Vung La to Singapore

We set sail from Vung La, Vietnam, on the 29th December and made a good nine day passage to Singapore.
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Sailing with the new square sail

New Year at Sea

Where were you when the new millennium started? That's a question which is sure to be often asked in the future... Well, we were at 7 57.32 N   108 23.66 E  or, at sea !

It seemed particularly appropriate for the five of us to see in the  New Year and New Millennium at sea, as we've all spent much of our lives working on boats and sailing across the world's oceans.

For us it was a time to contemplate previous voyages, dream about future challenges and, of course, think of our families and loved ones at home ...

Improvements to the rig

We are constantly improving Precious Dragon - her rig, electrics, accommodation and many other areas.

After sailing with the new mainsail for 24 hours, we lowered it down to deck and made various improvements: lacing a twenty foot bamboo along the head of the sail, reinforcing the edges and replacing the yard lifts.

With the wind dead astern we sail with just the square sail; but when the wind comes onto the quarter (45 degrees aft of the beam) we hoist Precious Dragon's junk rigged mainsail. She therefore becomes one of the few vessels afloat to sail with two mainsails at the same time!

Kevin goes aloft
Kevin goes aloft to repair and replace the yard lifts
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Fish for supper ... Yahoo ! ...
or should that be Wahoo?

Pilot whales, flying fish and bioluminescence ...

We had the first bioluminescence of the voyage - an indication that we are entering an area with more sealife. Sure enough, on the second day, we were visited by pilots whales, saw many flying fish, and caught three fish - two Bonito and a Wahoo.

Flying fish are starting to land on deck at night - one managed to jump onto the poop deck, which is ten feet above the water!

We sighted dolphins on four occasions during this leg of the voyage, although they were not as friendly as usual and didn't come and play in Precious Dragon's bow wave.

Whales and dolphins are collectively known as cetaceans. After being visited by three dolphins, one of the team wrote in the ship's log : "Visited by three cetaceans ... names: Victoria, Paddington and Liverpool Street?"

Arrival in Singapore

The approach to Singapore is a particularly busy shipping lane. The final 24 hours at sea were very tiring as we tried to dodge oil tankers, bulk carriers and container ships which seemed intent on running us down ...

We sighted land on the sixth of January - a 500 metre high island off the east coast of Malaysia - and entered Singapore waters on the morning of the 7th.

By noon, we had anchored off the Changi Sailing Club, who have kindly offered us the hospitality of the club during our stay - ah! good food, warm showers and cold beer! wonderful!

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Sunset over Singapore