Drake, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is drawn to dragons. Two weeks into his first Sea/mester voyage, Caribbean to Tahiti – Spring 2019, he called me from Les Saintes in a mild panic that I had already put down the deposit on the NOLS 2019/2020 Year in Patagonia mountaineering adventure he’s applied for. Funny timing this. Paying NOLS was on my Monday to-do list, so Drake really caught me in the nick of time. Turns out he learned from his Captain something which hadn’t been posted on the Sea/mester website when he was plotting his Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 college semesters: Sea/mester was building a third yacht, the Vela. It also turns out that a mere two weeks on board the Argo in the Caribbean has been enough to convince Drake that he must earn his Dive Master certification – he loves diving even more than he loves sailing. And then there’s the bit about the dragons. The Vela’s maiden voyage takes the crew to Indonesia, and Komodo National Park. There be your dragons!
From Sea/mester’s website, linked above, here’s a brief description of the voyage:
Thailand to Australia
Aboard S/Y Vela
4,500 Nautical Miles via Bangkok, Koh Samui, Tioman, Singapore, Borneo, Gili Islands, Bali, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Darwin
For S/Y Vela’s 24 shipmates, the experience begins when you step off the plane and out of the airport into the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, one of Southeast Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities. The noises, the language, the smells, and the traffic are all bound to send your senses into a whirl but don’t become too accustomed as you are about to trade the bright city lights for those “red-over-green” sailing lights and depart onward into the Gulf of Thailand and towards Darwin. In between, you get to master the ropes of a classically-rigged modern day sailing yacht; visit the tranquility of Malaysia’s Gem – Tioman Island; navigate your way up the winding Kumai river in Borneo towards wild Orangutans; prime your camera lenses for a National Geographic shot of the world’s only living species of dragon in the Komodo National Park and drop anchor in amongst the spectacular scenery of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago. Has all that got your tail feathers ruffled? It has got us just a little bit excited, to say the least.