Blog, Indonesia

We are Back! Returning after 2.5 years

After many months, countless miles, and multiple countries, Florence and her crew are back….

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Back in the Northern Hemisphere that is.

An invisible line has been crossed, Neptune has been toasted and we have been left reflecting on the last 2.5 years spent in the Southern Hemisphere.

Anchored at exactly 0°00.000 we were struck by the irony that such a precise, pinpoint location could leaving us feeling so lost.

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Precision anchoring on the Equator. Although the area was unprotected and unsuitable for staying the night, just 15m depth meant we could drop the anchor for a brief Equator party.
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An unlit, uncharted fishing platform, miles from land. These platforms are one of many reasons we have tried to avoid sailing at night in these waters.

It’s still unknown to us if it was the gray drizzly English like day, or the fact the Equator is such a monumental line for sailors. Whatever the reason, that invisible line brought a surprising amount of emotion. Just not the celebratory joy we had expected. The feeling was the opposite of an accomplishment.

“I don’t feel ready to go back into the Northern Hemisphere” , “yeah me neither, it really feels like we are going backwards.”

Sailing across the South Pacific to New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia, had been our first and only experience of the Southern Hemisphere. With so many incredible people and places behind us, plus the challenging and unrewarding Malacca Straits just ahead of us, the celebration was as flat as the world was once thought to be.

Instead of contributing to the round-the-world goal, we couldn’t shake off the feeling of going backwards. Like coming home blues without any of the joy of returning home to family and friends. 2.5 years in the upside down life of the Southern hemisphere has felt like another world. Returning to the norm, our own hemisphere, felt surprisingly unnatural. Like time has stood still and despite this amazing adventure, nothing has changed.

A skinny dip across the line, a tot of rum and continual repetition of the fact “it’s OK we will be back in the Southern Hemisphere again next year” brought enough comfort to up anchor and continue our journey north to the Malacca Straits.

By the time we return to England we will have crossed this imaginary “meaningless” line a further two times. Hopefully we will be more ready for it by then. For now we just need get used to the water going the other way around the plug hole again…

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These fishing platforms are much better seen from a safe anchorage.
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Just because you haven’t seen a village doesn’t mean the village hasn’t seen you.
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We had several visitors over our short time in this ‘secluded’ bay.
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More visitors. Many of the people we met from this village had not traveled outside that particular island group so visiting yachts are one of the few real interactions they get with the outside world. Once one boat has been invited aboard word soon spreads…

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11 thoughts on “We are Back! Returning after 2.5 years”

  1. Hi guys love following your adventures, amazing how much better you have become at writing and filming since you started, hope you are stopping at Singapore on your way, one of the worlds most amazing city’s. Looking forward to many more of your amazing and informative videos.

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    1. Thanks Nick. Unfortunately as well as being an amazing city, Singapore is also a very expensive one with no advantage for us visiting by boat vs plane. We decided to leave it for a visit by plane another time.

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    2. I’m also Nick .. I’ve been following your adventure for the last 1.5-2 yrs – I’m slowly saving up and planning for my own sailing boat purchase and escape from the rat race.
      It’s unfortunate that from Sulawesi or there around you sprinted up to Langkawi – I and many others are members of sailing clubs in Singapore – I personally would’ve been happy to host you in my club and cover mooring costs for 3-5 days at least (including offering you a real bed, if needed, as I live walking distance from the club).
      Alas not to be for now. All the best, and try to spend some time in Malaysia – I hope you stopped in Penang on your way up. I lived in Malaysia many years myself before moving to Singapore. Hope you skip most of Thailand and go straight for Nicobar/Andaman islands. All the best. We’re all rooting for you all, and constantly jealous 🙂

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  2. Nice one, guys. Don’t be sad. When the time comes, and you can smell the pasties wafting over the ocean from Cornwall, just do a Moitessier and carry on going!

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  3. R felt for you lads big breath plenty of swank and on you go i am sure i like all your follower s have gained a lot of pleasure from your adventures the stories and the pic s have been great there is a book there somewhere? take care safe onward sailing

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  4. Alternatively you have become an independent family in the fullest sense and sharing each other with their ‘old’ family (who live in the North) has become a burden.
    Just a random thought.
    Stay. The Rugby is better in the South.

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  5. Guy’s love following your travels, especially since our plan is to sail our yacht from NZ to Europe in 2022. So your route, anchorages are enourmously useful. Which rally did you join through Indonesia?

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    1. Hi, It was the sail2indonesia rally. If you join it when it arrives in Indonesia directly through Raymond Lesmana it is cheaper and the entry money you pay goes into Indonesia. You don’t have to join a rally though, we only did a few of the stops and the rest of the time did our own thing. Are you leaving in 2022 or arriving in 2022? We plan to return home to England in 2022…

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      1. Thanks! We plan to depart in 2022 so still some time to plan… you guys should publish your trip in a guide or something , I’d buy!

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