Ship’s Blog


The final leg

Sunday, August 31st, 2008
Almost exactly 2 wonderful years after setting off from Hong Kong with friends waving us off, on March 26th 2008 we entered One Degree 15 Marina on Sentosa Island, Singapore, to start the next era of our lives. Our dream trip covered 12,000 plus miles, 7 countries, hundreds of anchorages, 15 marinas and thankfully no pirates. The final month or so packed in three sets of visitors, a considerable amount of repairs to the boat and the last 500 miles down to Singapore via Langkawi and Penang.

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Andamans, Surins and Similans

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
There is a danger when revisiting a place where one has fond memories. Time has a habit of enhancing the good and fading the bad. Last year the 7 week 1000 mile round trip to the India’s Andaman Islands in the company of the Bentley family on s/v Shayile was by far the highlight of our cruising. The 2008 rerun, this time in the company Neil and Ley Langford off s/v Crystal Blues, was approached with great excitement but also certain amount trepidation – would it live up to our memories? We need not have worried – the islands yet again provided fantastic fishing (over 75kgs of fish caught), flavoursome food, friendly people, and fantastic anchorages making a memorable 5 weeks and enhancing our opinion of the Andamans as the best cruising destination in Asia.    
     
   
       

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Raja Muda and Phuket

Thursday, February 28th, 2008
The last 2 months have been both packed and varied. Many hours of fixing (and refixing) electronics in Singapore after our lightening strike in Indonesia followed by a week of racing in Malaysia in a regatta that had more parties than races – our kind of thing! Some great cruising, including fishing, snorkeling and stunning anchorages, and meeting up with many friends, both of the yachtie and non-yachtie variety, have all made a special couple of months.    
       

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Indonesia – Riau Islands

Sunday, November 11th, 2007
From the outset we knew Indonesia was going to be interesting, we just did not realize how interesting! Just getting into the country is a challenge in itself as the government flip flops over the rules (and rates) and local officials offer a highly flexible and varying interpretation. Add to this traversing the busiest sea lane in the world, our virgin equator crossing, a direct lightning strike which fried the electronics and tried to fry Jon, almost running out of provisions and a delightful stopover on a private island to watch the rugby world cup final. What more could you ask for in 6 weeks!

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Phuket, Singapore and Tioman

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007
After nearly 15 months at sea we are taking a two month break with a trip to the UK and Canada to catch up with friends and family and to avoid what is not the best cruising weather in Asia. The boat is bedded down in Sebana Cove just across from Singapore in southern Malaysia following a pleasant two weeks cruising around the Tioman Group of Islands (east coast Malaysia). The coming break has caused us to reflect on the trip so far. Many of our friends have asked us some interesting questions – what do you do all day? do you get bored? has the trip been as we expected? what have been the highlights? what have been the challenges? how long do you spend at sea? and how have the kids adapted to their new life?    
     
   
     
       

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Andamans, Similans and Surins

Saturday, April 28th, 2007
Curry puffs and samosas with gin and tonic sundowners; catch of the day – fresh yellow fin tuna sushi, seared wahoo steaks or squid tempura; dolphins, the elusive dugong, manta rays over 3 meters in diameter, sail fish over 2 meters long and even a whale; towns steeped in history from the British in the 1850s, through India’s fight for independence to the Japanese occupation; tribes lost in time; and stunning tropical islands with serene sandy beaches, tropical forests right down to the waters edge and crystal clear aquamarine waters – welcome to the Andamans.    
   
     
       

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Around Phuket

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
It is February 07 and Chinese New Year is upon us – what happened to Christmas, New Year and January! Currently we are at anchor at the lovely Nai Harn beach, in the south of Phuket, relaxing, catching up with other cruising families and making preparations for our next leg to the Indian Andaman Islands, after two wonderful but hectic months of visitors.    
     
       

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Langkawi to Phuket

Monday, December 18th, 2006
We have now spent the last six weeks in Asia’s perfect cruising ground – although everyone else also knows it so there are more boats than we have seen before. This has meant that we have had to share our beautiful anchorages, but we have also made many wonderful new friends. This coastline is full of limestone craggy islands, perfect beaches, tunnels and lagoons (hongs) to explore, great Thai food, and good snorkeling. We are finally in the right place in the right season so the weather has been kind too.    
     
   
       

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Singapore and Melaka Straits

Friday, November 24th, 2006
One frequent question we get asked is how much time we actually spend on the boat – up until last month this was simple. In the six months to October we spent every day on the Tui Tai bar 11. October saw a major change as we hit Singapore and the Malacca Straits – in the whole month only 11 days were spend on the boat! Trips to Phuket, Malacca and a flying visit to Hong Kong plus some fantastic hospitality in Singapore allowed us to park Tui Tai as we had a whirlwind month of social engagements and catching up with friends.    
     
   
       

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Malaysian Borneo

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
  So after 4 happy months island hopping in near total isolation it’s goodbye Philippines, hello Malaysia. Kudat at the northern tip of Borneo being our first port following a long motor of some 200 miles against wind and current from Puerto Princessa via Balabac. Our rather battered Philippine courtesy flag is now replaced by a new glistening Malay one on stage two of our journey. Kudat proved a fine bolt hole from which to hide out of some foul weather sucked up by one of the typhoons passing north.
     

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