Oceans Dream

02 August 2014 | ENGLAND
15 March 2014 | Malaysia
29 January 2014 | Thailand
26 December 2013 | Phuket, Thailand
30 November 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
03 November 2013 | Puteri Harbour Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
04 October 2013 | Indonesian Borneo
22 September 2013 | Lovina, Bali
05 September 2013 | Komodo Island, Indonesia
18 August 2013 | Flores Island, East Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia
06 August 2013 | Kupang, Timor island
26 July 2013 | Northern Territory, Australia
21 July 2013 | Uluru, Australia
29 June 2013 | Fannie Bay, Darwin
17 June 2013 | Shelburne Bay, Cape Grenville, Australia
08 June 2013 | Carins, QLD
29 May 2013 | Townsville
12 May 2013 | Queensland
26 April 2013 | Mooloolaba, QLD
24 March 2013 | Mooloolaba, Queensland

"Going Clear"

02 August 2014 | ENGLAND
Adrian and Jackie

Yes sadly we have had to sell Oceans Dream, our home for the last five and a half years. She has taken us across the equator three times and we have sailed her over 35,000 miles. We will miss her hugely as she has guided us and kept us safe on a journey that will live in our memories forever. Whilst the many pictures and words have recorded our adventures, it is the friends that we have made along the way in some of the remotest parts of the world that now live in our hearts and will provide our lasting and happiest memories.

So why have we given up this magical way of life? It is because ill-health has cruelly forced us to return home to be closer to medical expertise and treatment. The support from family and friends both at home and abroad has been of great benefit during these challenging times and we thank each and every one of you for your kind words of encouragement.

For those of you have followed our adventure on our website and this blog we hope that we have shared with you in a small way some of the excitement and thrills of our travels. We thank you particularly for your comments and emails.

We would encourage all of our readers to remember the words at the head of our website:

All our Dreams come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney

That’s it from the Crew of OD, thanks so much for reading. “Going Clear”.
Adrian and Jackie

Heading to Thailand for haul-out ...

15 March 2014 | Malaysia
Admiral 40 catamaran

Adventures in the Andaman

29 January 2014 | Thailand
Admiral 40 catamaran
Our route since arriving in Thailand in December. No trip was longer than a half-day sail.

With the imminent arrival of Robert and his partner on board Oceans Dream we set about planning an itinerary so as to make the most of their time here in Thailand. The numerous charter companies provide guests with sailing guides and these often make their way into hands of cruisers. Providing useful information such as depths, restaurants ashore, internet signal on the boat, how to get ashore in the dinghy, shops ashore along with the latitude/longitude to drop the hook all prove very helpful when considering which anchorage to visit. Additional homework prior to arriving at a destination is trawling other sailing blogs for 'cruising notes' and for the Phuket area we found sister ship to Oceans Dream, Ketoro's blog of great benefit. Thank you to them. Having the heads-up on an anchorages prior to arrival is invaluable and so off we went laden with top tips!

As it's currently the north east season anchorages to the west of land provide the most protection from wind and swell thus we headed up the west coast of Phuket initially to check-out the calm side. Here we found numerous beaches, some with easy access, others which claimed themselves 'private'. Others such as Patong we avoided due to it's party reputation. Our favoured spot was to the north behind an island in a bay called Bang Tao. The water was good enough to get in and remove the barnacles but not particularly clear. It was the first time we'd enjoy food cooked for locals, by locals.

Despite it's size, people all round the world recognise the name Phuket and this is reflected in the number of package holiday tourists. Whilst there are a fair smattering of Europeans, there's an abundance of Russian visitors and as such, many of the signs are written in Thai and Russian script before English. It's difficult to escape the frenzy of the holidaymakers and the activities provided for them but when we do, we find the locals are extremely friendly even with the language barrier.

Drinking coconuts

Thai boy

Returning south, a quick trip into Chalong Bay and a couple of taxi visits to the island's capital of Phuket Town saw us stock up with provisions, sort medical check-ups and purchase a kayak! It's a Swedish design and can be assembled single or tandem ...


We were also approached by a local charter company who were interested in leasing or buying Oceans Dream from us. Hardly surprising when we discovered they take tourists out for a day trip at £100 per head and they squeeze at least 15 people on board returning by 1600 to offload passengers in time for their 'Sunset Cruise'.

Then it was time to face the east coast and having caught up with friends from the UK who by chance were chartering a Sunsail yacht for a couple of weeks, we bit the bullet and began the bash into the wind and waves.

Friends on board

Phang Nga Bay sits to the east of Phuket and is the home of Thailand's 'Hongs'. Before selecting the best of these, we spent a few nights in Yacht Haven Marina topping up with water and fuel and relaxing after the bumpy ride north. Facilities at the marina are minimal but the service is second to none. From the guys taking lines to the ladies in the office, of all marinas we have visited in the last 5 years, this one easily tops the charts on service.

'Hongs' (meaning 'room' in the Thai language) are surrounded by steep walls and sheer cliffs, and are only accessible through sea-level caves. Phang Nga Bay is full of them and as they rise steeply from the sea, they aren't difficult to spot - often forest covered, and containing scenic lagoons.


They can be mushroom-like in their appearance at the base as the tide drops. We were soon to discover we weren't the only ones intrigued by the beautiful hongs. Hundreds of visitors came out from the mainland to explore the dark caves by kayak and to see the hidden gardens inside the hongs. The Park Rangers visit the most popular spots charging a £2 fee to enjoy the National Park for a five day permit.

Busy at Hongs

Next stop was Ko Phi Phi. We initially tried anchoring off of the main town but it was rolly, busy and too cosy for our liking. So we nipped around the corner for a more peaceful overnight stay ... or so we thought. The music started at 2200 and didn't stop until 0400. Neighbouring island of Phi Phi Leh is known as a location in the filming of 'The Beach'. We didn't make it there due to the high numbers of visitors. Many of the popular spots visited by day by hoards of tourists and in turn, the speedboats and helicopter-sounding longtail boats quieten down after 1800.

So, with itinerary sorted we meandered back to the marina and awaited the arrival of our guests. Heading up the river we were surprised to encounter a sudden influx of HUGE jellyfish. The fishermen who are usually busy on the water with nets or pots were spotting, hooking and filling their boats at quite a pace.


Whilst we were waiting for the guys to arrive, we checked out a boatyard up the river where OD will be hauled in April. Phuket Premier Boatyard specialises in lifting multihulls and the yard is in the middle of a rubber plantation. It was good to meet the owner Ditapong and to hear of the services he can provide.

With guests safely on board, all went to plan with the itinerary and we even managed to squeeze in a trip to Krabi. We anchored near the popular beach of Ao Nang, in Rai Lay Bay. It's part of the Thai mainland but is only accessible by boat and is a mecca for rock climbers. The water in this part of Thailand was the clearest we'd seen.


Fun on board

The sky has never cleared of haze in our time here and this has puzzled us. Apparently a volcano in Indonesia has erupted over 200 times since September of which the last significant blast happened just a couple of weeks ago. The thoughts are this is unlikely to be the cause due to the lack of ash in the air. The food has been delicious although the portions are on the small side so we sometimes order an extra dish and always have a starter. We put that down to western portions being so much bigger. The sizing of clothes can also be confusing. Due to their compactness, and XL Asian is probably half the size of an XL westerner. In the UK Jackie might be an Medium whereas here, she is an XL. We've yet to see an overweight Asian.

Next week we'll head back towards Penang in Malaysia with a stop on route at Langkawi. We'll stay a few weeks whilst we renew our Thai visas before returning north.

Thanks for reading! Jackie & Adrian

Festive greetings from Phuket

26 December 2013 | Phuket, Thailand
Happy Christmas
Merry Christmas from Phuket, Thailand

Alarm clock
Who needs an alarm clock with the Thai longtail boats and their outboard car engines guaranteed to wake us up Christmas morning!

We’ve been travelling at such a pace over recent months that some places have become a blur and unless something significant happened during the time of our visit, it’s lucky if it finds a slot in the memory banks! Kuah on Langkawi is almost one such place. The town is the first port of call for the majority of visitors in search of winter-sun. The ferry brings them to Kuah from mailand Malaysia and if any of those tourists were under the illusion they’d be welcomed with clear white stretches of sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, they’d be disappointed. Kuah town sits on reclaimed land, with unattractive buildings and the waterfront looks mucky and dirty. The dreamy beaches are elsewhere on the island. Had it not been for the local breakfasts of roti canai, the First Mates discovery of the McDonald’s McFlurry and the thousands of visiting Malaysians making the most of the duty-free opportunities, Kuah may well have dropped off our radar.

The are a number of marinas on Langkawi Island and a Captain of a Malaysian catamaran had recommended the Telaga Harbour marina to us. We booked OD in for a week and were very comfortable there.


Marina Office

OD Telaga

The pluses? A constant breeze ... always a winner in a marina environment – especially with the humidity levels such as they are here. A good Indian restaurant – among a choice of six. Cheap berth – although we’ve yet to discover an expensive marina in Malaysia! Interent link – albeit a little slow at times. The minuses? There were no DIY laundry facilities – but there was a next day laundry service within walking distance. The showers were lacking in number - that said, if you timed it right, there wasn’t a problem.

Thailand was on the horizon (literally) and with family coming to join us in Phuket mid-January, we decided to press-on to check-out provisioning and seek out our Christmas anchorage. We sailed overnight to Phuket, somehow managing to avoid the fishing net buoys and arrived in the popular Chalong Bay to check-in at first light. Chalong Bay was packed. We’d not seen this many yachts since XXXXX. There was ample room to anchor due to the size of the bay and clearing-in was surprisingly more straight-forward than we’d anticipated.

Kite surfers
Kite-surfers - Annual Thailand competition, Chalong Bay

Can you spot the Giant Buddha over-looking Phuket island? He's 45 metres high.

We tracked down the local Tesco Lotus supermarket which seemed good enough to provision although it might be a struggle understanding the contents of some packaging due to the not insignificant language barrier. Then, joy-of-joys, we stumbled across the Villa Market. A supermarket much closer to the anchorage so not to far to lugg the groceries and packed full of western produce ... Christmas had come early!

On Christmas Eve we decided to have a break from High Lawries ‘House’ and watch a movie. We’d be talking about the 2004 tsunami during the day and wondering where in Thailand had been hit. Unbeknownst to either of us, we’d acquired a movie that would answer our questions. Even putting it in the DVD player we didn’t know the storyline we just knew it was about one of the ‘worst natural disasters of our time’. You can imagine our amazement as the storyline of the 2013 film, ‘The Impossible’ began to unfold. We were totally gripped by the harrowing experience suffered by just one family here as the wave hit. The special effects are truly awesome – as is Ewan McGregor.

Nine years ago to the day and 5,400 tourist lives were lost in this area alone. Maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to judge the state of some of the coastal towns.

Malaysia's west coast

30 November 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
Admiral 40 catamaran
A month since writing our last blog and we find ourselves at the very northern tip of the west coast of Malaysia, in Langkawi.

Whilst awaiting a couple of items of post from the UK in Johor Bahru, we took a trip to Melaka about 200 miles away. The Malaysians seem to shorten their city names to initials and so we shall follow the same format from here on in ... Johor Bahru is JB. Kuala Lumpur is KL. Port Dickson is PD. Kota Kinabalu is KK ... you get the gist. The trip was a mere £8 each and involved a local bus journey to the main terminal followed by a 'VIP' coach journey onto Melaka. The VIP buses have just 28 seats on them so for a 'normal' sized bus, you can imagine the leg room afforded! Hotel Puri, our home for three nights was located in Chinatown and held a preferred address for wealthy Baba (Straits-born Chinese) traders who were most active during the early 20th century.

Hotel Puri

Private house opposite hotel

Terracota tiles - a common sight in Malaysia

The town itself is small so to tick off the sights doesn't have to take three days. We enjoyed a trip up the river ...

River trip


Many walks around the town .....


... much to the annoyance of the riders of gaudy trishaws who would much rather have the business ....




On return to JB from Melaka, we joined a day tour of the area laid on by the Sail Malaysia Rally followed by a dinner in the evening...

Kota Iskandar
Government offices

Southernmost point
Southernmost point of Asia

JB tour

Crews of OD and Footloose

We left Puteri Harbour marina. It had served us very well and we plan to return. Not disimilar in size to the UK (Lands End to John O Groats 837 miles) the 839 miles we have travelled up the west coast of Malaysia have been somewhat different to what we'd expect travelling north along the west coast of the UK. We rounded the southern-most tip of Asia and headed north through the Melaka Straits, experiencing mainly calm seas, zero wind and dodging many, many fishing nets. It's as if the local fishermen have got it in for yachties and lay their nets right across our path.



Almost everyone we know has picked up a net in their propellor and not wanting to be left out, we managed to do the same. In fact, we were slightly more lucky than some, our uninvited guest wrapped itself around the rudder at the very bottom. We weren't immediately aware of dragging anything behind us and thankfully, it didn't mess with the steerage so it was a matter of a quick dip in the Melaka Straits for First Mate to free it up. We hauled it in the 200m nylon line with sadly no fish, just the occasional plastic basket.

We passed under Penang's new (second) bridge some 24km long and joining Penang Island with the west coast of Malaysia. It's due to open anytime soon but there were set-backs earlier in 2013 due to loss of lives.



OD nestled into a berth at the Straits Quay marina for a mere £8 per night. With Tesco only a 5 minute walk away, a regular bus service into town and laundry services on our doorstep, we were wooed immediately. The marina complex is owned by Eastern and Oriental Hotels and with just 40 berths, and only 10 allocated to visitors you really do feel you are receiving a personal service.

Georgetown, Penang's capital has an interesting mix of cultures. At only 350m long, Love Lane is often referred to as the 'Street of Harmony'. It houses a church, three Confucian-Buddhist-Taoist temples, two mosques and a Hindu temple giving you an idea of the multicultural and multilingual environment.


Colourful flowers grown in the cooler climate of Malaysia's Cameron Highlands. Mainly bought as offerings to God.

There's no doubting the streets of Georgetown are chaotic with narrow lanes, a sincere lack of pavements and full of car exhaust fumes but we love it!

The food in Penang is legendary and the streets are lined with stalls or restaurants featuring Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisine. Needless to say, we once again found ourselves in Little India enjoying curries, roti, tandoori and biryani! And managed to avoid this local dish ...


There are signs of the British Raj-era in the architecture as well as many shutter-clad buildings making for perfect photo opportunities ...



A recent addition to Penang's sights, is the street-art created by Lithuanian born artist Ernest Zacharevic. We had a great time tracking down just some of his works.....




Our trip on the funicular railway to the once fashionable retreat of Penang Hill, provided for cooler temperatures and spectacular views ...


Black Monkey, Penang Hill

After 4 nights in Penang, we said our farewells with promises to return and travelled the 60 miles to Langkawi, some 120 miles short of the Thai border. Langkawi is a duty-free island and we're currently anchored at Kuah, the major town and arrival port with plans to stay until the Sail Malaysia Rally arrive on 08 December.

Strait to Singapore

03 November 2013 | Puteri Harbour Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Admiral 40 catamaran
raffles sign

The last month has had us cross the equator for the third time since setting off on our adventure in 2009. As we went south to north, we made our ginger nut and sauvignon cardboard offering to Neptune - which was graciously accepted. We are true 'Trusties' or 'Shellbacks' now, a US term used for those who have crossed the Equator more than once - those who have not are nicknamed Slimies or Pollywogs.

Neptune nibbles
The Captain offering Neptune some ginger biccies

First Mate
First Mate offers the plonk!

After Kumai we day-hopped through the western Indonesian islands with a favourite stop at Belitung island ...


Particularly memorable for it's clear water, the friendliest people in Indonesia, the tastiest food and the cleanest island by far.

Also remembered for the 40kt storm we encountered two hours offshore followed by a swift return to the island for shelter. We departed the following day!


The next few stops were a matter of convenience so as not to have to sail overnight - some were rolly, some were flat calm, all had good holding and with our new anchor purchased in Australia, we slept well at night.

The Crew of OD were looking forward to arriving at Bintan Island. This is where the Rally would be clearing out and also, where Singaporeans holiday, at the five star resorts on the north of the island. Where we'd be anchoring. The Nirwana Resort was luxurious although we all agreed it was a three star resort attempting to be a five star but charged five star prices! The pool and restaurants were good but the buildings looked tired and many were undergoing maintenance. There was a good on-site 'mini-zoo' with guinea-pigs, mouse deer, chickens, python and crocodiles. Aviaries had falcons, eagles and hawks - all looking as if they could do with a bit more room i.e. freedom! The ten elephants each individually chained to a rock and beaten with a stick by a guide/trainer so as tourists could sit on their knee for a photo was horrendous.


We stayed long enough to have our passport and boat papers stamped, then headed with Aussie friends on Tropicali in search of an anchorage closer to the Singapore Straits.

An early start ensured we were at the narrowest point of the Straits of 1.8nm by 0630. Crossing here would be a matter of dodging two lanes of shipping rather than four. The recommended way to cross is to motor at 90 degrees to the shipping, aiming at the middle of the super-tanker in the hope of passing behind him by a few hundred feet before the next one comes down on you. Not a problem if the ships weren't over 400 metres long, going at a speed of 20kts+ and any attempt for them to alter direction or slow down is not possible due to their size and speed. In comparison, with the throttle full-on, Oceans Dream does a comfortable 7kts and it's up to us to keep out of the way.

Busy, busy

We made our approach to cross between two smaller tankers but then, to our surprise we saw a very large container ship pulling out from dock and heading in our direction.

Container ship

We slowed down and watched on our AIS receiver as he built up speed and then we went for it. He probably didn't even see us!

Stern of container ship

The Dream Machine is now berthed at Puteri Harbour Marina close to Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The marina provides transport to night markets, local supermarkets and malls all for free. A golf buggy transfers yachties from their boats to the marina office/facilities - despite it being just a 250m walk! Public buses run from here into JB and into central Singapore but we'd recommend the taxis. The same trip can be done for 30 ringet per person with less hassle.

We spent four days in Singapore. Knowing it was Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights, we decided to base ourselves in the Little India area just north of the City and we weren't disappointed. The atmosphere was electric, the colours vibrant, the smells intoxicating and the tastes ... well, we were in our element!

Main St Little India

Original SIngapore

Look up!

Council flats

Arab St

Having managed to tear ourselves away to visit the City proper, we stumbled upon numerous Malls ... in fact, there are 40+ shopping malls on Singapore. All much of a muchness. And when inside a Mall, we feel can be anywhere in the World. For instance, the clothing store Gap is in the US, UK, Caribbean, Aruba, Curacao, Panama, French Polynesia, NZ, Australia, Singapore ... BUT (and this is a BIG 'but'!) M&S don't feature in all these places and it was a treat (literally as things were approximately 25% more expensive than the UK) to browse the undies section and enjoy the delicious, if somewhat limited foodhall!

Our trip to Singapore was also a trip down 'Memory Lane' for the Captain having lived here some 40 years ago. To his disappointment (but not surprise), a lot had changed. The fan palms at Raffles Hotel were one of his clearest recollections and upon arrival, not only were these less in abundance, those that did exist were less well cared for and the Hotel was more like a tourist attraction - many of the rooms have been turned into shops.

Fan palms

Rooms now shops


The Hotel

Sir Thomas Raffles
Sir Thomas Raffles - secured Singapore as a base for the British Empire in 1819 transforming the then sparsely populated, swampy island into a free-trade port.

Old and New
The red roof traditional buildings are how Adrian remembers Singapore.

Parliament building

Another disappointment was the Cricket Club on the 'Pandang' - a cricket pitch around which sits many of Singapore's Colonial buildings. It was sadly covered with marquees as the International Rugby Sevens was being held in town. On the plus side, we saw the Fijian Rugby team!

Singapore has to be applauded for managing to retain some of it's heritage whilst developing a twenty-second century international city that is the cleanest we have ever walked in. So clean there appears to be no need for litter bins so we had to return to our hotel our used rail tickets and sweet papers. There's certainly no place for Banksy commissions anywhere.

Vessel Name: Oceans Dream
Vessel Make/Model: Admiral 40 catamaran
Hailing Port: Plymouth, UK
Crew: Adrian & Jackie
Having both worked hard we decided we should enjoy an exciting and challenging retirement whilst we were young enough and fit enough. To realise this dream, we replaced our monohull with an ocean-going liveaboard catamaran. [...]
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About Us

Who: Adrian & Jackie
Port: Plymouth, UK