2009 Australia to Thailand

Here is what we got up to cruising the world in 2009!

Cruising in 2009!! New Years Eve – Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand.

20th – 31st December – Phuket, & The Similan Islands, Thailand!

A picture perfect tropical beach, Ko Rok Nok.

One of the many beautiful views around Thailand, The Landscape is towering around Maya Bay, Phi Phi Le .

Mark looks tiny looking at the cliffs around the beach at Phi Phi Le.

We found Nemo at Ko Rok Nok, Thailand, while practising our underwater photography .

28th November – 13th December 2009 – Langkawi, Malaysia.

One of the many beautiful views around Langkawi.

24th November – We arrived to the beautiful island of langkawi. We hav e spent the past few days relaxing around Singa Besar & Pulau Dayang Bunting. It is so peaceful, beautiful and the scenery is just breathtaking. We love it here! We have been swimming to keep cool in this hot, hot weather. We had a dip in the lovely Lake of the pregnant maiden which is a large fresh water lake with beautiful mountains around it. The town of Kuah is a very cute little tourist town, very nice.

21st -24th November, Penang, Malaysia!

18th November 2009- After about 9 weeks we left Danga Bay, Johor Bahru, Malaysia today headed for historical Penang!

10th – 13th November. We took a few days holiday by land and took a bus trip to Malacca and then onto Kaula Lumpur which was lots of fun. We even stayed in a hotel that had a bath, we enjoyed many hot baths during our little holiday, it was wonderful!

Mark enjoying a cold beer at a lovely outdoor cafe right on the river in Malacca.

The sparkling Twin Towers of Kaula Lumpur at night, very pretty.

We got to play with a 4 month old baby tiger at the petting zoo, we also saw some cute little Australian Sugar Gliders and a very cute little furry thing with big eyes which we are not sure what it is.

Beautiful flowers in Little India for the temples, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Downtown local Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Little India in Downtown local Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

11th -13th September 2009 – Singapore!!!! Changi Sailing Club & Shopping at the famous Sim Lim Square!

We have arrived in Malaysia after crossing the Singapore Straits. The Straits were amazing, lots and lots of HUGE ships, barges with tugs and all sorts of traffic. YAY! We have crossed one of the busiest shipping channels in the WORLD!!!!! So after a 5 day direct passage from Indonesia, it is now time for us to relax and enjoy Malaysia:) 8th September 2009

1-2 September 2009 We went on a 2 day river cruise to see the beautiful wild Orangutans of Kumai. They were just amazing, so interesting to watch, so cute – yet strong and powerful. A once in a lifetime experience!

A lovely mummy Orangutan with her little baby, very cute!

27 August – 4th September 2009 – Kumai, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia!

20th -27th August 2009 – Bali, Indonesia!

12th – 13th August 2009 – Komodo Island, Indonesia!

A glorious red sunrise in Asia – Komodo Island, Indonesia.

4th – 7th August 2009 – Ambon, Indonesia!

30th July – 3rd August 2009 – Banda, Indonesia!

25th – 28th July 2009 – Tual, Indonesia!

Mark made some new friends on a beautiful Indonesian Island.

Beautiful view from traditional beach village in Tual.

Local fisherman at sunset.

20th – 22nd July 2009 – Saumlaki, Indonesia!

18th July – We are leaving for Indonesia today! YAY, we are so excited and cannot wait to see all of the wonderful places in Indonesia we will be visiting.

30th June- 18th July 2009 Fannie Bay, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia!

A gorgeous sunset in Fannie Bay Darwin.

6th May – 20th June 2009 – Lizard Island & Ribbon Reef#10 (The Cod Hole),The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland’s Coral Coast, Australia!

The beautiful paradise called Lizard Island, we just love it! We stayed there for 6 weeks and had the most wonderful time.

3rd May 2009- Port Douglas, The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland’s Coral Coast, Australia!

22nd April 2009- 2nd May 2009 -Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland’s Coral Coast, Australia!

What a beautiful port Cairns is! We have enjoyed our 3 weeks in this tropical paradise. We took the train to Kuranda and saw beautiful waterfalls, then got the skyrail back which was amazing to see the rainforest from above. We took a lovely walk along the Barron River and went to the fabulous Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, where we saw the famous Cairns Birdwing & The Ulysses Butterfly amongst many other gorgeous species.

The beautiful Cairns Birdwing Butterfly (Mark took this excellent photo!)

The historic Kuranda Train underway in Cairns

19th April 2009 – We are having an amazing time in beautiful Cairns. I went to Perth and on the way stopped off and saw the famous Uluru. Now getting our provisions and a few things for Sea Life in Cairns and enjoying the tropics for another week or so. Then going to continue to explore the beautiful Great Barrier reef over the next month or two. The weather is beautiful!

The beautiful Uluru in the centre of Australia

11th April 2009 – Fitzroy Island,The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland’s Coral Coast, Australia!

Friday 10th April 2009! What a wonderful year we have had! Today marks the anniversary of the first year of cruising around the world aboard Sea Life.Since this time last year we have sailed over 13,136 nautical miles at sea, done the famous panama canal, crossed the vast Pacific Ocean, and travelled from the Caribbean to Australia. We have survived strong winds, squalls, a cyclone and above all we have discovered so much about what we can do, how strong we really can be in challenging times and how wonderful the world truly is!

It has been a year of adventures including, climbing mountains, snorkelling in crystal clear waters, swimming with wild Galapagos Sea Lions, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, beautiful passages at sea, spotting turtles, having encounters with wild birds, dolphins, whales and seeing animals and nature as it really is. It has been the most rewarding, exciting and happy year of our lives, we have made so many wonderful new friends from all around the world, we have learned so much about about different countries, their cultures, history, people and animals. So many wonderful experiences and stories to treasure in our heart forever.We look forward to the many, many more wonderful cruising adventures and years of cruising we have ahead!

7-10th April 2009 – Dunk Island, The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland’s Coral Coast, Australia!

Here is a photo taken at sea on the way to Dunk Island, beautiful sky and clouds!

March 2009 The Whitsunday’s, Queensland’s Coral Coast, Australia!

1st April 2009- We have been enjoying the glorious Whitsunday’s for over a month now. The weather this week is just wonderful, light winds and beautiful sunshine. We are enjoying our favorite spot Blue Pearl Bay for a few days and then catching up with our lovely friends from Sydney on Saturday for a picnic cruise on Sea Life. Happy days of beautiful weather and fantastic snorkelling!!!

6-9th March 2009 – Severe Tropical Cyclone Hamish – Category 5 cyclone – Hayman Island, The Whitsunday’s, Queensland, Australia. We survived our first (and we hope last!!!) cyclone, anchored in a cyclone hole aboard Sea Life battling through the gale force winds for over 20 hours without sleep….we were lucky….we are safe, Sea life is safe and we didn’t get the eye of the cyclone going over us, but rather an outer circle.It was hard work, but we did our best and got through it all with a laugh and a smile!

19th February 2009 – Lady Musgrave Island Lagoon, The Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Australia

The beautiful coral loagoon – Lady Musgrave Island, Queensland Coral Coast.

We had an amazing time at the beautiful Lady Musgrave. It is one of the first coral areas of the (Southern) Great Barrier Reef. We sailed in on a glorious morning with the dolphins, turtles and sea snakes welcoming us to this beautiful part of the world. It was the most amazing experience to be totally surrounded by a coral lagoon, with a circled wall of breaking waves around us, protecting us from the open ocean swell. Inside the coral wall was calm and peaceful, like a magical paradise. We had lovely weather which made the experience just perfect. We also saw the hundreds upon hundreds of birds nesting ashore.

A bird at sunset on Lady Musgrave Island.

We were lucky enough to see the gorgeous, tiny, little baby turtles hatch and make their way down the beach to the ocean. They were just so perfect, tiny little versions of their mummy’s and daddy’s. They were so small they were about less than half the size of our hands. We also saw the beautiful much larger mummy turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs in the sand.

A baby turtle hatchling on Lady Musgrave Island February 2009.

They were so big and graceful. It was so amazing to see the complete circle of life of the turtles. From the vulnerable and tiny babies rushing down the beach to the water and the mummy laying the next batch of babies who will soon be having the same trials right after birth of trying to make it through their first night in the big, dark ocean. Sadly we saw lots of predators waiting to take advantage of the tiny babies, including sharks waiting in the shallow water, crabs and seagulls. It was very sad, but it is nature and at least we had comfort knowing that their would be babies that survived to be as old and beautiful as the large mummy turtles we saw. We felt very privileged to be able to see this wonderful miracle of nature

Early February 2009 – Bundaberg (The home of the famous Bundaberg Rum, Bundaberg Ginger Beer and Bundaberg Sugar), Queensland, Australia!

You have to make a home brew up in Bundaberg!!! Mark made his first batch of beer aboard, we had lots of fun, especially Mark. Now he has to wait a few weeks for it to be ready to drink on a beautiful afternoon on deck at sunset.

Mark is very happy making beer!!!.

Bundaberg, Queensland, a lovely river.

Early February 2009 – Fraser Island, The Great Sandy Strait, Queensland, Australia!

Tin Can Bay – We have had huge flocks of wild Lorikeets fly over Sea Life each morning and afternoon. This morning we had the treat of hand feeding a rare wild Indo Pacific Humpback dolphin 5.2.09.

We got really close to him and he came really close up to us to say hello a few times….just beautiful.

The Indo Pacific Humpbacks are only found in rivers, not in the open ocean so they are very special and quiet rare, they are also found in the Amazon too (sometimes known as pink dolphins).

Southport, Surfers Paradise – The Gold Coast (sunny) Queensland, Australia!

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!!! Monday 26th January 2009. Aussie, Aussie, oi,oi,oi…..We are off the enjoy our happy Australia day to celecbrate what a wonderful country we have in Surfers Paradise, a day of swimming at the beautiful beach, some fish and chips….and watch the celebrations on the Gold Coast….how wonderful!

A gorgeous sunset at Sufers Paradise, The Gold Coast, Queensland.

We had the most amazing sail to the sunny and very beautiful Gold Coast, yay….we are now in Queensland where the weather is glorious and warm! Surfers Paradise is just lovely, very coastal, warm and relaxed….we love it! And we are going to have a fantastic time in a true holiday city…we are even going to Sea world to say hello to the dolphins and Sea Lions……wooohoooo!

Gorgeous dolphins at sea taken from Sea Life, we saw 9 different pods along the NSW coast it was wonderful!

A beautiful sunset on the sail to Surfers Paradise

Camden Haven New South Wales Coast, Australia! Happy New Cruising Year! Camden Haven is just beautiful! It is the perfect example of an little Aussie coastal community, friendly locals who love a chat, beautiful coastal landscape with everything you need close by and great food! We are having the most relaxing and peaceful time in this little paradise.

Today we walked 4 km up the huge Big Brother mountain and back, it was very steep and went from bushland into beautiful lush rainforest, and then had the most amazing view of Camden Haven at the top. In the above photo you can see Sea Life at anchor near another boat, near a large patch of sand. It was hard work, but wonderful! 6.01.09.

FOR MORE PHOTOS & TO SEE OUR CRUISING FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR, SEE OUR 2008 PAGE!

2008 Caribbean to Australia

Our Life At Sea – Cruising in 2008! Here is what Mark & Sea Life got up to in 2008, our very first year of cruising.

31st December 2008 – New Years Eve on Sydney Harbour was an amazing New Years Eve on gorgeous Sydney Harbour. We had our friends Tanya and Blair aboard for a lovely evening and our friends on Fast Forward where anchored close by. That afternoon we had a lovely cruise around the harbour (which was very clam and not too busy as most boats had already got a spot at anchor), then found a perfect place to anchor at about 7pm for the evenings celebrations. We were very close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House with stunning view of both and the city backdrop.

Fireworks on Sydney Harbour NYE.

We all sat back, relaxed, filled ourselves with yummy nibbles and drinks and watched the beautiful afternoon float into a glorious evening with the most beautiful sunset and exciting, yet peaceful atmosphere, filled with laughter and the feeling of how wonderful it is to be alive. What a beautiful city Sydney is, the harbour really put on its most beautiful face for us and all the other boats on the harbour that wonderful evening!

The 9pm fireworks were wonderful and followed by an even more spectacular display at midnight. The fireworks were amazing. We have seen them from land many times before, but they were a thousand time more beautiful and special from the water and they were even more beautiful and meaningful from the view of our own boat Sea Life. A wonderful evening (Sea Life had a ball too), the fireworks were even more beautiful than I can put into words and the evening was a lovely reminder of all we have achieved and experienced in 2008. 31.12.2008.

Boxing Day, we enjoyed a lovely sail out the heads and over to famous and stunning Bondi Beach (where I used call home), then we enjoyed coming back through Sydney heads and into the harbour as the race fleet for the Sydney to Hobart race was starting the race, it was great to see the boats raising their sails and begin the race out the heads. We also enjoyed coming back through the mass of hundreds and hundreds of various spectator craft of all shapes and sizes, it was a fun and exhilarating experience.

December 2008 – Sydney Australia! We are back in Sydney again for a little while.

We have been busy painting Sea Life’s bottom and doing a little job or two for our lovely boat. Today we did our first coat of anti-fouling today and have some more to do over the next day or so. It is lots of fun and we are having a great time learning some more boat skills.

It is big job but Sea Life is looking gorgeous with her new paint and she is very happy to get sone extra TLC after a long time at sea with long passages and many miles over the past 8 or so months. Nic’s birthday is coming up very soon and we are looking forward to having our very first Christmas on Sea Life.17.12.2008.

November 2008 – Cowan Creek & Smith Creek (near the famous Hawkesbury River) New South Wales, Australia.

We are having a wonderful and relaxing time in Cowan Creek NSW, the area is full of beautiful Australian bushland and right near the Ku-ring-gai Chase national park. We have made friends with the local ducks, Cormorants, Jellyfish, Eagles, Kookaburras and other lovely wildlife here. The sunsets are gorgeous and the native flowers here on our bushwalks are most colourful and lovely! We feel very spoiled as we are able to have fresh water sun showers under the most stunning waterfall we have seen so far in our cruising life. The sounds, smells and sights of the Aussie bush are so special and unique; Australia really is such a beautiful country! We are having lunch today at the delightful Cottage Point Kiosk, which has the yummiest hamburgers around and great, friendly service. 5.11.08

October 2008 – Sydney Australia.

Wow, what an amazing time we had in Sydney, our old home city. It was wonderful to catch up with our friends and family. Thanks to all of our friends who took the time to catch up with us on our short visit. We had a wonderful time taking friends out for a harbour cruise on our beautiful home Sea Life.

It was such an amazing feeling sailing into Sydney heads after almost 2 weeks at sea and then to have the joy of spending some time out on the harbour on our own boat. We could never get sick of going under the Harbour Bridge or sailing really close by the Opera House; the harbour is so busy and so beautiful. We enjoyed staying at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron which is my yacht club and spent a couple of weeks enjoying Sydney. 3.11.08

Our Life At Sea

Heading to Sydney Australia! Down Under….

We are sailing out of Neiafu, Tonga Friday 19/9 and are sailing to Sydney, Australia….home to the land down under for a short visit and then we will be off again cruising. We are looking forward to catching up with our wonderful friends and family and having lots of Aussie BBQ’S and fun in the beautiful city of Sydney. Smiles, Mark & Nic oxoxxo 18/9/08.

Tonga!!!!

We are now in the beautiful Kingdom of Tonga! Mark and I are enjoying the lovely islands, the beautiful water & fantastic snorkelling.The people of Tonga are so friendly and sweet! We are having a fantastic time relaxing and enjoying this beautiful paradise. We had a funny experience sailing in, Mark lost his birthday when we crossed the international date line! But we had a nice birthday day for him the next day which was still just as special. 01.08.08

Guess where??????????

Galapagos!!!

We are now in the very beautiful Galapagos Islands and are having the most wonderful time! We went on a water tour of the area on Tuesday and had the most amazing experience swimming with the beautiful wild Sea Lions in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. It was amazing, the Sea Lions are so cute, friendly and playful. They love to come up close to your face and say hello and then swim upside down around you. It was such a special moment for us both.

Full information on Panama Canal and the Galapagos Islands click here

Sea Lion Video made in the Galapagos

We then went and snorkeled through the famous Kika Rock which is a huge rock that we sailed past on our way into the Galapagos. We sawm through a channel in between the two sections of the rock and all around the huge rock. We saw turtles, beautiful fish, more sea Lions, coral, starfish and all sorts of other lovely sea life. It was just so beautiful and looking up from the water at the towering rock was just fantastic. We never thought we would get to see the rock that close.

We also took a land tour on Wednesday and saw the famous Tortoises & Marine Iguanas. Galapagos is very beautiful both on water and on land. It is a very special place. The Sea Lions are my favorite though, they even come and visit us on our boat which is so cute, sometimes we have a baby one, and other times we have two or three adults at one time. They have such beautiful playful personalities and they are very intelligent too! 10/07/08.

Full information on Panama Canal and the Galapagos Islands click here

We transited the Panama Canal Thursday 12th June (Panama time).

We leave Colon Thursday with 2 other boats and all go through the first 3 Gatun locks (which are locks going upwards – usually you have a large ship in front of you) during the evening, then we separate from the other boats, pick up a mooring for the evening (at midnight) in the beautiful lake, say goodbye to our first advisor, then have a little half way celebration, then relax & go to sleep. In the morning our second advisor comes aboard (8am approx) and we motor up the canal (35 nautical miles = 70kms) towards the last 3 locks (which takes a few hours- all morning and into the afternoon), we then nest up (tie up) again to the other boats and go through the last 3 locks (which are downwards locks) and then enter the Pacific side and anchor there.

We might spend a few days there or a week and do some provisioning etc before we set off to beautiful Galapagos Islands and then cross The Pacific Ocean. We are so excited and are having a wonderful time in Colon and getting ready for our exciting advenuture!!

Full information on Panama Canal and the Galapagos Islands click here

We sailed from Saint Martin to Cristobel Harbour, Colon, Panama. It was a gorgeous sail which took us 10 days. We had a wonderful time relaxing, sailing and watching the ocean and all of the sea life around us. We even caught a lovely big tuna, which was just delicious! We saw 3 pods of dolphins, flying fish, sea birds, beautiful star filled nights, a full moon, and the magical bioluminescence which are microscopic algae that generate light, they look like sparkling faires dancing on the water around the boat. It is amazing!

Just finished out 1,100 nautical mile sail from Saint Martin to Colon, Panama. Thats over 2,000kms! Mmmmm those tuna taste great! 25/05/08

We have received our Australian registration and put our Australian flag on Sea Life. So she is now an offical fair dinkum Aussie! We also visited the beautiful & historic Fort Louis.

Tonight we are enjoying another beautiful Caribbean evening at Grand Case, in Saint Martin. We can hear the live French music from the shore and are sleeping on deck tonight in the gentle cool night breeze. Tomorrow we are going to take a short day sail and try out our new fishing hand reels and see if we can catch a nice yummy fresh tuna from the back of the boat. 08/05/08

We have been living aboard our lovely boat “Sea Life” now for two weeks and are anchored at Grand Case on the French side of the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean. Life on our boat is just glorious and we are enjoying it so very much. We are getting to know our boat and enjoying some treasured sailing time. Grand Case is a beautiful area, so peaceful and just gorgeous!

Today we are going to “Walrus” which is our term for simply relaxing and doing nothing but enjoy the beautiful Caribbean (or in other words to just be completely relaxed and laze in the sun like a Walrus does). We might go for swim, or do some turtle spotting, or have an afternoon nap… but whatever we do we will be relaxing and enjoying our time “Sea Life”. 24/04/08

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