Finally, after 6 weeks of dust, sweat and [painted] tiers, the day arrived for us to put the Fiddler where she belonged - back in the water - a boat yard is no place for a sailing vessel of her distinction.
|Finally being hoisted up from our birth in the Kudat boat yard|
|Evidently I'm better at getting paint on my face than the boat|
|Oh the exceitedment of finally becoming a sea gypsy|
|We had to say goodbye to some friends, the cat, not the captain|
|and found some new friends aboard|
|But it was time to finally launch into the ocean|
|There were party hats and everything|
|Fiddler, finally out on the water|
|Teddy taking up his place in the pilot house, he may even be a better driver than I am|
With the morning came a perfect sunrise over Mt Kinabalu and calm seas and life was all as it should be - sailing's an incredible way to travel when the ocean behaves!
Brunei seemed a logical first destination given that we'd be needing close on 2000 liters of fuel. So we wrong directioned 189 nautical miles.
Unfortunately we arrived at the same time as Hari Raya (Muslim new year, the holiday that comes after a whole month of Ramadan fasting), which was great for chanting mosques and fireworks, but bad for fuel!
We sailed up the Brunei river in the name of exploration and anchored in a quiet river segment to avoid being hit by crazy water taxi drivers. It was a pretty spot and also happened to be right across from his imperial highness, the Sultan's, palace.
So when the Sultans personal police representatives kindly requested our rapid relocation on Sunday morning, we probably should have been expecting them. Although it was hard not to stifle a giggle as they informed us that "The Sultana has asked that you leave immediately". So we did. Technically we were running from a raisin...
We carried on all the the way back down stream to the yacht club and then, because we could, we slipped past immigration and we carried on all the way back to Labuan, Malaysia where basic necessities like beer and cigarettes (no mom, I don't smoke) abounded along with Indian food and livelihood and while I'm sure that Brunei is an awesome country, it's really nice to be back in Malaysia land! Even if we have to head back again at the end of the week. And this time I'm going to actually attempt to lick the Sultan[a].