Friday, 28 March 2014

Internet again...

We have travelled a few miles since crossing the equator... and we are now at a lovely group of islands
with a huge cell tower just a mile away. So, all 3 of us have jumped on to the web to check emails etc.

As mentioned earlier, we crossed the equator approximately off Palau (Island) Kentar on our way to the bottom of P. Lingga. The next day, we raised anchor at 0700 for a 240 miler non-stop to Belitung,
Working on an average speed of 7 knots, we expected to reach Belitung mid the following day.
We set up watches of 3 hours up, 6 hours down, starting with Ron, then Annie, then myself.
We also had a busy shipping lane to cross in the middle of the night. The wind was between 10 and 16 knots
on the port beam all the first day so sailed with no motors making exactly our desired average of 7 knots. The seas were quite lumpy so there was a bit of rocking and rolling.
We motored all through the night and Ron's watch 0100 to 0400 had some excitement for him in the middle of the shipping lane but he got us through safely.

We arrived at Belitung about 1500 but on low tide and we couldn't enter the estuary until 1700, sitting on the mud until the tide came in. While we were waiting 2 other cats arrived.. lovely people from New Caledonia doing a similar trip to us but in the opposite direction.
Eventually, we all entered the estuary and parked up for the night in an intriguingly picturesque environment.

We were getting low on bread, fresh milk and veges, so the plan was laid that Annie and I would go ashore the next morning while Ron took the boat back out before the tide got too low. Ron dropped us ashore in the inflatable, and we set off in search of supplies.
It is difficult to describe this experience.... firstly the huge fresh food market, the people all in awe of us (nobody spoke English), but possibly best described by our passing a school. As we walked past the school in single file, on a busy street, a few children about 6-8 years of age came out of their classroom; smiling and waving and very very excited. Next thing a swarm of children came pouring out of the school, moving toward the fence that separated them from us... all with huge beaming excited smiles, waving and excited chattering. As we walked they all followed us along the fence line until we came to a corner of the school grounds where there was no fence. Naturally, Annie stopped and must have greeted personally probably half of them. It was amazing.

We found no bread, milk or meat; nobody spoke English, and clearly we were something strange to their way of life.

Our next leg was another biggy of 250 miles so we decided to break it up by finding a nice beach at the south of Belitung for a swim and walk in the sand. We arrived at Membalong at 1630 and had an amazing swim in water crystal clear, deep, and must have been 30 degrees. Awesome.

Yesterday, 27 March we raised anchor an hour before dawn at 0500 and set out for Palau Karimunjawa
on the same watches as before.
This time however, the sea was like a millpond, no wind... as if we were in the doldrums.
These conditions remained the same for the entire trip so we motored all the way. On my watch from 0700 to 1000 this morning we motored into this group of islands, reefs, and shipwrecks...laying anchor 2 1/2 hours ago at 1100.

On Sunday March 23 we were at 0 degrees 00'. Today we are at just short of exactly 6 degrees South,
at Longitude 110 deg 25' in the Java Sea.
Tomorrow we have a 150 miler to Bawean, then a little bit longer trip to Pulau Kangean, and then finally to Bali. So, it's quite a bit of watches sailing coming up in the next few days!!!!!

For the rest of today.... it is relax, hopefully score some diesel from the locals at a good price, and prepare ourselves for some big trips. Oh, and get some provisions for Annie's galley. She feeds us so well!!!!!

Hopefully catch you again at Bawean. Now to update the Voyage Gallery

Monday, 24 March 2014

Equator update

We sailed all day today under the #1 headsail, across a short steep swell, with the wind on the beam to aft quarter. Wind ranged from 6 to 14 knots. At 14 knots it was quite pleasant; less than 9 we were rocking around a bit. Average speed was down around 6-7 knots so we didn't respect King Neptune until 1330.
We did everything according to custom...Ron even dressed for the occasion. Pics and vids later

Due to slow progress, we did not anchor until just before sunset at the southern tip of Pulau Lingga, much
later than we had planned but we saved a lot of diesel with that option.
We calculated tonight that running port and starboard engines at 2000rpm most of the time, we are using
11 litres per hour per engine. Price up here is around $1 per litre, although at Nongsa they stung us at $1.45

Tonight we have been setting ourselves up for a big leg of 31 hours if we average 7 knots, to Belitung in the Java Sea. We have organised a roster of 1 up for 3 hours, then down for 6. We have also looked at some safety issues for a day/night/day continuous leg. We plan to raise anchor at 0700 and reach NW Belitung early afternoon the following day. 2 more similar big legs follow this week to reach Bali.

We are only just getting internet here so we will be off air for at least 31 hours... hopefully we can re-connect at Belitung; if not you might not here from us until close to Bali

Love to all

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Crossing the Equator today

We are all good here and having some wonderful experiences
weather and sea have been kind to us so far
yesterday we sailed with no engines for three quarters of our leg doing 9 knots average
it was really cool.

Have just about caught up with pics and vids on the various pages.

We will be crossing the Equator today just before lunch so will be doing the customary
offering to King Neptune, if the weather allows. It's a bit rough at the moment.

Local time is 0815 and we are at Latitude North 0 degrees.32 minutes
East longitude 104 degrees.22 minutes

If you search Pulau Kentar, Indonesia on Google Maps, (bottom eastern tip of the island Sebangka
in the South China Sea) that is where we will be when we cross the equator

Bit rough this am so do not think I'll be staying down here in my cabin for too much longer.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Live Action..1000 hours Thursday 20 March

We are crossing the shipping lanes in and out of Singapore, as we leave the SW tip of Malaysia, heading for Batam, Indonesia. The amount of shipping is mind-blowing.

Not sure how long we will be Able to sustain Malay internet. It will be the next Indonesian internet.
We expect to clear Indonesian Customs, and get visas's late this afternoon.

Bugger ... just ran too far from Malaysia before I could get it up ...

so it is now 1700 hours local time and we are berthed at Nongsa Point Marina, Batam, Indonesia ...

but not without some drama on the way .... more to follow on that later tonight

off on a scooter now with a marina guy to get some Indo sim cards .. on the marina wifi to quickly get this post up.

love to all

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Day 3

We have just set off at 0730 on the 3rd day of our voyage down the Malaysian coast leaving Pangkur and heading for Port Klang .... an all day leg.

We got away Friday from Langkawi eventually, to Penang the first night.

Weather is good .. made average 9 knots all day yesterday, with a headsail up half roomates engine revs dropped from 2000 to 1700rpm
We finally have some internet the the the the which is good but we are moving away from the mainland as I write.
All 3 of us are using a Malay Sim card to provide our data .... very very cheap ... 3 gig for 30 days for less than 20 kiwi
Problem was in Langkawi, we had no cell phone coverage at Telaga Harbour, so we had to use the free wifi Various restaurants, but even that was frustrating, with the internet cutting in and out all the time.

We are still having some problems with the autopilot but Gradually we are getting to know the sophisticated systems on board.

Hope to get some more pics and videos up before we lose cell coverage

Love to all

N: 4 deg.02
E: 100 deg.36

We have left the nest

Click on photos to enlarge

Goodbye Langkawi. We have left the nest. The adventure begins... Ron, Annie, and Geoff head for NZ.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Some wedding shots

Thanks to some amazing skill and patience by Annie we have a video clip in the wedding gallery (page).

We are getting better at this as we go....

Sunday, 2 March 2014


Well, it has been longer than anticipated to get this post up.....

We have had some internet connection problems, plus a few issues to sort on the boat before leaving Phuket, but we set sail Tuesday morning as planned for the island hopping cruise to Langkawi.

We arrived Phuket Wednesday 19th...nice warm sunny morning 27deg, Set up our nests on the boat, then dinner at a lovely Thai restaurant at the Marina.
Thursday, all the girls took off for a 3 hour spa, some of the boys went go-kart racing. That evening Steph and Sam had arranged a beach BBQ dinner at Skyla. About 15 couples have come over from Perth for the wedding and here was where everyone met up over coctails and a superb meal. We had to walk about 300m along the beach..Skyla the last restaurant on the beach (see Phuket page).

From here the boys set off to Petang to celebrate Sam's last night being single. What a night!!!!
All I can say is a lot of shots went down in a lot of bars all in one street, a lot of stunning women (although one had to check for signs they were actually women) and we all got totally trashed. I managed to get back to the boat by 6am. Sam got back to his hotel about 7.30am...still in his bikini I believe!!!!

Friday was a pretty quiet day

Saturday...the most amazing wedding starting at 4.30 pm. We got back to the boat about 3.30am and some were again totally trashed. Thankfully Benglar Rd was closed as some of the girls wanted to find out what all the lads were on about.

Sunday was a pretty quiet day

Monday, everyone came from their haunts and descended upon the boat for a day trip before many returned home....about 40 people. We cast off at 0930 and set sail for Hong Island....where we laid anchor for some swimming, snorkelling, bbq...and lots to drink. We returned back to Phuket as the sun sank magnificently into the western horizon.

A magnificent wedding celebration!!!!!

I will now try and get some photos onto the Phuket page.... I am currently sitting at a Langkawi Marina bar,
it is 1915, sun is setting, it is about 30deg and the Tiger beers are going down pretty easily.

HOT TIP coming up about best way to internet connect....