19 October 2013
We made and overnight passage to the island of Borneo. It was one of the few passages that we were able to sail most of it. Night sailing is becoming more of a challenge though, as we avoid all the hazards out here. There are fishing boats by the dozens, large freighters of varying types, ferry boats, barge towing tugs. It is potluck as to if they are displaying the right light configuration and we have to often try and get them on radar to figure out which way they are going. Most of the local fishing boats don’t show up on radar as they wooden so that just adds to the challenge. The tugs are the worst as the barges are totally unlit and can be up to 2 miles behind the tug. Sometimes they tow 2 barges. We made it to the Kumai river mouth by daylight and then navigated our way up the channel, along with a few other rather large ships. We had waypoints to get us up the river safely but these were of little use when 200m ships that have the right of way were passing us and we had to move over. We made it up without mishap and finally stepped back in time as we anchored outside the town of Kumai. It was an eclectic mix of fishing, shipping, farming and a little tourism. We were approached as soon as we anchored by several small speedboats, wanting to sell us a tour to see the orangutans. Luckily, we had coordinated with Nicone to go with them and they had already made a choice. After talking to several cruisers, it didn’t seem like there was much difference between the different operators so it was just down to bargaining the price. We managed 2 days and one night for approximately $100 each, all-inclusive including the security guard on the boat while we were away. We thought this was a good price, so of we went the next day.