Anchoring off Turtle island, we were hit by a white-out squall. With lightning streaming and thunder rumbling behind the blanket of spray, a call came over the radio from one of our fellow boats saying he'd lost his engine.
The static on our VHF radio made it difficult to hear properly and we couldn’t see him, so all we could do was hope he put his anchor down safely.
When a second squall followed close behind the first, all six rally boats turned 180 degrees and were pushed towards the reef. Boats began dragging in the soft sand and one of our number motored deeper to escape the danger.
Just your average day on a rally in northern Borneo!
Even though the conditions were lively, four of us made it onto Pulau Selingan. Part of a remote group of islands on the border of Malaysia and the Philippines, this is turtle paradise.
Between 20 and 80 turtles a day lay their eggs on the sandy beaches, where they are collected by rangers and protected until releasing them in the best possible conditions. There are hundreds of thousands of eggs left here every year.
Watching a turtle lay her eggs and helping to release a box full of babies was worth all the problems it took to get there.
To watch Sail Malaysia’s Sabah Rally from the start, check out the playlist below: