Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jan 2014 Return to Silver Tern, Kudat, Malaysia

Blog Update- February 6, 2014 

Silver Tern spent 8 months in the Penuwasa boatyard in Kudat. We returned home last May 2013 and spent the summer in Canada and Alaska, enjoying an unseasonably warm and dry summer on a final trip aboard our Krogan "White Raven" We sold Raven just before we arrived back in Kudat. Our plan now is to sail to East Indonesia and try some coral reef diving.

January 8- Had a great send off dinner with friends in San Francisco including homemade crème brulee for dessert before they dropped us at SFO for our midnight flight. We flew on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and on to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. We checked in 6 bags (4 free, 2 at $150 each) mostly of boat parts including a Jordan Series Drogue for use in storm conditions, 2 scuba tanks, and Pat’s new West Marine “go anywhere” beachchair .

January 10- Crossed the date line after a 15 hour flight. Luckily we had premium economy with roomier seating and we were able to sleep on board. We had an 8 hour layover in Hong Kong so we took the rail into central Hong Kong for lunch. On the way in we passed the Apple store in the Central Mall which was having a one day sale. There was a line-up 6 rows long of young people waiting to get in and shop.

We arrived in Kota Kinabalu after a 3 hour flight into the extreme humidity and got a cab to a small hotel downtown passing palm lined streets on the way. We barely fit into the hotel room with our 6 large bags and four heavy carry-ons. The next several days were spent shopping for things that are not available in Kudat (where Silver Tern is stored on the hard). We bought liquor, cheese, yeast, & Starbuck’s coffee to name a few and also purchased a scuba compressor. There are good restaurants in KK too that we enjoyed including Steve’s birthday dinner at the Magellan Sutera Resort.

Pat in hotel room with excess luggage
We spent one day at the Indonesian consulate and picked up our visas, good for 3 months. We had to show them our CAIT (Indonesian cruising permit) and submit our passports and photos. The visa was ready in the afternoon.

January 14- We hired a 7 passenger van to carry us and our luggage and purchases on the 3½ hour trip down to Kudat. Arriving at the boatyard, we found the office closed, as it was Mohammed’s birthday, a national holiday. So we spent the night on the boat on the hard with no bathroom key. We were expecting Silver Tern to be covered in dirt, but the boatyard had washed her before we arrived and the decks were clean. The only problem was the muddy puddles around the boat as the ground in our section of the boatyard is just dirt (not concrete) and it is the rainy season here.  But the boat looked to be in good shape. Inside, she was clean with no musty smells- still looking new and shiny with the white fibreglass walls and varnished hardwood floors and dinette table.

Silver Tern in Penuwasa Shipyard

Saloon and Chart table
Galley facing stern

 After a couple of days of inspection and stowing we realized that we were going to be a couple of weeks longer than expected in the yard and marina getting Silver Tern ready for her next adventure. Not that much time in the big picture, but it has changed our schedule a bit. We started working on the boat right away, getting sails back up, attending to some rigging and engine work, and painting the bottom  (in between rain squalls) before we could launch. 

Silver Tern on Travelift

January 25- After 2 weeks, we had our “big splash” back into the water and moved across the inlet to the new Marina Jetty Kudat. She is now side tied to a dock in this small marina where we are busy fixing things and doing all of the outfitting and provisioning necessary to go on a 3-4 month trip into remote areas. We’re learning that it’s easy to spend a month getting the boat ready for sea after 8 months away.
The marina is quite pleasant with a large covered balcony that catches the breeze and lots of tables and chairs for cruisers to use. One of the boaters organized a potluck here. It was fun to meet new cruisers and even reconnect with some folks we had met in the Philippines.  The marina facilities include water on the dock, bathrooms with showers and an a/c internet room with book exchange. They plan to put in a washing machine and a security gate at the top of the dock. They also have an office and meeting rooms and there is talk of a restaurant starting up soon.

Silver Tern in Marina Jetty Kudat

February 2- Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Chinese New Year- The marina put on a celebratory lunch party today on the covered patio. The cruisers were the guests of honor but the whole Chinese community seemed to be here. They had a local dance show, a dragon parade, a grand lion dance as well as a lucky draw and good Chinese food. It was a marvelous event that went on all day. 

Cruisers and Marina Owner's Family

Cruisers and Marina owners with Dragon

Dragon Parade on dock

Lion Dance with drummers

Lion head- operators inside can move eyes and mouth

Two men inside jump from post to post
Up on shoulders of other man

 Local Malaysian Dance Group performing traditional dance

Cruisers join the dances for money dance
Chinese luncheon- KFC has the best chicken in town

Chinese temple in town celebrates Chinese New Year with extra incense and fireworks at night
Dragon on roof of Chinese temple

Kudat Chinese Temple

lighting incense inside temple

Dragon on post in temple atrium

February 6- We plan to finish up here next week and head to Sandakan, Malaysia, stopping at some tropical islands for diving before heading to Suluwesi, Indonesia. We will check in at Bitung and then cruise the Molucca islands heading south to the Kai and Tanimbar Islands. Due to our timing, we have decided to split the Indonesia trip into two parts. We will complete the first leg in Darwin. Then we will wait for the favorable SE winds in July to start the second leg, from Kupang, W Timor toward Bali and on up to Singapore. In Australia, we can then tour the Kimberley region that Steve is keen on seeing. 
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and lucky New Year