4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours:
Date: 3 May 2018 / Thursday
Category: Adventurous Journey
Adventurous Journey 08
Adventurous Journey 08

4D3N Raffles Marina – Lazarus Island – Sentosa

2nd-5th September 2017

Preparation

Weeks before the actual Adventurous Journey (AJ)  began, we were told to have a meet up to plan out and settle some administrative matters. We were told the location, facilities and budget that we are going to be using for our AJ. We created several appointments to make sure everyone has a job to do. I was part of the Food team, where we were told to plan out 4D3N worth of food menu but still must make sure that it is within the budget. Our total budget was not mainly just for food but it is also for our other logistics as well. There were a few factors we must consider in regards to our meals.

  • How many meals will there be throughout the entire journey? (breakfast,lunch,dinner, supper/snacks)
  • How many people are we planning the meals for? (participants and crews)
  • Any allergies (e.g. seafood) or special requirements (e.g. halal food)
  • Storage for the food.

When Day 0 (1st Sept. 2017) arrives, we were told to report at Raffles Marina (RM). The first task was to buy all of our food and logistics before the NTUC closes and to get back to RM before midnight.I felt like we were in a gameshow of Race Against Time just to complete that task! Since there would 2 keelboats; L’Atittude and MayBritt, we divided all our food stocks equally.

That night we slept at either L’Atitude or MayBritt as the next morning we need to get up early, eat our breakfast and we need to sail out on time to keep to the schedule.

  • Day 1: Keelboat Sailing from Raffles Marina to Lazarus Island → Outdoor Cooking style dinner
outdoor cooking style dinner
outdoor cooking style dinner

The first morning, we had our breakfast on board the sailboat before we head off to Lazarus Island. We estimated that we would be able to reach Sentosa area around 5pm. It was not my first time sailing on a keelboat but it was definitely a good refresher for me. I relearned how to rig up the sails, parts of the boats and also how to tack. Tacking is the process to turn the sailboat towards the direction of the wind. That is the most tiring part about sailing as it was not an easy task to sheet in the sails to get the boats to turn to the direction that we want them to. Lunch and snacking were done onboard as well. We took turns to rest and man the boats. We miscalculated the time of our arrival that day, and we reach 1Degree15 way after the sun sets. After picking up the rest of the crew at 1Degree15, we make our way to Lazarus Island where had our dinner and to have our night’s rest. For dinner, we had pasta with sausages outdoor cooking style. It was not hard to cook our dinner as most of us are Outdoor Instructors and we are use to cooking our food out in the open.

  • Day 2: Sailed from Lazarus Island to outside of Sentosa → Swam to Tanjong Beach shore → Dragon boat (DB) to Lazarus Island → Fishing for our dinner → Night activity
Crossing the channel
Crossing the channel

We woke up early morning to have our breakfast at Lazarus Islands and were told that we are going to go to FOCUS Campsite in Sentosa to get the dragon boats to paddle back to Lazarus Island. I was very excited personally as I am use to conducting dragonboat programs. We immediately sailed out from Lazarus Island thinking that we were going to be dropped at 1Degree15 to walk back to campsite however much to all of our surprise, the sailboats stopped just outside of Tanjong Beach and we were told to swim to shore! I am not really good at swimming and it took me quite a while to jump off MayBritt to make my way to shore. With the help of my friends, I took a deep breath and quickly jump into the sea water and tried to swim my way to Tanjong Beach without being pulled away by the current. It was definitely an experience I would not forget!

Once we reached the shore, we make our way to FOCUS Campsite to take 2 dragon boats and started to push it towards Tanjong Campsite to make our way back to Lazarus Island. Once we reach Tanjong Beach, we divided ourselves into 2 teams; one on Seraphim’s boat and the one is on mine. In the entire group, only me and Seraphim were certified to cox the boats and that is why we divided the team as such. Seraphim briefed the team on how to paddle and what to do onboard the boats. After familiarising with paddling and the commands, we head out to Lazarus Island by crossing the channel between Sentosa and Tekukur Island. The waves were strong and my boat almost wanted to capsize but I manage to balance the boat. Unfortunately for me, I have 3 casualties on my boat. It was definitely harder for my boat to move forward as everyone on my boat have to paddle extra hard to make up for the lack of manpower.

Once we reached Lazarus Island, we parked our DB at the pontoon. We were then given some fishing equipments and some small prawns, with no instructions at all! At first, we were very confused as to why we were given those equipments but then we realised, we had to fish for our dinner! We were then told that we had no food at all for dinner. I was personally confused as I know that the food team had bought more than enough food to last us through the journey. I was definitely excited as that was the first time I had the chance to catch a fish. After a few hours of no luck, me and a group of girls realised that since we were not given any instructions why not we try to catch other seafood as well. One of the participant and also my friend, Janna, use to live at St John’s Island as it was her “kampung” (hometown village). She definitely knows a few best spots to catch seashells and crabs. True to what she said, we did catch a crab! It was my first time seeing someone catch a crab right before my eyes. At some point of time I was sure that my friend would have almost lost a finger since the crab was quite huge and was fighting us to not be caught!

To our surprise, that night we did have food for our dinner! However, our dinner was not together as a whole group. We were split into pairs and were placed on different parts of the island alone with just our buddy, our food to cook for dinner and a ground sheet to sleep on. It was scary at first then I realised the stars that night was so beautiful that it made us forgot what it felt like to be sleeping out in the open with a great scenery.  

  • Day 3: Morning group photo during sunrise → DB back to Tanjong Beach shore to return it at FOCUS campsite → Attempt the Team Challenge Hourglass blindfolded → Swam back to sail boat → Maybritt anchor got stuck→ Sailed back to Lazarus Island for dinner
6.45am group photo!
6.45am group photo!
Pulling up the anchor manually!
Pulling up the anchor manually!

On the third day, we were woken up by the crews around 6.15am and we made our way to the beach where we took a beautiful photo. It was a spectacular view that all of us just stared at the sun as it rises. We had our breakfast at the pontoon, and immediately made our way back to Tanjong Beach by paddling our way across the channel. It was easier for my DB to move forward than the previous day as some of the boat crew hopped on the DB to help paddle as well! We head back to FOCUS Campsite to keep our DBs back and had our lunch there. Right after lunch, we thought that our next activity was somewhere as but to our surprise we had to conquer the Team Challenge Hourglass (TCH) blindfolded! It was definitely a new experience since I have never did the TCH blindfolded before. By taking away our sense of sight, we learn to put our trust in our friends even more and took our steps one at a time. To top it all of, all of us have to jump of the 24m tower by attempting the Flightline station. I have done it before, but I would be lying if I say I am not at all scared when I was about to jump off.

When it was almost sunset, we made our way to Tanjong Beach to swim back to our sailboat. Yes, we had to swim out to our sailboat just like how we swam into Tanjong Beach on the second day! By now, I had a bit more confident to swim by myself by using my bag as a float. Al I got to do was to keep on kicking my legs to push myself forward. I was told I looked like a little poodle trying to swim! It was tiring but I had fun throughout. Since I was the last few people to reach the sail boats, I climbed up the second sailboat MayBritt and we immeditely made our way to Lazarus Island.

However, luck was not on our side that day as MayBritt’s anchor got stuck and refused to come up as there was something wrong with the mechanism. Everyone that was on MayBritt had to manually pull up the heavy anchor that was dropped 25m deep! It was a new experience for me but definitely strenuous. The other sailboat, L’Atitude could have helped us but they were already reaching Lazarus Island by the time they found out that our anchor was stuck. It took us quite some time to pull the anchor up but we are able to manage it quite well. On the way to Lazarus Island, all of us had already surrender and we lying down flat on the deck as it was a heavy anchor indeed.

By the time we reached Lazarus Island, the other participants on the boat have already set up the dinner for us which I am definitely grateful for. We talked for awhile and quickly head to bed as we  needed to head out earlier so that we would reach Raffles Marina before sunsets.

  • Day 4: Sail back to Raffles Marina
Into the storm we go!
Into the storm we go!

For the last day, we woke up at 4.30am to have our breakfast onboard the sailboats and at the same time to head back to Raffles Marina. Sailing out with such a great view of the sunrise and also calm seas are the best. However, I said that too soon. In the middle of nowhere we were sailing right through a storm! I have always loved to sail through a storm, it was exhilarating at the same time it was challenging. Winds from different direction all over the place and it was our job to catch it. In the middle of all these excitement, we realised we lose sight of the other boat L’Atitude. We turned around to search for them and realised that they were having some technical difficulties. We were in the middle of a storm in raging seas and one of our boats are having a technical difficulties. Definitely not the right timing at all. That was the first time I saw a keelboat towing another keelboat. We had to use that method as we cannot stay in the middle of the seas like that for too long. Once we reached Raffles Marina, I was very much relieved to say that we have came out of a storm alive!

There were a lot of memories made during my Adventurous Journey and we definitely have grown as an individual. Personally for me, I have conquered my fear and learnt a few new things here and there which I am definitely am proud of myself. One of it is that I learn how to confidently swim without my friends to help me! It may not be a huge achievement for some, but it definitely is for me. As a team, we have learned to trust each other better and took care of each other without hesitation. There were a few instances that we act selflessly without thinking twice just to help each other out. I would never forget the laughter and joy on everyone’s faces.  

 

18 months (12 months for Silver NYAA holder)
No. of Hours:
Date: 30 April 2018 / Monday
Category: Skills
During trainings!
During trainings!

Water skills

  • Dinghy level 1
    • This certification taught me how to sail out with a dingy. I was very much excited when given this opportunity to learn. It was a 3 days course that was held at the end of September. The feeling at first was very surreal as we would be sailing out solo at the end of the course.
    • I have learnt a lot during the course like how to sail, parts of the dinghy and the right of way when sailing out at sea. I have to visualize a lot before I can fully understand what is going on and how to sail proper. There are lots of things to memorize and practice within such a short period of time, but when I got a hang of it, it all comes naturally; one of the examples is on which rope to sheet in and release during a sail. My favorite will be to sail out when there is a strong wind as that would be the time where it will test me as a sailor. At the same time I’m controlling the sails, I have to also counter the weight of the dinghy by sitting at the very edge of the gunwale. Sometimes, half of my body would be out of the dinghy just to counter the weight of the boat that is tilting to one side. If I do not counter the weight, my dinghy would have just capsized to the side. It’s like a full body workout!
    • Every time I sail out, it would always be a different feeling and a different kind of adventure. Different wind, different water current and different weather. It would never be the same experience each time. This is what I love about sailing.
    • After the course, I sailed on my own, helped out for Singapore Rendezvous and I also helped out to teach the next batch of people learning how to sail on dinghy.
      • 3 days of course
      • 4 days of Singapore Rendezvous
      • 3 days of helping Sailing Course #02
      • 2-3 times a week of 4hrs of solo sailing 
        My first time belaying
        My first time belaying

        Land Skills

        • Sports Climbing level 1
          • This certification taught me how to belay people for High Element safely. I learned how to belay from my friends first before I got my certification. I have always seen my fellow colleagues belaying participants and I learn the steps of belaying by mimicking them.
          • When I went for the course, it was even much clearer to me on how to belay.  When there are camps going on, I would ensure that I am available so that I am able to come down and practice my belaying for high element sessions. I think it has taught me the importance of safety and why certain practices are in place so as to not compromise safety and why is it important to develop good belaying habits.
            • 2-3 camps a week
              • 2 sessions → 3 hrs per session
60 hours over 12 months
No. of Hours:
Date: 30 April 2018 / Monday
Category: Service
At the Padang for our weekly parade training for NDP (2015)
At the Padang for our weekly parade training for NDP (2015)

Being a Cadet Officer in the National Cadet Corps (NCC)

  • I was in the corps for 8 years; 4 years as a cadet and another 4 years as a cadet officer. My specialty is conducting and planning parades. I have planned a number of parades for both the HQ NCC and my unit(Air).
  • I came back to my school to teach the next generation of cadets after I graduated as a way to give back to my secondary school. Things that I taught my cadets:
    • Foot drills
    • Arm drills
    • Basic aerodynamics and flight controls
    • How to plan for trainings

My school unit are actively participating in competitions in HQ NCC, hence at some period of times trainings are more than once a week.

  • Despite my busy schedule, I have been actively helping out in HQ NCC to conduct parades and also camps. My most proudest moment is when I was selected to represent NCC in the National Day Parade(2015) marching contingents. The trainings took months to be perfected before we had a chance to march at the Padang! The next year (2016) however, I was appointed to be the Senior Instructor Trainer for the contingent to teach and perfect the students foot drills so that they are ready for the whole of Singapore to see them during the National Day Parade. I also conducted leadership camps for HQ NCC; the longest camp I’ve conducted was a 2 weeks long program to groom newly appointed Cadet officers.

 

  • I was honestly very honoured and happy to be given the opportunity to guide the new batches of cadets for the past 3 years. I have learnt a lot of things while volunteering my time here in NCC; one of the things are people skills, writing proposals and conducting camps for at least 200 people. NCC took a lot of my free time but it was worth it to see my juniors and whoever that was under me grow to be a leader leading others now. Seeing that gives me the satisfaction and it  warms my heart.
    • Unit trainings every Friday
      • More than once a week trainings if there is a need to prepare for competitions
    • HQ NCC camps 3-4 times a month
      • Each camp -> 2-3 days
      • Longest camp -> 2 weeks
Community-based project*Compulsory for all Gold Award participants
No. of Hours:
Date: 30 April 2018 / Monday
Category: Residential Project
A short introduction on the paddles and PFDs
A short introduction on the paddles and PFDs
Play time!
Play time!

Dragonboat Session

  • The client that I was engaging in was a non-profit organization called Beyond Social Services. It is a charity dedicated to helping children and youths from less privileged backgrounds break away from their poverty cycle. They provide guidance, care and resources that enable families and communities to keep their young people in school and out of trouble. One way that they are doing this is by taking in youth so that they engage with healthier activities like the one that I have planned for them.
  • It took me quite awhile to get my manpower for the program. Initially, I needed 2 Coxwains. It wasn’t my luck to get the other manpower so at the end of the day I was only able to get 1 Coxwain and to make up for it, I needed to cox the other Dragonboat myself.
  • The program was held at Raffles Marina and we did dragon boat for the whole day. The program was tiring but I did not forget to include elements of fun by playing a few activities on the boat and also letting them swim around when they are taking their break from rowing the boat.
  • The first thing that I did when they first arrived is to break the ice to get them comfortable with each other and also with me and the other Coxwain. I did 2 Energizers with them to get the ball rolling and to hype them up. It was definitely a fun one seeing the laugher on their faces. I also introduced to them their 2 best friends for the day; the PFD and the paddles. We did abit of dry paddling to get the technique right and straight to water confidence test after that. When we enter the dragonboats, I continued teaching them about the different parts of the boat and what is the proper way to seat on the boat. The boat that I took definitely almost capsized a few times but it was al good and under control. They were some instances where the boat almost capsize because the participants purposely wanted to have the feeling of capsize. However I firmly told them no by telling them the pros and cons if we were to capsize. I definitely was glad to get them to change their mind about capsizing the boat. It is going to be a hassle to get the boat upright again if it were to happen!
  • All in all, it was fun and amazing experience to be able to lead a dragon boat program for the first time. I also learned a few things about the participants, some of their stories really touched my heart. It is an eye opening experience. I really hope to be able to get a chance to work with this organisation again in the near future.
40 hours over 12 weeks
No. of Hours:
Date: 30 April 2018 / Monday
Category: Physical Recreation
Paddling from Lazarus Island back to Sentosa
Paddling from Lazarus Island back to Sentosa

Dragonboat Coxwain

  • I started to grow interest on being a coxwain when I first tried it out as a participant during my 3D2N Basic SeaOps Course. I enjoyed the feeling of controlling the dragonboat. To further practice, I regularly came down for dragonboat programs to learn more and to further better my coxing on both calm lagoon waters and out in the open seas. I learned not only to have full control of the boat, I also learned to tie the rudder according to my comfortability whether I want the rudder to hang loosely or tightly and also as to where I should position myself on the boat; whether to sit or to stand while coxing. I also learned that the rudder is not only to direct the boat left and right but it can also move the boat forward and backwards. As a coxwain, I need to always remember that if i were to turn to the left, the stern of the boat will be turning right. This concept is the same if I were to be turning to the right. I will always make this mental note especially when I trying to “park” the boat at the side of a pontoon or anywhere that is not on shore.
  • There is a lot of dragonboat program that I have to head down to Sentosa 2-3 times a week. Almost 70% of the programs that I did are expeditions from Sentosa to Lazarus Island and back again. The dragonboats are definitely a bit more challenging to control especially when it is out in the open sea crossing the channel in between the red Sentosa beacon and Tekukur Island. The water can be quite choppy at times especially when a storm just passed or is coming. Not only I have to make sure that the boat is heading straight and not going haywire, I have to motivate the participants to make sure they do not stop paddling in the middle of crossing the channel. Sometimes participants just do not understand why they can not stop paddling when crossing the channel, so I have to explain to them that it is the same as crossing the road on mainland where we do not just suddenly stop walking in the middle of the road.
  • I definitely enjoyed all the dragonboat programs I have done so far. It was always a new experience each time with the different tides and  water currents.
    • 2-3 times of dragonboat program a week
    • Spread over 12 weeks
    • For every non-expedition program, water time duration is 1.5hrs
    • For every expedition, water time duration 3hr
      1. Sentosa → Lazarus Island ; duration 1-1.5hr
      2. Lazarus Island → Sentosa ; duration 1-1.5hr