Colourful refreshing cocktail drinks on the beach in Maldives at a resort island
[fullwidth] [one_half last=”no”][imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””]Liz and Jamie of s/y Esper[/imageframe][/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”]

Followtheboat is one of the oldest and largest personal travel blogs, following the adventures of travel writer Liz Cleere and photographer Jamie Furlong.

But followtheboat is not just about our sailing exploits. In fact we often describe ourselves as “travellers first, sailors second”.

This is why many of our readers and youtube viewers are not sailors.

Followtheboat is a travelogue about two people and their cat sailing around the world in a non-specific zig-zag, documenting the people we meet and the places we visit through video updates, photography and travel writing.
[/one_half]

‘Esper’ is an Oyster 435, built in 1989. Unusually she is a coach-roofed ketch cutter and is only one of two built to this specification.

floorplan1esper

[separator top=”40″ style=”none”] [fullwidth backgroundcolor=”#fff” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”top left” backgroundattachment=”fixed” bordersize=”1px” bordercolor=”#f6f6f6″ paddingTop=”70px” paddingBottom=”40px”] [one_half last=”no”] [title size=”2″]Esper’s Technical Specification[/title] Esper was built in 1989 in Suffolk, UK. Her technical specification is as follows:
[separator top=”30″ style=”none”] [checklist icon=”star” iconcolor=”dark” circle=”no”]
  • Esper
  • Oyster 435
  • Designed by Holman and Pye
  • Built in 1989,  Ipswich, Suffolk, UK
  • Builder     Ego Dridge/Oyster Marine
  • Construction Material     GRP
  • Flag     UK
  • Registered Port     London
  • Hull Number 46
  • Length Over All     13.22m
  • Beam     4.18m
  • Draft     2.2m
  • Displacement     13,608kg
  • Ballast     Encapsulated cast iron keel
[/checklist] [/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”] Esper
[/one_half] [separator top=”40″ style=”single border solid”]

About Our Adventure

We bought s/y Esper (then named Dersu Uzala) in Turkey in 2005, where we spent the first three years around the Aegean, flitting between Greece and Turkey.

[imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””][/imageframe]

Alanya, on the south central Turkish coastline, surrounded by the Taurus Mountains

[imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””][/imageframe]

Esper takes a mooring buoy in Greece

In 2010 we set off across the eastern Med and through the Suez Canal into the Red sea.

[imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””]Esper running down-wind in the northern Red Sea, Sinai. Photograph: O'Kayam[/imageframe]

Esper running down-wind in the northern Red Sea, Sinai. Photograph: O’Kayam

Cruising down the east African coast through places like Eritrea and Sudan, Jamie started taking his photography more seriously, and Liz spent more time honing her travel writing skills. During this time followtheboat published a series of audio podcasts of their adventures. You can find them all here or search for them on iTunes.

[imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””]Children of Massawa, Eritrea[/imageframe]

Children of Massawa, Eritrea

[one_half last=”no”][imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””]Somali refugee, Massawa[/imageframe] [/one_half] [one_half last=”yes”][imageframe lightbox=”” style_type=”” bordercolor=”#e2e2e2″ bordersize=”15px” stylecolor=”” align=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”” class=”” id=””]Somali refugee, Massawa[/imageframe] [/one_half]

Somali refugees in Eritrea

The next part of our journey took us through some of the most beautiful and treacherous sailing locations on the planet. At the height of piracy in this region we made the arduous journey through the Gulf of Aden, taking in Yemen and Oman before crossing the Arabian Sea to India.
 

Click here to continue reading…

[/fullwidth]