Sailing to Tioman 2011

Its here, finally! A shake down testsail for Calliste and a dream vacation for Doug and me. This will be the 1st test of the new mast that was installed just last month… will it work? we hope so.

Sunrise off the East Coast of Singapore

Our intended departure was 21st Apr 2300hrs… yeah right! Why leave at almost midnight!? .. Dougs old sailors’ myth, its bad luck to leave port on Friday. .. so Thursday just before midnight it is, and thats stated on our port clearance.

Port side is where Yakuni is stowed.

Doug spent the whole week prepping for this trip, so that we could untie the lines and leave at the expected time… Yeah right! By the time we remove the aircon and some boxes of bulky not-gonna-use equipment, it was already 2300hrs and we were to exhausted to leave.

Stowing the un-named white Kayak on the starboard

Alright, so whats plan B? The weather is perfect for this trip on Fri and early part of Sat, but is expected to build and turn nasty on Sun. That means we leave Fri, or else we’ll have to wait till the system work itself out. … At least, on paper (port clearance), we left port on Thu… and you know what, its Good Friday! So its not going to be bad luck, I’m sure!… and I did manage to persuade Doug to go.. altho reluctly.. I was never a believer of that myth anyway.

Main sail and stay sail hoisted

0445hrs 22 Apr Good Friday, Calliste is underway, a short motoring to the Sisters Islands for Singapore immigration departure clearance…

0530hrs, nobody else is trying to get clearance at this .. er… ungodly hour… which is good for us, as we got immediate attention from them and the whole process was completed in 15mins.

Watch for bobbies and booby traps!

0600hrs, Calliste turn around the bottom corner of St Johns Island and bound beeline for Telok Rumunia, where we will have to navigate her carefully thru the North Rocks and then we can relax for the long straight northerly path to Tioman… altho we will still be on constant watch for fishing boats and traps.

Land HO! Tioman

1000hrs, past North Rocks in slack tide and very light wind. Ideal conditions for making around this treacherous stretch of rocks and reefs. As we expected, once we turn north, we went head on into the dominantly south flowing current, making only 4kns with engine running at 2400rpm. A very light NEasterly is filling in. .. Doug merrily raised full main and staysail, they went up alright! and gave us a precious 1/2 kn in our long crawl up to Tioman.

Opps, we are out of gas... luckily, we have a spare tank

1800hrs, we are offshore quite abit and dont see land no more… but from the GPS, we know that we are just passing Desaru on the Malaysian East Coast. Winds around here build in the afternoon and around this time it gets to be much more than we started. Double reefed main and staysail working very well in this condition and we would expect to leave them on thru the night, unless the wind falls off completely later.

Bread, bacon and tomato sandwich

0400hrs 23Apr, Land HO! Its still dark, but I can make out the tall hilly island. 0700hrs, approaching the marina, decided to have breakfast and washup before going in. .. opps, we are out of gas… but we have a spare.

Tiller dance by Doug

0830hrs, entering the marina. Tiller underfoot, Doug doing the tiller dance.

The marina is full! Lots of big power boaters from Singapore! Drats! They made it before us. Sure, they must have used zillion gallons of fuel to get there this fast! Ok, so we will stay at the incoming berth for the day and move to the inner berths when they leave the next day.

Calliste at the "incoming" berth.

Cruising tip: I dun like to cook within 24hrs after leaving port. This is the time that I need to acclimatise myself to the new environment and plus, we can get take out food and keep them edible for a day rather easily. Our 1st seaward meal was paper wrapped fried carrot cake for breakfast and the 2nd was paper wrapped fried kway teow. Paper wrapping is much better for keeping the original flavor of the food without adding the plastic taste to it. The thin PP sheet that line the paper keeps the oil in and is in itself tasteless, unlike the styrofoam which have a strong plastic taste. These foods were purchased on the evening of our intended departure, from Seah Im street hawker that is about 15mins walk from our berth. For this type of cooked food, I dont refrigerate them if I expect to eat them within 12hrs. It will be alright to just keep them cool, and reheat before eating. 

For meals between 12hrs to 24hrs, I like it prepared on the day of departure, while still in port. Usually, I cook a pot of rice, allow to cool and then put into tupperware and refrigerate. Tupperwares allow neat stacking and is the best way to use the very small refrigeration space in our little Engel.  Hard boiled eggs are very good “tide me overs”, we always cook 1/2 dozen and refrigerate. Also high on my list, pickled veggies, canned olives and tuna. Anything that doesnt need cooking and will add good flavor to my rice is good to have on board.

Bread, Spam and tomatoes makes a great sandwich that is easy to prepare. Hot choc, tea and coffee are must haves rations. Biscuits, chips and nuts for snacks… We find ourselves, that we really do eat quite well while sailing… that comes only with good provisioning and pre trip food prep makes life easy for the 1st 24hrs out there.

<… trip blog to be continued>


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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

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