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Pull The Hook And Hoist The Sails

Pull The Hook And Hoist The Sails

August, 2022
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Hoisting the sails, a gift to our family, a passage to KK

Mermaid
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August is a powerful month for us. A month when we have lost it all and a time when we have gained everything. A time to reflect. A time to rejoice. A time to Pray. Today is August 1st.

I started off today thinking of my daughters, how I learned to love, the significance of today, and what it really means to set sail around the world with my family.  

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, Krakauer wrote in his book, Into The Wild, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

I love my family more than anything and I could not agree more on so many fronts with Jon’s statement. I like the guy. I like what he has done. I think he got some real words of wisdom, yet there is a lot to be said about, saying, and doing.

Our situation is going to take some real balancing, ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness.

Our challenge is a high-stacks challenge, traveling unvaccinated in a time post-Covid, with mandatory travel insurance, mandatory boat insurance, the price of fuel, and soaring inflation. Not to mention the continual cost of PCR testing while checking in and out of countries. 

Financially, we are traveling light and I keep thinking however desperate the situation and circumstances are or will be, don’t despair. There is a lot before us and when there is everything to fear, be unafraid.

Ahead we will depend on resourcefulness.  “Family Is The World’s Greatest Team” will be our motto. 

We are officially off on a journey around the world. My gift to my wife and family- in search of new experiences, with an endlessly changing horizon, each day to give to my children a new and different sun.

Here is a short story by Janet about our first passage to Kota Kinabalu.

Keep Exploring -Skip Freedom

The Passage

After a week of preparation, we left Balabac on Aug 1, 2022, at 11:30 AM. This is our official farewell to the Philippines. I sent a quick goodbye/thank you message to Rahm’s family and research on the internet on how to activate international roaming once we cross borders. We would need internet preferably before we landfall so we can update all our emails, messages, and arrival procedures in Sabah.

Todd a.k.a Skip, doing his captain duties,  gave us a short and straight brief about our passage, it will be an all-nighter and we will try to sail as the wind will pick up later that night. The first few hours of the voyage went well, I felt good and balanced. Skip then took the helm and ordered H to hoist the main sail. When we reached the tip of Balabac and headed for the straits, I started to feel uncomfortable thinking that we will be leaving the comfort of land and crossing the open water. I feel the water getting rougher and the wind is getting stronger than a few hours ago. I tried to deviate my attention to Amihan who was oblivious to what was happening, chatting happily and actively engaging in her environment. The wind started to pick up coming from East South East. Skip asked H to hoist the staysail, headsail, main and mizzen sails. He slowed down the engine from 21 RPMs to 12  to less than 10 RPMs, basically not using the engine for propulsion but only for battery charging.  We are full on. I started to feel dizzy and unsteady. At this point, I didn’t want to move. I hate being a liability to the team.

H also started to feel uncomfortable. He told me he is having stomach pains. In short, we were both seasick. It has been a while since we had big seas like this. Our passages from Busuanga to Balabac were tamer and calmer. It will take us time to get our sea legs back. Skip kept his cool and composure, enjoying the wind, wave, and voyage to a new horizon ahead.

I had to go downstairs and lay down. Amihan was with me and we soon fell asleep. Skip and H took turns with their 4 hours shift. From time to time, I would wake up and feel the boat heeling on the starboard, hear the water splashing against the hull and the wind blowing and hollering onto the sails. Skip was sailing Meermaid. She is moving at almost 6 knots with full sails on and she is ripping the water. Sailing engineless, Skip was in the zone.

We sailed for almost the entire night. We saved a significant amount of diesel. We passed by squidders, fishermen who fish for squid. A familiar site in Malaysian waters with their blinding bright lights. We also saw oil and gas rigs that emit bright orange light. What a sight. It’s good to sail again.

Morning broke and it was H’s shift on the helm. I was able to get up and recuperate from the night’s sleep. I saw from afar the silhouette of Mt. Kota Kinabalu, the majestic mountain. As we cruise along the coast of Sabah, the wind died and we have to use the engine again. We had another over 50 nautical miles to cover before we arrive in Kota Kinabalu (KK).  

It was 5 PM when we got to the entry point of KK bay. There were a lot of high rises, busy land traffic, and city lights on shore. As we traversed the bay and passed by big ships, we were welcomed by 3 rainbows and a magnificent sunset. We dropped the hook in front of the city bay walk. It was 7 PM.

Welcome to KK, Sabah, Malaysia.

 

 

Sailing Expeditions

Mermaid

Quick Video

Landfall in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The basic instinct of a human being is his search for freedom. I have always been on that search. Freedom; that comes from living in the moment and doing what makes us feel the most alive has always been the key for me. It is about the infinite possibilities available to anyone willing to climb on and push through. It’s about feeling that pull of nature and wanting to go deeper into that element, that ocean. Veteran surf publisher Steve Pezman says it well when he says: “The wave is forming in front of you, the wave is over your head, your wake is disappearing, and your footprints are washed from the beach. There’s no material production from having done it. There’s no depletion. There’s no creation. It’s just an aesthetic instant.”- That’s the goal- to live with my wife and family in search of new experiences, with an endlessly changing horizon, each day to give to my children a new and different sun. – Skip Freedom 

 If you value our work, we strongly encourage you to make a contribution. Financial support is crucial to the continuation of our activities at this stage, we currently do not cover our monthly costs. We just took a big hit and inflation and fuel prices are completely out of control. Keep our voyage online and accessible to all, make a donation today 🙂

 

"Keep our voyage online and accessible to all!

Mermaid

Questions? Please contact explorerspod.com@gmail.com

 

Please tell others about our projects and achievements. We are looking for access to students and adults alike, including additional sponsorships. We provide stories worth telling!

 

Friends: If you are excited and inspired by what we do, tell your friends and share on social media. Build a ground swell of support. We are so grateful for your support. We can’t do it without you, Thanks a million!

 https://explorerspod.com/

To all teachers: We have incredible content and success to help build out lesson plans and inspire students. Contact us to build a virtual lesson that inspires you.

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https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC8FGw8M-58ChEo4oSv7x5iQ

 Keep exploring!

 

Todd, Janet, Himalaya, and Amihan Star

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ” – Mark Twain [SAMUEL CLEMENS]

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