4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours:
Date: 16 May 2018 / Wednesday
Category: Adventurous Journey

Introduction

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NYAA Adventurous Journey

I am going to start this report by elaborating on my own understanding of the words ‘Adventurous Journey’ and what I think its all about. Personally to me, these word just mean that i complete 1 of the 5  components of NYAA, but taking a deeper look into it. These words can mean so many different things, on so many different levels. To me, its all about getting away from the bustling city life and secluding yourself in nature to understand yourself better or to reflect on your own life and how I can change it after the ‘journey’. ‘Adventurous’ Means to explore and discover more about myself when I’m thrown into all sorts of different situations while on the ‘Journey’. Basically, in Lehman terms, to take time off from life, sort of a holiday to heal the soul or to relax. Others ask me why don’t I go for something more relaxing like a resort but there is no purpose in that, there isn’t the feeling of accomplishment when you finish the journey and I believe the ‘Journey’ starts the moment I decided to go this trip.  

 

Objectives

Objectives for this trip was simple. Initially, I just wanted to experience for myself on how It would feel to climb a mountain and stay at base camp and etc. I wanted to be able to go through myself and tell myself I did it. I wanted time away from life in this bustling city. I yearned for the feeling of accomplishment and I wanted to reach the peak with my friends. That’s was the initial objectives but as I went through the preparation phase, many things changed. I was initially appointed the role of being the expedition leader and having taken the role I prepared myself emotionally and mentally to be able to help the team as much as I could and bring them up to the peak by any means possible. But some things changed and the roles switched. Motivation plummeted, hesitation came in and I even considered dropping out of the expedition but deep down I knew I still needed to finish this climb. So I picked myself up and went in search for more reasons, personal reason to why I needed to finish this expedition. So I came up with the following objectives,

  • To relax
  • To have fun
  • To reflect
  • To learn
  • To discover more about myself
  • To experience
  • To change and improve myself

Preparation Phase

 

As I mentioned above, the preparation phase had a lot of ups and downs. Preparation itself is already the ‘Journey’. First of all so many things were changing as the weeks went by, we only had about 5 weeks to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Those 5 weeks weren’t easy at all but in the end it was worth all the hard work and commitment! % weeks were all we had to prepare logistics, get fit, confirm the people going and lastly the transport there. We were hit by loads of obstacles but we still managed to somehow overcome them and move forward ultimately fully prepare for the trip .

I start of with training regimes. As my role got switched, I was the IC for training. Many thoughts went through my mind while preparing the regime. ‘What Ifs’ came into my mind countless of times when I was trying to get the regime up and proper. Then there was the problem of commitment and timing of the trainings as well as consistency. I had the help of my second IC, Amelia and expedition advisor, Am, to help out with changing the regimes on the go depending on the situation and I am really thankful for the help. As many of us were either still schooling or working adults, trainings had to take place in the evening after work/school which makes it hard for everyone to be present for every training but I believe that everyone put in their utmost effort to come down to every training possible with regards their own schedule. We held training every Monday, Thursdays and Saturdays whereby we categorized Fitness, Endurance and Hiking/Trekking respectively. With the training regime put up, my heart was at ease for a bit. But that wasn’t the end of the obstacles we faced.

Another huge wall came up for the whole team. Which was the inconsistent number of people always coming in and dropping out. Personally to me, it was a huge drawback because if we couldn’t get someone up to pace in time, things would screw up and preparations could not be done properly and we would all suffer during the trip itself. It was a huge factor to the reason why my motivation to keep coming for training kept dropping. Eventually, I told myself that I could only rely on the ones who actually stayed and did their jobs because I believed they were serious about it. From then on, I managed to keep my motivation consistent with a few dips here and there but things were more constant for myself. Honestly, I had a very selfish outlook on the whole team but because of the situation and environment, I felt that I could only trust myself and a few others in the team and I kept with that mindset all the way up until the trip itself and even when on the trip. And when finally everything was finalized, and things started getting done, the selling out of train tickets to dabong hit us. Then we had to scramble to find another way to get ourselves to the base of the mountain.

 

One last obstacle that hit us was that the day before the expedition, our expedition leader fell sick and couldn’t come on the trip, followed by the safety 2IC who caught a fever and also couldn’t make the trip. When I first heard it, I felt that when the team found out, morale would really drop and I was afraid that things would really mess up this time, and there wasn’t much time to help change that fact nor was there anything that could be done. So I just totally ignore this feeling of mine and went ahead with the last minute preparations and packing of bagpacks. Finally the night before we headed out, the whole team sat down to give our honest thoughts about the team and also the whole ‘journey’ so far that had lead us to that point. The discussion went through smoothly and we prepared to leave the next day. So with that, it was the end of our preparation ‘Journey’ .

 

During the trip

Day 1: 19th Sept 2015
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The whole team gathered to pack and even out logistics into our bagpacks as well as our own personal belongings. Dividing the load among each other went quite smoothly, with our bags all packed, we prepared to board the bus which was going to bring us all the way to the base of Mount Stong which was situated at Dabong, Jelawang Jungle. It was a grueling 12 hours bus ride that lasted thru the night. Whilst on the way to Dabong, we stopped by at Johor Bahru to procure the food Logistics that would last us through the whole trip.

Day 2: 20th Sept 2015

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Having had rested the night on the road, we arrived in at the base of the mountain in the early morning around 7am.  Having extra logistics to pack, we did our final packing as we distributed the load within the team. We were ready to set off. It was roughly about a 2 hour hike up with our 20kg loads to the base camp where we would set up our campsite that we would be staying at for the next few days.

Upon arrival of our base camp, Kem Baha, we breathed a sigh of relief but in actual fact we had loads of work ahead of us. Setting up the campsite was very sluggish due to hunger and exhaustion from our hike up, we had to persevere and finish it as quickly as possible. We split the team into different groups and started to set up the tents as well as the kitchen. To me, it felt very inefficient because none of us knew what we needed to do and everyone was just standing around waiting for things to happen. Roughly, 1 hour into building the campsite, we all decided to stop for lunch as things were not getting any better.

After we finished lunch, we reorganized ourselves and things were getting done quickly as well as more efficiently. Within the next 2 hour we managed to finish setting up the place where we’d be living in for the next few days regardless of rain or shine. There was this sense of accomplishment when all was done as we all sat down to admire this campsite that we built. It was my first as well as everyone’s but personally to me, I was ecstatic and proud of it. Once we settled down into our tents, we headed to the nearby waterfall to play around with water as well as a awesome slide down a rock face.

To me, it was sort of a reward for the effort we have put in up till thus far. It may have just been the start but I believed that’s reward like this give us all a boost of confidence as well as a chance to relax before the summit climb the next day. This relaxation time was also the way we cleaned ourselves up, in other words, to bath. I still remember the water being intensely cold and tingly as I submerged myself to relax. The water somehow felt magical to the point where there wasn’t a single sign of me feeling tired and exhausted from the day’s trip.

 

Once we were done with cleaning ourselves up, we all headed to the kitchen to start preparing dinner. Menu for the first night was Rice coupled together with popcorn chicken as well as stir fried veggie with oyster sauce. I can tell you for a fact, having such a nice meal together as a team in a circle, envelopes this sense of appreciation of each other’s company as well as how privileged we are when we are all in the bustling city. Having a simple meal like this especially with the same people who went through the same hardship to get to where we all went through. After finishing dinner, we all washed up the pots and utensils followed by a debrief for the day. Just a reflection on how our day unfolded and what could be done better the next day. Once debrief was done, we head for our much desired sleep as we all wanted to rest as well as catch sunrise the next morning.

Day 3: 21st Sept 2015

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We woke up around 6am, stepped out of our tents feeling and breathing in the cold air, it was a whole new experience because the sun was not up and it felt as though it was still night time. Went about our business, followed by preparing lunch and breakfast for the summit climb later on in the day. Once we were done preparing breakfast, we headed to the top of a waterfall which opened up a wonderful view to the surrounding areas and mountain as we sat there having breakfast whilst waiting for the sun to rise.

Personally, when I sat there sipping my hot cup of coffee, I was taken in by the fog and atmosphere, as I watched the fog move and clear out showing the mountain peaks, roads and other houses, I realized that sometimes we cant see the fog when life gets hard, we are temporarily blinded by the hardship around us but we just have to be a little patient and wait for the fog to move on then we’d be able to see clearly where we want to go. As the fog cleared, the sun started to rise like an egg yolk, skies cleared, clouds turned orange, the skies glowed. Everything was so peaceful, it was like we were all being sucked into nature and it calmed me down. For once I really sat down to appreciate something that happens everyday but I’m just too hectic or busy to even take notice. And I realized that, we tend to become unappreciative of things that we are used to, unknowingly and unexcitingly, we don’t realize the absence of such things until we lose them.

We hung around for a little longer to enjoy the scenery and then headed back to the campsite to prepare for the summit climb. I believe in starting the day right and I believed we did. I felt things went pretty smoothly ensuing the preparation for the summit climb. It was going to be a grueling 4 hours climb through steep and slippery slopes and steps and river crossings. We didn’t know what laid ahead of us but everyone had the same goal in mind, to reach the summit. We began the climb around 930am hoping to reach around lunch time. We had a total of 5 checkpoints to rest before we reached the summit. The ascend went pretty well although it was really tough and grueling but we all made it to the top. The peak was just a large boulder and as we sat there eating our lunch. Many thoughts ran through my mind. The feeling of accomplishment didn’t hit me, I don’t know why but maybe it’s just because I was feeling very tired. But honestly, the peak was sort of disappointing to me because I was expecting a nice scenery but we were just surrounded by trees. We had a short rest atop the boulder then we decided to descend. I was so focused on the ascend I forgot that I had to descend and that’s where I starting thinking of my past injuries and how it would affect the descend. Many people think that the descend is easy but to me it was harder than the ascending because of the constant stress on your knees and legs from stepping down. Due to the terrain around us, many of slipped and fell down slippery rocks and steps as high as our faces. Although the descend was faster, it was more tiring as we had to be even more aware of our surroundings and where we were stepping. The descend took roughly about 3 hours and by the time we reached the campsite, the sun was setting already. We still had loads of things to do but we were all shagged out. As much as we wanted to rest, we had to get moving. We had a quick wash up and we started preparing dinner. Dinner was Spaghetti! Somehow the meal was scrumptious maybe because we were just all too tired and worn out. Nonetheless, once dinner was done, we washed up and gathered again for a debrief of the day. It was then that it hit us that we had accomplished what we had set out to do. This feeling was great. Once we were done with the debrief, honest opinions came up and we had a very open session whereby we just said what we had been holding on inside our hearts about the trip and team in general. It was an enriching day and night for me as I found out what others thought of me and how I viewed so I had time to reflect and improve myself. Halfway through the session, it started raining very heavily. It was the highlight of the trip to me! Mother nature was putting our campsite to the test. We were tested and we prevailed. Although the ladies tents were flooded, we managed to adapt and react and make decisions based on the situation. The rain was relentless, the guys were soaking wet helping to move stuff over to different tents and making drainage trenches for the water to not flow through. Eventually, we had everyone in the guys tent. By the time we all had settled down, it was already 1am. We quickly settled on what time to wake up the next day and went to sleep. It really was a whole new experience. It showed me that mother nature always wins no matter what. As much as you can prepare for it, mother nature takes over.

Day 4: 22nd Sept 2015
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We woke up around 630am to prepare breakfast and lunch. As the sun had already risen, we saw what the rain had done to our the campsite through the night. We knew what we had to and we set out to do it. As some prepared breakfast, the rest went about to tear down the campsite. An amazing thing happened as we went about our business, suddenly the fog came swooping through the campsite. It felt as though we were in a dream and I felt like I wasn’t on earth, I never knew such beauty existed! We admired the phenomenon for a little while as it went through the whole campsite then continued doing what we needed to do. We overlooked the amount of time we needed to have breakfast and tear down the campsite. We were behind schedule, but we had to do things proper. Eventually we finished up 2 hours behind schedule and began our descend with our 20kg loads yet again. Having been through the trail, we knew what lay ahead in wait for us but this time more slippery because of the rain the previous night. By the time we reached the base of the mountain. It was about 2pm. We celebrated for a while then headed to bath at the nearby toilet. Well, needless to say, after not bathing properly for the past few days, the shower was oh so heavenly. It was more than refreshing, it was godly! Once we were all done with showering, we boarded the bus and prepared to head back to Singapore. It was yet another long ride throughout the night but this time, all we wanted to do was just to sleep! And so we did.

Day 5: 23rd Sept 2015

We arrived at CAMP CHALLENGE SEMBAWANG at around 4am. We settled into our dormitory and started unpacking our bags. Putting out the tents and bags to air through the night. Followed by a well deserved macdonalds breakfast. We all went to bed. Woke up around 12 noon, had lunch and set out to keep the logistics we had put out to dry. Once we were done, we sat down to have a final debrief and that ended the expedition.

 

Post-Trip

Well, the past week flew by, and I couldn’t believe that I had finished conquering the mountain. I was reflecting on myself and my attitude and reexamining my life. Looking for ways to further improve myself in every aspect in life. Re-evaluating my priorities and my choices. The trip was honestly fulfilling to me. It allowed me to take a step back and readjust my views and also myself. One question stuck in my mind during the final debrief. “What did you gain and lose?” Not particular to gain but its what I loss, other would have thought what can you lose when you go on such a trip? But then to me, a loss doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad thing. A loss can be turned into a gain. My answer to that question was that I lost the feeling of taking many things for granted. When we were up in the mountains, we were stripped of the daily devices in which we are all addicted to using. Even commodities were taken away, how does one survive like that? I asked myself that question but nature showed me that you can live without these. If there isn’t a bathroom, bath in the river. If there isn’t a toilet, dig a hole. If you have something to say to someone, use your mouth and tell it to them instead of turning to social media on electronic devices. These are the some of the things that I lost during the trip, but then again, it is a gain too. Up till today, I still cannot believe that I had finished all these and time flies. Its back to reality for me and time for me to use this experience to my advantage and move forward in life.

Acknowledgements

Lastly, to end everything off! I would like to thank the whole team, including everyone we originally wanted to join but somehow couldn’t. I would like to specially thank Am, Sara, Norman, Yu Ling and Amelia. I believed that this trip would not have been so fulfilling if not for these people. Am for his guidance and showing us his vast knowledge with regards to mountain climbing. Sara and Norman for being the best Chair and vice-chairperson for this trip. Yu Ling for the admin support that may seem like little to the untrained eye but it was a lot more. Amelia for being my awesome buddy as well as helping me out with the training regimes. And lastly, the team as a whole because I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you all very much!

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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.  

 

4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours: 74 hours
Date: 27 April 2018 / Friday
Category: Adventurous Journey

Total Activity Hours: 74 hours (over 5 days)

Date: 11 – 16 September 2017

Expedition Name: Singapore-Nanyang Polytechnic Adventurers Kayaking Expedition (SNAKE) & Southern Island Kayaking Expedition (SIKE)

  • 2D2N SNAKE + 3D3N SIKE (Total: 5D5N Back-to-back kayaking expeditions)
  • Average 6 hours of kayaking per day for SNAKE; 8 hours of kayaking per day for SIKE
  • Preliminary training consist of 5 days of kayaking training (Average 5-6 hours per day) and Recce trip to various kayaking locations

Under Singapore Polytechnic Adventurers (SPA), my committee and I planned these two kayaking expeditions in a bid to form better relationships with other polytechnic adventure clubs (NYP ADC), as well as provide exposure to our juniors to kayaking expeditions. I was in charge of planning, leading, and conducting the preliminary training to prepare participants physically and hone their skills. Also, I was in the logistics committee for both SNAKE and SIKE, and played the role of Assistant Troop Leader (ATL) for SNAKE and Troop Leader (TL) for SIKE. Planning started in July, 2 months before the commencement of the expedition. It was a long and demanding process that required a lot of commitment, however my team and I are able to execute the following expeditions successfully.


 

Preliminary Training

  • Land Physical Training (PT) such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and running
  • Kayaking resistance training including paddling in kayak half-filled with water, taking turns to paddle (doubles), progressive increase in laps around a 1.2km lap around a breakwater
  • Kayaking drills and emergency response including H-rescue, TX-rescue, mass capsize,  kayaking strokes, and expedition formation.
  • First-aid kit preparation and basic first aid course

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A typical training day with moderate showers and no lightning

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  • Recce trip conducted to familiarize with the various locations and kayaking route, assess risks along the route, and confirm emergency pitch up locations

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Powerboat no. 88 needed to be towed back to Poly Marina by no. 57 due to engine failure, from Pulau Hantu. The towing took 2 hours! We were demoralized, however thankful that the weather was good and there was no rain during the towing. 

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En route to St. John’s Island. This is the kayaking route direction that we would take on the actual expedition. 


Day 0: 11 September 2017 (2100 – 0000 hrs) 

  • Packing of logistics, purchasing food, and flushing powerboats for SNAKE
  • Expedition briefing
  • Sleeping location: West Coast Park (Hammock)

Day 1: 12 September 2017 (0800 – 2300 hrs)

This marks the commencement of Singapore-Nanyang Polytechnic Adventurers Kayaking Expedition (SNAKE). After welcoming and icebreaker activities with Nanyang Polytechnic Adventure Club, we launched off from West Coast Poly Marina towards Pulau Hantu. We stopped for Sea Lunch in the vicinity of Cyrene Reef. It was high tide, hence the reef cannot be seen. Afterwich, we kayaked towards Pulau Hantu and upon arrival, we engaged in bonding activities, boat riding, and water slack lining. The night was relaxed as we cooked our own dinner and slept under A-frame shelters (pitched using basha sheets) and hammocks. It was a good start for the expeditions as we warmed ourselves up for the next 4 days and formed new friendships.

Day 2: 13 September 2017 (0800 – 2200)

After a hearty breakfast of french toast and pancakes prepared by ourselves, we launched off and headed back to Poly Marina. We had our sea lunch over cyrene reef as it was low tide and we could disembark our kayaks and stand on the reef! This was a special occasion as we do not often have the opportunities to stand on the seabed in the middle of the sea. Afterwich, we kayaked back to West Coast Poly Marina. This was when the skies started to turn dark with thunderclouds. We picked up the pace as it started to drizzle. Thankfully, we arrived at Poly Marina, washed all equipment, and headed into shelter just in time before the rain started to fall upon us. We bade farewell to Nanyang Polytechnic and took time to rest back at West Coast Park in our hammocks. It was a fruitful expedition. We covered 18km during the 2 days.

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Group Photo with Nanyang Polytechnic Adventure Club before departing Pulau Hantu!

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View from my hammock at 7am at Pulau Hantu. I am facing the waters between Pulau Hantu Kechil and Pulau Hantu Besar which disappears during low tide. We could wade across to Pulau Hantu Kechil at low tide, however at high tide, it is too deep to cross. 

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Standing on Cyrene Reef with Pasir Panjang Terminal behind, with the Sea In-Charge (former and present). 

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Standing on Cyrene Reef and consuming sea lunch beside a buoy that we use to mark our position. We stood on rocks instead of the corals below to avoid damaging the reef. 

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Receiving the SNAKE T-shirt to mark the end of the expedition with NYP!

The following are two videos of SNAKE put together by members of NYP ADC and SPA:

Made by Chester, NYP ADC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owXKuNfDIks

Made by Zec, SPA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZuDDvM0URo&t=9s


Day 3: 14 September 2017 (1200 – 0000)

After catching up on our sleep at West Coast Park, we started preparing for the next expedition that will commence at 6pm on the same day. Similar to Day 0, we packed of logistics, purchased food, and flushed powerboats for SIKE. Later at 6pm, our Juniors arrived at West Coast Park and we commenced the expedition briefing. We prepared motivation packs (containing goodies such as sweets, jelly, biscuits, etc.) for the expedition and engaged in some night orienteering activities around West Coast Park. We slept in tents for the night. Though there was no kayaking, it was a good rest to prepare for ourselves for the longer distance the next day (33 km)

Day 4: 15 September 2017 (0700 – 0000)

We rose early in the morning at 6am and launched off from West Coast Poly Marina at approximately 7am. We kayaked in the direction of Lazarus Island (beside St. John’s Island). To our dismay, it started to pour only 15 minutes after launch off. However, we continued to paddle as in the distance, we could see that at where we are heading, the weather is clearing up. We kayaked for approximately an hour in moderate to heavy rain and suffered a capsize near Pasir Panjang Terminal which was rectified quickly. As we got closer to Sentosa Island, the weather started to clear up and when we had sea lunch off the coast of Siloso beach, it was bright and sunny again.

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Preparing to cross the channel at Poly Marina. The sky is getting darker!

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More and more dark clouds approaching us as it started to drizzle just before we crossed the channel.

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Heavy rain at Pasir Panjang Terminal (on the left)! Compare this to the previous photo! The visibility was low.

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Sky clearing up as we approached Sentosa. 

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Munching on a snack as we prepare to cross to Sentosa Island

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Successfully arrived at Siloso beach for sea lunch in good weather. The kayakers rafted up beside the powerboat to retrieve their lunch. 

After which, we kayaked towards Lazarus Island and pitched up for a break (our “pit stop” location). As we pitched up, it started to rain very heavily. As we were drenched, and the wind was strong, we were very cold. The food team decided to prepare hot oats and milo to replenish our energy and warm ourselves up. After approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, we set off again in light rain as we were running late for our destination at Pulau Hantu and could not afford to wait for the rain to stop.

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In the cold at a small hut on Lazarus Island. Dan (Assistant Troop Leader) and I (Troop Leader) watched over the kayaks as sentry while the rest of the participants headed towards other larger shelters.

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Kayaks lined up in “expedition style” on the grass at Lazarus Island

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The view is misty due to the rain. The rain stopped once in a while and there was lightning. 

After a briefing, we picked up the pace as we were running late. We departed Lazarus Island and headed towards Sisters’ Island where we would kayak along the edge of the Western Anchorage Area in the open sea before arriving at Jong Island, Pulau Bukom, and finally to Pulau Hantu. The skies gradually cleared up and the weather was not very hot due to the rain in the morning. The current was against us and it was a difficult push in the open sea at western anchorage. We even had an experience with a ship which was on full throttle and crossing our direction of travel in a channel. That was quite a dangerous and nerve wreaking part as we had to paddle at full speed and the boat did not change course until the last minute. Nonetheless, we kayaked towards Pulau Hantu safely and pitched up at approximately 5pm. We cooked our own instant noodles for dinner and rested in tents and hammocks for the night. It was a tiring day and things did not always go as planned, however, we were able to handle the changes and remain cautious of our environment.

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I gave a briefing before departing Lazarus, aiming to tell participants to maintain the formation and pick up the pace. 

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Leading the troop towards Sisters’ Islands.

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View from Sisters’ Islands of Western Anchorage Area which is a lot more of open waters. 

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Arriving at Pulau Hantu (with Pulau Bukom in the background) with the rest of the formation behind. Jong Island can be seen as a small semicircular silhouette on the right side of the horizon. 

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The trusty kayak that I have used throughout the 5 days of expedition! I was equipped with a towline as well as a whistle for emergency use. My poncho and sponge (for bailing out water) are secured to my deck by deck lines.


2017-09-15 09.28.41 1Arrival at Pulau Hantu after a long day of kayaking!

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Sunset at Pulau Hantu from the Pulau Hantu Besar Jetty!

Day 5: 16 September 2017 (0700 – 1800)

After breakfast, we launched off from Pulau Hantu back to West Coast Poly Marina. It rained until approximately 10am, hence our timeline was pushed back. Finally, after the sun was out, we paddled back to Pulau Hantu at a more relaxed pace as most of us were tired from yesterday’s paddle. The weather was good and it was a smooth ride back to West Coast Poly Marina. We arrived at Poly Marina to wash our equipment and at least, came to a closure for the back-to-back expeditions. We covered 43 km over the 3 days.

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Sunrise at Pulau Hantu.

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White wash at Pulau Hantu waters in the morning of Day 5 before departure. The rain is so heavy that you can barely see the ships that are supposed to be seen anchored in the vicinity! 

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Final turn after passing the western corner of Pasir Panjang Terminal. Poly Marina is in sight! 

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3 batches of SP Adventurers with our club flag at Pulau Hantu before departure.

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The expedition committee that has worked tirelessly over the past 5 days!


The past five days has been a roller coaster ride. It was a physical, mental, and emotional battle with the tides and weather as changes constantly occurred all around us. We covered a total distance of 61 km over 5 days (4 days of kayaking). At some point, all I had in mind was to get the day over and done, however, with the support and encouragement from everyone, I was able to pull through the 5 days. Lots of friendships were forged over the 5 days. It is an experience that I will not forget.

4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours:
Date: 13 April 2018 / Friday
Category: Adventurous Journey

 

Above is a video I compiled for the execution of my Adventurous Journey, Adventurous Journey 03B.

 

17th April 2016, Sunday

Raffles Marina

 

This was the first ever sailing lesson that I was going to attend in my life & I was feeling mostly neutral because I had no idea what I was going to get myself into.

I was briefed along with my other friends about what are the sailboats’ names, individually and was briefed simply on how a sailboat works. Coming from studying Marine Offshore, I was pretty excited because alas! Something I studied in school was going to be asked in real life.

We were tested on the different parts of the boat starting from the keel all the way to the navigational mast. I was very much interested at this point.

Then we put on our PFDs and we set off. The winds weren’t that strong so it was a great day for us to learn and absorb without all the stresses.

I learnt what a Close Hull was and what was ‘tacking’ that all the participants of AJ03A were talking about.

Tacking, by the way, is a team effort kinda thing. You need someone to release rope and you need another to pull in the rope to lock. It was amazing to see how people worked as a unit.

We were also told to do some PT and so I did. I clocked in 32 laps in the water and ran 7k that week. I couldn’t do so much because of my internship hours but I felt that I was being really productive.

‘A fit body is a fit mind’ is what Sasi said and I can’t lie and say that I didn’t have a few burgers here and there but I definitely exercised that week.

 

AJ03B practice days
AJ03B practice days

 

 

 

 

23rd April 2016 – 24th April 2016

Saturday – Sunday

Raffles Marina

 

We were given roles to ensure that everyone has something to do.

Marcus, Ishak, Wendy, Amal & I were in charge of rationing food, making sure that we were going to eat enough carbs, protein and have sufficient energy per day, per person for the whole trip.

Eventhough Wendy & Amal unfortunately couldn’t join us for the trip, their help was greatly appreciated.

 

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Another training and this time, we had to study what was sailing all about, baby steps.

We slept over on the boats on Saturday night just to get a feel on how the boat sways and rocks and just the feeling of sleeping on a boat at night. Be it in the cabin or on the main deck itself.

We had over 300 slides to look through. We learnt on how to know that the sailboat is on a collision path, or what the red & green lights on the buoys or beacons mean. We learnt what is the difference between a buoy and a beacon was as well.

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A buoy is anchored and floats while a beacon is attached to the sea floor.

We again, were trained on how to skip the boat and how to tack, how to efficiently do a tack and all the other terms on how to catch the wind and sail.

It was again, a great session and I felt that it was amazing to have the opportunity to learn something new. It was so foreign that I enjoyed learning every word of it.

 

28th April 2016

Thursday

CAMP CHALLENGE – Raffles Marina

 

By this time, I was badly affected by a throat infection, which added to my lung infection & basically I was a mess. I was around with my hoodie and my windbreaker on my way to CAMP CHALLENGE to settle the food, pack and pick up the logs and to meet the team.

Marcus, Ishak & I were segregating the food and the count of water tumblers for each boat. We have 3 to cater for:

  1. L’attitude
  2. Maybritt
  3. Skyrider 2

We packed nutella jars, bread, milk, tuna, ready to eat meals and a lot of cereal just to make sure we don’t stay starving while sailing the seas.
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We didn’t make our target time which was to leave CAMP CHALLENGE at 2200 hours to make our way to Raffles Marina, we were redoing the admin papers over and over until we got them right.

Before we left campsite, my parents came to say goodbye and I spent a good solid 10 minutes saying goodbye. Those hugs to me felt like a lifetime because I realize now that they are sending their kid to the seas, where nature always wins and I really appreciated them coming down just to say goodbye.

We said our goodbyes and left for Raffles Marina and which was where we unloaded the truck filled with our logs and transferred them to the individual boats.

This was one step closer to the real thing, I remember having the thought of my parents before I fell asleep. My thought was that when I come back from this trip, I was going to be a better human being. I just wanted to do something that they can say that made them proud.

 

Expedition

 

29TH May 2016

Raffles Marina

 

Everyone woke up feeling groggy but we were on time to report. We checked in the wee hours of the morning.

I checked in to learn, to experience, with fun, safety, to cross new horizons & to assist everyone in any way that I can. We set off from Raffles Marina with me being on Maybritt along with Vincy, Marcus, Ishak and Mr. Andrew.

I wasn’t familiar with Maybritt for I was always on L’attitude for trainings and I often caught myself stunned and stuck on what to do. I was too embarrassed to be embarrassed by asking questions so I listened carefully to whatever was being said and on what we had to do and I did them, which I realized that it was a mistake for I should’ve asked why I was doing it or what if I didn’t do it?

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It was a great day to learn. The sun was shining, the winds were steady and our faith was high.

We learnt that day on what a spinnaker is and how it was being used. I can say hands down that the spinnaker is the most beautiful sail I have seen on Maybritt. It is really colorful which just caught my eye.

We sailed for hours until we reached Sisters’ Island, right behind Sentosa to do our passport clearances to leave Singapore waters. We had to wait for about 30 minutes to an hour because there was a queue of other vessels and sailboats heading out of Singapore.

Once we were cleared, we set up our sails again and sailed off to I had no idea where. I skipped by the boat by following bearings and kept repeating what the RPM was to the other boat when they asked and it was a quiet day for communications for ours broke down and it was a difficult challenge because had no communications with the other sailboat.

We even had to ask Skyrider 2 to help us convey messages to the other sailboat.

We arrived Nongsa Point Marina at around 1700 hours, I got off the boat feeling really really sick from my throat infection and just really hungry.

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We all got dinner on land, which I was grateful for because I wasn’t used to not eating rice at any time of the day. We then had our down time, which Vincy and I used to go and shower and to hang around with the rest.

We had our debrief for the day on L’attitude and it was discussed that we weren’t punctual, serious and that we were just playing around. I was again, stuck because I felt like I did a good job, I did do the things that I was supposed to but I guess I didn’t do enough, so I told myself that I would try even harder to learn more and be more.

I was crying every time that I had to talk because my throat at that point was just too treacherous and it was just too painful to even mutter a word, but I refused to go to sleep frustrated at myseld, so I hung with Vincy and some of the guys which made me feel loads better.

I fell asleep on Maybritt’s deck and it was underneath the stars. I was amazed at how bright they shine and how piercingly beautiful it was to block out the city lights for once and to breathe in fresh air, sleeping on a beautiful boat.

30th April 2016

Nongsa Point Marina, Nongsa, Indonesia

 

Everyone either woke up at 0500 hours or at 0700 hours, Indonesian time. I was to be honest, still confused with the time change although it was just an hour. Singapore is ahead of Indonesia by an hour. So when people were up at 0800 hours thinking that it was late for them, they were actually really early.

I remember walking back from the toilets and passed by the boys and Chance asking them what time it was and they said it was 0800 hours, Singapore time, Chance flipped because he realized that he could’ve slept just a little bit longer because our reporting time was 0900 hours Indonesian time. I still laugh at that moment.

 

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It was a messy morning, we had breakfast and everybody was just everywhere with the walkie talkies, trying to get documents from the boats, people from the dockmaster trying to get pictures of the boats, we trying to clear admin as fast as we can but still couldn’t sail off at our targeted time.

We switched for today. Mine included Vincy, Jei, Tim, Sasi & Damien. I was really excited because I was less nervous around my team. The sun had no mercy while we were sailing for about 4 hours.

A storm came and hit us, I panicked, got everyone their PFD’s and we just sat in the rain. I was amazed most of the time because it was such an adventure and we were only halfway.

I was the skipper for the late afternoon/evening time, which was really fruitful because I never got the chance to skip near night time as I have night blindess. I skipped with everyone’s help for the obstructions in our path which included fishing nets, trash and even a dead monitor lizard. Sasi took over after it got dark and from that moment on, I was really blinded. I was a mess, stumbling everywhere trying to help out with the sails, bruising my feet and I was really frustrated. I also was losing patience with my throat because trying to convey anything was near impossible. That also unfortunately showed to my crew because I was frustrated. I was told during debrief later on that Sasi and Damien both tried to push me till my breaking point with my anger, I gotta say that the whole house didn’t shake so I am gonna say that I have done well.

 

We docked at the island at 2200 hours +/- Singapore time and I was exhausted. I packed a quick backpack with just my camera, clothes and phone to head over to the house. The house was open concept and it was one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen in my life. It was dark and I am terrified of the dark because once when I was younger my friend pushed me down a well kind of thing and it was dark. I still am scared of the dark. But I had Ishak always helping me out with anything I needed. He was the one to remind me to eat my medicine over the comms when we were on different boats.

 

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We had a little down time before debrief and so Ishak, Raihan & I started to plan on how the flow is going to be like tomorrow morning. We were determined to reach raffles Marina on Tuesday, 2nd May 2016. We planned on waking up at the ass crack of dawn, 0400 hours and set off at 0500 being the earliest, mostly because we wanted to catch the customs as Nongsa before they close for the day which is at 1700 hours, Indonesian time.

But trying to catch the customs with just a little amount of rest and recovery wasn’t in favor. It was too tiring to even think.

We had our debrief after that which Am joined to listen to.

I had one of the painful struggles in my life trying to say what I felt for the day, but I was thankful that Vincy mentioned most of what I wanted to convey to the group. I was told that I had a patience issue, which I disagree with because I was just caught up with my throat.  I was also told that I am very mature and that Sasi was really thinking about having me on board for SeaOps. I appreciated sasi & Damien saying that I am mature, mostly because sometimes it frustrates me when people see a tiny person and automatically think that I am still a kid that still thinks like one. I am a kid, I admit. But I like to think that I filter my thoughts and words before I let them out.

Damien and Tim helped me out with and for my throat with medicine and warm water and right after that I fell flat asleep on the bean bag until I felt the sunrays on my face.

 

1st May 2016

Riau, Indonesia

 

I woke up with the sun in my face, covered with my windbreaker and I felt refreshed. I didn’t shower before sleeping, mind you. And i still chose to not shower until we reached Nongsa. It was a goal for me for the day, to shower, a good one.

We settled everything that was needed to be settled and we checked out the boats, our belongings and thanked the people on the island, specifically in the house with us, guarding and keeping a look out while we slept.

It had a beautiful view like no other, right infront of the house was the sea and it was just beautiful to look at.

We set off again and this time, I was more confident to take over the wheel. So I got to be the skipper a few times this ride and halfway I felt sick again, and it just made me feel cramps. It just sucked when I had to get what I get every month during this time when I was supposed to be ruthless and tough. I was told to take a rest in the cabin while Jei took over the helm for an hour or so, thank you Jei.

We reached Nongsa at around 1800 hours. It was after the customs closed so we had to stay the night at Nongsa. I didn’t mind because the marina looked beautiful. Some boats had their lower lights on so I could see all the fishes and jellyfish, I was immersed into the views that I have seen all trip and I kept wanting more.

We had debrief and again shared about the day and how we could’ve been better.

We planned all for tomorrow, for some people to be on the boat in case we needed documents, we had a runner in case we needed to get documents to the dockmaster’s office and we had people on standby everywhere trying to make this one more smoother and trying to work more efficiently.

We were then treated to another meal on land, we had Nasi Goreng again but that didn’t matter, i can say that I have never eaten nasi goring that fast before in my life.

Vincy and I got to have hot showers and I literally stood there in the hot water just thanking every one that made this shower possible.

We had downtime before we slept and all I could hear sleeping beneath the stars were the other boat’s loud music but I didn’t mind because the songs were good. I had good music, a good view and surrounded with good people. There was nothing to hate about life in that moment.

 

2nd May 2016

Nongsa Point Marina, Nongsa, Indonesia  – Raffles Marina, Singapore

 

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the really bad sunburn
the really bad sunburn

The morning ran a lot more smoother and more calmly where people didn’t yell at each other trying to get things done or when people weren’t passive aggressive about things that needed to be done.

We set off again and this time I was determined to give it my all.

I was more aggressive with my actions, with a little more confidence and little more joy. I did tacks with efficiency with the team, I conveyed message as what I see and note and it was somewhat a smooth sail back to sisters’ Island. Although on the way back we were very very close to huge barges and vessels. Too close for comfort but the thrill and adrenaline ran through my veins when we manage to just pass it and were hit with the waves.

We got to Sisters’ Islands in the afternoon and we could see dark clouds but they never hit us. We got ICA to clear our passports and we were back to Raffles Marina, thankfully.

Once nightfall hit us, I was even more confident and braver to ask questions. I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and give help in whatever I can. I was more confident with the ropes on Maybritt, I was more braver with the winds and I was happy with the progress I made with myself.

We saw huge vessels at night while doing some sailing and it was amazing. The bright lights honestly make me think that it was land for sure. But it turned out to be cruise ships and oil rigs which looked like some futuristic movie that we were in.

We berthed at Raffles Marina at 2200 hours from what I can estimate and I was so happy to reach home ground. We unloaded all the stuff that we carried and transported them back to the marina.

We had our final debrief in which I thanked my team mates, crew and the people that made it possible for me to experience this adventure.

I checked out with all that I checked in with and in that moment, I felt sad because it happened, it ended and now it’s just a memory that I can ponder on.

 

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4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours:
Date: 12 April 2018 / Thursday
Category: Adventurous Journey
6.45am group photo!
6.45am group photo!

Our Adventure Journey 08 was a 4 days & 3 nights (2nd to 5th September 2017) of water activities such as Dragon boat and Keelboat sailing to 3 places and our planning are as such;

  • Day 1: Keelboat Sailing from Raffles Marina (Tuas) to Lazarus Island, Fishing & Outdoor Cooking (15 hours)
  • Day 2: Sailing from Lazarus Island to Sentosa, Conquer the 24m tall Team Challenge Hourglass (12hrs)
  • Day 3: Dragon Boat from Sentosa to Lazarus Island & back . Fishing (8 hours)
  • Day 4: Sailing from Sentosa to Raffles Marina (8 hours)

As the locations were already set, we were given roles to take charge of. The roles that was available for us was Expedition Leader, Admin, Food, Safety and Logistics. I was assigned to be the in-charge of the food section along with Hani, Cecelia and Ris.

Before even planning of what to buy there were certain factors that brought up to take in consideration in regards to the meals.

  1. How many meals will there be throughout the 4 Days 3 Nights? (breakfast,lunch,dinner, supper/snacks)
  2. Do we have to follow the My Healthy Plate/ Health Diet Pyramid by Singapore Health Promotion Board?
  3. Who are we planning the meals for? (participants and crews)
  4. Any allergies (e.g. seafood)
  5. Any special requirements (e.g. halal food)
  6. Storage for the food.

As we have gathered the information that we need to plan for the meals, we came out with the list of foods that we’ve decided to get for our Adventurous Journey, however we only bought the foods on Day 0 when all of us met up at Raffles Marina for briefing.

Before buying the food, we assigned ourselves to certain categories so that the process of buying the food will be faster.  For example, myself and Hani was assigned to get the fruits and vegetables that are needed.

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Once we’ve bought the foods and drinks that are needed we headed back to our base (Raffles Marina) and split the food to ensure that the 2 Keelboats have sufficient number of food and drinks. We also assigned food in-charge in each boat to ensure that the foods were distributed properly throughout the journey.

We did not had in problems On the 4th September morning, one of the boat had no breakfast because the food was misplaced, hence, we shared whatever we were left with and the food team went out on a hunt for the misplaced food and we eventually found it.  To ensure that this incident would not happen anymore, the in-charges for the food from each boat did a double check the food that they had in the boat they were in and know where it was stored.

Overall, the Adventurous Journey 08 was indeed a memorable journey for me and for the rest as well. As the journey was indeed a very tiring process, our true emotions eventually came out and affected some of our decisions. But those who were more composed and went through expeditions before, helped those who were in need of help. I could say that, the help that was offered were one of the key factors that made the journey a memorable one. We were really indeed a team who wanted to see everyone of us make it to the finishing line.

One of the things that I really member up till this moment would be the time when we actually sailed in and out of a heavy storm that was really scary. The water was choppy, the boat was moving heavily to the point we had to tow the other boat to ensure that we would not lose to the heavy weather. Some of us started to have motion sickness but we still tried our best to assist in anyways we could to ensure that we will surpass the heavy storm.

Personally, for someone who have never liked water activities, the experience that I had for the 4 Days and 3 nights  were definitely an eye opening for myself and made me realized that water activities can be fun as well. Also, the people around me made me forget that I actually dislike water activities.

After the whole Adventurous Journey 08, it made me feel like I have achieved something that I thought I would have never achieved.

Adventurous Journey 08
Adventurous Journey 08

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4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours: 5D4N, at least 32 hours
Date: 17 November 2017 / Friday
Category: Adventurous Journey

For Adventurous Journey, I will be writing about my 5 days 4 nights’trek to Mount Stong.

I wish I can rewind the time and experience this again. After the Kayaking trip to Kukup Island, CAMP CHALLENGE organised another Adventurous Journey and this time it is to trek to Mount Stong! I thought of climbing mountain before this trip and I’ve never thought it will happen so soon and the fact that I will be able to reach the summit.

The scale of the team became smaller and there were roughly 10-12 of us that signed up. There were 3 phases for the trek, Preparation, Trekking and Post-Trekking phase. Tons of training was put into preparation for the trek to Mount Stong. As this time the main physical part of our body that was activated (or I should say more emphasised) are on our legs.

Preparation

We were told that we are supposed to do all the preparation from scratch. There were many things that needs to be taken into hands, the administration, food rational, logistics, safety evacuation plan and more. Everyone is given a role on what is to done for the trek. And I got the role of being the Administration IC, together with a friend (someone that have experienced) we handled all the administrative stuff on booking tickets, writing down the minutes for every meeting we had etc. My role was manageable as I have someone experience guiding me along. We did a lot of training in prep for the actual trek. Each and every one of us did our job diligently and we helped for one another. We got our food rations ready, logistics ready with helps from RP on the bag packs.

Trekking

As the day arrived, we were ready to depart from Singapore with a chartered bus to Mount Stong. When we got to the base of the mountain, I was super excited and at the same time nervous for what’s coming for me for the entire journey. Our aim is to reach our base on the mountain before the sun set. We trekked for 3 hours till we reached a waterfall, and it was the most beautiful water I had seen up closed. Just when we wanted to take a group picture, I had a slip and fell into the water. That was the most hilarious part of the journey! I was half wet and my shoes were worn off. I thought “Good luck to me for the rest of the Trekking. Just don’t fall again, please!” I was originally afraid that I would pull down the team as I need to be cautious with every steps that I take, because I don’t want to fall again. Surprisingly everything was fine to the base of the mountain. There wasn’t and hiccups throughout the day. The moment we reached the base, we were all exhausted. But our leader said that we still have things to do, which is to set up the tents and prepare our dinner. It was actually a fun procedure as we all have a role and everyone was helping each other. Got things done fast and in a blink of an eye, its dinner! Day 2, we were told that we don’t have to bring our backpacks, just a day pack to put our essentials and off we trek to the peak of Mount Stong. Everything when smoothly till the sun set. There was a heavy rain pour! Worst time to rain, We got to shift all our bags into the tent and keep everything dry. Sadly, 2 of our tents got wet and we were to sleep in only one tent with 10 people. Crazy! Take note that we are all adults, but we manage and brave through the cold and squeezes. Our last day, We trek down with our backpacks and I was dead tired but I am glad my friends got my back and we cheer each other up. Finally with all the whines that I had, we reached to the bottom of the base!

I am glad I finished the expedition, with my dear friends! I am surprised that I did it. The most beautiful sight that I had seen was the smile on everyone faces when we reached the summit.

 

Post-Trek

After another ride, back to Singapore, we started to unpack all the logistics and separate the dirtied stuff that needs to be washed. When everything is done, we all had a fruitful MacBreakfast to end the day! We check-out on the next day with our experiences and I am glad I have this bunch of friends to complete the trek with me.

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Preparatory Phase;

  • 2 Months prior of weekly meetings to distribute roles and updates. 1-2 hours of meeting each time.
  • Every Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays are physical training sessions for 2 hours.
  • Once a month, to purchase logistics needed for trek. Takes up about half a day.

Trek Process;

  • 19th September – 23rd September
  • 3 Days 2 Nights trek up Mount Stong.
  • 2 Days of travelling 10 hours bus ride back and fro.
  • First day trek up to base camp took 4 hours.
  • Second day trek up to summit took 8 hours back and forth in total.
  • Third day trek was descending Mount Stong, taking up 4 hours.

Post Trek;

  • Cleaning, washing and packing up of logistics took about 2 hours.
  • Debrief and conclusion took 1 hour.
4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours: 4D3N, 32 hours of activity time
Date: 16 November 2017 / Thursday
Category: Adventurous Journey

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  • 4 days & 3 nights kayaking expedition.
  • Per day, 8 hours of kayaking, not including meal time.

Under CAMP CHALLENGE, My team and I planned and prepared  for a kayaking expedition from Singapore all the way to Kukup. It is also our very first batch of Adventurous Journey 01 to kick start the segment of fulfilling the requirements for NYAA adventurous journey. Plenty of discussion had to be made to collaborate on the logistics, roles, meals, accommodations, safety,  and administrative procedures as well. It was not easy at all but i am glad we managed to pull through.

Day One, we met up at Raffles Marina, after one final briefing to clarify our roles, routes, communication channel and safety procedures, we began loading our logistics and kayaks onto a 50 footer boat. From Raffles Marina, we headed towards Puteri Habour to get our passports stamped and from Puteri Habour, we started on our expedition towards Danga Bay. Once we had reached, we parked our kayaks on Danga Bay and soon headed for our rest. It was a good day of warming up to kayaking for hours.

Day Two, was kayaking from Danga bay back to Puteri Habour. We woke up at about 6AM and started on our way back. We really kayak non-stop unless is to have a quick short 10-15 minutes break for food and drink. We could not stop for too long as currents and waves would drift us away from our route. It was really a scorching day, and physically and mentally it was indeed getting very exhausting. Despite that, we still pushed on, and at last we reached Puteri Habour and had our dinner. It was a really good day though it was tiring is because, all of us would continuously pushed, cheer and motivate each other through jokes and laughters and also to check up on one another from time to time if we are all doing okay.

Day Three, we woke up at 5AM as we would be kayaking from Puteri Habour to Kukup. It would take us about 12 hours to reach. Indeed it was the most exhausting and yet meaningful one. The currents were against us, weather wise was thundery showers and at one point, it got so bad and terrifying that we had to make a decision to stop and beach up. As I was the expedition leader, I had to make the call of whether to beach up at a really small island filled with plenty of rocky surface that had algae growing or to decide to continue pushing through till we reach Kukup. At that point of time, a few us kept capsizing and the water was really choppy. In the end, I made the call to stop and beach up. When we kayak towards the small island, we realized that there were no proper surface area that we could park our kayaks and on top of that, the water level would continue to rise and may drift our kayaks away if we do not tie and anchor them down properly. We had no rope on hand with us and we improvised by using our dry pack strap to tie all the kayaks together and anchor it to a big sturdy tree, then we headed towards a small shelter to rest. Around 45 minutes later, the bad weather gradually ceased and we continued on our route to Kukup.  We reached at around 5.30PM, it was so satisfying knowing that we have finally arrived safely and overcame the adventurous circumstances together as a team without any safety issues.

Day Four, we kayak all the way from Kukup back to Raffles Marina. It was a relatively smooth day as the weather, currents and wave were all in favor for all of us. It was quicker and smoother than expected. We really enjoyed the journey back. Soon, we arrived back in Raffles Marina, unloaded, washed and packed our logistics. Debrief and feedback session then home sweet home. This expedition was honestly a very memorable experience and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be able to go through this adventurous journey. The bonds that was forged and memories made would always be remembered.

4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours: 32
Date: 27 October 2017 / Friday
Category: Adventurous Journey

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ICON Aircraft’s mission is to bring the freedom, fun, and adventure of flying to all who have dreamed of flight. The FAA’s dramatic 2004 regulation changes that created the Light Sport Aircraft category have redefined the possibilities for aviation and allowed ICON to “reinvent flying” by focusing on the consumer experience. ICON’s intent is to democratize aviation the same way that great brands like Apple, BMW, Ducati, or Oakley democratize their products: by fusing outstanding engineering with world-class consumer product design. The end goal is to create products that not only deliver great functional benefit but also deeply inspire us on an emotional level. After years of development with some of the world’s best aerospace engineers and industrial designers, ICON Aircraft has released the first of its sport planes, the A5. The A5 delivers an exciting and safe flying experience in a bold design that communicates beauty, performance, and most importantly, fun. With over 1,000 delivery positions already assigned, the A5 has demonstrated unprecedented and broad market appeal. The A5 has also won numerous prestigious design awards and received prominent media. ICON’s unique vision, combining personal aviation and sophisticated design, reflects the passions of its founders. The idea for the company was conceived by Kirk Hawkins when he first learned about the impending FAA regulation change. Hawkins is a former U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot and a long-time motorsport enthusiast. Featuring: ICON Aircraft Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 02 Aug 2014 Credit: ICON Plane
ICON Aircraft’s mission is to bring the freedom, fun, and adventure of flying to all who have dreamed of flight. The FAA’s dramatic 2004 regulation changes that created the Light Sport Aircraft category have redefined the possibilities for aviation and allowed ICON to “reinvent flying” by focusing on the consumer experience. ICON’s intent is to democratize aviation the same way that great brands like Apple, BMW, Ducati, or Oakley democratize their products: by fusing outstanding engineering with world-class consumer product design. The end goal is to create products that not only deliver great functional benefit but also deeply inspire us on an emotional level.
After years of development with some of the world’s best aerospace engineers and industrial designers, ICON Aircraft has released the first of its sport planes, the A5. The A5 delivers an exciting and safe flying experience in a bold design that communicates beauty, performance, and most importantly, fun. With over 1,000 delivery positions already assigned, the A5 has demonstrated unprecedented and broad market appeal. The A5 has also won numerous prestigious design awards and received prominent media.
ICON’s unique vision, combining personal aviation and sophisticated design, reflects the passions of its founders. The idea for the company was conceived by Kirk Hawkins when he first learned about the impending FAA regulation change. Hawkins is a former U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot and a long-time motorsport enthusiast.
Featuring: ICON Aircraft
Where: Los Angeles, California, United States
When: 02 Aug 2014
Credit: ICON Plane