It seems that all the planets were aligned yesterday. Carol and Simon, two British retirees, used to run a fishing company out of Liverpool for 36 years. When they retired two years ago, they bought a 45' schooner (Fish'n'Chips, registered in Liberia) and have made it west through the Panama Canal and the South Pacific. They've recently docked in Nha Trang for a few weeks to do some scheduled maintenance on the boat (picture below--the same model, not their actual ship).
After meeting them on our tour of the Mekong Delta, we decided to stick together for a few more days and travel to Da Lat together, up in the mountains. It's delightful here, as the air is cool and crisp. It's the first time in Asia we've actually been chilly! But I digress...
Over a delicious dinner last night (with awful Da Lat mullberry wine, yuck), they made us an offer we couldn't refuse. They asked us to accompany them for the next leg of their journey! And of course, we accepted.
So for the next 18 months (yikes!! it seems longer when I type it out) we will be on their boat--Deanna as the cook and me as the first mate (or, as Deanna likes to tease me, the Skipper). We'll have our own bedroom below deck and our first stop will be Singapore to load up on supplies for one year in the Indian Ocean.
As of now, we'll head northwest to Sri Lanka and southern India. From there we'll stop in Dubai and head south down the east coast of Africa (I'm most excited for Madagascar). In about a year (slated for June 15, 2009), we'll round the Cape of Good Hope and by August 1, we should be relaxing in the Canary Islands. Route below.
They have a laptop computer on their boat and some cool satellite connection, so we'll be able to keep in touch. Before we depart from Singapore, we'll have a full itinerary of all our ports of call. So if you're planning a vacation, you can come meet up with us!
In preparation, Deanna has purchased literally a year's supply of dramamine, bonine and ginger pills. I'm still looking for a good waterproof sunblock over SPF 25 here (not that easy to come by) to get in bulk.
We're so excited... This is such an amazing opportunity and we're so thrilled that Carol and Simon are willing to take us along for the ride.