The yacht

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  • I’m sitting in the warmth of the sun, having breakfast on the deck of a yacht that gently sways in the water among its seagoing neighbors moored here in Hong Kong. I wave at a man cleaning a nearby yacht then sit back pretending that this is my everyday life. Of course, in some sense it is. Today I’m on a yacht in Hong Kong, a couple of weeks ago I was in a fishing town in the Philippines, and next week… well who knows where I will find myself next week!

    I came across the boat online at Airbnb.com. The owner, a friendly Englishman by the name of Nigel, rents the rooms on his two yachts to people looking for somewhere unique and alternative to stay in Hong Kong. There are many hotels and hostels in the city, but for much the same price as a room in a hostel I’m enjoying the use of an entire yacht! (Nobody rented the other room.)

    The boat, named ‘Ratu J Mutiara’ is a luxurious Celestial 52′ Pilot-House Motor-Sailor that has two bedrooms, a fully equipped sitting room, a bathroom, a kitchen and even wifi. It’s comfortable and so much better than a room is some crowded hostel. A real find! To get to the boat you have to take a Sampan (water taxi) which only adds to the experience.

    I’ve travelled on all kinds of transport this year, and stayed in all manner of places. I’m quite sure this will be one of the more memorable settings.

    Airbnb is a pretty cool way of finding interesting and often inexpensive places to stay in many locations around the world. Check it out here.

  • 20 comments on “The yacht

        • You know Sam, I think Airbnb started out as CS for cash, but it’s really found its own place. CS is MUCH more social. People will take you out for a beet, to see cool stuff, etc. Plus on CS you might actually surf a couch or some pretty sketchy places. But on Airbnb it’s all quality and a lot of the places listed are guest houses or holiday rentals. The places tend to be more like BnB’s or somewhere you’ll be left alone to have a more hotel like experience.

          For example there is a guy in Singapore who has a few very expensive apartments that he fills using Airbnb. It makes more money than a long term rental for him. So its kind of opened up a new market.

      • To be honest that was about 16 shots stitched together. There was no way I could get that all in one shot. The tell (I just spotted) is in the top right you’ll see two little clouds that are both the same. Doh. I’ll correct that for the book 🙂

          • I could have the toys if I wanted them. But you try lugging that shit around Asia in the summer mate! 🙂 The trick here is not to have to have some over-the-top poncy camera with lenses and all that crap. I need a solid reliable and durable camera capable of being carried in a pocket and dropped on numerous occasions.

    1. When I saw the photo I was wondering as well. It’s REALLY nice but something was not “normal” about it 😛 as in I can’t snap a photo like that with that kind of angle/coverage.

      Photoshop photomerge?

      • Let me give you an idea of the data use here mate. So far this year I have thrown away (deleted) more than 8,500 pictures! There are of course a vast number of images that are not thrown away, hundreds. Then there are the ones that are prepared for publication but don’t make the cut.

        Now, if I were to travel the world, hauling my luggage, my hard drives, my laptop, my electrical shite, and all manner of other crap that I have to carry with me, I would be have to have another hard drive just for the pics (and another to back that up!). It’s simple impractical and to be fair, I cannot see the advantage at this stage.

        Yeah raw is better than JPG, but I want to keep things simple. Each picture, plus the writing, plus the online publications stuff takes on average 2 hours every single day. If I get behind (as I am now) it is a great deal of time and effort to catch up.

        Do I want to piss around with big cameras, RAW images, external hard drives etc. Heck no! Next you’ll be suggesting I carry a tripod and some bloody great big reflectors! 🙂

        • I think shooting in RAW makes you consider the shot more carefully, and take less shots. I wasn’t suggesting YOU should shoot in RAW, just commenting that I’ve started playing around with it.

    2. Your pictures are always fantastic mate, and for all but the biggest enlargements JPEG is just fine. RAW just allows you to make non destructive changes to your images and I’m just having a little play.

    3. when i use photomerge, photoshop seems to be doing strange things with clouds and mountains, i’m thinking maybe i didn’t take enough overlapping shots. Do you take loads of images and merge?

      and my laptop can barely support photomerge, had to use the office CPU to merge it 😛

      • Yolande, you have to make sure the camera is taking all the shots at the same focal length, aperture, and shutter speed. If your camera has a stitch mode use that or alternatively set your camera to manual.

        • Because the G12 is SO bad at stitch mode, I just fix the cam on one spot to get focus and light balance then move it (with shutter part down) to the spot I want to take a picture of. So this stitch and the HK one were not done using stitch mode.

          Seriously, the Canon G12 is a horribly limited camera. They took all the good functionality of it and got rid of it while at the same time making the resolution smaller. Bad bad bad bad.

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