There is a stop in Brunei but we may not make that stop.
The legend of MT Santubong goes like this. Beautiful Princesses Santubong and Sejinjang were sisters and great friends. Sejinjang was an expert rice grower and Santubong an expert weaver. They were sent to bring peace and harmony to the warring villages of Kuning and Putih. All would be well unless the sisters would quarrel and that would bring war back to the villages. All was well until, you guessed it, the handsome Prince Serapi came along and fell for them both. Being modern princesses (in spirit) they refused to be joint wives. They chose to fight it out, (not so modern spiritwise) Anyway, so the legend goes, Sejinjang swung her rice thresher smack into Santubong’s cheek. Falling backwards, Santubong returned the favor throwing her loom and hitting Sejinjang’s head. Their father the king, in disgust (though what did he expect) cursed both sisters into mountains. Mount Santubong is supposed to resemble a woman lying on her back with a crevice at the peak where she was hit by her sister’s thresher. At the base of Mount Santubong is the Sarawak Cultural Village Museum. www.scv.com.my is the website. The legend comes from a small booklet Treasured Malaysian Legends that Elizabeth from Labarque gave to me. She had gotten an extra copy at one of the visitor centers. Just to keep things on a light note, at the bottom of the back cover in all caps it says, “TRAFFICKING IN ILLEGAL DRUGS CARRIES THE DEATH PENALTY.)
We watched clouds roll over the top of Princess Santubong’s head. At least I think that’s supposed to be the top of her head.
We walked into the small town of Santubong today for lunch. They have one restaurant and a few stores and several schools with kids helloing us along the way. We really weren’t sure where the town was and mixed it up with the Cultural Village. But after walking one way then another and then another we found the really longest way to Santubong and took it. Lunch was rice, greens, tofu and sprouts, curried okra and friend chicken. Pretty good. Then we browsed the 3 stores but didn’t buy the half gallon of ice cream since it would be totally melted by the time we got it back to the boat. Tomorrow we are going with Jim and Jenny Jobbins from Amalthea (New Zealand) and maybe Elizabeth from Labarque to Kuching. We go out to the road and wait for the minibus to show up. It sort of has a schedule. On July 3rd the rally is doing a tour of Kuching and the National Park. I’m looking forward to that and also to maybe finding a hiking trail for Mt. Santubong.
Our 3 night, 4 day passage from Terengganu to Santubong was good. We left Terengganu 5 am Friday morning and cruised at a very slow 4.5 knots average most of the day. During the nights we each take 2 watches. The watches start at 7 pm and go to 7 am. Each watch is 3 hours. Randal starts the 7pm watch. He wakes me at 10pm. I wake him at 1 am. And he wakes me again at 4 am. If he is lucky I don’t wake him during my watch to ask for help. During the 3 nights of passages I had to wake him during my 4am to 7 am watch on the first and third night. But that is great because I have in the past almost always had to wake him at least once each watch. I don’t like standing watch because I have to make decisions about how to interpret what I see on the radar screen. Sometimes I see lights not on the screen usually they are further away than the radar radius; but it looks like they are RIGHT THERE!!! I have learned not to panic if the radar says boats will be within a mile of us, or even a half mile if it is an anchored squid boat with huge lights. If I can really see it, then it’s ok. When it rains, that’s the biggest problem for me because the rain covers up the entire area and I can’t yet pick out the boats on the screen. Luckily I can see them with my eyes and luckily it was a very light rain my third night. We also have an AIS Automatic Identification System now. If a boat has AIS, and most large boats do, it tells you more accurately where they are going and how close they will come. We crossed a shipping lane our third day and it really helped to have that. Our fourth day we had a storm and I realized that I wasn’t so afraid of them now. Watching the boat’s bow go down where I couldn’t see it and then back up again just became uncomfortable, not so scary. But the waves were only about 5 feet and that apparently is no big deal to seasoned cruisers which I am not yet.
So that’s about it. Hope all of you have a great 4th. There is actually another American boat here so maybe we’ll get to say, “Happy 4th” to someone this year. We haven’t yet met them because they haven’t been on any of the stops at the same time. Not sure why.