I have not blogged since we left KK. This is mainly because we’ve all been struck down by illness. Ian and Marilyn have had the aching limbs and fever followed by a flu (?dengue) and I’ve had the trots. This delayed our departure a few days. Bryan has remained healthy after giving other fleet members his cough. On the second night, we landed at the lovely anchorage of Pulau Kulumbok, just east of the Tip of Borneo. The water was clear and there was some average coral on the reef but a beautiful beach. Schools of little squid circled the boat but nobody had the energy to catch them..and besides, they make a mess. Once we rounded the Tip of Borneo , we headed for the town of Kudat.
Kudat was in the midst of the Kudat Marine Festival. We were a bit late to join the dragon boat team and none of fit enough. It was a great atmosphere , with a big funfair, an ancient ferris wheel, purple fairy floss and families having fun. There was a big wing ding and the Chief Minister for Sabah arrived in a helicopter to inaugurate the Tun Mustapha Marine Park. This park will allow Malaysia to prosecute Phillipines illegal fishing whilst protecting some areas for replenishing fish sticks. It won’t , yet, stop shark finning.
The down side of this was the meeting with ESSCOM ( Eastern Sabah Security Command) . They were reassuring in that they did not try to downplay the risk to the fleet of Abou Sayyef abduction. This was particularly salient in the light of the abduction of 6 Malaysian tugboat crew just south of Sandakan last week. We were instructed to travel within 5 nm of our “Safety Ship” and at anchorage have a roster for lookout over night , with the yachts with kids tucked in the middle. They answered all our anxious questions and had a good plan for an attack. After this several boats withdrew and headed back to KK. I obtained a big water pistol and filled it with bleach which I was going to use to squirt the attackers in the eyes..but , good news , I have not had to use it….well actually I am a bit dissappointed.
Both nights the watch worked well and I think that there is growing confidence in ESSCOM.
LAST NIGTH WE WENT TO THE Turtle Islands. We watched a huge mother turtle lay her eggs . We then released several baskets of little hatchlings who were very cute. Photos to follow.
Today, were parked outside the Sandakn Yacht Club.
Were not going further than Sandakan but we have been so lucky to have been guests of Marilyn and Ian and hope they have a great time in the Kinabatangan River and diving at Sipidan, which are the major draw cards of this journey. They will then return to Kudat with the oversight of ESSCOM.