Australian travel photographer Dave Tacon took some gorgeous images during his trip aboard our yacht SY Meta IV and he has kindly given us permission to share them with you. We love those pictures as they truly capture the beauty of the Mergui Archipelago and the dreamy sensation of sailing on a traditional wooden boat. Take a look for yourself!
It's a common saying that we always want what we don't have; for Suchet, this was the ocean.
Along with his nine brothers and four sisters, Suchet was born and raised high up in the Thai mountains, as far from the ocean as you can imagine. He didn’t have electricity or warm water, only lanterns and cold showers.
His house was isolated, no neighbours within shouting distance, and no town within reach. His family was poor and could hardly afford primary school education for their children. Most of the time they lived off the land – even their medicine came from the land, a lesson Suchet would remember later in life.
At the young age of fifteen, he had his first taste of ocean life. As a reference from his sister's boyfriend, Suchet was given his first job working as a deckhand on a longtail fishing boat that left every morning and returned at night with the day's catch. But this didn't last too long.
Suchet was conscripted into the army. Once he had completed his service three years later, he returned to the ocean where he found work on a ferry. Little did he know that this was the beginning of a new life. One certification after another, he finally obtained his Captain's license.
At the age of twenty-seven, Suchet became the captain of a large oil tanker; a few years later he was captain of a drilling ship. At some point, an old friend appeared and introduced him to the world of leisure cruising. At that stage, Suchet was thirty-eight years old.
As life was settling down for Suchet, Thailand experienced political upheavals. While angry mobs rioted, Suchet found himself back on land, helping those sick and injured from the fighting working as a doctor with his knowledge of traditional medicine.
And then he met the crew of Meta IV. He joined us immediately as a first mate and worked his way up to finally become our flagship's Captain.
Suchet has now been with Burma Boating for two seasons. When asked what he likes most, Sushet says, “I love the ocean, I like things that are peaceful and simple. I enjoy the fresh seafood, the ease of finding food in the ocean, and more than anything, I enjoy bringing guests out onto the boat, and seeing their joy."
Suchet is a man of few words, but he has experienced much and has faced what many have not. Ultimately he has been able to achieve what he had dreamed of since he was a little boy: a life at sea.
It's been two months since the Sailing Clinic's first mission and we haven't shared our photos yet. We also want to take this opportunity to thank all donors, supporters and volunteers - without you this would not have been possible!
DestinAsian just wrote a long feature story about our cruises, published in the April/May issue. The article starts like this:
"In the 21st century it is difficult to imagine a corner of the world where 800 mostly uninhabited islands still exist in the heart of its most populous continent. Where annual visitors are measured in the hundreds, not the thousands. And where each morning, if I rise before my fellow sailors, I can swim to the nearest of these islands, leave the first footprints on its fine bleached sands, and inhale the honeyed perfume of blooming sea poison trees lining the shore. This is how each day begins on a six-day sailing trip through the Mergui Archipelago in southern Myanmar, filled with pinch-me moments that more than reward the effort of getting here."
And this is what the author Kendall Hill writes about his encounter with a Moken family during the trip:
"We are not alone at Kyun Phi Lar. There are two Moken boats anchored at one end of the beach, silhouetted in the afternoon sun. They see us too and before long a delegation—two youngish men and a girl with curly, sun-streaked hair—pulls up to our yacht in a dugout. The crew brings them eggs, rice, fish, water, and sweets, and they give us a special treat in return—two lobsters."
Click here to read more articles about us.
Travel Plan, an English-language travel magazine published in Japan, just printed a cover story about Burma Boating, which we are proud to share. Here's what they write:
"It was called the 'Lost World' and for good reason because that region where the Indian Ocean rolls toward Myanmar's southwestern coast slumbered in seclusion, isolated by remote geography and decades of xenophobic, military rule. Even the footprints of passing fishermen and the Moken, nomads of the sea, were rarely sighted on its 800 islands.
Today, the shimmering beaches are still all but deserted, only hornbills and monkeys break a primeval silence on jungled hillsides and the Moken, shy gentle people who worship the spirits of nature and traditionally roamed the waters, still try to draw their sustenance from the sea."
"Hardly anyone knows the Mergui Archipelago just off Myanmar's coast, and you wish it would stay that way. But how long can such a secret be kept?", writes Traveller's World.
Better come quickly!
Click here to see all articles published about us.
If you want to know more about our trips and what sailing aboard Meta IV looks and feels like, you might be interested in this blog by Sacha El-Haj, where she tells the story of her trip aboard Meta IV last November. We love the photos!
We're on the cover of this weekend's Bangkok Post Brunch Magazine. This is what they say about our sailing area:
"The view from the boat is always breathtaking. As we weave through the islands, we see strangler figs wrap their vines along the rocky edges of smaller atolls, forming patters not unlike the soft curves made by the waves below. Tall granite and limestone rocks jut out of the water like those at Railay beach that attract climbers from around the world."
Want to expand your horizons? Are you a student interested in doing something different during your vacation? Do you love boats and the ocean? Are you a tourism major looking for an opportunity to learn how to run a small hospitality business? Or do you work in an office and simply want to get out for a while?
No office, no suits, no 9-5! Become an intern on our yacht Meta IV.
We're happy to announce that we upgraded Meta IV with an ice cube maker, using only 150 watts of power and producing a handsome 12 fresh ice cubes every 10 minutes.