Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Finally in snorkeling waters again

The 400 miles long passage from Santubong (close to Kuching) on Borneo to Tioman just east of Malaysia peninsula and Singapore took us almost 3 1/2 days. Again we were lucky (or rather, had picked the right weather) and had a pretty good trip with no squalls hitting us, only one night had lightening on the horizon. It seems that when the winds are more easterly (rather than the usual SW that prevail during this monsoon) there aren't as many squalls. We had no rain and no more wind than 16 knots. Very different sailing from back in NZ and even also the Pacific :-) Despite the light winds (often below 10) we managed to sail most of the time, and only motored about a quarter of the way.

Unfortunately Barry's lucky lure seems to have taken too many hits and has lost a lot of its colouring, so we didn't catch any fish. It would have been pretty sweet to have a third time lucky charm though.

Our only problem was the sink blocking up on day one. It drops directly vertical with no bends in the hose, so normally we just poke something down the drain and it clears. But this time it wouldn't budge. It meant we cooked even less than normal (which doesn't say much) and basically lived off sandwiches and snacks the whole time, as it is pretty hard to cook without being able to use the sink. Sure, we could have used a bucket, or the sink in the bathroom, but sandwiches seemed easier.

When we finally dropped anchor by Mukat at the very south of Tioman it was total bliss to be in clean and clear water. A poke from below into the sink drain quicky cleared it. The hull is filthy and slimy from all the dirty water in Brunei, Miri and Santubong so we now have no less than three remoras clinging to the rudder! The sun was almost setting, so there wasn't time start scrubbing, but we did bother getting the dinghy in the water so we could go ashore to find some proper food. The only place open was very basic, they could only do noodles, but it was still better than sandwiches.

After a lovely night of undisturbed sleep, we woke to rain and wind coming into the quite open anchorage, so we pulled up the anchor and are now anchored by Tekek, the main town on the island and where customs and immigration are (the different Malaysian states like you to clear in and out of each one!), it's still a bit rolly, but not too bad. There is also a small marina here, although we much prefer anchoring (much cooler with a breeze coming through the boat and easy to swim), it's an option if the weather turns.

When I jumped in to check on the anchor I swam a bit back from the boat towards some coral. There I stumbled upon a turtle and also a really big cute pufferfish. Yeah for clean water and good snorkeling, finally :-)
Approaching Tioman
Best place to keep watch (and read) while underway
Mukat village at the southern end of Tioman. A green tropical island, very beautiful
Sooooo many fruit bats!!!

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