What do you do when the painters are spraying the top coat in the cockpit? Get off the boat, of course! For the duration of our time hauled out, we are staying on SY Esper. Uncomfortable at the best of times, it can become downright impossible sometimes.
We’re putting a hard dodger on Esper because we need to stay dry and warm during our easterly trip across the Pacific to Alaska and Canada. It will spoil her lines, but comfort wins out over beauty every time on a sailboat!
Krabi Boat Lagoon in Thailand, all shot from a bicycle! It’s a lovely spot to work on the boat… Shot at 60fps in the EM5’s ‘flat’ picture profile with minor adjustments, continual AF, auto white balance using the Zhiyun Crane (Mk2).
Every April, Thailand celebrates its new year by descending into a watery chaos with a water carnival known as สงกรานต์ (Songkran). From the smallest child to the oldest inhabitant, irrespective of religious or cultural background, everyone takes to the street.
We crossed everything as John began checking for osmosis, and tapped his way round the hull. The engine had all its boxes ticked and our safety equipment was given the thumbs up. So far, so good. But when he reached the shaft, the surveyor found something we weren’t expecting…
We took leisurely day-hops along the coast, and anchored when the sea-state allowed us. All went pretty smoothly until we dropped the hook just before Pangkor in the open water. A local fishing boat released his floats and disappeared back to land, leaving the long line and net to drift straight onto SY Esper!
At times we were barely making 1kt. With no bolt holes along the coast of Malaysia, and a hostile shore along Sumatra, it wasn’t safe to drop the anchor to wait out the weather. Although that area is pretty shallow, the swell was too dangerous and the waves might have pulled the windlass off and certainly would have broken the snubbers.
Monsoons, typhoons, pirates, currents and fog are all going to conspire to make this a difficult passage, so it’s up to us to work out the best way to get from Malaysia to the PNW via Japan!
The really exciting thing has been to watch our sailing channel grow, and to read the increasingly informed and entertaining comments. We have a fantastic community of subscribers and followers on Youtube and social media, and the most generous group of individuals who support us on PATREON and through the RUM FUND.
The dodger will be made from stainless steel plate overlaid with honeycomb and fiberglass. We will use hard strataglass in the front and as a frame around the softer vinyl side windows. Both sides will roll right up, and the front will have a central zipped window flap.
While we lingered in the tranquil peace of Tioman the storms clouds gathered. And continued to grow as we made our way to the safe haven of Johor. In this episode we show you what it’s like sailing through squalls and anchoring in lightning storms. Hey ho, that’s the end of the beautiful weather then for a while!
Eagles circled over anchorages while beneath us the clearest water imaginable revealed tropical, cartoon colours. We were overwhelmed by the hospitality the local people offered us each time we set foot in a community.
Thinking of buying a boat, or becoming a liveaboard cruiser? Here we take you through the 5 reasons why you SHOULD buy a boat. There are lots of videos telling us how wonderful and liberating the liveaboard cruising life is. AND IT IS! But we also know that it has its downsides…
We learned how best to tackle reef and bommie-strewn shallow waters in the Red Sea, then again in the Maldives and more recently in SE Asia. Charts just won’t hack it in this kind of scenario, you need all your wits about you and senses on full alert to avoid a disaster…
Wow, can’t believe that last December our friends and supporters began to suggest Pacific Northwest via Japan as a destination, and now we’re going there. We looked into it, did some research and a bit more research, and realised it could be quite an adventure… So it’s goodbye to shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, and hello to foul weather gear, jumpers and boots!
Reefs, rocks, shelves, shallows! Anambas doesn’t make it easy…and we wonder if we can get through this crazy area!
Apart from new hats, we’ve got classic followtheboat t-shirts, smug mugs and gorgeous prints! And the best thing of all? If you are a subscriber to our mailing list, we will send a secret DISCOUNT CODE to you on Sunday 25th February. The discount will last till end March, so you will have plenty of time to decide what tickles your fancy.
We share our adventures every week on YouTube: the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Sometimes we sail to idyllic tropical islands no-one has ever heard of like the Anambas. Sometimes we get stuck in a marina waiting for a new engine. Once we stayed in a boatyard in Thailand for over a year rebuilding our sailboat.
Jamie gets almost to the top of the Temburan waterfall and shoots some drone’s-eye view of the whole thing, while Liz slips around in the shadows beneath. Then he goes looking for bats and gets quite a shock in a little islet just off Siantan, the main island of the Anambas. And Millie falls in love…with Jamie’s shorts.
Sometimes boat life is not what it’s cracked up to be. We have met many sailors who liked the idea of the dream, but were brought down to earth by the reality of living aboard 24/7. Even if it’s only a weekend boat, or for spending a few months a year on, boats will gnaw away at your patience.