Beaten up!

3. December 2023, Sunday
9° 46' 11" N, 118° 43' 15" E

Isn't it fantastic... 

our omniscient "weather gurus" can tell us exactly what the weather was like 1500 years ago or what it will be like in a few hundred years, but a reliable weather forecast for a day or two seems impossible.

But first things first.

We spent the past few weeks in Kudat a lovely little sleepy town at the northern tip of Borneo. There wasn't much to do, because it's the rainy season at the moment. This is not an ideal time to explore the jungles with heavy downpoar of rain and mud.

So we enjoy the lazy sailor life in the free marina of Kudat.

For weeks there has also been a plan to sail east, to Busuanga/Philippines , but the project has a small flaw.

The North East Monsoon that will blow until May!

Wind and current from exactly the direction we want to go.

A typhoon was coming from the Pacific, which was supposed to move over the Philippines towards Vietnam. As you know, these storms are going round in circles and

So we enjoy the lazy sailing life in the free marina of Kudat and enjoy the cheap prices in Malaysia.

For weeks there has also been a plan to sail east to Busuanga, but the project has a small flaw.

The North East Monsoon!

Wind and current from exactly the direction we want.

A typhoon was coming from the Pacific, which was supposed to move over the Philippines towards Vietnam. As you know, these storms are going round in circles and its foothills would give us the right wind shift for a few days to sail towards our destination.

Since we are sailing through the Sulu Sea again for this trip and there is still a travel warning from the Foreign Office due to pirate danger, it was a good idea to sail in a small flotilla with our Austrian friends Reini & Martina and their "Exit Strategy".

Before this announced turn of the wind, we sailed together with a friendly yacht to an island about 50 KM away to set off from there the next day.

Forecast: Freshening wind around noon from the northwest. Great! We start motoring early in the morning to use the wind out on the open sea.

Although the wind picked up more and more... but from the wrong direction, namely full on the nose.

Attempts to cruise under sail failed, because the current was too much against us and we only cruised back and forth.

I made a meteorologist voodoo doll and stab him with needles again and again. But it doesn't help! Weather stays the same. Shit!

So we motor with the main sail set as a small support against wind and waves and despite almost full throttle we only reach 4 knots against this bad weather.

Around noon, the speed drops massively. So, hoist the sails and get under the ship. As expected, we had old ropes in our propeller (that was probably the revenge of the voodoo doll!) but after a 10 min. dive I was able to cut ourselves free.


The waves get even higher and Odin claps miserably on the sea and the already quite slow ride is slowed down again and again.


Buy a sailing ship, they said! 

That's pure pleasure, they said! 

Boundless freedom! 


At 3 o'clock in the morning, the speed goes almost to zero, despite the high rpm of the ship's diesel.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right!

So the same thing again in pitch black night on the open sea.

Hmmmm..... Maybe the rope will come loose from the propeller when I put it in reverse? No sooner said than done: PLENG! Engine off!

So, support sail down, diving goggles and fined on and with diving light off into the sea.

Oops, I didn't expect that. The current is so strong that I only manage to dive under the ship to the propeller with great effort. Now just hold on tight!

Not a chance! The rope is so massive that it will take a long time to free Odin from it.Back on board we get your diving equipment ready with compressed air tanks.

With the rocking and pounding of the powerless yacht, a real circus feat!

Warned by the previous jump into the water, Frel threw a rope into the sea from bow to stern, which I can hold on to not to be driven into the black night by the current.

Under the ship, I inflate my diving vest so that I stick under the hull of Odin and the 12 tons of ship don't constantly bang on my head. With one arm I clasp the propeller which scratches my arms with shells, in the same hand I hold the diving torch and with the other I work with a knife on the long rope (and accidentally often my hand) to cut the propeller free.

After an hour and a half, the action is done .... And me too!

We stomp through the night with record diesel consumption to reach Puerto Princessa the day after next.

So here we are back in the Philippines!

4 lovely and friendly Ladys from Quarantine and customs come on board, charge an ominous fee of 2500 pesos each. Normally, this procedure is free of charge, but the salaries are also very low for civil servants here and so corruption is widespread. We pay the equivalent of almost 100 euros, then go on to the immigration office to clear in, where fees are due again, but these are probably legal and comprehensible… and think to ourselves:


Half of our way to Busuanga is now done, but we are now taking a few days break to wait for the next weather window. 

Repairs are pending, not with Odin, but with me.( I damaged a crown of my molar tooth.) We have to get some supplies and also carry many canisters of diesel on board, because our engine was extremely thirsty on this trip.

The plan is to be in Busuanga by Christmas....let's see if it works out. 

Keep your fingers crossed for us!