Does living on a boat get old? What’s it like as a western woman travelling in Muslim countries? These are just two of the questions put to us by you that we are answering in a new series of Q&A sessions. Each week, Liz and Jamie will take it in turns to answer two questions related to living on a boat, from technical to sailing tips to travel and culture. If YOU have a question you’d like us to answer, get in touch or leave a comment. We’ve included the two videos in this post.
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.
How/when/why did we end up living this alternative, slightly crazy life? It will be 10 years in December. Blimey!
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.
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.
Apart from the deep joy of discovering that our engine has seized, it feels like some kind of nautical episode of ‘Back to the Future’ here on SY Esper
Our regular Sailing Log Diary on YouTube–which out of necessity runs a few months behind real time–shows Jamie sailing alone in Thailand with Liz back in the UK looking after her ailing mum. And yet, right now, Liz has just returned from her >second visit home to tend to Dottie while Jamie has been solo-sailing in Thailand.
In the words of Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads , “…it’s all just a little bit of history repeating…”
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.
When the first murmurings of this year’s SW monsoon came rumbling in, we cancelled our plans to meet friends in town and stayed aboard. Squadrons of clouds hurled lightning across the sky at each other for two days, while we sheltered in the cockpit and collected rainwater in buckets.
If you would like to know which is Liz’s favourite anchorage, what superpower she has always wanted to have and where she would like to be right now, you’ll need to catch the video…
Of course this isn’t Esper’s first sail per se, but this is the first time we’ve shaken out the sails since the refit. There’s performing planes, fishing nets… and a before-and-after montage of Esper’s interior.
The island of Penang lies south of Langkawi on the north-west coast of mainland Malaysia. Before Kuala Lumpur developed into the international capital it is today, Penang was the economic and cultural hub of Malaysia. But it wasn’t always so.
“I Nazar seven two. Maybe you want diesel? Maybe wash boat?” With a sideways, rolling nod, he proffered a flimsy business card. Maybe, I thought, taking it from him. His anxious expression relaxed, and a brief smile smoothed his shiny face.
As you can imagine, when we dropped the hook in Bass Harbour, Langkawi, 25 miles away from PSS Shipyard, we did absolutely nothing for a whole week. It was bliss.
Finally, after one year and one month in the yard, Esper launches!
Would you believe it? More to the point, would we have believed it? One year in the boatyard calls for a party. Plus there’s some much-requested boat updates in the video clip, which also covers a rather strange phenomenon in the yard.
2015 and we’re close to hitting a year in the yard. For those of you asking why we don’t just leave and finish the jobs at anchor, Liz has her answer in this week’s video clip.
As Christmas approaches we are inundated with rain, rain and more rain. It’s just like being back in the UK! We still had fun, attending a Burmese wedding and rehousing some little animals.
Yes, you read that title right. Esper has finally been revealed to the outside world and we witness the first ray of sunshine on that beautiful shiny hull, and we even got the masts up, though not without a headache or two.