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Date Posted: 11/15/10

November 10, 2010 - Traversing Brunei Waters to Labuan

By: Arturo Valdez

7:05 AM - We're now moving in open waters towards Labuan. Our gracious host Capt. Fin warned us about the logs that we're avoiding at this point. It's a blessing that we made a stop at Miri. If we continued our movement at night practically at zero visibility because of heavy rain, we would have gone smack in the middle of these drifting logs. Someone up there is guiding us safely on our homeward-bound journey.

Updates from Voltaire: Nov 11-16

winds over Sulu Sea will intensify starting Nov. 12, reaching 20kn and
last until Nov 14, possibly hindering your passage. This will be
followed by mild NE winds.

Seas at Balangay position:

Wednesday 11/10

Light winds with a slight chop. Small short period wind waves.
Winds: SW 7 to 10 knots
Seas: N 3 feet at 8 sec.

Light winds with a slight chop. Small short period wind waves.
Winds: WSW 7 to 9 knots
Seas: N 4 feet at 10 sec.

Thursday 11/11

Light and variable winds with smooth seas. Small long period swell.
Winds: S 5 to 7 knots
Seas: N 6 feet at 11 sec.

Light winds with a slight chop. Small long period swell.
Winds: S 6 to 9 knots
Seas: NNE 6 feet at 10 sec

10:00 AM - We're traversing Brunei waters now. Weather fine and wind southerly and favorable. Janet made contact with Labuan tourism for our docking in Marina. ETA Labuan 9PM tonight.

RP Embassy in Kuala Lumpur led by our Philippine ambassador Vic M. Lecaros has been very supportive of our voyage. They inform and mobilize the Pinoy communities where we dock so our kababayans can see the balangays, meet the crew and extend their help. The embassy staff work with their Malaysian counterparts to arrange our arrival and departure protocols.

We are truly grateful to all our countrymen who pray for our safety, assist us in every way, open their homes for our crew and give us more and more inspiration to brave the challenges of the sea in pursuit of our mission: to instill pride in being Filipino and to celebrate our history as a maritime people.

10:45 AM - Balangay Flotilla cruising Brunei waters and 540kms away from Philippine sea boundary. We're not far from home now.

3:05 PM - Bashier caught another tuna which come regularly to supply our 'kinilaw' and supplement our daily needs. Diwata topped everyone with Abdul making an average of 6-10 catch weighing from 5-10kgs. At one time, he stopped fishing. No more space for his catch. Diwata's main deck is full of marinated dried fish smelling like a fishing boat now. Masawa has the distinction of catching wild pig, monitor lizard and a massive log on its bow the other night. Everyone shares Diwata's bounties upon arrival in port.

11:50 PM - We safely docked at Labuan Marina at 10PM after having been welcomed by strong wind and heavy downpour which only came when we were about to dock. The whole day the weather was perfect but somehow it has a knack of drenching us wet every time we reach port and gave us some real scare in trying to avoid hitting other yacht during our docking maneuverf. Anyway, we are all excited to see this free port. Tomorrow is free time for everyone to see the place. In Labuan, we are 360kms away from the border.

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