Anambas and back – from Birregurra

 

CSC, Nongsa, Airabu, Jemaja, Murbur South, Terempa, Moonrock Lagoon, CSC

 

Some of us at the Club had been talking about a cruise to Anambas for some time, and 5 CSC yachts were up for the challenge. Led by GMM Edwin on Skybird with Kim Soon and Deborah, Exodus – Desmond, Joseph and their father, Amideau – Maarten and Monique, Andiamo – Paul and Frances and Birregurra – Basil, Brian and Luke. Derek and Katy  had planned to join on SDF but couldn’t make it this time. We’d had a few meetings at the club and at the bar, and the biggest issue seemed to be the international clearances post Covid 19. Edwin and Mayling did a great job arranging exit at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, and we set off for Nongsa on the morning of Wednesday the 3rd of August, so we could clear in to Indonesia

I’d recruited a mate of mine who used to sail on Simba – Brian, to join me for the trip. He  arrived from Vietnam a couple of days early and helped with the provisioning and loading. We took lots of stuff – 160L + 85L of fuel, 350L of water, plenty of beer, spare chain, anchor and prop, engines spares, life raft, dive hookah (Luke’s sleeping companion), sat phone, etc.

The plan was for Brian and I to sail to Nongsa and then Anambas, and for Luke (Marut) to catch the ferry to Batam a couple of days later, and fly to Letung and we would somehow find him there?

A minor problem was uncovered just b4 we set off. The propane gas fume detector wasn’t working, which meant we had a fridge full of food, full gas bottles but no gas to the oven! Anyway, it was time to go and we’ll sort that one out in Nongsa. We sailed down the channel in good wind then across the shipping channel to Nongsa. About 16nm and we made a good 7kn for most of the way. Sorted out the required flags on entry and customs boarded us for a chat and photo’s. Nongsa Marina were then arranging for the clearances and visa on arrivals. It took 2 days and 4M IDR for the two of us and the boat including visa on arrivals – the most expensive part of the trip

We gave the Marina bar a good work out on the first night, and when back on board, Edwin’s crew came past with a bottle of scotch to finish off a great day

After breakfast in the Marina, we worked out a plan, and Brian went into town to buy parts, whilst I arranged the extra fuel (the marina ran out) and did some work. Later in the day after several hours work, we had managed to solder up a dc connector and run a cable under the floor and up the other side and get power to the solenoid and put in a control switch so we could cook with gas – success. A late dinner, some drinks and final wind forecasts were downloaded

Skybird and Exodus set off at 6am. Amideau, Andiamo and ourselves had breakfast and got fresh ice and departed 8am. Birregurra had departed Nongsa exactly one day earlier for Anambas 4yrs earlier, so we had a good idea what to expect. We sailed parallel to the channel, then where it heads north east, we set sail for Anambas on a starboard tack,  making good progress at around 7kn

Andiamo and Amideau under full sail on the way up

As the wind went more astern, Amideau and Andiamo got away a bit with their larger head sails, but we all kept in radio and AIS contact. By 10pm, the wind had died completely and the current was taking Birregurra off course, so we dropped sails and motored for a good part of the night. No fishing nets and hardly any shipping traffic at all. We approached the private resort of Bawah around 6am, but its now USD200 to moor and USD500 to go ashore for their spa package! We continued on to Airabu under full sail, English muffin with bacon and coffee for breakfast. Astonishingly, we all arrived on the s/w of Airabu within a mile or two of each other around 1pm. Skybird and Birregurra took the n/w passage in following the Howarth’s detailed notes (well, at least one of us did), whilst the other yachts went around the southern islands to meet us at the anchorage. We went into the anchorage first but quickly ended up amongst dangerous coral bommies, so went back out to 14M and dropped anchor in clear sand. We tried to paddle ashore in the inflatable kayak, but without the tiny fin rudder, meant we just went in circles, and had to go back and fit it and then we could paddle straight. All five yachts were now well anchored and either snorkeling, fishing or sleeping after the overnight passage. Brian cooked up a ripping chili con carne, and after some red, we had a great sleep in a very peaceful anchorage.

We pulled up anchor at 7am, and set off around the top of Airabu for Jemaja. Consistent wind of 15kn, just behind the beam, which picked up to 18 and a decent swell by the time we arrived.

 

Surging along to Jemaja

We went around the top and into Teluk Mampo bay, anchoring in sand some 3-400M from shore. The skipper paddled into the wind to the beach, whilst Brian kept watch onboard, and we could see the Lion Air prop plane coming in to land. Luke got a ride around on a motorbike, as he had spotted our mast from the air, so knew where we were

Teluk Mampo beach where we found Luke                  The view from the air

Back to the mothership and a welcome aboard beer, and then a gentle sail on the jib around to Pulau Ayam, following the waypoints in and anchoring in 8M. We sailed close to 50NM all up today. A GnT and balance of the chili con carne and rice, and a very peaceful night’s sleep aboard, as the locals dragged their towable squid rigs out for the night

After breakfast, we had a snorkel over a reef with some quite interesting tropical fish. Our bread from Nongsa had gone mouldy already, so the skipper got a bread mix going. Following the no measurement approach, much to Engineer Brian’s dismay, but it actually turned out quite ok when we baked if for breakfast the next day.

Anchor up and we immediately hoisted the main in the lee of the island, but we’d only gone a few hundred meters and got whacked by the clear wind so we looped around and immediately put a reef in the main

Departing Pulau Ayam b4 the wind hit

We had 15-17kn for an excellent sail toward Terempa. It’s a really good strategy to crisscross your way from the south to the north, as you’ll get great sailing just aft of the beam all the way. The Harbour Master would have been closed by the time we would arrive, so we changed plan and headed to Murbur South and sailed all the way up the fjord and anchored in 20+M, with all 60M of chain out and a 10M bridle attached. Another 37NM today in quite hot conditions.The wind calmed later in the evening and it turned out to be a millpond

Homemade pizza and Brian managed to find some great Aussie music from the 80’s for a great night aboard

The fishing village extends around the end of the fjord, and in the morning after the local wake up call, we watched the kids be ferried to school in Terempa in small boats.

It was a challenge to get the bridle up, given the weight of the chain, but we somehow managed and motored the 6nm to Terempa. An enormous new mosque now greats visitors, and we anchored up as close as we could to the corner of the causeway in 16+M

The huge new mosque on approach to Terempa           Anchored in Terempa

First stop the Harbour Master. After some paperwork, three friendly uniformed officers took us on their motorbikes to Quarantine. Lots of forms and chops and then back on the bikes to Customs, but they wanted some forms the HM had kept, so back to square one. Realizing Luke wasn’t on the crew list, we got the HM to make up a new one, which took for ages, and by then it was lunchtime and everything closes down. After a very cheap local lunch, we finally passed Customs requirements, but they insisted to go onboard

When they saw our tender was an inflatable kayak, they quickly accepted a few pics as good enough. Then on to Immigrasi, however, their IT was a bit delayed and Luke apparently wasn’t yet in the country? Luke helped them navigate their IT, and after a few hours it was sorted out. Then they asked Luke to help them record a 77th anniversary video clip – in Bahasa

He did a sterling job, then we were back to the HM for final clearance at 3:15pm, and fried banana which they insisted we have. Back on board and we were hurrying now as we wanted to get to Moonrock b4 dark and it’s 16NM away

Moonrock Bluff                                                   Andiamo and Amideau at anchor

We motored through a series of channels, navigating around shallows, and arrived at 5:45pm with maybe 20mins of daylight left. We followed the Howarth’s waypoints in and rendezvoused with Amideau and Andiamo. Luke made an excellent Italian pasta for dinner, and we had a great night in the signature anchorage of the Anambas Islands

Up early the next morning, we topped up with fuel, passed a spare drum to Maarten (just in case), had more homemade bread with ham, cheese and tomatoes, good coffee and a swim b4 departure

Then we retraced our path out through the reefs and motored south. Sails up after 1.5hrs and we made 6kn close hauled in 10kn of wind. Later in the day, Luke reset the autopilot to sail to apparent wind, and we gain about a knot. However the south west wind progressively pushed us up the Malaysian coast during the night. The wind picked up and we had a big heel up and a bit of slamming but all under control

The skipper wedged himself down below and later came up with sausages, gravy, mash and veg for a proper feed for the overnight passage. We sailed all the way, and had a fairly close encounter with a Chinese tanker, who didn’t answer their radio and passed within 50M, overtaking us from our starboard stern on a very dark night. When the sun came up, we were close to Jason’s Bay so turned left and motored south directly into the wind, then through the Lima Channel and headed towards Frontier

Entering SG waters again

The wind picked up to 15kn and we had a great sail all the way to CSC, coming alongside the jetty for the evening just b4 dark. We’d just missed Immigration so had to have another night onboard, but only after a shower and a few beers at the club.

Approaching CSC

After clearing Immigration after 7am, we cleaned up the boat and put her back on the mooring. All up we did close to 500nm. As Brian says – about a ¼ of an Atlantic crossing. It was mostly great sailing, some fabulous anchorages, good snorkeling, great food onboard, no issues or drama, and an excellent cruise. Birregurra performed very well, and got us home safely. We are definitely up for it again next year, but hopefully we can take 2-3 weeks and have more time at anchor and to explore the islands some more.

CSC x Rainbow Centre Centre Joy Sail 24 September 2022

On 24th September, CSC once again hosted hosted students and caregivers from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School for a morning of joy on water. Although on a smaller scale compared to the earlier run in May, it was nevertheless another successful outing – providing new experiences and opportunities for the students and their families.

Rainbow Centre: Empowered, Included, Thriving

The Centre regularly work with partners (such as us!) to create opportunities for persons with disabilities to make the most of their abilities and participate meaningfully in society. Through practical education, meaningful support and effective training programmes, Rainbow Centre strives to increase the quality of life for persons with autism and their families.

Despite the initial downpour earlier in the day, the Captains and crew were unperturbed, and eventually rewarded with calm waters, cool weather and a gentle breeze. Big thank you to the following boats and skippers for supporting this meaningful sailing event:

  1. Birregurra / Basil
  2. Baby Beluga / Soo Chong
  3. Marut / Luke
  4. Kaze / Xavier
  5. Miss Visayan / Gary
  6. Windflirt / Jasper
  7. Genesis / Desmond
  8. Summer Breeze / Edward
  9. Kristina / Allan

Not forgetting the amazing Aunty Sharifah (teacher in-charge) for organizing this every year, providing precious opportunities for our beneficiaries. Finally, a solid bravo zulu to the operations crew from CSC – for providing the necessary support throughout the entire event.

We look forward to our next collaboration. Until then, stay safe and keep sailing!

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The Anambas Cruise 2022

The Anambas Cruise

3 – 17 August 2022

(The article is written only from the views from Skybird)

 

3 August; the day began with us reporting to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal (CPFT) for the immigration process. The opening of the CPFT for immigration clearance has been a gift to us, the process was as smooth as it can be. It was only about a week before our trip where we were supposed to have our immigration done at the One15 Marina. This would have been an extreme inconvenience to us.  However, after several meetings with the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA), they made the decision to open CPFT to facilitate immigration clearance for clubs on this side of the island; namely the SAFYC, Punggol Marina and Changi Sailing Club.

 

We left our mooring by 1045hrs and were on our way to our 2-week adventure to the Anambas Islands; our first stop would be Nongsa Point Marina, NPM. With a steady breeze and a strong outgoing tide, it took us only about two and a half hours to get from CSC to NPM.

 

The idea to sail to the Anambas was mooted during one of our many beer-talks at the club. It was one of those, I should do it someday kind of talk. Well, I must thank Justin from Invictus who had pushed us to seriously plan for the trip. As the day’s past, words got around and soon we were joined by Exodus, Birregurra, Amideau, Andiamo and SDF, who unfortunately had to withdraw from the trip.

 

At NPM, we spent the afternoon lazing around at the boat as we waited to be cleared by the Customs and Immigration. The latest requirement was for us to be at NPM for at least 2 days for the immigration process. As also required, we flew the Indonesian flag (courtesy flag), the Q over N (customs, immigration & quarantine).

 

It was nice sailing into NPM as we were greeted by the familiar staff at the marina. Good ole Acok was there with his ever-smiling face and willingly waiting to render assistance. It was also good to catch with Prakash, who is recovering from some medical issues.

 

4 August; it was pleasant waking up in a marina, our first morning away from the comforts of home. After 2 years of being confined due to the Covid pandemic, just being at NPM felt like being a bird out of its cage. The day went by without much happening as we all prepared for the 0700hr start for our sail to the Anambas.

 

5 August; up by 0400hr, we made a quick breakfast of bacon and eggs and were soon ready to cast off. We had planned to break the journey into two legs; first stop was Pulau Airabu and then to Terempah the next day.

 

As we left the marina, the breeze quickly filled in and blew to a comfortable 8 to 10 knots on our beam. Our first target was Horsburgh Lighthouse which we planned to keep well to our port. The breeze held on for the rest of the day and even into the earlier part after sunset. We were doing between 6 to 7 knots on the average. As it got darker, we decided to put in a reef on the mainsail. The process of reefing was quite an excitement by itself. Being shorthanded and in a near pitch-dark condition, didn’t help the process much. Well, the three of us managed to get things under control and we were soon back on track. The rest of the night wasn’t fantastic and the wind died on us and we bobbed around for at least an hour before turning on the engine.

 

6 August; it was in the early hours before we caught sight of the other three sailboats approaching from the rear. They had left the marina slightly later and had finally caught up with us. By then, the smallest light of the new day had allowed us to see the blurred shape of an island in the distance. Pulau Repong, a smallish rock face was the first island in our pathway. As the horizon brightened, so did the sight of Pulau Bawah and further back was Pulau Airabu which was still some 8 hours away.

 

Pulau Bawah would have been a nice first stop but we were told that there were some restrictions and hefty charges so we decided to give it a miss. By now the winds had freshened again as we continued our passage to Airabu. After receiving a call from Birregurra, we both decided to take a shorter route through a very narrow and shallow passage as we made our way towards our intended anchorage. The depth went from 51m down to 2.8m in less than two minutes. It was quite scary but the sight was stunning. Beautiful coral heads were clearly visible. It would have been a dream spot if we could anchor among the coral reef but that wouldn’t have been a smart thing to do. Thinking back, I doubt I would ever try doing this stunt again, too risky for keelboats.

 

It was 1630hrs when we anchored off at the Southeastern corner of Airabu; the large bay easily accommodated all five boats. We had the bay to ourselves and everyone settled in quickly and enjoyed the well-deserved rest after the 30 odd hours of sailing.

 

7 August; Basil in Birregurra had to leave early to make his way to Pulau Jemaja as he had planned to rendezvous with Luke who had made arrangements to fly in to meet up. That’s being a diehard for you, fly into the Anambas just to sail back to Singapore.

 

Having soaked in the beauty of the surrounding, the rest of us decided to stay at the anchorage for another day and spent most of the afternoon snorkeling and simply chilling.

 

8 August; we weighed anchor at 0800hrs for our final leg to Terempah. After weighing anchor, I had issues with the halyard. I couldn’t fully hoist my mains and had to settle for it to be in the first reef position. It was very annoying as the winds were great and hitting us on our stern quarter which made easy sailing. By the time we arrived at the Terempah port, Amideau and Andiamo had already found a decent spot to anchor for the night. We, on the other hand, sailed straight to the next bay at Tanjong Tebu where the Anambas Resort was located. The lady owner, who was kind of expecting us, shouted some instructions to us and we were soon anchored in 25m of water. It was a very sheltered corner, so I decided to only put out 40m of chain. The resort where we checked in was very basic but the location and surroundings made up of everything.

 

Exodus also had issues with his engine and had to sail into the anchorage; the strong currents between the islands of Siantan and Matak did not help matters. Oh yes, just for info, Terempah is the main town on the island of Siantan and that is where the port and administrative offices are located.

 

9 August; we rented three motorbikes and had also hired a guide to leads us to the Port Authority to do the proper check-in into Terempah. After some minutes of paper pushing, we were off to a guided tour around the outskirts of the island. We treated ourselves to fresh coconut juice at the first stop, sitting under the shade of the roadside stall. After another short ride, we were back in town for lunch at a local food stall. It was unfortunate that we had to turn down the offer from our guide to continue with more sightseeing. We had decided to head back to the resort as we felt that it was more important for us to sort out the issues that we have on our boats.

 

I was fortunate that the problem I that with my halyard had undone by itself. I suspected that there might have been a slight twist among the halyards and had caused it to jam. The problem on Exodus was a little more complex as they had a choked fuel line. After much trial and errors, they manage to fix the problem. By then, three days had passed and the group had generally lost the mood to sail to other islands and we agreed to spend another day at the resort before sailing back to Airabu.

 

12 August; after having spent the afternoon of the 11th preparing for the sail back, we got up early the next day and was off the hook by 0700hrs for the sail to Airabu. This round the light winds were on the nose and we also had the currents against us. We turned on the engine and did a fair bit of motor sailing.

 

Birregurra, who had time constrain, left for Singapore the day before while Amideau and Andiamo left on the same morning as we did. They, like Birregurra, had planned to sail direct to Singapore while we chose to sail back to NPM.

 

Approaching the anchorage at Airabu, we decided to enter into another bay. It was a good call as we found that this area had better spots for anchoring, 12m depth and sandy bottom, making it ideal for anchoring. Not only was the anchorage good, we were treated to a large area of untouched marine world. The coral reef was in abundance and it was live. We only wished that we had more time to explore the area. Time flies when you’re having a good time.

 

13 August; expecting to sail against a strong current, we pushed off at 1500hrs and had planned to maintain a minimum 4-knot boat speed for the journey back to NPM. This would have brought us back mid-day on the 15th. As we left the anchorage, the weather turned for the worst and the sky were turning dark and lightening flashing close by.

 

Not wanting to be caught by the weather, we again relied on our engine and gunned forward to distant ourselves from the ensuing storm. This we did but when nightfall came, our expectation of a bright moonlit night was dashed; we were surrounded by darkness. And for a long while, we had to rely on our instruments for guidance. You couldn’t see anything pass on navigation lights at the bow, sheer darkness, not a single star had appeared. This went on for most of the night; we were occasionally blessed by an opening in the sky which allow the ray of moonlight to only brighten the night for just a short spell which gave us some comfort.

 

14 August; seeing the first ray of the morning was a very welcoming sight. Kim Soon and I did an hour on and an hour off shift the night before and allowed Deborah to rest. But when morning came, she was quickly placed on the helm and we both took our well-deserved rest. As the winds weren’t fantastic, we continued running our engine. The day went by uneventfully and the winds remained light. We had just passed Horsburgh Lighthouse to our starboard before the last ray of the day disappeared in the horizon. We now realized that we have mess up our plans for our arrival to NPM. The winds had picked up and by no we were trucking along in another night of darkness. The encounter with rows of fishing floats kept us on our toes as we weren’t sure if they were floating nets or otherwise. A constant exchange of flashlights between the fishermen and us kept us well apart from one another.

 

It was approximately 2130hrs before we arrive at the entry to NPM. The poor visibility and the lights from the mega yacht moored just at the pontoon by the entrance had affected our visibility. The experience wasn’t pleasant, we were probably not used to the surroundings or may be better navigation lights could be installed to guide us through. Anyhow, all went well and we were received by the security team at the marina; much thanks to Prakash who had made the necessary arrangements for us. With the boat secured, we took our well-deserved hot shower at the marina before calling it a night, after a beer of course.

 

15 August; spent a lazy day at the marina, cleaning the boat and spending some money at the bar in the evening. We had also decided to spend another night at NPM as we were ahead of schedule.

 

16 August; Joseph and I were up early; we met the owner of the Tamarind Golf Club at the bar the night before and were convinced to play a round. With rented clubs and bought gloves; our deck shoes were what we had and wasn’t helpful on the wet grass. However, we had a fun and enjoyable round of golf. Not a bad way to end the trip.

 

17 August; it was fortunate that we could arrange for our papers to be ready by late on the 16th, it would have been impossible to get it done on the 17th as it was Indonesia’s Independence Day. A solemn ceremony was held early in the morning at the marina. Not wanting to be of any annoyance, we quietly departed at 1000hrs. With headsails only, we motor sailed back to CSC. The arrival procedures were as smooth as the departure. Thumbs up to ICA.

 

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to meet up with the rest of the other sailors who had journeyed long, but I’m sure everyone had their own little fun and adventure. If this is of interest to anyone, I’m sure the club can organise another trip to the Anambas next year.

 

Happy sailing!!

 

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CSC x Rainbow Centre Joy Sail

Earlier today, CSC hosted 50 students with Autism and their caregivers from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School for a morning of joy on water. An annual collaboration, this event is one the club and its members eagerly look forward to each time. Despite a few unexpected cancellations due to COVID-19, CSC managed to rally enough boats at the 11th hour to accommodate our friends from Rainbow Centre.

The Centre regularly work with partners (such as us!) to create opportunities for persons with disabilities to make the most of their abilities and participate meaningfully in society. Through practical education, meaningful support and effective training programmes, Rainbow Centre strives to increase the quality of life for persons with autism and their families.

Blessed with calm waters, clear skies and a gentle breeze – the conditions were near perfect for sailors and guests. Big thank you to the following boats and skippers for supporting this meaningful sailing event:

  1. Zig Zag / Andy
  2. Red Rum One / Steve
  3. Birregurra / Basil
  4. Ikaroa / Christian
  5. Minx / Lucas
  6. Olmeto / Jonathan
  7. Jellico / Cedric
  8. Bolina / Pedro
  9. Baby Beluga / Soo Chong
  10. Marut / Luke
  11. Kaze / Xavier
  12. Notus / Daniel

We would also like to thank Aunty Sharifah (teacher in-charge) for organizing this every year, providing precious opportunities for the students and families. Finally, a solid bravo zulu to the operations crew from CSC – for ensuring participants were safe and supported throughout the entire embarkation / disembarkation process!

Once again, thank you all who took the time and effort to support this event. See you next time!

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Ketam Coastal Clean-up 2021

A Labour of Love

Singapore is know for her clean and green image: litter-free streets, environmental sustainability initiatives and lush forested areas across the island. In efforts to contribute to a healthier eco-system, 10 boats participated in a coastal clean-up of Pulau Ketam – a little island south-west of Pulau Ubin. A popular anchorage for Singapore’s yachties, 8 out of the 10 participating boats stayed overnight in the quaint channel, waking up bright and early for the 9am beach sweep.

In a span of just 1 hour, sailors picked up hundreds of kilograms of trash, with a bulk of the rubbish attributed to plastic bottles. Some of the unusual items discovered includes motorcycle helmets and toys. It was certainly both sad and satisfying as participants came to a realization that no matter how much rubbish was picked, there was still more left behind. This activity provides greater awareness through small but consistent efforts to create a more sustainable eco-conscious environment for Members and visitors.

Big thank you to MPA for allowing the Club to conduct this activity despite the short notice. Also big thanks to Richard Howe for providing his Grand Banks as the Trash Transport!

Last but not least, thank you to the following boats for labouring over this weekend to keep our country clean:

  1. Jaza Too
  2. Annapuri
  3. Cicak
  4. SDF
  5. Red Rum
  6. Monserrat
  7. Exodus
  8. Rumbottle
  9. Merlin
  10. Haruna
  11. Grand Banks

If you missed out this round, do not fret! We plan to organise similar clean-up activities on a more regular basis – look out for updates on our newsletter.

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Deepavali Round Ubin Cruise 15 Nov 2020

Sailing around Pulau Ubin has always been a tradition / challenge for aspiring sailors new to Changi Sailing Club. Used as a route for our Signature Sunday Series, going around Pulau Ubin offers a scenic view of Singapore and Malaysia from a different perspective.

On 15 November, 14 boats got together for a leisurely cruise around Pulau Ubin, in a freshening North-Easterly Breeze. It was great to see the fleet setting off under sail in beautiful weather early in the morning, and settling into their anchorages at Coney Island and Ketam Island just before noon. It was a refreshing change from our regular racing programme every weekend – we were encouraged upon finding out that a handful of participants were doing this for the first time as well!

Big thank you to the follow boats which participated:

  1. Genesis
  2. Firefly
  3. Jonty J
  4. Cicak
  5. Red Rum
  6. Sequin
  7. Brio
  8. Simba
  9. Ganesh
  10. Baby Beluga
  11. Waka Tere
  12. Todak
  13. Sapphire Star
  14. Annette

 

 

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