Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taiwan Cruising...Kaohsiung

Tomorrow we head north ...actually we are heading south first and then north up the east coast of Taiwan. There is a rally leaving from the top of Taiwan...(Kee-Lung...Bisha Harbour)...for Ishigaki Japan and we are joining it. For a change there will be more than just us out there on the ocean.
Kaohsiung has been a pleasure to visit. The people have been great, the scenery fabulous and the food just amazing.
We took the fast train (300k p h) to Alishan where we were going to watch the sunrise, but it instead we saw mountains reaching through the misty clouds.....but it was a great trip.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Taiwan Cruising

It is inevitable that we compare country with country. Compared to Philippines Taiwan's streets and waterways are so much cleaner, buildings are finished...none of the Philippine tax system rip off....(unfinished buildings do not attract tax).
Prices for food here in Taiwan is comparable to Philippines but wages are much higher so the living standards are soooooo different.
On the second night I (Brian) was sitting on the front deck relaxing and people watching when I was approached by a young woman and her parents....'were we really from NZ, How long will we be here..etc etc......We invited them aboard for a look see and WOW...the next thing we were being taken to the night market and the offer of a trip to Kenting National Park the following day. We gratefully accepted this offer and the following morning we were picked up at 8am.
This is an absolutely beautiful park...forests, mountains, golden beaches and right on the waterfront beside the most popular beach is a NUCLEAR POWER STATION !!!!!!!
The whole day was a totally amazing experience...we were treated like royalty, feed,watered and not allowed to touch our wallets once.
The nuclear plant had the most amazing visitors centre, showing both the good and bad side of the system.
Not far from here is another for three boats...

We have also met a university student (age about 25)who yachting crazy...he has also been able to find the bike tyre we desperately needed. And last night they took us to a HotPot restaurant where we had the interesting pleasure of eating, among other things, ducks blood which was like a wobbly jelly. Today we believe the taste sensation is going to be 'stinky tofu'
Today we are off to Tainan and then on Monday we are off for an overnight visit to Alishan.......
So our next report will be a few days away.
Brian and Carol

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


We have arrived here in did we get here?...we sometimes felt as if we were stuck in the Philippines and would never get away. But the wind blew favourably and the time was right so we untied from Vascos and headed north to San Fernando and did our exit there. Brian has now got very good at looking the corrupt official in the eye and asking them..."are you a christian?....."yes, oh a good catholic....have you heard of the commandment..thou shall not steal. Did you know that wanting money from us is a bribe and is stealing?" This has been a very good way of getting them to stop asking. Brian of course always checks to see if they are wearing a gun before he goes through this routine.

We sailed to the top of the Philippines, checked the weather and thought..okay it looks good, lets go. Of course the real weather and the weather forecast just didn't agree. What was meant to be a great sail turned into a two nights, (from dusk to dawn) of winds between 34 to 38 knots. The day between was calm...down to 15 to 20 knots.
We lost count of the ships we saw heading north, south,east and west. As we got closer to Kaohsiung we began to concentrate on the moving ships and ignoring the ships at anchor. The harbour is inside an island that runs parrall to the coast. Entrances are at each end. We needed the north entrance and followed a HUGE container ship in. Once inside we were intent on being out of the traffic and findin g the marina. Suddenly we say a big orange flag being waved at us and it was clear that we were required 'over here..NOW'. So we tied up at the security wharf. We had a brief security search. Then it was decided we were not dangerous...and we were given a six pack of beer, a specially cooked meal of noodles. They organised health and immigration. And then a guy (Kao)from the marina arrived and helped us move to the marina. Kao then took me on his scooter to the bank for an ATM and then organised marina paperwork for us and then got us a sim card (so we are now connected in Taiwan).
the cruising fraternity here in Kaohsiung is small (maybe 10 people)...they are so helpful and are looking after us so well.We have been given beer, had a curry, rice and lychee beer for dinner. Nothing is to much trouble. Currently I am sitting in a private office with a large cup of milk tea, using the company wifi connection.
The temperature is a lot cooler...down to 24 from 34 and we both feel great snuggled under the duvet at night.
We got a bit of water onboard during the crossing so we have spent the day drying out. Next on our agenda is to brave the traffic and head to the tourism office.
To all of you out there.......thanks for following our travels.