My grandmother fondly refers to me as her little bird, flitting from branch to branch and migrating with an inbuilt instinct. Perhaps this translates to our sea life as we are nomadic sailors, exploring the globe however the seasonal or Trade wind dictates. I guess that’s the best way to describe the grand plan, although anyone who knows me understands my plans are often scratched in the sand of a beach with a rising tide.
Trade winds are amazing. We purchased a beautiful chart of the tall ships trading routes which inspired dreams long before we moved aboard Tiki and has become my go-to map when dream planning our global course. Normally we would be sticking closely to these seasonal highways, after all we are nomadic and want an easy cruising life. But sometimes we go against the wind, turn on the engine and reverse course. Why?
It irked me as we sailed south away from the idyllic turquoise waters and palm fringed islands of Terengganu state. I’m green with envy talking to other cruising boats in the area which are generally headed north or east as it’s the SouthWest Monsoon season with consistent fresh winds from the south. Their destinations include Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo and the Philippines. Oh boy am I jealous! (read inspired)
Not us we’re going south, motoring not only into a headwind but a 2-3knot opposing current and swell. It seems like madness and after a few nasty passages into wind through Indonesia Captain Crackers and I looked each other in the eye, spat on our palms, shook and swore never again! yet here we are.
Ahh but this time the madness has an olive grove gold and mountain peaked silver lining. This time I’m not complaining at all. Because this time for all the queasy seasick, thumping discomfort associated with this beat to wind sea leg there is a huge reward at the end. We are off on a land based awesome adventure in the form of GR11 hiking in Spain, woo hoo!
So why am I sailing south into the wind? In boatlife any long departure from our salty home means Tiki needs to be looked after in a secure yard or marina. Mediocre ones simply offer a pontoon to tie to. A good one in addition has security, will check her mooring lines, watch her waterline, listen for alarms and tie down anything which works itself loose in a storm. Tiki is my home, she’s got soul, I talk to her, we’ve got sand-scratched plans. She HAS to be in a good one and unfortunately there isn’t a big choice in this area, so back south towards Singapore we go.
Sailing into the trade winds? Normally would never recommend it, but this time it’s all good and the distances not too far. The real beauty of the trades to this nomad is that they will be here around the same time every year so my sand scratchings are free to follow them when we return.