Page updated 25/11/2016 Update is highlighted below
This image is quite busy so it may look confusing to see in Google Earth click here but essentially.
Trade Winds – Heavy Green line
ITC zone – White wedge running across the globe
Proposed track – thin red line
Route to date – Thick red line
Don’t forget in Google Earth with the rough planed route you can zoom in and out to get a bit more detail, plus in some cases if you click on the blue boat Icon you may get some notes. (Try the blue boat Icon at Manila for example)
Historical plans have been removed
The initial plan around 2008 was to circumnavigate the world once we felt we had the experience. Screensaver was chosen with this in mind and it would also be our home for many years to come. While I am not a fan of Rallies these days, there were and still are in 2016 a number of Rallies that go around the world. One of my problem’s with rallies even back then was, all but one essentially did it in a year and the speed of most rallies was and still is one of my objections. But for a relatively inexperienced sailor back then and the peace of mind it gave to the Gypsy, the Blue Water Rally was chosen. It went around the world in 2 years, still to fast but better. We had in fact signed up to the Rally and were about to pay when disaster struck.
So in the end plan B was developed trying to improve on what I didn’t like about the circumnavigation Rally’s.
One objective was to remove the timing constraints; So if you want to stay or go you can. Then you don’t go in bad weather because the rally has to, if you like the place you can stay. All difficult to achieve in a Rally. While I always wanted to sail the Med for example, the actual sailing season there is at best 3-5 months of the year and those cruising grounds can also see big sea’s. Where as if I hover around the equator typically sea’s, winds and climate are more accommodating.
In those days the pirate risk was higher in the Red sea and less of a threat than the Philippines. These days (2016) from what I hear those scales have probably changed, and the Red sea is said to be not as bad as it was, while Philippines has got worse, but the Pacific does not have these threats, and many who have circumnavigated the world say the Pacific was the best.
Hence plan “B” when I set out has had many minor diversion but in its simplistic form it hasn’t changed that “much. Don’t go further west than Andaman’s, don’t go further east than Hawaii/Tahiti French Polynesia, and try confine your self to 8-10’N through 22’S.
I have covered more than 32000nm, which to give you some order of magnitude is 1.5 times around the world. The remaining plan includes another 15,000nm to go finishing back in Australia before 2020. At between 3000 and 8000nm a year I’m pretty much on track.
The 2020 date is driven by current financial planning and I figure by then I will have had enough of the bigger trips and ultimately be looking for a place to call home and park Screensaver for more sedate sailing. Part of this plan is also to find somewhere along the way that suits
The remaining influencing factors are one of safety be it pirates, typhoons/Cyclones or navigation and exactly how you determine that risk is a challenge. When I first left for Asia many said about the dangers pirates kidnapping etc. Most of these people (but not all) are ill informed comparatively and have never been there, though very real dangers do exist and I am reminded of 5 separate kidnappings this month in Malaysia by Filipinos. These risk are almost non-existent once outside of Malaysia East coast Sandakan area and southern Philippines.
Typhoons and Cyclones are around the world and Philippines is ranked third in the world. Right now I sit on a mooring that is said to be Typhoon safe waiting for one to pass by within 30nm, something I would never dream of doing in QLD. Not wishing to tempt fait tonight but my own experience over the 14 months tells me my view as to the risk before coming here was that I believed the risk to be far more significant than I now believe. But the rough rule of + or – 8’ Lat for Typhoon/Cyclone free is and excellent start, so heading south and sailing in or nearer that range will be a factor.
Navigation hazards are also a lot higher in Asia than my experience in the pacific. Mostly from boats of some sort, fish traps,nets , buoys and even oil rigs with no lights markings etc The risk of sailing or traveling at night is higher and where ever possible I have avoided it. In the Pacific many of these do not exist.
Nov 2016 – Jan –2017
Having seen a good portion of the Philippines I will shortly be heading south down the east coast of Philippines to Davao Golf and Samal where I will checkout of the country. From there I will leave to cross the Celebes Sea into the NE corner of Indonesia.
Feb 2017 – Apr 2017
I hope to take some time in Raja Ampat said by some to have the most beautiful spots in Asia. and the best part Asia from a cruisers prospective. Depending on Visa extensions and what its really like this may get extended.
April 2017 – June 2017
During the end of April/May I hope to travel down the NE coast of Papua. If I leave to much later and I will have head winds. As far as I know at this point there is not a lot to see down the NE coast of Papua/PNG, but I would like to see New Britain which is said to be pretty much untouched in many parts. The Bismarck Sea has a few interesting looking places but this whole area is quite remote. It is quite something to sit and look at an area where you wounder if any man has set foot there, or at least very few.
July 2017 – Sep 2017
New Ireland is also remote and said to be pretty much how it was many years ago in most parts so it would be nice to have a look there as well. Somewhere here I will need to make a call as to whether I continue on my plan which takes me into Micronesia north to Satawan and onto the Marshalls or turn South and head back to Solomon’s Vanuatu and out to Fiji. There are some quite big stretches heading the northern path and I have never liked over nighters, let alone multiple ones so the northern route would be tougher, but at 4 or 5’N there less risk of Typhoons or Cyclones
The southern route has a few less overnighters and in many cases I can travel south in short trips and still have my sun downers and snorkel at the end of the day.
So yep in true cursing form as you are gathering now the plan in 2018 is still quite fluid and it will either be NE or SE.
Long Term Beyond 2019…
I will try to update this page as things become clearer, but anything here is only an indication I do still like the area between Langkawi and the top of Thailand, and now the Philippines is also quite attractive to me. Vanuatu and New Caledonia are still on the table as well. From these place’s I can make a base park Screensaver, and go sailing for short or medium periods.
Most of the places I have been have visa constraints and you are limited to 3 month’s max and you must leave, all be it you may only cross the boarder for a day and come back. The alternative is a retirement type visa that typically requires something in the order of $100k to be parked somewhere or in something.
Philippines is attractive to me as the sailing is much better, the place is cleaner (including the water) the hops are easy and there are many little places that remain unexplored by me. But the costs are higher here than Thailand for example and so to are the risks.
It is becoming unlikely bar family or some other relationship reason I will return to Australia permanently. Why would I want to pay 3 times as much to live, governed like a school kid with over regulation, and be made to feel like a pain in the arse when I go to buy something.
At present for financial reasons it would seem I will need to primarily be in Ozy around 2020 possibly for 2 years. This requirement will drive my long term end date for major cruising. After 2021 I expect I will leave for where ever is to be home and where I will hang my hat as they say.
People have asked when do I plan to stop ?
I have no plan to stop specifically and wait to become at one with the universe, but I wont be 21 for ever so yep scale back the sailing and find somewhere to park Screensaver where I can walk on and off, have endless power and water and still drop the lines for a few months of the year.
If you would like to join somewhere along this journey of life by all means put your hand up and let me know. I make no promises, and as long as you don’t get offended if the answer is no, then you have little to lose.
You will be used to this these day……;
By appointment and approval only, No kids, unless short term, no more than 4 (additional) people at a time, come at your own risk, must keep captain in scotch, pay your own way, contribute both financially (to your costs) and with chores, while on board, arrive and depart to our schedule, only open to family (first) friends (second) acquaintances (third).