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Date Posted: 11/06/10

October 26, 2010 - Leaving Cambodia and Crossing The Gulf of Thailand

By: Arturo Valdez

1:22 PM - The Balangay flotilla left Sihanoukville, Cambodia in the early morning of October 24 and crossed the Gulf of Thailand in a non-stop southward journey to Peninsular Malaysia. The present position shows the Balangays within an hour or two away from docking at the port in Terengganu.

3:52 PM - Finally, I got a signal as I get closer to land after 3 days of travel crossing Gulf of Thailand to Kertih, Terengganu, East Malaysia. My window of good weather, I guess, is about 3 days taking into account another weather disturbance to enter the Philippines.

Heavy swells greeted us when we left the safety of Sihanoukville Port and it remained until late in the afternoon as we traveled farther South. That water is typical of seas at 10* North of the Equator. My aim was to move as fast as I could closer to the gentler seas of East Malaysia or to the southern waters of the Gulf. Finally in the evening of Oct 24, the seas settled down and I thanked God that we would not be traveling in rough waters at night. But we were not even mid-way out of the Gulf. I assumed we were still in Vietnamese waters as we undertook evasive tactics to avoid fishing boats at sea. But the full moon brightened our route as we sailed all by ourselves in these vast waters.

4:19 PM - The crew members are really tired from continuous travel and truly excited to step on land especially having the Filipinos working at Petronas as our host. I called already the Filipino association of Kertih here in the State of Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia.

My original contact is Tess Buque, an Ilonga from Mandurriao, Iloilo City married to Manny Buque, a Butuanon, who are all working with Petronas. We hope to hit landfall before dark.
Earlier, upon advice from our Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Tess tapped help for us when we made an emergency stop at Kuala Kuantan in Pahang. Dr. Ted and Dale hopefully would have arrived already in Kertih after flying from Ho Chi Minh City.

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