Monday, February 2, 2015

Back on Silver Tern 2015 - leaving Kudat, Sabah Malaysia for Miri, Sarawak Malaysia

We arrived in Borneo after a 10 hour layover in Hong Kong where you can leave the airport by rail and visit the city. We took a shuttle to the free zoo and watched the gibbons howling. It was our first time actually seeing them, in the national parks you mostly just hear them. We walked on up to the Peak tram and took the funicular up to The Peak, a tourist shopping/eating area with a great view of central Hong Kong.

We had such a good time last year visiting Sabah's wildlife areas, like the Kinabatangan river and Danum Valley, that we decided to start the trip with another visit to the DV Borneo Rainforest Lodge, arriving on Jan 11, Steve's birthday. We had a wonderful time viewing wildlife from early am to late pm. We took a hike up to a viewpoint one morning, passing a mouse deer on the way. In the afternoon we saw some orangutans, red leaf monkeys, and long tailed macaques. The birding was done early in the morning, and we got good views of a few birds, and fleeting glimpses of others.

greater mouse deer

long-tailed macaque

stork-billed kingfisher

red and black broadbill

 At night we took several night drives and saw flying squirrels, civets, and leopard cats and a couple of night walks where we saw lots of tree frogs and their predators.

jade tree frog

brown wood owl

Snake dining on tree frog

leopard cat

The boat did well sitting on the hard for eight months. There was no mold inside and the outside cleaned up well. After a coat of bottom paint, sails back on, & cutlass bearing fixed with 5200, we were ready to launch.  We got back in the water just  5 days after arriving in the yard. The Kudat boatyard (Penuwasa) has proven to be an excellent yard for storage and minor repairs.

After launching, we motored over to the marina jetty Kudat where we spent a week doing projects and shopping for boat supplies. One of the things we can't find here is plain yogurt, but this year another cruiser gave Pat a tablespoonfull to use as a starter. This woman has been making yogurt with the same starter for the last 10 years.

Our guests Chris Bekins and Kurt E. arrived from California. They spent a week on the Kinabatangan before joining us and saw lots of animals including pygmy elephants. We've been hoping to see these elephants for the last 3 years. 

Now we are just waiting for a weather window to take off. We are writing this from the maria library, looking out at the coconut palms leaning over in the sideways blowing rain. As soon as the current 25 kn winds die back, we will depart for Labuan, KK, Tiga Island, and the Klias river on our trip down to Miri. The boat is stocked and the crew is ready.

crested serpent eagle

rhinoceros hornbill