Sail Rock - Written by Michael

Adventures in the Similan Islands, Thailand

I made a running leap up onto a large rock, and all the other kids were like, “HOW THE HECK DID YOU GET UP THERE??!!”. I have to admit, I was a bit proud of myself! But then I had to wait for the other kids to find a way up!!

Yesterday we went ashore to play with another kid boat called Rainbow Safari!! There was this giant rock that had a whole cave behind it, so Niki (9 years), Robby (5 years) and I (11 years) all went exploring behind it. We found a lot of treasure troves full of (sadly) trash and lots of pieces of coral!! Then we walked all the way over the rocks at the end of the smaller island. We found a cave in between two large stones that led far back in a narrow tunnel. We didn’t have time to explore it, because we were going on a hike!

We went to this trail that led to an immense balancing rock called Sail Rock. On the path was a massive monitor lizard that quickly scampered away. The way up was really awesome, because it led throu…

The Year of the Pig

Bring on the BACON!  Since arriving in Thailand, bacon has been a steady staple in our fridge after an entire year without it.  Throughout Indonesia, a predominately Muslim country, pork was obsolete, and we missed our BLTs and bacon and eggs.  (Honestly, how can one be expected to survive without such vital rations??)   So, it was a bit fortuitous that we finally found ourselves in Thailand, land of infinite pork, to celebrate the ringing in of the 2019 Chinese New Year, coincidentally, a year of the pig.
This New Year’s celebration, our first ever, was going to be special.  A fellow Antares owner, Eric, and his wife Cora, have lived in Phuket for ten years but are originally from Hong Kong.  They are amazing resources regarding all things Phuket and have helped us source boat parts and services specific to our boat.  More importantly, though, is the friendship that has grown between us in such a short amount of time.  It was a thrill to be invited to their home for a glimpse into an …

Off the Beaten Path - Cruising Sumatra's West Coast!

After our time in Borneo, we needed to start considering our cruising plans.  Would we follow the standard cruiser track and head up the Malacca Strait to Singapore?  Or would we try another route and blaze our own trail around the southwest coast of Sumatra?

The Malacca Strait is a popular topic among cruiser forums, where sailors commiserate about the sheer number of shipping vessels that congest the narrow waterway between Singapore and Indonesia.  Wikipedia defines it as “a narrow, 550 mi stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. As the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.”  The site (link to Wiki article on Malacca Strait) goes on to state that in 2008, the annual number of vessels transiting the strait was 94,000!  These stats weren’t the reason we didn’t take the Malacca Strait path that most cruisers take when they travel from Indonesia to Mal…