Tuesday 24 April 2018

Across the Java and Beyond

So we left Singapore and started our journey to our next port of call as we have some Defence Engagements to conduct over the next couple of  weeks. After a 6 hour period of special sea duty men to get out of Sembewang port and then through the Malacca Strait traffic separation scheme, we were on our way to Jakarta in Indonesia.

Leaving Singapore behind
This will be the most Southerly stop as it stands on our deployment (things may still change) but as it's our first crossing across the Equator, we must pay homage to the ruler of the seas "King Neptune". It's an age old Naval tradition that we carry out. I've done it twice before so this would be my third, however I was to be one of the "Bears" in the ceremony. Our role would be to carry out the punishment set by the Judge under the watchful eye of King Neptune and his wife the Queen. It would be a long ceremony, as 320 odd personnel would be getting punished for their first crossing.

Dressed as a Dodgy Bear (2nd on left) for the ceremony
In a timely procession, one after the other, the punishments were carried out with some having their crimes read prior. Some were punished more than others, some even tried running away but the King Neptune's Police Force soon chased them and and dragged them back. If they hid, they were found and punished more. By doing this we appease Kind Neptune and now we should have good favour for the rest of our journey.
Another one gets a good punishment
2 days later 20th April arrived and I got to celebrate it once again at sea. I spent my 21st birthday at sea out here in the Far East and now I get to spend my 40th birthday out here as well. Luckily some birthday post had arrived just in time in Singapore so I had some lovely birthday mail, including the latest Garmin Fenix 5 from my wife to open. I will be giving that a good test drive over the next few months whilst away.

My new Fenix 5 birthday present arrived :)
Some people feel down about getting older, but to be fair I'm looking forward it. I had some good times in my 30's, with many achievements. I ran my first marathon, I ran my first ultra, I ran from the New Forest to Land's End, I finished my last year in the 30's running from North Wales to South Wales. I also got married, had a son and bought a house. If I am to have a midlife crisis, it best involve some running! So now I am 40 years old, it does come with some perks, I'm in new age categories for races and also at work I have to do fewer bleep test levels for the Navy Fitness test hehe!

Finally we arrived in Jakarta in Indonesia, I've been reading up on running there. Now the trails are a bit of a trip outside of the city, so I'm not sure if I will get the time around work to get there Especially as it take a couple of hours in the traffic just to go 7 miles to the centre of the city. Obviously I can run around the city area, however the level of pollution doesn't sound great, but I've run in worse. I am hoping because I'll be in the port, the coastline will be more accessible. This is what I thought about as I crossed the Java Sea.

What better flavour for training in the Tropical areas?
It was a long day day after getting alongside with various Defence events and ships open to visitors, so I didn't really get a chance to take my legs for a stretch until the following morning. The trails are just a little too far away really to fit them in especially as I don't have long here and want to make the most of getting out and about. So I took my self and my GoPro out for a jaunt through the busy streets. Even at 7.30am it was stupidly busy, it was raining In good tropical fashion but in the stupid heat it was refreshing.The streets traffic starts building up from around 5am ish.

The traffic was constant
Although I didn't get into much stride it was a nice run, yes I almost got killed by the traffic just turning into you as you tried to safely cross at junctions, yes it rained, but I love running in new places and I had many locals saying hello as I ran passed. I was either going to get wet from the rain or drenched by sweat. Rain the much preferred option on that one.

Mid run selfie
I didn't have much of a route planned so it was a simple out and back type route knowing there would then little chance of getting lost on the way back. Looking forward now to doing more exploring of the city later on. Defo recommend this place if you fancy something a little different!  Sadly the coastline wasn't as accessible as I thought it could be.

Anyway back home in the UK whilst I was working (loosely put) in Jakarta, my wife Cathy ran her first ever marathon. According to the media it was the hottest London Marathon on record. I'm not going to lie, I had my doubts how my wife will cope with me being away, the weather, the training didn't go to plan as she hoped, her anxiety and panic attacks, that she would finish. She did finish, ok not in a world record time but she still finished where many may have given up. She found someone to keep her company from about 1 mile in. Which was nice to hear when I spoke to her after she finished. She really does struggle with her panic attacks whilst running due to the issues she has with running, so usually that's where I come in. The fact she found company pretty much all the way around is amazing and I can't thank her new friend enough. Seeing those tears at the end as she showed me her medal was amazing, it even got smokey in the room I was in using the wifi to track her progress from hehe!

Definitely proud of her! Will so do another one? She'll say no for now I know that, but who knows, when I'm not away so much and able to help her train and look after our boy whilst she trains, maybe she will try another to improve on her time. Maybe she will do an Ultra? Follow in my footsteps? We will see.

My wife (in Yellow) and her new friend with their well deserved medals
So it won't be long until I am in our next port of call. Will I get some trail running in? Fingers crossed!

Thank you to the continued support from Tailwind Nutrition UK, even my wife was using it during VMLM.

#GoTailwind #Tailwindtrailblazer

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