Farewell Blue Water Rally & Kalimantan Part II

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Wed 21 Jan 2009 10:37

We arrived in Yacht Haven Marina, Phuket, Thailand on the 9th December. 08:10:23N 098:20:41E, after what had been a very tiring and testing dash from the Kumai River in Borneo. Along the way we visited The Island of Batam as our exit point from Indonesia. Then Singapore & Malaysia before arriving here with our two grand daughters and their parents, who we had collected along the way in Langkawi. More of which anon………………………………………………


By the time we got here we were exhausted. The passages from Borneo had been very testing, due to the dreadful weather and hordes of unlit fishing boats and fishing boats with incorrect Navigation lights, that made it impossible to work out where they were going. Most of these are wooden boats, so very hard to spot on radar. Then there were the fishing nets. Some up to two miles long. Plus loads of debris in the water…..packing cases, whole trees. All very nerve racking. Plus the usual smattering of things going wrong with the boat. So we decided, after much agonising, to drop out of the rally and stay in Phuket. WE have some good friends here, it’s a great place, and the people are a delight. Not only that, but due to all the low cost airlines that come here, it’s a fantastic base to visit all of S E Asia. The other terrific plus is that the market is still quite buoyant out here, with lots of new five star hotels and luxury houses being constructed. Far more interesting that heading back to gloomy England and the recession.


We did have a ball on the Rally. We would most certainly not have undertaken the voyage without the organisation and support of the very experienced and helpful team of Tony Diment, Peter Seymour and Richard Bolt. So a big thank you to them for making it possible for us to undertake this adventure. We will miss our rally friends terribly, and when they all left on the 2/3rd January, it was a very sad moment. But the rally will be over when it gets to Crete in 4 months time………then what?


So, over the next few days I will up-date the web diary with pictures and stories about what we have seen and done since Kumai River. Talking of which, a few pictures for you to ponder………..






The two pics above show Princess. That’s the hairy one in the middle. She had a weeks old baby attached to her chest and her 8 year old son was trotting along behind us….all on the way to a feeding station, as detailed below.




These long tailed Monkeys were directly over our river boat




This was “Tom” the dominant male at Camp Leakey. He weighs in at around 100 kilos. Not to be messed with!!





Tom breaking unto one of the sheds at the camp for an unscheduled snack! It took 3 warders waving their jackets at him to drive him away. Then they had to re-build the shed……



The wild life was all around. Butterflies and huge Moths like this one above. The mosquitoes in this jungle are “professionals” even the guides ware 50% Deet.  So loads of Deet and After Bite are absolute essentials.



The village life is simple and basic. Transportation is all by canoe or river boat.


The whole Kalimantan jungle experience was unforgettable…..life changing in fact. It has certainly made me look at life in a quite different light now….for the better