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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 37: 31 October

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysOn deck the weather has changed completely, from the sunny to the surly, and from the Malaysian shore a low grey mass of cloud swings towards us from a pitch black horizon. I realise how fortunate I have been so far. Since Day 2 the sun has shone from cloudless skies and the only complaints have been about the heat. I've forgotten about rain and lowering skies and thought we'd left them behind in Northern Europe. Now, as we draw near to the most southerly point of the journey, only 3 or 400 miles from the Equator, they're back.

The rain hits the Susak about two in the afternoon. Grey, flat and prolonged, dampening spirits and disrupting radio communication so that I'm unable to reach the rest of the crew in Singapore to tell them of our further delay. A succession of container ships and car-transporters pass us going north whilst others rapidly overhaul us going south. The effect of the weather on the visibility makes me uncomfortably aware of how potentially dangerous busy shipping lanes can be. Ferries and fishing boats from both sides of the Strait weave in and out of the transporters and super-tankers, most of whom cannot be brought to a standstill in less than half an hour. Even the little Susak would take two miles to stop.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 37
  • Date: 31 October
  • Country/sea: Indian Ocean
  • Place: Malacca Strait
  • Book page no: 120

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