Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Here!!

About two hours or so after I lamented about my new car being delayed.. I had a pleasant surprise! I got a call telling me that my car was ready!!

Talk about weird timing! :p

I couldn't wait till tomorrow.. since both dad and I had nothing particular to do in the late afternoon, we went to fetch the car from PJ! The friendly sales advisor spent some time going through some of the features and technicalities.. and I got to drive it home.

Yep, I simply LUUURVE my new Nissan March - yeah, it's another cute car! And also quite unique and rare.

Of course Nissan is known for their superb car engine and reliability and quality. But what I love most about this model is the DESIGN! Not just the exterior but the interior is so chic, clean and compact! I love the dashboard and the neatly designed compartments!

Here's a first look at the car - I took these pix as soon as I reach home after a long jam.. as it was already about 7pm, lighting wasn't good..

Jelly and Jojo wer
e both very excited and were sniffing out the car.. Jelly couldn't wait to jump inside and sat at the passenger seat floor (her favourite spot). So she became my very first passenger as I took my new baby for another short drive around the neighbourhood.

Some may wonder why I changed back from using a SUV/4WD to a compact. Actually I would have liked to drive a SUV like my RAV4 but those cars are really quite costly to maintain - high petrol consumption and not mentioning yearly road tax, insurance etc..

With this 1.4Litre car, everything will be more economical.. unless, if *God forbids* I crash something then it won't be cheap to get certain spare parts.. but after what I've done to my old car, I would no doubt be much more careful now!!

For once I'm looking forward to my assignment tomorrow.. :p

Carless still

I miss my car!!

It's actually two fold. While eagerly anticipating the arrival of my new car - which has been delayed due to some documentation problem, I suddenly have this sentimental feeling of my old car.

To think of it, maybe we've made the wrong move. I should have only delivered my old car in when my new car arrives - after all, we traded in to the same car company!

Well, too late.. the last I inquired after I came back from my holiday, my car has been sold to a used car dealer already. A friend even said he saw it on the road some time back..

I was not unused to sharing car with mom - especially the time when my poor car was in the workshop for like a month (twice actually!) But not having your own car at your disposal still sucks.. it's inconvenient not just for myself but also mom who then also needs to arrange with dad.. So it affects all three of us. And like now, I am just stuck at home.. though I know I'm supposed to be working.

Anyway.. the car company has promised to lend me a car tomorrow if the new car is not ready.. but i hope i won't need to be using that car (whatever it is) for long..

Yeah, just hope I will rightfully be having my new car very soon!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

David Cook - my idol hero!!

I know the whole world - well, at least American Idol fans - is talking about it but I just can't help but also jump onto the bandwagon. At least for tonight.

Yes, David Cook did it!! He rocks till the end.. and a deserving winner too!!

I watched the result show late and managed to keep myself away from the news and Internet till I found it out for myself.. Admitted, it was a very tough American Idol finale - a competition that was of the highest standard and exciting to watch. Little David (Archuleta) rose to the occasion and delivered three solid performances with powerful vocals. Cook was his usual self - he seemed a little tense actually, and risked it a little by choosing songs that were, according to Simon, not really competition material.

Still, his amazing track record had taken him through to the end. Maybe some, like Simon who later apologised to Cook, thought Archuleta was probably the better one during the finale, but the majority of Americans obviously thought Cook deserves the title more. He won by an amazing 12 million votes!

Personally I did think Archuleta sang VERY well, but the problem is, he is only suited singing ballads and as an `idol', he really is still too green. He has LOTS of potential definitely. But Cook, on the other hand, is already a STAR in personification. And although he is more towards the rock genre, he practically could turn any song into his own. And one thing he has a upper over Artchuleta - that is creativity and originality in interpreting songs.

Having said that, even if Archuleta had won, I would be quite happy. Just that he unfortunately faced the toughest opponent. Had he been in another season, maybe he could have won hands down.

So yeah, American Idol Season 7 was a blast. Although I only started following since last season which the finale was nothing compared to this one, I also learned this season was definitely one of the best.

Just hope Season 8 is the same, or even better!?

Oh before I end.. whoever thinks David Cook is cocky better think again.. he might have this `look' on his face (Simon called it smug) that is interpreted as cocky but if you have opened your eyes during the competition.. you can tell he is actually very humble and amiable..

So yeah, congratulations David Cook. I'll definitely buy your album when it's out.

Jojo after losing his tail tip..

Jojo went through a tail amputation - so officially, he had lost the tip of his tail. :(

Thankfully, by this evening, he was ready to be discharged and now he is already home resting. For 10 days, he has to wear the e-collar for the wound to heal and then on June 1, I would need to bring him back to the Vet to remove the stitches.

Four of us - dad and mom, my other maid (not the one who accompanied me last nite) and I, visited Jojo and the vet hospital late morning. Jojo was well and awake and when I let him out of the cage, he actually jumped up at me which meant he has enough energy. He looked like his normal self except of course his tail end is gone, and bandaged up.

When we put him back to the cage again with great difficulty, he looked so miserable...

He even cried - well, wailed - when we left.. I think he thought he was being deserted in this horrible place.

Anyway, we had to wait till the same Dr who saw him last night to come in first and he was on afternoon shift. So when I got the clearance over the phone with the Dr, mom and I went to fetch Jojo back home in the evening.

And when he reached home, the first thing he did was pee, and then followed by this.

It's quite comical - in a sadist way - to see his head in an e-collar and the tail bandaged up..but at least he seems to be in good spirit. He was so thirsty and drank a lot. But he didn't eat much..

Oh, I must mention that Jelly seemed to have missed her brother Jojo quite bit! The whole day she was pretty down.. but now back to her normal self again after seeing Jojo home.

Dogs are such deary animals.. Jojo had no vengeance what so ever against me for making him suffer like this (though accidentally but human beings would!) I'm still feeling quite remorseful... so I told myself I would make it up to him.

Oh! what have I done?! :((

I'm still traumatised. The feeling of anger is now diverted to guilt and yes, anger as well.

I couldn't believe that it was me who caused so much pain to Jojo! And all the while I thought it was another dog that snipped off his tail end!

After bringing Jojo to the 24-hour vet and waited for a one-hour operation that ended at 1am, I came home to discover the shocking and painful truth. I have slammed the back door on Jojo without realising because I was at my wits' end to try to get Jasor out!

Yeah, Jasor is my neighbour's poor Golden Retriever which was always locked up but sometimes gets his lease of `freedom' when he was allowed to come out and roam about at night. Which of course, is a bad and wrong way of doing it - you're supposed to walk your dog and not just let it run amok!

Anyway, I didn't realise he has come into my house after I drove my car in. It's not the first time and I thought just let it be for a while and even let my two dogs play with him in the garden. Finally after the TV episode finished, i decided it's time to get Jasor out. But no, he wouldn't listen and if my two Js' were around, it's impossible to let Jasor out without the two getting out as well. So I had to chase my dogs inside the house first. And while Jelly was willing, Jojo wasn't. I had to push him in almost and then I slammed the door. But then after a short while, both came out again! (Jojo could open from inside out!) I got so fed-up and by this time my maid came out so I handed the job to her while I went inside again.. But just one minute later, i heard she screamed for me. When I opened the front door, I saw a lot of blood on the floor! And both my maid and mom were asking me to look at Jojo's tail!

Jasor meanwhile was chased out by my maid. My first reaction was that Jojo and Jasor had a fight and Jasor had attacked him! My maid who was outside even said both the dogs were fighting for a while before she chased Jasor out. Jojo was still active but his tail end was soaked in blood and still dripping! And then I heard another scream. My other maid found Jojo's tail end and she was almost in tears. Anger actually overcome me more than anything. I charged over to my neighbour's house and rang the bell. And then when the teenage son (Jasor's owner) came out, I practically yelled at him and told him that he was a irresponsible dog owner (this statement I held on). I saw Jasor on the road side and just glared at him. He looked scared somehow. And then he even followed me again into my house and this time I felt like keeping him for a ransom to teach his owner a lesson.

By now I think I had to bring Jojo to the 24-hour vet as the bleeding was very bad.. we tried bandaging his injured area but soon blood soaked through. Oh and as I was preparing to drive Jojo to hospital, that boy came by in his scooter and took his dog back. When I showed him what happened to Jojo, he said he would take care of the bill. I said `you better do!'

The journey to the vet seemed so long because there was road work. And Jojo was getting very restless and I believe he was in pain. I was so afraid that no one was there but my fear proved unfounded as there was a vet as well as assistant, who came down to greet us and led us upstairs. This is the same place that I brought Jelly last year for emergency treatment.

After examining Jojo's injury for a while, the Dr said they would need to do an operation because his bone was exposed and they need to stitch it back with his flesh! And yes Jojo made a mess of the room with his blood.. By that time I couldn't help but cried a little.. seeing my dog in such a shape. I was told it was not life threatening but definitely needed immediate treatment.. Dr said we could either stay or go when he does that hour-long operation and I chose to stay. I wanted to see Jojo after the operation.. and yes, he needed to be warded at least for the night.

Jojo was given two doses of G.A. and finally knocked out. One hour plus later, with some peeping into the operation room, it was completed but Jojo was still heavily sedated. Dr said everything went fine but it would take at least 10 days for the area to dry up. Poor Jojo looked so stone and his tongue kept coming out because he was feeling very dry. We saw them putting him into one of the large cages and he looked relaxed enough now.

I was told that by tomorrow afternoon, he probably can go home. I was briefed on the estimated cost too. It's not cheap but not more than I expected either knowing how expensive animal treatment is.

So my maid and I reached home at 1:30am. And as I walked around the kitchen and back area, I noticed some blood stain still on the wall. That raised my suspicion because if it was Jasor which bit Jojo, there shouldn't be any blood inside the kitchen! They were outside after I went in and Jojo never came in after that. So I asked the maid who cleaned up the place and also found the tail end. She told me there was lots of blood near the back door and on the floor, and now she said that she found Jojo's tail end just by the back door!!

Suddenly I felt my hair standing on my arms.. Oh Gosh! It was me! It wasn't Jasor. I had slammed the door onto Jojo's tail without knowing. Mom had actually suggested that was a possibility but I thought she meant the front door cos I only saw blood there. But the fact was there was even MORE blood from Jojo around the back door.

Yes, this was even more traumatising than thinking it was another dog that hurt my dog. I was and still am angry with myself. But at the same time, I feel a little `relief' in the sense that I know Jasor had not betrayed me. After all, I was the one who was concerned of his welfare and we had always been good friends - him with me and him with my dogs.

When I had to confess this to my mom, she seemed not surprised! She was logical in that she said it was highly unlikely that Jasor and Jojo would fight in such vicious way when they had been friends with each other for so long. Why didn't I think of it? Maybe dad was right, I'm always just too impulsive.

So tomorrow after taking Jojo home, I would have to go to my neighbour to tell him the truth. I was still hoping I don't have to fork out the hefty bill but of course my conscience won't allow me to do that. On top of that, I do not want to wrongly blame Jasor for something he didn't do. Although he indirectly contributed to the accident (cos I was trying to chase him out!)

Sigh, what drama and what a night. My poor Jojo. I hope he is sleeping well at the vet and praying that his injury would heal completely soon...

This bad mommy must not be so impulsive nor careless anymore..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Earthquake after-thoughts...

I don't think anyone would like to read more about the horrifying tragedy that struck China's Sichuan province last Monday - but somehow I just felt compelled suddenly to want to write this post..

In fact, at 2:28pm on May 12, my parents and I were still in Zhuhai, China but heading towards the harbour to take a ferry back to Hong Kong. That day was my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. We knew nothing of the disaster until we reached Hong Kong and when my brother-in-law picked us up for dinner, he informed us.. But none of us knew how big the magnitude was at that time..

As I picked up the newspaper the next morning, I knew how bad it was. But being on holiday, I was not going to immersed myself into following the aftermath of the tragedy. I know now it sounded kinda selfish..while my dad and brother-in-law probably watched it on TV or Internet or reading the news, I didn't do that. I knew I would be greatly disturbed and saddened.. so I was only reading headlines until three days later when we went home, and I picked up a local news magazine and an English daily.

(The least I had done was donate some money when I came across the Red Cross people collecting funds for the earthquake victims in Central. But I know giving money is the easiest. I salute those who actually volunteered themselves and in process risking their lives in the relief work.)

But I still didn't watch TV news (Astro's Chinese news channels had comprehensive coverage) at home. I heard how my brother-in-law cried, so did my parents while watching television. So I hadn't cried (because I didn't subject myself to it) until yesterday - the 0ne-week mark of the tragedy.

Two something in the afternoon, I was in my room when my mom suddenly called my name. As I entered her room, she pointed to her television (i think it was on Phoenix News Network) which had no sound at all. The whole China was observing a three-minute silence in respect of the victims of the earthquake. But in some cities, vehicles let out long honk probably signifying wailing or crying for the deceased..

Seeing the solemn and distraught faces of the citizen across China on the TV screen, my mom and I stood in silent and I felt tears welding in my eyes. Just like the Tsunami disaster, although the destructions were so bad, one thing came out of it. Humanity unite, and everyone, despite nationality, race or religious differences, come together.

In a way, China had responded well in the relief work. I couldn't help to wonder if such disaster ever struck Malaysia (God forbids) what would have happened..

At press time now, more than 40,000 had perished and many more injured. Hundreds of thousands lost their homes... stories of heroes and survivors and victims made it even more heart rendering.. But in a way, I don't know if there is a media overkill cos personally I felt adequate coverage would suffice but for more than one week now, those news channels are broadcasting 24/7 nothing but on the earthquake and programs surrounding the disaster.

But again, it is such a big news for China that we could not neglect its impact..

Personally, I think this earthquake also taught us, especially myself and my family a lesson. You see, as I briefly mentioned in the last post, I had some tiffs with dad during the trip.. even when in Hong Kong. I was pretty upset as I felt quite wronged sometimes. But what my sis said really woken up me and even my dad, I think. She said just look at what those people in Sichuan are going through and yet we were fighting over small insignificant issues.

And for my parents too. At least mom realised it and I hope dad did. He had been easily provoked and became angry at either mom or myself.. in fact, even on the anniversary day i.e. the earthquake day, there was another episode between the three of us which timing was at the same time as the earthquake! I think that kinda shook us a bit too..

So yeah, life is unpredictable and short. It is folly not to treasure our relationships especially that with your family and loved ones.. While praying for the families of the earthquake victims and the relief work, I only hope and pray that we would not take each other for granted, else one day we will live to regret it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

When the holiday is over...

When the fun is over, reality sinks in..

Yeah, I had one whole work-free week. One whole week of just relaxing and having fun - but knowing that at the end of it, would be deadlines upon deadlines till God knows when...

At this juncture, I will not write a detailed travelogue of my holiday with photos.. well, the photos will be uploaded to my Facebook and Flickr eventually.. but right now, I just don't want to neglect my dear blog here.. and just shared a little bit of my trip!

But before that, would like to announce that last week, to be precise - on May 9th, Jess' two Js had turned 3! Yep, three full years of blogging life and it's still going on pretty strong, while some friends who started around the same time have already fizzled out.. hehe :p

Anyway, back to my holiday! This is an interesting one although the destinations weren't exactly those that I would have chosen for myself. But I had fun - and the main thing was for a family gathering to celebrate dad and mom's 40th anniversary!

One of the most interesting bit about our journey was our transportation! We flew, took ferry and boat, bus, shutter bus, taxi, underground train, on foot.. within that one week travelling from KL to three destinations. The only transport we didn't use was the train i think.

We flew Air Asia to Macau and stayed at The Venetian for two nights and our room - well, it's called a suite - was lovely! Spacious and luxurious! We spent quite a lot of time at the resort although we also went out to the tourist site in city for half a day. The main attraction at the resort was its Grand Canal Shoppes with shopping and dining places. It's an indoor make-believe Venice was quite well done up we thought - with canals, Venetian building facades, gondolas, and even a replica of St Mark's Square and other land marks. Of course nothing close to the real Venice but what's impressive was the false sky which actually gives you an outdoor feeling while actually it was just a very high ceiling!

Here're some pix of the place.. and there are many more!

Next, we literally crossed the border on foot into Mainland China and hitched a shuttle bus at Zhuhai with my sis' family in it that brought us to the Ocean Spring Resort. The place was HUGE (5.1 sq km!), however it is just very `Chinese'-looking (the website also reflects it!). But we were pretty awed by our bungalow villa which was MUCH BIGGER than we all have expected. It was literally a huge double-storey bungalow house with very huge living and dining area, kitchen, three bed rooms with bathrooms and also an outdoor private hot spring and veranda!

But the theme park was only so-so to me and other facilities weren't really of international standard. There are definitely rooms for improvement. The highlight for me there was trying out its many hot springs - outdoor and indoor.. That was pretty cool, and I had a good massage as well..

On my parent's anniversary day - May 12th - we took a ferry back to Hong Kong. And later we learned of the terrible earthquake in Sichuan that happened the same afternoon.. We still didn't know how great the magnitude and damage it was when sis and brother-in-law treated us to a lovely Western dinner at the Football club.

We had three nights in HK - me at my sis' place while dad and mom put up at a hotel very near by. I had vouched not to shop much so the next day I stuck to that.. but on the last day, since I was in Causeway Bay, I ended up buying a few things. Actually I had already started shopping at the Venetian too!

Besides a bit of shopping (as compared to the scale of it I always did), I was glad to manage to catch up with two friends as well as done assorted things like seeing a rather cool new shopping mall Elements, had tea at The Peninsula, spent time playing with niece, nephews and Ginger the cute dog, catch up on Internet and of course FEAST OUT!! I was so stuff that I rather eat sandwich and salad on the second last day..

There were some not so happy moments during the trip too.. and that's mainly due to some tiffs with dad. Yeah, it's harder when you spend almost 24/7 with someone who is easily provoked and angered. Well, I don't claim to be a saint but I felt quite sad the fact that those episodes had to happen when it could have been a much more `harmonious' holiday.

However, all's well now and although i wished mostly to be on a holiday still, I know I need to have my feet back onto the ground and start doing those work that would be due pretty soon!

And of course, one of the happiest reason I want to come home is to my two Js, who really missed all of us so much!

I'm now looking forward to my next holiday in July!! More later...cos when the holiday is over, I still have to go back to work!!! :((

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saying goodbye, especially a permanent one, is never easy..

Farewell, my good old RAV4 who has served me well for 8 years and 8 months! :(

Today, as in this afternoon, I will be driving her (I like to think it's female) to the car showroom and part with her forever. She was sold on Monday - a trade in for a new car..

Yes, I'm getting a new car. It's already booked and I'm quite ecstatic as it's like a mini dream car come true. BUT at the same time, I feel a tinge of sadness.. no, actually more than a tinge.. to part with my cute little SUV which has been my faithful companion for so long.

The car we bought re-con from Japan in September 1999, was something truly special to me.. and in the years that I've been using her, she has received countless compliments for her `cuteness'.

I know I hadn't been treating her too well.. especially last year where I caused her quite bad injuries - not once, but twice! As documented here, and here in this blog. Because of the first crash, she underwent some cosmetic change. She used to have a handsome kangaroo bar and spot-lights in front (hard to dig old pix..)

Really I was not desperate to get rid of her even though she's pretty old now (1996 model) but it's for practical reason. In the last few months, the poor car had been having permanent illnesses of sort.. I have sent her to workshop and for servicing countless times.. but some teething problems persisted. Yes, she could never be restored to her former glory.. though her exterior is still well maintained as you could see from the pix.

We've been shopping for a new car for a while now and after test driving a few, I've found the one! So, there is no longer any reasons to keep her. I can't afford having two cars!

I remember parting with my first car - a Mazda 323 (Familiar) which I used since I started work in late 1991. That time somehow I never felt any sadness, cos the joy of owning a more superior SUV was just overwhelming. Or maybe I never really loved the Mazda that much..

Now, I also of course love my new car (which identity i shall keep it a suspense first) I will only be getting it after I come back from my holiday next week.. or perhaps even later. But since I have grown so attached to my dear RAV4 in these 8 years and 8 months, hence this post to commemorate the farewell..

Bye-bye, my dear car.. I hope you find a nice new owner who appreciates you as much as I did. So sorry for causing you accidents.. you know I didn't mean it.

p.s. gosh, it's one thing talking to my dogs but now I'm talking to a car? :p

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My First Adventure Race - no I didn't participate, just covered it!

Snap shots from the Wilderness Langkawi Challenge 2008 - Pulau Tuba (3-5-08)

By then, my camera ran out of battery... so no the final finish shots.. :(

a shot taken a day earlier.. beautiful sea view from just outside our hotel..

(And now, the write-up... a bit lengthy yeah..)

What an adventure!

For someone who has a sedentary lifestyle, covering the Wilderness Langkawi Challenge (WLC) 2008 was like watching a program on AXN or Discovery Channel come to live!

Picture this: more than 300 participants of all background, age groups and fitness level rose before dawn last Saturday morning (May 3) and took a ferry from Langkawi to Pulau Tuba for the biggest and arguably the most challenging adventure race in Malaysia.

I mean, it was simply an incredible, if not mind boggling feat especially for the 35 teams (each team consists of two people) that signed up in the Fast & Furious category, whose stamina and strength were akin to those of super humans, as they strived to complete a gruelling 95km race in nine hours!

What these `super humans' had to go through included jungle trekking (12-15km), biking (60km), kayaking (20km), swimming (400m), caving and abseiling – stretching their strength, stamina and endurance to the limit.

This race was organised for the fourth consecutive year by Wilderness Centre Sdn Bhd, it attracted a total of 156 teams signed up, an it was an international mixed of participants from United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Singapore, Philippines, Spain, Nigeria, Morocco, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong and of course Malaysians.

The competitiveness and challenging reputation of this race had even attracted five finalists from Amazing Race Asia 2 -Collin Low & Adrian Yap, Vanessa Chong, Rovilson Fernandez and Ann Tan to participate.

But the beauty of WLC was that it wasn't just for the experienced and hardcore racers. There were many first timers entering the race thanks to the rather achievable target in the beginner’s category. A total of 115 teams joined the three to four hour race in the `Slow & Easy’ category, which to me was kinda misleading as participants were required to complete 5km of trekking and 6km of kayaking, as well as roping and jumping into the sea from a diving plank on a ship!

It simply didn't sound like `Slow & Steady'!

Oh, even the 40 odd members of the media who were invited to the event were given a chance to try out the race in the media category, which is the same as the Slow & Steady race. Twenty-two brave souls went for it! Those not participating in the race, like yours truly, were able to follow the actions via various transportations on land, sea and air – yes, it was the first time a Malaysian race having helicopter coverage, catering to video photographers as well as for emergency use.

So no, I didn't get to go on the helicopter as I was a writer and not TV crew.

It was a mass flag off at 8:10am with both categories shooting off in one direction together. Shortly after that, half of the `Slow & Steady’ racers made a beeline to the seaside where they began their kayaking feat. Standing on the bridge above the jetty, I witnessed some rather experienced kayak-ers as well as those who even had great difficulties getting onto the boat itself! It was quite hilarious actually! :p

Soon, a few of us were asked to hop on to the back of a small lorry that would take us to the various check points to witness participants of the Fast & Furious category in action. We spotted a few teams trekking at the fringe of the forest, before stopping by the seaside to wait for a couple of teams that decided to do the 200m swim to a small island across.

What's unique about the Fast & Furious race was that participants were to plan and choose their own routes. There were check points all over the island for teams to navigate to and collect points. It all boiled down to strategy and also their skills and fitness levels.

Of course, there were cut-off time for each of the three main disciplines of trekking, biking and kayaking, and exceeding the time limit means having points penalised.

We were also transported to the biking station and saw groups of teams arriving in intervals of minutes or seconds to start their biking session, which took them all the way around the island and across some pretty steep hills.

By half-pass eleven, we were ferried back, now in a van, to base camp to wait for participants in the `Slow & Steady’ category crossing the finishing line. There were cheers and claps as the Race Director cum emcee Darren Gamble announced the team names that finished.

Although visibly exhausted physically and drenched in sweat, the participants would take a last charge to pick up their pace, and smiling or waving with excitement as they crossed the finishing line and collect their well deserved medals.

We spent a couple of hours resting and having lunch, and drinking lots of water on a very hot and sunny day.

At base camp, the island's village children came to join in for games. Pulau Tuba has a population of about 3,000, mostly whom are fishermen. We were told that there was gotong royong that went on prior to the race which they look forward to the once a year. We saw many curious children checking out the participants with keen enthusiasms at various checkpoints.

At about 2pm, the Fast & Furious teams kicked off the last leg of their race journey - kayaking for 20km in windy condition. The way these super humans descended onto their kayak and rowed their boats into the high sea was simply pro and made it looked so easy!

WLC this year had some special features - two ships docked in high sea. The Reef Explorer vessel which was already being used last year, was where the `Slow & Steady’ participants did their roping challenge on board followed by a steep plunge into the sea from a plank.

And there was the beautiful and opulent SY Lili Marleen tall ship, where the `Fast & Furious’ racers can choose to gain points by abseiling on board. While the teams were working hard on their kayak, we jumped onto a speed boat that took us all the way to the ship and arrived minutes before the first team.

However, the single rope abseiling proved to be too much of a `hot spot’ and soon caused a bottle neck and a long queue for those who planned to attempt the special abseil onboard.

After a tour by a friendly officer on board of the ship, we returned via speed boat back to the base camp to wait for the teams to complete their race. We came across some caves by the shore and saw a team of two women attempted to get points by kayaking into the narrow entrance.

They quicker teams came in before 5pm while the rest made their way to the finishing line between 5pm to 6pm. Ironically, the reception for the `Fast & Furious’ contestants at the finishing line were more subdued than the earlier group, simply because the bulk of the early participants had returned after completing their tiring race.

As they came in two by two, no one at that point could know who actually got the most points to win the race. The self-navigate and self-chosen route system made this a most suspenseful race. Take for instance, for the man’s category then, it turned out that the first team which crossed the finishing line way ahead of the rest only got fourth place at the end!

No thanks to the heat, covering the race was to me already a tiring but exciting affair. So I truly take my hats off to all the participants for their sportsmanship and their great spirit of adventure.

So, finally, I can say I’ve seen super humans in action – live!

p.s. Despite the heat, the tiredness, the wait and some confusion.. it was a great experience and eye-opener. But no, I'm not convinced that I would take part in it next round :p