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 SESSION.it is difficult keeping fit on a boat,if not go ashore.it was being fit for mt kinabalu.Kerry says she is training for Camino de Santiago,the 800km,500 mile,pilgrim walk in northern spain.my 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 behind.so 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 muesli.to 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 ours.no 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,1939.enjoyable.it 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 wall.an 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 couples.no 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 augustins.cafe has a bishop theme ,and the placemats are a photo of bishops.st 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 sandakan.in 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)stop.so 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 motorsailing.at one stage passed 35 strangelooking  fish net  bamboo structures in ocean,kilometers offshore.as 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 bar.no 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 underneath.it 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 Haven.in 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 food.no 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.