Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WEEK 10 - Pulau Satang Besar to Santubong River

Tuesday 21 June - Pulau Satang Besar to Santubong River
01°42.920N / 110°19.453E
We had sundowners pn the beach last night. Most of the boats left in the morning to catch the rising tide to get into the Santubong river. We cleaned up and had a lazy day and were the last boat to leave at 3pm to catch the afternoon rising tide. We motored very slowly and went over the shallows at 5pm and up the river with a sharp turn left and we could see all the yachts anchored. We went past the first boat which was Single Malt so we anchored just behind them. Cilantro and Braveheart went right up the other end. We have to anchor to the side of the river to give barges room to negotiate. We are quite close to the dinghy jetty which is privately owned but the owner allows us to use it and walk through his property. A quiet night on board.
Miles:12 TTT: 1547

Wednesday 22 June - Santubong River
We are anchored under the Santubong mountain. Braveheart called up Cilantro to tell them there was a 4m croc between their boats. The skipper who had been in his dinghy with legs dangling over cleaning the side of his boat abandoned the chore!! Our skipper went up the mast to rethread the halyard for the headsail. At 1pm we met Cilanto, Braveheart and Single Malt and walked to the village of Santubong and had lunch at a little local eating place - was a lovely meal. In the evening we all met Sasli (Sail Malaysia) ashore and had a few byo drinks while he advised of our agenda. We then went back to our boat for a lovely feed of fish!

Thursday 23 June - Santubong River
The crew awoke at 4.30 - boat felt funny and thought I could hear anchor chain going over itself but we are anchored in mud. Went to the back bunk to read and looked out the window a couple of times. Could see a buoy outside with flashing lights indicating the end of a fishing net. It was just on daylight when I heard a noise and looked up at the window to see three men there - I thought we were being boarded and let out a scream which frightened the life out of the skipper who awoke to find me not in bed. He flew up on deck and found three fishermen holding their boat off ours whilst trying to retrieve their fishing net which was wrapped around our boat. Think they must have been trying to unravel it for ages. They were very apologetic but couldn't get all the net and ended up cutting it. The problem now is we are hoping it is just wrapped around our anchor chain and not around the prop as obviously we cant dive on it here to clear it because of the crocs!! We wont know till its time to go. We had booked a minibus for 9am for the last four boats to go to the Harbour Master, Immigration and Customs. We would never have found them on our own. We collected some charts which the other boats had ordered, had lunch and were back at the boats by 2.30. At 5pm we all boarded the buses and were taken to the Borneo Convention Centre which is huge and fantastic architecture - a very impressive building - much better than Brisbane's. It is only two years old. We were given a talk by Sarawak Tourism and a short video on the place. Then we ate at the restaurant there - absolute five star dining and they had the most magnificent buffet - amazing food and amazing surrounds. We had fun with the chocolate fountain. After a wonderful evening the buses delivered us back to our boats.

Friday 24 June - Santubong River
We left on the bus at 7am to go to the Orangutang Sanctuary. The feeding time was at 9am. The Sanctuary is on the outskirts of Kuching with a 15 min walk up a road then 5 minutes into the jungle. The alpha male - Richie - came in first. It was lovely to see them but we had been spoilt at Kumai!!! We then headed to a couple of souvenir type shops and then were dropping into Kuching town. Kuching means cat in Malay. It seems to be a very nice very spread out city. The Muslims live on one side of town and the Chinese on the other- pretty big flash houses. We went to the Tourist Bureau, had lunch at a local Chinese eatery, had haircuts and walked along the river and decided to catch a local bus home. We got to the bus station at 4.30pm, the bus came at 5.30 and left at 5.40. We found the wild man of Borneo on the bus! One of the local lads (whose tattoos looked infected) obviously had too much ganga - his eyes were glazed and positively scary. First he threw up all over the backsteps of the bus and then was swaying all over the place and punched the wall. His mates sat him down and all the young girls vacated their seats around him. Suffice to say it was not a pleasant journey. Saw where the not rich people live and there was a lot of rubbish around. We finally got back at 7pm then went to the Chinese restaurant which wasn't impressive.

Saturday 25 June - Santubong River
Met Cilantro ashore at 9.30 and walked 4 - 5 km to the Rainforest Cultural Centre which is a living museum. It is also where the Rainforest Music Festival will be held. It has seven examples of different tribes' housing - longhouses etc and a really good dance theatre which was really entertaining. The fellow with the blow pipe was hilarious and had us in stitches but still managed to convey how deadly the blowpipes are. We had a go of one a bit later and you just give a little puff and the arrow shoots out - amazing. We finished with lunch then walked back getting back around 4pm.

We had originally thought we would stay here for the Rainforest Music Festival but it is two weeks away and we have to be in Miri (300 miles away) by the 15th so we will sail up there and leave the boat in the marina and then come back. Seems a bit silly but otherwise we would fall behind the rally. For those worried about the fishing net around our boat - never fear we are again on the move.

Missing everyone so much.
Fair winds and calm seas
Dell and Peter

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WEEK 9: Redang Island to Tiomans and that crossing!

Congratulations to Brett for super Uni results!!!
Saturday 11 June - Redang Island to Perhentians
05°55.789N / 102°43.399E
We left at 8.25am and headed north to the Perhentian Islands. These islands have a more bushy sort of terrain rather than actual jungle and are rugged looking around the edges. We came up past a lovely long beach with lots of activity going on and quite a few low key resorts/buildings on shore. We came up a bit further and went up the channel between the two islands. The chart is out a bit here so the crew took watch at the bow. The water was aqua and perfectly clear. We passed a few more lovely beaches and headed for the north beach. Rubicon Star was in there and called us up as we couldn't make our minds up and said it was good so we anchored there and then Whisper HR came in too. We headed ashore to the restaurant - D'Lagoon - it seemed to be a backpacker place with a dorm and small chalets - a really nice spot. We set up a snorkel tour for the next day and Rubicorn Star and Whisper HR said they would join us. We snorkled the coral near our boat and saw a shark about 6 ft long - supposedly a reef shark. Luckily it was scared of us! At 5pm we all went to Rubicon Star for sundowners. Rubicon Start is a converted steel fishing boat from Tasmania with two short masts, so she has heaps of room. She's a beaut boat and we all sat up in the bow (8 of us) on deck chairs and had room to spare. We had intended to go ashore to eat but the tide had dropped and we doubted we would get in so ate on board. A bit of a storm came up through the night but we were ok. We have noticed that no matter how often we clean the boat it always seems to be dirty. We cant decide if it is in the rain or in the air.
Miles: 21 TTT: 928

Sunday 12 June - Perhentians
05°53.621N / 102°44.115E
We left at 8.30 for our snorkel trip and went around behind the island to see if we could find the sharks. Swimming along looking for sharks sounds so wrong and the senses say no!!! But luckily or unluckily there were none there. It was a very overcast day. We headed out to five smaller uninhabited islands further out. We landed on a small beach and snorkelled out from there and it was like a wonderland. Quite shallow but the coral was fabulous and so many fish. We saw two big Napoleon humphead wrasse which are about 3ft long and 1 ½ ft high and they just cruised around not at all concerned with our proximity. The second one almost looked like he had elephant skin. We then went to another area and jumped off the boat and saw more wonderful coral but different to the last place - lots of colourful clams - heaps of fish - some we had never seen before. One looked like a dinner plate with two funny fin things at the back. They were fantastic - it was a fabulous snorkel. We then went looking for sharks again. Peter and Mae saw a big reef shark and I saw a smaller one. Our last stop was to the coral garden with lots of table coral and the soft plants the nemos live in - heaps of nemos. As we were snorkelling we could feel large drops of rain falling on our backs. It was a fantastic morning and we would have loved to have gone back again on a sunny day but we were just so happy to have seen it all. We all ate ashore then, as there was a bit of a swell coming in, we went down between the two islands and a few of the yachts were anchored there so we anchored as well. The water was so clear - clearest we have seen in Malaysia so we got in Bob and next thing we see a huge turtle and it came up beside us to breath. The next one we saw we jumped in and swam with it. We were then going to go around to the other beach but Rubicon Star returned and said it was full of coral heads so we reanchored where we were and at 6pm we went ashore with Rubicon Star and Wave Sweeper and had dinner at a little local place on the beach and the food was great - would like to have spent a week here.
Miles: 2 TTT: 930

Monday 13 June - Perhentians to Kapas
Happy Birthday Charlie
05°13.681N / 103D15.696E
We woke up at 5 to 7 and upanchored at 7!!! We put the main and the headsail up and motor sailed all the way with good wind arriving at Kapas at 4.45pm. Cilantro had come out of Terangganu and we could seem them 2 miles in front of us. As we anchored we could see a storm heading our way. Cilantro came over to say hullo but stayed in their dinghy and made a quick getaway when the rain came. We anchored in 4.2m and during the night the wind blew hard from the north and we went back to 3m. A good day.
Miles: 52 TTT: 982

Tuesday 14 June - Kapas to Pulau Ular
04°03.621N / 103°24.152E
We left in pitch dark at 6am. The crew stood at the bow to keep watch until daylight. We started off with great wind and current with us so made some good miles under main and headsail (and motor). The wind died off around 10am and the sea was flat and oily looking. Dodged heaps of flags on pots. We made it to our little island anchorage at 6.45pm
Miles: 78 TTT: 1060

Wednesday 15 June - Pulau Ular to Tekek Tiomans
02°49.074N / 104°09.024E
It proved to be a long day with no wind and current against us. We left at 5am in the dark. The crew stood at the bow looking like a bedraggled demented figurehead. I think all this did was to let us know how many close calls we had as you couldn't see the buoys until you were on top of them - however did my duty for two hours! As we approached the Tiomans we thought we might have got some good wind and would come in to the anchorage under a full moon. We could see a storm and thought it would miss us. Next thing we were in the middle of heavy rain with lots of lightning and lightning strikes away to the left. This put paid to the full moon so we came in in the dark and just as we were approaching the town there was a lightning strike and the whole town was blacked out! Thank goodness for the chartplotter which still had our previous tracks and where we had anchored so we were able to anchor with no problem at 9pm. At 16 hours it was a very long day. Cilantro came in at 10pm.
Miles: 89 TTT: 1149

Thursday 16 June - Tekuk to Juara, Tiomans
Happy Birthday Suzanne
02°47.568N / 104D12.344
Well what a shocking night. The wind came in from the north and the swell turned us to the side and we rocked from gunnel to gunnel from 2am. The crew sat jammed between the lounge and the mast and read as it was impossible to sleep although the skipper managed a good night's sleep! Had to secure everything as things were going flying. At daybreak Cilantro upanchored and went into the marina and managed to get a berth. We went to town and got another 90 litres of fuel and restocked the beer cupboard and checked out at Immigration. We then motored around to the other side of the island to Juara. It was a bit swelly but we didn't have a bad night. We ate ashore at the restaurant. Single Malt and Braveheart both arrived at Tekek.
Miles: 13 TTT: 1162

Friday 17 June - Juara Tioman
It has been pretty windy all day and the wind is really picking up now - coming straight in on us and bucking the seas up. We heard from rally boats on the HF this morning who left from Teragganu going against wind and tide. We spent the day getting the boat ready for our crossing. The skipper serviced the motor. Cilantro, Braveheart and Single Malt had a very slow trip around here pushing wind and tide. We will have discussions this evening to decide when is the best time to leave for our three night crossing to Borneo. They all anchored on the other side of the bay so went to join them and the skipper gave them timings for different speeds for the crossing. We actually found it much rollier over this "sheltered" side of the bay. The locals didn't build their jetty on the other side for nothing and we decided to go back there to anchor for the night. But then we all decided leave for Borneo at 8pm and as the swell was really bad by then we all actually left at 7.45pm.

Borneo Crossing Week 10
We headed out into quite strong winds and a swell and current about 2 knots against us. We put our headsail up and off we went. Did three hour shifts for sleep. About 3am the halyard separated from the top of the furler which means that the headsail dropped and we were very lucky to be able to haul it in and wrap it round the furler but it is about 1.5m down from the top. The halyard (rope) has gone down the mast. We waited til daylight in building seas for the skipper to go forward to get our mainsail up. We are always hooked on with life jackets and safety tethers at night but we kept them on day and night. The deck was really bucking and the skipper moved forward hooking on, moving forward hooking on and off till he got to the mast. Was a bit hairy but he got it up with one reef in so it was at least steadying us and giving us a bit of a push along. We were under motor the entire way with help from the sail. Others managed to sail quite a bit of the way but when we need to get somewhere in the most comfort and as quickly as we can we use the motor - sailing purists we are not!!! The seas became horrendous through the day - biggest we have been in - 3 metres with the odd rogue wave. It is terrifying to look to the side and see a wall of water higher than the boat - of course it just slides underneath us. The downstairs became a mess. We are usually so careful about packing things away but everything we have read and heard about this crossing said the sea was so calm people stopped for a swim! So the skipper's left over dinner hit the floor smashing the plate and spreading food everywhere. The good sailing books in the nav station hit the floor as did one computer, the guitar, cushions and everything else which could actually fly!! The crew spent much of the day either in hysterics or in bed neither of which helped the skipper get any sleep. For lunch we had a boiled egg and 2 slices of bread - turned into a sandwich in our tummies!! A cup of soup for the crew and a sandwich for the skipper for dinner which he had to make as in conditions like these the crew can only get to the back bunk or the loo (luckily also at the back of the boat) even though sea sickness tablets were taken. Suffice to say it was the scariest day and the crew thinks she needs a change of career!!!!! Anyway with thoughts of Jessica Watson (what an intrepid sailor!!) and words like the boat will take care of itself, by late afternoon the crew took was able to take a turn on watch and found the best way to deal with it when the boat got wacked around was to close the eyes and hang on! So the skipper got some much needed sleep. The skipper had hand steered for the afternoon as we were worried about losing the autohelm in the bad conditions. We saw big dolphins which swam with our boat for quite a while - lovely. Went through a shipping lane which was at least ten miles wide with stacks of ships. Went quite close to some but they were pretty good and also tried to avoid us. The moon was full and we did our three hour shifts. Hit something through the night. Early morning and the crew saw a black thing at the bow of the boat. Got such a shock as there didn't seem to be anything out there. It was almost as if what are you doing there!! Anyway a black flag on a stick on a buoy dragged all the way down the boat and almost got tangled in the gear at the back. It was the only flag in the entire ocean and I hit it!! I have a theory about it though. It was a pristine flag and pristine buoy and two boats which didn't show o radar were previously in the vicinity. What a great way to pass on something illicit!!
Day 2 and conditions were still very sloppy with the odd big wave to knock us. The skipper got out one of the sails from under our bunk and put it on the inner forestay and it helped bring us back around after we had been knocked off course by a wave. The skipper cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast but the first lot of beaten eggs went all over the floor. During the day saw some tiny little dolphins swimming with and playing with our boat - they were gorgeous. They were about half the size of a normal dolphin. We passed well south of the Indonesian Islands renowned for piracy and which we are not allowed to land at anyway. More of the same. The skipper managed to cook a pretty good spaghetti bol but with macaroni instead of spag so we could eat it with a spoon! The last night was interesting with a tug pulling a barge and a few ships passing. The skipper had seen a huge log in the water longer than our boat and as big as a tree so we really tried to watch out for stuff. The crew went to bed at 3.30am and awoke at 7 in dead calm water seven miles short of the Indonesian point of Kalamantan, Borneo. As it was early morning (which was the plan) we decided to push on to the island of Pulau Satang Besar (what was another 40 miles!!) which is just near the entrance to the Santubong river which is our destination - 30k from Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, Malaysia. We pulled the mainsail down as we had been worried that the headsail halyard may have tangled with the main and we wouldn't be able to get the main down but it came down with no worries. The crew commented that she hadn't done her hair in three days and the skipper said it looked good and people would pay a lot of money for that look - bless him!!! The skipper had a good day and caught a 105cm long Spanish mackerel (yes he did measure it!) and then discovered that this boat has a spa! Sat at the back going along and had a spa bath which was really lovely and then a spray down with fresh water. We had to change the fuel filter over - luckily the skipper had installed dual fuel filters so it was just a matter of a switch and he can change if later.
We are now anchored with 9 rally boats with our life jackets packed away and our safety tethers hanging to dry enjoying a well earned beer and wine beside a lovely island in blessed calm water. One of the boats which came down the long way suffered a broken boom and shredded headsail - it wasn't an easy trip. The skipper threw a couple of pieces of fish (in a plastic bag) to Cilantro as they went past but Sandra knocked it into the water so the skipper jumped in and retrieved it (he wasn't letting any get away). It was only after he got back on board that he said I hope there aren't any crocs here!!!
Pulau Batang Besar - 01°46.820N / 110°10.038E
Miles:373 TTT: 1535

Well the next challenge is getting up the river to the rally point at Santubong.

Have a great week
Fair winds and Calm seas
Dell and Peter

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Monday, June 13, 2011

WEEK 8: Kapas Island to Redang Island

Saturday 4 June – Kapas Island
Happy Birthday Jean
Had a lovely day reading and knitting and admiring the scenery. We are between a small island (Gemia) which has a resort and a bigger island which has walkways (with balustrades) over the rocky headlands between the beaches. In the afternoon we took Bob and went round the edge of the reef for a look and then called on Cilantro then came back and had dinner.

Sunday 5 June – Kapas Island
Went around the smaller island for a snorkel but visibility wasnt all that good and neither was the coral. Got stung by little things in the water so came around near the boats and tried there but same result. Went ashore with Cilantro and walked around the walkways. There were many locals on the beach swimming and picnicking. The women wear long sleeves and long pants and head scarves swimming. It was a lovely walk and we came back to a little restaurant on the beach but it only served its guests though they did produce a very good fresh pineapple juice for us. We went to another restaurant which was like a big solid verandah and had lunch there then had a swim off the beach where we had left our dinghies. At 5.30 we all went to the beach where we all indulged in a game of boche which was quite good. At 10pm I could hear people talking outside and there was a tourist boat attached to the buoy beside us fishing with fishing rods in a marine national park. Not too many fish here!

Monday 6 June – Kapas Island
Watched as four big Marine Malaysia men boarded Whisper HR all with their big boots on. Mae was home alone as Kevin was visiting another boat. She called him up and he went back and they looked below and went through all their papers and were there for quite a while. I was appalled to think that these four men could walk all over the boat with only a female aboard! They then went and checked two sther boats and then seemed to disappear. At 4pm we all went to the lovely resort on the small island for a rally dinner. The resort had a swimming pool and also a swimming pool for the baby turtles. They are really trying to work on their turtle conservation here. The meal was a buffet and it was absolutely delicious – all Malay dishes and the best we have had. It rained while we were there and when it stopped we headed back to the boats.

Tuesday 7June – Kapas Island to Kuala Terengganu Marina
05°20.329N / 103°07.877
We left at 7.30 and had a slow motor sail to Terengganu. We went between the block wall entrance into a very dirty river and headed for the marina. There was quite a current running so as well as the blokes from the marina office we all had to help with each others lines. There are quite a few racing yachts in which are looked after by Dave from Perth who spends three weeks up here and six weeks at home. There is a huge complex here with a resort. The marina building is about three storeys and huge with a gym, sauna, spa, restaurant, lovely bathroom – big conference rooms all beautifully tiled and another big building called the ballroom and the whole thing was built for just one yacht race a year called the Monsoon Cup which is held for a week at the end of November. Apart from that it rarely gets used. The wastage of money in this country is quite staggering. We had lunch at the restaurant which was really nice. Then we headed to the petrol station with our five jerries. We could take the dinghy and the skipper took two jerries at a time across the road. We did two runs. The diesel is cheaper at the petrol station. Tables for the rally dinner were set up on the lawn outside the ballroom. The band was set up and playing their Malay instruments, tables and chairs beautifully decorated and shortly after we sat down it started pouring rain – torrential rain which lasted as long as the dinner did. The tables and chairs were left in the rain and they brought out more tables and chairs under cover, moved the band and the buffet in and redid the whole thing. It was such a shame. The meal was very nice but they were all western dishes – we really do prefer the local food. No alcohol of course but a lovely night.
Miles: 12 TTT: 876

Wednesday 8 June – Teragganu Marina
We went on the bus tour at 9am and were taken to see the wooden boat building – they line between each piece of wood with paperbark. They told us it was from a local tree but we are not sure if they are eucalypts. We were able to climb all over a fishing boat and it is amazing how steep the front and back of them are. Then we were taken to a batik factory and then to the crystal mosque where we all donned coats (men included) and headscarfs (for the women) and were able to go inside. There were about three classes of small boys all reading from the Koran. They got a tap with a stick if they got it wrong! We had lunch and returned to the marina and we did another fuel run so we are now all fuelled up with 300 litres. In the afternoon we took the dinghy across the river and walked through China town and had a very nice meal at the Golden Dragon. The only places you can get beer is at the Chinese places and the Chinese make up only 5% of the population in Teragganu province.

Thursday 9 June – Teragganu Marina
We took Bob across the river to go to the wet market which was pretty good. Got heaps of fresh fruit – mangoes, pawpaws and pineapples – and vegetables and took it back to the boat. The turtle conservation effort doesn’t seem to have reached everyone as they were selling turtle eggs. We then went looking for the Immigration Department as we had been told we had to check out of mainland Malaysia. We walked for a couple of kilometres as it wasn’t where we thought it was. We found the frozen food place and managed to get a 2kg block of Aussie cheese and some frozen NZ lamb chops and sirloin steak (Aussie) for around $10/kg!! They pointed us in the right direction for the Immigration Department which was in a big building which looked a bit like a block of flats – no signs. Nos signs in the building either but on asking we were told it was on the first floor. When we got there it was quite crowded but a staff member saw us straight away (somehow they recognised us as yachties!) and spoke to a couple of other staff and they decided that as we had a 90 day visa we didn’t have to check out. Glad we found out today and didn’t come back into Teragganu specifically for that purpose. Had lunch on the way back – the Chinese proprietor greeted the skipper with a cold bottle of beer! Knows his customers! We hurried back and caught a taxi (who ripped us off) with Cilantro to the Giant supermarket where we got the essentials. The same taxi driver was waiting and ripped us off again on the way back – at least he was consistent!! We filled the water tanks and we took Cilantro across the river to China town. Had a delicious meal at the Golden Dragon then went to the bus station with James and Sandra who were taking a night bus to Langkawi to collect their radar which they had ordered.

Friday 10 June – Kuala Teregganu to Redang Island
05°47.331 / 103°00.931E
The skipper settled our marina account which turned out to be $30 for three nights including electricity and water! We left the berth on a slack tide at 8.45 and headed north – overcast day. We went past Pulau Bidung hoping to stop for a snorkel and to see the Vietnamese memorial. This is where all the Vietnamese refugees came and the centre of the bay is fouled with sunken refugee boats. It was very deep and we could see a catamaran who seemed to be having trouble raising his anchor so we kept going. We found out later that his anchor chain had gone underneath a bus (yes a bus!!) and he had to dive on it to get it out. We went around Redang Island to the north side in a bay which looked sheltered. There was a very strange ship there which had superstructure across sideways to a pontoon almost like a giant cat. Looked a bit like they were building a ship but ran out of room so went sideways!! We checked out the buoys but the lines didn’t look very strong so anchored in 9m on sand at 2.45. At 3.30 we went for a snorkel. There were smatterings of colour in the reef and fish but a lot of it was dead and we saw two old fishing nets snagged on a couple of bommies. It was a bit murky and it was overcast so we didn’t see it at its best. We were surrounded by hundreds of fish at one point who swam along with us. All different kinds coming right up to our faces. It was really nice. Other people reported good coral on the south of the island. The skipper then washed all the river dirt off the boat and we ate on board. It was a bit rolly through the night.
Miles: 31 TTT: 907

Where is the time going??? Having trouble keeping up. Our Grandaughter Charlie turns one on the thirteenth – she is gorgeous. Missing everyone especially my little Rosie.

Currently heading south to get back to the Tiomans to do the big crossing to Borneo but will tell you about that next week.

Love to all

Dell and Peter

Saturday, June 4, 2011

WEEK 7: Teluk Tekek, Tioman Island to Kapas Island

Saturday 28 May – Juara Village
Another rest day. A storm threatened in the afternoon but it missed us though we had very strong winds and thunder and lightning. Two yachts had a bit of a dance together but didn’t actually touch. Ate on board again.

Sunday 29 May – Juara Village – Happy Birthday Bill
So calm and peaceful and the water amazingly clear – you could see absolutely everything on the bottom – shame there’s no fish. Some mornings there is smoke lingering around from people cooking or burning their rubbish. Wavesweeper left for the other side of the island. A breeze came up shortly after and has been blowing since but conditions are good in here. We ventured ashore around 6 and went to the restaurant for dinner – stayed away from everyone as didn’t want to pass this cold on. Skipper feeling poorly.

Monday 30 May – Juara Village to Teluk Tekek
Found out that Teluk means Bay in Malay. We left at 8am and headed south to complete our circumnavigation of the island. Just as we left and a stiff breeze was blowing and we were close to the island with no sails up – the skipper decides that the tacko is not working so turns the engine off to get it to start – what happens if the engine doesn’t start again!!! It did but still! The scenery was stunning and there were a few villages that we think we may have been able to anchor off though it would be a little exposed. The island is absolutely beautiful but maybe unless you are viewing it from the sea you may not see the beauty from the land though of course it is still lovely. We continued to Tekek hoping that we may get back to those little villages some time. We anchored in 10m and went back to 12m at 11am then checked in with the Harbour Master and Customs, had a chat to Cilantro and did some shopping. We weren’t well enough to attend the pot luck dinner in the marina so had a quiet meal at the Chinese. Debbie, Dad is quite taken with the claypot beancurd which is delicious! Later in the evening we watched Cilantro come out of the marina in the dark to anchor. Another boat was coming into their berth at midnight so they had to move. Braveheart has gone on ahead as they have to make a trip to Langkawi.

Tuesday 31 May – Teluk Tekek
We went into the Harbour Master and Customs to check out and bought a couple of cartons of beer. Not as cheap as Langkawi but still cheaper than mainland Malaysia. Tioman is a duty free island but they don’t have the selection that Langkawi has. The crew finished reading The Great War and the skipper finished two books in a few days. He has really got this cold now as has Judy off Braveheart. Seems to be making its way through the fleet. We went ashore for the seafood barbeque and were joined by Cilantro. The barbequed fish, squid and prawns were delicious but the vege dish wasn’t very nice.

Wednesday 1 June – Teluk Tekek to Rompin (mainland Malaysia)
02°48.691N / 103°30.555E – a calm night
We upanchored at 7.30 after putting Bob on the deck. We find it easier to winch Bob on rather than manhandle him like we did with Zed. It was a very still morning and after a while we spied a pod of dolphins. One leapt out of the water in front of us. One had a white tip on its fin. A couple swam at the front of the boat but only for a short few seconds and one was the biggest dolphin we have seen – magic. Totally missed them on the camera though! A couple of hours later we had a larger pod of dolphins visit us and they played and frolicked around the boat for a while – it was wonderful. Saw two big fish swim past but nothing on the line!! As we neared Rompin and could see all the yachts at anchor we had our eye on a huge cumulus cloud – lovely and white and fluffy at the top bit, dark at the bottom. It was rumbling and we could see the odd lightning bolt up in the cloud. We put the revs on when the wind picked up but when we anchored in 4m it was all ok and it passed to the south of us. Cilantro picked us up in their dinghy and we went ashore for a barbeque. Sasli (Sail Malaysia) met us there and we had a wonderful feed of barbequed chicken, fish and prawns and we all had a wonderful night. We then braved the waves to get back to our boats.
Miles: 39 TTT: 704

Thursday 2 June – Rompin to Pulua Ular – Happy Birthday Judy
04°03.540N / 103°24.265 – beautiful calm night
Having an early morning cuppa in the dark the skipper went to step down on the back transom and baulked a bit and said there’s a snake – it was a skinny one but by the time we got the torch he had realised he had been spied and vacated the premises so we really don’t know exactly what he was. We left in the dark at 6.15am but it soon lightened up and we headed north hoping to get some good miles under our belts. The fleet all looked good with their sails up despite the fact that we were all motoring as there was no wind! We were quite a long way from shore but we could see a very marked change in the colour of the water – it was quite amazing that it was like a line drawn in the ocean where one part (coming from a river) was a dirty brown and the sea was a deep blue colour and the current line with logs etc was the demarcation line (see the photo). We were thinking of heading towards shore to anchor somewhere when the wind sprang up and Cilantro wanted to sail so we decided to keep going for a while longer. Cilantro had chosen two places further up but we didn’t think we would make them but with this great wind we were hoiking along! The first anchorage wasn’t suitable so continued on for another 3 – 4 miles and the sun sank in the west and we came around a small island with lots of rocks and managed to get on the inside of it between the island and the shore and drop the anchor in 6.8m just on dark at 7.30! It was a very long day so we decided to pretend we had dinner and fell into bed.
Miles: 82 TTT: 786

Friday 3 June – Pulau Ular to Kapas Island
03°13.679N / 103°15.698E
Well what a lovely peaceful night we had tucked in behind our little island and rocks. We left at 6.15am again hoping to get to Kapas Island ~ 75nm away. We motored and then got enough wind to motor sail. We had a slap up breakfast to make up for the non dinner last night. Have been dodging pots. These are marked with things like small fenders sticking up – not the drink bottles or foam such as in Thailand and Indonesia. Later in the afternoon there were also flags on floats and some floats without their flags. We went past a couple of ports and bulk crude oil terminals and gas terminals. Also there are lots of quarries. The beaches are long and look quite good and there are some quite fancy mosques along the way. We have made a huge effort to do this coast in two days as if the weather came up it would be quite miserable out here as there are really no bolt holes or islands to hide behind. We arrived at Kapas Island which is 6.5km from the mainland at 6.15. Had a shower a sundowner and then remembered we had some instant meals so the skipper cooked up some rice and dropped the packet in the boiling water and voila chicken curry which was very nice. Full Flight, Whisper HR , and Chatalaine came in after dark. Kapas is supposed to be beautiful but we will report on that next week.
Miles: 78 TTT: 864

Cannot believe how quickly this week has slipped by. You may have noticed on the blog there is a link to “where we really are”. We are trying to update this every night as it shows a map of where we are and also where we have been – though we can only update this with internet access. The site is at Meanwhile hope you are all well. Happy to report that we have both recovered.

Take care, miss you


Dell and Peter