2008 Reflections and Happy 2009!

Happy New Year! Wishing all of you and happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2009.

It is time for a quick break from the usual travel log stories and do a summary of 2008. You can always check the Travel Summary to see the details of where we have been. Here is our map from the Travel Summary page showing our progress since April 2007:

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Last year, we did our year end summary list based on blog-time, meaning we didn’t talk about anything that hadn’t posted yet. This year we are doing the highlights in real-time, so some of these highlights are previews of blog stories yet to come. This is mostly due to the blog stories being several weeks behind real-time.

Since the 2007 highlights posting, Kosmos has made 33 stops in 18 countries. We have crossed two oceans the Indian and the Atlantic. We crossed the dreaded Gulf of Aden just after the pirate attacks had started up again after a 2 year lull. We crossed the Red Sea and went through the Suez Canal and then the Mediterranean Sea. We have done a lot of miles that is for sure!

Last year we were mostly in rural places experiencing nature, this year we spent most of our time in urban areas experiencing cultures and histories. We have been to some of the poorest and richest places in the world. We have been to Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian areas, and gotten a taste of Asian, Indian, Arab, Turkish, and European cultures. We have been consistently impressed with how kind and generous people are the world over. Even people who have almost nothing are willing to share the little they have. It is touching. We have had quite a few complete strangers invite us to their houses for home cooked meals, all of which are special highlights for us for the overall trip. We have had many other locals take us sightseeing and/or to experience the local culture first hand. We didn’t have many difficult times this year, but each time we did, we always had at least one, and usually more, locals willing to help us out, sometimes at a sacrifice to themselves. This year has opened our eyes to how wonderful human nature really can be and to how much fun it is to partake in other cultures.

Here are some of the more memorable things that stand out, as well as the statistics, from this year:

  • Average speed entire trip: 5.9 knots
  • Best ancient sites: Luxor and Giza, Egypt
  • Best hot chocolate: Valletta, Malta, though Angelina’s in Paris, France takes a close second
  • Best marina security: Marsa Alam, Egypt
  • Best night light show: Hong Kong, China
  • Best Overall Artistry: Bali, Indonesia
  • Best restored ancient housing: Ephesus, Turkey
  • Best yogurt: Greek style (even better with honey)
  • Biggest animal ever ridden: elephants in Phuket
  • Calmest anchorage: Rinca, Indonesia
  • Cleanest country: tie between Monaco and Singapore
  • Craziest locations of buildings: Meteora, Greece
  • Days on land/days at sea (whole journey): 433/169 = 28% of time underway
  • Favorite big city: Paris, France
  • Favorite dive spot: Komodo National Park, Indonesia
  • Favorite grocery store: Mark’s & Spencer’s, Gibraltar
  • Favorite guided tour: kayak hawng tour around Phuket, Thailand
  • Friendliest monkeys: Gibraltar
  • Hardest hike: Stromboli, Italy
  • Highest concentration of expensive cars: Monaco
  • Highest concentration of wealth in one building: The Louvre in Paris, with the Vatican, Vatican City taking second place
  • Least expensive fuel: Salalah, Oman
  • Longest passage: 20 days across Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Guadalupe
  • Meanest monkeys: Langkowi, Malaysia
  • Most awe inspiring tradition we witnessed: the Islamic annual fasting during the holy month of Ramadan while in Tunisia
  • Most bureaucracy: Andaman Islands, India
  • Most convenient check in: Pointe a Pitre, Guadalupe
  • Most daring rescue: saving a sailboat twice in Stromboli, Italy
  • Most different culture from ours: Oman
  • Most eager to feed you: Greece
  • Most effort expended by locals to help us out: Hulhumale, Maldives
  • Most expensive entry fees: Male, Maldives
  • Most expensive fuel: Male, Maldives
  • Most graffiti: Italy
  • Most interesting salvage of underwater treasures: Bordum, Turkey
  • Most mischievous activity: sneaking into the UN climate change conference, Bali Indonesia
  • Most surprising ham presentation: Canary Islands, Spain
  • Most unique housing: traditional Berber homes, Southern Tunisia
  • Most unique land animal in the wild: Komodo Dragons, Rinca, Indonesia
  • Most unique museums: Malaysia
  • Most unique tradition we experienced: annual sheep shearing and celebratory party in Crete, Greece
  • Most unique yacht club building façade: Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain
  • Most vintage busses: Malta
  • Most vintage cars: Andaman Islands, India
  • Newest mode of transportation we tried: Segway personal transportation vehicle
  • Nicest taxis: Mercedes are standard issue in Crete
  • Prettiest church exterior: Il Duormo, Milan, Italy, second place goes to the cathedral in Palermo, Italy.
  • Prettiest city: Monaco
  • Rolliest marina: One degree 15, Singapore, closely followed by Mallorca, Spain
  • Roughest passage: Bali to Singapore, but the Red Sea was no fun, either
  • Scariest Experience: Kosmos almost sinking in Stromboli, Italy
  • Scariest port entry: Singapore
  • Slowest check in: Andaman Islands, India
  • Worst drivers: Egypt
  • Worst radio abuser: The Pilipino Monkey Boy can be heard from Italy to Singapore
  • Strongest winds: 42 knots during a squall on Atlantic crossing
  • Total distance traveled 2008: 14,314 nautical miles (16,460 statute miles, 26,3337 kilometers)
  • Total distance traveled entire journey: 24,273 nautical miles (27,914 statute miles, 44,662 kilometers)
  • Total engine hours 2008: 2414
  • Total engine hours entire journey: 4090
  • Total generator hours 2008: 877
  • Total generator hours entire journey: 1644

We are looking forward to 2009. We hope you follow along on the Kosmos Travel Log. 🙂

6 thoughts on “2008 Reflections and Happy 2009!

  1. Happy New Year! I enjoy reading about your travels, adventures and occational misadventure. Travel Safe!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey experiences with us! You have had a facinating adventure thus far and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying how lucky you are to be where you are and have gone where you have been.

    I look forward to meeting you again someday!

    John
    M/V Aquafair, Sausalito

  3. I completely second two of those. Favorite big city and most beautiful church exterior. The Duomo in Milan is amazing, and I’ve seen a lot of churches. Miss you guys!

  4. Sue and I own First Forty a Nordhavn 40. I wonder if you could give us a rough idea of montly cruising budget for such a trip as yours? I would dream of doing such a trip and you guys have had a chance to live it. What can you do for an encore?

  5. thank you for sharing your voyages with us,happy new year and smooth seas and light winds

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