An adventure, not quite complete

I asked God to give me a sign, that I should go on this trip… and he did! So I went ahead, got myself ready, Eleanor ready and went…. Despite not being in the best of condition(health wise), despite Eleanor not looking her best and despite being delayed on departure date and time.

Eleanor sitting in a pool of crude

27 May 1100hrs, Lang is not yet ready to go. Decided to delay departure to 0500hrs next morning.

Its all around inside the breakwater walls

28 May 0600hrs, arrived at SAFYC Changi and found Eleanor sitting in crude mud pool! Yucks! Not a good sign for departure…

Passing thru the walls of SAFYC

0730hrs, current movements inside the marina opened up a path around Eleanor.. just enough clear water for me to start the engine going without sucking up too much oil into my trusty Suzuki. Eleanor left her berth at SAFYC Changi. This is 10hrs later than originally planned… recognized immediately that I will be fighting current all the way up to Telok Rumunia, but I will get slack tide around North Rocks which should make my passage thru it comfortable.. and if I got my tides right, I should get a current boost going up to Jason Bay.

Out into clear water.. just motoring.

0900hrs, Eleanor cleared out Singapore immigration at South Angler and head out East into some rather choppy waters around the point of Pengelih. This is where the inflow of current was the strongest… I try to stay dry and only making 3kns cutting thru some short choppy peaky waters. For those of you who are wondering how does short choppy peaky waters look like, I am sorry that you have to rely on your imagination, because I refuse to take out my non-waterproof camera in these conditions.

Look at how smooth this water is ..

1000hrs, we pass Pengerang… the chops flattened out into silky smooth waters. A very light breeze, now making 4 -4.5kns with mainsail and motor at low trottle only, motor-sailing at 15′ off the wind. This is Eleanor’s normal speed going against current. Very comfortable ride to Telok Rumunia… albeit slow…

1100hrs, was puzzled by the puddles of crude that we had to circumvent, all the way up to just off Sg Rengit… Hey! Isnt that the tanker with the gaping hole!! It was anchored off Sg Rengit! No wonder! All the broadcasted reports of containment are just rubbish!

Tanker with 10m wide hole anchored of Sg Rengit.

12oohrs, passing the point of Telok Rumunia. SE wind picked up to 5kns. Raise jib. Motor-sailing at 40′ to the wind, slack tide, making 5kns. Small chops, quite comfy really.. tho slow and passing this point later than I had hope. Will have to catch up later…

A little more breeze, a little more chops. Islands off Telok Rumunia

1300hrs, passing the North Rocks. E wind picked up to 15kns, 1m waves coming from South.. large chops and mild peaks with some white caps. Cut motor, just sailing. Making a decent 4.5 to 5kns… was surprised that tide was not with me…? Couldnt make the 6kns that I was hoping for to make up for the lost 2hrs. … but it was a really comfy ride on Eleanor in this condition. Yahoo! This is Eleanor making it out to the S. China sea for the 1st time! And she is doing so well!

1400hrs… we are somewhere near Point Penawar… E wind 10kns, current picked up pace against me. Now making only 3kns sailing. Time to make a decision. My options. 1) To continue North, non-stop to Tioman. A trip of 28hrs, then turn around for another 28hrs back. 2) To continue North and hope to anchor in Jason Bay for the night and then turn back next morning? 3) To turn back now and ride the current back home, but beating against the wind and waves.

This is how I spent 14hrs 01min on the 28th May!

… well, I choose 3. My biggest realization is that Eleanor would have made it, if the captain had more time…

1410hrs, down sails completely and head South. Wind and waves makes heading SE uncomfy and wet. Strategy, head S and turn E whenever there is a chance.

1600hrs, passing the point of Telok Rumunia again. Back into calmer conditions, and time for catnaps. Motor at low speed and we are making 5kns. Foot on tiller as I winked away. Found that I get about 30′ off course every 5mins… ;P

1700hrs, passing Sg Rengit again, and now in silky smooth waters again. Felt like reading… passing smoothly and reading till sundown…

1830hrs, lights on. Getting into the chops at Pengelih again.

1930hrs, at South Angler… called ICA on channel 74. Dark, dont see them… was told to look for blinking yellow light … Arhhh! They are 1.5nm off they usual location!

2030hrs, cleared SG immigration again… starting to drizzle.. warm air. interesting combo… 2100hrs, pushing against large peaky chops off Naval Base. 2130hrs, finally made it back to SAFYC. Tied up to fuel dock for the night, as berth is boomed off.

So happy to see Doug again… 14hrs 01mins after leaving in the morning….

In short, I went sailing in the right season, but the worst of time. … and so, I never made it… but hey, I went with the attitude that as long as I tried and made it on my own around the rocky bend into the S. China sea, I would celebrate and praise God for helping me make it that far.


6 Responses to “An adventure, not quite complete”

  1. 1 Terry
    June 6, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Hi Lang,

    Well done! Tioman next time? We are heading up to Tioman in July when the winds are stronger from the S.W (hopefully) we just want to sail and not motor. Why not leave your boat in Tioman for a while, then you can spend weekends exploring the west coast. Hope all is well with you two. We went for a test run the other day to check things out. Going up the Johor river for a week to anchor at Senggat…..hope they haven’t put the bridge span in yet!! then stock up and go >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Cheers Terry & Ana

  2. 2 funvinyldecals
    June 6, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Thanks. I might try again in early July.. we’ll have to see.. we are berthed in the area of the “rising tide” and are affected by the oil slick. Going up to Punggol in a week or two for haul outs. Bottom paint is coming off Eleanor already.

  3. 3 Terry
    June 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Lang. Ok got that. Not good news about the oil slick etc. What about the anti-foul?? is this because of the oil slick effect, or is it the paint?? If the latter, maybe worth trying Jotun. We have never had any problems with their products. I am now touching the desk which is made of solid wood!!!

    We are off tomorrow to the river, maybe stay about a week pottering about there, unless its ‘OILY’ then we will go somewhere else.

    Cheers T&A

  4. 4 funvinyldecals
    June 8, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Its the oil. I believe. The product information says that the oil gets into the micropores of the paint and block the antifouling properties. The solvents in the oil will soften the paint and so in some cases, flaking off maybe possible.

    Great. I look forward to hearing about your trip upriver. Keep us posted.

  5. 5 kevsteppe
    June 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Nice sail up (half way) to Tioman. Last year I went for a week and our passage up was about the same as yours — 22 hours for MKB to Sibu (mostly into current), only 18 hours back (mostly with). The current flow is not even – it flows south longer than it flows north. Really a bummer about the oil – I have a friend living aboard at SAFChangi and she is livid. Fortunately my Mili is MKB and unaffected 😛

    I’m sailing up to Tioman at end of June for two weeks. Feel free to check out our prep and stories – svmilagros.wordpress.com

  6. 6 funvinyldecals
    June 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Thanks for the info on the biased tide. I was suspicious of that when I was in it myself! Wish I knew earlier and factored that in…

    Your friend, Pu Yee? Eleanor was just cleaned at Punggol yesterday. Writing a post on that very soon… I get so tired after spending 2 days at the yard. ..

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