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white cliffs of dover from the sea

White Cliffs of Dover ~ from the Sea!

white cliffs of dover from the sea

Want to visit the White Cliffs of Dover?  By far the best way is from the sea!

Want to visit the White Cliffs of Dover?  By far the best way is from the sea!

After travelling from St Leonard’s Warrior Square Station to Dover, via Ashford International Station (the trip is about one and a half hours), then a short taxi ride to the seafront, I met the crew at Dover Sea Safari for my journey out into the English Channel and exploring the white cliffs.

Want to visit the White Cliffs of Dover?  By far the best way is from the sea!

What a fabulous adventure!

…and before I step you through my photos, check out this video I found on YouTube – we didn’t have waves quite as high, but it was definitely just as much fun!


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…and although the sky looks ok in most of these photos, there was a huge patch of grey/green/black clouds that looked menacing – I did, however, inform our captain that I had placed an order for no rain to fall until we were safely back from our trip – and………  Wish granted!

white cliffs of dover from the sea

In what looks like an over-sized inflatable dingy (but is in fact a phenomenally sturdy RHIB powerboat), under the direction of our boat captain and tour guide, James, we cast off into Dover Harbour… (oh, and the man on the dock is John – he’s with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution))

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This is the old Customs Watch House – well, not quite as old as it looks. Built in 1909 and designed by Arthur Beresford Pite, this building was home to the navy during both WWI and WWII.  After the end of WWII when it was no longer necessary to heavily protect the English Channel, and as commercial shipping increased to a point the current harbour was unable to support it, leisure boating and ferry terminals became the residents in the harbour and as such, there was no further maritime use for Customs Watch House.  It is now apparently used as office space for an aggregates company.

white cliffs of dover from the sea

…then it’s out past the Dover Breakwater…


Constructed of concrete blocks from 26 to 42 tons each, the surface of the breakwater was faced above sea level with granite. Housing two cast iron lighthouses, the island breakwater is 4212 feet in length, running east to west between the southerly ends of the Eastern Arm and the Admiralty Pier, with the east end curveing to north.

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Built between 1898 and 1909, it was designed as the southern breakwater to a vast artificial harbour called Admiralty Harbour with its purpose to provide a refuge for the British Fleet.

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In the First World War, this was a haven for battleships and submarines protecting the Channel, and in the Second World War the breakwater played a key part in the Dunkirk evacuation as 200,000 men were returned from Dunkirk to Dover in eight days.

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…and now for the cliffs!


What makes the White Cliffs of Dover white?

They are made out of chalk – just like the type of stuff we used to use on blackboards (ok, now I am really showing my age).

The chalk layers built up gradually over millions of years and are formed from the skeletal remains of minute green algae.

…and if you look closely, you will see horizontal black lines – this is flint.


OK, so what’s with the caves?

Many of the caves in the cliffs were used for smugglers – but a large proportion were used during WWI and WWI.  In fact, until recently, people still used the zig-zag steps that were carved by the armed forces into the rock to get down to this beach – that is until a chunk of the cliff broke off (see on the right hand side of the photo, there is a gap in the path and a huge rock on the ground with a crack in it).

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Hemp and matches on the same ship?

Next to the zig-zag stairway, you will notice a straight line down the face of the cliff.  This was the result of ropes being used (before the stairway was built) to rescue people from the wreck of the SS Falcon whose cargo of hemp and matches caught fire.  Seriously! Some bright spark (pun intended) thought it was a good thing to put them both on the same boat.

At low tide, it is still possible to see the remains of the shipwreck.

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Here below you will see a much deeper groove carved into the cliff-face.


This was as a result of saving people and cargo from in 1910 from the Preussen shipwreck.  Built in 1902, she was at the time the world’s only ship with five masts carrying six square sails on each mast.

Here is a photo from Wikipedia showing her in full sail – wasn’t she magnificent!!!


Unfortunately after encountering bad weather, she collided with the steamer Brighton and although she wasn’t severly injured and the captain found safe anchorage, the weather worsened and she was driven ashore at Crab Bay.

Among her cargo of precious items, were reportedly twelve German grand pianos – with the running joke for sometime being that every house near Crab Bay now had a grand piano – I wonder where they came from?  🙂

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These houses once owned by Noel Coward, were sold to Ian Fleming with Fleming actually living in the house on the right for some time and writing many of his famous James Bond novels there.

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Here we find the beautiful Walmer Castle, one of the favourite residences of one of my favourite Royals, The Queen Mother.

Built during the reign of King Henry VIII, it is now home of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, with the flying flag indicating he was in residence that day.

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…and on our way home, that’s when we opened the throttle away we went blasting through the waves doing doughnuts, infinities… Sooooo cool!

I had a blast! Thank you all.

Skyroam Mobile Hotspot: Global WiFi // Unlimited Data // Connect 5 Devices // Pay-as-you-go // SIM-Free Coverage in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia

Stay connected EVERYWHERE with this portable WIFI hotspot

portable wifi hotspot unlimited dataSkyRoam – Portable WIFI hotspot with unlimited data just about anywhere in the world…

I am officially in love with this gizmo!

Imagine getting off the plane, train or automobile in some foreign land and being able to connect immediately to friends, family, the internet in general…

That is all possible and more with this wonderful little gadget.

…and it is the size of a mobile phone and only $8 USD per day for UNLIMITED DATA!  OK, so it is only 3G speed, but that’s fast enough to post photos to Facebook, make Skype calls and more.

Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

Seriously, for me this thing has been a saving grace!  For instance, while in Australia I was renewing a license and forgot to take one vital piece of paperwork with me.  Since I was only in the country for 3 weeks, I did not get a local SIM card HOWEVER, thanks to this portable wifi hotspot, I was able to get wifi, turn to my trusty iPad and pull up a digital copy of the missing paperwork that sufficed perfectly.  Had I not had the Skyroam, it would have entailed another day to go back to my condo, get the paperwork and return the following day to the licensing centre.

The only drawback is that it is heavy on battery usage, but with a small portable battery you will not have any issues.

Yes, you can use cellular roaming, but when comparing the cost of that to the cost of only $8 for unlimited data for a full 24 hour period for this portable wifi hotspot, I know which I prefer!

Here is the blurb from the website:

Skyroam’s personal WiFi hotspot provides fast, secure, cost-effective mobile internet around the world – all without a SIM! Keep your favorite gadgets connected wherever you travel without the burden of subscriptions, SIM changing, equipment rentals, counting MB data or unlocking phones.

Countries where you get unlimited wifi hotspot data coverage:

Asia: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

America: Argentina, Aruba, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saipan, Turks & Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States

Europe: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican

South Pacific: Australia, Christmas Island, New Zealand, Fiji

Africa: Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa

Middle East: Israel, Qatar, Turkey


  • Skyroam’s offers up to 3G/4G data connection (HSPA+ technology) when available.
  • Each 24-hr daypass begins when you click Start > OK on the hotspot screen. Buy daypasses when needed at account portal.
  • If account is inactive for 12 months and balance remains, two daypasses expire. If no balance remains, nothing changes.
  • Service is optimized for average use, speeds may slow with very high usage. Most users experience fastest speeds. High data activities like video-streaming are not recommended.

Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

Share My Elves – Virtual Assistants


Imagine having

Virtual Assistants

so you can work like this!

I live a life most people only dream about – but I couldn’t do it without my Elves!

If you know me, you know that for years now, I have had a fabulous Team of Elves spread all over the globe who work for me as ‘virtual assistants’.  I truly couldn’t imagine my life (and lifestyle!) without them.

From research, to book marketing, to social media and ever so much more, I rely on my Elves to not only get things done, but also to enable me to life this Luxurious Nomad life that I love.

Recently, I have had several clients ask if they could ‘rent an Elf’ from me to take care of some of the tasks that they either don’t want to do or don’t have time to do…

Soooooooo, I’ve decided to share my Elves with you!

Services Provided

Here is a list of the types of services provided:

  • Book Marketing (submitting your book to literally hundreds of sites, competitions, forums; posting your author profiles, requesting reviewers and much more)
  • Data Mining (research for contact details, websites and businesses)
  • Data Entry
  • Online Research
  • Simple Video Creation (using animoto and windows movie maker with provided files)
  • Basic Photo Editing (Photoshop, Gimp2)
  • Basic WordPress (posting, uploading images and videos, installing plug ins)
  • Social Media Maintenance (posting provided posts/tweets, scheduling using Hootsuite, creating posts using Canva for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram)
  • Marketplace Listing (such as Ebay, Amazon, Shopify…)
  • Classified Ad Posting (Craigslist, Backpage, and other free classified sites)
  • MLS
  • Directory Listing (for websites and businesses)
  • Forum Posting 
  • PowerPoint Presentation (from provided information)
  • Word Processing (Pdf to MSWord, typing, transcription)
  • File Organization (for google drive)
  • Other tasks – willing to be trained where required




When I was considering renting out my Elves, I looked at the models of a lot of other businesses that provide virtual assistant services and one of the things that I didn’t like was that many of them have prices ‘starting at’ and going up to who knows what.

So, I decided right at the beginning that we offer a flat fee-per-hour, and to keep it affordable for everyone, that the price is only $12.50/hr USD, even if they are doing higher-level work.

We also make budgeting time and resources easier by offering three different subscription levels.

  • 20hrs/mo (approximately 1 hour per weekday)
  • 50hrs/mo (a little more than 2 hours per weekday)
  • 80hrs/mo (approximately 4 hours per weekday)

For instance, if you want to have the Elves do book marketing for you, 1-2 hours per day would be perfect, depending upon how much you want done and how quickly you want the work completed.

Select the best option for you!

20hrs virtual assistant

  • 20 hours per month
  • $250 per month
  • All prices in US dollars


50hrs virtual assistant

  • 50 hours per month
  • $625 per month
  • All prices in US dollars


80hrs virtual assistant

  • 80 hours per month
  • $1,000 per month
  • All prices in US dollars


How do the Subscriptions work?

To begin, simply decide which subscription best meets your needs and click that option.

paypal virtual assistantWe use the secure payment facilities of PayPal.

You will receive an email from us usually immediately, however it can take up to 30 minutes, that confirms your details and gives you the direct email of your Chief Elf who will be your one point of contact for all your virtual assistant needs.

Question virtual assistantHow do I know how many hours I am using?

Your Chief Elf keeps track of your hours and advises you by email on a daily basis (M-F).

Question virtual assistantWhat if I go over my allotted hours?

We know that sometimes you are busier than others so we have a 10% allowance built into your subscription – that way, if you need to go over slightly this month, it’s not a problem.

Question virtual assistantWhat if I don’t use my allotted hours?

Unfortunately, just like a gym membership, it doesn’t work unless you use it – and for us to make this as affordable and seamless as possible, we do not have a facility for carrying over hours.

Question virtual assistantWhat if I find I need more hours?

Simply log into your PayPal account, cancel your subscription and select the one that now best meets your needs.

…or, if you are not sure how to do that, send an email to me personally and I will cancel it for you on this end.  My email address is found within your initial welcome email.

Question virtual assistantWhat day of the month am I billed?

Your subscription automatically bills you on the same day each month as the day you signed up.  For instance, if you signed up on the 9th of the month, you would be billed on the 9th of next month.

Question virtual assistantWhat if I need to cancel my subscription?

We would be disappointed to see you go, but it’s simply a matter of logging into your PayPal account and cancelling the subscription – or if you are not sure how to do that, just email me direct and I will log in and cancel it for you from our side.

Question virtual assistantDo you have a privacy policy and disclaimer notice?

Yes – we maintain strict privacy and confidentiality of all your information and the Privacy Policy can be found here.

Question virtual assistantAre the Elves available 24/7?

No, there are services that provide 24/7 access but I believe in my Elves having a fabulous lifestyle as well, so while they are very responsive, if you need immediate and/or on-call access to a virtual assistant, this is not the place for you.

Question virtual assistantHow do I communicate with my Elf?

All communication is via email and your Chief Elf is your one point of contact to make things smooth, seamless and enjoyable!


If you have additional questions, please touch base via my website www.LeighStJohn.com.  On the bottom right hand side of the screen, you will see a “Leave a Message” box where you can leave me a message and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.

 – or if my Personal Assistant, Elf Tiffany, happens to be online, you will see a box like this and you can ask her questions live via chat:


Every Luxurious Nomad needs an Elf!

Get started today by choosing the best option for you:

CLICK HERE for the 20 hour per month option

CLICK HERE for the 50 hour per month option

CLICK HERE for the 80 hour per month option

The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.

Audrey Hepburn

how-much-data will I use overseas

How do I calculate how much data I will use when I travel?

Data transfer on pc tabletInternational Roaming Charges, Prepaid Packages…  How do I know which one to get and how much it will cost me?

Don’t worry – this used to stump me, too… and I’m a geek, and it still stumped me!

Here’s a relatively simple way to calculate how much data you will need on your trip.

For the amount of time you are going to be away, jot down in a notebook how much time you currently spend doing the following:

  • Steaming music
  • Streaming videos
  • Surfing the web
  • Posting to social media
  • Downloading games, apps or songs
  • Talking on the phone
  • …and how many emails you receive and send.

Now at least you have a benchmark for what you are using NOW.

OK, let’s see how that translates into Mb (megabytes) and Gb (gigabytes).  Please note, the following are broad generalizations but will at least give you a guide so you can have some idea of how much data you might use on your trip.

Data transfer

Emails:  For emails that do not have attachments, it takes around 500 emails to make 1Mb (but bear in mind, that includes all those nasty spam emails that you never see!  You may have 3 spam emails going to your junk folder for every 1 you actually read).

Emails with attachments depend on the size of the attachment, but generally speaking it takes 2 or 3 emails with attachments to reach 1Mb.

Social Media:  2-3 social media posts equal 1Mb.

Video:  Standard video is around 250Mb/hr while HD is close to 1Gb (1024Mb).

Music:  Streaming music is 30Mb/hr.

Downloads:  Every app, song, game you download average out at around 4Mb each.

Web Surfing:  Approximately 15Mb/hr.

Talking:  This, along with video, is a real data guzzler!  Around 360Mb/hr.

Now, it’s time to do your calculations.

Take the respective numbers from your notebook, multiply them by how much data they use and then do the same for the next item.  When you are finished, tally up the number of Mb.

In some cases your carrier will quote you prices in Mb, others will quote you in Gb.

1MB = 1,024KB
1GB = 1,024MB

Some people are surprised at just how much data they use in an average month!

At least this way you know where that data is going, and you can make smart choices about where to use your (more expensive) data when you are overseas.

By Leigh St John, aka the Luxurious Nomad

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