Sailing Green Island, Antigua

Liz hanging out on Green Island

Although we hadn’t yet bought our boat we were well aware of the thoroughbred qualities of a Sparkman and Stevens. Geoff, who hails from the Isle of Wight, is a frequent visitor to Antigua and his fine vessel, ‘Siesta’, is one such example of an S+S. In fact one could argue he’s really a resident, though he often crosses the pond on his own.



How to visit James Bond Island – and avoid the crowds

James Bond island thailand followtheboat

With stealth-like cunning and Lulu’s voice still ringing in our ears above the sound of our outboard motor, we were up before the sun. As we sped towards Khao Phing Kan, we just lacked black wetsuits and Walther PPKs to make the Bond-esque picture complete. Ten minutes later, we had our reward for missing out on breakfast and coffee: we dragged our dinghy up an empty beach.


Sark – The Toytown Channel Island

Remember that whilst we’d like to believe boating should be for everyone it’s still a rich-man’s sport, so when a bunch of reprobates turn up in a home-made cement boat and moor up next to some bling bling million dollar yacht we’re not exactly greeted with open arms. At first this bothered me. It bothered me that we didn’t look the part and it bothered me that we didn’t have leather hand-stitched upholstery and a fridge that prevents the smell of ripe Camembert to fill the entire boat as soon as one opens the fridge door.



neat bit of coding by Justin Adie that lists all the locations covered by followtheboat. The links are clickable but be aware that clicking on a link like ‘Green Island’ will bring up all blog posts that contain the words ‘green’ or ‘island’. Alternatively use the search bar at the top of the page. [separator top=”40″ style=”none”] [insert_php] /* Plugin … Read More


Crew: Siesta

Liz and I were introduced to Geoff by Dobby, and is based in English Harbour working as a chippie. Originally reigning from Cowes, Isl of Wight, sailing is obviously in Geoff’s blood. He’s single-handedly crossed the pond a couple of times, which when you think about it is pretty remarkable.


Diesel or hybrid engine on a boat – repowering considerations

Esper followtheboat installs a Beta 60 diesel engine in their boat

Welcome to the written version of our FTB Extra repowering video, in which we discuss in more detail Esper’s engine issues. After posting our initial issues up on social media we received an overwhelming level of support from around the world, from advice and ideas to links to spare parts and even a couple of engines. We really appreciate it, thank you to everyone who contributed.

We’ve taken on board all your suggestions and carefully considered each option. In this essay we break them down for you and look at repairing the engine, getting a recon engine, consider an electric/hybrid engine alternative and look at new diesel engines.


FTB Extra #07 | FTB’s take on the Southampton Boat Show

We came across a number of restaurants and bars, but for once had to pass them by because we needed to shoot as much footage as possible before driving back to Essex. There were marquees packed with everything you never thought you needed in the galley, alongside fantastic bits of gleaming machinery for engines and decks. The atmosphere was buzzy. Exhibitors shiny with anticipation and visitors wide-eyed with the intent to buy.


1,350 Miles Hand-steered! Maldives To Malaysia

Photo by Fiona Gordon of 'Roam II'

Thirteen hundred miles hand-steered and no foresail, just two of the challenges we faced when completing our fifteen hundred mile trip from the Maldives to Malaysia. A complete account with observations, events, our turtle rescue and some great HD video clips including the one of Liz helming in a Force 6. Not to be missed!


Worse Things Happen At Sea

Jamie getting a grip

I’ve jumped out of aeroplanes, mountain-biked the world’s most dangerous roads, surfed following seas at 15 knots, and hit storms off Africa that had crew throwing up, but nothing could have prepared me for the four days of hell Liz and I just endured. You see it wasn’t the weather itself that terrified us, it was the situation we found ourselves in after the first squall hit. We entered the Twilight Zone, and for four days got trapped in an increasingly desperate situation.


A Bad Case Of The Pox

Like bullet wounds through my heart

A week in a boat yard is never much fun, and after hauling Esper our misery was compounded by the discovery of some serious osmosis (water ingress). The joy of sailing the idyllic Maldives went out the window, at least for a few hours, as we inspected the water blisters covering many parts of the hull. Experts reassure us that osmosis isn’t as bad as people believe, but when you see the pictures of our rudder you might think twice before agreeing with them.


Unique Udaipur


This is our final entry of our Rajathan trip, written by Octopussy…I mean Liz. Why Octopussy? Because we’re in Romantic Udaipur, where the rather kitch 1983 Bond movie was filmed. However, as Liz writes: “shunning the ‘antiques’, carpets, and tailoring being thrust at us we ended up by the water, watching the sun go down over Udaipur from the best viewpoint in town, in the company of professional photographers and the homeless.”


A Virgin Flight From India


Now that I’ve secured a cat-sitter for Millie, I can start thinking about my return home. I have to renew my visa, you see, so today begins my search for a flight. At the same time Liz has clocked up a bank of air miles with her old business airline, Virgin, so if push comes to shove I could always use these to get back from Mumbai to the UK.

If, however, my experience will be anything like the famous Virgin Customer Complaints letter I think I’ll be looking for alternatives. Some of you may remember this one doing the rounds last year; it is now heralded as the greatest customer complaints letter ever written. It’s quite apt that it’s Virgin and that the flight concerned was from Mumbai to Heathrow, exactly the same flight I’ll be looking for. For those who missed it or have forgotten just how amusing the letter was we reproduce it here in all its glory, complete with photographic evidence:

Dear Mr Branson
REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at the hands of your corporation.

Look at this Richard. Just look at it…


Celebrating My 15,000th Nautical Mile

Our one and only stop after leaving Salalah, Oman, before arriving in India would be Ras Al Hallaniya island, which is part of the Kuria Muria Islands, 30 miles away from the piracy attack Liz and I overheard on the VHF the other week. What a place to celebrate my 15,000th nautical mile, especially after catching a beautiful dorado…



A couple more log entries, taking in some incredible nature and desolate spots. Of course most of these entries are documented by Jamie’s photography so click on the link below and discover Trinkitat and Khor Nawarat in Sudan. Mark my word, one day, maybe many decades in the future, these will be prime holiday spots. For the time being they are untouched by the evils of mankind!


Flaming Lipsi

Lipsi. A quintessentially Greek island untouched by the hoards of package holiday tourists that populate the bigger Dodecanese islands. I’d say the people here are a mix of holidaying Greeks, a few backpackers and a bunch of yotties, not forgetting the gentle locals, which makes for a very peaceful atmosphere indeed. These next few log entries, including a special post by Millie The Cat, cover the rest of the Dodecanese islands and start with Lipsi, which is littered with some of my fave photographs of the Dodecanese islands. Let me know what you think of them by leaving a comment at the end of the page!


Christer Klingwall of ‘Lady Jessie’: A Tribute

It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic death of Christer Klingwall, owner and skipper of ‘Lady Jessie’, who took his own life last Monday, 20th April.

We would like to pay our respects to our sailing buddy by posting up some pictures and thoughts on followtheboat, which featured Christer in our last video clip. Mayke, Christer’s ex-wife with whom he remained close, said ‘Christer would love the idea of a tribute’. This article, then, will be a continually updated and amended page dedicated to a great sailor. If you would like to add your own comment, thought or photograph then please either use the comments form at the end of the article or email us.


A Tale of Two Has(s)ans

We decided to head next door to Hassan’s, where we were looking forward to meeting the owner. Oh boy, did we meet the owner. I’m not sure if he had got out of bed the wrong side, if he’d just had some terrible news, or if he’d taken an instant dislike to us but he was the most unpleasant man we have met in Turkey. The exchange went something like this…