Murder in Pangkor!

A murder of crows that is. There are crows EVERYWHERE here in Pangkor Marina. No seagulls, just crows. (Maybe they ate all the seagulls??) Anyway, they love to hang out in your rigging and poop on the decks. And they’re creepy. We are docked in Pangkor Marina for nearly a month, so I’ve had to…

Safe as houses in the Malacca Strait

“A century ago, and for more than half a century before that, piracy was rife in the Malayan seas. … The Archipelago was split up into countless petty kingdoms and each rajah was the commander-in-chief of a pirate fleet. … A thousand rivers gave them hiding-places whence the swift warboats could dash out … and…

Strait sailing with the big boys!

“A typical Malaccamax* tanker has a maximum length of 333 m, beam of 60 m, draught of 20.5 m, and a tonnage of 300,000 DWT.”  That’s roughly 30 times bigger than us, and 37,000 times heavier than us!! But in order to transit from Indonesia to Malaysia, we needed to cross the Singapore Strait and…

Gee, 90 days go quick!

It feels like just yesterday that we were arriving into the little Indonesian port town of Debut after five days sailing across the Arafura Sea. But 90 days, 2200 NM and 30+ islands later, we are anchored in Tanjungpinang, and with the rally wrapped up and our port clearances done, we are preparing to sail…

King Neptune has the last laugh

I woke up as a slimy POLLYWOG … but went to bed a trusty SHELLBACK because we crossed the equator! And crossing the equator is a coming of age for seafarers. Reaching the equator deems that you are capable of enduring long and difficult sea-voyages (apparently), and thus marks the transition from jube to experienced…

Ring of Fire

SUMBAWA – LOMBOK – GILI ISLANDS – BALI It’s pretty cool to be able to park your boat next to a volcano… “Precariously located above the grinding and mashing of tectonic plates, and ringed by a chain of fire-breathing volcanoes,”* Indonesia is located along part of the “ring of fire”, one of the most volatile…

Detours…

“Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the the woods. Every time you do, you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.” Alexander Graham Bell Detour one: hanging out with fishermen in Karang Kaledupa coral atoll. An atoll is “a ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a lagoon … which…

Dear (passage) diary

Here’s a short journal of our recent 210NM, 32 hour passage from Namrole, Buru to Wanci, Wakatobi. The alarm goes off at 0145. The calculations we have made of wind, tide and distance have dictated an early start to ensure we arrive at Wanci when there is enough tide to cross the little pass in…

Sailing to the Spice Islands

The fleet sailed out of Debut, destined for the second rally stop, the famous Spice Islands of Banda! The Banda Sea, which we were traversing for approximately 175 NM, is extremely deep (more than 5000m) in places and is inky black. It’s hard to catch a fish in so much water, so we didn’t have…

Across the Arafura Sea…

650 NM non-stop! Horn Island, Australia to Debut, Indonesia. We sailed out of Horn Island with our big blue and white code zero (now affectionately known as Bertha) aloft, brimming with nervous excitement. We were expecting the passage to take about 4-5 days and the weather forecast was for decent SE trade winds, which we…

We’re outta here!

Phase 1 of the Alpha Odyssey (sailing up the QLD coast) is complete, and we are diappearing from here and reappearing in Indonesia in approximately five days (sailing non-stop). We finished up our time in Horn Island with a bit of croc-watching and dinner with the crews of our favourite buddy boats, Xamala and Harmonic….

500 miles … Cairns to TI!

CAIRNS – LOW ISLES – COOKTOWN – LIZARD ISLAND – CAPE MELVILLE – MARGARET BAY – ESCAPE RIVER – CAPE YORK – HORN ISLAND/THURSDAY ISLAND After nearly two weeks in Cairns finishing off the big boat jobs and doing final preparation, we set sail to complete the final leg of the Queensland coast: 500 nautical…