Keith of Poco Andante lights a lantern on New Year's Eve

A New Year, A New Host, A New Boat?

Our website, like our lives, is in a state of flux. Whilst we prepare to haul Esper in Thailand and undergo a major refit, so is getting some special treatment too. We were offline for a couple of weeks whilst we saw out Christmas at Rebak Resort and New Year at anchor. We even had Esper’s lights lit whilst partying ashore, which made it very easy to find her at two in the morning, half-cut! We’ve included some recent photographs and a hint at what’s happening next in our lives. Expect some interesting updates during 2014…

We had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, with parties in both Rebak Marina and on the beaches of Langkawi to match any of our previous celebrations whilst afloat. A particular highlight was lighting lanterns by the shore on Pantai Chenang and then returning to Esper, lit up at anchor with her Christmas lights, and partying ’til six in the morning.

Esper lit up at anchor on Pantai Chenang
Esper lit up at anchor on Pantai Chenang
Keith of Poco Andante lights a lantern on New Year's Eve
Keith of Poco Andante lights a lantern on New Year’s Eve

During this period we received both copies of Sailing Today, featuring our adventures from India to Malaysia in two seven-page spreads. As you may have seen we got a cover shot too; you can download the magazines from the Sailing Today website. They’re well worth a read.

Moving On

Shortly after the celebrations our ‘transient’ friends moved on. Antony and Davina of ‘Divanty’ are now on their way back to the Maldives; Brian and Debs of ‘Chinook’ and David and Gloria of ‘Verve’ are all ‘undertaking boat maintenance in Paradise’ in Thailand; Pat and Tony of ‘Full Flight’ flew back to Bali to continue their adventures in Indonesia; and Terry of ‘Roam II’ awaits the return of Fiona, who has been back in the UK now for over six months. Boo 🙁

Antony, Tony, Pat, Liz, Terry, Brian, Debs and Div aboard Esper for Christmas drinks
Antony, Tony, Pat, Liz, Terry, Brian, Debs and Div aboard Esper for Christmas drinks

Funny to think we’ve said ‘goodbye’ to our friends many times in different locations, and yet we always seem to meet up again elsewhere. Take our friends John and Cheryl of ‘Sea Mist’, who we last saw in Turkey: they went one way round the world and we the other. Five years later we’re having Christmas dinner with them at the Taj on Rebak Island. We’ve learned à bientôt is more appropriate than a final goodbye.

A New Host

FTB, meanwhile, went offline as we searched for a new host. It was pretty bad timing since it coincided with our magazine articles, so to anyone who tried to hit the website during this time, our sincerest apologies. We’ve only just gone live once more so there may be further teething problems. If you encounter any issues please email us at and let us know. Sometimes we’re not aware of problems and rely on our friends to let us know what’s what.

Jamie In The Guardian

In case you missed it, Jamie was published in The Guardian’s new Saturday supplement. One of his photos taken in the Maldives was featured in an article on street photography. You can see the article here.

Entertaining Family

The last two weeks were spent entertaining Ma and Pa Furlong, who were staying at the Berjaya Resort in the north west of Langkawi Island. We anchored just off the resort and packed in two weeks of action with them. They barely got a moment’s rest (dusky leaf monkeys, hornbills, waterfalls, bats, a trip to Georgetown, white cobras, boat rides, flying lemurs, and plenty of cocktails) but we’ll post more on that in due course. Saying à bientôt to family gets harder every time.

Ma and Pa Furlong with Liz at Telaga Marina, Langkawi
Mike, Liz, Jamie and Les at Telaga Marina, Langkawi

Thailand – Our New Home

Now our attention turns to the monumental task of hauling Esper in Satun and stripping her bare. She’s getting a complete refit, though how much we get done in the remainder of the dry season remains to be seen. As you saw in one of our previous articles, this small town on the Thai/Malay border could be our home for a while.

In the meantime, a belated happy new year to everyone. We look forward to keeping you posted of our adventures in Malaysia and Thailand, and reading your comments too. Stay in touch.

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6 thoughts on “A New Year, A New Host, A New Boat?”

  1. Coo, your website gets more techy by the minute. All this stuff brings back memories when Valerie and I were in the area for 6.5 years. 25 years ago now, it was pretty raw and very delightful. The food wonderful.
    Hope you are enjoying it as much!
    As ever,
    Roger and Valerie from Finike at the moment!

    1. Although much will have changed, I’m sure there’s quite a bit that hasn’t, Roger. The fishing boats, the estuary, even the boatyard won’t have changed that much. Places like Phuket, Penang and Langkawi, on the other hand, will be unrecognisable. I think they call it ‘progress’.

  2. Hi Jamie and Liz,
    I love reading your updates. It all sounds great. Ma and Pa Furlong have done quite well out of your travels for their holidays! Good luck with the refit. I hope your surroundings are a bit more pleasant than they were the last time you hauled Esper out.

    1. Hey Gee, nice to hear from you and glad you’re enjoying the updates. They’ll get a bit more technical this year, what with the refit. Hope the Paisley clan are keeping well.

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