The final count was 16 boats, such a big turnout for a Sebana/Telok Sengat cruise?Fantastic!!! Happy to share my short account of the weekend.
By 9.30 am, almost all the boats had left the mooring and headed towards Angler?s for the immigration clearance. The tide was rather slack which made the sail out easier, notably for me as I had a cooling water issue on Skybird. 1200 rpm was about the best I could do, which meant near zero forward movement against the strong tides that took control for the rest of the journey.
The smooth clearance at Angler?s helped make a good start to the trip to Sungei Shanti and onto Sebana. The breeze then was generally light and was coming on the nose which made sailing to Angler difficult, so most decided to motor the way there.
The faster ones made it good up river and arrived nice and dry, unfortunately, the few that were slower, where caught in a heavy downpour and were left drenched to the bones. It has been quite a while since I last stood in a downpour and it was quite cold. As we finally approached the marina, Desmond in Todak, who wasn?t too sure about Sebana, radioed me to ask which berth he should take, my answer to him was to find one that wasn?t raining. Fortunately, the rain cleared as we entered the marina, clear skies took over and the rest of the afternoon went to immigration clearance, hotel check-ins and boat cleaning.
Free and easy was the call for the night, Southern Light played host by opening up their boat for a Dock BBQ. However, some already had plans of their own and it ended with BBQ?s at various boats, some went into town for the annual seafood fix at Sungei Ringgit.
As part of this cruise to Sebana, boats can also choose to sail up the Johor River to Teluk Sengat. From the immigration point at Tanjung Pengelih; Sengat is about 13 nautical miles away, a nice 3-hour sail, if the conditions are right. Kurt and Gill in Waka Tere were the only ones that did it and had themselves a sumptuous seafood dinner. The next day they joined the rest of us at Sebana.
Soon the hours went by and everyone went into their own cozy corner for a well-deserved sleep. The nice thing about Sebana is that you can actually chillout there. No hard and fast rules or programmes to follow, truly, to each his own. I feel that it is this common thought that many of us have that make the trip to Sebana a very relaxed and enjoyable event.
Saturday was no different, we all went about doing our own things, some took advantage of the time and convenience to give a good cleaning to their boat. Others went to town while others just lazed around. Together with the crew from Todak, we went further up river in our tenders in search of an old crab farm. After meandering up the river we finally reach the location, it looked so run down that we thought it was shut. Sections of the zinc roofing were blown off, wooden planked-walls were torn, a small fish holding area that was there which didn?t look functional. Must have been some big winds that had come along and took parts of the structure along.
Even then we motored forward to have a closer look. Then we saw an area to the back that was still intact and out popped a head through a window of sought. We asked if they still sold crabs, then the RM250 answer came back and we were in business. After some talking and bargaining, we walked away with three huge crabs and at that price, we were happy. And that was dinner for the night. May be this could be one of a new attraction for our next visit to Sebana; bring your own tender for a crab cruise.
Another thing which I would like to share with you is our visit to Dr. Raymond Tan and his dear wife Margaret. They owned one of those units opposite of the Marina which has their own berth. Ray and Margaret have been members of CSC for a long time. What I actually want to share is that he brought out an old club T-shirt to show and it was made of towel material. Odd but interesting, photo?s will be shown. Btw, Raymond is retired and in he?s earlier days, he circumnavigated the world together with his wife in their yacht Tien Fei. To my knowledge, that makes them and Richard Howe, in his yacht Rum Bottle, the only members from CSC that had done it. If this is incorrect, sincere apologies to all other circumnavigators of CSC!
Time went by swiftly; we soon devoured the freshly bought Crabs in the evening and by late night we had our usual CSC gathering at the Oyster bar and in the Pirates Creek. It was nice to be able to sit around and chat with like-minded people; sailors!!
On Sunday, it was time to bid our farewell to Sebana Cove Resort as boats made preparations for the return trip to Singapore. By 1130, all boats had departed Sebana and headed for their clearance into Singapore. Then came the journey out the river and towards Anglers, many had already reached the location while I was still awhile away. I could hear the calls to immigration and hearing the reply that we needed to get coastguard clearance before proceeding to immigration. A tone of clear frustration was how I thought of the situation. Immigration was trying to offer queue numbers to the horde of boats but there was a queue. It looked like this is to be the norm when coming back into Singapore waters, so PCG before ICA. It was nice that the police were friendly about it, a nice hello on ch. 16 and we were cleared. Being about the last to arrive, the waiting time wasn?t too long before we were on our way back to the club. After clearing immigration, a 10 to 12 knot breeze came and that made our sail back to the club fun and much quicker then motoring. That was the only moment in the entire event when I could actually shut off the engine and sail Sky Bird.
With that we conclude another fun cruise and we thank all the participants for making this another successful event and for breaking the record for having the greatest number of boat entries; 16.
Thank you; Waka Tere, Southern Light, Ikaroa, New Blue Eyes, Midnight Blue, Withywindle, Sui Lynn, Zephyr, Cicak, Miss Visayan, Temptress of Down, Todak, Elessar, Defiance, Firefly and Gary Ng + Family (Cartman) who joined us via land transport!