CSC National Day Cruise 2021

Amidst an active pandemic, it is always a challenge to organize activities in groups while abiding by Safe Distancing Restrictions. It was therefore a privilege and blessing that we successfully completed a National Day Long-Weekend Cruise to One Degree 15 / Pulau Hantu / Lazarus Island on 7-9 August. With limitations of only 2 persons per boat, it looked very much like a couples’ cruise as our flotilla departed on the 3D2N adventure.

Greeted with an atypical South-Easterly Breeze, the fleet embarked from CSC on 7th August for an enjoyable beat up Kuala Johor in 7 to 8 knots of wind, perfect to start the day! After passing the Changi Naval Base, the steady breeze and favourable tide carried most of the fleet to One-15 in a comfortable 2-3hrs across Singapore’s Eastern Corridor. The winds dropped just as we approached East Keppel Fairway – as if it knew we were arriving at our destination. Some sailors stayed overnight at One Degree 15 Marina, while others chose to anchor off Lazarus Island for the first night, getting an early rest for Sunday’s continued adventures. Little Slingshot was part of the former, dwarfed amongst a myriad of luxury powered and sailing yachts.

The Marina boasts excellent security and the ground crew were kind and accommodating. Great for provisioning was the 24hr Cold Storage just next door, providing all the necessities for short cruising trips.

As this was our first visit to Pulau Hantu, we (Slingshot) decided to make an early departure on Sunday Morning to give us more time to explore the surrounding waters and find a suitable anchoring location for Lunch and some fishing! We met En Dian (Hanse 53) on the way out of Buran Channel, gaining a companion enroute to Hantu. With clear skies and turqoise waters, it was the perfect setting for a slow circumnavigation of the island, appreciating the lush greenery surrounded by a sea of steel and concrete.

For those who are unfamiliar, Pulau Hantu is situated in the middle of bigger islands such as Pulau Bukom, Pulau Sudong and Pulau Semakau. Each of these islands serve different purposes. Bukom is the site of Shell’s oil refinery and plants for the manufacture of chemicals. It also has a residential neighbourhood similar to a traditional Dutch town complete with various facilities. Sudong is one of Singapore Armed Forces designated live-firing areas. Semakau is the world’s first ecological offshore landfill, converted in 1999 by enclosing the waters between its eastern part and the western part of Pulau Sakeng (Seking) to create a rock embankment. Unlike other landfills, Semakau is clean and free of odours thanks to a more efficient waste process system.

Come lunchtime, we were joined by Marut, Born in Fire, Red Rum One & SDF. Together with a couple of diving boats, the waters off Hantu certainly looked bustling with activity! We were wary of the various shallows/coral outcrops as we chose our preferred anchoring spot. As we observed the building storm over the course of the afternoon, sailors eventually started to make their way back to a more sheltered anchorage at Lazarus Island. Just in time as well, with a strong westerly system wrecking havoc in the evening, causing a few boats to drag on anchor. thankfully our flotilla remain protected and emerged unscathed, spending a mostly tranquil night amidst the occasional and unsurprisingly loud music from neighbouring powered yachts.

Sailors were treated to a gorgeous Sunrise on the morning of National Day, as the sun’s rays peeked out from the direction of Eagle Bay. After a sumptuous breakfast of sausage and eggs, we made an early departure to get a good view of the fly-pass (we were not disappointed!) as well as to ensure we spent lesser time in the ebbing tide. Some sailors chose to spend another day in paradise, scheduling a return to CSC on Tuesday instead. Despite a forecast of rain and threatening storm clouds in the distance, the trip back to CSC went smoothly, and most boats were safely back on their moorings by 4pm.

Overall, it was a long weekend well spent! Another feather in the cap for us on Slingshot, our first trip to Pulau Hantu and longest journey so far. Had an awesome time with the following yachts:

  1. Red Rum One
  2. SDF
  3. En Dian
  4. Born in Fire
  5. Marut
  6. Clytie
  7. Monserrat
  8. Amideau
  9. Ikaroa
  10. Rachel 1

Many thanks to all for participating, as well as those who shared photos of your journey! Not forgetting – big thanks to One Degree 15 Marina for having us. We will be back!

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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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Experiential Sailing with Rainbow Centre (7 November 2020)

On 7th November, CSC once again hosted students and care-givers from Rainbow Centre, a social service organisation in Singapore. It operates three special education schools Margaret Drive School, Yishun Park School and a third one at Woodlands, for infants, children and youths with special needs like autism, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and multiple disabilities.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability  that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.

Greeted with a gorgeous rainbow in the morning, the 45 beneficiaries departed for a leisure sail along the north-eastern rim of Singapore, under the careful steersmanship of 14 CSC boat owners/skippers who kindly lent their support for the event. Despite the surprise squall which made for a very wet sail, participants thoroughly enjoyed the multi-sensory experience – and were all smiles on their return to the Club for Lunch.

Changi Sailing Club is always eager to partner with Rainbow Centre to conduct these Experiential Joy Sails, as part of our Community Outreach Programme. We’re already planning the next one!

Big Thank You to the following boats who volunteered their boat and time to support a good cause:

  1. Red Rum
  2. Waka Tere
  3. Annette
  4. SDF
  5. Olmeto
  6. Sangaree
  7. Ganesh
  8. Jong Dee
  9. Baby Beluga
  10. Jaza Too
  11. Kaze
  12. Jonty J
  13. Marut
  14. Brio

#vibrant #inclusive #forwardlooking #communityoutreachprogramme #rainbowcentre #changisailingclub

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CSC to RM National Day Weekend Cruise 2020

CHANGI SAILING CLUB TO RAFFLES MARINA (8 to 10 August)

An account from Genesis.

It would have been a cruise to Nongsa Point Marina if not for the border closure due to Covid-19. So, what should we do and where can we go to? This was the question posted during one of our many coffee talks. Desmond Wong, our new volunteer to head the cruising division in the Events Committee, then suggested doing a cruise within our local waters.

The National Day weekend provided an opportunity for us to organize a weekend cruise. The trip would require us to sail from Changi Sailing Club to Raffles Marina on day 1, Raffles to Lazarus Island on day 2 and returning to Changi on Monday, 10 August.

As SKYBIRD is still stuck in Batam, I gladly accepted the invitation to crew on GENESIS with Desmond; the 50 nautical mile passage would take us 10 hours travelling at 5 knots. So, if the wind is bad, we would have to motor-sail to keep to the minimum speed as per our plans.

 

As we were planning for the trip, together with Choy, we had initially expected a fleet size of 5 to 8 boats. As the day drew nearer, and to our joyous surprise, a total of 18 boats signed up for the weekend cruise. Though we are still subjected to the only 5 person per boat rule, it actually won’t be too bad as there would be probably more space for whoever. Joining in the cruise were; Ikaroa, Simba, SDF, WYSIWYG III, Born In Fire, Red Rum, Kristina, Waka Tere, Elessar, Sapphire Star, Boreas, Genesis, Cicak, Marut, Shardana and Baby Beluga. New Blue Eyes had planned to join in but had to pull out due to engine problems, Arbudhen was to join us at Lazarus. Quite an impressive fleet.

 

We set off at 7.30 am on the 8 August, almost the same time as SDF, the others would have left within the hour after. A gentle breeze was in but it was coming straight on the nose so we motored all the way to the Changi Naval Base before putting up the sails. As we had planned, 5 knots were the targeted speed for us to be able to make Raffles by daylight. After keeping a safe distance from the boundary markers off the Changi Naval Base, we set a course for 244 degrees from Airway Buoy, which would bring us to Raffles Lighthouse. However, the heading had put us a little too close to the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). Having had one foot out of our port limits, we were soon approached by the Police Coast Guard who had very politely advised us to come back into Singapore Port Limits. No arguments, we complied.

 

After 4 hours of motor-sailing, we were at the southern point off Kusu Island. Also known as Tortoise Island, legend has it that a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors, a Chinese and a Malay. Check wikipedia for more on the island, but I think it was the Singapore government that turned it into what it is today.

 

Sailing on, we soon reached Raffles Lighthouse. The lighthouse sits on the island named Pulau Satumu, with a rotating beacon that produces 117,000 candelas which is visible to a distance of 20 nautical miles, on a clear night I suppose. For those who may have forgotten the islands after the lighthouse are Pulau Senang, Pawai and Sudong, in the order as we sail by. Just as we rounded the lighthouse, channel 16 came alive, “Waka Tere, Waka Tere, this is the Singapore Police Coast Guard”. Apparently, they were a little too close to Pulau Sudong which is a live firing range for the air force. Don’t want to be mistaken as a live target, do we.

 

The breeze was light and coming from our port beam so we decided to put up the asymmetric spinnaker. Waka was way ahead and we saw her beautiful red flying in the distance. Derek and Ad was on SDF and they were not too far away from Waka. Even though we have been sailing around the areas at Changi, it was still nice to see the coastline from the sea. With a vivid recollection of Changi in the years gone by, the transformation to what the area is today is amazing. The massive area, housing the airport, unfortunately the constant approach and departure of aircrafts are missing. Things that we took for granted are now so noticeable due to the silence from the turbine engines. Even the island of Pulau Tekong has a beautiful resort where only young male Singaporeans get to spend 3 months to turn them from boys to man; and all for free. As we passed further towards the southern corner of Singapore, the view of the coastline was again amazing. The Cruise Centre, the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and the many impressive structures that stand tall, shows how far Singapore has come to. Being our National Day weekend and all, it has kind of make me feel proud to be part of this nation.

 

OK, wake up – enough of these patriotic reflections. We’re sailing on and by now we have reached the Tuas area where a massive reclamation project has turned it into a huge port facility. We know that the plan is to shift all port operations from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas. Soon we were closing in on Pulau Merambong, a smallish island within the Malaysian port limits. I remember the small kelong structure just before Merambong, now it’s a big kelong cum on-water holiday resort of sort. Personally, I think it’s more like a statement telling us that, “here I sit and it’s Malaysian waters”. From there we still had another 2.5NM before arriving at the marina. It was still early but it was good that we were timed to arrive as per our schedule.

 

Keong our other crew member, called in as we approached. Boon, the marina manager, was quick to respond and offered us a much-appreciated welcome. With all efficiency, we were met by the marina dock-hand and were soon plucked into shore power and the much-appreciated wind from the air conditioner was the reward at the end of the journey. Mind you it was way into 35 degree celsius all the way through the trip and that was hot, burning hot.

 

By the time the last boat came in, the good part of the evening was a little rush as the restaurant was to close by 8.30 pm. I suppose everyone had their well-deserved drink and dinner at the bistro. However, it was very unfortunate that the marina could not open the bar due to regulatory controls under phase 2 and the restriction on group size also added to the gathering control measures. This prevented us from being able to congregate like in the pre-Covid days. So, everyone went back to their respective boats or rooms for an early night cap and for the much-deserved rest.

 

August 9, National Day, Happy 55th Birthday Singapore. I remembered, I was in Nongsa Point Marina last year, we had a small group of about 8 boats, I think. I remembered being dwarfed between two big catamarans, Katrianne on my right and Rehua, I think, on the other side. It was as if someone is trying to tell me to change, no lo creo.  Raffles Marina had been very welcoming to us. Apart from providing us with complimentary berthing, we were all berth together in our individual berths. Much thanks to Ray Parry, CEO RM, and his team.

 

After breakfast, Desmond and I pushed off at 9.30am. Based on our boat speed, it would take us about 6 hours for us to get to Lazarus. With the engine at low rev, we had full sails up, tacking our way up or down the channel. Seeing the presence of the PCG and a Singapore warship, we were reminded to keep within our port limits. Soon after more boats could be seen coming out of the marina. As we went along, we saw three naughty boats sailing way into Malaysian waters and without fail, channel 16 came alive, Sierra Zulu (SZ_____) this the Singapore Police Coast Guard…bla bla bla. Not receiving a reply, they charged towards the offending boat and escorted them back to Singapore waters. It was like, be nice to sailor’s weekend, no one received a fine.

 

Passing Raffles Light, we put out the trawling line and in a very short while, we picked up something heavy and the fishing rod was bent over to a big C. With our forward movement we thought that we may have caught a big bunch of seaweeds or some plastic bag but not a fish. When I slowed the line kept being put out. Desmond went into full-fishing mode, grab the rod and started reeling in. It was like one of those big game fishing documentaries on Nat Geo Wild. With engine at neutral and headed into wind, the fight continued. By then we knew that it was something huge. After a long while we managed to bring it to surface and wow, a whopping 2m barracuda. We tried using a net to land the monster but unfortunately the hook got entangled with the net and the monster got away. Well no photos no proof, that’s how it goes. It was really exciting.

 

When we arrived at Lazarus, the bay was already filled with boats. Many were day charters from One15 but the impressive sight was seeing the sailboats from CSC. Elessar and Boreas came in just slightly later making the total of 16 boats from the club. It would have been 17 if NBE didn’t have their engine quitting on them on the morning of departure; next time Callum. A record for any organised cruise for the club in local waters. After the long hot sail, the dip in the clear Lazarus waters was the best thing ever. And again, it was observing the social distancing rules that kept people to their own boats. In the evening, the anchorage was relatively calm and peaceful expect for a party that was cranking away until 3am on a boat anchored in the middle of where we were. I suppose it’s their way of letting loose.

 

August 10, well all fun must come to an end, so it was back to Changi. The light breeze and incoming tide didn’t help much but that’s sailing, sometime good, sometime not so good but enjoyable at the end of the day.

 

It was good that all went well with no serious damages except for Amanda on Simba who had a prickly experience when she stepped on a sea urchin at Lazarus. I think that there is a rule about damaging marine life; oops! I think I’ll be in some trouble here. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

 

Overall, this was such a great National Day weekend, thank you all for your participation. We should be looking at more of these local flavour in the near future.

 

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CSC Optimist Championships 2019 (Gold Fleet) Final Day

Dark clouds and slight rain greeted everyone this morning as we drew to a close on the final day of the CSC Optimist Championships (Gold Fleet).

Winds were well behaved in the morning- blowing constantly from northeast. However, it took a great turn in the middle of race 2, and started oscillating unstably from northwest to northeast, with strong currents pushing from the west. The race committee had a difficult time setting the course fairly for the 3rd race. However, all efforts to squeeze in 1 more race were all for naught as an impending storm approached from northeast at an alarming speed, forcing race officials to can all plans and quickly marshaling the participants back to shore. The storm came swiftly and left the racing area in poor visibility, thankfully with most participants already safely back on shore.

Kenan Tan (SGP 112) bagged the gold overall with an insurmountable 12-point lead ahead of 2nd boat- Jayson Tan (SGP 119). A bullet in the final race sweetened the win for Kenan, making his tally 5 bullets from 10 races. A stable and calculated performance of 6th and 4th in Race 9 & 10 meant that Radiance Koh (SGP 114) secures her 3rd place overall and best girl yet again, just 1 point ahead of Ethan Teo (SGP 4688) – whose poor finish in the last race possibly costing him the 2nd runner-up position settling for 4th place overall.

In the Junior Mixed Division, Zach Low (SGP 4666) tops the fleet in overall 21st. He notched three top 20 finishes in this Regatta, an outstanding result for a boy of only 10yrs! Mark Wong (27th), Austin Yeo (35th), Ethan Chia (36th) and Nicole Lim (41st)?make up the rest of the top 5 junior mixed winners, holding their own against some older and more experienced participants in these challenging conditions.

It was great to see atypical wind conditions and sailors lapping up the NE monsoon winds during this regatta, planing on the swells and handling the wet and windy weather with confidence.

CSC would like to thank:

  1. Parents and Participants of the Regatta: we hope you had a good time on and off water over the past few weeks!
  2. Xtreme Sailing Products – for sponsoring a spread of quality sailing gear every year as prizes.
  3. Uncle Mike & Uncle Joe Chan, for officiating as on-water Juries for the Gold and Silver Fleet respectively.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – have a good rest and enjoy the remainder of the school holidays.

See you all next year!

Results

Final Results

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CSC Optimist Championship 2019 (Silver Fleet) Final Day

Today marks the closing of the CSC Optimist Championships (Silver Fleet) 2019. The sailors were all excited and pumped, to give it their all for the last 2 races of the regatta.

Participants welcomed the more forgiving conditions on the final day, with sunny skies and a constant 10-12 knots wind blowing from the North.

The first warning signal of the day went off at 1100Hrs. As we drew near to the start, sailors started crowding on the line. The race committee and the Pin-end had to be on their toes to watch the line. Fortunately, it was a clear start for both races.

Xuan Yu secured his position as the champion for this regatta, after achieving 2 bullets for both races today, leaving him with an insurmountable 11-point lead over second boat- Jayden Khor, and an 18-points apart from third boat- Ryan Goh.

CSC Youth Team sailor Cheryl Yong displayed a strong performance for her final 2 races.?emerging 5th overall after clinching a 6th and 4th in races 8 & 9 respectively. However, the winds weren?t in both Ikuto and Trevor?s favour, landing them both with rough finishes, and plunging their overall results to 17th and 24th respectively. Special shoutout to Heng Yi & Giselle! 2 of our tiniest sailors participated in these daunting conditions, and never once did they throw in the towel. They can take pride in the fact that they held their own and finished most, if not all of the races.

CSC Sailors Final Results:

5th – Cheryl Yong Heng Xi
17th – Ikuto Mori
24th – Trevor Ng Zong Yang
31st – Christine Anne Tan Jie Ming (CHIJ KCP)
34th – Ng Kyle Jin
35th – Simone Ng Shu Xuan
42nd – Tupil Yohan Ayush
44th – Faith Ng (CHIJ KCP)
45th – Angyal Chew
47th – Sybelle Marie Antoinette (CHIJ KCP)
57th – Elizabeth Victoria Say (CHIJ KCP)
62nd – Edward Charles O’Shea
63rd – Yong Heng Yi
64th – Chloe Quek (CHIJ KCP)
70th – Giselle Ong Ai (CHIJ KCP)

Our Staff and Coaches believe such difficult conditions build character, and every sailor on water performed outstandingly. We witnessed many displaying a never-say-die attitude and an unwavering fighting spirit. The strong NE winds were challenging, and this fresh breeze reminds us that sailing is very much a physically demanding sport!

Congratulations to all the winners! And thank you to all participants and parents for joining us for the 2019 CSC Optimist Championships. BIG Thank You to:

XSP? (Xtreme Sailing Products) for once again sponsoring a splendid assortment of sailing equipment and products.

Uncle Joe Chan for keeping the sailors disciplined on water as on-water Jury for the event.

Coach Jhing for her inexhaustible energy coaching and caring for the CSC Sailors before, during and after the event.

All Coaches and support staff for making the event another successful one.

We look forward to hosting everyone again next year!

Final Results

2019 CSC Optimist Championships (Silver) Final Results

 

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Cruise to Tanjung Piayu: My Little Adventure – 9 to 12 August 2019

Eventually only three boats made it to the cruise, three others had to pull out due to unforeseen commitments. This left SDF, Olmeto and Skybird, the only three that made the annual seafood pilgrimage to Tanjung Piayu this year. This year?s cruise also coincides with Singapore?s National Day celebration, that too added to the small numbers that went.

Just a little recap for those who don?t know about Tanjung Piayu. Located at the South Eastern corner of Batam Island, Piayu houses a small fishing kampong with a few seafood restaurants along the coastline. It has now become a very popular seafood haunt for the locals.

I have done this trip umpteen times but what made this trip a little special for me was that I did it single handed. Though I?ve done the crossing to Nongsa alone on my other two boats, this trip was different as I would be out of the comfort of Nongsa Point Marina on my own. I know that others have done much longer trips on the own and survived, others have circumnavigated the world without much fanfare. So, what?s so special about a short trip to Tanjung Piayu, I?m doing it solo.

This is for the benefit of those who have not yet made a trip out of Singapore or for those who, like me, have thought about doing solo sailing but have not come to it yet.

Preparations. Getting the boat ready for any trip is of the utmost importance. I had a few issues on my boat which had to be fixed before I could go. In brief; I had to get my steering fixed as it was too stiff, had the auto-pilot changed due to a faulty drive-motor, had to get the wiring done on the alternator as it wasn?t charging the batteries, had to change the navigation lights and re-wire due to corrosion.

Other checks which I did was to ensure that all necessary electronics worked; chart plotter, AIS, VHF, general lighting plus water, fuel and some food stuff.

The day came for me to set off, I had to ensure that the basic safety items were within reach of me. I had the PFD with me and ready for use, shoes with good grip, a handheld VHF and my documents in a dry bag. Having done the trip I now realise that it would be good to have storage bags within the cockpit area. All loose items should be stored away.

My little adventure began as I left the clubs jetty, I decided to motor-sail with just the headsail until after I cleared immigration. The immigration boat came very quickly, unfortunately, I could not hand the documents over as the waters were extremely choppy. I only managed it after about 20 minutes of bobbing about. My plan was to put up the mainsail to do the crossing, however, as the conditions were too choppy for me to get the mains up, I decided to continue to NPM with only the headsail. The crossing took much longer as the wind, wave and tide were all against me and coming from the direction of Nongsa.

I would also like to suggest that you switch to channel 16 after you have done the immigration clearance. You would then be able to listen to marine traffic and be contactable as I had experienced. The Police Coast Guard called to check on my next port pf call. They must be wondering what I was doing as I taking a long time to make my way towards the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme ? shipping channel). Well I thought that it was cool, having a chat with the coast guard. Cheers! to the guys in blue.

Onboard Skybird

As I had mentioned, the incoming tide was very strong and I was swept further off course even as I motor-sailed. The usual welcome and berthing support from NPM staff were always much appreciated. As I approached my berth, I found myself in familiar company; Katrianne and Windancer. After settling down and having my first beer of the day, the rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning the boat. Dinner was spent with my good friends Samsi from the Riau Sailing Club and Fazdly from XSP and not forgetting Prakash, who I had a beer with earlier.

The first thing to do on the morning of the 9th August was to decorate the boat with some flags and streamers to mark Singapore?s National Day, but at the same time I didn?t want to be too loud about it. Took a shower and put on a T-shirt designed for National Day, just to have the patriotic feel. Happy Birthday Singapore. By early afternoon, SDF, Olmeto and Simba had arrived. After clearing CIQP, we each went about doing our own things but met at Skybird for a sundowner with a hope of catching some fireworks from across the channel but unfortunately, we couldn?t see anything. An on the spot decision was made and dinner was at Setia Budi, a nearby seafood restaurant. We had an early night as we planned to leave for Piayu early.

Skybird at Nongsa Marina

Next morning came and by 10.30am we were off to Tanjung Piayu, this is where my little adventure begins. Did a pre-departure check to ensure that I didn?t missed out anything. Came out of the marina and hoping for some calm waters but it was quite choppy and the winds were up to 15 knots. This made putting up the mainsails a little challenging. I wasn?t going to let the chops deter me so I hoisted the mains and decided to put in two reefs and half furled the genoa and even with that I was still doing an average of 5 knots. After about half an hour into the sail, I thought of shaking of the 2nd reef but the conditions were still bumpy so I decided to leave the 2nd on. Again, the wind and tide were against me so I had to put in a few tacks before turning the top corner of Batam to go down the channel towards Tanjung Piayu. Having reached the top corner, the conditions were still choppy and the wind and tide against me so I had to sail much further towards Bintan before putting in a tack. At this point it was much easier sailing as I could sit on a port tack for a much longer distant.

With the wind and wave coming from the front, the auto-pilot had problems holding the course so I manually sailed most of the way, accept when I had to go down to get a drink and the apples which became my meal for the day. I really enjoyed the 5 hours sailing solo. As mentioned, I know of members who had made longer trips and to faraway places and what I have done is nothing big to brag about but to me it was an achievement.

Boat: Olmeto

Olmeto was already anchored off Pulau Awi but I decided to proceed to Piayu. Dropped the hook in the channel at Tanjung Piayu and allowed the anchor to set, I let out 20m of chain and about 10m of rope. While waiting, I popped my first beer for the day, a self-congratulatory drink for me. When I was satisfied that it was holding, I proceeded to tie the rope to the cleat rather than leaving the load to the windlass.

Becoming complacent. What happened to safety, gloves on when working with anchors and rode.

I held onto the rope as I needed to let out some so that I could tie it down onto the cleat. Without doing a safety check, I hit the button and to my horror my fingers were pulled into the windlass, trapping my middle, fourth and little pinky of my right hand. My fingers were wedged in tight, fortunately for me it wasn?t the chain section. Lost for a few seconds, I just stared at my fingers before I realized what I had done. Reaching for the controller, I then hit the down button and my fingers rolled out free. Oh, it hurt so much. Blood flowed and I quickly got to the wash basin and put my fingers under running water, grabbed a towel and applied pressure onto the wound.

By then, SDF and Olmeto were both anchored off Pulau Awi, hoping to catch some swim time. I wanted to call them for assistance but decided not to because I heard on the radio that SDF had windlass issues and all 80m of chain had been let out. I said to myself, poor Derek, he would have to physically pull in 80m of chain, which he eventually did. SDF finally got things sorted and came into the channel. Derek called and asked as I had earlier told him that I had hurt myself. Once anchored, he came over in his dinghy with his first-aid kit and two cans of iced-cold pain killer. What a man, thanks Derek.

Boat: SDF

With the excitement of the day gone by, we met at the Love Seafood Restaurant for dinner. Thanks, this time to Jon who brought his First-aid kit which had the proper anti-septic solutions, Lucy and Allie played nurse and helped dressed my wounds. The food, as usual, was good and with our bellies filled, we made our way back to our respective boat for a quite evening, so we thought. The loud speakers came alive and some kind of religious chants were blasted across the whole area. I doubt that anyone had any sleep that night. We would probably need to reconsider our timing for the next pilgrimage to Piayu.

Dinner at Love Seafood Restaurant

Love Seafood Restaurant at Tanjung Piayu.

The excitement didn?t end there for me, at about 5am I heard some light scratching sound coming from under. Quickly got on deck to inspect and to my dismay, I realised that the breeze had pushed me towards the little island and I am now sitting in the mud. Checked the water depth at the bow and looked like I was still in deep waters but when I got to the stern, I saw that I only had about a foot if water under my stern. I guessed that I must be sitting at the edge of the drop-off. I went into the cabin, turned on the lights and thought of my next course of action.

First thought was to start the engine and maybe throttle my way out but as I was sitting in mud, the props would probably been in the mud and trapped and a very high possibility of sucking in mud into the cooling system. The breeze was nice then, so the next plan was to try to shake myself loose. So, for the next half hour or so, I backed and release the headsail causing the bow to swing from left to right. This action had helped to wriggle the keel out of the soft mud and thankfully I was freed. Once cleared, I started the engine, retrieved the anchor and reset my position. Lesson learned, do not push the panic button. Size up the situation and put in a plan. But if all fails?.scream for?? HELP!!!!!

Lucy and Alison, from SDF, had earlier offered to help me sail Skybird back to NPM because of my injury. And, it would have been so much easier too but I decided that I just needed to complete my little solo adventure. Also, as they were not on my crew list, I thought that it would be safer if they didn?t come onboard. Would have been hard to explain if we were stopped. Thanks, girls, for the thought, much appreciate. The breeze was nice and with one reef in, it was a beautiful reach to NPM. Better prepared this time, I had bacon sandwiches which I made earlier and kept it cool in the ice chest, so lunch was much better and I still had an apple to go along. I took the most direct course to the top corner, this put me on a very broad reach and I doing a comfortable 4 to 5 knots. But after heading up around the corner, the wind angle changed and now cruising nicely between 6 to 7 plus knots. Sweet sailing.

After tying down at the marina, the rest of the evening was rather routine. Derek treated his family to Japanese at Turi Beach. After dinner I had few drinks with Jon at the marina bar before calling it a night.

The next morning was routine again, breakfast, collect documents and by 10.30am we were off towards CSC. This time immigration took much longer but all was well. As mentioned, others had done much more but this trip was special to me as it may mark more solo trips with just Skybird and I.

Thanks to SDF and Olmeto; good company make good trip.