Need backpacker insurance? Save money with this World Nomads Promotional Code!
One traveller's day-by-day account of a year-long journey through Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada

rock formations much like Wookey Hole in Somerset, near where I lived. Then we motored again and stopped to swim for an hour in the beautifully warm sea, avoiding any jellyfish. I pushed myself to jump in off the boat. I hate going underwater, but the reason I'm here is to face my fears, so I did it and got a free stomachful of Pacific Ocean as my prize.

We were to stay on the boat that evening. Excitingly, although we had been allocated cabins, we were allowed to sleep on the top deck. I've longed to sleep under the stars in such a fashion.

Everyone but the Germans and the Belgians (who I believe had commandeered the sun loungers) sat round and played cards that evening, tucking away the beer. Another boat had moored next to us and Lily the Austrian decided to board and claim it in the name of Austria. Later, the colonists boarded us and joined in the fun, including an Irish guy called Martin who looked like James Nesbitt from Cold Feet, a sound Manc called Trevor, two Brit girls called Emma and Petra, a Dutch chap whose name sounded a bit like "Mind It!", and a French chap who I will call Pierre.

Unfortunately they were kicked off pretty soon, but later Lily and I sneaked over to join their antics. Names were never used; instead people