SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Darren Lim has been living on a yacht with his family for the past four years.
But such an unconventional lifestyle choice isn’t enough for the 43-year-old. He is gearing up for a year-long sea expedition next year.
The voyage will be on his three-room Lagoon 400S2 catamaran, which is docked at ONE°15 Marina Club at Sentosa Cove.
The local actor told The New Paper: “I am hoping to keep the cost of the trip below $100,000. There is a high possibility of exceeding it as we are planning to go to different ports of call and let the family do various activities on shore.”
To save up for the voyage, Lim has been working non-stop since last July, filming travel programmes as well as MediaCorp dramas and will be busy till the end of this year.
He is currently filming Channel 8 drama Crescendo alongside Christopher Lee, Ann Kok, Tay Ping Hui and Jacelyn Tay.
Lim is married to former actress-host Evelyn Tan, 41. They have four children - daughter Kristen, 10, and sons Jairus, eight, Way, five, and Elliott, two. They are all homeschooled.
Lim plans to sail to Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, before ending the trip in Okinawa, Japan. But the actual itinerary is still up in the air.
The last time the family went out to sea together was in April to Pulau Sibu in Malaysia for four nights.
As preparation, Lim said they will take a three-month trip to Phuket at the beginning of next year.
“The Phuket trip will be a warm-up to see if the kids are okay with it. We will then come back to rest for another three months,” he said.
The big voyage will be planned with the weather in mind, explained Lim, who has 20 years of boating experience. He and his wife have also completed a day skipper course accredited by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
He said he is researching the geography, trade winds and the monsoon seasons that affect the South China Sea, stressing that they would only sail when “it’s absolutely safe”.
Lim, who has also hired a “competent and experienced” crew member for the trip, added that they plan to sail “mainly in the day time”.
“We’re not in a hurry and will take our time.”
The objective of the expedition, besides fulfilling his dream, is educational - to expose his young children to experiences beyond what they can learn from books.
Lim said: “I want to travel and see the world more, let the kids experience more stuff while they are still young.”
For instance, they may dock at Malacca en route to Phuket to let the children explore the city’s rich history and culture.
“We are also considering making a stopover in Penang to show the kids the Peranakan culture.”
Making the various city stops are necessary, not just to stock up on supplies but also to let the children “stretch their legs after being confined to the boat for so long”.
“Our children are really excited about the journey, (but) they are also concerned that it is quite long and will be tedious.”