After years of scanning yacht websites and buying truckloads of Trade A Boat magazines, we found Malaika in Scarborough Marina, QLD, in 2007. We sailed her back to Darwin in July of that year, taking a month to cruise the east and north coasts on the way home. She is a 14.5 metre centre cockpit cutter, designed by Alan Wright of NZ, and built of solid fiberglass in 1987 by Goodwin/Salthouse in New Zealand. She draws 1.8 metres, and sails very upright. Her cockpit is spacious and comfortable, and the hard dodger and bimini overhead keep everyone well sheltered in all conditions. She has a PUR Watermaker on board, with a capacity of 80 gallons per day, and a motoring range of about 600nm. Her engine is a 110hp Volvo, and we installed a 4.5kvo genset for charging batteries and running the refrigeration. We use a Raymarine chart plotter, sounder and radar, and pc- backed up navigation systems. Communications – HF and VHF radio, Sailmail, and mobile phones when in range using local sim cards has worked well for us so far. Malaika means ‘Angel’ in Swahili, and we discovered that in Bahasa Indonesian, adding a ‘T’ to the end of it also means Angel!
Lex Silvester and Jo van Os are leaving Darwin and heading east, but with no clear idea of where exactly we're headed, other than east to Cape York, and turn right. Probably... We're in our new boat, "Tramontana", a 54 ft Atkinson monohull, which we found in Phuket last year. Our old Malaika blog is still on the web, at www.malaikacrew,blogspot.com.