A stormy overnight sail 90 miles out into the Indian Ocean to reach the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra. Sailing never goes to plan as our watch pattern is broken first by faulty electronics and second by a massive thunderstorm. However the goal is worth the trials of this passage as we arrive in the beautiful Mentawai islands. Exploring here we discover the empty surf resorts which are a result of the Indonesian border being closed to foreign tourists.
Running Florence aground and a final test of our diving skills. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it. We take a weekend break from our diving course to explore the deserted but difficult cruising grounds off of West Sumatra, before returning for our final dive of the course and a challenge. Can we find the sunken wreck of an old sailing boat, on our own?!?
As sailors we are focused on avoiding sinking beneath the waves. So perhaps learning to scuba dive is contrary to our natural instincts, but in fact it has been on our bucket list for many years. Finally we have found the ideal opportunity to learn. Join us as we share the experience of learning to scuba dive on clear tropical reefs and a murky shipwreck in West Sumatra, Indonesia.
This is the most scared I have been in all the time we have been sailing around the world. A fear of the water is not a good thing for a sailor. Find out what made Matt so afraid and how he faced that fear to rekindle his love of the ocean. Exploring the underwater world whilst sailing around the planet.
How to make spinnaker sailing easy. A step-by-step guide from experienced blue water cruising sailors takes you through the whole process. From the basics of hoisting, trimming, and dropping your asymmetric spinnaker, to some more advanced tips that we don’t see other cruising sailors using. With 55 years of sailing experience between them Amy, an RYA sailing instructor and Matt, an RYA racing coach, share hands-on knowledge of how to use a spinnaker on a yacht. Double-handed downwind spinnaker sailing made enjoyable and easy.
Sailing to explore a tropical jungle covered island paradise beats city life any day. A 20 knot upwind thrash to escape the city leads to a tropical paradise. Surrounded by monkeys and wild boar we find the ideal spot to unwind from the stress of the city. Many exclusive resorts are closed because of covid, we are lucky to still be able to travel and explore some of these beautiful locations, so let us show you around.
Being boarded at night whilst anchored on an isolated island, miles from help with no phone signal, is a very scary experience. Coupled with that the difficulties of dealing with immigration visa rules to avoid having to leave the country with nowhere else to go. Cruising Indonesia is not easy at times, the reality behind the stunning beach backgrounds.
Headhunting was practiced on this remote island until the late 20th Century! After so long sailing amongst uninhabited islands and white sand beaches, we step ashore in Nias and get to experience the rich culture and heritage there. By chance we got to see a tribal war dance and demonstration of the stone jumping that the island is famous for. Sailing around the world is all about the people we meet and the rich cultural experiences that exist in each country we visit.
After fixing our steering we leave our isolated island group for the first time since lockdown started only to encounter 35 knot winds on our offshore passage to the Island of Nias off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Even though we were pounding upwind in 35 knots of wind and horizontal rain, it was still exhilarating to be out sailing offshore on the Indian Ocean once more. Boat life is always full of surprises.
Sailing through difficult reef passages, balancing the risk of being shipwrecked versus the reward of discovering new cruising grounds and amazing turquoise water lagoons. This is what exploring means to us, something that makes us nervous but also excited. These remote islands in the Indian Ocean off of West Sumatra – Indonesia, are an undiscovered gem of the cruising world.