Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Guest post by Sarah and Anton: river cruising and tropical island time

Sarah and Anton came to visit the previous week, and we had a short, but fantastic time together, and without much further ado, here's a post Anton wrote, maybe with a bit of input from Sarah. Thanks for writing it, and thanks a lot for coming to visit.
Anton and Sarah chilling in the cockpit while underway to Tiga. Shade is essential, hence all the sarongs...

Well I have to say from wo to go I was amazed with our Hostess, the fantastic Astrid. Having someone to navigate the local restaurants and choose something that was not going to get us sick and also something that we ended up loving was the key to actually trying a little local cuisine! Have taken photo of the menu board so that I can remember the name of the meal.  Like an egg and vego omelet sandwiched between two crepes, yummy!

Despite professing some anxiety to going solo taking charge of the boat, Astrid was totally at ease as Captain.  Even to the point of navigating up the Klias River. At our anchorage about half way up the river we saw dozens of crocodiles (ok read floating logs… but at least 2 were heading upstream and we all agreed they had eyes). We also saw monkeys!!! Astrid was lucky enough to spy a proboscis one which if you use your imagination is captured in the photo below (notice the red patch?). The second leg of the trip saw us head North. We ambitiously put the sails up with a light aft wind before taking the main down again 20 minutes later. They don’t call Borneo “the land below the wind” for nothing! No danger of us capsizing. The next couple of days were spent snorkelling and hiking round Pulau Tiga. Astrid, spoiled by the underwater beauty of Palau and the Philippines, was unimpressed with the reef, but Sarah and I enjoyed some cool coral and fish.

Ok, so the Yacht Sophia and our experiences, through my eyes!

S:  Sea, it was so amazing to be swimming and snorkelling in really beautiful warm water. Warm like to spa.
O:  Organised! From the little facecloths that you put on your hand like puppets, to the dishrack that has clips for cups I was amazed how organised and easy to find everything is. Everything has a place and every place has a thing!
P:  Pancakes! I made pancakes one morning after one of my Anton sleep ins, well received by the girls for sure while at the helm to get to Pulau Tiga Island. However on the last day Astrid made the Danish Pancakes, I have to say those nicely browned far thinner pancakes really took first prize for me.
H:  Hot! Amazing how much a person can sweat in the Tropics, being the winter season too, it really was humid. I love Sophia’s fans! As we would sit under those fans in the evening and watch the temperature gauge slowly go down. Heaven forbid we had to do any cooking or make a cup of tea, as it mean’t that it would creep back up and over the really important 30 Degrees!
I:  Icecold drinks. We really loved Sophia’s fridge, it just made such an amazing difference to our body temp to be able to drink some wonderful ice cold drinks! Though not sure on the Coconut milk and Nesquik drink we tried to copy from our time in Bali.
A:  Awesome time! We really and truly loved every minute/hour/day on board Sophia with Astrid, just missed Phil!

PS:  The photos are a mix of mine and Anton's, but the captions are mine (Astrid's)
Croc or log?
Macaque monkey
Early morning on Klias river
Proboscis monkey, spot the red in the green
This was one of the best snorkeling pics from Tiga, unfortnatley it's pretty dead coral and there are only few and very tiny fish
Outboard wouldn't start, so we rowes ashore, but the rest of the time, we just swam in, much easier
Walking across the island we got bitten a fair bit, so at this mud vulcano Sarah and Anton decided to try and use mud as insect repellant
We played Settler of Catan every night, SOOO much fun. We each got a win, but Sarah got two, so she was the overall winner
Bye bye guys, thanks for coming! Sarah and Anton got a local boat to take them to the mainland and from there a bus back to KK, while I sailed back to Brunei by myself over the next two days, over 90 miles (pat on the back!)

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