Well, it’s been a long time coming, but here is the next chapter. I had originally intended this to be a potted history of my experiences on board yachts, in chronological order. It will be a potted history for sure, but, to paraphrase Morecombe and Wise, it will have all the right items, but not necessarily in the right order, or indeed be recent… but I’m trying to catch up…. so this will get my story to the beginning of 2011!
I joined Squall in Singapore in October 2010. She is another vessel built by Perini Navi, but very different to Clan VI. She was launched in 2002. Her design is by naval architects Ed Dubois, and this makes her unique amongst Perinis. The difference is very visible. She is a performance cruising ketch.
Details on this boat can be seen on Perini Navi’s website.
On day 2 we departed Singapore for the Maldives. This was an 8 day passage… with no wind! We did try a couple of times to get the sails out, but to no avail, except to find that what goes up doesn’t necessarily come down on this boat… we spent a whole day trying to get the mainsail to come down after the motor driver for the halyard winch developed a fault! On the second attempt at sailing, the winch for the Jib Sheet jammed…. Oh boy! She is in need of some TLC that’s for sure.
The Maldives are a strange place I think. As you approach the principle Island of Male (pronounced “marlay”), the view is just buildings… every scrap of the island is built upon, and it has indeed grown several times with land reclamation projects over the years. The Airport is next to Male, entirely built on reclaimed land. The rest of the archipelago consist of tiny, flat islands, mostly now developed with resort hotels for honeymoon couples. There are many hidden reefs which are poorly charted too, so navigating the area was going to be interesting. This indeed proved to be the case, especially as the navigation equipment on board was decidedly out of date.. so in fact the most up to date charts we had were those used by my iPad…
Yachties are a strange breed too and tend to hang out closely together, so it is always interesting to hear the opinions of other about the places we visit, and the Maldives was a particular example… most people would consider a holiday to the region a once in a lifetime exotic holiday, but myself and most other crew that I talked with about the experiences of being there were unimpressed… and would quite happily miss it out another time. The Diving was mostly disappointing, and the area has a certain coldness as a result of the large exclusive resort hotels… so, after 2 months there we were not sorry to leave.
Next stop…. Langkawi…