January 29, 2002

Leg 2 - Completion of Day 1 and successful transit of the infamous Straits of Malacca

After 24 hours of running, we have traveled over 180 miles and cleared the narrow Straits of Malacca without incident. We had northeast winds as high as 25 knots with mild seas. Staying close to the coast of Malaysia, the wind does not have much fetch to build up the seas so despite strong winds we had a fairly comfortable night.

We've been running slightly to shoreward - outside the northwest bound shipping lanes - so shipping traffic has not been an issue. It's been interesting as the stretch of water from Singapore up to Bukit Jugra (about 180 miles) is divided up into 7 sectors and larger shipping is under positive traffic control. A radio frequency is assigned for each sector and as you pass from one to the next, a frequency change is required and the larger ships must report their position.

Numerous times during the night I thought I smelled hot oil and despite careful inspections, I could not find the source. I finally figured out that it was coming from the shoreline to windward of us. The smells of the industry of the Malaysia coast could be detected 10 miles at sea.

We're really making good time, running at 1,700 rpm and expect to be in Phuket (Boat Lagoon) by Thursday morning. We will be meeting with David Loh of Singapore. He presently has his Nordhavn 62 "FEELING" in Phuket and he wants to run with us from Phuket to the Maldive Islands. We expect that we will get underway again on Sunday or Monday for the 1,500 mile run and look forward to some good photo opportunities on the passage. David has a captain, engineer, and combination cook/dive master to accompany his family while cruising aboard "Feeling."

 

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