Crash repairs, gales, fuel leaks… and some fishing

Jamie didn’t like the darkening skies, so he took a look at the forecast to discover some big weather coming in from the west. Fishing vessels, large and small, arrived from deeper water, dropping noisy anchor chain and crowding into the anchorage behind Ko Tarutao’s high hills. He told the others to prepare themselves for some potential big winds.

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Big Fish Little Fish–fishing in Thailand

We arrived back at beautiful Ko Rok, the same point where we had broken the passage on our way north from Langkawi. It was as serene and scenic as we remembered and this time we were able to quickly find our old mooring buoy and get settled for the night. Within minutes Liz had the fishing line over the side…

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Water, Water Everywhere

Next time you turn the tap on for a glass of water, to have a bath or make a coffee, enjoy the ease of that simple act. In our latest episode we explain why it can take us over two hours to do the same.
Checking in is easy in Ao Chalong, with harbour master, customs and immigration in three rooms next to each other. The whole process took 15 minutes, considerably faster than finding water.

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Sailing from the Butangs to Ko Rok

The archipelago of Ko Rok Nai and Ko Rok Yai is the mother of all those deserted-white-sand-palm-fringed beaches you see in travel brochures and on postcards. The place is a cliché, except that it isn’t. It’s real and golden and joyous and quiet and infused with peace.

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Jaigarh – A Remote Fishing Village

We’ve been sitting pretty in Cochin for a couple of months now, but we’ve still got some catching up to do on the blog. Yep, some more snaps, this time of a beautiful, remote fishing village 110 miles south of Mumbai. The village was called Jaigarh and it was spectacular.

It was spectacular in part because of its location. Tucked up inside the mouth of a wide river that meets the sea the entrance into the natural harbour had the depth gauge nervously displaying less than 2m under the keel. The village, hidden behind an old fort wall and a big hill with a solitary temple on it, sits at the foot of an extremely lush palm forest. Aside from the parks of Mumbai this was the first time we had seen vegetation on this scale since the journey to Asmara in Eritrea, some 2,000 miles away. This was a real novelty after the deserts of Arabia, so come check out the pictures of this wonderful village…

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Am I Back In Holland?

This huge, shallow marsa looked a bit like the Dutch waterways. Another bird sanctuary-cum-BBQ spot. I could attempt to impress you with a description of this fantastic sailing destination but you’ll just get jealous, so instead I’ll impress you with a picture of a blue-tipped reef shark we caught. Tasted bloody lovely when shallow fried in batter!

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Crossing Shipping Lanes in a Force 7

This is the second of two 20 minute podcasts recorded as we transited out from the canal and into the Gulf of Suez. If you’ve ever wondered what a Beaufort Force Seven (gusting eight) is like, we can now tell you. We have the underpants to prove it. That cargo ship approaching the side of our boat didn’t help but we made it across from the Sinai back to the west coast of the Red Sea and eventually into Hurghada.

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Negotiating Reefs & Oil Fields

followtheboat s/y Esper red sea

This is the first of two 20 minute podcasts recorded as we transited out from the canal and into the Gulf of Suez. We finally leave the evil clutches of the Suez Authority and into open waters where we anchor for the first time in Egypt, have the best sail of our lives…ever… and catch a little fishy.

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BEST SAIL YET!

Well, bloody well! Our best sail yet. In the world. Ever.

A cursory glance at the log book gives it away:

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Turkey To Egypt: Part 2

Turkey to Egypt followtheboat sailing adventure podcast

This is the second 20 minute instalment of our 400nm crossing from Turkey to Egypt. In this episode Liz catches our first official trolled fish, Jamie proves he can’t navigate by the stars, we ride 3m waves and eventually land in Port Said.

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Drains, Damn Traveller and Dorado!

With these two rather important features broken we were getting a bit tetchy. Our bodies hadn’t adjusted to the night watches and we were still motoring. As the second day aboard came to a close, the entire sky bathed in a dreamy pink as the sun dipped its head, I decided to go for a nap. This was shortly broken by Liz banging on the hatch, shouting something urgent.

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I Feel So Reel!

I was very disappointed to read some of the comments you lot made about my dad’s efforts to line-fish off the back of the boat. You have to remember that whilst they look small to you, they are in fact a complete meal for a cat like me, so when he starts getting so good he pulls in not one, not two but three fish, one after the other, you have to admire his success. My dad’s great, I love him!

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Catch #3: Carangidae/Pompano

Started fishing at 5 this morning, about the time the cicadas started. The anchorage is a stunning setting, especially at that time in the morning. I put some coffee on and chucked some crumbs out the back. Not much action for a bit until I attracted the attention of just three fish. In all the time at this anchorage (two nights) these are the only fish I’ve seen.

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First Official Fish Caught Off Esper

Yes, after four years, three near misses, two lines and one very impatient cat we have finally bagged our first catch off the back of Esper! Under the guidance of our fishing guru, Matt, both Liz and myself caught a fish each within the space of 24 hours. Of course we frequently pull up a cage full of tiddlers and live-bait with our lobster pot but, according to our guru, “that’s not fishing, that’s just being lazy”. Click on the link to read about this very exciting moment…

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From South Africa To Turkey

It’s perhaps not surprising that my best holiday so far was the result of a series of coincidences and good fortune. Even now, parts of it feel like a dream. How likely is it that your boss in South Africa tells you that you’re being sent to a conference in Istanbul and that – taking a chance because you know your friends are sort of crazy – when you email friends in London to say you’re going to be in Turkey for a few days, do they want to join you, they come back immediately to say that they’d love to.

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Speak Soon, Spooners!

I learnt a lot about sailing, it was like a crash course as I had never really done any hands on sailing previously, all my boating experience has been under motor and I can definitely see the appeal when the engine is cut and you are purely under way using the power of the elements, it is quite cathartic.

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