs and petroglyphs. The area was formed in the Miocene epoch, about 23 to 5 million years ago.

Included within the park is San Lorenzo Bay with numerous islets and mangroves.

The Cayo de los Pájaros, or Bird Key, is populated by frigate birds and pelicans. It is located near the enticingly named Boca del Infierno, or Mouth of Hell.

And the spectacular waterfall, El Limon, was used for the opening scenes of the original Jurassic Park movie.

images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

12 Jan 2017:
Road Town, Tortola:
An Independent Path

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands, which sounds very impressive,

Except that none of the islands are very large or have all that many people.

Pity, since they are very nice places.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The islands—in total—have a population of about 28,000. Of that number, about 23,000 live on Tortola, many near the capital city of Road Town, which is where we are scheduled to dock.

The principal islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost van Dyke.

Although the Spanish Empire claimed the islands, they never settled them: they found no gold. On nearby Virgin Gorda there is a small deposit of copper, and British entrepreneurs later imported miners and technology from Cornwall.

In subsequent years, English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Danish powers scuffled over control of the region, but the predominant power for much of the time were pirates including Blackbeard and Captain Kidd.

In the late 16th century, the English, who had successfully displaced the Dutch, established a sugar cane plantation colony on Tortola and the surrounding islands.

Wherever there was sugar cane, there were slaves because the industry was very labor-intensive.

In the late eighteenth century, new settlers arrived: Loyalists from the Thirteen Colonies after the American Revolutionary War who were given land grants by the Crown to encourage development. They brought their African-American slaves with them, outnumbering the British colonists.

English is universally spoken throughout the British Virgin Islands, along with some local dialects and creole.

British Virgin Islanders are classed as British Overseas Territories citizens, and since 2002 have had full British citizenship.

Although the territory is not part of the European Union and not directly subject to EU law, its citizens are deemed to be citizens of the EU as well. Just to make things confusing—or easier, if you prefer—the official currency of BVI is the U.S. dollar.

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

11 Jan 2017:
St. John’s, Antigua:
Modern Piracy in a Place of Old Times

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Antigua is a mix of all things Caribbean, with a splash of celebrity and a tinge of scandal. Slavery, sugar, young Lord Nelson, superstars in remote palaces, and an American import who played a version of Bernie Madoff’s game on some very undeserving islanders and is now a long-term guest of the U.S. federal prison system.

It is the more substantial of a two-island nation; it is the capital of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

BLOG St Johns Antigua Catamaran 25Feb2015-0472

Antigua means old or ancient in Spanish, and that was the name bestowed upon the island by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He had in mind an icon in Seville Cathedral: Santa Maria de la Antigua (Saint Mary the Ancient.)

Antigua has some of the most interesting terrain amongst Caribbean islands: hills and valleys and deep bays. It is the largest of the Leeward Islands, about 108 square miles or 281 square kilometers.

Although it has its share of tourism income, it is also unusual in its development of other industries including Internet gambling services, offshore banking, and telemarketing centers. It also has two medical schools that aim at least in part to attract American and other foreign students.

Antigua, located on the major sailing route from Europe to the West Indies, was considered Britain’s “Gateway to the Caribbean.” And it was for that reason in the late 18th century the Admiralty decided to beef up its resources on the island.

Antigua English Harbor2

Young Horatio Nelson, later to become Britain’s most celebrated naval hero, was sent in 1784 to oversee the dockyards at English Harbour and enforce The Navigation Acts which dealt with commercial shipping.

The dockyard was originally called “His Majesty’s Antigua Naval Yard.” Boats coming in for repairs sailed into the boat house, and their sails were hoisted up to the loft through a trapdoor.

Antigua English Harbor1

The dockyard was abandoned by the British Navy in 1889. A first, unsuccessful effort to restore the yards began in 1932; the work resumed in 1951 and continues.

And for tourism purposes the place was renamed as Nelson’s Dockyard.

As we sailed away, Antigua graced us with a spectacular sunset of the sort I have rarely seen.

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

10 Jan 2017:
Basseterre, St. Kitts:
The Lowlands

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The island of Saint Kitts was once a very prosperous place—at least for its landowners—with an economy built around a single product: King Sugar.

The sugar mills are gone, and like many other Caribbean islands, the current economy is now based around different royalty: King and Queen Tourist.

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Columbus was here first, but the Spanish did not hang on, There followed various iterations of cooperation, fighting, and coexistence between English and French. The Spanish returned for a few rounds of war, but in the end the island became a British colony. Today it is independent.

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The story of Saint Kitts is inextricably bound up with sugar and therefore slavery.

Sugar was not a native crop. It was brought to the Caribbean in 1493 by Columbus on his second voyage, an import from India and Asia by way of the Canary Islands.

The first profitable crops on Saint Kitts were tobacco and cotton, but facing stiff competition from the Colony of Virginia, the plantations switched to sugar cane in 1640. At one point there were more than 300 sugar plantations.

It was a lucrative business, but it was very labor intensive. Slave labor.

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The majority of the early slaves to the New World were white. Queen Elizabeth I and then King James I of England dispatched tens of thousands of Irish as slaves to the New World in the early 1600s.

The later, larger wave of slaves came mostly from Africa.

By 1650, Saint Kitts was entirely devoted to sugar production. By 1720, there were 2,740 whites and 7,321 slaves. In the following decade, planters imported 10,000 more slaves.

By the mid 1700s, the number of whites on Saint Kitts began to decline as planters took their families and their fortunes back to England and managed their estates as absentee landlords.

The sugar industry held on until the 20th century, but topography and relatively low yields made it unprofitable, even when machines were dispatched into the fields.

Today, though, the remnants of the sugar trade are almost everywhere to be seen: in some old plantations, mills, and in the people. And a railroad built to move cane around the island now hauls tourists.

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Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

9 Jan 2017:
Gustavia, Saint Barts:
St-Tropez in the Caribbean

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’re back in Gustavia, the capital and principal city of Saint Barts. It’s one of our favorite places: French culture with a set of fine beaches, a small Caribbean mirror to places like Cannes or Saint-Tropez.

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We are the handsomest large yacht in the harbor, although not the only one. The port of Gustavia is filled with overt displays of great wealth tied up at the docks and prowling the streets, shops, and bistrots.

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STBARTS (c) SANDLER-2

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Saint Barts is very French…in a Swedish kind of way.

Its European history began, as much of this region did, with Christopher Columbus. On his second voyage, he sailed past—he did not land—an island he named Saint Bartholomew, one of the twelve Apostles.

In 1648, the French were on the prowl in the Caribbean and they claimed the island. They renamed the place with a Gallic version: Saint Barthélemy.

For much of the next century, the principal industry of Saint Barts was piracy. French privateers (or buccaneers, as they were known) would set sail from the island’s natural harbor to prey on Spanish galleons.

In 1784, as France began to totter toward Revolution, the French crown gave Saint Barts to Sweden in exchange for the right to engage in trade with the developing port of Gothenburg in the Baltic.

The Swedes wanted a foothold in the Americas as a place to sell iron ore and products. They renamed the village at the harbor Gustavia after King Gustav III and they founded the Swedish West India Company. That brought Swedish governors and Swedish merchants and Swedish slave traders to the Caribbean. That’s right: Swedish slavery.

In 1878 Sweden sold Saint Barts back to the French.

Which bring us to today: tourists, pirates, oligarchs, and . . . us.

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

8 Jan 2017:
San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Together and Apart

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

From our ship, the city of San Juan is at our feet.

But Puerto Rico, the Rich Port, is so much more than just that handsome Old Spanish city.

Puerto Rico is one of the gems of the Caribbean, a green and mountainous island with handsome beaches and a tropical rainforest, a now-cosmopolitan capital city with one of the most impressive fortresses of the new world, several other significant cities each with its own allure, and a vibrant culture of music, literature, and food.

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BLOG San Juan Puerto Rico 20Feb2015-0366

Puerto Ricans sometimes call the island Borinquen, a version of Borikén, its indigenous Taíno name, which means “Land of the Valiant Lord”.

And if you want to venture into the realm of hyperbole and tourism, the island is also popularly known in Spanish as la isla del encanto, meaning “the island of enchantment.”

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The island is about 110 miles or 180 kilometers in length, and at its widest 40 miles or 65 kilometers in breadth.

The most dominant structure in San Juan is Morro Castle, El Castillo San Felipe del Morro. This citadel was begun in 1539 on orders of King Charles V of Spain.

BLOG San Juan Puerto Rico 20Feb2015-0353

The first part of its name comes, Felipe, comes from King Philip II of Spain. The second half, el Morro, means the “nose”, or in this context, ‘the promontory.’

The fort was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies.

Flagpoles on El Morro today customarily fly the United States flag, the Puerto Rican flag and las Aspas de Borgoña, the Cross of Burgundy Flag, a standard which was widely used by Spanish armies around the world from 1506 to 1785.

The residents are American citizens, following federal laws and paying federal income tax.

And although Puerto Ricans can vote in Presidential primaries of American political parties, they do not have the right to vote for candidates in the presidential election itself.

They do not have full representation in the U.S. Congress: they elect a delegate who can participate in committees but does not have a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. All of this is very much on the minds of Puerto Ricans today as they face serious economic issues without the full ability to deal with them by themselves.

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

5 Jan 2017:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA:
Out to Sea

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Welcome aboard for Silver Spirit‘s first full cruise of 2017, with hopes for a happy, healthy, and peaceable new year.

I’ll be posting photos and stories here throughout the cruise. Here’s our plan:

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The first two days will be at sea, as we head southeast from Florida.

Our initial port of call will be San Juan, Puerto Rico. From there to the tres chic port of Gustavia on the island of Saint Barts.

So that means Cuban-influenced American Florida to Spanish-American Puerto Rico and then Swedish-French Saint Barts.

But wait, there’s more. On to English-French Saint Kitt’s, then English Antigua and Tortola. We’ll then move north to the Dominican Republic, the Spanish-speaking country shared with the French-speaking nation of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola.

The final stop on this sojourn will be Grand Turk in the semi-independent nation of Turks and Caicos, a British dependency that uses (and very much reveres) the U.S. Dollar.

Welcome aboard.

SAGUENAY 5372 SANDLER-8613

Text and images copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

14 Oct 2016
Piraeus (Port of Athens), Greece:
Back, in Time

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises 

We have reached the end of our extended journey from Lisbon into the Mediterranean and after a loop of the Greek Islands have arrived at Piraeus, the ancient and modern port of Athens.

As your vacation ends, ours begins.

I hope you’ll join me here in these pages in a few months as we take to the sea once more.

We next sail on Silver Spirit in the Caribbean in December and January. Later in 2017, we will be aboard Silver Wind and then Silversea’s new flagship Silver Muse.

Until then, safe travels.

Καλή αντάμωση.

Or if that’s Greek to you, Arrivederci.

Until we meet again.

Athens Parthenon

Athens Greece 17Apr2013-2668

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Hudson Book Cover

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

 

13 Oct 2016
Mykonos, Greece:
The Party’s On

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

From the island of Apocalypse (Patmos) we head to a place that is an unofficial island version of Sodom and Gomorrah. A bit of hyperbole in all of these descriptions, but when you are sailing in the Greek Islands legends seem just a bit more real.

Mykonos is an island of beauty and a bit of history, but for many people it is best known as a party island: an Aegean version of Ibiza in the Mediterranean or Monte Carlo or St-Tropez.

I find it hard to imagine what the ancient Greeks would think of it all, especially when you consider that at one time Mykonos had as its principal role raising food and delivering supplies to the nearby tiny sacred island of Delos.

Delos was the religious, economic, and political hub of the Aegean.

A MYKONOS ALBUM

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A DELOS ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

12 Oct 2016
Patmos, Greece:
After the Apocalypse?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Patmos is a lovely, peaceful small island in the Aegean Sea, one of the northernmost of the Dodecanese islands of Greece. It lies just off the coast of Turkey and the continent of Asia, west of the ancient Greek and Christian site of Ephesus.

It is also, to true believers, the source of the details of the Apocalypse, one of the more dramatic and (for some) least understood parts of the New Testament.

So why is this peaceful Greek island associated with Apocalypse? Because it is believed that it was here that the final book of the New Testament was written.

That book, written in Koine Greek, received its title from its first word: apokalypsis. It does not mean “The end of time” or “the destruction of life as we know it.

Literally translated, apokalypsis means “un-covering.”

The book’s introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was received a vision from Jesus and wrote it down.

Today we walked up from the port about 3 kilometers to the cave said to be the place where John received the revelation. We started on town roads but switched over to ancient cobbled paths. From most everywhere we could see back to the harbor,  where our small ship makes a pretty statement: white on blue, like most of Greece.

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A PATMOS ALBUM

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Patmos BLOG 29Oct2014-8781

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

11 Oct 2016
Kusadasi, Turkey:
Gateway to Ephesus

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Greeks, the Lydians, the Romans, the Queen of the Amazons, Diana, the evil eye, the Persians, Saint Paul, Saint John, the Virgin Mary (perhaps), a beautiful port, and throngs of pilgrims.

Kusadasi, on Turkey’s west coast, is the gateway to the extraordinary remains of the ancient city of Ephesus.

We arrived this morning to a wary city, certainly Turkish but very much oriented to modern tourism. The Turks of Kusadasi, like the vast majority of the ones I have met over the years,  are gracious, welcoming, and uncertain about their country’s future.  I wish them well.

The Silk Road reached Ephesus, nearby to Kusadasi, as early as 475 B.C., during the time of Herodotus. The path ran some 2,857 kilometers from the city of Susa in western Persia (now Iran) to the port of Smyrna (modern İzmir in Turkey) on the Aegean Sea.

The Roman Empire took possession of the coast in the 2nd century BC, and into the early years of Christianity.

Saint John the Evangelist came to the area, and according to Roman Catholic sacred tradition, so too did the Virgin Mary.

The city at the navigable end of the Menderes or Cayster River, Ephesus, was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era.

In the Roman period, in the 1st century BC, Ephesus was a major city. In the year 100, it may have been home to as many as 500,000 people. That made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean.

A few hundred years into the modern era, the city was damaged by earthquakes and the river silted up, leaving its harbor landlocked.

Today it is one of Turkey’s major tourist lures, a spectacular view of the bones of a major ancient city.

AN EPHESUS ALBUM

Kusadasi Sandler-4

Kusadasi Sandler-5

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BLOG Kusadasi Ephesus Turkey 17June2015-2060

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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10 Oct 2016
Santorini, Greece:
Picture Perfect

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Santorini is the Greek island of your mind’s eye.

Whitewash and aqua blue against steep hillsides, with lovely beaches and spectacular views.

Santorini is one of the more spectacular sights in the Aegean, a half-circle of steep cliffs topped with two horizontal towns of white and blue: Fira and Ia.

Oh, and one more thing: It’s a picture-perfect Greek island that also sits atop a ticking time bomb.

The cliffs are actually the rim of a huge volcano. A huge dormant—not dead, just sleeping—volcano.

A SANTORINI ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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9 Oct 2016
Transit of the Corinth Canal, Greece:
Squeezing Through

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Corinth Canal is the strange passage between the seas, one of the most interesting and challenging little canals in the world.

It connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea to the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, a straight four-mile (six-kilometer) line across the top of Peloponnesia in Greece.

Pelopennesia is the southernmost part of the mainland of Greece, although, you might instead want to call Pelopennesia the largest southernmost island of Greece, because for more than a century it has been divided from the mainland of Europe by the Corinth Canal.

It’s an obvious place for a canal, since it cuts off 185 nautical miles (213 statute miles) or 343 kilometers of sailing between the Aegean and Adriatic.

Not having to go down and around the bottom of Peloppenesia saves almost a full day for a sailing vessel or about half a day for a ship like ours.

The idea of having a canal here was so obvious that it was pursued way before modern times. The first serious consideration of a canal cutting across the Isthmus of Corinth was in 602 BC, when Periander, the Tyrant of Corinth and one of the Seven Sages of Antiquity proposed it as a public works project.

But he was not sage enough to figure out how to dig the ditch.

In 66 A.D., the Emperor Nero sent war prisoners from the Aegean islands and six thousand Jewish slaves to work on the canal. Nero himself started the work, digging with a golden hoe, while music played.

Nero’s slaves dug a ditch three kilometers or two miles in length and 40 meters or 131 feet wide before Nero had to rush back to Rome to quell the Galva mutiny.

In Rome, Nero was arrested on charges of treason and sentenced to death in 68 A.D. That unfinished canal was never used.

The 19th century, the Industrial Age, was the also the Age of the Canal. The modern pathway, begun in 1881, follows—almost to the inch—Nero’s plans. The Corinth Canal was completed and opened on July 25, 1893.

The canal was never a huge financial success. It was (and is) too narrow for big ships, too difficult in bad weather or tides, and too prone to landslides.

Earthen or rock cliffs flank both sides, reaching a maximum height of 63 meters or 207 feet above water.

Within that V-shaped cut, the canal is very narrow: 80.7 feet wide (24.6 meters) at sea level. That’s less than two tour buses or coaches in width.

Our ship, Silver Cloud, is just about the widest vessel permitted through the canal.

And we need help: a tug boat at the bow, an experienced local pilot and two spotters, and some white knuckles up on the bridge.

A CORINTH CANAL ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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9 Oct 2016
Itea, Greece:
A Visit to the Oracle

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Itea is on the mainland of Greece, at its southern flank on the Gulf of Corinth. There’s not all that much to the place, just a few taverns and cafés and a few gift shops.

There’s a little beach in town; as is the case most everywhere, the better beaches are away from the harbor.

THE VILLAGE OF ITEA

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Pleasant enough, but that’s not the reason we’re here.

Just east of Itea is Kirra, which was the ancient port of Delphi. And 15 kilometers, or 10 miles northeast are the partly restored ruins of Delphi itself on the southwestern section of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.

It was here that Apollo slew the Python, a dragon who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth.

This was also the site of the Oracle of Delphi, the most important of the classical Greek world. An oracle was a person—or sometimes a group of people, or a place—considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophecy.

Oracles were considered portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. This is different from a “seer”, someone believed to be able to interpret messages sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other methods.

A DELPHI ALBUM

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HOSIOS LOUKAS MONASTERY

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

8 Oct 2016
Argostoli, Greece:
The Ionian Island of Kefalonia

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Argostoli, on the island of Kefalonia (or Cephalonia, if you prefer the modern pronunciation, is a lesser-known island of Greece, at least if you are thinking in terms of modern history.

Going way back in history, though, the ancients knew this place well.

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands of Greece, about 300 square miles, or 781 square kilometers.

It is a spectacularly beautiful island,  a place of mountain peaks, handsome beaches, and jaw-dropping caves.

Here are some photos from today.

A CEPHALONIA ALBUM

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Greek myth associates the island with the mythological figure of Cephalus, who helped helped Amphitryon of Mycenae in a war against the Taphians and Teleboans.

His reward was the island of Same, which thereafter came to be known as Cephalonia.

Odysseus, to give his Greek name, also known by the Latin name Ulysses, was the legendary Greek king of the island of Ithaca and the hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey.

Cephalonia has been suggested as the actual location of Homer’s Ithaca, the home of Odysseus.

There is a theory that Paliki, which today is a peninsula of Cephalonia to the west of Argostoli where we are scheduled to visit, was a separate island during the late Bronze Age, and it may be this which Homer was referring to when he described Ithaca.

Or, some point to the smaller Greek island that stands offshore of Kefalonia to the east and that today is called Ithaca.

One or the other, or neither…although many of the Greek myths have at least a kernel of truth somewhere within.

The coastal road out of Argostoli to the west was known during the Venetian period as the ‘Piccolo Gyro’, the little Gyro or little spiral.

Along the Piccolo Gyro lie the ‘Swallow Holes’ of Katovothres, a rare geological phenomenon where seawater is continuously disappearing into the sink holes.

Where does the water go?

We know now that the salt water disappears underground and travels under the island, re-emerging some fourteen days later about 15 kilometers or 10 miles away in the Karavomylos area of Sami, having passed through the underground Melissani lake.

But over the millennia, not much else of historical note has happened on Kefalonia with the notable exception of a short period of time during World War II.

Most of Greece was occupied by Axis powers—Italian or Greek troops.

But by mid-1943, Italy was falling and its post-Mussolini government negotiated a surrender to the Allies and some Italian units actually fought against the Germans in Italy and Greece.

In Greece, the Germans tried to disarm the Italians. Instead, between September 13 and 22 of 1943, the Germans fought the Italians in Cephalonia.

This led to the Massacre of the Acqui Division, also known as the Cephalonia Massacre, the mass execution of the men of the Italian 33rd Acqui Infantry Division by the Germans on the island of Cephalonia in September 1943.

About 1,315 Italian soldiers were killed in battle, as many as 5,000 were executed, and about 3,000 Italians drowned when a German ship taking them to concentration camps struck a mine and sank.

It was one of the largest prisoner of war massacres of the war.

The massacre was the back-story behind the bestselling 1994 book “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by British writer Louis de Bernières.

When a fisherman leaves to fight with the Greek army during WWII, his fiancée falls in love with the local Italian commander.

Penelope Cruz and Nicholas Cage, respectively.

The 2001 movie was mostly filmed on location around the island.

Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

7 Oct 2016
Messina, Italy:
There But For Fortune

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Early Friday morning, we sailed south from Amalfi through the Tyrrhenian Sea into the funnel-shaped Strait of Messina.

On our left was the big toe at the bottom of the mainland of Italy.

To our right was the large island of Sicily, the football being kicked by Italy’s boot.

Almost anywhere the sea funnels into a strait, mariners know to expect strong and sometime treacherous currents.

And then down below us, the Eurasian plate is moving south toward the African plate. One of the hotspots, where the plates grind against each other, is southern Italy.

Which gives us Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, nearly constantly bubbling over like a bowl of Arrabiata sauce left on the burner.

The day dawned as a mix of blue sky and scary black clouds. We went up to the Duomo, recently emerged from restoration scaffolding.

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THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE

And then storm clouds of a different kind arrived.  Out in the harbor, an Italian Red Cross ship arrived.  It docked a few hundred feet behind Silver Cloud, met by squadrons of health care workers, police, and government officials.

Aboard were several hundred people plucked from the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya.  In the past few days,  I learned,  more than 6,000 arrived in Messina. Their past was so awful they chose to risk their lives to escape; their future is uncertain.

There but for fortune go you or I.

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A MESSINA ALBUM

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A TAORMINA AND MOUNT ETNA ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

You can help support this site by making purchases from
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6 Oct 2016
Amalfi, Italy:
The City in the Ravine

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We pulled up our anchor early this morning in the Bay of Sorrento and sailed south down the coast a few hours, which is a much more relaxing way to get to our destination than it is to endure the white-knuckle road called the Amalfi Drive.

The town of Amalfi today has a population of about 5,400 people, squeezed into a narrow ravine with a total area of 2.4 square miles or a bit over 6 square kilometers.

It has always been a small place, but at its peak about the year 1131, it occupied a slightly larger piece of coastline and had a population of about 70,000.

That was when little Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean.

Amalfi developed extensive trade with Byzantium and Egypt. Amalfitan merchants wrested the Mediterranean trade monopoly from the Arabs and founded mercantile bases in Southern Italy and the Middle East in the 10th century.

And Amalfitans were the first to create a colony in Constantinople.

AN AMALFI ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

5 Oct 2016
Sorrento, Italy:
What Volcano?

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Campania is one of the most beautiful, dramatic, and dangerous regions in coastal Italy. It stretches from Naples south to Sorrento and down the coast to Amalfi and Positano.

And visible from almost everywhere, the hulking presence of Mount Vesuvius: one of the world’s most threatening volcanoes.

VESUVIUS TODAY

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In between Naples and Sorrento are Pompeii and Herculaneum, two of the Roman settlements covered by the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79.

I went for guests on a return visit to Pompeii,  a place I have visited more times than I can remember and from which I always learn. Here are some photos from today.

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A SORRENTO ALBUM

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A POMPEII ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

 

4 Oct 2016
Civitavecchia, Port of Rome, Italy:
Shipping Out Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived at the ancient port of Rome early this morning. Civitavecchia, as in Ancient City.

To guests leaving us here, we wish you arrivederci. Until we meet again. And welcome aboard to guests signing on for a voyage scheduled to head down the length of Italy, through the Strait of Messina, and a very tight squeeze through the Corinth Canal at the top of Pelopennisia in Greece.

From there we are due to call at the picture-perfect Greek island of Santorini before entering into the Aegean Sea.

Our cruise continues on to a few more perfect pictures of Greek islands: Patmos and Mykonos, before concluding in Piraeus, the port of Athens.

Here’s our plan:

MAP v1631 RE

A ROMAN ALBUM

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Hudson Book Cover

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM