By: Matt Collins (First Mate)
LOG 4.26.19: REFURB IN THE PHILIPPINES
From 2006 to 2018 the “Best Odyssey” and then the “Cabrinha Quest” sailed over 160,000 nautical miles from the Fjords of Patagonia to Palau, from the tip of South Africa to the Outer Hebrides and to all the special little nooks and crannies in between. We’ve visited more than 100 countries and there’s a pretty solid chance we’ve kited, surfed, dove, and paraglided more virgin locations than…well maybe anyone! These have been fantastic adventures but also hard miles on our treasured vessel and as such she was deserving of some serious love and attention. As we’re now nearing the one-year anniversary of Discovery’s refurb we wanted to share some highlights as we head into the homestretch (note the date of this blog post- we’re now actually DONE and well on our way!).
WHY THE PHILIPPINES?
Our motive behind choosing the Philippines was simple: location. If we had taken her as far West as Thailand we would have missed some of the best surf and kite spots Indonesia has to offer, including the Wakatobi archipelago and a couple islands we visited back in 2009, Sumba and Sumbawa. These islands provide some of the best surf and diving on the planet, and Sumbawa and Wakatobi offer up nice steady winds for those inclined to kite some of the cleanest most reliable breaks we’ve found. The Indonesian archipelago boasts over 14,000 islands! How could we skip this zone?
Discovery has successfully taken us to the ends of the Earth over the past 12 years and as such we wanted to make sure she was paid back in full for all she’s given us. Her home over the past 12 months has been Subic Bay, former station of the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, and today a major hub of activity for ship building and refurbishment with experienced contractors and vendors. Amongst a host of other improvements Discovery has been fitted out with new engines, sails, rigging, electronics (thank you Garmin and Maxsea!), teak, hatches, a modernized galley, re-varnished interior, upholstery, a new dodger, tender, outboard, plumbing, and of course all new Cabrinha gear. The list goes on. We cannot wait to get back on the water, she’s looking better than ever.
Refurbishing a yacht from stem to stern is always a challenge, but even more so in an overseas destination half way around the world. It can often be a logistical nightmare. Just as an example our engines were put on a ship in Seattle in early May, 2018. We didn’t get them for 5 months! And then only after so many trips to customs it started to feel like a second home. There is a litany of never ending projects and each one you tuck into just leads to five more. We’ve faced a host of shipping and customs woes, language barriers, and wild goose chases for supplies. Even the most basic of necessities are a challenge to secure there are no trips down the road to West Marine in Subic Bay! There was even an Earthquake that almost knocked us off our hard stand- scary stuff! Wrong parts, wrong ideas, long nights, sweltering days, three months of monsoonal rains, big mistakes but as the time ticked by and the clock sped up and the stress of departure loomed somehow it all started to come together.
If there’s one thing to be learned from this experience it’s the value of patience and that if you want to own a yacht you need A LOT of it. As monotonous as it was, there’s satisfaction in seeing major projects completed from the ground up. Throughout this process we’ve had two full time project managers who have done a tremendous job. For the first six months we had one of our captains, Alex Jara living on the boat and managing a lot of the interior work. Since last October we’ve had Jim Chaplin, an Alaskan bush pilot by trade who lives in the Philippines serve as our project manager. Both Alex and Jim have done a tremendous job and we can’t thank them enough for their passion and professionalism. Equally, The Philippines is home to some of the kindest people and we’ve had the good fortune to work with several great contractors including APM and Ocean Gecko. Even Mcray the yard dog helped keep morale high. Boat yards sometimes make for unexpected introductions and recently we had the privilege of having Mike Horn as our neighbor for a few months. Some of you may remember Gavin, our founder and former skipper of Discovery anchored right next to Mike back in 2009 in the Andaman Islands. Mike is generally regarded as our generations’ greatest explorer having swum the Amazon and completed an unsupported trek across Antarctica amongst a seemingly endless list of other accomplishments. If we learned anything from Mike- it’s that with hard work and perseverance you can do anything. We’re just about ready to go, Discovery is looking better than ever and engineered to be even more capable for the mission. Discovery and the Cabrinha Quest crew are anxiously awaiting the relaunch. We look forward to seeing you soon.