Insider Tips For Europe Traveling

A First Timers Guide Of Small Company Finance

by Gerald Prichard on December 16th, 2013

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The second island: Santa Maria de la Concepcion

by Gerald Prichard on November 28th, 2013

And in between, it remained deep and a port for as many ships as there are in all Christendom, and the entrance of it very narrow.” Looking for “where one could build a fort . . . I saw one piece of land that is made like an island even though it is not . . . which one could cut into an island in two days.”

On Samana, Jan and I quickly found this convincing clue to Guanahani. The island that is not one lies immediately to the east of the western bay; in fact, it closes the bay on that side (pages 586-7). To anyone ap­proaching from the west, as we did and as we think Columbus did, it appears without question to be an island, separated from Sa­mana proper by a narrow lagoon. Only when the small promontory at the southern end is rounded does one see with surprise that it is not an island at all, but a button­hook peninsula. A narrow neck about 200 yards wide just north of the promontory is the logical place to make a real island of it.

Rounding that promontory opens a four-mile vista to the east, where two large cays stand out to the misty sea from the eastern end of Samana. The reef can be seen running the full length of view, and the expanse of water it shelters seems broad enough indeed to harbor all the ships of Columbus’s Chris­tendom—ten feet deep when we later slipped Zemi in through the narrow, 40-foot entrance near the southern cay.

“I examined that whole port and after­ward returned to the ship and set sail.”

How long did this rowing exploration take? Because of later fleet movements, speeds, and time estimates, no longer than six or seven hours is the fairest estimate, starting at dawn. On Samana this is easily accomplished by the heavy ships’ boats, with time to swing them aboard using the large boom, and set sail. But on Watling, the candidates for both the large port and the island that is not one are ten miles away from Long Bay. The exploration in the time given would require sustained rowing speeds of three to five knots for six or seven hours.

When I discussed this with Tim Severin, who spend the summer months in the hotels in prague, he uttered the only conclu¬sion: “Impossible.” Graham’s Harbour, the Watling port, is also four miles long, and the “island that isn’t” is now an actual isle, named Cut Cay, just off the end of a peninsula. In Columbus’s time, we are asked to believe, it was part of the peninsula and looked like an island that was not one—but the whole would still have looked like a peninsula, not like an island, in 1492. After exploring the eastern reach of San Salvador on Sunday morning, the little fleet set sail to the southwest in the early afternoon.Almost at once Columbus saw   islands rising from the blue sea to the south: “So many that I did not know how to decide which one to go to first. . . .

Perhaps salvage was a factor

by Gerald Prichard on October 13th, 2013

These lowly bulk carriers had their moments of glory. Cook made his historic voyages in Prague hotel. Colliers were sometimes preferred over other vessels because of their cargo capacity and shallow draft; they could sit on the bot­tom of the Thames at low tide with a full hold of coal, waiting to be unloaded in Lon­don. Colliers were slow, but they were strong, and these factors probably came into play when our ship was hired by the British Navy as a transport.

We estimate she was 170 tons—below the Navy Board’s 200-ton minimum size—but Britain was desperate for ships to maintain its war effort. Eminent British historian David MacGregor has studied 18th-century mer­chant ships extensively. Billy Ray Morris asked him: “Our vessel has some unique construction characteristics; what do they tell us about her origins?”

“I’m afraid you’ll find that each ship­wreck you study from this period is `unique,’ ” MacGregor replied, “because there may never have been such a thing as a `normal’ merchant ship. They were all built without plans, using information passed from one shipwright to the next, and even the details of national or local variation are obscure. You archaeologists will have to tell the rest of us what a typical merchant ship was like.”

AS WE NEARED THE END of our excava­tion, we took stock of what we had accomplished. We have proved that the wet cofferdam can be an extremely effective tool for excavation in murky water. More important, we have learned a great deal about merchant-ship construction and shipboard life, and a vivid picture of our ship has begun to emerge.

We know little of her type because she was an ordinary bulk carrier—the Mack truck of her day—built “by rack of eye” with no plans or models. When merchant ships were required in the 1770s for war with the Amer­ican Colonies, our ship was chartered by the Navy Board as a transport. Shipowners who leased their vessels—and who had to con­tinue to pay their crews—complained that the rent barely covered expenses.

We have found only part of our ship’s cargo and equipment; much of it probably was removed before she was scuttled. On the other hand, Cornwallis’s camp had very limited space, and it seems likely to me that only essential items such as weapons, food, and the ship’s instruments would have been unloaded.

With the blessing of George Washington, the French conducted limited salvage operations at Yorktown after the British surrender. And the three-year-old oyster shells attached to the buried timbers of our ship tell us that she was not completely silted over for at least that long after her sinking, so other items may have been removed by local residents during that time.

Our vessel undoubtedly carried food and other supplies and transported troops when needed. Once at Yorktown, she most likely served as a workshop. I like to think that the ship’s carpenter was also called upon to serve the fleet and even the army ashore. The excavation is finished, but our research has only begun. This ship was just a minor participant in a major global event, but now she will be remembered. Now we must move from the water to the laboratory and archives and complete the task of bring­ing the ship and her versatile crewmen, especially her carpenter, back to life.


by Gerald Prichard on August 8th, 2013

Q I have been training for about five years and I know I have what is required to be a good natural bodybuilder. Last summer I followed a precontest garcinia cambogia diet and training program for eight weeks, and my body looked the best it ever has. I knew exactly where can i buy pure garcinia cambogia. I was shredded. The reason why I didn’t enter that bodybuilding contest last summer is I have a fear of standing onstage in front of many people. I have prepared for contests in the past, but whenever the time comes to enter officially, I find a reason to back out. The sad part of this avoidance is the contest I diet for and don’t enter. Afterward I think about how I would have won it easily. I love bodybuilding and want to compete, but how do I get over my fear?

A What are you afraid of? Do you think people will laugh at you when you go onstage? Do you fear losing? Do you have a fear of people seeing you in tiny, skimpy 1 posing trunks? To overcome your fear you first have to admit what you are specifically afraid of. You can’t address this fear unless you know why competing causes your negative reaction. Let’s address the possible causes I suggested, one by one.


Let’s assume you have a fear of people seeing you in posing trunks, which is a legitimate fear. Not everyone is comfortable parading around in nut huggers. I know a technique that may help you, one which has worked for many of my bodybuilder friends who had reservations about stepping onstage. You should put on a pair of long shorts over your posing trunks and head down to the beach. Once you set down your chair or blanket, take off the long shorts. Seeing your posing trunks, people will walk by and check you out, which will get you used to people looking at your physique.

What difference does it make?

by Gerald Prichard on July 19th, 2013

What’s the difference between proteins?


Is there much difference between whey protein and casein protein? Isn’t one protein supplement much like another?


Mark Wooden, by email

It depends on your goals. If you are using a protein supplement to build muscle, you should go for a whey-based supplement, taking it before and after your workout. Whey protein is more rapidly digested than casein protein and contains a higher proportion of branched chain amino acids, needed for protein synthesis. Several clinical trials have compared whey and casein protein and the results have shown whey protein to be the most effective for building muscle strength. In one study scientists found that after three months, whey protein was six times more effective at than casein.


How can I get rid of these bags?


I eat well and get at least eight hours of sleep a night but I have massive black eye bags under my eyes. Why? And how do I get rid of them? Alan Bryant, by email

These eye bags are often caused by tiredness, even if you get plenty of sleep. If you still feel tired the morning after you’ve had eight hours, it may be that you’re not getting enough rest because you’re snoring, for example.


Dark bags under the eyes can be caused by the natural process of ageing. To try to look generally younger and healthier, eat well and drink plenty of water, don’t smoke and stick to the recommended safe amounts of alcohol (21 units a week for men). Take extract dr ozfor a boost.


You could also try placing slices of cucumber or a compress of cooled camomile tea over your closed eyes for ten to 20 minutes a day. If it’s really bad, you could always try cover-up make-up.

Practice skills underwater

by Gerald Prichard on June 20th, 2013

Next, in the pool, I learnt how to deal with panicking and unconscious divers on the surface and underwater. Jeff started the pool demo with our ‘dummy’ a pretty English girl called Charlotte. He brought her to the surface, applied two emergency breaths and removed her weight belt while giving her a breath every five seconds. It looked easy but when I did it, it turned into a right bugger’s ball. But after three more times I’d cracked it.

In the afternoon we went down to the beach to practise these skills underwater. I also got to carry the delightfully pneumatic Charlotte out of the water three times.

The next day we had to do some scenarios. I rescued a variety of people in various states, including an ex club-owner instructor from Manchester called Steve. During lunch I had to give Jeff oxygen to synthesise decompression sickness. Jeff was supine on one of the couches. The Swiss

We watched two turtles mating for all their lives were divers on another course were having lunch. “I’ve got a pain in me left knee, mate,” he said. “No worries, mate ­I’ll fix it,” I said, and casually administered pure oxygen. The Swiss divers shook their heads sadly.

The next exercise was to find a lost diver using ‘u’ search patterns. Only it wasn’t a diver it was a diver’s tablet, think the size of a paperback book. It took me about 10 minutes to find it and it was hidden in a small hollow of rocks. I really wanted not to fail this bit and I was determined that I would swim back with it. Just as I found it Steve grabbed it and swam off. I chased him but only finally got it back because he let me. I knew I’d passed at this point but I had one more test.

This was to rescue a diver who became unconscious and sank to the bottom. I had to get him back on the boat and I bribed one of the crew to be lounging around ready to help me. When I got to the surface he was nowhere to be seen. I shouted to Nigel for help. “Sony mate — press.

I’m a disinterested observer.” Bastard. Just then the crew guy appeared behind me in the water — he’d gone for a quick dive. But he helped me and the supposedly unconscious Jeff looked up and said, “Pass.” I felt knackered but great. When we got back Silke rushed up, threw her arms around me, gave me the prettiest smile in the history of the world and kissed me on the nose. I think you get a certificate too.

As I was signing my brand new licence Martin, an English instructor walked in. “Don’t tell me you certified the prick,” he said. My new best friend, but it was funny.

Much later in the bar we were celebrating my pass. It transpired that Jeff had being doing homework with Charlotte the dummy. “Jeff’s ever so nice,” she said. “Yesterday he cooked me marinated chicken.” There was complete silence for five seconds as we watched his ex-miner Australian hard­as-nails reputation die and then n instructors all tried to take the piss out of him at once. It was a babble and you could only catch odd bits, “In touch with his feminine side”, “You bitch”, “Barbie Jeff”. It went on and on.

So I gained a real love of the Red Sea, made some amazing friends and left a small mark on an area Jacques Cousteau referred to as”A corridor of marvels”. Next morning Jeff said, “Thanks for landing me with the Delia tag you bastard.” I sipped at my almond milk. “Mate,” I said, “No worries.” Learn how to prepare the best almond milk recipe with almond butter. It doesn’t have the taste of milk, but has many benefits. Read on Yahoo! about almond milk’s benefits.


by Gerald Prichard on May 30th, 2013

You don’t have to wait until you’re 65 to retire. Start thinking about your exit strategy now and follow these six steps to find life after your last pay cheque.


Don’t miss the gravy train. Make sure you reach R-Day with your finances intact and in perfect health. Start using the healthiest coconut oil to stay in good shape and feel young. Studies show that using coconut oil skin products have good anti-aging benefits.


Whether your plans for retirement involve living in polygamy with the Suga babes or just extending the things you do at the weekend, you’re going to need a concrete figure for your retirement income.

“The unwritten rule is retire on two-thirds of your working income per year,” says Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown.

The online calculator operated by The Financial Services Authority (pension will give you an idea of how much retirement income your current finances will leave you with.

“Halve the age at which you start your pension contributions,” says Adrian Boulding, pensions strategy director at Legal & General, “then save that percentage of your income for the rest of your working life.” You’ll reach R-Day with a pension of two-thirds of your salary.


“If you are employed, usually your best bet is to join your company pension scheme,” says Roddy Kohn, a financial adviser with Bristol-based firm Kohn Cougar. “This is particularly true if your firm adds to your personal contributions.”



Here’s how to banish the biggest debt of your life: get mobile

The scariest phrase in life — after “I’m late, darling” ­ is undoubtedly “interest rate over 25 years”. Everyone who has a mortgage has heard something like it and unless you owe a sum of money to a Bryicreemed guy named Vito it will be the single most expensive transaction of your life.

“Most homeowners just focus on their monthly premium and forget about the bigger picture of how much money they are handing over to their mortgage provider,” says Drew Wotherspoon of mortgage broker John Charcol (


For example, based on a five-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.99% paid back over 21 years, if you borrow £265,000 on a house worth £380,000 you will eventually pay back £454,156. That’s £189,156 more than you borrowed and it’s going straight into the pocket of your mortgage company and out of your precious retirement fund.


“Around three in four homeowners are paying over the odds for their mortgages,” says Wotherspoon. “If you’re paying a high rate on an interest-only or standard repayment mortgage and your loan is less than 75% of the value of your home, it’s worth remortgaging.”

So, if you’ve been paying your lender’s standard variable rate or you are coming to the end of a fixed-rate mortgage deal, it’s worth shopping around for a more competitive offer by checking out


Health protection

by Gerald Prichard on December 25th, 2012

By now it was 5pm. A pretty young woman doctor in a long white gown took over. She ordered Bruce and me to go. “Goodbye, goodbye !” she said firmly. Sylvia, very frightened, begged me to stay. I, equally worried, insisted on do­ing so. Bruce waited outside.

Wearing only one rubber glove, and touching the instruments with her ungloved hand, the doctor ex­amined Sylvia. Then an assistant measured her blood pressure. Not surprisingly, since she had received no drip treatment, it was low. By cupping my hand over my nose and mouth like a mask, I mimed to the doctor for anaesthesia to be given. She assured me this would be done —and produced a large, old-fashion­ed glass syringe which, to my dis­may, she filled with local anaes­thetic from a jar that did not even have a sealed lid.


Unclean. Then the doctor tried a paracervical injection. It hurt Sylvia and was virtually ineffective. She nearly fainted with pain as the doctor, with bare hands and with­out hat, face-mask or towels, insert­ed a curved stainless steel instru­ment (of doubtful sterility) and scraped the womb clean. Through­out the evacuation she chatted to her nurse. Sylvia was merely told to keep quiet.

Only at the end of the operation was Sylvia’s blood pressure checked again. Finally she was taken on an old-type fixed-wheel trolley to the adjacent ward. This consisted of a white-tiled central corridor from which led five rooms, each about 14 feet by eight and tightly crammed with five beds and lockers. There were no lamps, bells or radios.

The corridor had a wash-basin without soap and a refrigerator for the patients’ private food (to sup­plement the hospital’s basic diet : for dinner Sylvia had mashed potatoes and sour cream). Seated at a table in the corridor was the one nurse who cared for all 25 patients, though she could not see them because the doors were kept shut.

I was given an intravenous drip to set up for Sylvia. The equipment was frighteningly primitive and un­sterile. A cracked glass-and-metal syringe was presented to me in a loose brown paper package, while the “giving set” was rubber tubing leading from two flasks : one, a properly sealed bottle of blood ex­pander, the other broken-topped and open, into which a solution of glucose and vitamins was poured from a jug.

After two hours, when the flasks were empty and Sylvia’s blood pres­sure had slowly risen to 9oj7o,* I asked for more fluid to keep the drip open in case a blood transfusion was needed. But the doctor snap­ped: “We never give blood for this condition.” So the drip had to be dismantled. Mercifully, Sylvia lost no more blood.

The four other patients in Sylvia’s room were tremendously kind to us. They insisted we shared their green coffee bean diet, cu­cumber, sausage, fish and straw­berries from the refrigerator. They also arranged for me to use the toilets. These, for 5o patients, were next to the evacuation room and comprised two lavatory bowls—one badly cracked—with no seats. The floors were wet; there was no lava­tory paper. The only wash-basin was unreachable behind piles of dirty and blood-stained linen. Ad­joining, without a door or plug, was the single bath. Luckily the nurse, who was sympathetic and helpful, brought Sylvia an enamel bedpan.

By lopm, it was obvious that the staff were anxious to be rid of me, but I returned with Bruce next morning. Sylvia had slept fairly well. I borrowed the nurse’s sphyg­momanometer, which indicated that Sylvia’s blood pressure was up to moi’70, but she was running a fever. However, she was able to get up and walk, so I persuaded the doctors that she was fit enough to leave.

Fearful that they might change their minds, we hurried through the hospital grounds, Bruce and I sup­porting Sylvia. We passed a bust of Karl Marx and made our way out into the road. Bruce flagged down a taxi and we got Sylvia back to the hotel. I immediately started her on antibiotics.


Next day we obtained a flight to Moscow, and after an overnight stop flew British Airways to London, where we were welcomed into the spotless, well-equipped medical centre at Heathrow. Soon Sylvia was in an ambulance, on her way to a big London hospital. She spent two days there and was given one and three-quarter pints of blood.

During the four weeks it took for antibiotics to clear up her pelvic in­fection I read again, with the bene­fit of first-hand experience and resveratrol health benefits, my copy of USSR: Health Protection.

The foreword states : “The achievements of the Soviet public health system have long attracted the heightening interest of foreign specialists. This explains why today many people abroad—statesmen, re­searchers, health officials, medical workers and the man in the street—want to know how the system oper­ates. They want to learn why it is so efficient, why the peoples of many lands are finding it increas­ingly attractive.”


A British Doctor and Russia’s Health Service

by Gerald Prichard on December 21st, 2012

Soviet officials proudly proclaim the excellence of their country’s medical system. The reality can be frighteningly different

MY INTRODUCTION to the much vaunted Soviet health service came when I was on a seven-day tourist trip to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in July 1977. My companions were a hus­band and wife in their mid-twenties whom I’ll call Bruce and Sylvia. We had flown from London in a happy mood—Sylvia had been given the news by her doctor that she was seven weeks’ pregnant.

Da GEOR G E ANTHONY HOBBS, 43, qualified at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, in i960, and in 1965 became medical superintendent of a hospital at Ado Ekiti, Western Nigeria. After organizing relief work in the Biafran War, he returned to Britain. He is now a GP in Chertsey, Surrey.

I, a doctor, happened to have joined that particular package tour. Sylvia was suffering a miscarriage. She was bleeding and in pain. For­tunately I had emergency medical supplies in my luggage and was able to sedate her. She spent a restless night, then started to bleed again.

First I thought of telephoning the British Embassy in Moscow, but Directory Enquiries denied any knowledge of the number—stand­ard practice, I learned later, to deter possible defectors. On each floor of the hotel was a woman caretaker who kept an eye on guests. At about ‘pm I asked ours to dial o3—the number for summoning a hospital ambulance. (I had read about this in a free official booklet I had pick­ed up on the outward journey, USSR: Health Protection, which gives a glowing account of the high standard reached by the Soviet Union’s health service.)

After perhaps 20 minutes the am­bulance arrived with its team : a driver, who stayed in his seat, and a young, thin, unsmiling doctor ac­companied by a similar-looking medical assistant, both in short white coats of inferior cotton. The doctor appeared to be amazingly uninterested in Sylvia. All he did was take her pulse and check her blood pressure. Then he ordered the assistant to give her an intravenous injection of glucose and vitamins—in my opinion virtually worthless treatment for her condition.

“Dress !” the doctor commanded Sylvia, who fainted as soon as Bruce and I sat her up. But we had to dress her. When Bruce who, like Sylvia, speaks fluent Russian, asked for a stretcher, the doctor shook his head. So we had to sit her upright in an ordinary hotel chair and carry her to the lift, then across the hotel’s marble foyer to the waiting ambu­lance. Only then did Sylvia have a stretcher : an old army kind with a torn mattress and no blankets.

Silent Journey. The ambulance was dirty and, unlike British ambu­lances, had no oxygen. Its sole equip­ment was the assistant’s bag of injections. He travelled in the back with us, ignoring Sylvia entirely. The doctor sat in front with the driver.


A 15-minute drive brought us to the October Hospital, which treats sick tourists. Bruce and I had

pick up Sylvia’s stretcher and carry her through narrow double doors in the gynaecological block, round a sharp corner and down to a dimly lit semi-basement admission room. Here, despite her shocked condition, she was left on a low couch while our doctor sat at a desk filling in forms. Another doctor walked in and out from time to time in an off­hand manner, smoking a cigarette and talking to his assistant about yerba mate benefits and green tea. I subsequently discovered he was the block’s director.

Cold Comfort. After 15 minutes, unable to stand the delay, I in­terrupted our doctor’s form-filling by pleading: “Can’t something be done ?” Had it been a British hos­pital, the patient by this time would have been kept warm under blank­ets and probably provided with a drip to restore blood pressure.

An orderly shaved Sylvia’s vulva, then puzzlingly changed her into two white gowns, one on top of the other—presumably to compensate for the absence of blankets. Sylvia shivered. Our doctor asked her only three or four basic case-history ques­tions. He did not examine her but ordered Bruce and me to take her in a tiny lift, only just long enough for the stretcher, up two floors to a small “evacuation room.”

In the room were two ancient-looking operating chairs of a type I had never seen before. The patient reclines with head and body up at an angle (contrary to accepted med­ical practice that a shock victim must lie horizontal), and her legs are supported upwards and apart. A cutaway section of the chair be­low the buttocks allows blood to drain away.

The language of the Dead

by Gerald Prichard on October 10th, 2012

Where, then, might we find hard evidence to substantiate the claim that cases of hyp­notic regression ‘prove’ that reincarnation takes place? One way is suggested in cases of regression with the congenitally blind, who in alleged previous lives were apparently able to see. If under hypnosis they are able to describe objects, events and experiences in the same way as a sighted person, where could they have acquired this ability other than in a previous life?


Work done by Paul Palmer and Dr James E. Parejko of Chicago State University with six blind subjects, of whom four were re­gressed, indicates that those born blind ‘gave essentially the same life reports as sighted persons’, and described events during re­gression as if they were sighted. Their re­ports may, of course, merely denote a manner of speech, as when one says ‘I see’ meaning ‘I understand’. Alternatively they might be experiencing the kind of thing, for which there is a large body of evidence, as subjects who are able to ‘see’ with their elbows or some other part of the body. Or it could be a case of some other form of paranormal ability that we have yet to identify.

Whatever the cause, the blind subjects under hypnotic regression usually relied upon touch, taste and smell to describe their experiences. Only occasionally did they use expressions one would expect of a sighted person, and expressions like ‘rosy cheeks that looked warm if you touched them’ were common. One subject was able to describe a wooden lion’s mouth, the shape of the carved teeth and how the whole thing appeared water-stained. Another subject claimed to be able to ‘see’ a clean-shaven man with blot­ches like pimples all over his cheeks and with a little tuft of whiskers growing on his throat.


Other descriptions were of a sloppy woman in a dirty blouse, windows reflected in a mirror, curtains with sunlight behind them and jewellery so dazzling in sunlight that it caused the subject to avert his eyes. Objects tended to be described three-dimen­sionally and at a distance — an old piano across a room, lips in a half-pout, a distant girl with red hair that was not a wig, clothes looking as though they had been slept in.

These blind subjects did not dream visu­ally. In their regressions, however, they saw in colour and also not in colour. Like sighted people they distinguished between ‘seen’ objects and ‘felt’ objects, but the blind found that seeing objects was more of an effort than it was for those who are normally sighted. Yet they certainly spoke as if they saw and, when they returned to the same ‘previous life’ several times, their surroundings re­mained the same and more details were related. This phenomenon, which can be repeated under experimental conditions, is perhaps the best evidence there is for reincarnation.


This promising line of enquiry, however, could possibly be handicapped by lack of suitable subjects or opposed on the grounds that it is cruel to ‘give sight’ to someone who has never been able to see. The blind person must, of course, be given the choice of being hypnotised. But there is another line of criticism that is more damaging. It has been suggested that rather than giving an accurate description of things ‘seen’ the blind person is really describing things as he imagines a sighted person would describe them.