With stealth-like cunning and Lulu’s voice still ringing in our ears above the sound of our outboard motor, we were up before the sun. As we sped towards Khao Phing Kan, we just lacked black wetsuits and Walther PPKs to make the Bond-esque picture complete. Ten minutes later, we had our reward for missing out on breakfast and coffee: we dragged our dinghy up an empty beach.
Just as we left Langkawi Liz had a call from her brother to say their mum, who was diagnosed with Parkinsons ten years ago, wasn’t doing very well. So Liz helped Jamie take SY Esper a couple of hundred miles north to Ao Chalong before jumping on a plane back to the UK. This could be our last sail together for a long time, so we needed to make it count.
We undertook a complete refit of SY Esper in 2014. We were told it would take three months, BUT we knew it would probably be six months. Pretty soon nine months seemed optimistic, then as we kept adding new jobs we reached a year! In February 2015 we left PSS Shipyard with what was almost a brand new boat. Here’s the whole refit squished down to a couple of minutes.
It took nine months to line up an interview with Steve and Brandy of The Sailing Rode but we got there in the end, and it was great fun chatting on Skype.
The Sailing Rode is a great series of podcasts put together by two cruisers, Steve and Brandy, aboard their boat S/V Wiki Honu. They document their sailing adventures but also broadcast interviews with other yachties, and this week it was our turn.
Wanderlust article: After a few months stuck on land, sailor Liz Cleere hits the water again and heads for the legendary hongs of Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay.
SY Esper sailed herself, and felt steady as a rock. An over-nighter in the shadow of mighty Ko Phetra had us gently rolling, but at anchor next to Ko Tarutao the next afternoon even Millie-the-cat turned green from the relentless swell.
‘Phuket’ conjures different images to different folks. To some it’s a luxurious holiday destination of palm-tree-white-sand clichés. Those with a different perspective might think of ping-pong girls, seedy ex-pats and Patong’s Bangla Road. To yachties it’s a useful destination, a great base from which to start a season sailing around the islands, or to begin the long voyage westwards across the Indian Ocean.
You know when everything is going along really well? And you sit back and enjoy yourself? And the wind is good, and the sky is clear? We discover just how long that feeling lasts in this next episode of our sailing log.
Welcome to the written version of our FTB Extra repowering video, in which we discuss in more detail Esper’s engine issues. After posting our initial issues up on social media we received an overwhelming level of support from around the world, from advice and ideas to links to spare parts and even a couple of engines. We really appreciate it, thank you to everyone who contributed.
We’ve taken on board all your suggestions and carefully considered each option. In this essay we break them down for you and look at repairing the engine, getting a recon engine, consider an electric/hybrid engine alternative and look at new diesel engines.
Wanderlust article: A call for help crackling over the Esper’s VHF radio reminds Liz Cleere how dependent round-the-world sailors are on the help of others
In this clip we show you our Patreon 300 t-shirt, which was designed specifically for all our Patreon supporters when we hit $300. We have another, exclusively designed t-shirt when we hit $800. At $500 YOU get to decide on the prize, and when we hit $1000 you’re in with a chance of sailing with us aboard Esper!
After a regular columnist for Wanderlust’s huge travel website dropped out, Liz was approached to step in for a one-off. With Peter, the editor, loving her feature so much, and Liz rediscovered her passion for writing once more, she is now a regular columnist, writing about our alternative lifestyle afloat.
We’re using so much music on our videos these days that we’ve decided to hold them all in one place. We have a new Soundcloud account, and each episode we’re adding our tracks for you to listen to at your leisure. You can listen to them as a playlist in the order in which they’re uploaded, or just pick and choose which track you want to hear.
We’ve embedded an audio player into our website. Just go to www.followtheboat.com/playlist and you’ll find all the tracks in one easy-to-navigate playlist. Scroll down over the playlist to see all the tracks.
We use DL-Sounds a lot for our audio tracks. They’re a great source of royalty free music and their downtempo/lounge selection is not only extensive but also really good quality. This type of music lends itself perfectly to many of our sailing scenes and ‘Get those vibes’ works perfectly in this week’s video clip.
Older readers of followhtheboat will know that Jamie’s sailing adventures started aboard s/y Ramprasad, skippered by owner Sam Coles. We are sad to report that Ramprasad ran aground and eventually sank off the coast of Madagascar this week.