When I set off on this adventure, it was a goal of mine to find a boat to do some blue ocean sailing with. I really wanted to sail across the Indian Ocean to South Africa, so I figured that the best case scenario would that I would find someone in Bali that was sailing for South Africa, but really I’d be happy finding someone sailing from Bali to just about anywhere. My plan was to hang out around the marina and start making friends, but I also began to browse sailing forums before my departure just in case. I found a post on Cruisers Forum from back in January by someone in Bali who was looking for crew to make the sail across to South Africa. I figured he had already taken off, but shot him an email just in case. A few days later I got a response that he had actually put the crossing off a few months and was just now putting together a crew for the passage to South Africa which he was planning on beginning at the beginning of July. I couldn’t believe my timing and luck!
Over the next 2 weeks Jesse (the captain) and I exchanged several emails and eventually setup a video chat. I learned that he’s also an American, from Virginia, and has been sailing Obelisk, his 51-foot sloop, for the past 5 years. When he made the official invitation for me to join him on the journey to South Africa I said yes without hesitation, I couldn’t have hoped to find a better match for a boat and captain.
Jesse and the boat are currently in Thailand getting some repairs done, but the plan is to meet up in Langkawi, Malaysia with the rest of the crew (an Australian couple named Nige and Annie) around the start of July and set sail from there. The rough itinerary is to sail up and around the Western tip of Sumatra, making stops at various islands off the Sumatran coast (including the Mentawais) before heading across the Indian to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. From there we will sail to Rodrigues Island, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, and after making forays in to all these islands arrive in Durbin, South Africa, sometime in November.
I’m super stoked for all the places I’ll see and all I’ll learn about sailing. I might even catch a few waves along the way 😉
Here’s a video of Obelisk’s voyage from New Zealand to Bali: