1st May 2010: we left Nelson, South Island New Zealand and headed North, to Vanuatu and the tropics. Leaving NZ can be a relatively challenging passage: this one, with one minor gale, a broken bowsprit, was no worries! First landfall was the active volcano of Tanna, before continuing North through the many islands of this beautiful country and its exceptionally friendly and welcoming natives, this was sailing with friends through a South Pacific paradise!
In late July, and with a totally different crew, we left the Northern isles for a fast sail to the Lousiades off Papua New Guinea, and then on to Thursday island in Australia and Darwin.
October'10: some old crew and some new, we left for a lazy sail to Bali, then North into the Java sea. The sailing in Indonesia was frustrating with light or no wind, currents often against us and frequent squalls, so there was a lot of motoring! However, with stops in Borneo and trips into the jungle to see orang utans, amongst other wonders, and visiting remote villages built out over the water on stilts in the Linggas, it was well worth while.
It was enough to see the mayhem of Singapore from a little distance, though the industrial sprawl wasn't confined to land! We dodged across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and wound our way through literally hundreds of anchored oil tankers and container ships and made our way to and through the Straits of Malacca.
The Langkawis in the North of Malaysi were beautiful and a taste of things to come in Thailand.
Only photos can really do Thailand justice, but the islands here are breathtaking, the food superb, the climate perfect and the people utterly accommodating.
March 2011: Andamans! A very calm flat 6 day crossing with no moon, starry starry nights, phosphorescent dolphins, new sails, mid- ocean swims, plenty of laughs, and now - Indian craziness!
April/May 2011: Backtracking a bit - Thailand, Malaysia - but why rush to leave such beautiful places? Then, finally, heading for the northern tip of Sumatra, and then down the west coast; surfboards ready!
June/July 2011: West Sumatra was great, and the surfboards saw a bit of use! Then out to sea again, and a fast passage to the Cocos Keeling Islands.
August 2011: A tradewind passage on to Mauritius - Lilly loved the sailing, but a very noisy gearbox meant no engine - and sailing past Rodrigues.
Arrived in Mauritius 10th August, and some local expertise solved the gearbox problem!
Sept-Oct’11: to Madagascar and another unknown… whales!.. breaching, flipper-slapping and singing; Isle St Marie, a beautiful, a tropical island paradise … An epic overland journey to part with old crew and collect new … Sailing north: an anchorage that is wild, ancient, remote, untouched, one of the most special places that Lilly’s anchor has dropped. Round the North Cape in 30 kts of wind into the Mozambique Channel; the landscape here is so different, the dry, parched, scrubland is brown - the land has been devastated, but the coral is fantastic though and plenty of fresh fish!
Oct-Nov'11 SOUTH AFRICA! A varied 12 day passage with a bit of everything, becalmed, meandered south till the last days of full on lightning, strong squalls, days hove too, one morning we woke up to find Zebedee hove too a few hundred metres away, then screaming down the coast at 8, 9, 10 knots into Richards Bay where the engine promptly cut out mid marina! after a bit of drama and sailing out into space we managed to tie up safely and were soon drinking midnight rums with the neighbours.
Christmas '11 Simon's Town, and a chance to get a bit of work done on Lilly - including two new dinghies! - so she'll be ready for a new ocean.
Jan-Feb'12 A trade wind passage across the wide Atlantic via St.Helena ... ...Fernando de Noronha ...
24th March '12 Surinam!! Our longest passage yet, a new continent and islands ahead of us.
April - October 2012, Tobago was our first landfall in the Caribbean and has become our favourite. After exploring the many islands - Grenada, St Vincent, Martinique, Dominica, Guadaloupe, St Martin, and Barbuda, we are back resting in Pirates Bay Tobago.
December '12: A chapter ends in high drama - see 'Lilly in Crisis ' - but it isn't the end of the story and now a new chapter begins ... have a look at 'Lilly Returns'
April '13: Antigua Classics, and Lilly is out there with the best of them - or even showing them the way! Thank you Lilly ...
Time passes - at a Caribbean pace .... The Skipper has a new Mate: Nono. A new member of the crew is due to be born around the beginning of September...
April '14. Lilly is welcomed back for the Antigua Classics: some great racing, 3rd in her class - and Best Dressed Crew!
Sept'14. We have a bit of catching up to do - but all that really matter is the arrival of Seren Adara, born on 29.8.14, aboard Lilly in her new home in a quiet corner of the River Cleddau in Wales