A new year and I'm in Singapore. I should have come further, but in other ways I'm further on than I could have dreamed in January last year. In November my family left Hong Kong for good. We set sail on our yacht, Nathanael, bound for Britain. On board with me is my husband Richard and five-month old baby, Ben. Two friends, Thesa and Barbara, also came to lend a hand. Sailing out of Hong Kong was the culmination of months of preparation. Months of hammers and drills as the roof over our cabin and galley was taken off and replaced. An electrician rewired the boat. Engineers delved below to repair the fridge, engines and propellers. The two masts were repaired and re-erected. It was a long hard slog. Hours of negotiating with workmen. I've come to grips with engines, bilge pumps and generators. My wardrobe has shrunk, but not so quickly as our bank balance. But now it's time for pay-back - life at sea. The sail to Singapore should have taken 12 days. It took 17. First the going was swift. We caught the tail-end of a typhoon, which sent us flying on our way. The boat handled well and cut the waves like a knife, the pencil crosses marking our position moving fast down our charts. We took turns on watch, alternating getting soaked every four hours. Our contact with the world was through crackly BBC world service radio. We had brief encounters over the VHF radio with passing container ships - angry words when they passed too close. The sea air seems to make me twice as hungry as normal. Unfortunately cooking is not that easy in a storm. Whoever felt up to it ventured down below, but I'm afraid there were few culinary delights. The heavy weather took its toll on the boat. We had damage to the rig and sea-water got into our two engines. We kept our wits and managed to get down the torn and damaged sails. Through all this, baby Ben did what he always does in a crisis. He slept. After a few days the storms cleared. Good for us, but a torn staysail and foresail meant less speed. Still, calmer weather was relief to the crew. Out came the hammock, fishing line and bikinis. Dusk brought evening visits from inquisitive porpoises who gambolled around our bows. We saw shoals of large fish, tantalisingly close, even jumping out of the water. Our first encounter with Singapore was with the police. Within sight of Singapore Island and dying to plant our feet on land, we were becalmed. Not a whisper of wind to be found. Our engines were useless and we were going nowhere fast. Even when we found a gust of wind we had to manoeuvre in and out of Singapore's busy shipping lane hoping that nothing would hit us. Having followed us for an hour or so a police-boat moved in, came alongside and uniformed men started shouting with a loud-hailer. Luckily for us they were smiling. Polite as anything they asked us if we wanted a tow. Needless to say we gratefully accepted. Now in Singapore the challenge is to get repairs done as quickly as possible and get on our way. Our next stop is Phuket, from there it's Sri Lanka, across the Indian Ocean to Aden, up the Suez Canal and Red Sea and into the Mediterranean. Then it's round the bottom of Spain up the coast of France and finally back home to England. It's now likely that we'll arrive in England in June. Something else is supposed to happen then in Hong Kong. Can't think what it is. Long distance sailors tell me this will be the best year of my life. I'm looking forward to doing very little. The idea is just to watch the days go by, stop off at inviting islands on the way, enjoy our baby son growing up and take it easy.