Rover Scouts from Singapore sail 125 nautical miles to celebrate Rover centenary
Five Rover Scouts from Singapore Scout Association sailed for over four days and three nights for one mission – to commemorate the centenary of Rover Scouting. They sailed from the 9th until the 12th of August 2018.
Calling their team, #R100SE, short for Rovers 100 Sailing Expedition, they bravely sailed the high seas along Johor Straight between the borders of Singapore and Malaysia.
“A good way to commemorate the Rovers’ Centenary would be to do something big and meaningful. It would be a pity to miss this opportunity as it is not always that you get the opportunity to celebrate the 100 Years of Rover Scouting,” said Emmanuel Phua, a Rover Scout of the Southern Waves Sea Scout Group (Open).
When asked why he chose to organise a sea expedition, he said he wanted to let his fellow Scouts do something they don’t usually do.
“I felt that a land expedition would be too common, and thus, I decided to organise a sea expedition,” he happily shared.
The #R100SE was composed of five brave souls – Emmanuel Phua, an officer of the Singapore Navy; Hazel Ong, a former police officer; Manfred Lim, Tay Hwee Tang and Puisuen Man.
Although sailing is not a common sport to many, nor a part of the any routine programme for Scouting in Singapore, it did not stop the group to look for partners to realise their goal and to try something big and exciting. They were able to get the support of Andrew Chua of Focus Adventure / SeaOps.
The group’s goal was to commemorate the centenary of Rover Scouting by sailing for at least 100 nautical miles (185km). In order to accomplish their goal, sailing training was necessary. Equipped with only their training as Scouts and their determination to achieve their goal, we moved mountains to understand sailing theories and, more importantly, the try first-hand, the practical aspect. On average, each of them went for sailing training on three consecutive Saturdays. They worked unceasingly to learn the skill.
In the course of the expedition, they took turns to navigate the ship to the next waypoint and to give orders to trim the sails. However, the journey was not that easy. According to the group, “the toughest part of the expedition were the instances where [they] had to sail downwind. This meant that the wind is coming from [our] stern while [we] are sailing up.”
“Despite the challenges, there were better moments when our ship picked up speed. It even heeled at about 30° and fiercely crashed through the waves,” said another member of the group, Hazel Ong.
Apart from the experience, another highlight of the expedition was the magnificent view. “The major highlight of the trip was when we got to eat breakfast on the deck while the sun rises against the Barelang bridge,” Manfred Lim gleefully shared.
The sailing expedition of the Southern Waves Sea Scout Group (Open) was one of the unique activities conducted in commemoration of the centenary of Rover Scouting.
(With reports from Emmanuel Phua of the Southern Waves Sea Scout Group (Open) of the Singapore Scout Association)
Photo credit: Manfred Lim, Southern Waves Sea Scout Group (Open)