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  • Writer's picturePeter Antonucci

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Friday | November 18, 2016

This was our first stop in Borneo, the third largest island on the planet (after Greenland and Papua New Guinea.) But we really didn’t have a chance to do much exploring.

I was up early and heard some noises outside. I looked out the balcony and saw school children in costumes and make up preparing to dance and sing for us.


It was still early and I reasoned that they probably would not be able to perform until at least 8:00 AM. At 8:00 AM precisely, the performance began. It may have been the worst banging and singing, if one would call it that, we have ever heard. But the children were animated, enthusiastic, well costumed, and well choreographed. They were there for our entertainment and we could hardly hide our appreciation.

Some of the guys made screaming sounds, reminding me that this part the world still practices headhunting as a “revenge sport.”


After breakfast, I headed out to golf at Sutera Harbour. The course was unremarkable but we were fortunate that the rain held off long enough for us to complete 18 holes in 92 degree weather. I was partnered with Chris and together we defeated Richard H. and Richard L. The scenery was not particularly picturesque, but this photograph depicts the shanty houses on stilts along the side of the sea.


The only remarkable thing that happened on the course is that I got hit in the head by a golf ball. Fortunately, it had ricocheted off the cart path and the inside of the roof of our cart before striking me in the back of the head. No serious injury.

Back on the ship, we were delighted and surprised with the performance of a local group of musicians, Razali Kulintangan.


Curiously, they played instruments we have never seen.


The only exception was one bass guitar.


Most interesting of all was the leader of the band who seemed to be a cross between Michael Jackson and Jackie Chan.


But the level of their musical delivery was spectacular.


Shortly after the performance ended, we participated in yet another anti-piracy drill in Colosseo. Our new security director, Michael, gave a very strong explanation of the risks inherent in sailing through these waters, and the steps the ship would take in the event of an attack, an event that cannot be discounted.

We enjoyed a special dinner in East where the food was also noteworthy because it was Malaysian Night and Chef Po outdid himself once again. The menu featured caviar in every course!



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