Monday, November 30, 2009


Shots around Malaysia in no particular order:
Buddist Temple in Melaka with offerings

Biggest buildings in Kuala Lumpur

Historic Fort in Melaka

Learning about how to make "Birds Nesr Soup"
It's sweetish and served for dessert!

Buying Batik artwork on silk in Melaka

Moslem school kids cut up with Chuck and Julia from Pacific Star, IP350

Malaysia is not as pristine as Singapore but a damnsight cleaner and richer than Indonesia so we are ready to like it here for a while. We plan to leave the boat in Langkawi while we travel and work on sprucing it back to shipshape!
We came to Johor the first of November, for the start of the Malaysia Rally but quickly went our own direction and pace, sailing NW up the Mallaca Straights, one of the busiest ship traffic locations in the world. We stayed in the barge lane missing all the fishing nets that are layed continously in 30' or less depth.
Our first stop was the historic town of Melaca with forts, museums, churches and old rebuilt squares to roam around. Next we stopped at Port Dickson where we left the boat for 5 days to visit the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur...means "muddy confluence". We did the usual big city stuff: shopping, museums, architecture, gardens. It was pretty OK but quite cheap!
After that we sailed straight for Langkawi, a group of touristy resort islands in the Andaman Sea. They are dutyfree and the water is much bluer than the muddy Straights. There are several marinas and yacht services. First we get 7 new batteries, a charger for shore power, a "fixed" or a "new" fridge, canvas repaired, new cockpit cushions and lots of scrubbing of mildew from all over this tub!!! I'll call it by name when it looks "schoonery" again!
We plan to visit Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and even come home for a while, hopefully in spring. Good news is we bought a small AC unit cuz this weather is really hot and now we can sleep and work better.
We will also get physicals and renew prescriptions here, so hopefully we are in good enuf shape to keep doing this cruising stuff. We do have the net here at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, so keep in touch.
Back to making the maintainence list...haven't begun work yet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We can only hit the high points in Singapore. We stayed 3 weeks and just loved being in a big city again. We is a marathon activity here...and saw all the museums. We toured around Little India and Chinatown with friends who met us coming in from Malaysia. We stayed in Raffles Marina, the most luxurious marina we have ever been in but very reasonable.
Singapore is immaculate and quite refreshing after Indonesia with all the polluted water.

We really loved the most wonderful tropical Botanic Gardens we have ever seen and the Bird Park was also quite remarable. The Zoo was just soso!
We had to get new passports so that's why it took a while but it was no problem...except the minor one...the heat...whew...quite warm here. Tried to stay gone until 6pm when it cools down.

In Nov we are on to Malaysia with the start of the rally that we really are just drifting with in the straights of Malaka until we get to Langkawi near Thailand. That's when the water gets nice and clear again and we look forward to it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kalimantan to Singapore

We gotta say, the last part of Indonesia was definitely the best!! We were so impressed with our visit to Camp Leakey where wild orangutans are cared for before being released back into the wild. What a great experience! Actually just imagine anchoring right on a river in southern Borneo. The Indonesian part of Borneo is called Kalimantan. We took this river boat for 2 days and one night through the jungle to see these amazingly intelligent "cousins". You know there is a lot going on when you look deep into their eyes.
There is more info on the website on the Kalimantan page but I just had to add some more photos here.

We arrived in Singapore on Monday Oct 5th and it's great to be back in the first world again. The 4 days it took to get here was when all the dreadful disasters were hitting this area and we kept getting email asking about our safety when we didn't really know what was going on. We will be at Raffles Marina in Singapore until the Malaysia Rally begins and we sail up the straits of Mallaca towards Thailand.

Keep an eye out on the website, for a Singapore page as soon as Lynn fully recovers from a weird infection setback.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pix of Indonesia/August '09

Here are a few pix of Indonesia and the adventure verbage follows on the next pages ...all about our time here.

After this we will post about our trip around Bali and we will get more photos on the net in Singapore. Internet is not readily available here and this is our first chance in 2 months.
Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Kicking back!

Heading West to Bali/August '09

We are having trouble raving about this country. Compared to our other cruising areas this one is more challenging and we are not particularly enthusiastic about it. The anchorages are deep and rolly; not conducive to rest. The food is cheap but mediocre although the beer is good. The land is hot, dry and parched with lots of dirt and dust to collect on the boat….and no rain for over 2 months so there is salt everywhere. Many villages are pitifully poor and needy and we would like to help more than we can. Some actually rate as Fourth World!

We really just passed time until we got to the island of Rinca, near Komoto, and saw the giant Komoto Dragons. That was something impressive to write about. They actually can swim and climb aboard boats if they smell meat. We couldn’t get off the dinghy onto land because they looked so fierce.

We began enjoying this country a bit more when we arrived in Lovina Beach, Bali. We could have just skipped everything up until here if we had it to do over again. Also, this Boat Rally is the worst organized event we have ever seen…actually entertaining in its inefficiency! They keep cancelling things and changing the rules and the organizers quit halfway through it. We had taken off on our own away from the crowd of boats, anyway. We are waiting to renew our visas now and are just killing time before we visit the island of Bali. We have heard good things so are looking forward to improvement in our outlook.

We guess someplace has to be our least favorite!!! After here we go to Borneo to see the Orangutans and then to Singapore before another rally in Malaysia and then on to Thailand.

WE ARE ACTUALLY HEADED HOME AFTER THAILAND! In January we will head around India, through the Red Sea to Turkey. We won’t be back in the US on CYAN for at least 2 years but we are headed that way.

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Trials In Indonesia/July 09

Maybe we jinxed ourselves by saying too often that things had been going too smoothly, but our luck all caught up with us on our way to Indonesia.

The first inconvenience happened when, in the middle of the night, on the short 250 mile passage, the head got completely blocked and we proceeded to disassemble it and treat it with phosphoric acid. Meanwhile, when we are both working in the head with sails reefed and pointing the boat to the wind for a smoother ride, a wave hits and a kettle of tea flies across the galley staining the rugs with creative brown designs. Then on another wave all Lynn's earrings in a Tupperware box, that has always been secure, hits at the right angle and the stateroom is peppered with jewelry, everywhere. We finally unblock the head after several hours of “bucket and chuck-it” as cruisers call it. All this, while the wind picks up to blowing 30 knots.

We finally reach Saumlaki, Indonesia where the 140 boats in the rally crowd into a deep anchorage. These local folks...40, an oversized village actually, have never seen so many westerners at one time. The people here are very welcoming and delightful folks...we can't say enough about their attractiveness. The officials do the best they can with the overwhelming number of vessels to go through quarantine, immigration, customs and harbormaster clearance. Beaurocracy is the game here and we must enjoy it!!!

Our next set of problems didn't really start until the second day where we are called on the radio to assure us that someone is out there saving our dinghy...WHAT DINGHY... we didn't know it was missing!!! The D ring we have hauled it by for thousands of miles gave way and it was taking off across the bay!!! Then we went on the arranged tour of villages to view the culture, dancing, singing and crafts. The marathon hour tour ended up lasting 9 hours on a bumpy bus with no restroom facilities and just one cup of water. The tour was wonderful but they hadn't prepared for this huge number of cruisers, amounting to over 200 in 5 busses on back roads.

Anyway, after we got back, at dusk, we find the dinghy had been pushed under the pier by the other 30 dinghies and it was crushed and full of water from high tide!!! We got towed back to the boat by helpful fellow cruisers only to find that our BOAT WAS MISSING...IT WAS GONE...ooops… look around...there it was ...over 300 feet north from where we left it. The anchor that had held fine for 2 days, somehow, proceeded to drag across the slimy mud and past a neighboring boat but not hitting it!!! We find out that 4 other cruisers in dinghies guided it safely and let out more chain to hold it securely. We pride ourselves in anchoring and we were mortified to be caught in such a mistake!!!

It was all a day from hell and mostly an affront to our dignity. We will learn from it all and not be complacent...if that was our mistake. The next morning we re-anchored with a wounded windlass [the motor thing that pulls up the chain]. Chuck spent the all day learning how to rebuild the waterlogged outboard motor while Lynn was in bed with chills from “Indo revenge” as also experienced by with other visitors here!!!

We finally got the motor fixed although the cover looks like it was run over by a truck!!! We also fixed the wiring on the windlass with help from other cruisers. Just another step in the great adventure but we have to say...we were tired, frustrated, embarrassed and humbled by all of it. The breakage could have been worse and more actually having to get parts sent into here. “Impossible but can be arranged”, as they say, expecting bribes.

It was not our best time on the boat so far!!! Still we leave to see other parts of Indonesia west of here and hopefully with better luck!!

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The end of Australia

Chuck's view while diving!

We haven't written in ages because there just isn't anything exciting about getting ready to leave the first world.

There are many things to fix on the boat like refrigeration, windlass, SSB radio [shorting out causing shocks ouch!] and a bunch of boring miscellaneous small stuff. We always appreciate the engine and generator which are purring nicely and after our boat's slick bottom paint we are scooting along at nice speeds like 7 knots!!! We have been packing in the provisions and booze like there is no tomorrow. That's because we want more than fish and seedy rice!!! And also there are no alcoholic goodies in Indonesia!!!Our passage along the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and the NE coast of Aussieland was quite enjoyable. We especially liked Cairns, Cooktown, Townsville, the 5 day Great Barrier Reef Cruise and wonderful cape Tribulation with it's beautiful rain forest. It's a long damn way around Australia, though...I mean this place is spread out!!! It seemed to take us ages!!!

We must mention that the folks here are our favorites in the world so far....they are just great everywhere we went...just like southerners at home...warm and instant friends...we love them!!!We sailed around the NE section of Australia all the way to Darwin and have been here almost a month getting ready. It's hot and sticky here and it's the dead of winter!!! On July 18 at 6am we take a 3 day voyage north to Indonesia for 3 months in the third world...actually it's the most exotic place we have been yet, as far as lack of communications like the internet or even medical help. There are 140 boats in this rally so we have lots of company and we have seen just loads of friends that we haven't connected with in ages.

I might also mention that we installed an AIS unit so that we can always see the location big ships and they can see us. We will be going into busy traffic waters from here on.

We promise to report here more often during our travels.

We plan to go to Bali and Borneo, too, which just sound so wildly exotic!!! We understand that the Indonesian people have little but are warm and inviting. We hope there is not another earthquake in Sumatra like the one that wiped out Thailand a few years ago because that's just where we will be!!! After Indonesia we go to Singapore about October and then to Malaysia for several weeks before Thailand about Christmas time.

Please write us at the usual sailmail address...we will miss friends and family.

Lynn and Chuck...the tired and drinking crew of CYAN!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 2009 Manly and Bundy

Hamish, along the coast.....

We expected to just stay a brief time in Manly, near Brisbane, in early March, and visit with Horizon folks, Marilyn and Ray, but this cyclone, Hamish, came down the east coast and trapped us there so we ended up working on the exterior teak. Now this teak job is a huge endeavor and one we can put off for ages but we finally got it done. We will put up photos of CYAN in her finished state after the haul out.

These photos try and capture the fun of those weeks we spend doing maintenance projects to get the boat in good shape so we can go out and live and play safely. I won't try and list all the fun jobs....they do mount up, tho!!!

We did arrange to take breaks for scotch tastings for Ray and Chuck...a new hobby in off hours!!!

Do these guys look happy or what???

After many harried days of work and errands in Manly, looking for supplies and a new water heater we catch a weather window and we set out for our voyage north to Bundaberg and to be hauled out for a bottom job repainting the hull after 2 1/2 years cruising. This is an especially long time to put off a bottom job and we don't know what to expect.

Lifted out of the water by the travel lift after backing into the slip in raging current and wind!

Hauled over to the dusty, dirty boatyard where we have to crawl up and down a 10' ladder to get off and on the boat!

The paint the had applied in Venezuela in 2006 had held up remarkably well and we had no real problems. We just spent a normal 9 days getting the bottom sanded, primed, sprayed and the new water heater installed. We did that, of course. We had to have some engine work done and we are installing AIS that will allow us to monitor ship traffic while at sea and have them see us, too. We still have provisioning and errands to do in town and a dentist to see.

Soon we will be out there anchored in the islands having fun again!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making our way north

Here it is mid February and we are late making our way north to Brisbane and on to Bundaberg to work on CYAN.

We spent almost 2 weeks in Broken Bay, a breathtakingly beautiful area 1/2 day north of Sydney, waiting for elusive winds from the south to blow us on northwards. We decided to knock ourselves out cleaning and re-oiling ALL THE INTERIOR TEAK WALLS and cabinets. It turned out to be a huge job and we went through lots of Nuprin feeling all of our years and then some! It looks like new from the inside now, with new rugs and decorator cushions. We sorta miss that ole smell of mildew, tho!!! We just need to work up that same fury on the exterior next month when we need to renovate the teak and wax the fiberglass!

We set out from Broken Bay with some good south wind on Feb 10 and made it as far as Port Stephens Bay, getting only 80 miles north of Sydney. These southern gift winds were part of a monster high pressure system near Tasmania that dryed out Melbourne and encouraged those fires in South Australia you made have heard about. The fires left many homeless and even killed over 200 people. This system whipped up a series of lowpressure systems off the eastern coast, where we are in New South Wales. Each low had a clockwise circular flow and an eye like a small cyclone. These lows have been happening for the last seven days we have been waiting. We have seen loads of rain and roaring winds continously from 20 to 35 knots in this protected bay and they were over 50 knots off shore as this photo shows in the orange areas. One gale warning after another and many flood warnings. This shows the low after it had moved away from the coast.

CYAN was anchored well and rode it all out with several other boats in Salamander Bay and we made many good friends as well as seeing some old cruiser friends, Three Ships and Allaban. We can't complain about the fun we had passing the time. There was a good little mall near by, nice walks, a wonderful was one of our favorite stops. We were invited to a yacht club as honored guests for dinner by new friends, David and Lannie on Gypsie Lee. We also met George on Thalia 11 who at 76 is still single handing after making a circumnavigation in '94.

I included the photos below to show what we do to kill time while waiting for weather...laundry, shopping, downloading, sewing, refueling, and of course by-passing the leaking hot water heater. That's one more thing to buy when we get to Bundy in March.

Looks like Thursday, the 19th will be good to go all the way to the Gold Coast Seaway and on to Manly off Brisbane. Should take us 3-4 days...about 350 miles but some of it takes waiting for the right tides to go through the shallows inside the seaway.

At least we have predicted winds from the south even if there are showers included. They just come with the package. We will post more updates later...all this is just day-to-day cruising life but it's what's happening in our lives and actually we are having a great time even if it's not the expected schedule!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Adventures in Sydney

It's been about a month since we have arrived in Sydney and it's just flown by. We really haven't noted anything on this blog because there is just too much to note. Who wants to hear about all the usual museums and parks we all visit in a world class city?? I won't really go into any detail...ok!!! Just let folks know we are well and having a great time enjoying Australia. We do notice that the weather here is absolutely more varied than any we have ever seen anywhere. It cane be really hot then cold then rainey then blow like crazy...just stick around!!!

I will note that our cove at Cammeray Marina, where the boat is moored, takes a good strong 3/4 mile uphill walk or 106 steep steps and then 3 steep block uphill to get to the bus so we get a work out on most days. We have learned the transit system well and have traveled all over town. It feels good to be cleared as healthy by the doctor here and get new glasses, prescriptions, etc.

We made new friends of Mark and Heather who entertained us during the holidays and introduced us to many interesting folks. Mark is the Island Packet dealer for Australia and introduced himself when we happened to anchor [legally] in his condo's front cove.
Our pictures here are self described...just a token of the beauty that is all around this lovely of the nicest we have ever seen. Sydney is so crisp and clean that is is a joy to discover.We got to see 3 events at the Opera House itself, city museums, especially the Nautical Museum, Zoo,Gardens, historic city sections and walks, meeting with new and old friends, and, of course, there is always catching up on shopping and lots of movies.

When we weren't out and about we were trying to get motivated to get some jobs done on the boat but kept getting tempted to play instead. We did get some gas work done for a small fortune and new radios installed to replace semi-working old ones.

Next we head north to Broken Bay for a few weeks of exploration and perhaps some boat work...we'll see!!! Then we start the long haul north against the current and exploring the coast.

The Crew of CYAN