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Archive for July, 2009

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! *

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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