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Date Posted: 11/06/10

October 30, 2010 - Tambelan Island

By: Arturo Valdez

12:55 PM - The Balangay flotilla has re-routed to Tambelan Island off the northwest coast of Kalimantan (Indonesian side of Borneo Island), instead of the original plan to sail from Kerteh (Terengganu) direct to Kuching (Sarawak). Current location in the open South China Sea estimated at between 14 to 19 hours distance away from Tambelan to this island port's northwest.

3:32 PM - By God's great mercies, the balangays and crew are finally safe in a cove in Tambelan Island, Indonesia. We anchored here at 12 noon this Saturday after being blown away by strong northeast winds and 15- to 20-foot waves whole day long.

Yesterday at 6:15am, we already reached the crossing point near Singapore to make a portside turn and cross the South China Sea along Malaysian waters to bring us to Kuching, Sarawak, roughly 500 nautical miles from our last stop in Kerteh, Terangganu. After 6 hours in the open South China seas, the skies darkened and we were hit by gale force winds and heavy rains for hours until the whole night.

The balangays' wooden hull will not have any chance surviving the broadside battering by heavy swells so finally, we decided to go wherever the winds and the waves will blow us,
anywhere. We were surfing with waves as high as 20 feet but the Balangays rolled, pitched and floated all along until we reached safety.

This is the roughest we've been through and everyone has never been so shakened but we thank God for answering our prayers for deliverance from the stormy seas.

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