Hi Everyone,

  Ten years ago Randal and I got married…Who would have thought ten years later we would be sitting side by side in a tiny internet cafe across the the world.  This morning we donned wet suits and tanks and Randal cleaned our prop while I practiced staying under water in my scuba gear.  Later today we’ll get some lunch, check out the tiny village here and then go back to the boat.  I promised Randal salmon patties for dinner since he loves them. 

  We left Sebana Cove Wednesday and cruised all say, 60 miles to Jason Ban where we anchored overnight.  Ruth and Cliff on Icicle made the same passage and it was nice to have them anchored “next door.”  The next day we finished the passage to Tioman where we have caught up with the Sail Malaysia rally.  Both cruising days were smooth and sunny and I did laundry to pass the time.  We might stay here one more night or we might take off tomorrow as the rally moves along.  Everything is quite loose.

    I will email when I can and send photos when possible.  We have no internet connection on the boat where my photos are stored.  I guess I’ll figure out how to save the photo emails on a donigle and see if that works.  And I also have to find one of those web based photo savers too as Audrey keeps telling me. 

     So that’s where we are today.  I will hopefully have more interesting emails to send as we take more part in Sail Malaysia. 

New Bedford part 1

Hi Everyone,

  I have a hard time sleeping when there is a Red Sox game on, so I’m up following it. It started at 2:10 but I just got up.  Still half the game left to play.  It might be the last one for a while since we seem to be planning to leave Sebana Cove tomorrow on our way to join Sail Malaysia.  Our first stop will be an overnight anchorage at Jason Bay which I think is cool since “Jason Bay” plays left field for the Red Sox.  It’s 60 miles from Sebana so we’ll have to leave at daylight.  Then it will be on to Tioman Island.  Our friends Ruth and Cliff on Icicle will leave either today or tomorrow with the same plan. 

More from our visit to the States…..

  I grew up in New Bedford, MA.  My growing up friends Harriet and Bruce still live in the area: Har in Dartmouth and Bruce in Westport.  But both of those areas say “New Bedford” to me.    We grew up on Plymouth Street in New Bedford’s West End and it was a great place to grow up.  New Bedford has great beaches, a mix of several cultures, and the best steamed clams anywhere.    www.destinationnewbedford.org   or  www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us   or  www.nps.gov/nebe

      Appropriately the brochure about New Bedford starts out…..   ” “Around the World!”    The crews of New Bedford’s famous whaleships sang out this cheer as they embarked on voyages that took them to every corner of the globe in pursuit of whale oil……Today, New Bedford is an authentic seaport city with a large fishing fleet and working waterfront.”  There is a huge Portuguese community, hence the great steamed clams and wonderful Portuguese food.  There were other influences too.  At the beach we poured vinegar on our french fries and there were places to get fish and chips reflecting an English influence. When I smell vinegar I think of the Acushnet Beach where we learned to swim and hang out until we were old enough to drive ourselves to Westport and Horseneck Beach with its sand dunes and waves for body surfing.   And there was a French area too, in the North End.  The North End was French, the South End was Portuguese and the West End was where the Jewish community lived.  But by junior high everyone was mixed together and there was only one high school so everyone went there.  New Bedford wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was a good place to grow up and it is definitely worth a visit if your travels take you there.

  Across the Achushnet River from New Bedford is Fairhaven where you can find the monument to Joshua Slocum, the first man to circumnavigate the world alone on his sailboat Spray.    http://www.joshuaslocumsocietyintl.org/ http://fairhaven-ma.gov   Growing up we rarely ventured across the bridge to Fairhaven or Marion, but now it is a favorite place and we always stop there when we visit Har and Bruce, the real reason we go to New Bedford.  

“Acushnet” comes from the Wampanoag or Algonquian word, “Cushnea”  meaning “as far as the waters” from Wikipedia 


Our favorite corner in Fairhaven.  Pumpernickle Restaurant where we “always” eat lunch and Euro across the street where we always find something to buy that we can’t live without.  And the Millicent Library just down the street.  We seem to always enter New Bedford from Fairhaven so stop there first. 


Padanaram Harbor where Har lives.  I love New England


Har took us to a daffodil field not far from her home, where it looked like spring, but felt cold to me.


Buttonwood Park  Ruth the Asian elephant standing behind me.  Yup, that’s her name and we’re about the same age too. She has a friend Emily the elephant too who is a bit younger.   Buttonwood Park is the next street over from Plymouth Street.  How great is that, as Rachel Ray would say, living around the corner from a park, zoo, tennis courts, skating pond, all part of Buttonwood Park.   Growing up it was all free. Unfortunately, now the zoo isn’t  free. but the animals do have better housing and care now so I guess the fees go for a good cause.  And I think you can check free passes out of the libraries with your library card.  You can see I’ve added an “I love New Bedford” button to my hat.  Har bought it for me. http://www.bpzoo.org/


Lobstah Dinnah at Har’s  per Randal’s request.  Eating lobster is great fun and very messy.  Har’s husband Dick, Bruce and his wife Jean were there too!  We spent a wonderful evening eating lobster and catching up with each other’s lives and thoughts and hopes. 


The most important reasons we go to New Bedford;  Har and Bruce…”the Plymouth Street gang.”


Perfect fried clams from the Oxford Creamery in Marion, MA!  YYYYYYUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!  Har’s’ niece and her husband own the restaurant and he does all of the cooking.  Go early, it gets jam packed!


Peter and Catharine Katzenbach and one of their labs outside their beautiful home on the Westport River.

The first time we met Catharine and Peter was when they welcomed us into their guest apartment for the 3 nights we spent in New Bedford.  Har’s daughter Sharon is married to their son John.  It was a lovely apartment, they were wonderful hosts.   We hope one day we can repay their hospitality “when” they come visit us on DoraMac. 


New England stone walls.  “Good fences make good neighbors,” as Frost wrote.  But it made for difficult farming as the stones had to be cleared from the fields first. 

end part one

Doramac Update

Hi Everyone,

  Randal and I are back on DoraMac in Sebana Cove.  Our cruising friends Cliff and Ruth from Icicle had been keeping an eye on her.  They even had the fridge going when we got back about 9 pm Friday night Sebana time.  We had spent about 20 hours flying and 22 hours of layover time by the time we got off the Singapore to Sebana ferry.  Way too long!  But all of the flights were smooth and the luggage arrived when we did so no complaints.  Except for one.  We flew Lufthansa/United and had a 12 hour layover in Munich.  Nowhere in the whole second floor of terminal H area was there a water fountain.  And, of course, I couldn’t bring the water I’d had from the previous flight.  So it was $5 US !!! for a cup of tea.  A bottle of water was $1.90 Euro which was about $3 US.  How can you not provide drinking water for free to airline passengers? 

Saturday, Cliff and Ruth had borrowed cruiser John’s car and we joined them for a trip to Kota Tinggi for groceries.  Everyone was having a good time until the car’s electrical system stopped on the way home in the rain.  Miraculously John’s mechanic was traveling the road to Kota Tinggi and had been alerted to our predicament.  He stopped and using his battery started our car.  Luckily the rain had stopped so we didn’t need the wipers or lights or AC so the battery charge lasted until Cliff dropped us off at Sebana’s main gate and drove himself on to Sungai Ringget to the repair shop.  We returned to DoraMac mid-afternoon and I slept until about 6 pm.  Sunday we were up early.  Lang and Douglas invited us to go with them to Sungai Renggit for lunch.  We made a quick stop at the grocery store on our way home.  I lasted about 1 hour before it was nap time again.  I woke about 6 and Randal and I joined the C dock happy hour for a bit.  Then it was back to the boat to cook chicken for dinner that neither of us was awake enough to eat.  We were in bed and asleep by 9:30 pm.  This morning we were up at 3:30 am and I figured it was the best time to work on storing all of the groceries and stuff we’d left strewn about the boat since we got back.  Also, the Internet is working somewhat oddly so you have to use it when it works.

Our Plans……

Some time this week we will be joining up with www.sailmalaysia.net.  Many of our cruising friends, including Ruth and Cliff will take part.  We will cover about 2300 miles and see many parts of Malaysia we have not seen.  The rally ends in Kota Kinabalu where we had spent time but quite like it. 

Passage To The East – Rally Schedule



3 May – Penang

5 May – Lumut

10-12 May – Danga Bay, Johor Bahru

13-15 May – Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya

19-21 May – Sebana Cove, Johor

28-29 May – Tioman Island, Pahang

30 May-2 June – Kuantan, Pahang

9 June – Kapas Island, Terengganu

10-13 June – Kuala Terengganu

2-3 July – Kuching-Santubong, Sarawak

21-23 July – Miri, Sarawak

24-27 July – Brunei

1-2 August – Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

I did take hundreds of photos while we were in the US and will try to post a few.  We spent time with my sister’s family, Randal’s family and lots of friends. We made new friends too!   We thank them for taking great care of us during our visit.  Except with our friend Julia in Hyannis, we tried not to stay longer than 3 days!  Time flew! 

I will try to share some photos if I have time before we leave.  When we join the rally we will be anchored out a great deal of the time so communications might be sparse.  Sorry.   And any Internet connections might be very slow, so please save any emails with photos for when we are back at a marina.  It is just very hard to download anything other than text. 

So that’s it for this quick update.  Time to get back to packing up the boat.

GO SOX!!!!!


MY DoraMac

Randal makes biscuits

Hi Everyone,

  Randal and I were up at 3:30 am this morning!  Of course we spent most of yesterday afternoon sleeping and then were in bed by 9:30pm.  Hopefully we’ll be on a Malaysia time schedule soon.  And hopefully I’ll get used to the heat again.  In the States we were COLD!  Everyone else was enjoying spring; but we were used to summer all year round so rainy 60 degrees made us bundle up.  Does blood really thin?   I took photos or all of our family and friends; photos that are important to Randal and me.  Some photos have additional stories so I’ll share those…like Randal’s sister Linda teaching him to make biscuits “like mama used to make.”    Randal had tried making biscuits here in Sebana, but had little luck.  They didn’t rise, they burned, and they were tough.  Not good.  He definitely needed help with his biscuits.


Randal and Linda in her kitchen.  Looks just like the set of a Food Network cooking show. Linda is opening a bag of self-rising flour.  Not sure what Randal is doing.


Mixing and measuring.  Biscuits do best with Crisco and a very light hand while mixing the dough.


Biscuits in process


Perfect southern biscuits. 


Ken, Linda and Randal

Just before we left Roanoke we had breakfast with Randal’s brother Eddie and his wife Judy and our friend Joe Deshiell.   Judy made a huge southern breakfast with biscuits, sausage gravy, bacon, eggs, tomato, strawberries and lots of juice and coffee.  Everything starts with a stick of butter!  That’s how Randal’s mom had cooked and she lived to be 96!! 

We had many wonderful meals with family and friends all along the way.  Randal had requested a “lobstah dinnah” in New Bedford and our friend Harriet obliged.  I ate wonderful fried clams at the Oxford Creamery in Marion, MA owned by Har’s niece.  You could taste their time in the ocean….Yummm.    I shouldn’t even start writing about the great meals because we had so many along the way and my fear is I’ll leave one out!  Home cooked meals with family and friends were the highlights of our time at home. 

Ruth Johnson


Back in Roanoke

Hi Everyone,

  Just another quick update.  Randal and I are back in Roanoke after a great trip north to visit friends and family in Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, Providence, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.  Coincidentally and perhaps appropriately, we spent our last night of travel as guests of John and Jerie Milici who live on their Diesel Duck docked in Stamford, Connecticut.  Both Jerie and John will retire later this Spring: then they’ll throw off the lines and begin their cruising adventure.  It was great to see everyone and hard to say good-bye.  Part of our travels took us to New Bedford where I grew up and still have friends I’ve known since I was 4 years old!  We visited college friends, friends from Roanoke who had moved north, newer friends, and even made new friends who felt like old friends when we said our good-byes.  The weather didn’t always cooperate, but no monsoons or typhoons so it was OK.   I did take lots of photos and hope to share some when I can. And we did get to watch several Red Sox games on NESN and the Sox won most of them! 

   We still have friends to see and appointments to keep back here in Roanoke and so our time will be busy.  All too soon it will be time to go.  But we miss DoraMac and our pals back in Sebana Cove……..If we could only be lots of  places at once!

Ru and Randal