Sunday May 1

Caught the current north but no wind so we used the opportunity to fill the water tanks with desal. Anchored in the northern bay and snorkelled the reefs nearby. Successfully inflated Lea's SUP and repairs holding. The girls tried some yoga on the SUP's

Finnaly, thanks to fast shutter speeds, some success.

Esoterica joined us briefly before they headed off to Palau Besar. We gave Basar a miss and went on to the next island north; Palau Tengah.

Entered the passage between Palau Tngah and Palau Hajung from the east and noted a large coral bommie not on the charts. Anchored in lovely clear water on the NW of Tengah Island. Anne straight into the water to check the anchor set. Ashore for an afternoon walk we rounded the headland to find a beautiful resort. We explored a bit and at the beach bar there were some books with a bit of the islands history. It was here that about 120,000 Vietnamese Refugees were bought to live until a placement was found. The camp operated from the ealy 1970's up until 1995. Very few refugees ended up in Malaysia with the bulk going to Canada, USA and Australia and NZ.

We walked the broadwalk toward the main restaurant and reception centre and met up with the manager, Mohan. He was a little surprised to find a group of yachties on his island but recovered quickly and made us very welcome. He spoke passionately about the Batu Batu Resort which is about 4 years old and is centred around a turtle hatchery and environmental conservation. He showed us around the Resort and asked us many questions about yachting and Sail Malaysia. He became quite keen to involve the Resort in the Rally program to promote the work they are doing there. They are trying to buy turtle eggs off the poachers to keep them out of the markets and to re educate the poachers as opposed to prosecute them. They also harvest eggs from nests found on nearby islands and beaches and place them in their safe area at the Turtle Watch Camp. We arranged to meet him tomorrow with John and Kerryn to talk further.


Monday May 2

Lea and I did an early walk around the island before breakfast. Lovely track through the jungle. Not much left to show of all the refugees that lived here, just a few concrete foundations.

Back on the boat David and I fitted the new Dragonfly Sonar to the tender. I did some tests on the VHF radio DSC functions for our MOB protocols.

Dissapointed in Icom. The new radio has 3 DSC functions critical to our MOB protocols disabled. Very frustrating as we assumed we would be getting the Australian model which is supposed to have all DSC functions enabled. After some email correspondence, at least Icom have agreed to reprogram the radio when we fly back to Aus in October. Just have to hope we dont have a MOB event in the interim.

The Dragonfly Sonar was brilliant. Very impressive technology. We went out to the big Bommie we had noticed on the way into the anchorage and noted its exact position and soundings for the Navionics Community Layer.

Annie went off exploring on a SUP but otherwise an easy day. Eosoterica joined us and anchored nearby. They went ashore and met Mohan. They returned with an invitation for all of us to join a sunrise walk to check the beaches for new turtle nests. We accepted and booked dinner at the resort for tomorrow night.

John and Kerryn joined us for a BBQ dinner aboard Gemini Lady.

Tuesday May 3

Our early morning walk with head torches was very pleasant and our guide, Desmond, was very informative. We had expected other guests from the Resort to join us but it was a walk just the 6 of us. The rubbish on the east side of the island was still prolific despite the Resorts efforts to clean up. The South China Sea is just full of the rubbish from Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam and it drifts across one side or the other with the prevailing winds.

On our return Mohan invited us into the Restaurant for coffee and breakfast. Very generous we thought.

Another beautiful day swiming and snorkelling in crystall clear waters of Palau Hajung. We packed our shower bags and went ashore early for some pooltime and a few drinks before dinner. The Infinity pool had a bit of a green tinge to it and was very warm but Lea still managed her 1 km. I gave it up at 300m, it was just too hot.

John and Kerryn joined us and we retired to the bar. The restaurant and bar were built over the SW point of the island, over the water and caught the cooling SE breeze. We watched a lightning show over on the mainland after the sun went down. Dinner was sensational. Mohan joined us for complimentary coffee and introduced us to his head chef who with whom he had had a long association. They told us many stories or their early days in the hospitality industry. It was a great night marred only by the bill which was a bit over what we had been quoted. However, given the generous hospitality and free breakfast we felt in no position to complain.

Topsail Insurance's Underwriter has come back with an offer of final settlement which is about $3000.00AUD short of our expenditure. Most of the discrepency is due to currency changes over the last 3 months. With the AUD now higher they are discounting all the overseas payments we made in USD and MYR. Another battle to fight.

Fortunately the cockpit fridge is now back in action and working well so the medicine is nice and cold. Next stop Tioman Island.