Friday, 3 December 2010

MIRI BORNEO 2nd December 2010

Good bye Singapore and hello ocean passage, all be it a short one. We motored out of One 15 Marina Sentosa Island on Friday 26th of November for clearance and a short passage to the anchorage at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsular prior to setting off to Borneo. Destination Miri to meet Chris and Daun on More Magic for a long overdue rendezvous. We fare-welled them in Tioman Island promising to catch up soon. that was 2 years ago.

Passage east was uneventful and we motor sailed in light northerly weather for the first 2 days. Had about a day of sailing in total. Caught 4 fat mackerel to top up the freezer and relieve the boredom. We decided to take a detour up the Rajang river and out the Lassa River mouth to get a nights sleep. This proved fairly eventful as we pushed strong current up river for 6 hours to the anchorage and promptly went aground on a mud bank at low tide right on dark. Had to sit it out for an hour to get enough water to go again and then we pushed current for another hour in the dark to find a suitable anchorage. It was supposed to be a rest day!

One more overnight sail through the Sarawak oil fields and negotiating some tropical storms brought us into Miri and our destination on the mid north coast of the island of Borneo. Only one of the storms had any wind in it and it caught us by surprise early on the last day. No damage but we had become lax in preparation as all previous rain had been calm.  We only saw 30kn and only briefly. All told it was a good trip and we arrived in good form ready to take on the More Magic crew. However the Admiral was in Australia so we had to entertain the captain for a couple of days.

Daun  is back now and she and I are having a fat time stooging about the shops on our bikes. Its an easy place to get about and traffic is very light by comparison with many places we've stopped. The marina here is very quiet although  there has been a bit of excitement with 2 boats sinking in their pens in the last couple of months. The most recent was an old English lifeboat pictured above being re floated.

On Saturday night we attended the Christmas Parade through town in which thousands participated with candles and lanterns and singing Christmas carols. It is fabulous to see this participation in an Islamic country where harmony and common sense prevail. Everyone celebrates everyone's festivals and rituals!!

My birthday came and went with some fanfare. Breakfast in bed, champagne morning tea  Great lunch out on the town with Chris and Daun and a fantastic Borneo mask to add to my collection. I also received fabulous sparkly thongs and a great top. 

On the 12th of December David flew off to Kuala Lumpur very early to meet Joan, his mum, and fly back to Miri with her for a 5 week visit aboard Taipan. Tomorrow we will all fly to Kuching to spend 3 nights there exploring the sights and culture of this interesting city.  More on that in my next posting.

We return from Kuching on Sunday 19th and plan to depart the marina to sail in company to Brunei for Xmas at the Royal Brunei Yacht Club with the crew of More Magic.

This may be my last posting before the big Xmas 2010 so to all you followers out there...... CHEERS! BOTTOMS UP!! AND HAVE A GREAT BIG FAT MERRY XMAS!!