Life Aboard LULU



Life Aboard LULU ... the adventures of two born-and-bred New Yorkers, Louise Wollman and Gary Strutin, who retire and buy their first-ever sailboat. After three hours of sailing lessons, they head for the Caribbean and a completely new life.

 Two hurricanes in the first year, the surprising new friends they meet in this unique lifestyle: syllable-bashing Rastafarians, London drag queens, adventurers and characters from around the world. Follow them in their endless search for the very best restaurants, markets, sights and sailors.

Five thousand miles and two years later they’ve breezed through virtually every Eastern Caribbean island and deep into Venezuela.

In two more they’ve waved at the Panama Canal, sailed and scuba-ed the Western Caribbean, made landfall in Florida, sauntered back up the East Coast and, with 10,000 nautical miles to their credit, reach home base—New Rochelle–though just for a refit and refurbish. Soon they’re off again for the Bahamas. And back around again.

Snorkeling, sunsets, sloop repairs and sailing adventures. Piracy in peaceful anchorages and friends lost at sea. Each of these web pages answers the most frequently asked question of the mystified who stayed at home: "Yeah...but what do you DO all day?"

A typical answer: Not as much reading as expected but sleuthing proves a new hobby.

In Year Three, Louise revives her feature-writing career with a published exposé of Ignacio Miro, AKA Ignacio Marnier, AKA Nacho AKA “Don Juan,” a single-handing Spanish sailor who’s not only fast with his hands, but a wandering Lothario and skilled con man.

Her story [See below “Scam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am”] dogs him around the world as bewildered victims Google his name. Five years later he’s arrested in New Zealand and loses his boat. One victim gets justice, but better watch your watches—the creep continues to ply his trade in Spain, Central- and South America.

By Year Eight, amid a maelstrom of boat breakages and engine meltdowns, Captain Gary struggles to stay afloat and keep his fingernails clean for the restaurant forays that fuel Louise’s “Sailing On Your Stomach columns.

One year in the Caribbean and on to the Med turns into 11.

In October 2010, LULU finally gets hoisted onto a transport bound for Spain.  The Lulus spend their first chilly winter living aboard in Barcelona, just steps from the center of this much-heralded metropolis.

Follow them from Spain to Sardinia, Corsica, Elba, down the Coast of Italy to Sicily and beyond…

Incredibly, they’re still at it in Year Thirteen. A few wrinkles, hundreds of mediocre burgers, thousands of corks, millions of laughs and 50,000 nautical miles later, they’re conquering the Med—which includes finally getting some decent meals…and some ugly encounters with…ssshhh, an army of scarafaggi. [Consult your Italian Dictionary App or see “Stalking Scarafaggi,” below…]


Lulu & LULU

Gary & his Lamborghini

Lulu and LULU
(Click picture to enlarge )
Louise (AKA Lulu) worked with Gary for many years and, in a late-life career shift, became an award-winning journalist.
Gary & his Lambordinghy
(Click picture to enlarge)
Gary was a physicist/entrepreneur, Lucite furniture manufacturer and -- following his mother's advice -- real-estate owner.



Newsletters ...

Note that the entries are in Descending order

December 31, 2012 (A LULU Of A Year - With A Doozy Of a Finish))
July 21, 2012 (Sicily Surprises)
June 3, 2012 (In Gods' Country)
May 30, 2012 (If You Want To Get a Laugh Out of God, Tell Him Your Plans...)
September 4, 2011 (Never a Dull Moment on LULU)
July 25, 2011 (Stalking Scarafaggi)
July 17, 2011 (Cruising at last! and in Europe no less!!)
March 20, 2011 (Spanish Safari)
March 15, 2011 (Winter in Barcelona)
October 17, 2010 (Boat on Boat!!!)
January 21, 2010 (Excessorizing continues unabated)
June 3, 2009 (Fried Oyster)
March 17, 2009 (Kuna Yala--LULU in Ululand)
March 14, 2009  (Our Cartagena New Year’s)
November 4, 2008 (A belated— AND ANTICIPATORY—Thanksgiving wish)
September/October 2007 (China)
July 4, 2007 (Leaving Venezuela On A Clean Bottom)
June 4, 2007 (Venezuelan Vacuum)
December 21, 2006 (Paradise is so…yesterday)
September 24, 2006 (Where were we?)
December 16, 2005 (Virgin Revelry)
November 17, 2005 (Caribbean 1500 Reprise)
October 22, 2005 (Nothing To Crab About)
October 9, 2005 (We Be Off!)
September 25, 2005 (What I Did On My Summer Vacation)
June 3, 2005 (May Slog)
May 10, 2005 (April In Paradise)
April 22, 2005 (Breaking The Devil’s Backbone)
April 16, 2005 (A Happy Easter)
March 19, 2005 (From Curmudgeon Central)
January 19, 2005 (Strange things happen on lazy days in the Bahamas)
January 14, 2005 (Bahama-ing at last)
December 30, 2004 (Cruisin' Again)
July 7, 2004 (Subs and Tugs Along The Home Stretch)
June 28, 2004 (Doin' the Charleston)
June 22, 2004 (Georgia on Mah Mind)
June 21, 2004 (Comin' Home)
May 31, 2004 (Bottoming Out)
January 23, 2004 (The "Sailing" Life)
December 31, 2003 ( New Year's On The Waterfront)
July 8, 2003 (Charging Out of Cartegena)
May 17, 2003 (Scammer In The Slammer)
April 30, 2003 (Update on DON JUAN,  Resident Caribbean Scam Artist)
January 20, 2003  (Home in Bonaire)
December 18, 2002 (Cartegena for Christmas)
July 16, 2002 (SCAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA’AM!)
April 29, 2002: Hola Dolphins, Adios Venezuela
April 16, 2002: Following Feathers' Touches, SOME SLEDGEHAMMER ADVENTURES
March 26, 2002 (FEATHERS' TOUCHES: On Cruiser Generosity)
March 2, 2002 (Exploring Venezula's Innards)
Feb 28, 2002 (The Political Situation in Venezuela)
Feb 21, 2002 (And The Winner Is .. Venezuela)
January 11, 2002 (Celebrations and Secrets)
January 8, 2002 (Ambling Back Down-Island)
November 21, 2001 (Happy Thanksgiving)
November 17, 2001 (You Can Take Yourself Out of New York...)
April 2001 (Year Two - Part B)
July 3, 2001 (Year Two - Part A)
November 15, 2000 (A Year to Remember)
October 22, 2000 (L'il Lulu Goes Astray)
October 1, 2000 (Gluttony On The Bounty)
September 17, 2000 (Disappointments And Do-Overs)
September 9, 2000  (Death Visits our Immediate Family)
September 4, 2000 (Death Visits Our Extended Family)
August 8, 2000 (Safe Below the Hurricane Belt)
July 14, 2000 (Dominica)
July 12, 2000 (Ruth)
July 5, 2000
March 11, 2000 (Guadeloopy)
February 28, 2000 (Joan & David)
February 29, 2000
February 6, 2000 (Homecoming)
January 26, 2000
January 24, 2000 (St Barth, St. Martin)
January 10, 2000
December 26, 1999
December 20, 1999
December 7, 1999
November 26, 1999
November 25, 1999
November 19, 1999 (More Lenny)
November 17, 1999 (More Lenny)
November 16, 1999 (Hurricane Lenny)
Brian Hancock on the Caribbean 1500
November 15, 1999 (Virginia to Vi. Gorda)
Report from:  November 12, 1999
Report from:  November 5, 1999
Report from:  October 29, 1999



Sailing On Your Stomach




Temporarily abandoning ship…

A number of you—a combination of print-deprived liveaboards and landlubbing cheapskates—apparently want to read my Blue Water Sailing Magazine columns. I can only assume you’re making the assumption you might actually finish articles by me limited to no more than 1,000 words.

Nonetheless, I’ve taken your written requests seriously. I’ve gotten permission to send the Sailing on Your Stomach articles individually, as published in Blue Water Sailing, to our Aboard Lulu mailing list directly and to post them to the website.

Currently these pieces will dribble out into print at the rate of one every two months—unless there’s a groundswell (or sea-surge) of approval in the form of Letters to the Editor. No, I’m not suggesting you, my loyal readers, commit such morally reprehensible—and easily detectable—dishonesties, but with some such unsolicited luck, eventually they’ll appear monthly.

Which would be quite excellent, since I’ve been writing them at the rate of about three per month. And “researching” at the rate of 10 a month, which a cursory glance at my lower torso would confirm.

This introductory piece was printed as an endpaper, in their Blue Horizons column. It did not address food per se, but rather their question “What is your favorite anchorage?”

My answer—predictable to some—was plural.


Click Here for Sailing On Your Stomach ...

  The LULU’s traveled China—a good part of that vast country, actually--in September/October 2007.

Skipping the Slow-Boat-to- option, we launched ourselves on a 35-day passage by 747—2 over-the-top (of the world) crossings, 9 interior flights, 19 separate hotel check-ins, plus one overnight train excursion and too-numerous-to-count van expeditions.

The logs that follow detail our experiences of this phenomenal and surprising country. Written sometimes by Gary, sometimes by me (you’ll be able to tell the difference stylistically and, of course, by their comparative length) they were originally emails sent to people at home who requested such commentary. Or, to those we decided would be happy about (as opposed to affronted by) having our observations about China appear unsolicited in their mailboxes. A third category of recipients was literally Shanghai’ed by genetic accident—that would be our kids.

Word-of-mouth caused a modest groundswell of demand to develop amid friends who ran the gamut from merely curious to slightly miffed to feeling excluded altogether--but mostly to downright insistent about wanting to read them.

So we’ve decided to post them on this website.

If you’re in none of these categories—or in the exclusive but largely accidental group who have already gotten them--we apologize. Pass them by.

But meanwhile, here they come…

Click here for Lulu in China ...



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