Little Green Boat

Spruce left the UK in 2011, arrived in SE Asia during 2015. Finished land/air touring in Asia. Afloat again and getting ready to head east to Raja Ampat and on to Japan and Alaka in 2018.

19 August 2017 | Sipidan & Mabul - Sabah - Malaysian Borneo
19 August 2017
19 August 2017
19 August 2017
19 August 2017
19 August 2017
19 August 2017
12 August 2017 | Rivers - Borneo
12 August 2017
12 August 2017
10 August 2017 | Turtle Islands - Malaysian Borneo
10 August 2017
10 August 2017
10 August 2017
10 August 2017
05 August 2017 | Kudat - Borneo
05 August 2017
05 August 2017
02 August 2017 | Kudat - Borneo
19 July 2017 | Papar - Sabah - Malaysian Borneo

Dive! Dive! Dive!

19 August 2017 | Sipidan & Mabul - Sabah - Malaysian Borneo
Andy & Sue
Three days with time spent beneath the waves gave an insight into local marine life. Two dives on a reef local to our anchorage, one dive at Mabul, two at Kapalai and three plunges at Sipadan gave a reasonable spectrum of what can be found in Sabah, Malaysia’s eastern most Province. This shoal of Big-Eye Snappers was happy to come close to slow moving divers.

19 August 2017
Interesting colourful smaller creatures positively glow: this one a Nudibranch, a sort of slug-like animal, is but a single example of many different types seen at Mabul. The fronds on its back are gills. There are artificial structures at Mabul, which certainly attract a wide variety of creatures. The “dive resort” complex is a stilt village built on the reef at the site of a former fishing village. We are not fans of these types of development; it would be far more ecologically sound to bring divers by boat from properly serviced centres on shore.

19 August 2017
A much bigger animal, a Crocodile Fish, shown here, blends into the background, camouflaged to seem like coral bedecked stones. It would be easy to swim straight past if you did not have your eye tuned in to spot these weird fish.

19 August 2017
An old favourite is the Clown fish. Several different species bathing luxuriously in the fronds of exotic Anemones abound. Sizes vary from tiny to around 100mm: a feisty fish that faces challengers fiercely, but is always ready to seek the relative safety of its stinging host.

19 August 2017
Larger still are these chaps, securely wedged into crevices to avoid the current sweeping them away. The bigger animals at Sipadan are mainly confined to Turtles, Napoleon Wrasse, Jacks lurking in the periphery of visibility and …

19 August 2017
… Sharks. Mainly Reef White Tips but it is excellent to see Sharks in these waters have not all been slaughtered to sacrifice their fins for the Chinese market. So far, in SE Asia, sharks seen have been very few. The elderly lone specimen seen three months ago in Tioman Island was the pride of the local dive shop; he was, however, a sorry comparison with those seen in previous years around the Pacific reefs and Islands. Sipadan showed signs of being a much more balanced eco-system, although smaller fishes were in fewer numbers than we expected. That might be due to the large numbers of sharks and other predators located at this oceanic pinnacle island.
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-16 brought us north into Asia. The past few years cruising has enabled us to visit many countries, meet lots of interesting people and to understand the world a little better.
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Spruce's Photos - Embera Drua River Trip
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Andy tucks into breakfast provided on the trip.
Martin, the trip organiser gives us some history.
Our helm, sporting the traditional decorated clothing and tattoos.
Our transport awaits.
The group dons life jackets and piles into the canoes.
One of the 3 canoes catches us up.
Such good balance!
Cara, her parents posing in the background, from the boat Serendipity.
An Embera village
Andy holds on to the seat in between bailing out!
Connie and Wolfgang who we last met in Curacao.
We are put ashore so that the villagers can  check to see if it is safe to continue up the river.
At this point it is touch and go as to if we can visit the village as the waters are so high and fast flowing.
A pit stop is made to check the engine.
The first view of the village.
The bow man gives directions, plenty of logs flying down the  river.
Sue still smiling, or is it just fear?
Two beautifully decorated Embera women come to welcome the group to the village.
The tame otter gets in the way!
The Medicine man awaits the safe arrival of the last canoe.
The women prepare the lunch.
The so.und of traditional music greets us
The group is led up to the village.
Picking leaves to keep the food fresh.
The Medicine man gets a tattoo.
Fish and chips Embera style.
One of the women tells us in detail how the palm material is dyed using a range of different methods, including burying it in mud for 3 days.
Ivan shows the group the traditional cloth worn by the Embera, it is made out of tree bark and is very scratchy.
Painting a tattoo.
A Toucan Mask
A monkey mask.
The cooking fire in the main meeting hut.
The Tattoos are only temporary, the dye is made from a plant and has the added side effect that it keeps away the mosquitos!
The Flautist of the village plays us a tune on his bamboo flute, he lets Sue have a go too.
Some of the beautiful baskets for sale made by the women of the village.
Andy chats with one of the villagers, his son who is five finds a comfortable seat.
The children play with anything.
An array of animal mask all woven.
The house in the village are all built on stilts.
Martin tries on a Tucan mask.
Traditional dancing led by a drum to keep the beat.
Colourful washing.
One of the beautiful baskets being woven.
Andy makes his way down to the beach for yet an other exciting Canoe trip in the fast flowing waters of the Chagres.
Traditional Embera music.
One of the villagers leads the otter away from the propellers of the canoes.
A tame Otter that lives with the villagers.
A long canoe beaches ready to take on passengers. In the dry season the river is a beautiful blue.