Tuesday June 28

After an uncomfortable night Lea and I fought through the mosquito swarms to get up to the Palau Keraman Lighthouse. Not a long or difficult walk but pretty none the less.

 

Then we headed out through the Oil Rigs toward Labuan.

Labuan Harbour and surrounding waters were full of Oil Rig support vessels anchored and tied up doing nothing. Probably the result of the drop in oil price.
Motored our way into the River and Menumbok. Lots of rusty old Ferries running from Labuan the duty free port to Memumbok the mainland port.
We found a small hole in the dinghy which explained the slow air loss. I spent the afternoon repairing that.
Our reason for being here was to participate in a program Sazli had arranged where each boat crew is picked up by a local family and taken home to share the Ramadan Break Fast with the family. We thought this a great opportunity to meet and get to know a local family. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way. A wealthy businessman hijacked the arrangements and had all of us for dinner at his place. Lots of local women helped with the food prep but in the end it was just another free meal which was disappointing. We all had gifts for our host families so we made sure the ladies in the kitchen got most of them to share around. Having said that our hosts were very generous and the meal was excellent.

Wednesday June 29

I motored us back down into Victoria Harbour at Labuan while Lea used the heavy dew to clean down the boat. Labuan Port is a busy place with supply ships anchored everywhere. A few rally boats were already anchored inside the prohibited zone so we joined them. Holding is notoriously poor here due to platic bags on the bottom so we made sure we had set in well due to the frequent squalls.

We could use the Marina as a dinghy dock. The main town is not far away so we set off to get our immigration and Port Clearance done. Sazli had arranged for a blind eye from Immigration officials over at Memumbok for last nights visit.

We also had our shopping list for booze as stocks were low. At One Stop Duty Free they finally got the message that our order was a big one and we soon had 4 assistants helping us. 5 dozen wine, 8 cartons of beer, 2 Gin, 1 Rum,1 Vodka and 4 blocks of chocolate lightened the wallet a bit but gave us a ticket for free ride and delivery back to the Marina.

As we slowly motored the heavily laden dinghy out the Marina manager called us over about a berth. After some discusssion we agreed on a suitable one but with no power or water. We felt this was a safer option, even though the Marina was known to be falling apart more with every squall.

Securely tied up in the Marina we headed back into town looking for new washing machines. Nothing found that would fit.

Drinks at Happy Hour at the Kraken Bar on the waterfront follwed by another sponsored meal at the flash hotel next door. Well, they had some flash cars outside.

Lea liked this one but I still prefer the Lambo.

Another sumptous buffet. Jason off Allure was on for a big night and got the Kraken Bar to extend Happy Hour but we quietly slipped away.

Thursday June 30

Early run up to the War Memorial and back. A bit of a struggle. After breakfast we walked back there for a closer look.

 

Beautifully kept grounds. From here we tried to walk to the Botanical Gardens but our map was useless and we ended up at a Mititary Base. In the end we caught the local bus back into town and enjoyed some respite from the heat im the airconditioned museum. This was an informative collection of local history spanning the Portuguese Traders, Brunei ownership, English control and eventual return to Malaysia. The creation of a financial centre and economic tax haven is relatively new and only in effect since 1990. We have heard that it is the unofficial escape valve for Brunei.

While I retired for an afternoon siesta Lea did another load of washing and used the Marina Wifi to further research new washing machines. Quite a few could be made to fit but none of those are available in Asia.

Friday July 1

Brisk morning walk to the Central Market on the other side of town for some fresh vegies. We didnt need much but topped up breakfast fruit and greens.

Back at the marina the breeze was in early so we headed out up to the NE tip of the Island to join Esoterica.

Predictably another squall came though just as we were about to anchor and in a repeating theme Lea got soaked again.

An afternoon walk ashore to the “Chimney”

The conservation of this historic building won international awards. It is still unknown what the building was actually for. Was it a lighthouse, a shot tower? No evidence of charring suggests it was never a chimney. It is cental in the old coal mining area and overlooks Raffles Point where the coal was loaded prior to the building of a railway to Victoria Harbour. The attached small museum was also very good.

John and Kerryn over for a Roast Chicken dinner.

 

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