About Sailing On Holiday
The voyage started in 1996 with plans to sail around the world in 8080 days it has always been about getting away from “civilisation” to realise one’s dreams and discover ourselves, the reality behind what we are led to believe and to discover a more natural way of life in beautiful and interesting places and to interact and experience other people, their views and their cultures.
It has lead us across the the Atlantic to the Caribbean, backwards and forwards across the Pacific, to Australia, New Zealand, through Indonesia to South East Asia.
Many people have sailed with us in the past as charter guests, join in crew, or Students doing RYA courses. Although we may continue with some charters and cruises for special guests we will now concentrate on more relaxed cruising to the more adventurous, interesting and off the beaten track spots in Southeast Asia.
We aim to find those out of the way places and interact with the local culture as much as possible, avoiding over crowded tourist spots.
We are passionate about the sea and exploring new and unusual places to discover different cultures meeting and learning from different peoples and their cultures whenever we can.
She is named after the Meniscus moon, the smallest crescent of the new moon and was fitted out in Gweek, a village at the top of the scenic Helford River in Cornwall.
She is a Bruce Roberts 45, designed and proven to be robust blue water cruisers able to provide a good general level of performance as well as being capable of withstanding heavy conditions should the need arise.
She has proved herself, in well over 150,000 sea miles, to be a good all round boat capable of making good passage times and sailing through several serious storms. She has also beaten many larger boats in races and regattas around the world.
Skippers Sailing Experience and Qualifications
The Skipper has a vast amount of experience and takes great delight in showing others the joys of sailing and enjoys passing on all his knowledge. There certainly are not many people with as much experience to train and guide you.
Qualified to RYA Ocean Yachtmaster commercial and a retired Sailing School owner, RYA instructor and examiner and having sailed over 200,000 miles across the worlds Oceans and many of her seas there are still things to learn and adventures to be had around the world.
From 1993 he set up his own business running international yacht charters and sail training courses. Having set sail from the UK he arrived in Asia via Panama in 2002. He now concentrates on private and exclusive sailing charters around Asia. With commercial certificates, he has skippered, crewed, managed and delivered several super yachts, as well as completing many ocean passages and logging several hundred thousand miles on all the world’s oceans.
He has had a passion for the sea since his first experience of sailing at the age of 5. Sailing dinghies, windsurfers and diving. In 1980, when he started cruising and racing his own yacht extensively. Including campaigning to race in RORC, JOG, the Fastnet, the Arc, at Cork, Cowes, St Martin, Phuket, BVI and Antigua.
Jolly Good Cook!
The Skipper was trained as a chef, and has effectively adapted these skills to the confined conditions of a yacht’s galley and rustles up hearty meals whatever the conditions.
Food on Meniscus is always the freshest and healthiest food available. It is bought, whenever possible, direct from local markets and not from supermarkets or other convenience stores. Depending on availability there is always a range of local and international cuisine. He particularly enjoys serving the local delicacies.
Frequently Asked Questions
We aim to be very different and special compared to other companies. With almost 30 years experience and 20 years in the area, we can guide you to some really unusual and out of the way places where very few people have ever been. We try to create a special experience where you can take part, relax and really enjoy yourself! We try to do everything that bit better always aiming for the highest standards.
- We believe in having fun and enjoying, not just the sailing, but the places we visit, the people and the local culture.
- We make time to enjoy other excursions and experiences outside the sailing curriculum.
- We pride ourselves on providing the freshest natural food available. Hearty international and local dishes are prepared for you – you will not have to do any provisioning or cooking.
- We provide good quality linen, cutlery and crockery – you do not need to bring a sleeping bag or eat from plastic.
- The boat is well maintained and serviced and whilst boats are boats we do not expect it to break down.
- Your skipper, guide and helper has more extensive experience than most especially in this area.
- We really hope that you will be impressed enough to join our growing number of regular guests.
At the time of writing, although there may be travel advisories issued by various governments they normally relate to major resorts and do not apply to small and remote islands. We are not aware of any current political, health or religious disturbances in the area which would cause a problem.
Nowhere is 100% safe any more but the main targets are always going to be places with a high density of people. As we specialise in finding quiet and remote places we tend to spend most of our time well out of the way of any potential trouble spots.
Some parts of southern Thailand close to the border with Malaysia should be avoided.You should of course take the same precautions against theft etc that you would take at home or anywhere else. I have no hesitation in recommending the area as a holiday destination but do please check when booking.
The normal weather between November and April (the dry season) is perfect for Yachting with clear skies, calm sea conditions and light to moderate breezes. From April (the rainy season starts) to July the wind can be more fickle, more cloudy, and there are often rain squalls sometimes with strong winds. From August to October the rain gets more frequent and can sometimes last for several days.
This depends a lot on the plans at the time.
If we are sailing and cruising there will be normal cleaning and general maintenance tasks to be done every day before, during or after we sail.
The general aim is to keep everything ship shape and running well. Depending on your skills you might assist, or carry out some tasks on your own.
From time to time we will need to stop for a day or more to get some work done or something repaired. Generally we would hope to be getting the jobs done and having fun while we do it, by exploring ashore or cruising from place to place. At other times we will just be undertaking maintenance and anyone interested in volunteering will be most welcome.
There will be a range of coastal cruising and from time to time there will be longer passages.
Once we have a good crew we plan to undertake some longer and more interesting expeditions.
We pride ourselves on preparing good healthy, appetising food. We buy the freshest food available wherever possible, getting it locally from markets.
Generally the menu is a hearty mix of international and local cuisine. We can cater for vegetarians and food allergies, but please let us know well in advance with information on what you normally eat/drink and don’t eat/drink.
We would particularly like to know what you like for breakfast and whether you have any preferences for teas, coffee, soft drinks or alcoholic refreshment.We serve alcoholic drinks and sodas at an extra charge. please let us know in advance what you would like to drink onboard.
We have guests from all over the world. Usually they are open minded people interested in learning about sailing, the places and people they visit – most yachties are easy-going, friendly people.
Meniscus has previously been surveyed and was registered as a commercial vessel with the Marine Safety Agency for unlimited offshore passage making.
She has also previously been recognised as an Sail Training Vessel and still carries all the required safety equipment on board as well as complying with stringent stability and safety requirements.
She is thoroughly maintained to the highest possible standards. Meniscus has also been fitted with sophisticated electronic systems to help improve safety.
- All meals taken on board (full board is available unless we eat ashore).
- General sailing & involvement in the day to day running on board.
- Use of snorkelling equipment.
- Use of bed linen and towels (but please bring a beach towel).
- Use of wet weather clothing if required.
- Use of safety equipment as appropriate.
- Meniscus has been equipped to MCA requirements.
Here are a few things you might want to bring:
Meniscus is a bare foot boat but if you want to wear shoes they must be clean white soled and only for wearing on deck
- Sailing gloves for tender hands
- Light waterproofs for normal trips – check if warm clothing is needed if joining for a potentially cold passage
- Sun hat
- Swimming costume
- Beach towel
- Your favourite music
- Small personal medical kit: painkillers, sea sickness, stomach, antiseptic, plasters, etc.antimalarials if appropriate
- Mosquito repellent – but please ONLY bring creams and NOT the highly flammable jungle formula sprays
- Return travel arrangements at the beginning and end of your holiday plus any visas required.
- Any necessary vaccinations/medication e.g. malaria tablets in some parts of the world.
- Spending money for drinks onboard and ashore, excursions ashore, restaurant meals, souvenirs, local taxes, port clearance and immigration etc.
- Personal travel and medical insurance.
- Transfers to and from airport.
Malaria is not normally a problem in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Mergui, Andaman. Please take medical advice if booking for destinations in Borneo or Indonesia.