Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Welcome aboard?

Yes, I live on a sailing yacht in Asia - a fairly luxurious one. I am currently sailing through the beautiful islands of southern Philippines. Having spent many years cruising the coastlines and islands of Thailand and Malaysia, it is refreshing to go somewhere that has not been over-exploited for tourism and holiday home development.  The people are super friendly, the water is crystal clear and not badly effected by plastic rubbish;  many of the islands are unpopulated, or certainly rarely visited.  A rare opportunity in a world that is becoming rather crowded!

Why would I want to live on a boat you wonder? Watching the sunset from the back of the boat; or the thousands of stars that slowly unfold in the night sky; or the phosphorescence glowing in the wake of the boat during a night sail: these things might explain why.

Shah is not like the kind of boat you charter from Sunsail! She is a home at sea, with many of the moderns conveniences – 2 double-bedded cabins, en-suite showers, surround sound DVD, MP3 music, automatic washing machine, watermaker (60 Lph), galley kitchen with fridge, freezer, stove & grill. Outdoors has a large comfy cockpit, stargazing poopdeck, al fresco dining table and all the navigation equipment you could shake a stick at. All within 44 foot!

But it’s not all beaches and snorkelling. Much of the day is consumed with looking after the boat or other basic necessities. Shopping and making a meal can become an adventure in itself. The true qualities can return to life, of simple needs and fulfilment. (I used to love The Good Life!)

Somehow looking after a boat is more rewarding than a flat or house – instead, you are looking after the boat that is looking after you. The relationship between a boat and its crew is no myth. I don’t know how I used to have time for a job!

So about me? I ran a company for many years. Though it was property that allowed me to realise my dream and step off the treadmill onto a yacht – hoorah! I’ve done the open-top sports car thing and am over that. I am now happy to spend less money - more wisely. Not having a job gives you back the time to do things yourself rather than pay someone else – which can be a steep learning curve, but also very rewarding.

I am very boat proud and work hard to maintain the boat to a very high standard in terms of beauty, performance, comfort and safety.

Oh, and I have a black cat.