1667 Nautical miles, 66 Days, 4 Countries and a Yacht called Rhombus.
By Matt Draper
Firstly I would like to thank Steve for allowing me to once again share some of my images on his forever-growing site. I visit Steve’s site daily and the useful information and inspiration it gives me at times are second to none. My last post was a while ago about my time with the M9.
Earlier this year I was given an amazing opportunity to help crew a very good friends yacht on an adventure of a lifetime.
Johnny Diamond left New Zealand 3 years ago on his 40ft yacht Rhombus and a dream to circumnavigate the entire world with no set time of when Rhombus would next sail into the port of Whangarei Heads New Zealand.
Leaving Malaysia we sailed to Indonesia then on to the Nicobar and Andaman Islands of India finishing off in the land of smiles Thailand.
Along the way our crew of four Kiwi’s including one female encountered endless days of dangerous seas, slat water crocodiles and the Andaman and Nicobar police who boarded Rhombus equipped with machine guns taking turns of twelve-hour shifts, which lasted three days as important paper work was helicoptered to the appropriate people who would decide our fate after anchoring in a restricted area to shelter from violent weather.
Introducing Sabang, a tiny kitten we stumbled across amongst a filthy Indonesian food market in the city of Sabang, located on Northern Sumatra’s picturesque Pulau Weh island. Gifted to us by a negligent owner, Sabang bravely boarded the yacht Rhombus to become part of our crew for the over 1000 nautical miles that remained of our sail. Completely flea ridden when we first took him in, we managed to succeed in ridding Sabang of every last bloodsucking insect the very day this photo was taken. Tragically, poor little Sabang ended up falling extremely sick and didn’t make the entire journey. This first photo is dedicated to our lost crew member. RIP buddy.
Liam – aka ‘Salty’ – capturing one of the most amazing sunsets we had on our sail around Little Andaman Island, India. Not long before this photo was taken we had been caught in a ‘no go’ marine reserve by local authorities. Our punishment, it seemed, would either be the seizure of our yacht, or payment of a dodgy fine. After a few hours of heated negotiation we managed to leave without (further) incident.
The latest arrival to the Pillow Millow tribe Nicobar, India. Pulomilow or Pillow Millow islet is part of Little Nicobar group of Islands and is separated from the main island of Little Nicobar by a deep channel. Following the deadly Tsunami of 2004 the islands few remaining inhabitants are mostly made up of men as the weaker woman and children could not run to higher ground where survivors had sought refuge as the killer waves surged in. The Nicobar Islands are completely off limits to any outside visitors. We were lucky enough to be invited to set foot on this magical land as some of the first if not only tourists ever to do so by the tribes elder who had paddled a hollowed out tree to our anchored vessel.
Five young men from the Pulomilow or Pillow Millow tribe stand on what is left of their local police building, a reminder of the deadly 2004 tsunami. Home for the Pulomilow is an islet part of Little Nicobar Island, located between India and Thailand. The tribes elder showed us memorials for the lost souls of the over 100 family and friends who perished in the tsunami, and took us to the higher ground where survivors had sought refuge when the killer waves surged in. The houses the remaining tribes people now reside in are more resemblant of tree huts than adequate buildings. They cope without power or running water, with none of the island’s damaged generators having yet been repaired – let alone replaced – by the Indian government.
Jarret – aka ‘The Rat’ – reflecting upon one of the most amazing sunsets we had on our sail around Little Andaman Island, India. Not long before this photo was taken we had been caught in a ‘no go’ marine reserve by local authorities. Our punishment, it seemed, would either be the seizure of our yacht, or payment of a dodgy fine. After a few hours of heated negotiation we managed to leave without (further) incident.
I have chosen not to share the type of camera I used to capture these images simply because so many people especially those younger are stuck in the mind-set that having the best equipment will give you the best results.
The best camera is truly the one you have on you.
I welcome any constructive criticism but will not reply to any negative comments.
My name is Matthew Draper I am a young New Zealander currently living and working in the construction industry in Australia. Like many others who pass though Steve’s site I have a passion for photography, it’s just a hobby but I would love to take it further if the opportunity ever arose.
You can see more of my images here: