We’re on our way to Malaysian Borneo
Posted by yachtcamomile
Monday morning 16th June we were up early because there were lots of last minute things to do. Turned the instruments on – no depth! Can’t go without a depth sounder; no speed either. Bill had to get the transducer interface box out from behind the panel again to investigate. It turned out to be a locking collar on the cable had come lose because Yap hadn’t tightened it properly – naughty Yap. Bill got it sorted and we continued with our jobs. Bill wanted to do an oil change as we anticipate lots of motoring on the next part of our adventure. That involves moving the stairs and lots of swearing at inanimate objects to curse them into submission! I beat a hasty retreat to the gym with Jackie for one last time. At 11am they came to collect us in the marina golf buggy to take us all of 300metres to immigration to check out. I don’t think they realise that we are able to walk but it helps them to justify the charge of £10 for doing the check out paperwork that consists of writing out the port clearance and stamping the passports.
At 2pm we said a final sad goodbye to Hokele’a, Soltice and Kite then left Puteri harbour, it was almost exactly 5 weeks to when we had arrived and 8 weeks all but 2 days since the lightening strike. It was like travelling with a new baby with all the new noises Camomile was making. The VHF was beeping every 4 hours because Bill hasn’t set up the NMEA connection with the GPS yet and the AIS kept peeping because there were so many ‘dangerous targets’ around. We felt quite nervous. We were also going really slowly and Bill decided the prop must be covered in barnacles; he couldn’t get any speed out of the engine.
This is a screen shot of the chartplotter. The black line is the course we took. The first ‘current track’ is Puteri harbour and the first red cross is the waypoint for our first anchorage. We had decided we wouldn’t go far on the first day and just anchored at the bottom of the Johor straits, which took us 4 hours. It was strange to be out of the marina after such a long time. We were also now without the air conditioning and it was hot hot hot.
The next morning we left early and by 9am we were sailing. We were over flown about a dozen times by the Singapore air force, I think they had come out to see us off. There had been regular flyovers when we were in Puteri but usually only 2 or 3 at a time. Today they had all 6 out. 5 were in formation and we think the sixth was probably training them, any way they looked pretty spectacular.
We sailed down to Raffles lighthouse, putting in a tack along the way as the track shows (we do sail properly sometimes!) so we didn’t hit the little island. We were so lucky with the shipping because just past Raffles lighthouse we crossed the Singapore shipping lanes, which are normally incredibly busy, sailing, practically unheard of. The next set of 4 red crosses is where we stopped for an hour among some islands so Bill could go over the side to scrape the barnacles off the prop. It really needed it and he said the hull was quite bad too but for now just scraping the prop made such a difference.
This next screen shot is a smaller scale and from side to side the distance is about 500 miles, don’t take any notice of the numbers along the top, they were Camomile’s current position at the time I took the photos. So the red cross that’s sitting on top of the word ‘Singapore’ was how far we got at the end of our second day out. We had made the decision not to stop for the night because there had been some sea robberies among the islands on the bottom left of the picture, which is northern Indonesia. So we kept going. We spent the next 60 hours, 3 nights and 2 days, going backwards. Not literally, of course, just travelling eastwards towards the sunrise. The first night there was a bit of lightning which lit up the sea in front of us but hopefully we’ve left that behind now. Bill used his time to finish some of the jobs like interfacing the NMEA to the VHF and SSB radios and working out how to turn the alarms off. The new system is very user friendly and we are both learning how things work and teaching each other. After the red cross in the middle, which was marking a tiny island, the wind was much more constant and we put up the cruising chute. Camomile was sailing really well and we had much better winds than we were expecting.
We were visited by a wonderful pod of dolphins half way across. As usual when you get the camera out they become shy but I managed to get a few photos of bits of fins and tails.
When we reached the first red cross on the right hand side at the tip of the point on Friday morning the wind died. We spent the day motoring to the island at the last red cross on the right hand side. It was Friday evening, the crossing had taken us 4 days and we arrived just in time for sundowners while we watched the most beautiful sunset over the island.
Our position is
Pulau Satang Besar.
It looked equally attractive in the day and as the water was so inviting Bill put his wet suit on and spent about an hour in the water under the boat scraping off the barnacles. Lucky he had his wet suit on because there were quite a lot of jellyfish in there. My much-desired swim was not to be.