Thursday, 27 June 2013

One year cruising anniversary

OK, so this post is a few days late, it was 21 June that was our one year anniversary since we left Gisborne. We actually left Christchurch over three weeks earlier, and one could easily argue that's when our cruising life began, but we feel it really started when we began our passage to Tonga. I did a similar post for our six month anniversary. We are still loving the life style and are keen to keep it going for a while longer, although we still have no specific plans. Only thing we don't love it the heat, it's still pertty darn hot out here.

We have now visited five more countries in addition to the first four we visited the first six month, in total the list is: Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore (which only counts half as we flew there, however, we will sail there a little later on).

It's very hard to pick a favourite, as each country is different and that's also the beauty of it. If we're hard pressed, we actually both agree Vanuatu was our favourite. It's a beautiful country with lovely people (like everywhere, but Melanesia (Vanuatu, Sol and PNG) is particular known for its friendly (and poor) people. The reason we like Vanuatu better than Solomon Islands and PNG is simply because there are no security issues (thefts and worse) and no crocodiles (except at the very north, close to Solomons). If the other two countries didn't have those two issues, they would be just as lovely destinations.

One thing we really miss here in Asia is the snorkelling. In the Pacific we could jump in almost anywhere (except where there are crocs...) and see beautiful coral and fish life. Sadly here it's so over-fished that there is very little left. The only good places in Philippines were also some sort of sanctuaries.

On the other hand, we really like the the food here in Asia (me the local food, Phil the fast food options!) as well as the much better stocked supermarkets and more things to do on land. I actually used to dream I was in huge supermarkets sometimes back in the Pacific, or OK, admittedly, it was often in the candy sections of supermarkets, haha.

More numbers:
- the first half year we had about 48 over-night passages, that number has been drastically reduced, three more to Palau (the six month anniversary was mid-passage), four to Philippines and only one (that we even could have avoided) to Malaysia, in total 8 over-night passages. We like day hopping :-)
- somewhere around 8000 miles, we think, but we haven't added it up, and our speedo has been broken for a while, which is the easy way to count miles.
- only one fish in this last half year, a mahi mahi in Philippines!!! Surely that's also related to our sad snorkelling experiences as above.

Stuff broken:
- in general electrical stuff, like small gadgets and chargers! Probably almost half our computer chargers are broken, there are problems with both 240V and 12V chargers. Another example is the little fridge thermometer, so mostly small (and luckily cheap) things like that. It's a tough life on a boat on the salty sea.
- the big broken electrical thing is our Nexus wireless wind wane. It stopped working in Solomon Islands already.  We also have Nexus dept sounder and speed log, and the speed log stopped working a couple of months ago. We bought all the stuff from Pyacht in US only just before leaving NZ and are certainly NOT impressed by their (non-existing) customer service. Thankfully KiwiYachting in NZ has been super great and have twice now sent us replacement stuff (via Phil's parents in Singapore, and yet another nice expat here who flew to NZ last week). We think the speed log is now working, but not the wind anemometer, although Phil needs to play around with it a bit more to be sure.
- the down button on the wind lass (anchor winch) was playing up (like like letting the chain bolt out without being able to stop it), but Sheralee bought us a new one along to Philippines.
- yet another friction hinge on our forward Lewmar hatch broke, the other 'old' one, although the hatch is only 3-4 years old and apparently those hinges never normally breaks. Phil's parents also brought us a new one, so it's all good now, fingers crossed.
- we also only bought our tiny Aakron dinghy just before we left, so just over a year ago, but it has already needed repairs, it's leaking air and most of the handles etc have fallen off. Sure it's all fixable with glue, but it's still annoying and we think it's too soon.
A wooden spoon has had a job for a long time holding our hatch open!
The tiny poor quality dinghy (everyone calls it cute because it's so little!)
not exactly a breakage, only to be expected, the flag fading. Sheralee brought us a new one to Philippines
Unrelated except to the present, check out more pics on facebook of the hash run all us Scandinavian boat girls did
We are STILL in Brunei (five weeks later, though one was spent in Singapore), but we are leaving tomorrow, finally... Although obviously we really like it here, great yacht club with fantastic facilities and super friendly people. We are going to Miri where the Borneo Race begin, which we're gong to participate in.


  1. Fin bild post-hash på er fyra!! :) Like!
    Keep in touch!

    1. thanks Boel, and thanks again for taking us along, and also the link to the hash album :-) I'll be back in Brunei 22nd August, maybe see ya then again

  2. WOw, where did the year go? What a fantastic journey have been on so far, and I am sure that there are many more adventures to come. Too bad about the Nexus, I know it was quite a purchase, and I sure hope Phil will be able to fix it somehow. Thanks for the update Astrid, we love checking in on you guys.

    1. yeah, I know, long time bumming around :-) I do hope the Nexus wane will be fixed, we probably need parts or the whole thing replaced!