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Archive for the 'SAIL MALAYSIA – Passage To The East … 2009' Category

TERENGGANU, MALAYSIA TO KUCHING,BORENO … 22ND JUNE TO 1ST JULY 2009

South-China-Sea[1]

* A VERY GOOD SCHEMATIC OF THE REGION WE WERE SAILING. OUR COURSE WAS ALONG THE LOWER EDGE OF THE MAP! (Image compliments Google Images) *

This journey was going to be a long trip … in fact the longest non-stop journey I had undertaken … and it had occurred to me I could do with a crew member, but, where to find one? The phone rang … a call from Brian and Glee of `SV Second Winds’ … friends at Tioman Islands (165 nmiles SSE) which I had left three weeks before. An industrious Australian backpacker had just knocked on the hull of SV Second Winds and asked for a lift to Australia.

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* MY CHEERFUL 1ST MATE CATHY ... DOING WONDERS IN THE GALLY. *

 

What did I have here? … Cathy was born in Wollongong, NSW … she was a typical young (29 yo isn’t so young really) person … hates authority … protests at anything – has been arrested … tight-fisted with money … BUT … was very keen to learn how to sail Déjà vu … excellent on `watches’ … worked well in the galley and became a very useful crew member and Déjà vu Hostess!

Exciting Moments: Crossing shipping lane at night … swimming in South China Sea … looking out for Indonesian Pirates.

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* THESE `BIG-SUCKERS' ARE THE GREATEST DANGER TO CRUISING. *

And there was one coming over the horizon right now … and the radar said it was heading straight for us. I had decided to stay up while crossing this shipping lane! This freighter was doing 18 knots and it just kept coming … I could see the Red/Green and two white lights … meaning, it was headed directly at us.

I had Cathy switch on the `spreader’ light. This is a strong quartz halogen lamp and lights up the foredeck and sails like a Xmas tree … with sails up Déjà vu must be extremely visible. As we motor/sailed across its path it seemed to turn to head us off … it was zigzagging! With about a mile clearance I disconnected the auto-pilot and started a 360° turn away from the ship. It passed within 200 metres and we kept turning, crossing its stern by about 300 metres! That was a very scary experience … was anyone on watch? I would have said so, as the monster seemed to change course as it approached us!

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* THIS COULD HAVE BEEN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA SWIM! *

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* `SANTABONG RIVER' ... OUR DESTINATION IN SARAWAK, BORNEO! *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 SMECR-3-8

SATANG BESAR ISLAND – 1ST JULY 2009

Déjà vu arrived at the channel to the Santabong River (Kuching) late at night and rather than try to navigate into the river in the dark … anchored at Satang Besar Island, seven nmiles out. Next day we caught up with the fleet and found a good anchorage about one nmile upstream. Yachts were anchored in a string over the same distance, on the northern shoreline, as this river had heavy barge traffic!

 
 

* MALAYSIAN BORENO HAS A MASSIVE TIMBER EXPORT BUSINESS ... HENCE THE LARGE OVERLOADED BARGES! *

With a strong current and wind we were in for a period of anxious anchoring … the wild wind-against-tide phenomenon!

The crossing took us on a 528 nmile journey … over a period of 123 hours (five days three hours) … 91 hours of which was pure motoring due to lack of wind … leaving 32 hours of sailing. Average speed was 4.6 knots.

SMECR-3-9

ooOoo

 

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PERHENTLAN ISLAND … 19TH JUNE 2009

Due north of Terengganu. (Lat: 05° 55.21N … 102° 43.49E)

MAP  OF MALAY PENN

* A GOOD SCHEMATIC SHOWING THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE MALAYSIAN PENNINSULAR … `PERHENTLAN ISLAND’ IS TOP-RIGHT! (Image courtesy Google Images)*

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* ANOTHER MAP SHOWING … `PERHENTLAN ISLAND’ IS CENTRE-RIGHT! (Image courtesy Google Images) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

I AM HARD TO PLEASE! … This is a seemingly highly attractive island for Diving Backpackers. But the noise from Discos and Karaoke systems travels SO well over water. Plus, I thought the last Island was cursed with water-taxis … multiply the problem by 100 times and you come close to the traffic here!

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* TYPICAL `BACK-PACKER’ ACCOMMODATION! (Image courtesy Google Images) *

I moved across the Bay after one chaotic night and discovered a reasonably quiet spot. Clear water and calm from any breeze coming from the East … a westerly would be another story. I can’t recommend these islands to senior cruisers … but, backpackers would have a ball!

Two nights here was enough for me and I was on my way back to Terengganu, via an over night stay at the southern end of Radang Island … and a return to Heritage Marina … to prepare for the crossing of the South China Sea.

SMECR-3-7

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RADANG ISLAND, MALAYSIAN EAST COAST … FROM 16TH JUNE 2009

RADANG ISLAND, EAST COAST, MALAYSIA … 16TH JUNE 2009

(Lat:         Long:         )

The rumour of previous cruisers takes you to a beautiful Bay on the NE coast of Radang Island … ???? nmiles north of Terengganu.  Crystal clear water … white sands … turtles and a whacking great Resort ashore.  This sort of facility brings many high-speed power boats (Taxis) primarily transporting people.  The drivers of these units always seem to be competing with each other for SPEED records!  And as a consequence all anchored craft are tossed around by the massive bow-wash created. 

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* RADANG ISLAND RESORT ... BEAUTIFUL CLEAR WATER ... WITH TURTLES! (Image courtesy Google Images) *

June2009 059

* JUST ANOTHER GORGEOUS, CALM SUNSET ... Yaaawn! *

 

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* RADANG ISLAND MARINE PARK ... BABY TURTLE BREEDING GROUND! (Image courtesy Google Images) *

Towards sunset along came a dozen large wooden fishing boats that anchored with little regard for swing radius. I guess they and their forebears have been doing it for centuries … and the visiting fiberglass monsters are just new unwelcome intruders?

 

SMECR-3-5

ooOoo

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TERENGGANU, EAST COAST, MALAYSIAN PENNINSULAR … 7TH TO 16TH JUNE 2009

Heritage Bay Marina, Terengganu, Malaysia …

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* A SMALL MARINA, BUT VERY MODERN. ATTACHED TO A NEW'ISH RESORT COMPLEX. *

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* THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO ME AT `TERENGGANU ... 1ST MATE `CATHY' CAME ON-BOARD! *

Heritage Bay Marina, Terengganu, is a modern establishment, attached to a small Resort/Hotel … not many berths, but then it doesn’t need them as Terengganu is well away from the busy circuit of cruising, being halfway up the east coast of the Malaysian Peninsular … South of the Thai/Malay border.The Heritage Bay Marina/Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort & Spa Resort … seems to owe it’s origination to a single sailing event … The Monsoon Cup. There are six World Class racing yachts housed at this marina, tended by an Australian (David) from Perth, Western Australia … and he organises the Race and trains local crews.  

These are not huge yachts (about 10 metres) and are built in Perth. David explains world class Skippers and Crew descend on Terengganu, only once every year, to compete in a series of Match Races (I think that means only two yachts race at any one time … and losers are eliminated until, you guessed it, they have a winner!)He was also of the opinion the Race Series would end in the near future … what then of the Heritage Bay Marina.

* THE MARINA AND RESORT WAS ISOLATED FROM THE TOWN CENTRE ... HENCE A WATER-TAXI (FREE) TO TAKE PATRONS ACROSS THE BAY! *

 

This is another business which appears to be ill-conceived by Government/Business. The Terengganu area is a mini-Singapore … in as much as there are major reclamation works going on. Terengganu will be transformed in a few … no, quite a few years … given the continued influx of big money.

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* A LITTLE SITE-SEEING AT `MALACCA' WHILST WAITING FOR THE MAINSAIL REPAIR! ***** GREAT VIEWS FROM THE ROTATING `THING' HIGH ABOVE THE CBD OF `MALACCA', WEST COAST OF MALAYSIAN PENINSULA. *

Scott gave great service, picking me and the sail up from my Hotel in China Town, Malacca … and inspecting it at his massive out-of-town loft. Three days later the sail was returned to me along with a very affordable account. (MR450.00 … about AU$180.00)

I had the time to look around the centre of Malacca … BUT, I must be hard to please? There is one good attraction … a revolving platform which lifts you and many about 80 metres … giving a great 360° vista of Malacca City Centre and out to sea. That was Malacca to me!

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* `MALACCA' HAS STREET TRICYCLES WHICH COMPETE FOR `MOST COLOURFUL'! *

Back on the ship … with the first day recovering from the over-night bus trip from Malacca. The following day was refit-mainsail-day! And the sun was out in full force … it gets blistering and you strenuously avoid working in it … but, I had to as the refit is a long job and heavy work! Come 1500 hours and I was knackered … so much so I couldn’t think of what I was meant to be doing and small problems took on HUGE proportions of difficulty. By this time I had moored Déjà vu from a mooring 100 metres away from the marina to allow it to swing with the breeze. Even this plan was foiled by a strong outgoing tidal current. For today, I was beaten!

I must have looked so … as I heard a knock on the hull of Déjà vu (didn’t hear the dinghy come alongside as I had melted onto the roof of the cockpit) and a complete stranger called up to me … DO YOU NEED A HAND?   It took awhile for the offer to sink in … dead-slow brain reaction … and eventually it dawned on me, I did need a hand! And I conveyed this message to my new friend. He came aboard in a flurry … told me to relax as I looked done-in … and completely took over the refitting of the main. `Stranger’, Greg, of a magnificent French made Catamaran `Lady of Siam’ … saved my sanity, if not my life, that day and when slightly recovered I just followed his instructions and come sunset all was in place, better than the original installation … Greg made changes to the sail-cover rigging as he went.

To top it off … he invited me onboard `Lady of Siam’ for dinner … along with four other new friends he had made that day.

I’ll never forget this guy!!

 

Fully rigged … the main looked great!

SMECR-3-4

ooOoo

* `RE-YAZ HERITAGE MARINA' ... A GREAT DESIGN FOR A RESTAURANT ... NOT BAD FOOD EITHER! *

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KUANTAN … KUALA KEMAMAN … KAPAS ISLAND, EAST COAST, MALAYSIA … 2ND TO 5TH JUNE 2009

*** Please double-click photo to enlarge!

On the 31st May, a pleasant Reception, with entertainment, was held on the beach-front … next to the Hyatt Hotel.

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* THIS FISHING BOAT RAN AGROUND ENTERING `KUANTAN RIVER' ... CARELESSNESS SURELY? *

The following day the Rally organisers had arranged a bus tour to a Museum through the afternoon … and a generous Dinner at night (just a great pity the power failed early in the night) … with great entertainment by the State Dancing Troupe … a group of professions, lavishly dressed in colourful costumes.

Kuantan City (Lat: 03° 48.52N … Long: 103° 20.26E) … wasn’t a favourite stop-over by a long shot … and maybe the organisers may consider an alternative anchorage for the next Rally?

June2009 054

* `DEJA VU' ... JUST IDLING ALONG ... NOT TOO MUCH WIND! *

There were no festivities, as a result of our unscheduled stop-over, but the town offered good service backup for the fleet with fuel, food, batteries etc., available. There were good onshore restaurants (some Chinese Houses, with beer!) Kemaman was a two night relief from Kuantan and much needed!

KAPAS ISLAND … 4TH JUNE 2009

(Lat: 05° 13.69N … Long: 103° 15.71E)

Déjà vu suffered a failure approaching Kapas Island … a `controlled’ jibe (we had a 20 knot breeze directly from astern) … not controlled enough it would seem as it resulted in a torn main sail.  Bugger!! 

* BADLY TORN MAINSAIL … DAMAGED DURING A `CONTROLLED JIBE’ … ENTIRELY MY FAULT! *
June2009 046

* `KAPAS ISLAND' JUST SOUTH OF TERENGGANU TOWNSHIP ... EAST COAST OF MALAYSIAN PENINSULAR! *

 

We were about 17 nmiles SSE of Terengganu and I could only be hopeful there was a sail-maker or canvas worker in town?

Kapas Island offered crystal clear water and good snorkeling … but Déjà vu left early the next morning for Terengganu … and hopefully the services of a sail maker?

SMECR-3-3

ooOoo

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KUANTAN, EAST COAST, MALAYSIA … 2ND JUNE 2011

PEOPLE CAN BE GREAT … INCOMPREHENSIBLE, BUT GREAT!

(Lat: 03° 48’52N … Long: 103° 20’26E)

*** Please double-click on photos to enlarge them! 

<   Sorry … it was too hot for photography in Kuantan, so I’ve added a few general interest shots!   >

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* THE FRIUT/FLORA RESEARCH STATION NORTH OF SEBANA COVE ... HAS A SMALL ZOO! *

 

I needed fuel. Lots of it by Déjà vu standards (180 litres!) This was going to be a challenging job:

 

o Load nine 20 litre cans (the Yanks call them Jugs) into the inflatable dinghy.

o Motor about one kilometer downstream, to Polis (that’s how they spell it) Headquarters.

o Transfer (chuck) cans onto the very high, black, Polis floating pontoon.

o Due to tropical sun you could fry eggs on the horizontal surfaces … yes, it’s bloody hot to touch!

P5202121

* I THINK THIS MONKEY HAD LOST SOMETHING IN THIS GUYS HAIR? *

o Carry empty cans through Polis quadrangle (un-researched so far as the need for approval is concerned … this was The Marine Polis Headquarters?)

o Leave cans at Polis Security Box at entrance to quadrangle. (Nobody in Box!)

o Walk through town to find a Teksi (that’s how they spell it?) Teksi’s will not stop when hailed!

o Walk to Bus Terminal where Tekis’s are waiting for fares. (It’s easier than stopping at roadside.)

o Convince driver with sign language (as he doesn’t know a word of English … and I don’t know any Malay) what I want to do. Following a phone conversation with his boss, who does understand some English … he accepts fare and we try to find Polis Headquarters.

P5202105

* ELIZABETH (SV LARBARQUE) BEING IMPRESSED BY THE MANAGER OF THE RESEARCH STATION! *

o Return to Polis Headquarters where the Tekis driver nervously asks ME“if he is allowed to drive in?” I suppose it could have looked a security risk … as I was taking 180 litres of highly-volatile gasoline into the centre of a Law Enforcement area.

o Teksi driver accepts MY approval for him to enter and I direct him to the head of the jetty leading down to the dinghy.

o We unload the cans and I tip the driver for being so cooperative.

  • With him out-of-the-way … I turned around to find the Polis Headquarters Security Guard, grinning at me!  This lad was about sixty-seventy, not-out … he had about four teeth in his whole head … and the poor guy was ugly.  God wasn’t able to do anything for him.  I thought `now I’m in for it?’  No, `my friend’ pointed down at the cans, picked two up and marched them out to the dinghy??  What a man!  I made a similar gesture and in five minutes we had the cans on the pontoon, above the dinghy.   

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* THIS SWALLOW FOUND A COMFORTABLE PLACE TO REST? *

He instantly took in the situation … how was this man, single-handedly, going to lower the nine cans, full of fuel, into this floating balloon? My new friend gestured to me (no language compatibility) to somehow, get into the dinghy and he would lower them down. What a magnificent idea. This I did and within two (2) minutes I was ready to leave. (Thinks me … “This guy is angling for a tip … and he has earned it”.) I whip out MR10.00 and hand it up to him … and he knocked it back!   He was helping for the good feeling it gave him … and I was just as happy … but a little stunned!

What a great Guy … a very poor Security Guard … but, a great guy!

SMECR-3-2

ooOoo

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TIOMAN ISLAND TO TERENGGANU, EAST COAST, MALAYSIA … 30th MAY – 1ST JULY 2009

*** Please double-click on photos to enlarge!

TERENGGANU – East coast of Malaysian Peninsular:

The Fleet was gaining the impression we were having to move too fast to keep up with the Rally programme … couldn’t change the programme, just had to keep going! 

* IT'S GREAT TO HAVE INTERNET CONNECTION AT SEA ... COMPLIMENTS `VODAFONE' AT A COST *

A pleasant night’s stay at Pu Tulai Island (about eight nmiles NW of Tioman Island) was made more enjoyable by a party on the beach. This interaction with the Fleet sailors is always impromptu and a good time to swap experiences.

Next day it was through more stormy weather … with all yachts more conscious of the lightning flashing down! Good strong sailing winds was a welcome change … followed by a nasty shock coming into Kuantan … the fleet was expected to anchor in the open ocean? A BAD choice of anchorages, subject to all the moods of the ocean … and for me, one night was enough. Many of the monos were rolling like crazy, but had to endure it, as the small alternative anchorage in the river, was blocked by a shallow entrance! But, not for Déjà vu, the Cat … draft less than one metre!

* IT CAN BE CALM AND BEAUTIFUL AT SEA! *

Déjà vu was now anchored in the narrow river adjacent to the Kuantan CBD. It proved a small anchorage, safe for only 5-6 yachts … but, subject to strong currents of dirty water and wash from frequent, fast moving, large fishing boats. There’s no safe access to the City from your dinghy, leaving only the high-pontoons of the Marine Police to negotiate.

* THE RALLY BURGEE (FLAG) *

Luckily, they were agreeable to us using their facilities!

SMECR-3-1

ooOoo

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NORTH/EASTERN MALAYSIAN LEG … FROM 23RD MAY 2009

*** Please `double click’ on images to enlarge! 

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* `SV MILLIWAYS' ... DAVID AND HEATHER OF THE UK. THEY FOUND THE LIGHTNING STRIKE VERY UN-AMUSING! *

Déjà vu caught up with: Milliways (UK) … Four Star (NZ) … and Pura Vida (Australia) at:

o Lompat Bay (Lat: 01° 35.63N … Long: 104° 15.67E)

and travelled in convoy to

o Pu Sibu Island (Lat: 02° 13.98N … Long: 104° 03.53E) …

o Pu Tinggi Island (Lat: 02° 19.03N … Long: 104° 06.04E)

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* TIOMAN ISLAND MARINA ... THE FLEET WAS A LITTLE `DOWN' FROM THE BAD LUCK OF `MILLIWAYS'! *

Approaching Tioman Island you couldn’t help but take notice of a large, black storm approaching from the mainland. Time to reef down sails. This done, all you could do was carry on … no chance of avoiding it!

 

 

 

 

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* `TIOMAN' ISLAND `GALA' LUNCH ... FOLLOWED BY BEACH GAMES! *

Lightning and thunder was plentiful and with the strong breeze Déjà vu was loping along at a nine  to ten  knot pace … starting to catch `Milliways’ (UK), `Panthalassa’ (Aust), the Catamaran,`Charmar’ (Aust) and another Cat `Hybra Sail’ (Aust).

Then one of the worst happenings a yachty has nightmares about … David from `Milliways’, shouted over the VHF that his yacht had been hit by lightning!

* JULIAN OF `SV CATCH'US' ... ANOTHER `LIGHTNING' VICTIM FROM INDONESIA! *

Although his motors continued to function … all electronics which had been switched on and operating at the time of the strike … were fried! He was without Chart Plotter … Echo Sounder … all lighting etc (although the VHF radio still worked!) He had lost the ability to find the Marina on the west coast of Tioman Island. At the time of the lightning strike, `Milliways’ were just two nmiles ahead of `Déjà vu’!

Thereby, the small fleet around `Milliways’ , took charge and guided them into the safety of the marina.

Unknown to the writer … `Panthalassa’ had suffered a gearbox failure earlier and was disabled … although able to sail due to the strong winds. Catamaran `Charmar’ was standing by them and eventually took her under tow.

Settling down in the Tioman Marina … `Milliways’ started the Insurance Game and eventually returned to Singapore (in company with a very generous `nurse-maid’ gesture by `Four Star’!) Repairs took five months and only the Insurance Company will know how many $$$$$$$’s!

Tioman Marina has the clearest water I’ve experienced in a marina. The Island and surrounding areas is renowned for water clarity and many visitors to the island are divers.

Although we were not to learn this until after leaving … Tioman also has a reputation for Piracy!

ooOoo

 MECR-5

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SEBANA COVE MARINA, MALAYSIA … 18th MAY 2009

*** Please `double-click’ on images to enlarge! 

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* THIS IS A RESEARCH STATION FOR FRUITS AND OTHER THINGS ... JUST NORTH OF `SEBANA COVE', MALAYSIA ... A VERY INTERESTING VISIT! *

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* A MAGNIFICENT DISPLAY OF `COY' GOLD FISH? AT THE RESEARCH STATION! *

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* I DEEPLY APPRECIATE WHAT NATURE CAN PRODUCE IN THE WAY OF FLORA! DON'T ASK ME ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRETTY THINGS THOUGH! *

A visit organized by Sazli and Hardeep, to a: Fruit Farm … Home Stays area … Fishing Museum and a Hotel … made a very good days outing.

LEAVING SEBANNA COVE … VISIT BACK TO JOHOR BAHRU, MALYASIA

It was time to leave Sebana Cove for the east coast of the Malaysian Peninsular … however; I had to return to Danga Bay Marina to pickup a handheld GPS mailed to me from Perth. In company with Patrick and Elizabeth of `Labarque’ (UK) we made our way across the northern straits between Singapore and Malaysia … to the causeway joining the two countries. In sailing/motoring this leg (through a severe thunder storm) we had completed a circumnavigation of Singapore … which is an experience worth storing in your memory banks!

Anchored adjacent to Malaysian Police wharf (Lat: 01° 27.46 … Long: 103° 46.33)

PEOPLE CAN BE GREAT!

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* The Johor-Singapore Causeway, viewed from Singapore, facing Malaysia. (Image compliments of Google Images) *

The Johor-Singapore Causeway, viewed from Singapore, facing Malaysia.

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* A VERY GOOD SCHEMATIC SHOWING THE LAYOUT OF THE NORTHERN SHORELINE OF SINGAPORE! *

With the five-score-and-ten plastic bags unloaded it was time to transfer them to the dinghy. Actually, this `landing’ defies description … as the floating pontoon was actually a bunch of planks somehow tied together and strategically located at the base of a vertical, stainless steel ladder … and it was three metres up the ladder to the landing. NOW, the tide had gone out and it was five (5) metres down to the plank landing! I was standing, a little stunned, and trying to work out how I could lower this heap of plastic bags down to the dinghy. Nothings impossible I keep saying … but this came close! Up walked a group of Police Cadets, who had taken in the scenario in a flash … suggested I climb down to the planks and they would form a human chain from the heap at the top, down the ladder to me at the base. In three (3) minutes it was done, they accepted my humble thanks and were gone! What a miracle of help and cooperation!

PATRICK AND ELIZABETH

* PATRICK AND ELIZABETH OF `SV LABARQUE' ... THEY HAVE BEEN CRUISING FOR 20 YEARS OVER A DISTANCE OF 100,000 NMILES! *

I left `Labarque’ to their business and retraced my path back to the Straits of Johor. The area around Changi (an in-famous area as a result of the Japanese jail created there during WW2) … is under heavy, heavy reclamation development by the Singapore Government. They are literally creating land by filling in a huge area of sea and mangrove. I would guess most of the barges plying the waters of the Straits of Malacca and Johor … up from Indonesia and down from Malaysia … are carrying sand/rock to use at these reclamations. It’s rumoured a complete Indonesian Island has disappeared as a result of this transfer of earth! Makes for a good rumour if not absolutely true?

Chapter 2-MECR-4

ooOoo

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PASSAGE SOUTH OF SINGAPORE TO SEBANA COVE MARINA … 18th MAY 2009

  

* THERE ARE SUPER TANKERS/FREIGHTERS BY THE HUNDREDS! *

*** Please `double-click’ images to enlarge!

The fleet’s next port-of-call was Sebana Cove Marina … a 45 nmile journey across the southern border of Singapore, the Straits of Johor … through part of the 60 nmiles of anchored and mobile shipping!  On entering the melee I took a count of the shipping in my area: …

(1) Super-tanker …

(2) Singaporean Warships …

(1) Passenger Cruiser …

(2) Floating Oil Platforms …

(1) Drive on/Drive off Car Carrier …

(1) Tug towing a barge and they were traveling faster than Déjà vu. 

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* CRUISE LINERS ARE IN THE MINORITY IN `SINGAPORE' WATERS ... THIS PRIMARILY A COMMERCIAL PORT! *

  

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* CAN YOU BELEIVE THERE ARE MANY (5/6 THAT I SAW) ANCHORED IN SOUTHERN SINGAPORE WATERS. MAYBE THEY'RE THERE FOR MAINTENANCE? *

 

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* ENCLOSED CONTAINER SHIPS ... DRIVE-ON/DRIVE-OFF ... VERY GOOD FOR VEHICLE TRANSPORT AS WELL! *

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* I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF BARGES ... BUT, THEY'LL ALWAYS BE THERE. THE MAIN CARGO TO SINGAPORE SEEMS TO BE SAND/ROCK FOR RECLAIMATION OF THE SEA. `SINGAPORE' WANTS TO BE `BIGGER'! *

On the radar I had targeted ten ships … travelling between three to twenty-one knots.

Just to add additional flavour to the experience … God organized a gale from Sumatra, Indonesia. These storms are infamous all along the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsular … because they come fast and very hard. Sixty knot bursts of wind are common enough … but our `blast’ seemed to max-out at 40 knots, with visually impenetrable, sheet rain.

Visibility was less than 100 metres … and out of this curtain came flying ferries, from Indonesia and other places, I guess … and ships large enough to cut Déjà vu in half and not even know we had made contact! Could their radar see me … I doubt it … mine couldn’t see them. All you see on the screen in heavy rain, is a white-out … which comes from the radar microwave beams bouncing back off the rain! This was very scary.

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 2007 051

* SINGAPORE SHIPPING AT ANCHOR ... 750 SHIPS REPORTED AT THIS TIME! *

When entering Singapore waters from the northern Straits of Malacca … you cannot ignore the shipping-at-anchor. There seem to be thousands of ships, many of them moving! We were told by a yachty who may have known … there were 750 ships at anchor … 70% of whom did not have any work! This flotilla of ships stretched across the Straits of Johor … across the bottom of Singapore (and Malaysia) for 60 nmiles!The Singaporean Harbour Control people should get a medal every week for handling this volume of shipping without obvious collision and disaster.

Chapter 2-MECR-3

ooOoo

* A GREAT PHOTO OF SHIPPING AT ANCHOR, SOUTH SINGAPORE WATERS (Photo compliments Google Images) *

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