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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Abolished by a Sultan[a]

It's not the first time I've been awakened by the police, but this time was different - this time the Sultan himself had ordered them to get rid of us...

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
The boys had just about become permanent residents of  Kudat, which made an embarking party all that more necessary. So, with a boat load of vegetarian dishes and fellow boat yard dwellers and painters and friends, we celebrated our last night as boat people in style before waking up sailors.

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
It was great to finally feel that ocean breeze and see the sails in all their splendor and be on the move again and... I interrupt this sentence to blaggggggghhhh - Port side and I have become well aquainted... In fact it took only 4 hours and 24 minutes for my first vomit, and I repeated that another 18 times before first light. I think (although I may have confused their facial expressions with disgust) that the rest of the crew are quite impressed by my projectile vomiting abilities and jealous that I get to detox so effortlessly!

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].

1 comment:

  1. Hi Adeena. As an ardent Royalist I really enjoyed this post of yours. I must however point out a couple of facts. One adresses the Sultan of Brunei as Your Majesty and not as Your Imperial Highness. Secondly the wife of a Sultan is called a Sultana, which is where the famous grape gets its name from. Please feel free to attempt licking the Sultana as she seems to be in need of a laugh judging from her photos. Thanks for a great blog and keep up the "good" work.

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