SV Delos: why we loved Philippines the most

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It’s been more than one year since we first published an article on SV Delos – the response we got from the article was fabulous with literally thousands of people from all over the world reading it and commenting on it. Well, Brian, Karin and crew have now left Asia so we felt it was about time we caught up with the gang to see which parts of the region they enjoyed the most and what’s next in store for them. This article is the first of a two parts.

Part 1.

AAS: Brian – I understand Delos and crew have finally left Asia for Africa – how long were you guys in this part of the World (Asia)?

Brian – Yes indeed!  We left Australia May of 2013 and didn’t leave Thailand until April of 2015 so I suppose it was just a touch under two years!


AAS: So where are you now and what’s the immediate plan?

Brian – Right now we’re in Nosy Be, Madagascar which is just a fantastic place.  After living on ships stores and fish for most of our Indian Ocean crossing (6 months in total) arriving in Madagascar meant fresh veggies, fruits, and the amazing French influenced cuisine here ☺  We’re just about ready to head off to South Africa hoping to be in Richards Bay middle of October, 2015 to avoid the Cyclone season.  We’ll spend a good bit of time in South Africa before setting sail for Brazil then working our way into the Caribbean end of 2016.  Wow, can’t believe we’ll be in the Caribbean next year!


Delos sailing in the Philippines

AAS: Karin – After those many months exploring the Asia region it must be sad to leave. Is there one country you think you will miss more than the others?

Karin – Absolutely! I fell in love with the Philippines during our time in Asia. We had the plan to stay for 2 months but ended up staying 8 months. For me the Philippines had all the awesome aspects of Cruising. There were hundreds of secluded amazing islands, and El Nido was definitely a favorite. We got “lost” for weeks island-hopping from one pristine island to another, and most places we were the only boat in the anchorage!

I fell in love with the Philippines during our time in Asia. We had the plan to stay for 2 months but ended up staying 8

It was also some of the best diving I’ve ever done! We spent a week at Tubbataha reef diving from sunrise to sunset. The park rangers have protected this spot for 25 years now and it really shows. So many sharks cruising around you on every dive, turtles, massive schools of barracuda and lot’s of other pelagic fish. You get the picture! An underwater heaven 🙂

But by far the most amazing thing was the people. The kindness and smiles we received was incredibly special and we felt truly welcome. We made some life long friends during our time there and got invited to share their lives and culture.


Karin – happy in the Philippines

Same question Brian – what was your favourite spot?

Brian – You know, every country has something that I miss about it.  The incredible food of Thailand, the craziness of the Andaman’s, the Malaysian culture.  But hands down there’s just something about the Philippines that really touched my heart.  The beauty of the country mixed with the friendliness of the people made it a very special place for us.  We really connected with the locals and got pulled into so many villages for food and drink.  Plus there’s something like 7,107 islands to explore and some pretty wicked diving!  The whole experience there was mind blowing and it really is More Fun In The Philippines!

We really connected with the locals and got pulled into so many villages for food and drink


AAS: Both – what are your enduring memories from being in Asia?

Karin – That’s a really tricky question, we have so many amazing memories from all the country’s we visited in Asia. But if I have to choose one I would say Malasimbo festival weekend, in Puerto Galera, Philippines. The festival takes place in a natural amphitheater up in the mountains of Mindoro. It was an unforgettable weekend, with awesome music, delicious food, amazing people and a lot of good vibes!

we have so many amazing memories…but if I have to choose one I would say Malasimbo festival weekend in Puerto Galera, Philippines


Stunning Puerto Galera where the Delos crew went for the Malasimbo festival

Brian – Wow, what a great question!  Ok- here we go:

  • Diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia in the Bull’s-eye of the Coral Triangle
  • Witchdoctors, cockfights, New Years Party on a cargo ship, and the Malisimbo Fextival in Puerto Galera.  All in the Philippines of course ☺
  • Taking Delos up the Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia
  • Meeting awesome people in Singapore that took us out for Chilli Crab
  • Eating Chicken Phad Thai and Tom Kha Gai in Thailand



Brian in Borneo

AAS: Karin – And how about the sailing specifically – where did you enjoy your best sailing?

(Karin) We had a really good week of sailing from Darwin, Australia to the island of Banda in Indonesia. It was mostly a steady beam reach, which Delos loves. But we also hoisted both head sails and had a few days of beautiful downwind sailing. I remember sitting outside on my night watch and the whole sky was scattered with shooting stars.

AAS: Brian – How’s Delos holding up?  She’s been at sea a long time now…

(Brian) Yea Delos is now 15 years old now with a lot of hard ocean miles.  Since leaving Seattle in 2009 we’ve sailed around 45,000NM so things are really showing some wear.  This year was a big one for maintenance.  We got a full new set of sails, did a bottom job, and also replaced the standing rigging in Phuket which was a pretty big deal.  I’m starting to notice that brushes on electric motors are wearing out, pump seals are failing, and the electronics are still original and starting to get glitchy.

 Delos is now 15 years old…we’ve sailed around 45,000 NM so things are really showing some wear

The main diesel and generator both have 6,000 running hours and I’ve had to replace seals and bearings to hold them together. After a while even hose clamps and hoses deteriorate to the point where they need replacing.  Since we’re not in port very often we’ve been replacing things piece by piece as they break but she really is due for a full mechanical refit.  The plan is to wait until we get back to the US where we can spend some time and really do it properly.  Just gotta hold her together until then!


Baby Turtle, Borneo


Diving in Tubbetaha, Philippines


Sail from Australia to Indonesia

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  • Alejandro Lim says:

    Wonderful story you have shared. Now lost for words and…. All I can say to you is “MABUHAY!” From the Philippines!

  • Peter Welinder says:

    A highlight every time I see a new section from the era video diary.

  • Jay Pratt says:

    Howdy from Fort Worth, Texas!
    Thank you for sharing your adventures. They make it almost like being there.

  • Love the Delos Crew!!!! I have watched all their videos and can’t wait for more!

  • John Fox says:

    My wife and I really enjoy your videos and other musings. We just related to St. Augustine Florida to start our own sailing adventure. Hope we can meet up with you guys once you get to the states. Maybe a little fan get together at the Dry Tortugas or Key West? I’m sure a small flotilla would show up!

  • jose verges says:

    Not surprising. I lived in the Philippines all my childhood and through my teen years in the 60’s for a full 16 years. What people miss on short visits is…everything else. There is nothing like Filipino hospitality and friendliness. It is not only the diving and the cruising, a lot of Filipino life makes it one of the best places in the world to be. Unfortunately modern times have converted many of the cities and people in them to a different, unpleasantness…but the basics still remain.

  • John says:

    Great atricle,well layed out . good job .thanks for tip on this site …i will be checking it out …Thanks Asia At Sea….

    • administrator says:

      Thanks John – we love following the crew of Delos and hearing about all their adventures. Their coverage of their time in Asia has been wonderful and we hope will inspire many other sailors and travellers to visit…

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