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 metres.it 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 sleep.off about 6- motored till squall went past.no 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 kudat.got 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 7am.so 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 racers.so 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 spinaler.it 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 died.at 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 on.got 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.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

BAKO NATIONAL PARK 11-12july2012

Bako is a small (27 sq km) national park,north of kuching,on a peninsular.it consists of a sandstone plateau,edged by rainforest and sandy beaches.we got there by public bus to bako bazaar,then a scenic 30 minute boatride to park hq.hq set in lovely bay with mangroves one end and sanstone cliff the oyher,.put our bag in storage ,had nice brunch in hq cafe,and did thr lintang trail.10 trails to choose from.initial boardwalk,then steep climb thru tropical forest,to sandstone plateau = kerangas- reminded us of australia- hawksbury or katherine gorge plateau.then detour telok pandan kecil trail,down from plateau to delightful little beach ,with huge sandstone cliffs.most visitors get boat there and back but we walked- about 9 km in total = a lovely days walking.saw siver fur monkeys on way back- they have lovely little black faces.pouring rain as we got back,just in time to see some probiscus monkeys at hq- really easy to see- with huge stomachs,long white tails and of course,the big pink bulbous noses.had a few beers to celebrate a lovely day,then headed over to our dorm for showers,before nice dinner at cafe.finnished reading book about the 2 white rajahs of sarawak,written by wife of last raja in 1939.

ORANG UTANS & MUSEUMS- kuching10-7-12

SIBU to KUCHING by rivers & sea 9july2012


SIBU 6-7 july2012

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


canopy walk

river boats

buying souvenirs from guides village

entrance to clearwater cave

MULU CAVES 2july12

we had a short flight to gunung mulu national park to see the mulu caves and do the canopy walk.stayed at matamau lodge-nice,with lots of timber.after lunch we met our guide david,went to park hq to register,then a long boardwalk through jungle to lang's cave-lots of pretty-ites.then Deer cave-huge,and home to a lot of swifts,and several million bats.the mell where the extensive bat guano was washed into cave stream by recent rain was amazing.then we had a break awaiting bats leaving cave-this started at 6pm,small groups of several thousand,about every 20 seconds for 20 minutes,then a continuos sream,forming amazinf fast moving spiral patterns.