A Maritime Crossroads in Southeast Asia
Nynke and her husband, Jim Klick, were waiting on a delivery of boat parts before leaving the marina themselves.
"Luxury problems," she calls them. "When I think of the suffering people in Darfur, I have difficulty with my own feeling of impatience."
Nynke solves her urge to "save the world" by addressing one small issue at a time, such as trapping wild cats and finding them homes or helping poor fishermen get by.
Having sailed on Wal Rus since the mid-1990s and on a previous boat since 1980, Jim and Nynke are one of the longest-cruising couples I know.
Their first boat was the same length as Wal Rus, 49 feet, but it was a seven-ton racer. They bought her in Perth, on Australia's west coast, and took their first long passages heading east along the continent's forbidding southern coast.
"That boat was like being on an eternal camping trip," says Jim, who grew up sailing small boats in San Francisco Bay.
Wal Rus, a sturdy steel bilge-keel ketch built in New Zealand, carries the name of three boats that Nynke's father owned during her years growing up in Holland. Jim and Nynke have continued crossing the world's oceans in her, trying always to go east.
The couple seem at peace with their long cruising life and with each other. Every July, they give themselves time to reassess their feelings about it all.
When Jim and Nynke leave Sutera, they'll head for Cambodia, at the head of the Gulf of Thailand. Recently opened up to cruisers, it's only about 900 miles from KK.
That makes two boats going north to one going south-well, two south, since we're heading to Brunei. It's less than 100 miles away.
Our Malaysian visas are up, and we need to head out on a "visa run." Might as well see a new country. But in a month, we'll go north again.
Ann Hoffner and Thomas T. Bailey are using Sutera Harbour as a base for cruising in Malaysian Borneo and for catching up on boat projects aboard Oddly Enough, their Peterson 44.