Sailing into the wind – why would anyone do it?


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.


12 thoughts on “Sailing into the wind – why would anyone do it?”

  1. “Cus some things just have to be done? great Blog Heather great to see you are still taking life by the horns and revelling in every challenge, pleasure and happiness to be had from it all, well done you – a bit different to the assignments we did a few years back 🙂 look forward to hearing more, Feijoabird in Aotearoa………….. yep the old bird still going!!! still growing – Permaculture rules ok at the homestead here 🙂



    1. Carol me luvver I miss you so much! What crazy bird fun we had, oh and tears and stressful deadlines and lots of planty adventures 🙂
      I think my next land adventure might have to include permaculture studies in Aotearoa, if you’ll have me? Big hugs gorgeous friend xxxx


      1. 🙂 oh happy days!!! 🙂 big salty hugs back ya don’t have to ask – just turn up:-) be so awesome to see you here a nice Marina down the coast at Tauranga if you come by sea or we can collect you from Auckland airport if you fly so………. one to scratch in the sand on ebbing tide at top of equinox King tide:-) xxxxx hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. smiled all the way through reading this – brought back lots of happy memories!! Am also very jealous of your trip to Spain, I hope you blog about it as it is something that I would love to do!


    1. so glad to have made you smile, a bloggers dream 🙂
      I’m excited and daunted about Spain and hope to be able to blog somewhere on the way. Finding internet cafes en-route may be a challenge and the backpack weight is going to be as low low low as possible!


  3. Well dahlinks, I am so glad you have left going north on the Eastern side for another day……like this time next year, when a little Tuppenny and her girls are there to share it with you. We have been talking and are also keen to do Vietnam and Cambodia during the next South West Monsoon season. Wonderful blog, helps keep our dream alive whilst still landlubbing. Enjoy your Spanish hiking….I only managed about 17 miles yesterday and could barely move today! ha ha ha, but it was sooooo worth it. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gorgeous ladies we are so excited to be nearing the time when Tiki and Tuppenny are in the same cruising waters. Hang on,17 miles? that’s like really far, almost marathon far. GO you! xxxxx


  4. :my plans are often scratched in the sand of a beach with a rising tide.” Because sometimes those are the best made plans ehy 😉 Hope you enjoyed Malaysia, although I’m not the biggest fan of Singapore, it really is such a clean city. Onward! Hear from you on land again soon xx

    Liked by 1 person

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