Over the top of Borneo
|Finn at the cake stall, Gaya Street Markets, Kota Kinabalu|
|Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu|
|Seth's purple birthday cake|
|Seth on the helm|
After leaving our mud bath in Tiga, we headed straight to Kota Kinabalu, where we were booked in to the very flash Sutera Harbour marina. This would be the most expensive marina in Malaysia, but also the last marina that we would see until we got back to Australia. We were looking forward to hanging out by the pool but, as anyone travelling by boat will tell you, it's best not to plan ahead. One of our two folding propellers decided to fall apart on the way in to the harbour so we had to come in under one engine rather than two. Luckily Scott is a damned fine driver and also the wind was not strong. So, rather than sitting next to the pool, Scott spent the next few days trying to locate a replacement propeller. We have a spare one – old and not folding – but that would leave us without a spare. Anyway, Scott always gets to know the industrial areas of every town rather better than he would like, so did his usual trek around, to no avail. In the end, we ordered a brand new prop, rather conveniently and at great expense, from Denmark. Yes, Denmark in Scandinavia. We need it to arrive in our last Borneo stop of Sandakan before we leave there on around 24 June. Hmm.
Anyway, there was a little bit of lying by the pool for me, whilst supervising the boys, of course. The resort was 5 star and had a kids' club, gym (yippee!) and even a bowling alley and cinema. Seth and Finn opted to remain at the resort rather than trek around 'just another town', other then when we dragged them to the Gaya Street markets - local baskets and ceramics, home-made cakes, tools, puppies and flowers. The rest of the time I was scouring supermarkets for items on my re-stocking list – especially bread flour and parmesan, which I bought up big.
Since leaving KK a few days ago we've been on the move every day, heading North to the tip of Western Borneo and over through the islands to the East. We arrived at Lankayan Island on my birthday (too ancient!) and had a fantastic day. Lankayan is a turtle reserve and dive centre, on a tiny jewel of an island surrounded by turquoise water. Seth made me a very lovely cake with purple icing and generally waited on me all day, god love him. Our friends on Red Boomer brought over champagne and a new hat to replace the rather disgusting one that I've been wearing for the past 12 months. From there we all went into the island and ate a delicious dinner (with more cake – thanks to Boomers). We were there until late, singing with the local guys who had an old guitar. Seth loved it; Finn fell asleep and had to be carried home. Sadly, no turtles have hatched whilst we've been here – green and hawksbill turtles come here to lay their nests and the eggs and babies are protected, to try to give them a chance of getting past the waiting birds and other predators.
One more long day and we'll be in Sandakan and then we hope to have a few days exploring the Kinabatangan River. From there, we'll cross over four days to the North East corner of Sulawesi and begin our Indonesian & Papuan adventure. We've been catching plenty of fish – mainly Spanish mackerel. Scott is 'the (mackerel) man' and has been hauling one in most days. The fridge and freezer are both full. Lucky we like fish, any which way....
By the way, you will no doubt be relieved to know that Gary the Gecko (or was it Pete?) has made an appearance! We were rather fearful that he had shrivelled up somewhere but tonight he appeared in the cockpit, healthy and lively and around 6cm long! Finn was so happy.
Don't forget, you can track our progress on the following address:
PS Welcome Ian and Melissa!