Saturday, 21 May 2011

MIRI TO SINGAPORE Friday 13th May 2011

  The day is wearing on as we prepare to leave the marina in Miri to head to Singapore on out first leg back to Phuket. Waiting for a part for a pump. Well its getting late and the part hasn't shown up by4pm so we finally toss the lines and head to sea. 
Huck in the tea brown Rajang River in Sarawak.
Aboard the good ship Taipan for this journey we have Huck Holden from Mt Barker in WA. Hucks a seasoned Taipan traveler having come from Darwin to Bali with us in '06 and on various other legs round Australia prior to this. Huck is an invaluable crew member because not only does he eat what ever is going without complaint he can also fix almost anything. We never seem to notice the things that need fixing till he arrives so hes been put to work on the pump. Hence the parts we were waiting for.
The wind picked up about an hour out and the sails took over all the way to the entrance to the Lassa River. 185NM South West. On Saturday Huck landed 3 Spanish Mackerel in pretty quick order and we decided to call a halt to the fishing about then! Tasty change from chicken and pork.
We anchored at about 5am on Sunday in the entrance to the Lassa River for a nap then up anchored and off up the dirty tea brown river past mile of destroyed forest replanted with Palm Oil. The whole day was spent motoring in the sometimes rainy and dank river swamps. You may have guessed I am very unimpressed with the swamps of Borneo thus far!
A traditional Long House on the Rajang!
On Monday morning we struck off into the clear blue ocean for  Singapore, 450 NM to the west. No wind! Well enough to sail assist for motor sailing. Tuna!! at 4 and a half knots on ta blue Rapala lure followed by sashumi. a highlight! On Tuesday the wind dropped to total  calm so we dropped the main, cut the engine and David hopped over the side with a scraper to knock of some barnacles which we suspected were on the propeller and shaft and causing extra drag. He was only in the water about 15 minuets and just as he got out 4 very big dolphins surfaced for a look. Luck he didn't spot one in the water!!
Friendly Indonesian Fishermen between Borneo and Singapore

The 18th was Davids 64th birthday so we started the day with Champagne breakfast then naps in shifts...then lunch was Canapes and anti pasta and white wine. More naps in shifts then Dinner of Beef Stroganoff followed by Plum Pud and Brandy Sauce with Red wine. You know we haven't been drinking because you see we are following a really serious health plan. Loose weight and get fit to fight the Prostate cancer! We did however feel a birthday could excuse us all.
The 19th we are approaching the Seaways into Singapore. We've not had a drop of rain or a squall and the strongest wind has been 12 knots , since we left Miri on the 13th.