Miri, Sarawak

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Wed 11 Jul 2012 14:27
We arrived in Miri a couple of days ago at the end of a 5 day passage from Terengganu. Not the most enjoyable of passages--heavy rain and squalls most days, interspersed with winds under 5 knots necessitating engine. Also a couple of pretty closed shaves with electrical storms--one lightning strike can only have been a couple of hundred metres away, the flash and the bang almost simultaneous. A guy handling boat electronics here in Miri told us that sorting out equipment after lightning strikes was a regular source of business!!
Overall statistics--a 670 mile passage, 119 hours, of which 52 under engine.
So we were pleased to arrive in Miri--a much bigger town than we had expected--oil boomtown, we sailed past dozens of rigs and platforms not far from the coast---much more modern than Terengganu, much less muslim--lots of bars etc.
The last couple of days, we've been looking round town and doing boat chores--including fixing the salt water leak from the engine cooling system--eventually traced to a broken jubilee clip in an almost invisible/inaccessible place--so a lot of sweat trying to get the new clip on without taking the engine apart---Ger's smaller fingers and (unusual) patience playing a major part in success! But it's done! Tomorrow I have to fix the VHF--but we'll still have time for a bit of sightseeing.
We plan to keep the boat here for about 10 days, and spend a few of these days travelling to the Mulu national park and doing a bit of sighseeing inland in the hills and rainforests of Sarawak.
ps  on passage we had a couple of stowaways--2 small birds joined us--swallows--which spent most of their time under the upturned dinghy on the foredeck, with the occassional flight around the boat---may have joined as we sailed past Indonesian islands, in which case I hope they had their passports with them.