K K with Valerie

5:30 pm

Hi Everyone,

  About 5 boats down from us is a sail boat.  Brits, Stephen and Valerie are the owners.  I don’t know the boat’s name or their last name.  But I like Stephen and Valerie very much and their boat is quite nice too. They lived 5 years in Hong Kong, some of it in Sai Kung and they kept a boat in Hebe Haven where we stayed.   Stephen is retired.  Valerie works in an elementary school with children aged 7 to 11.  When teachers need help or will be away from the classroom Valerie takes over.  She works part time and loves it; especially teaching art and physical education.  Valerie doesn’t love cruising so much so Stephen recruits crew and goes off and Valerie joins him during summer and other school vacations. 

  Valerie and I went off one afternoon to the wet market and the next morning to the different local museums. 

clip_image002 Valerie in the white hat buying a pineapple.  Just after this photo we each went our separate ways and then spent most of the time trying to find each other again.  We each tried staying put and then decided the other was doing the same thing.  Her comment that the vendors were probably as anxious for us to find each other as we were to find each other was quite funny.  I guess it was pretty obvious that the two of us were looking for each other. 

clip_image004 Local fashion statements. 

Islam is the state religion though other than the clothing women wear, and the price of beer and wine,  you don’t really feel its influence as a tourist especially here at the marina/hotel complex where most of the guests are Asian. 

I bought mangoes and lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber , avocado and cilantro.  

The next morning Valerie and I went off to the local museums.  They had exhibits, but no tours or explanatory literature, so it was too hard to take much in. 

The part we liked the most was the Sabah Museum Heritage Village which has replicas of traditional homes of different indigenous groups around Sabah.  Again, there was little literature and no one there to tell you anything, so not so educational.  http://www.mzm.sabah.gov.my/intro.htm  is the website for the museum complex.

clip_image006 One day I’ll have a photo of Valerie from the front.  She was in pink and white and the lady in the distance was in pink and white and the water lillies were pink and white.

clip_image008 This “ethnic village” looks much like some of the villages that we saw cruising the islands in the Philippines and the small islands in Malaysia.

clip_image010 Inside one hut.  I kept waiting to fall through the floor.

clip_image012  The big sign says no smoking.  The small one in small print says, remove your shoes.  I had spent so much time looking for a “do not enter” sign that I missed the one that said it was ok if you took off your shoes.  But I only went into one and no one saw me but Valerie and she was quite diplomatic about it.  I told her about going into a hut and she said she hadn’t wanted to remove her shoes.  I said, “huh?”  It needed to be in big letters like the No Smoking sign you can’t miss.  I guess matches are far worse than shoes with grass huts.

While we were there they were filming some costumed dancers.  We could have waited and taken photos with them, but it was too hot and we had more museum to see


clip_image016 It was lovely and fluid.  Music was provided by a cd and boombox.

We also went to The Sabah Islamic Civilization Museum since all of the museums are together.  Again too much stuff and no overall explanation or introduction.  But now I know the difference between Muslims who follow Islam and Hindus who don’t. I guess if I had really thought about it, but since I hadn’t, Valerie explained that to me.  Helps to go around with an elementary school teacher. Helps to have a public library which there isn’t.   I would imagine as we travel around Malaysia and Indonesia I’ll learn more about Muslims and the Islamic religion.  It will be interesting.  Valerie has been to Indonesia and found it hard to watch women appear to have much less freedom than men.  We’ll see come September when we start to tour Indonesia.

Got back to the boat about 2:30 and made myself a mango/avocado/strawberry yogurt shake.  Tasted healthy and not bad, but the yogurt made it too tart and the mango wasn’t quite ripe.  But it was ok.

Kota Kinabalu

Hi Everyone,

  I seem to be confusing everyone with my “catch up emails” from our passage and anchorages from Puerto Galera, to Kota Kinabalu so I will introduce everything by where we are when I am typing.    I still want to show some photos of Romblon Island and the marble works there and also our stops at Coron.  Our Subic Bay friend Audrey is building a web page for us and I might just wait and put them in a photo section that you can just browse.  The web page won’t be ready for a bit, but when it is I will let you know.  There will be maps too so it will be easier for you to follow us.  Audrey and Bob do this for work along with lots of other things.  They are giving us a very “kind” contract made time while they were here figuring out what we would like.  I can’t wait to see it.  Darlene at the Roanoke County Public Library has done a heroic job of posting my journal and photos.  But Randal and I want a permanent site that will always be ours.  And one day Darlene might just run away to the South Seas herself so we think owning our own site might be best for us.  And with so much going on at the Roanoke County Public Library, she and Marino the computer guy just have way too much to do as it is.  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime www.doramac.blogspot.com looks great.

This photo is the small swimming beach created by the Magellan Sutera Hotel in the complex with the marina  Looks lovely doesn’t it.


clip_image004  However, the reality are the slippery rocks, jelly fish, sharp coral and long spined sea urchins.  I look like I’m holding on to the Caution C.  They didn’t mention the fairly large waves too.  No one was in the water here or at the Pacific Sutera hotel beach either.  There are lots of huge beautiful swimming pools and I might just have to see if I can swim the length of the Olympic pool they have here.

clip_image006 Randal’s favorite restaurant.    It is on a corner just across the road from the wet market.  For 9 ringgits Randal and I can each order 2 items plus a ton of rice, and a drink; that’s $3.  And not only is the food cheap, it’s good too and the staff helpful and courteous.  They bring us extra small bowls of soup and different condiments to try.  My favorite is the chicken noodle soup.  Randal gets the fried chicken you can see piled in front.  It is an Indian restaurant; not sure if it is Muslim or Hindu, though I don’t think there are

any pork dishes.  None of the menu is written in any thing I recognize.

clip_image008 Randal walking down the street towards the Indonesian Consulate where we went to pick up our passports and papers for the Indonesia Rally.    Notice his long pants.   Shorts aren’t allowed in the Indonesia consulate though he did wear them the first day we went.  He had his pants in his backpack; but the gate guard let it slide for that one time.  We are much more comfortable in shorts especially in the heat and haven’t worn long anything for years. ( Except when I was home in the winter.) 

clip_image010  We actually just went through the gate and into a long waiting area with some service windows.  We never actually went into the building.  The lady at the service window was really friendly and helpful, smiling and just being nice. People around the world we have met seem to have positive reactions to our being Americans.  And most of the time we respect their customs and feelings ( Randal did wear pants the second visit.)

We will join the Indonesia Rally the first week in September.  Between then and now we need to finish boat work and get ourselves 1000+ miles.  We may do several overnight passages to save time and because some places don’t have great anchorages so it’s actually easier to just go all night with not much to run into in the middle of the ocean.  We came the 4 days from Hong Kong to Subic without stopping.  There were 5 of us on the boat, so more to do watch.  Randal and I will have to do it alone but that’s ok.

Go Sox!!! Good baseball day.

Women in saris

July 25th Friday:  5:13 pm

I went out for a walk this afternoon.  I seem to have a case of the blahs and am just tired.  “Could be the heat, or maybe it’s fleas!” as the song in West Side Story sang.  We’ll I don’t have fleas, but I’m finding the heat very heavy especially after our island cruising where, on some mornings, I wore my long-sleeve Red Sox shirt.  And life in a big city is “big.”  I will try to get to the museums and mosque and those things should be interesting.  People are certainly very friendly here and quite energetic, more like China than Olongapo. Funny, that I’m always ready to leave somewhere, and then miss it.  Hmmm

Anyway, I just walked around the hotels here in the Sutera Harbor complex; but I took my camera.  I was really glad I did so I could capture this group of young women.  I don’t know why I didn’t talk with them more; I felt like I was interrupting and they seemed hesitant in English    Now I wish I had found out more about them.  Maybe I will see them again.

clip_image002 I saw them in the distance and tried to zoom.  Then I just walked faster to catch up and snuck some photos.

clip_image004 I just liked the “hands on the hip” action. The man was one of two who were accompanying the women.

clip_image006 They sat down to have their photo taken by one of the women and I walked over and asked if I could take a photo too.  They smiled and said yes.

clip_image008  They make the peace sign, just the everyone else anywhere else who poses for me.

clip_image010 Any you knew this would happen.  I had offered to take their camera and take a photo of the group so all the women could be in it.  But they made the men take the photo so I could be in it too!  At least I have my head covered! 


Puerta Galera adventure/ Ponderosa Golf Club

July 23  3 pm Wednesday

Randal is off giving a boat tour to some New Zealanders so I get the computer for a bit!  So to continue with the Puerta Galera adventure…..

After Tamaraw Falls we went on to Ponderosa Golf Club with a stop first to pick up our new dinghy anchor.  Randal had supplied the materials for the shop to use and they made a wonderful little anchor.The labor cost $8.

clip_image002 The welding shop on the road out PG that went on to Calapan.

clip_image004 Carol with the anchor.  It looks vaguely like something to ward off vampires! 

Then on to the Ponderosa Golf Club.  Carol is a golfer and had been told about its beautiful setting on a mountainside. 

“Ponderosa Golf Club Puerto Galera has been cut out of the mountain, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level.

It overlooks the stunning  Puerto Galera and in the distance you can see Batangas on the island of Luzon.”       It’s a nine hole par 3 course.

clip_image006  This is the view from the top of the mountain.  One of those little boats is Doramac.

clip_image008 It was a lovely setting.  Not sure if this was a private home or part of the course.  We could see a wonderful empty room with a tile floor, and lots of windows as the top floor.

clip_image010  What a great room!  You could paint, do yoga, read, stare into space!

clip_image012  Not far from where Carol is standing is the T.  The hole is down the mountain!  Some tough course.

clip_image014  The owner was American and a fan of the show. (I think.)

Our next stop, and last of day 2 was White Beach.

Puerta Galera continued; White Beach

July 23, 2008  3:10 pm Wednesday

Randal and I had been to White Beach but Carol hadn’t so off we went after our visit to Ponderosa.  Plus we’d had a tip that the best Halo Halos were to be had at White Beach and where to find them.  That alone would have been enough for Carol and me.   And I have lots of photos of Carol eating her halo halo and there are lots of me eating mine.  None of them were the least bit flattering since one had to really open wide to get that stuff in.  So no photos of us chowing down the halo halo. But, unfortunately I didn’t take many other photos. 

Our first stop at White Beach was for a halo halo.  Randal had a beer.

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A little of this and that…                                                                        Lots of crushed ice………………….                                                 Milk poured on top and then Ube spread to finish.

After I had literally scraped my glass clean it was time to go for a walk along the beach.

clip_image007  Randal walked the plank.  I took off my shoes and walked through the water.

clip_image009   We watched several men move a banca out of the water.

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clip_image019  Then we watched the sun set. The end of our second day of adventure

I need to mention that I have mixed my photos and Carol’s together.  Obviously if I’m in the photo, Carol was taking it and visa versa.  Every now and then Randal took my camera, but not so often that I need to share photo credit with him. 

Our last adventure was a visit to the Moorings Hotel near the PG Yacht Club for brunch the last day of Carol’s visit.

Puerto Galera adventure last morning

Carol didn’t stay on DoraMac with us, too rolling for her since we were anchored out.  All of those bancas going by made lots of waves.  She stayed at the hotel just up the hill from the PG Yacht Club.  The Moorings was developing more facilities that would include space for conferences and more upscale demand.  Carol had asked if they would provide a tour and brunch for us Monday morning before she would leave.  They had agreed.  So after an early morning swim off the back of DoraMac, we all took the service boat back to The Moorings. 

clip_image002  Our private table

clip_image004 Our view

clip_image006 Presidential suite

clip_image008  Interesting art there too.  I think the owner was Chinese and American…or I’m making up facts again…

clip_image010 It really was a lovely spot surrounded by jungle.

clip_image012 Sadly, it was time for Carol to go back to Makati.  You can see Doramac off in the middle of the picture.  This is the banca she would take to get back to Batangas and her car.

clip_image014 Carol waving good-bye.

clip_image016  It was a great visit! 

As you can tell all of our adventures with Carol have been wonderful.  Saying good-bye was very hard……….But someday……….

So ends our Puerto Galera adventure with Carol Carino.

Kota Kinabalu

July 21  12:44pm

Hi Everyone,

   “I loved the diversity of the city and the huge wet market.”  That’s how our friend Jamie Fritsch described the center of Kota Kinabalu.  It’s true.  You feel like you are in China and India at the same time.  The women in their saris are just so colorful.  I’ll try to get some photos of them.  But here are just a few photos to get you oriented to Kota Kinabalu.  We have lots of boat work to do and the best “natural attractions” are inland, so I think we might miss them. The mall has Starbucks and Body Shop but the upscale shops of Hong Kong or Makati.  Our friends Bob and Audrey, from Subic Bay, are here for a too short long weekend.  They went off with Randal to do boat stuff today.  I just don’t feel great enough.  So I’m having a quiet day catching up on some email and watching the Sox lose their 3rd game to LA. 

We will probably be here for another 2 weeks.  Of course that’s what we said about Subic.  But we have to be done to make it to Indonesia to meet the Indonesia Rally in the beginning of September.  Randal and Bob were looking at possible routes this morning.  Bob and Audrey have their own growing business in Subic so just hanging out here is a relaxing vacation for them. 

http://www.sabahtourism.com/en/home/  is a site for Sabah which is the specific area of East Malaysia where we are now.  Malaysia is two islands in the South China Sea.  East Malaysia is on the north tip of Borneo. 

clip_image002 Here we are at the Sutera Harbor Marina.  We are next to this sailboat owned by an American.  The owner isn’t here now.

clip_image004 The Pacific Hotel just next to the Marina.  The Magellan Hotel is on the other side of the Marina. Lots of families with kids here. Lots of golfers.  Lots of upscale prices.  Wine in the Magellan gift shop was 138 ringgits.  That’s $46.  We took a pass. (Randal and I are the $5-$10 per bottle wine drinkers.)  A small (two bite) Hagan Das was about $7.  We did buy some wine in the supermarket for 36 ringgits, $12.  It was the cheapest one they had, but not bad.  Alcohol is way more expensive, some food is more expensive, but clothing maybe not.

clip_image006 There is a guarded gate onto the docks.  The Marina building has several restaurants, a chart room “library” with chairs and tables and magazines.  Looks a bit like Subic but kept up with very helpful staff.

clip_image008 City center.  Randal in the backpack leads the way; Audrey with the braid.  Bob took the photo.  This is one of the main streets in the commercial center of KK.  The first impression is very modern, the secondary roads are more “foreign” so more interesting.

clip_image010 My old umbrella is a rusted mess.  I bought this one for 7.9 ringgits.  3 ringgits make a dollar.  We’ll see how long it lasts since it sort of opens cockeyed.  But it was the first small fold up one that I saw so it will fit in the side pocket of my back pack.  Bob’s photo

clip_image012  A trimmings and buttons and beads shop.  I would say 70% of the women here wear head coverings.  About 30% wear a full sari.  They sell all of the shiny things you see sewn onto clothes from India.

clip_image014 A woman at the fish market. Men were eager to pose, but women were more shy.  I did ask first if it was ok to take the photo.

Just checking in

Hi Everyone,

  Just a quick check-in.  Our friends from Subic Bay, bob and Audrey are here this weekend.  Since we haven’t had tome to explore yet, not sure what we will do.  I have my “once a year” cold and don’t feel like doing much at all.  We’ll see.  I will try to catch up on my picture emails when I feel a bit better next week. 

  Thanks for the emails I am getting from you.  It’s great to catch up with folks at home. 

  Time for breakfast.


Tamaraw Falls Puerto Galera Adventure Continued

July 16th Wednesday, 3 pm
Hi Everyone, 

   I hope to email this some time today or tomorrow morning.  Just depends when it actually gets finished.  Randal’s computer is still out of commission so we share, 75/25 because he does lots of boat work on the computer.  He is off doing boat chores at a super marine hardware store.  We have a very thorough boat cleaner here so I am supposedly supervising.  We chat, I type, we have a cold drink and chat, I email some more and check on the All-Star game, Go J.D. Drew!!  Sox, keep it up!

I’m back tracking to our Puerto Galera adventure with Carol.
Tamaraw Falls   (Tam’ a raw the raw at the end rhymes with cow)

The very first page of our Philippine Rough Guide is the title page.  The backside of that page is a full page photo of Tamaraw Falls.  “The mother of all cascades here is the mighty Tamara Falls, 30 minutes by jeepney outside Puerto Galera and not far off the road to Calapan.  Here cool mountain water plummets over a precipice and into a natural pool and a manmade swimming pool.” 
My 3 favorite things about Tamaraw Falls:  1.  Watching Carol climb everywhere all over the falls to take photos of Randal and me.  2. Tamaraw Falls is named for the small, native and endangered water buffalo. 

3. I finally had my photo taken on a water buffalo! 

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clip_image014  I never said they were real!  It was a lovely spot.  If we hadn’t had other fun things planned we would have gotten into the water ourselves.  There is a natural pool and a man made pool.  But after several photos we climbed back up to the road, got back into the car and continued onto our journey.  We had 2 more stops.  Ponderosa Golf Resort and White Beach!


Island Cruising

Hi Everyone,

I might have fixed my Outlook, so this is from me.   It will take a bit to catch up and finish our Puerto Galera adventures with Carol.  But here are a few photos of our stops along the way between Illultuk Bay where we waited out Typhoon Frank and Kota Kinabalu.  I still want to send photos of Romblon and Puerto Princessa because we spent longer than an evening in both places and liked both.  I will also do a separate email about Illultuk Bay and all of its stories.  If you want to know what the area around the Sutera Marina, Golf and Country Club looks like, picture West Palm Beach.  That’s what Carol suggested from the photos of the marina she saw on the web. Much different from the small islands with just fishing huts.  But I really enjoyed our time at those beautiful spots; so cool, quiet and remote.    www.suteraharbourclub.com is the marina’s web site.

So here are some random photos of our island anchorages.  I have made them small so they will send

clip_image002 Not sure if you can see the black specks in the water.  They are the floats from the pearl farms.  Row after row after row! 

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.      -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-    Just rows like that parallel to each other with breaks along the way so you could make a tricky turn to work your way through the rows.     You could go the length of them but not cross the lines between the points.  The breaks saved us from going maybe miles our of our way following the length of the row.  One day we did have to go way around, that was our first encounter with them.  “Dumaran Passage needs care, but is feasible in good light.”   That was the best that was written about the passage through the pearl farms there.  Other guides and especially word of mouth were less kind!  I’ll look at pearls differently from now on, that’s for sure. 

clip_image004  This is what a squall looks like.  You can see them coming and prepare.  You can change course a bit and miss them.  It takes about 10 minutes to close everything up (if you rush) and 3 minutes for the squall to go by.  Actually we passed this squall off to our starboard so didn’t have to deal with it.

clip_image006  This was the weather we were lucky enough to have most of the time.  Flat seas and sun.  We usually ran about 6.5 knots.  Our last week before getting to KK, we had wind in our face and rolling seas and averaged about 5 knots!

clip_image008 This is our North Verde Island anchorage.  Just a few fish farms and huts and us.  It is the first place that “smelled” like New Bedford and my idea of how the sea should smell.

clip_image010 Some other fishermen who waved and smiled for my camera.

clip_image012 Same island looking at the back of the bay.

clip_image014  Sunset!   One of my favorite anchorages!!!