Showing posts from October, 2019

Joining the Sail Malaysia Rally

Sail Malaysia Passage to the East Rally

If you’ve seen any of our videos, you’ll get the impression that Mark is not crazy about rallies, and quite frankly, you’d be right.  He likes being the captain of his vessel, with no one telling him where to anchor or how fast to travel.  He seeks out remote places and prefers to travel off the beaten path.  He doesn’t like having to sail to a schedule.  He is not a rally guy.
A ‘rally’ is an organized group of sail/motorboaters who plan to travel together for a given time period along a designated path with scheduled stops and a set itinerary.  In our early cruising days, we joined the Atlantic Cup Rally from Tortola to Bermuda and onto the east coast of the US in order to sail the long passages with the support and companionship of other sailors.  (Actually, I flew to Bermuda with the kids while Mark and some friends enjoyed the competition and commraderie.)  Later, when crossing the Pacific, we joined the loosely organized P…

Up the Kinabatangan River

Up the Kinabatangan
The fleet of 28 rally boats and the ESSCOM escort boats meandered our way up the beginning of the Kinabatangan River in Borneo.  The water was the color of caramel, thick with the sediments from runoff.  At the mouth of the river, we passed close to a barge and tugboat, a tight squeeze in the shallow waters of the entrance, leaving limited maneuverability for the deeper draft monohulls who only had mere centimeters between their keels and the shoaling river floor.  The radio chirped with assistance as boats ahead would call out depths read on their depth meters and alert the boats behind of shallow spots.  

Quickly, it was apparent that we needed to stay on the outside edge of the winding waters, where the river ran quickest and sediments didn’t have a chance to build up.  In one spot, a catamaran went across the shallow inside of the elbow, reading 2.6 meters, and another boat measured the outside of the bend at 10.8 meters!  Although either depth was okay for us (w…

Labuan, Malaysia

A New Perspective on WWII
Have you ever heard of Labuan?   I hadn’t.  But if you live in Australia, you likely studied about this place in your history class.  Located along the northwest coast of Malaysian Borneo, Labuan was invaded by Japan in 1942.  The island became its administrative center and naval base in the region.  The city remained occupied until Allied forces (mostly from Australia) attacked and repossessed the area in 1945.  This repossession was not without loss.  Thousands of Allied soldiers and local residents lost their lives in the efforts to free Labuan from Japanese control until Japan finally surrendered.    Without the bravery and sacrifices of the Australian Army and other Allied forces, the war could have ended very differently, and certainly, Labuan would not be the Labuan it is today.  
Field Trips Throughout Labuan
The marina in Labuan is a bit of a pit, to say the least, but the surrounding areas offer plenty of excuses to stay off of the boat for school.…