Malaysia 2018, passage from Philippines to Tioman

During this passage we had to pass by the Spratley Islands, which are a large number of small atolls and islands laying between the Philippines and Vietnam. It is a huge fishing ground and a bit difficult to sail through, so I decided to sail far west towards Vietnam before turning south in order to avoid the worst.

Another problem is that China has claimed ownership of some of the atolls, and has built air fields etc. In the dark of night we unknowingly entered their claimed territorial waters, and was asked to change course and move outside 12 Nm from the island. We could not see much except the lights on the frigate or destroyer with which we communicated. The last time we unknowingly sailed into Chinese claimed waters was in the Paracel islands at daylight, where we had to answer many questions. This was not the case here probably because it all happened in the dark, and there were nothing to see for us.

Most of the passage we had winds below 10 kt, and from all directions with a few occasional hours of up to 15 kt, so the sails did not contribute very much to the propulsion. The passage took 8 days, and the distance amounted to 1235 Nm with 133 hours of motor sailing.

Map Location