How did I score a part of this adventure with The Delos Crew you might ask? WELL.. it all started when I was backpacking in South America. I had noticed The Delos crew put a lucky draw to be a part of their crew for 10 days. How exciting! My sister’s Josje and Phoebe had been on Delos before and I thought it was a great idea to have a taste of the sailing life. I was close to donating $50 to be a part of their adventure in Asia, until I saw the cut off date had passed. … I was too late!
I remember Josje mentioning Delos next passage through the Indian Ocean starting in February, so I asked Josje for Brian’s email. I sent him an email saying it seems like a great opportunity and how I have always wanted to sail. I asked Brian and Karin if they needed help for their next passage or if I could jump on board anytime. You never know until you ask right?
I was in Lake Titikaka when I received the reply from Brian and boy, did I get the biggest smile on my face! He said they would love another Leyten sister on board and it seemed like perfect timing as they were looking for more crew!
I arrived to my homeland, New Zealand for Christmas after 2 years of working/ travelling abroad. It was amazing catching up with friends and family after so long, and reconnecting with my roots. Then suddenly packing my bags for Delos!
Tuesday 9th February came by so fast and after a long 30 hours of travelling from Christchurch, Brady, Josje and I arrived in Malaysia! We arrived in Langkawi to be welcomed by The Delos Crew, Brian, Karin, Max and Frida. Little did we know that my Mum’s brother Arnold and his bubbly wife Coby were there to greet us! The last time I saw Arnold and Coby was 4 years ago in New Zealand. They have been sailing on SV Drifter for over 11 years since they left Holland, seeing almost every country in the world! It was heart warming to catch up with them after so long, they are such an inspiring couple! Hugs, kisses, video’s and photo’s, and then a short, sweet goodbye. What an amazing surprise!
We took a short boat trip to meet Delos at Rebak Island Marina, and I was so excited! The boat was similar to what I had seen on photo’s, video’s and Josje and Brady describing it to me. I got a tour of the beautiful Delos and I was amazed how big it was on the inside! I was still so jet lagged, and it felt strange being on Delos, knowing it was going to be my home for the next 6 months, but everyone welcomed me on board like family.
We all did a last minute clean of Delos, put up the new sails, then went to a nice restaurant for our first Delos crew dinner. It was amazing meeting Brian, Karin, Max and Frida, they are such inspiring people, all very unique. I’m really excited to be a part of Delos with such an awesome bunch.
It was a little different sleeping on a boat at first, with the slight swaying, and smaller space, but after a few nights I got used to it. One thing I noticed is to be very conscious of the utilities and things on board. For example, to run water only when needed and to tidy up after yourself, etc. That way, with 7 people on a 53 ft boat, it stays clean, organised, and everyone’s happy 🙂
Being on Delos for a few days, it was nice taking the dingy to shore, do some provisioning and explore the town of Kuah. What’s great about Langkawi is the fact it’s a duty free island, so everything is so cheap! We hired two cars, all jumped in, on our way to our first stop. Most important… ALCOHOL! Delos brew their own liquor, so it was a MUST to stock up on beer and wine. Standing around all the different cases of beer and wine, having discussions on how long it will last us until our next big shop, we decided to buy one case of red wine, have a taste test in the car to see if it was good or not. Imagine buying 10 cases of 2 litre red wine and it tasting like medicine! So in the end, we walked out with 42 cases of many different beers, 10 cases of red white wine and 2 bottles of spirits. SUCCESS!
Next stop… FOOD! Everyone had different things to get, which made it faster, and we stocked up a lot, over 20 boxes of couscous! I had no idea there was going to be SO MUCH filming, go pro’s, photo’s etc, but I found it really cool! I even had a go at filming the adventures. The Delos way: It’s better to have more footage then less.. because you can always delete the bad footage, but you can’t go back and get the same footage twice!
We stuffed everything in two cars, and made our way to the marina and managed get all the food in one go with the dingy to Delos, then all the beers and wine! It was lucky the dingy didn’t sink! We all had a guess with how many beers we thought we had, and I guessed 1,000 cans. Turns out we had a total of 1,008 beers on Delos! Delos crew working with 14 hands doing different jobs. It was great seeing how they work in regards to storing food and drinks. Max and I cleaned the fruit, Josje and Frida took the labels off all the cans to prevent bugs, Karen was putting away the food, and Brady and Brian put away the beers. GO TEAM! I was so surprised how much space was at the bottom of the boat to squeeze all the beers in secret hide away places!
Friday 13th, we all had a crew meeting and talked about our options. We all discussed certain projects as well, and everyone was happy with their projects for Delos moving forward. I got onto replying to all the Facebook posts and photo comments, also starting up a Delos Instagram account! I am really excited about upcoming projects, like subtitles for all the video’s for foreign countries, and also for my Mum, who is deaf. That way, it can reach a bigger audience. It amazed me all the support and love from thousands of people around the globe! Popular comments were saying we didn’t have enough beers! Not to worry folks.. WE WILL BE GETTING MORE!
We had a dinner by the Marina, being Valentines Day and all, and the place got packed pretty fast! Chatting to the people to the table next to us, then suddenly a man and his son come to our table.. “excuse me, are you the Delos crew?”… so we replied yes! “oh wow, we follow your video’s on youtube! And my son is a huge fan!” haha wow, how crazy is that?! They took a photo with us, then said “happy sailing, and have a good life!” with a huge smile on their face. It’s so inspiring seeing strangers approach us, and have so much love and support for Delos! It makes me really appreciate being a part of this adventure.
Delos is great to slow things down and everything you do is “cruiser time”. There is no rush, or hurry. It is all quite simple! Everyone seems to be doing their certain projects, and I catch myself just wondering around the boat doing nothing! So I open a book, start a drawing, play guitar or just have a nap with the nice swaying of Delos. I’m still getting used to my routine and my way around the boat, it might take a few weeks to get the hang of things.
I had the honour to put up the New Zealand crew flag on Delos and it looks amazing up there. GO KIWIS! I started reading The Miracle of Mindfulness. It’s a beautiful guide to the methods of mindfulness in everyday life. How to be at peace and harmony within yourself. Everyone needs to read this book!
Monday we all checked out, and had a nice last meal in Malaysia. NOW I AM READY TO SAIL!
Tuesday, being one week on Delos, it was perfect timing to start the sail to Thailand. We had to put everything away in case there were heavy winds, because things could go flying inside the boat.
Sails up, petrol restocked, oil stocked up, a few more groceries, then off we go! So many emotions.. but the main emotion was excitement. Fat Freddy’s drop playing in the background, sun shining, everyones smiling, and a smooth 3-6 knots the whole 3 hours!
We anchored at Kochucko Island, a small beautiful island with clear waters and tropical scenery. I love the underwater world, there are some fascinating creatures in the sea. “Welcome to Thailand” by swimming to land! That was a first!
Sailing is so different to backpacking! It’s cheaper, you don’t have to carry your bags everywhere, no exhausting plane/train/bus rides, you see places you would only dream of and YOU JUST CRUISE!
There have been many things I have already learnt from being on Delos and the most important thing, for me, is to not sweat the small stuff. I always told myself I never worry, but at times I stress over little things I shouldn’t.
Like, what am I going to do after Delos? What do I want to be in the future? What is my passion in life?… WOAH, slow down there maaaate.. it’s a shit ton of time away to be worrying about that! I am slowly getting used to the cruising time…DELOS TIME… and remember the flow ~ Just go with it ~
I have learnt being on board with 6 other people and a small space, you are almost forced to be yourself. Yes, BE YOURSELF! Sounds like a walk in the park, but you learn to be open and honest and speak your mind more than usual. Clear communication is key, and that way everyone will have a clear understanding of each other.
I have noticed I have a lot of insecurities. I don’t know why and I don’t know how. I can’t ask myself “why am I so insecure?”. The best way to improve is to TELL myself “I’m not insecure” That’s the best possible way to improve for the better. I am learning the power of your mind. Tell yourself every morning “YOU ARE A STRONG, BEAUTIFUL PERSON” yeaaahh sistah! And it’s crazy… I have only been on Delos for one week and I feel as if I have already improved within myself.
There are times when I sit and look out to the horizon, and think “WOW.. what a unique life-style”. Living the dream, surrounded by inspiring people, sailing across the Indian Ocean with a huge smile on my face. Life is great.