Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Now what?

Fun with cellophane and LED
fairy lights

With all our out-of-water boat work nearing completion, we scheduled a splash date on December 25, which would have meant finally getting back in the water. Even with our eleventh hour decision to get our standing rigging replaced, we thought we could make the date.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Still here...

The view from the top at
Perak Cave Temple. We took
a side trip when we got our visas
renewed in Ipoh.

Yes, we are still here at the boatyard, but we (mostly Matt) have made a ton of progress since my last post. Our rudders are done! All they need is some bottom paint.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wax on, wax off

Perry all dressed up with mesh for
the painters, who are also sanding our hull

I like to think that we're not just sanding the bottom of our boat, we're also learning karate.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Goodbye Aunt Francie

Matt lost his Aunt Francie (Francoise) to cancer last month. She was 93.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

When you assume...

by Pel Laurens

Everyone knows what happens when you assume. Apparently, we have not learned this lesson well enough.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Our Malaysian visas were coming due, so we decided to head to Singapore.  It seemed unlikely we would get to visit with the boat, both because of timing and the fact that Singapore has made it increasingly difficult and expensive to clear in there. But we definitely wanted to see "The Lion City", so road trip here we come!

Monday, August 12, 2019

How to rebuild a cockpit in 179 easy steps

They take trespassing seriously in Malaysia.

As a result of the extreme heat (mid-90's, no air-conditioning) and seemingly endless boat work, I find myself staring off into space like a low-energy zombie. In contrast, Matt seems to work at a feverish pace that makes me feel even more slug-like.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The simple life can get complicated

French Polynesia 2015

In many ways, living on a boat can be much more peaceful than living on land. The classic shot of a cruising boat shows a scenic anchorage with no one else around. It's why many people dream of living on the water.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

At least we have bacon

It's hard to find pork products in Malaysia because they are haram. Although, funny enough, you can find chicken products that mimic the taste of ham or bacon.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

At the boatyard

Coffee maker picture created by
Conrad using Blender 3D Modeling app

One of the things I like the most about homeschooling is the time that it leaves Conrad and Mark to pursue their interests.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Everest Base Camp Trek with Kids

Spoiler Alert: Yep, we made it.  Everest Base Camp
When we first threw out the thought of doing the Everest Base Camp Trek to Conrad (12) and Mark (11), they thought it was a great idea. At various points during the hike they certainly had reversed that initial opinion, but at the end felt that they had accomplished something big. We did some research before deciding to go and there were different schools of thought about whether it was a reasonable goal for pre-teen kids.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

When in India--PAY ATTENTION!

No, really. You need to be on your game and alert.  If you aren't, you will die (worst case) or at least suffer some other unfortunate consequence. Our month or so traveling through Northern India (while Perry sat at the boat yard) was vastly different from our 6-plus years of cruising, which is typically pretty laid back when it comes to visiting new places. As a visitor to India, it was a challenge to just exist. Every time we left our hotel room, my senses were on overload.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Another year, another haul-out

Perry about to get hauled out on the Sea-lift

We're out of the water again. This time it's at Pangkor Marina and Boatyard in Malaysia and the reason is a wobbly rudder and some planned land travel to India and Nepal.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Penang and the Dump

A view of Penang from Penang Hill
We have finally made it to Penang! We had hoped to make it here for Thaipusam in late January, then Chinese New Year in early February, but kidney stones and a slew of what-nots decided otherwise.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The weather is hot, I fish you were here...

Feeding stingrays at a Floating Fish Farm in Kilim Karst

In the final installment of our whirlwind tour around Langkawi's Geoforest Parks (see part 1 and part 2), we visited Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. We visited caves and fed fish at fish farms, while admiring the dramatic karsts surrounding the river where we anchored.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Land of eagles

Sky Bridge on Mt. Machinchang (Mat Cincang)
With this installment we are currently making everything BIGGER. This is not a result of our aging eyes. Or is it? 

Aptly named, Langkawi has lots of sea eagles. You mostly see them soaring overhead and sometimes swooping down to scoop up a fish from the water. Tourists can even go to an eagle-feeding.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Langkawi, Malaysia

The name 'Langkawi' is derived from the Malay for 'eagle' and 'reddish brown'.
Although we have been to Malaysia before, it was Borneo and not the area around mainland Malaysia. Kuah, on the island of Langkawi,  is not a big city by Malaysian standards but it has a McDonald's and a movie theater (which had 2 movies in English and 3 in Mandarin or Cantonese), as well as a seemingly unlimited supply of duty-free shops.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Anyone can do it, but would you want to?

Perry at Ko Adang
There is a common debate on cruising and sailing sites about whether 'anyone' can go cruising. On the one hand are those who say that you should learn as much as you can before you go and that you're just asking for trouble if you simply sail away in a boat. Then there is the camp that says that you don't need a lot of knowledge and experience and that you should just 'go now!'

Saturday, January 26, 2019

We are family!

I'm glad someone in our family knows how to
take a proper selfie. Photo credit: Joe Lee

My brother Joe, his wife Joyce and their three kids made a side-trip to see us in Phuket while on a visit to Thailand. We haven't seen them in forever and this is the first time we got to meet all the kids (the last time I saw the oldest, he was a baby). The visit was short but sweet and we all had fun catching up.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Invaders of all types

Mark with an 'Elephant Parade' elephant at the Boat Show
The other day, we came back to the boat after walking several miles in our new hiking boots (we're planning to do the Everest Base Camp hike in a few months and need to break them in; yes, we look ridiculous walking around the Tropics in thick socks and boots).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Avoiding tropical depressions and petting puppies in Thailand

Been there, got the T-shirt...

We visited The Soi Dog Foundation the other day (our friends on Field Trip found the place). It's a rescue/vet/ adoption place that focuses on "street" dogs (and a few cats) here in Phuket ("Soi" mean street in Thai). The tour was entertaining and interesting. One of their prime missions is to spay or neuter as many of these dogs as they can.  Last year they did nearly 8,000 procedures. Over the last decade or so they have reduced the local street dog population from over 100,000 to about 10,000 through these procedures. The foundation also works to rescue dogs from the illegal dog meat trade as well as provide medical care to injured and abused animals.  Overall, they do great work there and the boys loved being able to play with the dogs and cats.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?

Video of Anak Krakatau shot by Mark
Our friends on another boat recently wrote us to point out that we seemed to be the common factor in a number of natural disasters that have occurred over the last year. The most recent was the tsunami and eruptions from Anak Krakatau.