Posted by: Andy | April 26, 2016

Infinity Expedition Review

Sitting in the windowless basement library at university, idling away hours of my life, learning information important to neither man or beast, I realised I had to escape. I had done it before so I knew I could do it again. My usual places of refuge are mountains and oceans. Before long I was scrolling through sailing opportunities on findacrew.net and there it was; Infinity Expedition.

Their listing said they were currently in Thailand doing some work on the yacht but were soon to depart for Singapore then Borneo, the Philippines, Palau, Truk Lagoon, Ponape, the Marshall Islands and up to Hawaii. In a few weeks time I would be finished university forever, Infinity Expeditions would be in Borneo and so would I. After all, Libraries are not my natural environment, if they are yours, then you are not natural. Diving, sailing and exploring S.E. Asia and the Pacific sounded like a great plan. Pin stripe suits, the financial times, desk driving, networking evenings, the FTSE100, profit and loss accounts and the promise of ‘early’ retirement at 65 would have to wait, I filed all of them in a folder labeled TOXIC DO NOT OPEN.

A simple email exchange between myself and the crew, which included filling out a questionnaire to test my suitability for joining, and it was all done and dusted. I buried my head once again for another month in the library and then teleported myself to Borneo. (I actually took a plane to Borneo, if you think teleportation is a thing you need to stop taking drugs).

Infinity Expedition - Infinity

Infinity Expeditions owns the, wait for it, Sailing Yacht Infinity a 120 foot expedition sailing vessel. For the last decade and a half it has sailed tens of thousands of miles around the Pacific. It has been as far South as Antarctica, as far North as Hawaii, all the way West to the Andamans and all the way East to both South America and North America. They specialise in remote expeditions to far flung Pacific communities that are otherwise pretty much impossible to reach. Aboard, the yacht has comfortable accommodation for about 16 crew in mainly twin and double cabins, a well equipped galley, library, movie projector, big sound system for parties and huge communal living room. The yacht has a diving compressor and diving gear and usually has a dive instructor aboard. One of my favourite features is the huge amount of solar panels kindly gifted by Infinity Power . When in sunny climates, Infinity can run everything, including the watermaker, off solar. The only things requiring the generator are power tools and the dive compressor.

Infinity Epxedition - layout

Infinity Expedition - Cooking

Infinity Expeditions - King

Before joining the yacht, I was advised to do some diving courses to maximize the amazing diving opportunities we would have. In-between exploring Borneo I did my PADI open water certification. As is often the case with wind powered vehicles, Infinity was behind schedule arriving in Borneo. Oh no, what a shame, I had to stay another few days exploring the island.

Infinity Expedition - Borneo

When Infinity arrived, I moved out of the hostel and onto the yacht. It was the biggest yacht I had ever been on. The scale of everything and just how many cabins and people there were blew me away. We had a list of projects to complete including; sail repairs, food shopping (not to be underestimated for so many people on such a big trip!) and getting a new outboard for one of the tenders.

Then disaster struck. Michael Jackson died. Despite having over a dozen fit and healthy crew we were helpless. We were only told he was dead, not that he was dying a few days prior when maybe we could have sent help. The local radio stations played MJ on repeat for days. To bring closure, we had the Gavin Allman Michael Jackson Appreciation and Commemoration Dance Show. With that chapter closed, we slipped our lines and left for the Philippines.

Aboard, we had crew from; America, Canada, China, Brasil, Germnay, Belgium, France, United Kingdom, India and Ireland. If we could all just get along, as human beings, then probably, there is hope for the World! Everyone had led entirely different lives and ranged in age from less than 10 to over 50. From an off piste heli ski guide to a Bollywood photographer to a plumber to a teacher, two young children, a restaurant owner and several long term travellers, there was a huge variety of backgrounds and hundreds of interesting stories to hear. On the whole everyone got on well which is important since we were all living together. When you have lived and travelled on yachts the saying ‘we’re all on the same boat’ takes on new meaning!

We often sailed around the clock, in these instances the day was split up into different ‘watches’ and you would be in charge of steering the yacht whilst observing any other traffic and the weather conditions. All tasks were split amongst crew, from engineering jobs, bread making, galley duty, cleaning and even passage planning. Everyone is involved with many aspects of the expedition which is a lot of fun.

Infinity Expedition - sailing

Graduation Photo whilst in Micronesia

Infinity Expedition - graduation

 

I could describe in detail each destination but instead I share some photos of favourite moments;

 

Infinity Expeditions - Philippines Market

Diving on WW2 wrecks throughout Micronesia

DIGITAL CAMERA

Meeting super isolated communities on low lying Atolls in Micronesia

Infinity Expedition

Infinity Expedition - Pulafuk

Infinity Expedition - Pulafuk Stephanie

infinity Expedition - pulafuk children

Sailing Infinity

Infinity Expedition - anchored

Our route from Borneo to the Marshall Islands

map

 

Infinity Expeditions was founded by Clemens Oestreich who is one of the most skilled navigators, teachers and also engineers I have ever met. He has been living on infinity with his family since he bought her and fosters a great community spirit aboard. Joining Infinity Expeditions is one of the best decisions I ever made. I have both friends for life and memories for life. It is not for everyone, if you want to be pampered and not lift a finger then go on a cruise. If you need a fixed and rigid schedule then take a train in Japan. If however, you want the adventure of a lifetime in this beautiful World of ours and are willing to work together with others to make it happen then sign up now!

 

Clemens takes the helm having delegated lookout duty

Infinity Expedition - clemens

In short, would I go back? I already did, I returned in 2014 for the expedition to Antarctica and I look forward to returning.

 

Infinity is currently in the Philippines, in the next year they return to the Pacific heading to Papa New Guinea, Vanuatu and then back to Micronesia before heading north to Alaska for an attempt and the famous North West Passage. Visit the Infinity Expeditions website for their full itinerary.

 

For other people accounts of their time aboard, check out some of these fantastic blogs and videos including the trailer for Sea Gypsies – The Far Side of the World which is released this summer.

 

An account from the Cooke Family who joined Infinity Expedition in Vanuatu complete with their two year old son, Ethan.

https://cookesabroad.com/2015/10/22/vanuatu-ripablik-blong-vanuatu-infinity-expedition-part-i/comment-page-1/

Andree-Annes experience of sailing on Infinity to Antarctica

http://www.thegreenbackpack.com/revisiting-my-experience-in-the-southern-ocean-and-the-antarctic/

And check out Joel Evans awesome video series he is making on his time sailing and diving from Vanuatu to Papa New Guinea

 


Responses

  1. Worth a read for anyone thinking of joining Infinity Expeditions, and for lovers of the sealife alike.

    • Thanks for the comment Mathias!

    • Inspirational

      • im not sure if its a good thing that i have inspired Davie Jones…..

  2. Great read and great pictures. It makes we want to hop on a plane and join Infinity Expeditions, this time in warm water!

    • yeh, you should really try it, such a different vibe waking up, throwing on your beach clothes and going on watch when its 30 degrees!

  3. A very well and accurately written blog. Perhaps the scale of the Gavin Allman Michael Jackson Appreciation and Commemoration Dance Show with its thousands of enthralled and cheering spectators could have been told with greater detail; but as much as I should, I do not want to blow my own trumpet. No, I raise it high and sound it mightily and most deservedly for Clem, his team, and the beautiful ship herself who in combination helped me to an adventure that I will never forget and has undoubtedly enriched my life. I sincerely hope to be back on that ship again one day, and know for one that I’d take Infinity over a luxury cruise any day. No money in the world can buy her character and, more importantly, the characters of those aboard! Actually, that is a lie. Life abroad Infinity is in fact very affordable, and the value for cost is outstanding! I heartily recommend it to anyone dreaming of living that once in a lifetime adventure. Go!

    • what lovely words, you should start your own blog! sorry our recent trip wasn’t quite as exciting….

      • Our recent trip was great in another way and I am very happy I did it and thankful for the opportunity, Andy! 😊

  4. wow that looks incredible. I fancy some incredible surfing in the Marshall Islands. When is the next trip?

    • hi Tim, thanks for the comment. I’m not much of a surfer but we had a few really good surfers aboard. From memory, the best surfing spots were in Pohnpei which you might have heard of since quite a few of the pros go there.

      Anyway, the good news is that they will be back sailing from Pohnpei to the Marshall Islands in March next year

      http://www.infinityexpedition.org/product/micronesia-pohnpei-marshall-majuro/

  5. You sold it to me mate!! and i speak up as i know what this is about! A sailboat, a community, a family, many adventures, a different stand from what society tells you what life is…etc… infinity is diversity made one, it is a choice to take life at a different speed with a different set of value, values that might be a little old fashion and to me, they are essential, vital! I am talking of compassion, generosity, curiosity, open mindedness…etc. at a slower pace, one fit to absorb…
    anyway, Infinity is an option, one that can change a life and bring questions… something to consider if the traditional moto don’t cut anymore!
    love and light my brothers and sisters!
    Fair winds

    • thanks for your kind words!

    • Hi Ayack, thanks for the kind words. I can’t sell it to you, you already bought it, twice….. maybe i can sell it to you for a third time? Will you come back for Sea Gypsies part 2 NORTH WEST PASSAGE!!!!!!!!!!

      It really is a completely unique experience sailing with Infinity Expeditions. You have travelled all over the world in many different styles and Im not short of adventure experiences but yet we both rank these guys highly! I love the slower pace and connection to both nature and the local communities that we pass through on Infinity. So much of that is missed during more conventional types of travel!

  6. Amazing Blog Andy – you’re writing makes me want to go on adventures too. Congrats! Looking forward to more, always!

    • Hi Natalie, thanks for the kind words. You should definitely go, this is a super yacht for super people, not rich people who need the finest of champagnes in Monaco……

  7. Looks like you’re not alone in your positive opinion of them!:
    https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowTopic-g294143-i3827-k9235834-Infinity_Expedition_Review-Vanuatu.html
    https://cookesabroad.com/2015/10/31/vanuatu-part-2/
    https://cookesabroad.com/2015/11/11/vanuatu-part-3/

    • Hi Sarah, no, definitely not!

  8. Thanks for the kind words…. Infinity Expedition is about to take off big time thanks to the Best Ever Community … brothers and sisters of the blue, we’ll see each other in a minute somewhere on the seven seas….. Love you all, Clemens

    • thanks Clemens, lets make Infinity go for Infinity!!!

  9. Fantastic blog Andy!

    Wow, that all looks so amazing. I would love to do a trip like Infinity Expedition but I’ve never sailed before. Would that be a problem?

    • Hi Paul, it IS amazing. Not having sailed before doesn’t matter, lots of people join who have no sailing experience. Of course the sailing part is important but you can learn it all there!

  10. Wow that looks like so much fun. Andy looking mighty fine behind the wheel !

    • Thanks Charles, my make up guy and photoshop work wonders. I got a lot of trouble from my family for skipping graduation, this was to make up for it.

  11. Good blog Andy, the food on that boat must be amazing, you’re looking a bit rotund in them pics!!

    • well when you aren’t eating entirely out of tins it tends to happens. I can’t believe you couldn’t look past my beautiful figure to see what else was going on in those pictures you pervert

  12. This looks amazing!!

    • It is amazing 😁

  13. What an amazing way to have adventures

    • Thanks for the comment

  14. Wow, looks incredible and a really special way to travel. This is now on the list of trips to save for.

    • Hi Theo, thanks for your comment. You got it bang on; this is an incredible way to travel!

      Check out the videos I link at the bottom of the review.

  15. Andy, you are a natural journalist. Your communication skills are admirable. These pics and commentary certainly make us want to set sail again soon.
    Hugs from sunny Florida, . Brook and Terrie Waddell

    • Thanks for the kind words guys. The ocean is waiting and Infinity Expeditions will take you there!

  16. Great read, good to get an insight into the boat and where it’s at aboit. Also amazing how many places Infinity visits and the diversity of experiences it offers – from sunny Pacific islands to the frozen Antarctic!

    • Thanks for the comment. You’re right, there aren’t many yachts as well travelled as Infinity!

  17. Andy at infinity expeditions is a true explorer and a man that truly loves to shares his passion for adventure. He is a true goto man for anyone wants a proper memorable adventure. Can’t wait to catch up with him again 🙂

    • Hi Angus, thanks for the comment. As much as I would love to be more involved with Infinity Expeditions I am merely one of hundreds of happy past sailors who have been with them. I don’t actually work there, that would be nice! Im working on another yacht in the Mediterranean so can’t complain!

  18. Great piece! I agree so much with Andy and how inspirational Infinity and its experience can change one for the better.
    Andy now a skipper himself floating around the world, making a living, whilst doing something he loves.
    One Life…live it!!
    Fair winds

    • Thanks Rainbow. I look forward to sailing on the seven seas another time with you!

  19. Looks like great fun! And a really well written review! Cheers Andy!

    • Thanks Magnus, it is great fun, would love to sail with you on her some time!

  20. What a funny and wonderful blog post! You really captured a lot of the spirit and life onboard. I hope to see you back with Infinity soon!!

    • thanks for the comment and thanks for sharing on the Infinity website. Hope the rest of the work in the shipyard goes well 🙂

  21. What an amazing adventure! Thanks for sharing your stories and pictures. Well done to Infinity and all the crew for reaching so many interesting and remote places. It looks fantastic, would love to have similar adventures.

    • thanks for the comment

  22. Andy you’ve lived dreams! Here’s to more fantastic adventures in the future!

    • thanks Jen. An adventure a day……

  23. Great post Andy. Look forward to reading the post North West passage report!

    • Thanks Hamish, come along, bring your skis!!

  24. […] Andy’s well-written piece is here, […]

    • Thanks for putting in the link! bonne weekend!

  25. Living the dream dude! Hope to join Infinity soon!

  26. Andy this sounds like such an amazing opportunity for adventure!! Loved the pictures and your comments made me laugh out loud as I was reading through. Definitely something I will look into!!

    • Thanks for the kind words. You definetly should do it!

  27. Great story and pics. Especially liked reading about Micronesia and the Marshalls. Infinity will be returning there next year and it’s going to be some great surfing and diving. I’m trying to join for that!
    http://www.infinityexpedition.org/expeditions/

    • Hi Menno, thanks for the comment. I’m glad you liked the blog. Micronesia was great. I was lucky enough to go back on another trip there a couple of years ago but it wasn’t nearly as fun as doing it on Infinity! Sadly I never really got the chance to explore the Marshall islands properly as I had to fly back to Europe for a job. The diving on the outer islands is meant to be insane. That is if you don’t die of radiation poisoning……

  28. Inspiring stuff Andy

    • Thanks Tom. If this is inspiring the movie will blow you away! Hopefully you are inspired enough to sign up for a trip!!

  29. Sounds incredible – well written piece and great pics!

  30. Sounds incredible! Engaging read and great pics.

    • Thanks for the comment! The blog is nothing, wait until you have seen the movie!! 😄

  31. […] was completely different to the previous time I sailed with them in the tropics. You can read my Infinity Expedition Review about my time sailing from Borneo to the Marshall […]


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