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AKAMA REPORT 3

23 May 2002 Thursday, 16 May 2002: Pulau Tulai. We awoke to a hot, still day; we've had no rain for some time now and it is getting Hot! We took the inflatable into a mangrove swamp "river" to explore. In no time, LA spotted a large nurse shark in the clear water. Then we saw several smaller ones. Later, we circumnavigated Tulai; it is mostly rugged coast. There was one nice beach coated with tourists who had been dropped off by excursion boats; we gave that beach a miss. There are several reefs that look to be excellent dive sites. We detoured back into the mangroves, on the way back to AKAMA, and saw another big shark. We watched the stars for a while and heard what we think was growling of monitor lizards. We turned in for a hot night, as there was no breeze.

Friday, 17 May 2002 to Wednesday, 22 May 2002: We returned in the morning to P. Tioman, as we were meeting our friend Pauline Friday afternoon. Pauline kindly brought us much needed supplies from Singapore, including a bottle of rum (yum). Other than having breakfast with Pauline on Sunday, and seeing her off, these were predominantly "layover" days, waiting for our Indonesian cruising permit. These were also maintenance days. We washed, cleaned and ironed. I installed a second battery charger, cleaned the seawater system for the air-cons, and cleaned the water maker. This all sounds easy; it isn't. The temperature was way over 35 degrees and we perspired profusely the whole time. Some highlights of this period are:
- Our afternoon swims have been marred by hoards of little jelly fish with black spots. They sting, but are not dangerous.
- After spending much of Saturday ashore, we returned to the boat and invited a South African couple to join us for sundowners. They asked what time. Since we have not worn watches since we started this trip, our reaction was "about 10 more degrees down on the sun", which would be about an hour before sunset. They understood perfectly. John and Anneke have been travelling aboard their sailing catamaran for about 4-years.
- We were invited for sundowners on Jon & Anneke's 42 foot catamaran....what a nice boat.
- It rained Wednesday. When it rains, we often dash out on deck in our bathing suits, mops, brushes and sponges in hand, and wash the boat before the rain stops. It must be a Keystone Cops sight!
- Capt. Piruz, of Raffles Marina, informed us that our cruising permit for Indonesia is approved. Hurrah! We spent much of Thursday figuring out our route, where to stop, how fast to run and so on.

Thursday, 23 May 2002: Today we should receive our cruising permit. If so, tomorrow at first light, we are off. Thus, we will not be filing any more reports for a while (we hope that we can get this one off, as the Internet cafes here are a bit primitive). Be prepared for a long one after we return! In a separate email we are sending a description of how we plan and make such trips.