Not a bad 2008 really. My highlight was taking a voyage on a VLCC oil tanker from Singapore to Mailiao in Taiwan with 180,000 tonnes of oil, a 22-man Indian crew and my mate Sam Chambers (who does a blog called Asia Scribbler).
6 days at sea on a 350 metre long boat, 3 square meals a day (our chef is below), plenty of time to write and lock down against pirate attacks in the evenings around, first the Riau Islands and then again up by Batan. I’ve written it all up and hopefully it’ll appear as a fairly long piece in Asia Literary Review next year.
After Singapore we headed out past the Riaus and then tracked the Vietnam coast up and then across the South China Sea up past Luzon and the Batan channel before entering the Taiwan Strait to the coast of Taiwan.
If you’re interested we uploaded a series of 6 podcasts from the ship about the voyage and various issues involved in shipping – pirates included. Click here