S/V Eleanor sail by KongKong

We try to take a break from all our work at least once a year, to enjoy a day out doing something on the water. This year, we decided that Eleanor should go check out the progress on the Johor river bridge again and to visit KongKong island that is on the other side of the river.

Alot of preparation goes into every trip, even this day trip took a whole 2 days to get ready for. Just as we expected, after 1year of pickling(neglect) the O/B wont start. Okay, so take it apart, clean every little crevices, gummed up or not. See those tiny little parts and little holes? Dried petrol becomes a gummy substance that totally jam it shut. After that big cleaning done on those little parts, Eleanors’ 5HP rarely used O/B comes alive. Hah! We are ready to rumble!

Navigation in darkness, all you see is lights.

14 Feb ’10 0515hrs, Eleanor underway. We timed our departure such that we leave Sebana on a outgoing tide and in time to catch the flooding tide going up river Johor. The weather was perfect this morning. Cool, clear skies, plenty of stars to watch as we motored down the river Santi. The dark morning sky was very pretty on this Valentines day! I was counting the planes that flew into Singapore this early morning… about 1 every 2 minutes… and I even got a shooting star! … I couldnt think of something to wish for… but hey, isnt that great!?

0600hrs, at the mouth of Santi, still dark. How do you navigate in this darkness? How can you read the lights? A large vessel was coming into Santi as we were going out. Possible a head on collision, but we saw it coming and gave it a wide berth. Can you sea the green, red and white light that marked the vessel approaching us? Yes, thats what we look for in night navigation… everybody go slow and look out for lights, especially the moving ones.

Make a guess, what are these big black things? .. big ship fenders!

0700hrs, it seems like we timed the tides just perfect. We exited Santi and turn up into Johor river, making 5kns with the motor at near idling speed. A slight breeze filled in at daybreak. We hoist full sails, then reduce O/B to idling speed and still maintained 4 to 5kns.

Daybreak at Kong Kong Village.

0800hrs, breeze is now a constant 10kns north-easterly. O/B cut off. Looks like we will arrive at KongKong ahead of our schedule, which is great.

Mac on board his home.

0900hrs, fisherman were just starting their day on the farms or coming out in their little skiffs from inside KongKong. Inside the KongKong channel is a whole line of ramps on the mainland side and fish farms on the islet side. Arriving early allows us extra time to check out the villages on the banks and call out to a old friend, an American living on the water at KongKong.

The blue Heron. I like this bird, very elegant.

0930hrs, we went further into the channel, hoping to sail around KongKong islet, but we couldnt make it under the part of the bridge that was completed. It seems like the bridge goes from mainland over to KongKong, then over to Telok Sengat. Okay, so we turn back out the same way we came in.

Ships anchored in the Johor river. Waiting for jobs I suppose.

1000hrs, making use of the last of the flood tides, we tacked up the river and got really close to the unfinished bridge. Winds are now a full 15kns and water are a little choppy.. we are getting spray! We put 1 reef into the main, just in case it gets more bolsterous than this.

Still a big gap between the pillars. Whats taking them so long?

Maybe the economy is not doing well… seems like many more ships are anchored here than last year. They are pretty looking ships. Not at all run down.

Me thinks they made very small progress over 1 year... ..tsk tsk..

1030hrs, we done our survey of the parked vessels and the bridge. Now heading back, just as the tides turned in our favor again… 🙂 arent we lucky. There was alot of fetch, resulting in a 2 mile stretch of very choppy following sea. Eleanor did so well under these conditions.

Lunch out of a Thermos. Clam chowder and crackers! My favorite sailing meal.

Doug thought that the chops were about as bad as on the day that I was out solo at the Southern Singapore islands onroute to Raffles. … nope, it was nowhere close. On that day, the waves were rising above me and I was totally wet for the whole day. On this day (I wish I had taken some photos), we got some light spray… thats all.

Whirlpool inside thru hull cockpit drains.

1200hrs, we made it into Santi. Winds are flukey in this narrow winding river. Jib lowered, motored started. It was slow progress as we hit the outgoing tide at its peak rate. Zzzz… Doug took the helm as I snooze… 🙂 

nice greenish visual effects in a small hole.. 🙂

1400hrs, O/B acting strange as we entered Sebana. We were trying to put away the main when we notice that O/B would idle up into a high rev. That was strange, unpredictable … made our approach into the berth difficult.. but lucky no damage. Have to look into that O/B thingy again..  Maybe its Eleanors’ wild spirit not wanting to be home. .. like a horse not wanting to go back into the stall…


3 Responses to “S/V Eleanor sail by KongKong”

  1. 1 papia
    March 12, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Hey there,

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    and are very impressed with the quality of your information.

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  2. 2 nur
    October 14, 2011 at 3:54 am


    I’m a student doing a write-up on the johor river, and the changes that have happened from 2004 to 2010. I came across your photos of the bridge on this post..i think it is the Desaru Bridge? I was wondering if I could use your photos with the captions “Still a big gap between the pillars. Whats taking them so long?” and “Me thinks they made very small progress over 1 year… ..tsk tsk..” in my report.

    Looking forward to your reply.


  3. 3 funvinyldecals
    October 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    ok, you may use the picture and the wordings. Thanks for checking with me before using. Cheers.

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