Search This Blog

Monday, December 11, 2006

Curacao: fascinating cobble of contrasts

An interesting story on Curacao, the home port of the Freewinds:

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — The fruit of the laraha orange tastes so bad even the island's wild goats don't bother it. I really don't blame them. But the peel — ah, that's a different matter.
Kathryn Clayton, Deseret Morning News
An example of highly detailed architecture of the building in Willemstad, Curacao. Structures must undergo frequent upkeep.
First, you use a wooden knife to cut the peel away and slice it into sections. It has to be wood; a metal knife would ruin things. You dry the peels in jute bags. Then, in a small copper still, you cook them until a clear liquid condenses. Color it, bottle it, seal it — everything's done by hand — and you've got the real thing, a liqueur that can only be made on Curacao, the original "Curacao of Curacao," so named to shame all pretenders.

Its old-fashioned bottles look better suited to sailors' grog: a long neck tapering up from a canteen-shaped bowl. They've gone around the world, these bottles have, each one an ambassador of this small Caribbean island, every sip an invitation: "Come and see us. Come and see us."

>> Continued

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rain in LA

"Sunny" California is about to enter its grey stage.

My sister says that if we didn't have some winter (in other words some rain) we wouldn't appreciate the summer as much. I don't think that's true, though. I'd love it to be hot all year round.

Monday, October 23, 2006

IAS Event and London Grand Opening

What a weekend in the UK! Not only was the IAS event held at Saint Hill, but the next day there were incredible seminars, Sunday was the Grand Opening of the Church of Scientology of London and today is the Charity Concert.

Anyone who went sure got their money's worth!

Here's a little news on the Grand Opening, that I got from religion4life blog.

David Miscavige Drives the Message Home about Scientology

"We are about to drive home the message 'This is Scientology ' like you have never seen," said David Miscavige , chairman of the Church of Scientology (sic.) [David Miscavige is actually the Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center.]

So reports Robert Booth on Saturday in the Sunday Times - a story that got picked up internationally.

And Sunday's grand opening was everything Mr. Miscavige promised.

The Scientology Press Office announces the news as follows:

With thousands of Scientologists, local residents and officials in attendance, the new Church of Scientology of London opened its doors.

Mr. David Miscavige , Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center and leader of the Scientology religion , stressed the historical importance of London. "This is the city L. Ron Hubbard himself [founder of the Scientology religion] selected as home to the first Scientology organization. This is also the city wherein he first defined the human spirit as an immortal being possessed of capabilities beyond anything predicted, and so arrived at the axiomatic truths on which the whole of Scientology is founded. Your early London organizations were also the original proving ground for the bulk of Mr. Hubbard’ s social betterment programs which are used to uplift neighborhoods just like this one."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thorsten Overgaard

I ran across this page of Thorsten Overgaard's web site yesterday and found his entire site on the Scientologists who went to South Asia After the Tsunami

It's a beautiful site -- a recommend a visit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Freewinds" Adds a Special and For Free

I found this story on the web site of the St. Lucia Mirror:

People paused while looking over the line up of performers for the 2006 St. Lucia Jazz Festival.

Of course, there were the superstars like Al Green and Seal, with the younger ones such as Ciara and Rihanna making their mark on the music scene. Then there was one unusual act, the Freewinds Band.

There were whispers and questions. “Is that the band from the ship, The Freewinds?” many asked. Some wondered what the producers of the festival were thinking. A cruise ship band on the main stage for the Jazz Festival? Would they entertain the crowd with Karaoke-like songs and come dressed in the usual tropical getup of Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts while singing ‘Feeling hot, hot, hot’?

Instead, the band came on stage after Rihanna did her thing and instantly ended all speculation and questions about their position in the Festival. With multi platinum recording artist John Novello leading the group, the Freewinds band had the crowd moving from the start. Two female vocalists including Dominican Michele Henderson added to the great performance of the ensemble. So, no, these guys were not at all a karaoke sounding cruise ship band. Not only did the Freewinds band add something special to Saturday mainstage, but also they did it all for free. Yes, unlike other performers, the band was not paid for participating in the show.

Ludwig Alpers, the Port Captain of the Freewinds, spoke to the MIRROR earlier this week to explain why. The Freewinds, which is described as not the smallest cruise ship but the biggest yacht, has been sailing to St. Lucia since 1988. Alpers explained that the crew was committed from the beginning to not only be involved economically with St. Lucia , but to also contribute something to the community, charities and culture.

“Last year, we were here for the festival and the Chamber of Commerce took a gamble on us and allowed us to perform during Jazz on the Square. We had a great performance last year and this year the festival was part of the ship’s itinerary so we contacted the Tourist board so we could put something together for the mainstage. We really wanted to contribute to the festival,” explained Alpers.

The band performs over 200 concerts a year and invites artists from all over the world to join for months at a time. Most performances are done on board but many times the band takes part in shows in countries where the ship docks. Novello, who played on the ship during the Christmas season, headlined the band for Jazz.

“We wanted to contribute to the 15th anniversary of the St. Lucia Jazz festival and we really wanted to say thank you to the St. Lucian people. So we said let’s do it complimentary and we put a lot of time and work into it. We also brought in Michele ( Henderson ) who performs with the band about three months out of the year. We really felt honoured to be part of the festival,” said Alpers.

The band has performed in many festivals around the region but feels that St. Lucia Jazz is the best one, especially because of its longevity and diverse locations.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


The Freewinds occasionally visits Jamaica too.

Just another island paradise.

Okay everyone in Buffalo. Don't you wish you were here this weekend?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006


Imagine looking out your porthole to see this in the morning!

Bonaire is a frequent stop for the Freewinds.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Bonaire is anothere paradise of an island, part of the Netherland Antilles, which is one of the regular ports for the Freewinds.

Is this chilled out or what?

Monday, October 09, 2006

I just ran across this picture in Google Images.

It looks like a postage stamp with a picture of the Freewinds.

Anyone know what this is about?

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Friends of mine told me how they went scuba diving off the coast of Aruba the last time they went to the Freewinds.

Imagine, having the best Scientology training in the world, in an idylic environment, and being able to go scuba diving too!

(Plus the food is the best!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Description of the Freewinds

Scientology Today (the Scientology News Site) has a very good description of the Freewinds.

"A |unique Church of Scientology is the Flag Ship Service Organization — located aboard the Motor Vessel Freewinds, a 440-foot ship based in the Caribbean. The ship was acquired in the mid-1980s shortly before the release of the highest advanced auditing level now available. Needing a safe, aesthetic, distraction-free environment appropriate for ministration of this level of auditing, it was decided to return to the sea, far from the crossroads of the workaday world.unique Church of Scientology is the Flag Ship Service Organization — located aboard the Motor Vessel Freewinds, a 440-foot ship based in the Caribbean. The ship was acquired in the mid-1980s shortly before the release of the highest advanced auditing level now available. Needing a safe, aesthetic, distraction-free environment appropriate for ministration of this level of auditing, it was decided to return to the sea, far from the crossroads of the workaday world."

But you have to experience the Freewinds to really understand it.

It is by far the friendliest, safest place I've ever been too.

I always look forward to my visits to the ship with great anticipation, and come home with my "spiritual batteries" completely recharched.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Curacoa is the home port of the Freewinds.

It is a beautiful island with such an interesting mix of European and Caribbean.

A great site to visit for more information about Curacao is

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Such a special ship

Most Scientologists who go to the Freewinds come back home with the same impression of the ship. It is the most remarkable place because there is absolutely no counter-intention. I other words everyone agrees completely that everything good you wish to have happen for yourself, your family, your groups, your nation, your planet --- will come off.

And it really bolsters up your ability to simply make the physical universe comply with your intention!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Freewinds Website

Now check out this website

There are some gorgeous shots of the Freewinds on this site that I hadn't seen before.
Makes you just want to get up and go!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

More on the Jazz Festival

"Many people paused while looking over the line up of performers for the 2006 St. Lucia Jazz Festival. " Is the opening line to this article:

Wish I had been there!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Freewinds Choir

I bet you didn't know that the "Freewinds" has its own choir!

This is actually a very musical ship - I have previously covered some of the Jazz Nights they have had.

The Freewinds is a fun place to be.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I remember when I was in Curacao aboard the Freewinds.

It was totally comfortable on board.

But that region is HOT!

I was there in September. And it was about as hot as I'd ever want to be!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Scientology Today

On a website called "Scientology Today" it also has a page dedicated to the description of the motor vessel Freewinds. There are actually many pages on this site that people wouldn't know about, it is definitely worth checking out. It has a site map so that makes it easier to look around on.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Scientology Anti-Drug Campaign

Also featured in the event held aboard the "Freewinds" was the release of booklets designed for drug education and drug prevention use. This is the beginning of a world-wide push to let people know the dangers of drugs and so they don't get fooled.

The booklets themselves are colorful and the information they contain is well researched. There are facts and personal experiences that show how disastrous drugs are to a person's life.

Part of the campaign is being forwarded by a group called the "Drug-Free Marshals" and at the event the actions they are taking all around the world were described in detail. These booklets are being made available to the general public for use.

Both this campaign and the human rights campaign (mentioned in an entry earlier) were covered in detail by the guest speakers, who were introduced by Mr. David Miscavige who emceed the event.

Anti-drug events and activities are covered in the Scientology News.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I found an article on te Freewinds band today:

Camella Helene, lead singer with the FREEWINDS band captured the audience with her relaxed easy style, her melodious voice and the songs she selected which were favourites of the audience as well.

"I will always love you,", "R-E-S-P-E-C-T",

"Step by step, stone by stone", and ''Loving you forever''

were among the songs that had the audience handclapping, foot tapping and crooning along with the singer - and all were enjoying themselves immensely. It was easy to see that the singer enjoyed her craft and was at home and happy to practice it with this audience.

It was also easy to see why Los Angeles singer Camella Helene is up for video awards and why she has toured with international singers like Michael Bolton among others.

But the enjoyment of the evening also came from the very accomplished band whose members each hailed from a different part of the world. Just how accomplished they are, was easily seen when time came for them to go solo with their instruments. The electric guitar ''wailed'', the keyboard notes flowed harmoniously and with seamless effort; the bass guitar ''gutted'' out its notes and the drums and cymbals interspersed their dodging beats and crescendos!. Well you would have to be there to know what I mean. >>

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Human Rights Event

Another exciting event was held on the Freewinds recently and relayed for Scientologists around the world to see. This event was hosted, as is usual, by Mr. David Miscavige.

Incorporated into this event was a DVD with a difference; The United Nations Human Rights Declaration is not something most people know well as so a very impacting example of each of the 30 points is enacted on this DVD.

Also released were properties to educate parents and youth on the dangers of drugs, as part of the Churches of Scientology's anti-drug campaign which was kicked into high gear with this event.

All an all a very exciting event!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Site about Freewinds Jazz

Here's another cool site about the Freewinds Jazz Festival -- this one with photos from the 2004 event.

Here's the poster

And some photos of performers and audiences having a great time...

Freewinds Jazzy Carnaval

I just saw this great poster on last year's Freewinds Jazz Carnaval.

Stacy Francis was the featured artist. She is such an amazing singer and performer. I've seen her live about five times and each time I forget what a wallop she packs.

There's more information about the Freewinds on

Monday, July 17, 2006

More on the Maiden Voyage

I've been attending the Maiden Voyage events and each one has been incredible.

Three weeks ago David Miscavige gave an overview of the activities Scientologists are doing all over the world to expand their churches.

Two weeks ago we found out that 48 new Scientology missions were opened in towns and cities all over the world, and we also saw the plans for new Scientology churches in Orange County, Pasadena, Torino, Venezuela, Atlanta... there were more but I just can't remember them all.

Then last weekend we learned all about the Scientology anti-drug campaign and what Scientologists are doing to guarantee human rights. The Church of Scientology International recently helped Youth for Human Rights International create 30 public service announcements that illustrate all the rights laid out by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We were shown five of these ads at the event and they were so beautiful and so clear and so compelling. They take the subject, which is communicated in very dry, almost legal terms in the Universal Declaration, and turn it into something I believe will communicate to anyone who sees it.

Three of these PSAs can be downloaded from I Tunes (search I Tunes for "Youth for Human Rights")

I always love the briefings David Miscavige gives at these events, and these have been the best I've seen so far!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Freewinds Conventions

There is constant entertainment about the Freewinds, with artists from all over the world.

Also, every week there are conventions of various kinds where
Scientologists gather to make plans for improving their communities or their careers. They span the whole gamut, from how to accomplish the most with the Scientology Anti-drug campaign in an area where drugs are a real problem to the community, to how to expand the activities of a particular Scientology church, to how to become more successful as a singer, there is Scientology technology that applies to improving any condition.

And being on the Freewinds is just so much fun!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Freewinds Maiden Voyage

The 18th anniversary of the Maiden Voyage of the Freewinds just took place. Each year this is celebrated by a very special cruise where Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center brief's Scientologists on news of the expansion of Scientology.

It is a very special summit of some of the most active and dedicated Scientologists in the world. They come here from their churches -- from churches in the US such as the Church of Scientology of Tampa and the Church of Scientology of San Diego, and from as far afield as Russia, South Africa and and Australia.

Afterwards, DVD recordings of the events are shown to all Scientologists in their own churches.

This coming weekend, July 1st, will be the first of the Maiden Voyage events at the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles and it will be shown in other Scientology churches the following weekend.

I always find Mr. Miscavige's presentations to be very inspirational and I'm really looking forward to going.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


An interesting article about the Freewinds in the Barbados Advocate

"The Business and Professional Women (BPW) Barbados, held their annual candlelight ceremony on Thursday, April 6, honouring the countless contributions of their membership across the globe in one of the largest women's groups on the planet. ...

"On board the MV Freewinds in the Bridgetown Port, several members of the diplomatic corps. including American Ambassador Mary Kramer, Cuban Ambassador, Jose Portela and featured speaker, Her Excellency, Corina Russian, Venezuelan Ambassador to Barbados, to name a few, gathered for this event of international magnitude. "

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The Freewinds hosts many events throughout any given year - it has become a popular spot for both Scientology and public events with guest flying in from all over the world.

At least once a year Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology is guest speaker at Scientology events held on the Freewinds. The topics Mr. Miscavige speaks about cover Scientology expansion news, Scientology Volunteer Minister activities, progress being made in the Church's human rights campaigns, and many other subjects embracing the Scientology religion's influence in society.

In the five decades since the establishment of the first Church of Scientology in 1954, Scientology has become an integral part of this culture. Throughout the world the Scientology religion has steadily expanded in the last 50 years, from one church to 3,700 churches, missions and groups in 156 countries, serving millions of parishioners in 54 languages.

Mr. David Miscavige has also been guest speaker at many grand openings of Churches of Scientology around the world, and the Freewinds' staff is always honored to have him aboard.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Free Winds Band

Here's an excerpt from a terrific article.

Freewinds Band being making a number of free concerts in St. Kitts on the cruise ship "Freewinds" and at different location here on the island. It being going on for four weeks long and shows been going great.
The Free Winds Band has performed for 100s of thousands of people all across the Caribbean. They have performed with such stars as Chick Corea, Edgar Winter, Maxine Nightingale, John Novello, Billy Sheehan, Mark Isham, David Pomeranz, David Campbell, Amanda Miguel, Diego Verdaguer, Felipe Gil, Johnny La Boreal, an many other International celebrities and local favorites from all over the Caribbean.

They have appeared internationally on TV and Radio and one of their live recordings was one of the top requested songs of the year on the island of Aruba. In recent years they opened for Oleta Adams at the St. Vincent Blues Festival. They have performed countless charity and benefit concerts for groups such as the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs as well as the Red Cross and various youth, sports and social betterment organizations, as well as giving countless free outdoor concerts and performing at dozens
of local schools. >> more

More information on many of these entertainers can also be found on the web site of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre