It has been almost a fortnight since my last draft of my blog post which I didn't have time to publish it. Good and bad incidents happened throughout my training on board which I feel the urge to record it down, can only be put on a raincheck. The thick bulkheads has made Internet and phone coverage so limited that I can only go online when I see the sky. For that reason, it brings so much joy to see your phone getting full bar. So when my CO asked me, "why no more new post on your blog?", I replied "No time Sir" =p.
Lunch in the wardroom.
U know what, tasks come to us in a cluster. "Midshipmen do this, Midshipmen please get this done, Midshipmen u go and find out this and that". MANY times when I was about to rest, I'll be getting another job. If I got a job to do and I need to get to a certain compartment, I will run. Today we had VIPs on board and I was really really busy! I was the camera man, I complied all pictures and made the montage, I burned all pictures and made DVD copies before they leave, I prepared XO's presentation script, I got the Power Point Presentation done, I designed the certificate for visitor's book and get it printed out and bla bla... I ran here and there to sort things out. I accidentally banged my CORRO and his Samsung Galaxy S2 dropped on the floor. Luckily the screen didn't crack! Midshipmen are like superman, extremely busy, do anything, everthing, can hardly see us resting. I rather catch up some quality sleep than going out looking for internet coverage. Midshipmen are expandable, flexible and gullible. We're green in the Navy, our naiveness always become the joke in the wardroom. Whatever it is, I'm living my life to the fullest and try to find satisfaction serving on board the best ship in the fleet. I guess the feeling of satisfaction will come along with happiness.
The ship sailed to Kota Kinabalu for submarine workout which has granted me a free trip to Borneo. Not only that, I flew with Super Lynx and the bird's eye view of our Nation's pride Scorpene submarine was simply an amazing experience. My AWO was one of the meanest officer, he has all the ideas to make life miserable. Surprisingly, he was the one who sent me to get my maiden flight with the Lynx. Many of the technical details of the workout cannot be shared publicly, so I'll just end it here and start with my shore leave stories at KK town. My family stayed in KK for about a year and a half, so I roughly know where are the interesting places. I suck in recognizing roads, so I vaguely remember the way to find my favourite food Lokan Bakar. The first day I went out with friends, they ordered huge portion of seafood. Despite that large amount of food, I wanted to order more but they've stopped eating already. Next day, I went back to the seafood stalls near Philipino Market and had the best seafood meal ever! One grilled giant squid, spicy grilled fish and juicy seaweed, and grilled lobster cost me 70 bucks (The lobster costs 30 bucks and the meat is so little, not worth the money).
No idea why this picture cannot be rotated once uploaded =p
The day after was the Armada Marathon. I wouldn't call it a marathon because I'm a runner, I know what is a Marathon and the need for a runner to respect the Marathon distance. Just so u know, Marathon is 42.195km run. The Marathon history started way back when a messenger was assigned to deliver the victory news and he died at kilometer 42.195 during the Battle of Marathon. Understanding and experiencing the pain to complete the distance yourself has the answer why Marathon earned such reputation among the runners. The Armada Run was EXTREMELY tough, due to my lack of running on board JEBAT, my lungs and heart was pumping and punching my chest like crazy. My stomach cramped during the hilly section. It was SUPER hilly! My body ached for about one week after the run. The Commanding Officer lives with his self believe in "Passion and Pride". As for my case, my passion for running is so deep and my pride as Ironman were my motivation to maintain my position as the race leader. I finished overall champion and won the King of Mountain. This is my very first major contribution to make JEBAT proud.
I had the chance to meet up with Jenn (my national service friend) and her husband. Both of them are very sweet couple, I really enjoyed my outing with them. As usual, I spent most of my time explaining about the Navy. People out there don't know much about this profession, the Navy really need to publicize about our job scope. Jenn and her husband did a great favor for sending the article about submarine for me! The whole ship was looking for the article but couldn't even find it in town.
The presence of Royal Malaysian Navy's Frigate has caught the public's attention at Bintulu. Too bad we didn't open the ship to the public. Our bus driver and garbage collector told me that they felt honoured to serve us because they can come on board a warship! Of course, I brought them for a quicky ship tour in return for their excellent service. The air quality at Bintulu Port is hazy and smelly. The urea factory made the whole place smell like urine. Things become even worse when our ship along side between 2 giant ships carrying fertilizer. Everyone on duty had to put on face mask all day long.
"There's nothing much in Bintulu except for the Oil and Gas industry", that's what people told me. To not feel regret, I went out alone and explored the town by myself. Common answer from the local, "You're from KL, there's nothing much u can see here". Other than seafood and Pasar, the town is something like Hatyai. The roads are straight and turns are all 90 degrees, all the buildings and roads are like grids, easy for me to remember.
After 5 hours walking alone taking pictures and exploring the unknowns, I've decided to take a wooden boat to cross over to Kg Jepak. It costed me 50 cents only =p
Before that, I called my mum telling her my location just in case anything happen to me at Kg Jepak. I come to see the people and understand the culture, I wanna try local food and snap good pictures.
Asking the local didn't help much until I met a 16 years old ticket counter girl. She was so excited explaining to me all the local food and interesting places. The 30 minutes conversation made me feel even more curious and want to find out more. I went back to the town again and looked for the local food she told me. I found Linut, Tabaloi, Sarawak Kolok Mee, Ragi (used to make Tuak), Ketupat for Gawai festival, and many many more. Who says Bintulu got nothing to attract tourists? Anyway, it all depends on what interest u.
More pictures on my Facebook, not gonna upload everything here to make my blog look messy.
`Many of the ship crews left the ship already, "Balik rumah nak bukak hadiah". It didn't take me long to figure out what they meant by that "hadiah". =p Haha. I'll just sleep in the Sonar room, hopefully I'll get up early tomorrow morning for Base Run, may be cross over to Pangkor to take pictures. Don't wanna plan anything, let my exhausted brain to have a good rest. I'm currently sitting under the gun to publish this blog post, the best place to get some privacy and better connectivity.
Lastly, I hope JEBAT will sail to Penang before I leave this ship. I really hope to bring my friends on board frigate...