Saturday, 1 December 2012


arrived 29nov.flash little marina.lots of expensive motor yachts surrounded by lots of expensive real estate.more importantly is next to boat lagoon marina and hardstand where all the boat services we went over daily and did the rounds of contractors.arranged to be hauled on the 5 dec.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


A great a glimpse of great Thai cruising next year.
Fantastic news to hear Quantum Leap arrived safely in south africa after a tough crossing from mauritius.
Sailed one hour,then an easy motor sail,41nm to phi phi don.passing between 2 main islands was a con1tinuous cavalcade of flash new passenger launches with big outboards going very fast-this is the busy day tripper tourism we have heard about.went around to Ao Yongkasem anchorage and dropped anchor,in 18 m.beautiful bay-the pale sandy beach,the tropical vegetation,then the cliffs.lots of tourist boats.lots of bright fluoro jackets bobbing in water.we swam in to reef and had a lovely long snorkel.lots of fish around tour boats eating bread,.then a walk along beach with the monkeys.the tour boats all left and it was tranquil.2 cats came in and anchored,and 5 motorboats rafted up close to cliffs. A snorkeller came aboard in wetsuit for drinks=solo sailor darcy from canada.alex,from spain,came over to exchange some beers for potatos,took them back to the cook-he is skipper on his ssmall charter cat,then came back to socialise.A vert calm anchorage overnight.

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Friday, 26 October 2012


An easy day motorsailing through islands to delightful anchorage with amazing cave.
On the way we did some stainless steel polishing-long overdue-makes a huge distance-so will do it regularly from now on.we both did an exercise session .reading-calder:watermakers.
We anchored mid afternoon,in deep green water,below 300 meter cliffs,which are topped by verdant forest.dinghied over to entrance to emerald cave,tied up to a buoy,donned wetsuits,fin and masks,and did the 80 meter swin through,with underwater torches,very pretty,to a hong=small amphitheatre,about 100 m across,with 360 degree huge steep walls,open to the sky,sandy beach at cave entrance,tropical garden on other side,most impressive.Similar to scenary we saw in philippines,but enjoyed more as we also did snorkel and kayak.another pleasant evening on boat,just us.

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THAILAND! 26 oct2012

We have just sailed to a new country.we have done land travel before to thailand,but not boat.
Departed Rebak at unusually civilise hour of 8 am.5 nm later we went into pretty telaga harbour marinafor diesel.As the internet connection was good we lingered on fuel dock doing final email and skype with our malaysian dongle.
About midday we crossed boudary into thai waters.lots of floating buoys with flags.this usually means nets=hazard,and would have been a problem except we had been told in rebak pool yesterday that they have single traps below,no nets.lots of colourful wooden fishing boats.then we started seeing lots of islands,many of them the famous karsts= steep limestone cliffs,with vegetation on top.about 4 pm,after about 30 nm of easy motor sailing,we dropped anchor,in 5 m ,at Ko Balun,between 2 small islands.pretty and quiet-just us.
Finnished 2 nd les norton novel-no literary value whatsoever,but nice to read as set in NSW & Victoria.the 1st one was called Leaving Bondi.tachtswap freebies to be recycled in phuket.Kerry is reading An Extreme Event-the 3rd book we have about the famous sydney hobart yacht race.
dinner was preprepared chicken casserole,with some beans,potato& sweet potato added tonight.With it I had a 2007 sth african shiraz bought dutyfree in langkawi for A$5 per bottle-bought a dozen(thanks robyn.kerry had a 2005 chardonnay from chile for 5rm=under 2 dollars-past its peak but not too many wines with age in asian liquor stores-probably gfc and low turnover.

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We enjoyed 5 days at our favourite marina having a mini holiday.
Rebak is a little island near main island of Langkawi.there is just a tasteful resort,and the marina.the marina was almost full,with about 100 -150 boats in water,and 50 on the has an excellent cafe called the hardock cafe,overlooking the boats,just for yachties,with affordable meals ans drinks.yachties can use the resort facilities.we enjoyed going to the pool at 5,then halfprice happy hour at 6 at resort beach hut,then dinner at hardock cafe.
one happy hour I tried my 1st margarita=nice,so had a 2nd.
several walking trails around island to keep fit,or use the gym.
It was great catching up with rick and robin .they are working on their catamaran,Endangered Species,on the hard.we always have fun with them,and always learn new stuff.also northern winds and dedalus=fun socialising.
one day we got the resort ferry to langkawi.we picked up our hire car from mr Din,40 rm per day(A$13!).First stop was a great lesson on engine timing with a very nice man called peter.then liquor shop,supermarket,check in/out,post office,hardware shop,chart shop-thailand,andamans indian ocean.also got flags for thailand,mauritius,reunion=french,and south africa,which is exciting.forgot to get Indian flag for Andaman islands.
Mark ,shipwright,had a look at our leaking integral fiberglass underfloor watertanks,and concluded not easily fixable,as floor and most of salon woodwork would need to be will put flexible water tanks in they are pvc inner,with nylon outer.will need to get internal fiberglass battens removed,.will also consider a watermaker.
Tomorrow we leave for thailand.Weather looks OK.We are somewhat aprehensive about getting our boatwork done,as so many negative stories.But we need to get boat sorted for next year,plus get home for christmas,then back for thailand sailing season feb/march.

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PENANG TO REBAK.20 oct 2012

Probably our best sail this year!We left on high tide about 0330 as shallow entrance.after dawn e turned engine off,and had a great sail ,to the islands of langkawi,and into Rebak marina.64nm.arrived about 2pm.such a nice marina- see next blog entry.

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PENANG 18-19 oct2012

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Another busy night-hundreds od little sqid boats,some with fishnets out with flags with little lights.a few tugs and cargo boats also in our zone.the shipping channel ended after port klang ,so no narrow procession of big ships. Lightning all night but no storms over us so far.kerry had a morning nap. passed pangkor- bigger fishing boats pulling nets.then not mant boats at all.shipping channel ended shortly after port klang easier navigation now.we both did exercise .midday nap for bruce.a lovely afternoon just sailing-so nice without engine noise.sunset tonic water with lime,then approaching penangisland.sails down and engine on as we approach channel between penang and mainland.lots of thunder and lightning-but we got through without being hit or wet.under the new bridge being built-Ithink it is 11km long.then the bright lights of penang-lots of tall buildings,under 2nd bridge.lots of ships,most at anchor,plus little boats out fishing,with nets strung between little flags with little lights,anchored off straits quay marina aboiut 11pm,to await high tide,and a lovely few hours sleep.375nm,3 days,ave 5.7 knots.a pleasant passage.

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A busy night.we are travelling between major shipping lane and the coast.a narrow area,the Malacca strait itself is narrow here,dbetween malaysia andsumatra,indonesia.many ships to our left,many fishing boats inshore,tugs towing barges inshore-tugs usually dont have ais and their long barges are not lit or poorly close watch,doing nightwatch shifts, with ais,binoculars and eyeballs,.
when the captain awoke in the morning,the crew was doing laundry having alreadt done 40 min exercise.during the dat we passed port dixon marina and port klang.the latter is malaysias busiest port so we had to avoid big ships going in and out.decided to go overnights to penang as weather good,and progress good,altho motorsailing.
in the pm the captain felt guilty and restarted his exercise program.
as sunset approached,we approached one fatom bank lighthouse.many many fishing boats ahead,with floting nets almost a km long,so moved to very edge of shipping lane

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The marina was quiet and still as we crept out early.Did immigration clearance in the sea again,in the predawn grey.this time the documents went over and back in a fishing net on a pole!We had positive current as predicted,and zoomed thru western half of singapore strait.the AIS maxed out at 150 targets,but behaved perfectly again.the ais said some ships were 1000 feet long,with a draft of 38 feet-our length is only 40 feet.after rounding bottom tip of malaysia,we headed northwest up the Malacca Strait.for lunch we had the lovely rye bread barb gave us,with brie cheese,living lettuce and tomato-delicious-all from Cold Storage-so nice to have good produce.
Positive current with ebb tides(=between HT &LT)-so doing 8,8 knot during lunch.motorsailing as usual as wind on nose.plan to go overnight
after lunch it was ipad,read and naps.reading the sunday singapore Straits Times newspaper-lance armstrongs demise,and julia guillard in Bali-she gets lots of coverage in local papers.

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SINGAPORE sunday .V-drive,millionaires row .

Time to change the V-drive oil,before seeing Atlantia off.then fill water tank,hose salt off haven.Wifi in marina not working so quick trip to Orchard road to get internet topped up.orchard road has the most expensive retail shops in singapore-fascinating,busy,but not our scene.
Gosi took us on an afternoon walk in sentosa.initially lots of apartment blocks,the new one overlooking sea look pricey.thenthe amazing millionaires row.all the freestanding houses have sea views,or are on a canal,and prices are 20-40 million singapore dollars(say 15-30A$).Lots of expensive cars,including exotic sports cars and rolls royces.Some of the houses were very tasteful,althe many had huge glass fronts with leather furniture and no privacy,many were a bit quirky,and some were downright had a 2nd floor swimming pool with glass front,most had pools,some with windows to basement,some had weird thatched rooves,bot the winner had an egyptian style all of its own-wait till I can post photos.(doing this as sailmail on oenang passage.
That evening we had a delightful final meal on Gosi.
We have really enjoyed our 5 days in Singapore.looking forward to another visit next year.-still havn't seen most of highlights eg some museums and art gallery to see.hope we can get into one15marina again

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SINGAPORE fri12oct boat jobs,MPA &CHEAH.

Time for some boat jobs-changed engine oil,change oil filter,change secondary fuel filter.Next-go to MPA to do port clearance,as they are closed on weekend.On the way we met a very friendly helpful Singaporean local,who came to MPA with us,then took us to top of nearby building,(where he works as a financial advisor).on the 30th floor there was a fascinating view over the huge,busy,container port,and beyond that,many ships at anchor,and sentosa island to one side.took some photos on Ipad-will put them on blog when Ilearn how to transfer them from ipad.then Cheah took us to a cosy cafe for coffee and toast.he then walked us back to bus stop.lovely talking to a local.we look forward to our return stop in singapore im may next year when Cheah will take us sightseeing and we can show him our yacht Haven and cruising lifestyle.
friday night happy hour on floatind dock bar-met some of the expat liveaboards,and then 8 of us went to harrys bar,in marina,for pizzas.

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SINGAPORE,one15marina thur 15oct2012.SLR

This is most impressive marina we have stayed in.very well built.Surrounded by tasteful highrise apartments and marina buidings-including gym,fancy swimming pool,bars and restaurant,an excellent Cold Storage supermarket,,and filled with superyachts and motor boats,plus a few sailboats,sitting in smooth dark superclean.An army of boatboys clean them every day!the marina is on the island of Sentosa,with lots of expensive real estate(more later).
We came to one15marina as tom and barb from gosi now live here.they both have great jobs,and plan to stay here for 3 is terrific catching up with them,and seeing what a great lifestyle they have working in Singapore,and living aboard Gosi in such a nice environment.

0900 coffee with Atlantia,then they showed how to get shuttle bus to MRT station,and bus to onestop to clear in withPort Authority(MPA).after that we caught 131 bus to city to Sim Lim centre= 6 floors of electrical shops.amazing place.bought a sim card reader for Ipad,and a SLR camera.
we got some fresh food from Cold Storage,cooked on boat bbq and had an early night-still catching up on sleep

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Fixing the anchor winch was not as sraightforward as expected.
the new phlange had arrived from australia.when removed old broken phlange gearbox oil came refill had to remove do that we had to remove windlas.luckily we had taken photos during inofstallation.We could not have completed the project without the help of Alf on D0bedo-thanks Alf.we needed o new gasket,which Alf made.also a new metal key,which i made,after instruction from alf,with vice,hacksaw and blade.I even watched a hacksaw tutorial on youtube first!the bush on motor shadt was worn and needed remedial filing.the phlange holes were not exact-alf revised them.then we put oil in gearbox,attached the motor,then reinstalled windlas,and it worked!It was interesting seeing how Alf diagnosed each problem and solved it.It was another learning curve and more experience for us.So we all went out to our favourite bbq duck and rice chinese fto celebrate.
On our final day we went into town to do customs and immigration,supermarket to provision,paid marina bill,went looking unsucssfully for aunt dell,s friend oi chin,did diesel and water,and changed engine gearbox oil.
Copout came in in the afternoon,en route to langkawi,having just sold their catamaran to adam and kay on lucid lots to talk about during sundowners on copout.

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MIRI to KUCHING 4-6oct2012

A nice trip,3days,2 nights,286 nautical miles.
On the way i read Cruising for cowards,another bookswap made me realise how far we have come in becoming proper yachties-but also a lot more to do and know.
The water pressure pump stopped working,and was very hot,so we gave it a rest.when kerry retried it I noted water coming out back of boat,and it was hot!While the captain noted this in the log,the crew worked out it was a loose connection in our cockpit shower,opened one of her toolkits,and fixed it.
Night sailing with a much nicer than no moon and a black night.
mainly motorsailed.arrived santubong river,near kuching,saturday morning.santubong mountain most impresive looming over our river anchorage.dinghied into shore,organised diesel,aand went for a walk thru prety little muslim riverside village,where we found a cute old chinese cafe,where we had a simple late lunch,with a chine beer.

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SINGAPORE,one15marina thur 15oct2012

This is most impressive marina we have stayed in.very well built.Surrounded by tasteful highrise apartments and marina buidings,and filled with superyacghts and motor boats,plus a few sailboats,sitting in smooth dark water.all

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SARAWAK to SINGAPORE 7-10 oct 2012

Another nice passage.3 days 416 NM.
AS we left Borneo it was time to reflect on our 4 months there.we started at miri marina,sarawak,where we left Haven,for a fabulous months landtravel with Sophie-climbing mt Kinabalu,visiting Kota Kinabalu,flying to Mulu Caves,public bus 10 hours to Sibu,on the mighty Rejang river,overnight river trip upstream to Kapit,river/ocean ferry trip sibu to Kuching,such a lovely city,with history,then sarawak rainforest music festival-really good.An overnight road trip to Brunei.spohie flew home to oz.we then went in BIYC=Borneo intl yacht challenge,where we got a 3rd prize in labuan to KK ocean race,then sail over the top of sabah,to kudat,island hop-Tigabu basic,then the resort island of Lankaying with turtle hatching and release,then sandakan,then up the Kinabatangan river for a few nights,back to sandakan,for death march memorial service,heritage walk and agnes keith we went to palawan in the philippines,back past KK to Miri Marina,leaving Haven for a week for to go scuba diving Sipidan.Borneo was great!(and we had been to indonesian borneo ,Kalimantan,last year,going up the Kumai river,to see the fantastic orang utans).
as usual ,kerry made her lovely bread,and also the lovely yoghurt.we eat well on passages.
enough wind to motorsail-not enough to just sail.but no bad weather like philippines rerurn trip.andstill had moon at night.By Tue PM,we were 40 nm from singapore,40 nm from anywhere,and there upon a glassy moonlit sea,were 5 huge empty ships at anchor.from then on it was ships,ships,ships.
About midnight we crossed the main shipping lane.a big ship going both ways every5-15 minutes,doing 10-20 knots.We used the AIS to time our race across to mid channel,at max revs,then to other side.after that it was still very busy,with so many ships at anchor,and moving,and this goes on for next 35 nm till marina.AIS so useful.
Then we saw dawn lighting up Singapore CBD.Huge container port between us and cbd,so fairway with massive(they get bigger up close!)container ships going to port.
Immigration is done offshore before entering marina.we didnt realise that,so went in at 0630,and tied up at fuel dock,till marina office opened.we were then told correct procedure,so after fueling,back out,to two sisters islands,call them on VHF,and motor launch promptl comes over,a man on bow collects our passports and paperwork in a paperbag which kerry passed over.after a few minutes,duly processes,they were similarly returned.back to marina to our berth.
Time for a brief afternoon nap,then out for a great night,with Gosi,Atlantia,Northern Wind,starting at Boaters Bar,happy hour,on marina-pontoon,then marina eatery.good to catch up.then good to have long sleep-no night watches tonight.

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Sunday, 14 October 2012

TAWAU to KOTA KINABALU .film festival.300912

We started breakfast with some fresh fruit from nearby market.them lovel omelettes at hawker stand,with several cups of coffee,doing some postcards and watching the world go by-love a relaxed travel day.Caught afternoon flight to KK.on plane read in Borneo Post newspaper,see photo,about the 1937 film "Borneo" being shown in KK at borneo eco film as we had a 5 hour stopover,we went and saw it.It was nmade by an american couple,who had their own dismantable seaplane.we 1st heard about them through agnes keith housr which has their original kerosene fridge,and agnes keiths book below the wind.the man was killed before film was edited,so it had never been shown in borneo before.a classic film,altho patronosing,not in colour,and the finale is the capture of a superb male orang utan,destined for a zoo in USA?
Late flight back to Haven in Miri

MUCK DIVE sat 29sept2012

2 dives,lunch and fly to Tawau.
Dive #1=Kapali.muck dive.sandy bottom.artificial reefs including sunken local wooden fishing boat.giant groper,moray eels on the move,a painted lobster,banded pipefish and a cute very small,white,frogfish.back to rig for coffee break.
Dive#2=Mabul,at Stingray City.well we did see one stingray.A good dive.A giant moray eel,2 turtles,a large garden of garden eels,and the largest cuttlefish I have seen- just hovering up close.
After final lunch on rig,we were taken by speedboat to semporma,then shuttlebus to tawau,with an aussies diver regularly ringing hid f- i- l for updates on australian rules final.
We checked into the very basic ,but adequate Soon Ye hotel,put all our dive gear out to dry,got directions and mudmap from very helpful chinese man at hotel,and walked to Tawau Yacht Club.lovely long pier with ornate pavilions and woodwork- a great place to relax over a few beers.only one yacht at anchor- they were ashore,and came from indinesia,going to singapore.bruce finnishedpaul theroux-the happy isles of oceania- in hawii, an excellent read,and kerry was looking up diving in Palau.more exercise walking back,early chinese meal and bed.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Dive Kapalai and Mabul islands. Fri 28/09/12

Local diving,so sleep in till 7,breakfast and down lift to diveboat at 8 am.
5 minutes over to kapali.huge resort built over  reef/ sand.said to be most expensive at 1000 rm per person per day.on this dive we saw little things- nudibranches,octopus,ghost pipefish,moray eel.pleasant but not exciting like sipidan.back to rig for surface interval coffee break.
Dive 2 was at mabul-Called LobsterLair.we only saw one lobster but he was technicolour.50 minute dive.lots of lovely nudibranches.BLue ribbon eels- vertical,half out of sand,bright medium blue with bright yellow head and fangs.
After lunch on rig we went back over to mabul for third dive,called Paradise One.sandy bottom,50 min,- striped snake eel,seahorse,little shrimps shining translucently in torchlight,a floundfr swimming flatly,crocodile fish,nudibranches,ornamental pipefish,, two big turtles- one cleaning its back under artificial reef,and my favourite- the black frog fish- looking as if waddling along on "hindlegs".not sure about paradise name for dive,as too much rubbish on bottom- glass bottles,plastic bottles,plastic bags,food the dive site is within 75 meres off expensive stilt resort,I think they should keep their front yard tidy!

DIVE SIPIDAN DAY 3 sept 27,2012

Another great day with 3 dives and all the usual stars.
After lunch we edited kerry' s photos from yesterday,and then they were put on CD

DIVE SIPIDAN DAY 2 - wed 26/09/2012

They said there was another big storm overnight ,,which I Slept through.It remained overcast for most of our stay.would have been nice to have had some sun,but is the rainy  season,and less crowded,so ended up with 3 days diving sipidan.
kerry hired an underwater camera for today.some of the shots came out adds another dimension to we will have to do some research and get one.
3 dives again today.highlights of first dive were the humphead parrot fisg again,but this time,not busily swimming,just hovering in current.also the jackfish- a huge school again,ditto the barracuda.
Dive 2 had over 50 reef sharks,many just resting on bottom,others swimming close,all putting on a great turtles.
Dive 3-a drift dive- turtles and sharks,and lots of coral fish at 5 meter ,3 minute,decompression stop.
Amazing to be back by midday,hot shower and  nice lunch by 1pm,having done 3 fabulous dives.So pm read and nap.then 6pm,donned scuba gear,descended by lift,for a night dive,under the oil rig.the fish look so bright in the torch light.some some cute,and some ugly hermit crabs,lion fish, and parrot fish withteeth that a dentist would drool over.7 pm dinner. The noticeboard says we dive SIPIDAN again tomorrow! So 8 pm bed.

DIVE SIPIDAN tue 25/09/2012

What a magical day!
Mango and coffee 0530.speedboat departure 0600. Arrive sipidan0630.just a little green island(13acres) with pale beach.there is a small hut where you sign in.40 rm ($13) per day for permit.
1st dive =Coral Garden.the highlights were the Bumphead Parrotfish and the Barracuda.
The BUMPHEAD PARROTFISH swam in huge schools in single file,big grey fish,with huge teeth.the teeth crunch the coral.
The BARRACUDA were in a large school,slowly swimming into the current,killing machines in slow motion up close.
Then we went deeper- half a dozen reef sharks and turtles- fabulous.
Back to island ,for cooked breakfast.
Dive #2-Barracuda point.huge school of Jacks- siver fisg,swimming slowly,mouths opening and closing,fish all around us- magic.then deeper- sharks and turtles galore.
After another surface break on island,hot coffee,did dive  #3=HAnging Garden.about .20 sharks,and50 turtles! Many swimming by very  slowly and very close.some turtles resting on sandy ledges  in rockwall.
Sipidan has lived up to its reputation!
Back to rig by shower.lovely papers and book,have a nap,then 5 pm ferry over to mabul is a small island with several luxery resorts,with many rooms on stilts over water.however half the island has local housing,providing a dramatic contrast- many very smakk and rustic.perhaps another contrast- none were overweight,and they were very happy,especially the the bay in front of resorts were live aboard boats- local people, with women cooking on little fires on back.teenage boys on coloutful speedboats were sharpening harpoons. Lovely greenblue water - all very photogenic.young boys were swimming.walking on,we were on a beach belonging to resort,another contrast,going from a crowded scene of brown people in clothes,to uncrowded beach with white people wearing very little.we then continued around the island,past local stilt houses silohetted by lovely sunset,then main local village,then a few more resorts,then back to jetty for 6.30 ferry back.7pm dinner- they have a very good cook here.during the meal there was live music- very tgood,3 guitarists,and drummer,all rig crew,with lead singer being Mando.then out came a birthday cake as the band played happy birthday- it was the boss's birthday- everyone sang happy birthday- a popular boss.he made a short speech,saying he had the best crew ever,so they all cheered and sang again as the band played H B again,a great night.after a break,the party was ready for second session at 9.30,but we were ready for bed.
And the noticeboard says we are diving SIPIDAN again tomorrow,so. 6 am depature.

OIL RIG monday 24/09/2012

Up at 0500,taxi0530'to airport,for flight to TAWAU, northeast sabah.dive shuttlebus drove us past endless palm oil plantations on one hour drive to SEMPORNA,where Seaventures have their office.paid balance on dive trip,bought some mangos,and hopped on speedboat 30 min trip to oil rig.this structure is painted in bright colours,is next to mabul island,near kapalai island,20-30 min from sipidan island,and is our accommodation for next 6 nights.
We got off speedboat onto external lift,which took us up to oil rig platform.having sailed past so many oil rigs recently,we were fascinated to be on one.after the welcome drinks,briefing and lunch we were off on our first dive - under and around the oil rig- down the lift and jump in.lots of fish,with several artificial reefs- the dive highlight being the 2 biggest moray eels we have seen- they were huge..after a 75 min break back on rig- coffee-we had our 2 nd dive,a short boat trip across to MAbul island,about 1 km- luxery resorts on stilts over aqua blue water.more artificial reefs on sandy bottom.there were  2 huge turtles just flopped on artificial reef,ornate pipefish,frog fish- looking like a bit of black seaweed,snake eel .with its head coming out of sand.Mando,our dive leader was great.he is a little philippino man,shorter than me,with a big smile,a ready laugh,and a good eye.when he spots something he jangles a bell on his metal pointer.on the rig he often plays his guitar and sings.
Afternoon tea every day is 4 pm- today it was banana fritters.then hot shower and wifi.
We have a lovely room on level 3,with en suite,and view over M abul.
SIPIDAN island is the main dive site.there are no resorts on has a permit system- only 120 divers a day!if we booked 4 nights,you get 1 definite days diving sipidan,but as we booked 5 nights,we are guaranteed 2 days.
And we are on the list of 11 divers going to Sipidan tomorrow!

Miri marina fri 21/09/12

Nice sleep in.simon taxied us to customs and immigration.bbq duck for late lunch.3 km walk back to marina.
SAT 22/09/12.up early- kerry booking flights,and bruce accommodation for sipidan trip.kerry organised pickup and deliver laundry and gas bottle,and simon ditto ,4 jerrycans of diesel.
Technical problems fitting new anchor winch phlange,so took photos,and emailed australia.
Read loan copy of jimmy cornells book on world cruising routes - lucky we didnt read it before we went to philippines,as he says wrong time of year to return!useful reading on rest of trip to singapore.will have to get latest edition.
A yacht came in last night and said this is their last stop before mauritius.
Dinner - fried last potatos,tomatoes with onoin- delicious.
Skype home-isn't skype great.
SUN-23/09/12.more diesel- main tanks now full.simon took us into cbd for his and hers haircuts- nice for diving.another lovelyduck rice lunch at a lovely little local busy chinese restaurant.then fly to Kota Kinabalu.stayed at borneo backpackers,address =Australia Place- as site of camp spot for liberating australian soldiers 1945.we walked to waterfront,bought antihistamine for kerrys diving,then found a lovely sidewalk bar,and had a few drinks,relaxing,watching the world go by,and enjoying bruschetta with salmon,so nice we had seconds.then on to dinner- another cosy busy chinese back to hostel as a huge storm hit- so glad not at sea.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

.MIRI MIDNIGHT thur20/09/2012

We arrived off miri marina at midnight.457 n m by chartplotter log,4 days ,3 nights,90hours,mostly motorsailing,10 hours just expected going against prevailing windss,avoiding reefs etc and having a deadline.looking forward tradewind sailing next year.
when passing brunei we saw lots of offshore oil/gas platforms.on reaching sarawak ,there were more.we went thru a huge field of about a hundred structures just before sunset,following our track on chartplotter from borneo yacht race,and another field ,after dark,similarly.quite spectacular all lit up,and one huge flame burning brightly.lots of anchored ships,and some moving,so ais very helpful.
a relief to finally be off miri,with bad weather behind us,little swell and wind.rounded the seahorse statue marking channel in to marina.hightide so depth OK. Dark water perfectly still.marina completely quiet.Drifted into empty bay,tied up,motor off.Had a few beers.\/wines,sitting in cockpit,with boat not moving,and reflected on our passage and the great time we had had in the night watces tonight,so nav lights off,and both went to bed.

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passing brunei thur20sept 2012 7am

good morning,we are still going south.last night was 3 rd night,and we split the watch.the stars came out,the seas flattened,it was a lovely night.put 80 litres of diesel from our 4 jerrycans into main fuel tanks.breakfast was delicious-baked beans with leftover casserole,with kerrys bread toasted.overnight could see lots of squid boats,out on a dark night they like.just passed between many huge tanker ships,anchored off labuan,labuan is another state of malaysia,small island,off sabah,with big refinery..also gas wells on horizen with big bright flame,creating false sunset / have true lightening ,and storm,25 knots.hoping we get below it passing brunei.should arrive miri tonight-if calm may go in,otherwise anchor off till daybreak.just read 2nd inspector rebus novel-a good read on a long back to paul theroux,in the pacific,in N Z in current chapter-he is most amusing,so will continue with the pacific inthe south china sea!bye for now love bruce/dad and mum/kerry

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morning swim wed 19sept2012,sailing sabah storms 10am

good morning,decided to continue overnight,crossing philippines to malaysia.good crossing.picked up vibration early am which on 3 prior occasions meant rope caught aroundpropellor after sunrise I went overboard with mask and fins,and a rope tied around my waist,went under haven and removed offending piece of old rope.kerry has made bread dough,so fresh baked bread for lunch.we are sailing along n w coast of sabah ,borneo.we passed my kinabalu,but most of it covered by cloud.then whole sky
clouded over,we just got hit by storm,now just driving rain and wind on nose again,the less glamorous side of sailing!but safe and sound,on time to get to miri in sarawak,by friday,we then need to fly to kota kinabaku to fly to sipidan 24 sept for 40 n m will pass KK,then 180 n m past brunei,to the safety of miri marina,sarawak.bye for now,love bruce/dad and kerry

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still sailing down s e coast palawan 7am tue 18sept2012.puerto princesa to miri

good morning,motor`sailed thru nite.going into moderate heavy wind and swell.lots of water over front of haven but cockpit dry.thunderstorms over land but not on us so far.will probably stop for a break at balabac island,just south of palawan,and plan crossing balabac strait,and next section to kota kinabalu/miri.lovely pork casserole with veges for dinner last nite.about to get breakfast.kerry just finnished land beneath the wind by agnes keith,.yesterday i finnished 2nd dick francis,now reading an inspector rebus mystery.bye for dad/bruce and so safe and hotmail till further notice.just sailmail.

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BACK TO BORNEO mon19-tue20/09/2012

We pulled the anchor and chain upoby hand,and left about 6,followed by azzan and veedon fleece.
we are aiming for miri,but could stop at kota kinabalu.480 nm to miri marina in sarawak,.we fly to sipidan mon 24 sept to go diving.160 nm to balabac,philippines island just below palawan,55nm ocross balabac strait,where weather could be worst,then 85nm to KK in sabah,then 180 nm to miri,passing brunei on the way.
In the afternoon there were rolling storms and rain along coast,but over land and not over us. the rain flattened the sea and storms gave better wind angle.the forcast had said sw winds and we are going sw=not good.
the other 2 boats stopped to anchor for the night,we continued on.
Overnight some stars came outand we made good progress.In the 1st 30 hours we motorsailed24 and just sailed 6 hours.
We downloaded the grib files wind weather via HF radio,which showed good wind angle in balabac strait=from west,so plan not to stop at balabac island,and go overnight 4pm we passed the tip of balabac island=leaving the philippines.while returning against the sw monsoon(easier coming back in ne monsoon which starts dec),and copping bad weather from typhoon effect,we are really glad we came to the philipines.we saw some amazing scenary,kayaking, wreck diving,leper museum,some great anchorages,and especially visiting a new country-culture,food,history.
we started crossing balabac strait1600 hrs,had a great run,and reached borneo 0200 hrs

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A few familiar yachts-babadudu and amazing grace heading north,azzan also going south.our oddtsy and veedon fleece came over for a chat.anchored off Albonoca Yacht Club is one our favourite places.
we checked the weather,.the depression had turned into a typhoon.alth in N E p,pines,& not heading away our way,it still creates bad weather down here,so probably not able to continue for a few we had a complete day on the boat,.so nice.time for rading and relaxing.kerry-land below the wind.bruce-twice shy-ancient 1982 dick francis thriller.also started paul theroux's the happy isles of oceania-paddling the chap 20-the cook islands-in the lagoon of aitutaki-a book to read by also started another dick francis-the edge 1988.
The next day ,sat,still intermittentrain and departed.did a diesel run.the buoy weather wer subscribe to indicatescan go on mon or tue.
On Sunday we got a trike to markets to provision.a full house for abonica yachtclub buffet.a great atmosphere.dinner on haven,and final weather check-we leave tomorrow.

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This was our wildest passage yet.187 nm,34 hours,overnight,nonstop.
we rechecked weather first thing,and while not great,going back seemed better than being a sitting duck in el nido anchorage.We said goodbye to papillion and naiete,then rushed in to collect laundry and get breadrolls.we left about 10 in sunshine,but half an hour later,while still amongst he islands,with mainsail with 2nd reef half up,we got hit by our strongest storm yet.35 knots with gusts to main up,and partially furled foresail,and started clearing the islands and finding open so cold and wet ,i put my wetsuit on.will have to think new dodger with sides.lots of swell.only lasted an hour.all good experience.By 2pn we were rounding the top of palawan,with a storm behind us .we went south and it missed us.Calmer seas in lee of sw wind ,on east coast.glad we were not going down west coast.That night was a dark night,so lots of squid boats out.good progress till wind on nose,20-25 knots,gusts to43,big swell,and slow going motoring into it.moved away from coast and got better angle,doing 6 knots.then came the rain,flatter seas,less wind,good progress,chartplotter says can make puerto princesa by 7pm.which we did,in a rain after sunset,but we crept in again,using chartplotter to avoid 22 boats at anchor,before was 18.Kerry showed great spatial ability choosingsafe spot to drop anchor.What a relief.anchor alarm says not dragging.dinner=all our leftover veges boiled and topped witg grated parmesan cheese and pepper,with a lovely 3 y o oz chardonnay.early bed and deep sleep.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Art cafe do 4 main island tours-see brochure photo.we chose tour A Minoloc island-kayak and snorkel.the weather didnt look perfect as we dinghied ashore in the rain.our big banga was waiting for us at the beach,with 3 double kayaks loaded on the outriggers.took about 20 minutes to get over to minoloc,and on the way they had to hand out the raincoats.we put our short wetsuits on and were OK.The banga then left the sea,going into island via narrow shallow passage,to Big Lagoon-lovely still blue water,with tall steep grey limestone cliffs with adherent tropical vegetation-most spectacular,and a great kayaking spot.
Then around to Secret Lagoon.Quite rough,so we had to wear masks when swimming to beach,to see rocks under water.safely on beach,we went thru a very small opening in cliff to a lovely little lagoon,open to the sky,but completely surrounded by high cliffs.Next stop was Small Lagoon.we kayaked into it via a small hole in cliff-more spectacular scenary.We then had lunch on a lovely beach-luckily the rain had stopped and the sun came out.after a nice snorkel over coral reef,they served a great meal they had just cooked on the beach.On the way to last stop we were hit by a big storm-at one stage there was a 360 degree after a short snorkel,we headed back to el nido.I was relieved to see haven ,albeit not where we had left her.klaus on papillion, noted haven dragging,went over in his dinghy,let out more chain and stopped her.he said they had wind gusts up yo 45 knots during storm.Not a relaxing anchorage in this we want to get going.had a very relaxing sundowners on papillion with klaus and aneth.we were most appreciative of his rescue.he also showed us latest weather-with a depression in n e philippines making s w tradewinds and seas worse off west coast palawan-and not we will go north over top palawan,and back down east coast.small world-klaus built papillion in patterson,about 10 km from our is amazing it ooks so immaculate as he built it in 1986.

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EL NIDO 10sept2012 palawan,philippines

we had a beautiful morning view of the village of el nido strung along the beach,under those big cliffs.2 other yachts at anchor,naiete-gove,and papillion,darwin,an immaculate,bright yellow catamaran.we dinghied to the beach,to the art cafe ,with name on surfboard .we had coffee and wifi,and found out that a new phlange can be sent-we said send it to miri marina.we will fix it there.then we did a town walk.narrow little concrete streets,lots of cafes,little sari sari stores,a few dive shops-got a computer top up,lots of tour operators and busy trikes.then a good walk over to corong town,to the market-pork chops,long beans,oranges,bananas,mangoes,then bread rolls at bakery on way back-unusual to be able to buy nice breadrolls without 4 jerrycans diesel,lunch on boat,more diesel in pm,dropped off laundry, and booked an island tour for tomorrow with art very changeable-storms come and go quickly-amazing scenary with low clouds over cliffs of el nido and islands.dinner on haven.windy night-good for wind generator.

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Sunday, 9 September 2012

EL NIDO,Palawan,Philippines 09092012

a surprise start to the day when the motor broke off the gearbox of our NEW,australian made anchor had only been installed 2 months ago.we took the 3 electric cables off the motor and removed it from anchor well,having first taken photos.has broken metal joining phlange.we retrieved chain and anchor by hand ,for 1st time.3 hours later we arrived at EL NIDO.Spectacular coastline and islands with dramatic limestone cliffs,some cute beaches,and still ,dark water.lovely anchorage.only 6 meters deep, so can get anchor up again ok.tricky getting in with big reef across bay-klaus from tellow trimaran,papillion,came out on dinghy,to tell us to go between inconspicuous red buoy and land,along narrow ,shallow channel,0.9 m under keel at one stage,but lovely spot, anchored between papillion and  the one other yacht.small beach below big cliffs,with small town inbetween.very pretty.emailed hutton winches,with photos,and await reply tomorrow monday.easy leftovers for dinner on boat,with lovely reflections from town on water,.watched another yacht come in confidantly after dark and drop anchor near us-must be local.nice to have internet.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

towards el nido 08082012

time to move on.we left the calamian islands,crossing linapacan strait,to Palawan,again.heading down northwest coast towards el nido.grey day,with some rain,and swell,but curent with us,and motorsailed 58 nm.storms ahead over el nido=not ideal for entry,so dropped anchor,about 3,at nacpan bucana beach ( thanks mv solita).cooked pork internet coverage.sailmail not connecting,so will try after dinner.nice calmn evening so far.

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WRECK DIVING from puerto del sol 07sept2012

there are several WW2 japanese ship wrecks very close to resort ,so we booked another days wreck diving. Alao they claim this area to be in top 5 wreck dive sites in the world.a civilised stert at 0900,with briefing by Freddy,the french dive instructor.another excellent safe divemaster,.lovely open plan dive center,just downstairs from on bangka,with michael,who is ta=echnician,and bon,the boat captain.the first wreck was AKITSUSHINA,see drawing was a seaplane was sunk on 24sept1944 by US airforce planes,from aircraft the time it was the longest distance air-raid attack,and thus caught he japanese by surprise.lots of mangled metal-marking the horror of it has pretty sealife.We went down to 35 meters,which is deepish for us ,and did some penetration,the term they use for going inside the wreck.we had a surface interval of 90 minutes,so time for coffee and bananas,and short ride to next wreck-TAIEI MARU.OIL TANKER,SFINALLY SUNK ON 9 OCT,1944.SET ON FIRE ON 1ST RAID,BUT DIDNT SINK TILL 2ND USAF RAID.NOT SO DEEP,AND A MUCH LOMGER PENETRATION.MORE MARINE LIFE-STINGRAY,soory about caps!,lots of nudibranches.back at resort by 2.wash all our gear in their fresh water and leave out to dry.after lunch on haven,back to dive centre to pay for diving using paypal,and their patchy wifi.take gear back to haven,then over to swis resort for sunset drinks,with walter,a friend of swiss owner,who is caretaking.amazing 43 storet white buiding on top of hill.also 8 white chalets-we were shown inside one-very guests at moment.a nice cold sam miguel,overlooking pool,and across huge bay of islands,.photos later as doing this entry by sailmail,as no internet at moment.after the lovely sunset,back to pds resort for dinner-just us,fish curry with freshly cooked pita bread,candlelight,nice spanish housewine.watched lightning getting closer,so paid our running tab,and back home,put dinghy and outboard aboard,put sunshades awat,in preparation for departure next day,.Then sat on back of haven, enjoying the view and ambience and lightning display.enjoying a 5 year old australian chardonay we got cheap at labuan duty free-it was superb,especially with some real parmesan cheese.

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Culion town stilt houses looked picturesque over early morning smooth water.then off to puerto del sol -PDS.Beautiful trip across,surrounded almost 360 degrees by islands.PDS resort in lovely bay,owned by mike,a yacht friendly exsailor.he has even put in navigation buoys recently.plenty of moorings,with only 2 other (unoccupied) yachts at anchor.mike came past on speed boat and said come over for lunch and info.the deal is free mooring if you patronise restaurant and bar-a good deal,as beers were cheap,meals inexpensive,and very good.mike is an architect-and has built a most impressive mainly caters for divers.we were the only guests as season is dec to the season there are usually 20 yachts moored(no anchoring allowed).after lunch we took dinghy over to Calumbuyan island for a fabulous drift snorkel,over an hour ,just floating length of islands coral ref with dinghy.dinner ashore was mudcrab with chili sauce-very good.

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we motored over to Culion Town in a few hours,no wind,but smooth seas,and great scenary surrounded by calamian islands.culion looks good as we approached-prominent church,stilt houss over water,other houses going up hill,then a large bare hill with radio towers.on side of hill some sort of insignia,and big jesus statue.kerrys bread for lunch on haven in culion harbour,then dinghy ashore.first stop was the hospital to go to the leper museum,which was fabulous..they show a nice little historical video.when the americans took over philippines(1898) they established a leper colony on culion,which was biggest,or one of biggest,in the american pathologist ,dr wade,worked there for 50 years.a lot bof his medical equipment is on display,including a room of leprosy and postmortem slides.a lot of the leper colony infrastructure survives,making the town walk 1740 they had a small fort ,enclosing a small church.unfortuneately the leper colony used most of the fort walls to enlarge the church,but one corner bulwark survives,with 2 cannon.climbed church tower for good view of haven and harbour.also climbed the 350 steps up hill to statue of jesus.then back to haven for dinner.the leper colony is now closed,but culion town was well worth the visit.

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

CORON TOWN 4sept12

the sun came out so did some laundry,and the dive equipment finally driedDid some trip planning-Kerry put in waypoints and worked out distances..Kerry gave the head (the loo) the vaseline treatment,and it pumps easily again..Went ashore in dinghy,and got a motorcycle trike to petronas petrol station,to get 4 jerrycans of them back on boat,then headed in to climb the hill with giant cross above coron.726 steps.great views.Haven sitting sedaredly at anchor in middle of bay.then to ATM,then to butcher shop,called jamaica meats, for pork,.then fruit and vege market nice jeepney drove past with Be Happy signage..back just before rain..pork chops and  4veges-just like home..a cosy night in the rain on haven.Moving on tomorrow.
reading biography of Jose Rizal,philippines national hero and martyr.there was a statue of him in coron civic centre we walked past today.
CONGRATULATIONS -to ken and wendy on selling Cop Out,
& to adam and kay,formerly on Lucis Dream,for buying cop out.

this internet too slow to download photos.


SEA KAYAKING 02sept2012

WRECK DIVING 01sept2012

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

KEEPING FIT 20aug2012

tuba river to ARICIFE Island,64nm,leave 0515,drop anchor 4pm.chartplotter shows lots of medium blue circles to avoid=coral reefs=0-10 metres depth.0800 RRR HF sked,Our Oddysy one day ahead.
0930 EXERCISE is difficult keeping fit on a boat,if not go was being fit for mt kinabalu.Kerry says she is training for Camino de Santiago,the 800km,500 mile,pilgrim walk in northern inspiration is partly Contrails and Swannie boats from 2011 indonesia rally-michael and swannie,jim and barbara were 2 of the fittest looking couples on rally.barbara in particular showed you can stay fit with exercise on boat.we do step-ups,muscle training with rubber arm exercisor(thankyou sophia) and running on spot holding dive weights(thanks kerry)-he latter very aerobic.all done with ipod up loud.feels good.
then poled out for lovely downwind sail to aricife island.kerry fixed broken phone charger cord using wire strippers-another of her favourite tools from her extensive collection!
after dropping anchor had early drinks ,and read ,enjoying scenary-anchored off small islans,with abandones resort,with caretaker-we did see humans,but could se their outriggers on beacb,and their dogs playing,and hear their roosters.the nearby coastline has hills and little mtns,turning purple,under jagged riding clouds.
breakfast0600.lunch 1100,dinner 5pm,bed/sleep 7pm!kerry stayed uo till 11,doing sailmail and finnishing Blood Brothers sabah and australia 1942-1945,which she said was a very good book.

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we made it to the island of palawan today.we plan to continue up to main town of puerto princesca,where we can check in and get visas,and also check out.There also a friendly yachtclub there.Then we could come back,or go up and around to El Nido,and back,or continue down west coast,palawan passage,to kota kinabalu.deadline is kk by 23sept,to fly sipidan to go diving.hope weather holds.
Have never been so underprepared going to another country.1st time to nmt have the appropriate lonely planet.we have one cruising guide book,latest edition,=1998!it has some history-magellan arrived 1521,and the spanish ruled till spanish-american war of 1898,then ww2=japanese,then independence 1946.this history once summarised as 300 yers in a convent,then 50 years in hollywwod.1998 population 60 million.archipelago with 21,500miles of coastline,7107 islands at low tide,but only 55 >1km square,of which we have been to 2.however we are prepared for sailing palawan.
The wind came up and we had a fine sail into the tuba river.big barges load nickle/zinc ore,from nearbt mine,onto barges,which tugs then tow out to big ships in deeper water offshore.further upriver we dropped anchor opposite stilt village over rier.looked like rain ,so we staye on haven,having relaxing drinks,finnishing land under the wind & sailmailing.the sun came out,illuminating a pretty scene-stilt houses,and lots of outrigger boats going past

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we sailed to the Philippines today.Balambangan to Balabac,50nm.Beautiful twilight over Banggi mtn as we left 0530.slight breeze,so motorsailing,as we have boiled egg on vegemite toast(kerrys bread).Finnished Knockdown.Anchored off Balabac town,in lovely harbour,with stilt village over water,and lots of colourful wooden boats,many with outriggers either side.sun came out ,lighting up the scene,calm deep water in front o village,palms and jungle covered hills dinghy ashore,to where ferry boats are.sleek white wooden narrow boats with outriggers,with blue painted ban=mboo floats.walked village and back.spent our 1at 100 pesos on mobile phone topup.back on haven i cooked some greens and cauliflower,added to beef curry,and enjoyed pink sky above pink still water,listening to local mosque.

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TIGABU to BALAMBANGAN island,17aug2012. ITS A BOY!

46nm.sailing before sunrise is a nice way to start the day.goosewinging,as wind behind,mainsail oneside,and genoa-foresail,out the other side with spinaker pole.
Sailmail from the Kesbys back home-Jos and Sabrina have had a baby boy-called Lorenzo Richard-CONGRATULATIONS!.
Breakfast is usually bought today we added rolled oats from australia,raisons from USA,dates from egypt,figs drom thailand,milk from NZ/Australia/Malaysia,lovely little local bananas,and papaya,and local lowfat yoghurt.
kerry cooked bread this morning.looks good.the wind dropped ,so we had a swim,then lunch-the lovely fresh bread,with butter and vegemite,and with dried figs.then motorsailed to balambabgan island,still in malaysia,but in balabac strait between bornoe and palawan.entered lovely harbour,between coral reefs,. Sandy beaches,a few huts,a few boats.we did aerobicsexercise sessoin on boat,then the usual shower,sundowners with another great sunset.

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SANDAKAN to TIGABU 16aug2012

big winds o/n.another yacht dragged,and their chain over problem-sorted ,and off 0600.11 yachts followed us out of sandakan harbour,we went north,the rest south,most going to kinabatangan river.the others left yesterday.a contingent of 10 are heading back to australia,4000 nautical miles.aft breeze-motorsailing.tin=me to precook meals for palawan passage-the buffalo became curry,the chicken -tamarind and tomato-enough meals for a week.put palawan and balabac waypoints from pacific expres blog into our chartplotter.did some sailmail.
.reading Land Below the Wind,by Agnes Keith,set in sabah, reads like short stories. So also reading Knockdown,about the famous 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race.A gripping read.Got it from yachtie bookswap at sandakan(got rid of katherine hepburn).
drop anchor 7 pm,after sunset,having followed our previous track on chartplotter.the chicken was delicious.
this is 1st time i have done blog from sailmail-HF radio-fingers crossed.can upload photos when we have internet in puerto princesca,palawan,philippine,in 7-10 days.

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test 1530 28aug

Monday, 27 August 2012

MANILA 25&26aug2012

We had a lovely weekend in Manila.we were impressed with the history.caught cheap flights with cebu air.lovely airport at Manila.Our hotel was the W hite Knight,in Intramuros.400 hundred years ago ,the spanisd built Fort Santiago,with 4.5 km of big stone walls,enclosing a 65 acre city,= I ntamuros,within the walls.I t must have been grand in its day.the americans took over in 1898.and they had their army hq there.then the japanese took over in WW2.Much of it was bombed as manila was retaken .recently it has been partially restored as a national monument.
we went to the main part of fort,which overlooks the pasig river,near the sea.macarthur said as he escaped-I will return,which he did,to help defeat japan.
this section includes the Rizal shrine.he is the philippines main hero,an intellectual,,who was for phillipino independence.He was famously executed by the spanish ,in 1896,and his last days were spent imprisoned in the fort.
we then walked the impressive wall and an impressive walk.apart from the river,the wall is mainly surrounded by an immaculate green golfcourse,creating an elegant,barrier with the modern city.some parts od wall are quite thick,with many people,mainly young students from intramuros educational facilities,doing exercise classes,relaxing,being obvious bars,.lots of armed soldiers,in period costume,so a safe place.out to a nice little restaurant near our hotel.
Awoke to soum=nd of bells of St Augustin church across the road.had breakfast at Mitre cafe,looking at st has a bishop theme ,and the placemats are a photo of augustis is the only one of 9 intramuros churches to survive WW2.It is 400 years old,UNESCO listed and has a great museum.the museum covers 2 floors,contains all sorts of religious treasures,like local wooden church carvings,statues with ivory heads and hands,colourful procession carts.upstairs gave access the choir section on mezzanine at back of cathedral-during a mass,but no choir,a good view.
casa manilla is a museum in intramuros -a restored house in same walled compound as our hotel,showing how the wealthy lived in late spanish times-lots of lovely timber,very tasteful,very nice.
caught a pedal trike to national museum.I particularly liked the burial jars ,from ayub cave,2000 tears old,with each jar top an individual face.also the room with photos of church ceilings from bohol.

late lunch at barberos again,and then it was time to catch taxi,through busy manila traffic,to airport,and fly home to haven,Just in time for sunday night buffet at yacht club.a good crowd,and a great meal.visiting manila was certainly worthwhile.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

test 2 15082012

test 2

test 1 15082012



This was a very special day.
we were up early to get out Sandakan Memorial Park for the service at 7am.the park and the service honour the 2500 australian and british troops whodied in the death marches ,and the local people who were killed for helping them,and all who died in borneo in ww2.certainly a brutal story.we had seen the lovely sandakan memorial at kundasang,near mt kinabalu,where the marches started.there we saw a videoabout it was an australian author called lynette silver who wrote"Sandakan-a conspiracy of silence"this helped reveal sandakan horror.she then  wrote"blood brothers=sabah and australia 1942-1945",which shows the horror done to the people of sabah,as well australian soldiers.we  bought both thers books a few days ago in sandakan.we were lucky to sit next to lynette and her husband neil it the memorial service.
the reminiscences read out byveterans relatives were most moving,as were several poems by nonsurvivors,and a tape recording of one of the 6 survivors singinghis own song in 2008 service about his experience.hearing australian soldiers being so honoured,the australian anthem,and the last paost,were all most moving and humbling.
there is a small pavilion with info-the brutality is not hidden,and the perpetrators clearly stated.
after the service breakfast and tea /coffee were provided.the park is on the site of former death camp,a hilly site,several acres,surrounded by suburbia now,but full of beautiful mature trees,and gardens,extremely tasteful and peaceful.someone said the australian govt is responsible for upkeep.
the yachties in 2 minivans decide on a Giant supermarket(the best range in malaysia) kerry got her tasty bega cheese.a bid day so decided to delay departure to tomorrow.we moved computer,ipad and printer to yachtclub verandah to make a little office to print off several blogs on phillipines(THANKYOU MV SOLITA &SV PACIFIC EXPRESS).We had a lovely lunch here of fried rice and mixed vegetables,watched some catamarans departing,kerry googled sipidan diving again,and is booking dive holiday,whik[le bruce is doing blog and emails.
CONGRATULATIONS to our great friend DAVID MACFARLANE,solo sailor,who has just sailed into SUWARROW,in middle of south pacific-WELL DONE!!!

final drinks for remaning rally yachties ,here at yachyclug at 6pm,so time for shower and change






sandakan to KINABATANGAN RIVER 06082012

lankaying island to SANDAKAN,SABAH 05082012

50 nm today,so early off ,with morning sailing,afternoon one stage passed 35 strangelooking  fish net  bamboo structures in ocean,kilometers we came into sandakan harbour,we rounded the high streaky rock cliffs of island at entrance.we went past several very poor looking stilt villages over water,large wooden ferries at anchor,the mosque,and dropped anchor in front of Sandakan Yacht Club.we took dinghy to syc jetty,paid 100 ringgits aa=nnual membership,plus 10rm per day to use facilitis=es, and received free syc shirt and cap.lovely club building and proper yachts.just small dinghies,plus boats for recreational fishing,with twin huge outboards.nice outlook over the swimming pool and gardens,and haven ,and 2 other yachts at abchor.
we went to supermarket and wet market to stock up for our river trip.
back to haven and notived a strange rope trailing was wrapped a few times around propellor and shaft.must have just happened aas we stopped,.it was easily removed when I went under with mask.
we had drinks at dinner at yacht club.put dinghy and outboard back on view of recent outboard theft here,we put 3 padlocks on outboard,plus 4 nav lights 2 flashig blue),plus left one interior light on all night,.
such a busy harbour-lots of small woodem=n feeries,fast passenger speed boats,big wooden fishing boats,boats of army,navy,maritime,polis,and some big cargo ships-so good lighting at night essential.


we did 3 boat dives.the dives were average and visibility not great,but great to be underwater again,as we were a bit rusty ,and needed a tune-up for diving sipidan later.we have our own dive gear,but used their tanks as easier-the spare mouthpieces on both our regulators were not working properly-honarius,the senior dive instructor kindly fixed them while we did 1st dive.we saw nice coral,big cuttlefish,small orangutan crab-which looked more obvious on video after dive,nudibranche,and blue eel with yellow teeth;
after the diving we were lucky to seeturtles hatching.well you dont see them hatching out of buried egg,but see them emerging from sand.about 50-100 green,and also hawksbill turtles.they looked so cute all wriggling together in 2  plastic bowls,in fast motion,before release on sandy beach.then,with an adoring crowd of about 30 humans,they rapidly wriggled directly to sea,and swam off.

tigabu to LANKAYING ISLAND 03aug2012

a contrast of islands today.
we had calm seas again with slight breeze,so motorsailed the 37nm to lankaying island.we picked up a mooring(which kerry had prebooked as we planned to go diving here),infront of a smallgreen island with pale beach surrounded by aquablue water,with a lovelt dark wood dive centre over water,chalets in the trees,and a huge resort building over water,with a long jetty.we walked to this building -very trendt interior,with so much wood.even glass panels in floor to see the sea.back past turtle conservation centre,and hatcheries.tuetles come ashore at night and lay eggs,which are then put in hatcheries,with date.they hatch 57 days later,and are released into sea.4arranged diving for tomorrow and then took dinghy for a snorkel.sunset sundowners,and dinner on haven,cheaper than resort,and we have a better view.

kudat to TIGABU island 02aug2012

early start on a fine day.lots of islands and reefs.motor sailing on calm seas = a good time for coffees,and doing laundry and ipad emailing in the cockpit.dropped anchor at 2pm at Palau Tigabu.we can see a row of stilt houses on the beach behind us,with palmtrees behind,below low yellowgreen hills.we can hear childrens voices calling welcome.reef on both edges of this small island,with huts built on stilts over the reef.several colourful fishing boats at anchor.a big navy ship steamed past-we are close to border with phillipines ,.we saw several polis and army boats today and there is a small army outpost on this island.we took dinghy to a jetty.once ashore we saw that the stilt houses were poor,but the people happy and friendly.there is a fuel depot selling diesel forA60 cents a litre.they get their water by hand from well in the sand-looks clear and clean.the children followed us on our walk,were laughing but shy and kept their distance.we saw fish drying on racks.their main source of livestock.a few ducks and chickens.a surprising number of mangey dogs,who didnt bother us.offshore were extensive rectangles made by walls of coral rubble,most with a stily hut in middle.then the wind started coming up so we rushed back before storm.big waves getting off jetty onto dinghy ,with about 25 lov=cals being very helpful and enjoying the show.after sunset a big wind came,with no wind,lasted a short while,30-35 knots,maximum gust of 47knots.OK o/n.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

KUDAT 01aug2012

The start of another month- time to turn another page on the photo calendar the twins did for us on the boat(so soph and kerry change to nic and pip in nz).
Lovel sleep.leisurely breakfast.then trip planning,from here to sandakan,via thru many islands and reefs- probably 3-4 stops,hopefully some good snorkellinf,possibly some diving,then up the kinbatangan river,hopefully seeing pygmy elephants,probuscis monkeys,hornbills and crocs,then back to sandakan for final rally dinner,and sandakan (death march) memorial service.

Get info from rally notes,cruising guide to S E Asia ( but 1998=too old) and from recent sail blogs - thanks to yachts pacific express,sanna,pied a mer,thyme.

Also just subscribed to BUOY WEATHER.for about -
A$80 per year we can get marine weather forecasts,for up to 7 days,for any lat/ long in the world.just click on a google map.wind speed,direction,gust. Sea height,direction and frequency,tides currents,even thermal maps.can also come thru HF radio like sailmail grib files.also use local met service when internet available.


Ger and michael from simanderal loaned me this book to read..650 pages,not counting interview with author,list of characters and royal family trees(all most useful).winner of man booker prize 2009.I am up to page 297 ,and enjoying it.quite dtailed,the sort of book I could reread

KK to AMBONG to KUDAT over tip of Borneo310712

Time to move on.the 7 day weather forecast said 40-50kph winds(=20-30 knots) and seas 2.5-3.5 was correct!so we had a lively fast 2 days of sailing! We got into protected  anchorage at Ambong-  off a small village,near a large wooden anchored fishing boat.20 nm.cooked 2 kg of 5 onions,garlic and ginger.used some for evening meal.put rest in frig for later meals.meanwhile kerry did an excellent job stitching our bimini which was disintegrating in the wind.another nice remote sunset sundowners and meal,just us,no other yachts(altho we did see one sailing quickly north past ambong).nice about 6- motored till squall went more rain,but conditions more lively today- bigger swell,and wind18-22 knots,gusting to 25,and to 28 after rounding the tip of borneo.we sailed with no main sail,just a partially furled genoa.for the nonsailors we will say it was easier sailing downwind,as the swell was behind us,and the apparent wind is less than true wind.if we going the other way,we would have been going into swell,meaning water over boat,and apparent wind would be greater than true wind.after rounding the tip we had wind side on for the 15 nm to there about 4.30.70nm.the marina was not open so we anchored in the entrance with 6 other yachts.busy spot with lots of dinghy fishing,and big fishing boats and ferries going in and out.we put on our 2 anchor lights,one on mast,and one above rear solar panels,plus we put blue flashing lights front and back.pleasantly tired- so early night

KK YACHTCLUB 28 & 29 july 2012


Saturday, 28 July 2012

labuan to kota kinabalu yacht race27july2012

this was the 3rd of 4 scheduled races in BIYC (borneo international yacht challenge).there are 4 classes-serious,cruising A,cruising B ,and multihulls.there are 18 cruisers.they created 2 categories based on handicaps.we are in the higher handicap group=A.Inthe 1st race,the day event in miri,we came last.notrealising which wHich way to cross start line,not using MPS and some congestion around the buoys.our first race,and lots of fun.In the 2 nd race,from miri to labuan,about 110nm,so an overnight race,we started at 2pm,sailed through the night,till the wind suddenly stopped about we waited half an hour,then motored 3 hours to finnish about 10.30. We came 6 th out of 9.
The 3rd race was from labuan to kota kianabalu,about 70 nautical miles,starting 10am.lovely seeing all the boats out for the start.we all had to do numerous tacks into the wind to clear the bay,but when we did we were on a great tack,looking like we could go all the way to KK.alas the wind changed at a crucial point,about to go up a channel,clearing a reef to port,with me doing 1 st watch,& kerry asleep,so I had to go way out to west.fickle winds till morning.starting to think of motoring as race cutoff  was 10am.if you motor ,you declare it,and pay a 2.5x penalty,but if you motor you place after any boat that doesnt motor.luckily the wind came up and we got in without motoring,with 10minutes to spare!so we came third!!
They had a lovely dinner at the marina resort hotel with traditional dancing display,free beer,and prize presentation.we got this lovely wooden hornbill trophy.this could be the start and finnish of our racing career.
On the 27 july we went out for the 4 th and final biyc race,a day race.out betwen the islands at 9am for 10 am start but after delaying race due to lack of wind,they finally cancelled races for cruisers,but still did race for the serious we decided to follow them,picked up some nice wind,and had a
Lovely days sailing,.
We even got our MPS out of its bag.mps = multipurpose came with haven when we bought her,and was still as brandnew.after reading 3 books we had a good idea of how to sail it,but not 100% sure so somewhat reluctantly

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

MIRI TO LABUAN BIYC overnight race 2324072012

we  made it! our first overnighy yacht race.we left from miri-after photos on dock.we passed brunei and lots of oil wells.most yachts put up their multipurpose spinakers-as we have never had ours out of its bag,we didnt-but will need to learn soon as we could see them going faster.a nice breeze came behind us so we poled our genoa out on opposite side to mainsail,and moved along nicely ,all night.had evening meal of our preprepared chicken and tomato casserole,delicious,and for sundowners,tonic with lime juice,without the gin.lovely sunrise with brother wind and peregrina in front of us.but wind then 0730 we turned motor on reluctantly,and motored to finish,at labuan island about 1030.we later heard the wind did not come back before 2pm race cutoff time.interesting harbour with lots of ships moving,ships at anchor and ships being built or worked a taxi to marina.unfortuneately this another malaysian marina that has become unsafe to use.we had fried chicken and rice for aA$1 each,bought some duty free beer and wine,put our race form.did immigration and customs,and water taxied home.lovely sundowners watching busy harbour,many ships,all lit up,sun reflecting off tall buildings,sun setting over yacht fleet.and lovely skype with daughter olivia in australia.