07 August 2009 | Kudat - Borneo
We left the magnificient Sutera Marina on Wednesday 5th after taking a great lunch in the Clubhouse, eventually letting our lines go at about 4.30pm as we slipped past the adjacent superyacht and the beautiful clear water of the marina out to pass around the southern edge of one of the skirting islands. We motored out into the headwind and as we approached the island set the Genoa, turned north and headed for the tip of Borneo. It was a great night for a sail with good moonlight despite the hazy, smoky sky conditions, and as we headed north we enjoyed following seas and fresh breezes allowing us to sail under the Genoa alone and still clock up 7 knots plus. This is wonderfully easy and comfortable sailing with just one sail, no worries about gybing or banging mains and still a good click of speed. We had 100 nautical miles to do and did not want to arrive until after dawn so all was good.
As we approached the Tip of Borneo the wind was freshening to 22 knots plus and a couple of squalls passed us to seaward in the freshening conditions. I thought we might pass between a small rocky island on which the lighthouse sits and the mainland but the breaking water did not look attractive (and after seeing this area some days ago from the lookout at the tip) we backed off and went around the outside of the island narrowingly missing passing squalls as we did! And then around the tip and head back down the other side towards Kudat. We cruised very comfortably down the eastern coast of the tip enjoying the scenery and passing fishing boats and dories to arrive at Kudat at about 0930. We anchored and headed in to find out about lifting Charming for antifouling and storage to be told "we are full at the moment, maybe five days or a couple of weeks!" What!@!@! We gently explained we were booked to fly out on Tuesday and later in the afternoon they shifted a boat and advised we could come up tomorrow!! Phew!! Late in the afternoon we noticed a large barge full of cars and a tug manouvering it coming towards the Kudat Duckpond, which isn't all that large. The tug brought a bunch of people in and the barge was anchored. As the evening wore on the fishing boats went out with one nearly, very nearly reversing into our bow as he manouvered to leave..........We went to bed with many lights on outside!
Now Friday we awoke to hear the tug heading our way and he asked us to move so he could bring the barge load of cars in, of couse we obliged and by the time we had our anchor half up he was well on the way in. It was very early in the morning but we thought it would be good to get into the fingers for the travellift early before the wind came up so we started our preparations - fenders, ropes etc. Just as started to line up to make an approach the owner of the yard arrived tooted to us to stop and then come in which we did and it was great to glide in, secure our lines, and be safely inside the narrow fingers without marks or damage or stress!
Soon after the travellift driver arrived and we commenced to lift out! The operator was excellent. I did a quick dive to check the positioning of the slings and all was well. We lifted up and they took us to our bay which had been pushed clear of debris (all pushed to the back of it!) and set us down on concrete blocks with timber on top. Well done! Then we had the water blaster and a couple of boys to operate it who did a good job. We washed down the topsides and commenced our pack up preparations, cleaning and storing and a myriad other jobs that had to be done. We went into town this afternoon to get a few things and had a late lunch and back to the clean up. We seem to be making a bigger mess as we stow things inside and sort out some minor issues, clean pack and unpack put up shadecloth and covers, take down sails, wrap booms, knock off a few barnacles, make new power leads and connect to power etc etc etc.
However we are happy with the yard and where we are and now have just two days to finish five days work!! before we go.........