Back in Kudat

Hard to believe it’s been more than a month, since we arrived to Kudat, a small port at the north-east tip of Borneo… Time really flies and last month it flew even more so, since we were especially busy. Moreover, unlike our stay in Puerto Princesa, where we literally spent the whole month and a half aboard Janna translating, this time we were more often out of Kudat. While we traveled all around SE Asia, we left Janna in care of our friends Jackie and Dave of s/y Brigadoon safely tied to a pontoon in the local marina (which by the way is free! It hasn’t been officially opened yet and is run jointly by the cruisers in the spirit of a commune – people take turns cleaning the showers, share washing lines and clothes pegs, watch after the boats of those who are currently away plus even water their plants and take care of their dogs…).

Janna in Kudat marina

Janna in Kudat marina

Continue reading →

Back in the Oasis of Quiet

We casted off as planned. This time we were resolved that nothing can stopped us.

The last three days were a real ordeal. From peace of a quiet bay we stepped right in the midst of a full-blown house-party. The Chinese New Year that’s nine days of national holidays, desperate traffic jams, every hotel in the favorite destinations is hopelessly over-booked, even small shrines and temples offer their meditation cells to tourists.

Why would we go back to Kaohsiung at the peak of the busiest tourist period of the whole year? Why?


Continue reading →

The weather really gone crazy

Still sitting in Kaohsiung and waiting. Since we are playing sailors you might thing that following winds, favorable currents, a good weather window is why we are still rotting here (that’s a bit of exaggeration, but it is a fact that during the North-East Monsoon Kaohsiung is showered by dust from inland and sooth from the factories nearby, so rotting we are not, it’s more like being buried by the earth at sea). So weather etc is not the main reason for our delayed departure. We had plenty of chances to cast off. The North-East Monsoon is at full strength now, but periodically it eases up and opens a two to three day windows, which would let us slip in the shadow of Luzon without too much fuss. With a little bit of imagination you could say that we could do it without getting our feet wet.

weather 2013-01

Continue reading →

Boat cleaning crew 2

Continue reading →

Another Uneventful (sic) Week Aboard

Continue reading →

Settled in

Kaohsiung is battered by the southwest quadrant, well, is has almost abated, so there’s just an occasional rain squall or a wind gust. We’ve spent the night surprisingly well. It was blowing quite hard, Janna was rocking like mad, but I slept like a baby. Only from time to time did the screeching of our fenders or the howling wind in the rigging wake me. Seems like our rigging is a quite one. The howling always comes from the other boats. Perhaps the windspeed is not high enough… but while moored in Hong Kong we set through few storms and it blew hard. Jana didn’t get much sleep, but she looks cheerful anyway — ah, right, so she says, that she’s actually pretty dopey:

“I woke up every hour since midnight. Whenever the boat tugged harder on her mooring lines, I checked the whereabouts of the typhoon on the iPad. Once I was woken up by a splash of rain which got in through the half-open companionway. That’s what I call a rouse!”

Continue reading →

Back on board

After two months of “holidays” back home in the Czech Republic, we are back on board. Kaohsiung welcomed us with heat and rain squalls produced by a tropical storm on its way to Hong Kong.

Even though we’ve left the boat  in all that tropical heat completely closed for two months, she smelled good and there was just a little bit of dust and mildew here and there.

When we left Kaohsiung in late May, we moved out of our tiny condo, where we were writing our theses and we dumped all our books that we could not part with just yet and two folding Dahon bikes into the main cabin. We’ll sort that out when we get back, we thought.


Now we are back and the boat is a mess. Not to mention that now that we have filled the water tank, bought few stores and unpacked our bags, we are close to sinking. For two days we were sorting everything out and at the end of the sorting we ended up with one huge Costco bag full of books that will be loaded back on board when we head to Hong Kong in the autumn (you can’t send surface packages from Taiwan to Europe anymore and air is too expensive), and two smaller bags one with Czech and one with English books, which we donated to a friend. Bikes are now locked at the stern and covered with black garbage bags — a sight to be seen. True harbour gypsies!


So the real living aboard thing is happening. Perhaps we got used to the space and comfort of our folks’ places and the cool and clean air of the good old Bohemia. Now, once again, we carry our water in jerry cans, we check our batteries regularly and worry about every amp consumed. We watch the weather more closely, it’s the typhoon season here after all…

But all the little discomforts allow us to enjoy everything else with much more intensity.

It’s time for a round of refit that turns our little boat into a comfortable home. So far we only had time for important upgrades that made our boat safe to sail. And sail her we did. From Singapore to Langkawi and back again and on to Borneo, Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Now comes a little bit of interior redesign, new dodger, some awning system, and few other projects. And when the typhoon season is over, let the cruising begin: east coast of Taiwan, perhaps we’ll be able to pop into Okinawa, then Hong Kong for a haul out and onto Philippines! Let’s see how it goes…

27.4.2012 Never Set Sail on Friday!


Saying good-bye to Kaohsiung

Continue reading →

5-9.7.2009 Philippines to Hong Kong and What Followed

  Continue reading →