09/02/2012, 140 nm NE of Kuching, Malaysia
Fujin has had pretty much a record day's sailing in the last 24 hours, covering around 160 nm, putting her now just around 320 nm from Singapore. Ivan says that it is a relief not to be dodging large semi-submerged logs anymore - instead, the seas are infested with sea snakes, so no swimming for the time being!
The wind has dropped to 10 knots and squally, in line with the forecast. So it's likely that Fujin will be down to a more leisurely pace for the run in to Singapore. It looks like an arrival in the early hours of Sunday morning - I am sure that they will be taking it easy on the approach, given all the shipping in the area.
I still hope to be at Keppel Bay Marina to meet them - as long as they don't try for a 4am arrival....
08/02/2012, South China Sea
Fujin has made another 120 nm towards Singapore in the last 24 hours, so an average day reflecting light winds and a fair bit of motoring until earlier this morning.
Since this morning, they have had 16 knots from the North so nice sailing conditions - Ivan is making 7.5 knots boat speed at the moment, with fairly flat seas. Latest forecast suggests this should continue until Friday when winds drop as they approach Singapore.
Otherwise, not really anything to report - probably a good thing!
07/02/2012, 50 miles NW of Miri, East Malaysia
Everything seems to be on track - can no longer get Ivan on his cell phone as he is too far offshore, so back to Inmarsat SMS communications. They now have a miserable 5 knots of wind after some good wind for a time last night.
I have booked Fujin into berth F07 at Keppel Bay Marina from 12th to 15th February. Roy, the manager there, has been helpful with the clearance process which involves me faxing the Singapore immigration an arrival form and crew list 24 hours ahead of arrival. Fujin then has to call in on entry to Singapore waters and proceed to Sisters Island where the immigration process will be completed at sea. Once this is done, Fujin can proceed to the marina which is less than 5 miles from that point.
By the way, Ivan has added some more good photos at the Blueseas facebook page - go have a look!
06/02/2012, Off the coast of Brunei
I was able to reach Ivan on his mobile phone today around 14:30 as he was leaving Muara harbour on the start of the leg to Singapore. They completed all the clearance procedures in the morning - all fine other than a small problem to do with a missed stamp on the way in.
They have about 10 knots of wind on the beam, so they will need to use the engine on low revs to maintain an average of 5 knots.
The plan now is to stand at least 12 nm offshore in order to avoid Indonesian territorial waters. This is necessary since the Indonesian authorities require yachts to have a special permit to sail in their waters and if you don't have one, you are liable to having your yacht impounded - which we definitely don't want!
Fujin's crew will be keeping a keen eye out for the oil rigs over the next 24 hours - they are generally well lit but there is some boat traffic to and from the shore which might not be so obvious.
The run down to Singapore is around 700nm or 140 hours (6 days) at 5 knots. This means that they should arrive in Singapore on Sunday morning sometime. With a bit of luck, they will make a bit better than 5 knots and arrive early on Sunday so that they have the full day to do food, water and fuel. Then Monday for paperwork before leaving later Monday or Tuesday morning. So Phuket by Sunday 19th or Monday 20th looks good.
05/02/2012, Royal Brunei Yacht Club
Ivan's emailed report from a little while ago:
I have just finished putting water on the boat. It was tricky, as we had to navigate a short unmarked channel and come onto a very small dock at the very top of the tide in the dark. We had a window of less than 2 hours, but all went exactly according to plan and we didn't even graze the mud. The maths was correct.
During the manoeuvre we had an audience on the balcony of the RBYC as Fujin apparently was the largest yacht to attempt coming onto the YC dock in a long time. I'd swear they were placing bets as we came in!
Half a ton heavier and exactly on the top of the tide we followed our track back to the anchorage. Picture above shows the track on Fujin's chart plotter.
Got fully fuelled up earlier today, although it required a bit of pestering people on my part. People in these latitudes can be very relaxed. Initially the story was that we would be able to borrow a trailer on Wednesday to bring the jerry cans to the service station.
Also managed to get the shopping done today, so we are ready to go again.......unbelievably.
We should be out of here by about midday tomorrow after I settle with the RBYC and check out at customs.
Treating the guys to a nice meal this evening.
04/02/2012, Muara, Brunei
Fujin is now safely moored off the Royal Brunei Yacht Club and I am delighted to report that my colleague in Brunei was able to deliver the "package" of cold ones to the crew!
They had a great couple of hours sail from Labuan this afternoon in 25 knots of wind, doing 7.5kts boat speed... after waiting 4 hours for practique that never happened...
The picture above is one of several Ivan has just sent me now that he has internet access - taken near Taiwan when the wind was really blowing. Also a couple of good ones of genoa on whisker pole and spinnaker out, running....
They arrived a little too late to do the customs and immigration so that will be done tomorrow. Ivan and crew were enjoying a well earned Sprite at the RBYC when they checked in an hour ago - they'll save the "package" for the yacht!