Trapped in Kudat

Month and a half ago when we sailed away from Philippines and arrived to Kudat, a small town in Sabah, also known as the „Land Below the Wind“, we thought we finally left all those potentially disastrous typhoons far behind. Turns out not quite so… Although it rarely happens that a typhoon ventures that south as Borneo, these cyclonic monsters can influence weather even in regions hundreds of miles away. And so here we are, already two weeks helplessly trapped in Kudat. It’s not that a typhoon’s path is predicted to go anywhere near us, but last week it was the super typhoon Usagi and now another typhoon Pabuk that is sucking in and thus intensifying the monsoon winds, which blow from south-west, i.e. exactly the direction we want to travel. The wind itself would not be such a problem, but the local waters are infamous for serious currents, that are strongly influenced by monsoon winds, and to sail on a small yacht not only against the wind, but also against a 2 knot current is not really much fun.

This is how it currently looks in SE Asia...

This is how it currently looks in SE Asia…

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Against the Winds and Currents aka from Puerto Princesa to Kudat (Part 2)

Although we managed to avoid the two reefs in the mouth and in the middle of the bay, we motored too far inside the bay and hit the reef stretching from the far end of the Clarendon Bay! We tried to reverse and get out of the reef using our engine, but this time it didn’t work. It was clear that we needed some external help…

Luckily for us, soon after we entered the bay, we spotted a couple of local fisherman in wooden canoes. One of them was nearby so we called him to come closer to our boat. He couldn’t speak English but using hands and gestures we somehow managed to explain to him that we were stuck on a reef and that we need him to row our stern anchor back to deep water and drop it there. We would then try to winch ourselves off the reef.

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20.-21.6.2009 Labuan – Kota Kinabalu

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