A hitchhiker + paddler hitting the oceans—Melaka/Johor Bahru/Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ⟶ Anywhere, really!
Lockdown update: the coronavirus got us in lockdown in Malaysia. It's now being lifted partially. We can travel anywhere in Peninsular Malaysia to crew your boat to other countries once they open. Feel free to message me when you're in the region!
Hello! My name is Iris and I'm currently traveling in Southeast Asia. I've been traveling and writing about my travels virtually non-stop since 2013. My main method of transportation is hitchhiking (5 continents) and I've hitchhiked a few boats. In 2019, my partner Jonas and I spent three seasons paddling down the Danube river from Donaueschingen (Germany) to Mohács (Hungary) in an inflatable kayak - with kayak sail! That was 1253.7km (677nm, but the Danube uses regular kilometers) over 49 paddle days. We hope to continue that trip in 2021 to the Black Sea. But in the meantime, we're escaping to Asia.
My sailing experience starts in childhood on the Loosdrechtse Plassen (lakes) in the Netherlands. I sailed Optimists (solo) three summers, then a Laser (duo) one summer, and finally a Valk ('Hawk') type boat with a total crew of five, also one summer.
As a hitchhiker, I once hitched/crewed a yacht between Corfu and Malta (340nm) over 2.5 days. My main job there was to do night watches and help out with anything that needed more hands than the couple that owned the boat. Since then, my boathitching/crewing experience has dried up a bit, but I'd change my plans in a heartbeat for any cool sailing opportunity.
Now I'm traveling with someone who has quite a recent sailing experience (Croatia). Jonas and I work very well as a team and this would definitely help you as someone seeking a crew. We still plan on getting certified as well.
What I can do:
- I'm a travel writer, so I'll keep records of the trip for sharing or reminiscing.
- I love navigating. It's always been my task to prevent us from running aground with the kayak on the Danube river while simultaneously dodging big cargo ships in the shipping lane. I'm ready to learn more about sailboat navigation.
- Watchkeeping including night watches. I've done them before. I stay awake.
- Knots. I've been responsible for knotting on the kayak trip.
- Cleaning/organizing tasks.
- Basic food preparation.
It's also important to mention that I've never gotten seasick. I've gone on many ferry rides like between San Andrés and Providencia (Colombia) and back when 60% of the boat vomited. I did Aberdeen to the Shetland Islands (UK) and back during a winter squall. On the Fast Ferry between the Cabo Verdean islands (São Nicolau - São Vicente - Santo Antão - São Vicente --- Fogo - Brava - Fogo - Santiago), I've been the one handing out bags to people. I know many people think it's just a matter of time before one gets terribly seasick, but I have yet to encounter a trigger big enough to start spewing.
You can see what I am currently doing and follow my journeys at www.mindofahitchhiker.com