Searching for Thailand’s hidden islands

It sometimes feels like there are few islands left in Thailand that haven’t been turned into tourist hotspots. Koh Phayam is still one of them, but development is fast bringing it into line with its more famous rivals. There are still no cars, no post and no hotel blocks. Hot water is a luxury and air conditioning is available in only one bungalow resort.

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Don’t be a wanchor

A new word for an age-old problem: people who anchor right next to you in a bay three miles wide. No excuse for it, it comes down to lack of etiquette and politeness.

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Are you a disrespectful traveller?

Respectful traveler

With visitors to Thailand being asked to show more respect while the nation mourns the passing of their King, Liz Cleere ponders on how to travel with sensitivity and understanding.

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We lost our cat overboard!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll no doubt have heard that we lost Millie overboard. In our latest vlog we cover off the story. We’ve changed things around a bit on the video front. The editing is faster and we’re trying to engage more with our viewers by answering questions and covering off topics that you might find interesting. If you have any questions about being a cruiser, or about anything else for that matter, please do send us a message and we’ll try our best to answer it in a future episode.

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The benefits of sailing into stormy waters

Sailing Phang Na Bay Thailand

There were still a few more days before our Thai visas expired, so we took a slow sail south from Phang Nga bay. Ao Chalong sits on the south-eastern corner of Phuket and is the place where sailors and boats go to check in and out of Thailand.

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How to visit James Bond Island – and avoid the crowds

James Bond island thailand followtheboat

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.

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Sailing Log #31 | Liz leaves Jamie!

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.

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Boat Refit: One year in two minutes

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.

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The Sailing Rode – followtheboat interview

The Sailing Rode - followtheboat

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.

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Slow Motion Sailing – GoPro 120fps

This is a little experiment with the GoPro Hero 4+ Black’s 120fps feature. In this clip, which appeared in a recent episode of followtheboat’s sailing log, we hang the camera off the side of the boat and get a fish-eye (literally) of Esper ploughing through the water in Thailand.

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Wanderlust – finding secret sunsets

wanderlust nai yang followtheboat sunset

‘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.

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Diesel or hybrid engine on a boat – repowering considerations

Esper followtheboat installs a Beta 60 diesel engine in their boat

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.

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