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SV Saraoni
Taratau
Alison cloudy,5 knots NE
03/12/2009

After finally leaving Malaysia, we encountered 40 knot winds gusting off the mountains of Langkawi and The Thai island of Taratau. Unfortunately the direction was not favourably once we cleared the gap betwwen the two islands so we had to motor up to the northerly bay to a relatively peaceful anchorage off the national park headquarters. We previewed the weather situation and decided to stay two nights waiting for the weather to moderate and have been lucky enough to find a wireless link from the small national park resort. We took the bikes ashore and rode 12km to the other side of the island , stopping at creeks for a cool off along the way.

2009 Malaysia and Thailand
Leaving Malaysia
Alison
01/12/2009, Telaga

Tomorrow we are off to Thailand, leaving Malaysia behind us and the beautiful Pulau Langkawi. We hope to arrive in Ao Chalong next Sunday night in time to clear immigration formalities on Monday morning. The wind seems to be firmly established in the NE so hopefully there will be a bit to blow us to Phuket. It is a little showery at the moment but that brings the temperature down a bit which no one would complain about.

2009 Malaysia and Thailand
Langkawi
Alison / No wind / hot and humid
12/11/2009, Telaga Harbour


Final preparations are now nearly complete for the Indian Ocean crossing.
After a circumnavigation of Langkawi, we are back in Telaga and have spent a day climbing up to the top of the cable car hill , Machinchang, and several half days exploring the area up to Telaga Tujuh waterfall, where the water was almost ice cold. Langurs have been active everywhere close to the coast and dolphins have been seen at times in and amongst the growing fleet in Telaga's outer anchorage. Some boats have already departed for Thailand and many more are on the move. We will be leaving the Langkawi area around about the 30th November at first for Phuket, and then as soon as weather permits will be heading to The Andaman Islands via Thailand's Similan or Surin islands. The North East monsoon or "trade winds" have sort of arrived in fits and starts with a lot of rain in thunderstorms still. The picture shows us looking South along the main waterway in the "Hole in the Wall", along Langkawi's East coast.
Up-to-date contact details are on the profile page.

2009 Malaysia and Thailand
Back from Indochina
Alison
05/10/2009, Rebak Marina

We have now been back a couple of days from our month long trip to northern Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. We are certainly glad we made the journey as it opened a window for us on another part of the world. We are now preparing for our massive trip to the Mediterranean. We will be putting the boat on the hardstand at Rebak for a week or so to paint underneath and then we will be departing the marina and staying around Langkawi until Geoff's sister arrives on 23rd November. The wind is still staying firmly in the west so we will have to still be careful of anchorages around Langkawi. Further info and photos will appear on our main website soon of our recent trip. http://saraoni.googlepages.com.

2009 Malaysia and Thailand
The monsoon has arrived.
Geoff
27/08/2009, Rebak Marina Langkawi

Back at the boat in Langkawi for a few weeks, before our last overland trip this year. So far we have made three interesting trips within Malaysia : the first a 1100 km trip by our rusty, trusty bikes up the East Coast, the second to Taman Negara and the Cameron Highlands and the most recent to Sarawak and Sabah. Fuller details on our personal website : google "Saraoni" and you'll find it! Our last trip takes us up to Bangkok, Laos and Cambodia. The "monsoon", which has supposedly been around since May, seems to have arrived at long last at least in terms of heavy rain, if not wind or sea. We have sorted out some outstanding maintenance issues in between the floods of rain and now only have a few things left to do in October. We should be ready to leave Langkawi with sister Sue visiting from England at the end of November for Phuket initially and then the Andamans. Pied hornbills have been exceptionally active around Rebak, and have taken a liking to the wattle buds and casuarinas around the marina. We discovered a new / old track on the island which leads to a remote beach on the North West side and meanders on the ridge top past many pitcher plants and strange remnants of Rebak's former life. The resort management has now put arrows marking the track!

2009 Malaysia and Thailand
Harbour bound for now
Geoff
04/05/2009, Langkawi, Malaysia

Saraoni is now in Rebak Marina, Langkawi for most of the wet season. We have been back in Malaysia for just over a month while the seasons have changed from sort of North Easterlies to Westerlies. We will be off the boat exploring inland from Vietnam to Sabah in Borneo. As usual we will be concentrating on the bits of wilderness left in South East Asia, although inevitably we see what the human inhabitants are getting up to as well. Saraoni needs quite a lot of attention before our anticipated departure for the North Indian Ocean in December this year, and we will have to be busy in the short periods back on the boat in between trips.

2009 Malaysia and Thailand
22/11/2009 | John Grainge
Wow you certainly make the best of it don't you. Isn't that Rebak resort something else??
Pity about the coral dug out to make the entrance, but what the hell the Pesidents daughter got what she wanted and you got a great place to hole up. All the best for your Indian ocean crossing. Don't worry abour saying helo to the Somali's for us.
I am taking a yacht delivery fron Coffs Harbour to Wangarai leaving Dec. 6th Dec. Have a happy and safe Christmas. John and Sherrill Grainger ex Tonic.
2008 Australia to Malaysia via Indonesia
31/12/2008

December 2008

Penang from Pangkor was a long day sail with the usual light winds, rubbish, fish traps and fishing boats. Here we joined up with a number of other yachts and "sailed" under the Penang bridge. Penang proved to be a fascinating stop over with a lot of it's cultural heritage in the form of old colonial buildings, temples and winding, crowded streets in Little India and Chinatown well looked after, rather than facing the bulldozer as has happened in Singapore.

Malaysians love eating out and Penang must be one of the best places to do this, with thousands of restaurants and hawker stalls. Apart from eating frequently and cheaply we also explored the more natural side of Penang walking round the north west coast protected by a national park and up to the highest point of the island at 840 m. Macaques, leaf monkeys, wild pigs and squirrels and a lot of Malaysia's beautiful lowland dipterocarp rain forest.

By the time we left Penang something had happened to the weather. Either we had slid into the trade wind zone or the doldrums had retreated South. The wind arrived from the direction of the mainland and the skies cleared of the murk that we had experienced for most of the way up the Malacca Strait. We are now in the beautiful Langkawi islands - a few miles from the Thai border. Geologically this is much more like the Thai coast than Malaysia and the islands have steep limestone cliffs and hills, caves and karst features often covered in dripping jungle.

The main Langkawi island is pretty well developed for tourism but there are plenty of places that are undeveloped and protected, with a lot of fantastic anchorages. Here we had the last of the low key Sail Malaysia rally functions - the last party for the bunch of yachties that had been sailing more or less together since the East Coast of Australia. Some of these are now getting ready for the Indian Ocean crossing next month, but most will be staying in South East Asia for another year. Others are off back to wherever they came from by plane to sort out the remains of their savings or see their families.

We'll be leaving here sometime in January and spending two months in Thailand, then the rest of the year exploring inland South East Asia or working or both. We intend leaving for Africa in January 2010. It is about a week to Sri Lanka or India from here, three months to Europe, five months to the East African coast, but that involves spending time in the Chagos lagoons waiting for the change over of winds to take us westwards. We have now sailed for 7600 nautical miles since leaving Opua and we are closer to Italy in distance than New Zealand.

November 2008

The first half of the month was occupied by a tiring and hectic trip to England to touch base with relatives. Unfortunately our odd trips back to our old home country seem to coincide with near winter conditions and time spent on the motorways leave us feeling quite jaded and with little enthusiasm for a return trip. It was good to see so many people we care about, however. Most seem to be doing well and immersed in their own diverse lives.

On our return, we had to hastily prepare the boat to take part in the Sail Malaysia rally starting at Danga Bay in Johor Strait opposite Singapore. As with the Sail Indonesia rally, the Malaysian Government's Tourism Department organises the series of events up the western side of the Malay Peninsula to help its tourism promotion and we yachties benefit from the contact with the communities on the way, free meals and tours!

Our trip from Sebana Cove in Eastern Johor half circumnavigating the island of Singapore was even more hair raising than the crossing from Indonesia - or driving up the British M1 for that matter - with seemingly thousands of large ships anchored or moving around unpredictably. A large chunk of land appeared on the horizon where it was not shown on the chart - a new extension of one of Singapore's many ports. To cap it off, a thunderstorm obliterated our view as we were making our way up the Johor Strait.

We are now anchored off the town of Lumut about 100 km South of Penang. Most of the trip up the Malacca Strait has been hard to windward or motoring with no wind. The sea has gradually got less muddy and dirty and is almost greenish. Nearly everybody has had at least one entanglement with plastic bags or bits of fishing net. Much of the coast has been urbanised or industrialised or both and air and water pollution more than anything than we have been used to. Malaysia, of course, has been developing like mad and its environment has been paying the price of new found affluence. Despite all this, the constant warmth and rain seem to ensure an intensely green landscape wherever there is no concrete. The bits of rainforest we have seen have been fantastically beautiful. Macaque monkeys, langurs, pigs and squirrels seem to inhabit any little bit of jungle and seem quite habituated to humanity.

Along the coast, we have seen plenty of fish eagles, kites, a few dolphins and one dugong but no turtles so far. The coast in the region of Lumut is hilly and quite scenic with the island of Pangkor just offshore. We are now only a day sail from Penang where we stay for a week, then another day sail to the Langkawi islands where there are plenty of anchorages. Hopefully, the "dry season" will have settled in by then!

Wild pied hornbills munching on pawpaw at Pangkor island. These birds, part of a larger group of about a dozen have been fed daily by a Chinese family on the Pangkor waterfront for many years. It was fascinating to watch the males delicately picking up small pieces of pawpaw and passing them tenderly to their female partners!

October 2008

Safely arrived at Sebana Cove marina, Malaysia, tucked into a mangrove fringed riverside on the Eastern side of Singapore after a nerve wracking crossing of the Singapore Strait from Batam in Indonesia. Our AIS radar showed about thirty large ships moving east and west throught the strait at speeds of between 10 and 25 knots. We went in a convoy of three yachts with sails up and motors on and had only two narrow encounters.

From the Western end of Bali, in full view of the magnificent volcanoes of Eastern Java, we had three overnight sails, island hopping to the Kalimantan (Borneo) coast. Here we spent a few days up the Sekonyer river in Tanjung Puting national park on a narrow river boat called a klotok. This was one of the best experiences we had on our entire Indonesian trip, with close encounters with orang utans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, bearded pigs, hornbills and lots of other Borneo wildlife. At the same time it was hard not to be aware of the rapid deforestation of much of Borneo and the huge pressures on what remains of Indonesia's biodiversity and wild places.

The weather was now beginning to change as the trade wind season was coming to a close. Afternoon thunderstorms and squalls were common up the Kumai river and night thunderstorms developed offshore in the warm and shallow Java Sea. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of smoke haze that we had expected from reports read on boats in the area in previous years Ramadan came to a noisy close while in Kumai and this was followed by the fast breaking holiday of Idd Ul Fitr. Most of Kumai and the neighbouring city of Pangkalun Bun closed down over the last fasting day and the holiday while the mosques went into overdrive. A rather interesting feature of the town of Kumai were the swiftlet nests that inhabited specially constructed tower like buildings strung along the main street of the town.

The mucous that the birds use to make a comfortable base for their nests are harvested for bird's nest soup, apparently a Chinese delicacy. Sail Indonesia took us on a day tour of the Kumai area which included a fast trip on a longtail on the river (hold on tight) a welcome to a longhouse, a visit to an orangutan conservation project base and a rally dinner. The whole event was a great end to a memorable journey from Australia to see the orangutans.

From Borneo, we had a long and tiring two day sail to the Sumatran island of Belitung. Good SE winds up to 25 knots as we sailed along the southern Borneo coast and then it eased off to almost nothing in the Karimata Strait. No significant thunderstorms around just distant lightning. This was the final rally location and it proved to be the best, with an incredible welcome, day tour and final dinner with entertainment. I (Alison) gave a speech in well rehearsed Indonesian which delighted the 2000 or so locals attending the event. The anchorage was prettily nestled amongst granite boulders but rather a tempestuous sea breeze got up from time to time making the dinghy ride ashore difficult.

From Belitung we sailed up the Eastern Sumatran coastline, stopping at Pulua Gaspar, Pulau Bangka, Kentar, Mesenak and Batam. The weather was gradually changing as we got closer to the Equator. The weather was squallier with thunderstorms and the occasional westerly but nothing more than 20 knots and the whole trip involved a motor sail. As weapproached Singapore, the shipping traffic got busier and the sky smoggier.

September 2008

Sailed along the Sumbawa coast with Ramadan in full swing, arriving in North West Lombok underneath Indonesia's second highest mountain - Gunung Rinjani. Next stop was Bali, then Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) before heading up through the eastern islands of Sumatra to Singapore.

The anchorage at Teluk Kombal in Nortern Lombok was a nice, neat bay and the water very clear. We made a trip to the little coral island of Gili Air, which was out of season and quiet. We did some snorkelling in clear water. We also walked around the roads around the anchorage and there were many motor bikes. Nobody seems to walk much in this part of Indonesia. The trip across the Lombok Strait was windy and we arrived in Lovina Beach on the north side of Bali late afternoon. We encountered lots of individual, colourfully painted sailing outriggers coming back from a night's fishing. Gunung Agung towered high above.

Lovina Beach near Singaraja is great for those who like eating out in cheap restaurants. We went with a small group in a minibus to Bali Barat National Park for the day and saw black monkeys, long tailed macaques, giant squirrels and some birds. We also visited a Buddhist monastery, a Hindu sacred monkey temple, where a cheeky long tailed macaque stole an apple out of my hand, and had a dip in the hot springs. We took a minibus across the island to Denpasar and Benoa harbour. Very busy and modern. There was also a rally dinner at a local restaurant which included some musical contributions from Peter on "The Southern Cross" and Rob from "Mary Eliza".

Our next stop is going to be the marine reserve at the western end of Bali and then up to Borneo.

This was not what we expected as the wind seemed to be coming from the West as we proceeded along the coast and it was difficult to find a suitable anchorage. However the next two anchorages en route to Borneo were very good - namely Pulau Rass and Pulau Bawean. We were at that time sailing with "Solan", a New Zealand couple, whose boat was a lot faster, but they always waited for us and secured a spot in a new anchorage for us.

We had some quite reasonable sailing from Bali to Pulau Rass, up to 20 knots SE, and the next day to Pulau Bawean which was partly at night and we encountered many different types of boating traffic from semi-lit small boats to large ferries and freighters. On approach to Bawean there were many unflagged bamboo fishing rafts to contend with.

We spent two nights on Bawean, a strangely modern small island in the middle of the Java Sea, where seemingly, income is secured from work found in Singapore in the merchant seaman industry. Here "Tonic", "The Southern Cross", "Just Jane", "Solan" and ourselves made the two day, one night trip to the Kumai river mouth. There was quite a bit of shipping traffic again and at dawn we had a close encounter with a tug boat towing a coal barge. We enjoyed the chat on ch.77 which kept us awake. There was a 10-20 knot SE wind as well which minimised the amount of motorsailing we had to do. As we approached the coast of Borneo, late afternoon on the second day the wind turned on the nose and we hit the remains of a thunderstorm.

August 2008

Cruised from Kupang in West Timor up to Lewoleba on Lembata island surrounded by huge, steaming volcanos. Climbed 1600 m high Ili Api, near Lewoleba. This volcano was still active and it was hard to breathe at the top close to the vents. Then followed the Northern coastlines of Adonara and Flores islands to the Komodo island group which is a national park. Here we explored the underwater world and spent days in isolated bays watching huge komodo dragons wandering the beaches with deer, buffalo and hordes of long tailed macaque monkeys.

July 2008

We spent a few days recovering in beautiful Port Essington and roamed around our old favourite haunts. Only a few days sail from Darwin we used to come up here during the long dry season school holidays. Nearly empty for most of the year, the "port" is a natural harbour twice the size of Sydney harbour with loads of interesting wildlife, great anchorages and fascinating history.

Because of its position on the usual westward track most yachts are desparate to get to civilization in Darwin to replenish supplies and have little time to explore, leaving it empty. East and west of Essington are half a dozen other deep indented harbours making it the Territory's best, but least known, cruising ground. We passed notorious Cape Don with a spring tide, but not much wind, in company with two other yachts and motorsailed all the way into Darwin stopping off at Cape Hotham to get some sleep on the way.

The three city marinas were all full with the huge influx of rally boats and we joined the masses anchored in Fannie Bay. Three hectic weeks of provisioning and organising money, visas and flights to England kept us busy and at the time of typing this we are just about to set off for Kupang in West Timor.

The next time we will be able to update the website will be in three months time in Malaysia after passing the length of Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara from Yimor and Alor in the East to Bali in the ewest and then up to Southern Borneo and the string of islands off Sumatra's Eastern coast. Left Darwin eventually just before the main stream of rallyyachts in very light conditions which continued right across the Timor Sea to Kupang. Had an intersting if confusing encounter with Indonesian fishing boats half way across - near the shallow banks, but otherwise the whole passage was more about burning diesel than sailing. Kupang was reached on the last day of July.

June 2008

Arrived at Seisia after a very blustery trip up through Albany Passage and round Cape York. The tide was thankfully with us right round the Northern most tip of Australia and, together with an unwanted 40 knots of wind in places, we made nearly 11 knots. Seisia was full with yachts and 4 wheel drive visitors that had made it up the peninsula. Nearby Bamaga had had an injection of government money, but otherwise remained sleepy. We took 60 hours to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria to Cape Wessel with strong winds the first day out, but these faded to a calm on the third day. We were windbound at the Wessels for several days, but explored the deserted islands with rock wallabies, cockatoos, crocodiles and a strange dwarf vegetation of eucalypt, wattle and grevillea.

With constant rain showers the creeks were still running and we even found some large freshwater pools on Marchinbar island that were big enough for swimming. With the trade winds easing we made tracks along the Arnhem Land coast stopping at Elcho island, Cape Stewart, Maningrida, North Goulburn island and Bowen Strait before rounding into Port Essington at the North western end of the Top End. Galiwinku on Elcho island seemed to have had a downturn in fortunes looking poor, dirty and less well managed than on our last visit seven years ago.

Maningrida was cleaner and looked more prosperous than before, but the exorbitant prices of fuel and provisions in the community run stores made us wonder how the local community survived on CDEP wages or the dole.
May

We finally left Townsville with the boat loaded to the gunwales with food, water, diesel and spares. The wind was fair from the South East and in quick succession we passed Magnetic island, Orpheus in the Palm group, the Hinchinbrook channel, Dunk island, Mourilyan and Fitzroy island arriving in Cairns for a short stay after six days. A few teething problems with the engine and steering systems meant a bit of unwanted work inside the boat.

The trade wind had taken hold well and truly right through Northern Australia so it semed unlikely we would need much diesel - considering the ever rising cost, this was just as well. The lagoon seemed a bit silty on the route up to Cairns, but fringing reefs at Fitzroy were in good condition.

March and April 2008

Alison slogged it out at Kirwan until the end of term - gruelling stuff with mostly low ability classes or at least low interest classes! Geoff fits a new watermaker, chartplotter, AIS radar, stuffs around with the engine and steering and pretties up the interior. One of us gets a cocktail of air conditioning and teenagers, the other neither! To cap off this period of hard work, ten days up on the hard stand at Ross Haven boat yard see us remove the rudder, replace bits and pieces of propellor shaft and bearing, paint a lot of stuff including ourselves and do battle with a bush rat which has occupied the boat - we think it has got on board from camping equipment after a trip to the upper Burdekin river.

The annoying rodent resists all poison bait and any type of trap. We think it is a member of the Aussie Olympic team as it puts in hours of gymnastic training just when we get to sleep. We finally leave the dirty boat yard together with our elusive guest on a windy afternoon. The engine and clean hull power us against the tide down the Ross River at a speed we haven't experienced for ages, but the steering mysteriously collapses in the open sea. We hurriedly fitted the emergency steering tiller and make it back into the anchorage and later the marina in safety.

We plan to leave Townsville for Cape York and Darwin at the end of April. We have joined the Sail Indonesia rally leaving Darwin in July for Timor : not our usual way of sailing, but it avoids a lot of hassles with the paperwork. One last fling with our little red Daihatsu takes us up to Cairns and the Daintree. We walk up Mount Sorrell and look for wildlife in the coastal rainforest. The forest seems surprisingly quiet, but the scenery is attractive enough to compensate.

February

Serious stuff for us : Alison back to work at Kirwan High School and Geoff tackles a number of jobs on the boat. It is still very hot and wet. Several low pressure systems sweep past North Queensland with drenching, flooding rain in many places. The Ross river dam is full for the first time and the floodgates are released twice. Fantastic waterfalls cascade off the escarpment and every creek is full. Normally brown Townsville is as green as New Zealand.

More momentous things are happening in Australia : the new federal Labour government is blowing fresh air into Australian society after 11 years of stale, narrow minded conservatism under the Howard led Coalition. Federal parliament in Canberra opened for the first time with a ceremony by the indigenous people and a moving apology to the stolen generation. Australia signs up to Kyoto and appears to be taking global warming seriously and puts in motion the repealing of very unpopular Coalition anti labour legislation.

January 2008

The month started with two new cyclones swirling around the north: TC "Melanie" off the WA coast and "Helen" in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. Helen made it's way across Arnhem Land into the Gulf of Carpentaria, but died (for a while - see later) and ended up dumping plenty of monsoon rains in far North Queensland. Meanwhile, another low caused summer havoc and floods in the South East.

The arrival of rain in significant amounts meant that new life erupted in the eucalypt and paper bark forests around Cardwell : frogs started croaking, birds breeding, insects shrieking. Below decks, life was not so pleasant for us: cabin fever beginning to take hold!

We emerged out of the marina at Port Hinchinbrook just as the rekindled remains of "Helen" passed to the South of us, crossing the coast near Townsville and then tracked over Charters Towers, Emerald and Charleville, across New South Wales and Victoria, finally emerging in the Southern Ocean! The rain from the low was enough to break the drought in most of Eastern Queensland - in many places, it has been the most rain and flooding since the last La Nina in 1998. We waited for a week or so for the weather to right itself with the return of south easterlies for a while. During this time, we spotted the only crocodile we saw around Hinchinbrook. It swam over to the boat for a closer look, then submerged with a splash. We sailed back down to Magnetic island and Townsville in one long reach from the channel : back to work for both of us, but with now only three months before we set off for Asia.

2008 Australia and Indonesia to Malaysia
Alison and Geoff's Adventures Together - in Summary
16/12/2007

Many people have children; many more count their progress through life in terms of house(s)and possessions. We see our opportunities to experience the planet's beautiful places and biodiversity as our riches. Despite what it may seem, we have to work for every cent to pay for our journeying - we write articles for the internet since giving up teaching - from time to time! Fortunately, most of the best things in life are free or at least pretty cheap.

We met in the dole office in Lisson Grove, London in 1977 (working). Geoff got his first teaching job in Timaru, NZ in 1978 and Alison flew out to Christchurch a little later. We bought a share in some land West of Mt Ruapehu in a communal land title in the Upper Ruatiti Valley, but the horizon was already beckoning. Islands do that to you....

The following is a brief summary of our joint exploits together.

• 1979 - 1980: From Auckland to Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Kenya and on to London.
• 1982-1983: From London to Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad, Venezuela, Bonaire, Colombia, Ecuador, Galapagos, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, U.S.A., Iceland, Luxembourg and back to London.
• 1985: From London to Singapore, Jakarta, New Caledonia to Auckland.
• 1986: From Auckland by cycle and boots to the South Island. Oamaru to Invercargill, the North West circuit of Stewart Island, Fiordland - the Dusky track to Dusky Sound, Mount Aspiring - the Dart / Rees track, Queenstown, Wanaka, the Haast Pass, West Coast, Abel Tasman coast, Nelson, Wellington, Wanganui, Mount Ruapehu, Rotorua and back to Auckland.
• 1987: By 54 year old kauri sloop "Corsair" across the Tasman to Noumea and New Caledonia's Southern lagoon, across the Coral Sea to Bundaberg in Queensland, Great Sandy Strait to Brisbane. No radio or liferaft; a 25 pound plastic sextant and a broken compass to navigate by and a 50 dollar wind vane made at the last minute of bits of plywood and string!
• 1988: From Brisbane up the length of the Queensland coast to Cairns, then across to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
• 1989 : From Port Moresby two attempts to cross the Papuan Gulf in the cyclone season, then by plane to Cairns, Brisbane, Stanthorpe, Sydney, Auckland, the Bay of Islands, back to Port Moresby and then the remote jungle village of Ihu in the Gulf Province where we began our longest teaching career with the PNG Department of Education. We did try to get Corsair into the wild unmarked entrance of the Vailala river where the school was but nearly drowned on the bar and had to beat 150 nm back to Port Moresby.
• 1990: Across the Papuan Gulf to the P.N.G. island of Daru in the Torres Strait. Up the Oriomo River we lost use of the engine and floated with the current for nearly 40 km downstream. Later, we carried a teacher and his extended family of 12 along the coast towards Saibai in "Corsair".
• 1992: Across the Torres Strait to Thursday Island and back to Daru through the reefs, still without an engine. Anchored off the Federal pub in T.I. through the edge of a cyclone.
• 1993: Again across the Torres Strait without an engine, but back to Daru with it back in working order!
• 1995: Sailed back to Port Moresby and then on down the Papuan coast to Milne Bay here we taught for 2 years in Alotau.
• 1997: Sailed amongst the islands and coast of Milne Bay - the D'Entrecasteaux islands, Cape Vogel and Tufi peninsula, Amphlett, Engineer, Conflict, DeBoyne, Misima and the Calvados chain; finally up to Port Moresby and briefly to Brisbane.
• 1998: Flew to Cairns and bought "Saraoni "- named after the island protecting the beautiful bay at the end of Milne Bay we had so frequently sought refuge in. Sailed again down the length of the Great Barrier Reef, through the Sandy Strait, Brisbane, the Northern New South Wales rivers en route to New Zealand. A surprising twist in our fortunes took us sailing North to Townsville again and then across to Darwin in the Northern Territory.
• 1999: Flew to West Timor and travelled to the East Timor border by bus; walking trips to Katherine, Kakadu and the Litchfield plateau. By yacht to the Adelaide River, Bynoe harbour and a long spell in Port Essington - Gurig National Park.
• 2000: Port Essington again and over to the Tiwi islands.
• 2001: Set sail for New Zealand via the length of the Arnhem Land coast, deep into the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York, and a sprint along the Great Barrier Reef coast to Bundaberg, then on to Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
• 2002: Saraoni - and us - safely arrive in New Zealand. Solid teaching through 2003, but many walking and sailing trips from the Hauraki Gulf as far North as Houhora.
• 2004/5: Cycle from Auckland down the East coast of the North Island via Tauranga, Whakatane, East Cape, Napier, Cape Palliser to Wellington; return via the West coast Taranaki, Kawhia and Hamilton. Tramping journeys through Kahurangi, Nelson Lakes, Arthur's Pass and Stewart island.
• 2006: Tramping in Fiordland, Stewart Island and Arthur's Pass, NZ.
• 2006: Set sail from the Bay of Islands, NZ via New Caledonia to Bundaberg in Queensland. Cycled 1300 km from Bundaberg to Newcastle in New South Wales on a couple of cheap bikes from Big W.
• 2007: Sailed the East Coast of Australia from Bundaberg to Cardwell; explored on foot the national parks of Lamington, Giraween, Bunya Mountains, Mount Walsh, Eungella, Magnetic Island, Wooroonooran, Girringun and Hinchinbrook. and more teaching..sigh!
• 2008: Sailed up the Australian coast to Cape York, across to Darwin and to Timor, Lembata, Flores, Komodo islands, Sumbawa, Lombok, Bali, Java, Borneo, Sumatra in indonesia to Singapore and Malaysia.
• 2009: Sailed to the Andaman coast of Thailand, cycled 1100 km up through Malaysia
• 2010: Sailed from the Andaman Islands to Sri Lanka, then India, Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, Israel and then Turkey. A 1 month trip top old birthplace England to see if we could make money teaching. Our next trip put us on the road to our little writing business, which we still have wherever we are.
• 2011 Turkey and the Greek islands of the Aegean. Overwintered in Crete. Side trip to Nepal.
• 2012: Sailed to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands. Side trip to South Africa and Swaziland
• 2013: Sailed to Gran Canaria then Tenerife. Flew to Barcelona, South of France, U.K., New York and walked parts of the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Sailed from Gran Canaria to Tenerife and then South West to the Cape Verde Islands.
* 2014: Sailed to the South American coast across the Atlantic in 17 days. Then sailed up the coast to the island of Tobago.

Expect to continue through the Caribbean Island chain to Panama this year and fly to NZ in September. The final part of the circumnavigation will be across the Pacific Ocean next year.


1978 to 2014 Alison and Geoff's Joint Adventures in Summary
19/01/2014 | mary and dave.
wow!
09/03/2014 | tobias
hello;how are you my dears
01/04/2014 | Carolyn and Paddy Mitchell
Just reading your profile and blog today first time and amazed at what you have achieved in your lives. You are the epitome of true adventurers and we admire you lots for your brave lifestyle choices and commitment to one another during times which couldn't have been easy. Look forward to our next meeting, wherever! Love and all the very best of wishes for your safety in all your coming travels.

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