After the brief stop in Hawaii, it's on to the Majuro in the Marshall
Islands. Made up of nearly a thousand flat coral islands, this Pacific
paradise provides some of the most spectacular diving in the region.
The islanders may not be singing Bali Hai as the Nordhavn 40 pulls
into the populated lagoon at Majuro, but many of the pre-colonial
traditions are still practiced today, especially in the outer islands.
The traditional dug out canoes are still found plying the many turquoise
lagoons that make up the Marshall Islands.The Nordhavn 40 will lay
over in Majuro, home to nearly have of the Marshall's 60,000 people.
Although Robert Louis Stevenson called the atoll the "Pearl
of the Pacific", the Nordhavn crew will find a far less pristine
environment, although perfectly suited for fueling, provisioning
and changing crew.
Departing Majuro, the Nordhavn 40 will head towards Pohnpei, the
capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. Covering 274 square
miles, Micronesia is a visual departure from the low-lying atolls
of the Marshall Islands. Here the crew will find flowering hibiscus
and lush vegetation, flowing down the steep hillsides, pouring into
the sea, providing the more typical South Pacific image many of
us have. Pohnpei is the largest island in Micronesia covering 129
square miles, with many smaller islands sprinkled around its coast.
The laid back town of Kolonia hosts the islands airport and most
of its hotels, making it a good spot for another crew change.
Still in the Federated States of Micronesia, Yap is the most traditional
district in Micronesia, where the chief still has a lot of pull
and native dress is not unusual. Although the U.S. dollar is used,
stone money remains the currency for some exchanges on the islands.
Yap consists of four islands, Yap, Tomil-Gagil, Map and Rumung.
Yap is also accessible by air with connections through Guam and
The Nordhavn 40's arrival in the Philippine island of Cebu will
coincide with the tail end of the tropical storm season, although
there is a low incidence of tropical storms in this region. The
Nordhavn crew will make port in Cebu, southeast of Manila, the same
spot where Magellan marked the beginning of Christianity in the
Philippines. Cebu will provide an easy port for refueling and provisioning.
After leaving the Sulu Sea through the Balabac Strait, bound for
Singapore, the route will run parallel with the North Coast of Borneo.
The approximate distance is 870 nautical miles.
Singapore may be the only country or city in Southeast Asia with
a section called China Town. This ironic tidbit gives a hint of
how westernized this country has become, although it still retains
some of its colonial charm. Over the years, Singapore has grown
as land has been reclaimed from the sea, evolving from a country
of bamboo shacks to one of the regions financials powerhouses and
one of the busiest ports in the world. The Nordhavn 40 will dock
at the Raffles Marina, a place quite familiar to the PAE crew who
delivered on 62-01 from Hong Kong to Singapore for the Indonesian
owner. The modern marina is full of amenities including a fully
stocked marine store, travel lift, hotel, and a quaint pub, providing
the perfect stop for the nearly seven-day layover. While berthed
at Raffles, PAE will host a party for local yachtsmen, friends,
and the press.
After enjoying some r and r in Singapore, the Nordhavn 40 will cruise
up the Strait of Malacca calling on the island of Phuket in Thailand.
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, located off the southwestern
coast. Phuket has long been a popular stop over with cruisers and
over the years has hosted a variety of sailing events and local
rendezvous'. The exterior of the island is lined with good beaches,
rocks, and limestone cliffs while the interior is full of rice paddies,
plantations and a rain forest.