Saturday, 22 August 2009

Finally Loopy

by Amy Holmes

The third and final Loop of expedition 09E got off to an early start 6am to make it all the way to remotest Imbak Canyon and Alpha 3. As always the rest fieldbase team was up and about to wave us off. This time on the Loop were Elda (Accounts), Niall (Logs) and me, Amy (DPM).


After a 6-hour drive, a boat ride, and another 1 hour by 4x4 we reached the Imbak's Rangers Camp and were greeted by PM Pip, and the smiling faces of venturers Christian, Yein, AJ and Mike. Escorted by the rangers, we all trekked our way in record time into the BBC Camp to join the rest of the group.

Some of the impressive scenery on route into Imbak Canyon

We were lucky enough to be spending two nights in the unique and stunning Canyon. The first night Darreana and Alneisha, the star Alpha 3 chefs, treated us to a true feast which prepared us for the hard work to come the next day.

The group are digging the foundations for a new suspension bridge to cross the mighty Imbak River opening up new areas of the Canyon for scientific research. The Loop got busy helping dig through the roots and mud all morning and felt ready for the hearty lunch break prepared by Maurice.

Niall and Trusha in the kitchen setting out the breakfast rations, and getting the thumbs up from Christian.

Being a Saturday, it was a lighter working day for Alpha 3, and we joined the group on an afternoon nature trail walk, taking in the mighty Belian tree and the huge hollow Kapur tree.

After the traditional river wash in time for the 6 pm "longs" and another fabulous meal, several rounds of "Mafia" were played, ending the night with the Mafia and Villagers on level pegging. It was with heavy hearts that we left Alpha 3 the following morning, but our spirits soon lifted with thoughts of Alpha 4 to come.

Maurice, Christian, Pip and Mike checking out what is on the horizon for the day.

The bridge into BBC Camp across the Kangawat river built by previous Raleigh groups with the Rangers to secure a year-round access. Alpha 3 is now helping to prepare for building of an even bigger bridge!

And the view from the bridge!

It was later that afternoon that we met up with Alpha 4 in Sepilok after a trip to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for their day off. During Phases 1 and 2, Alpha 4 groups had finished off the impressive sleeping and communal areas of the Raleigh Jungle Camp. The Phase 3 group are hard at work digging trenches to make the fencing sun bear-proof around the perimeter of the new conservation centre.

We all arrived back at their jungle camp in time for the latest edition of Radio Raleigh where Anna and Catarina reported to the rest of the expedition on what Alpha 4 had been up to after an update on the latest in international, entertainment, and sport news from Field Base.

The Loop was yet again treated to a feast with a delicious main course cooked by Amy and Shon Lee and a fabulous custard creation for pudding from Anna, Tessa, and PM Tony.

The chefs Tony and Anna entertain us with a tune as well as their cooking.

James, Charlie, Catarina, and Seleta make the most of the Raleigh shop opened up by Elda and Niall.


The morning view from the basha, not a bad way to wake up!

The final stop on the Loop was right at the other end of Sabah with Alpha 1 in sunny Kampung Mapan Mapan. The group have been hard at work finishing the kindagarten ready for the grand opening ceremony on 4th September. We arrived in time to help them with their afternoon shift, after bringing along several kgs more of the all-essential nails!

Shavghan and Tasha fitting those all-important window frames.

Mit preparing the way for more windows.

A well-deserved great meal was cooked by Dave and Richard as soon as the day's hard work was done, and games of Monopoly and Snaps were the evening’s entertainment. Alpha 1 starts work early to beat the heat, and the Loop was up with the team having breakfast by 6am, on the road straight after to return to Field Base to be updated on how the rest of the the expedition was progressing.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Second changeover passes in a flash! Allocations for Phase 3!

by Ed Ptilidi

Yes, it is that time again, and the second Phase finished before you knew it. That meant gathering at the Borneo Paradise complex once again.

Most teams spent the day travelling from their project sites. Upon arrival they could chill out and treat themselves to a heated shower, have a swim at the hotel pool, and, most importantly, catch up with the rest of their mates who spent the Phase 2 on other projects.

After Saturday's dinner, the teams gathered round again to perform their skits. The judging panel were obviously expecting some good performances after the Changeover 1 standard set by some of the teams.

Sunday was spent relaxing, there was a brief opportunity for the PMs to head to a nearby "Cheesy Beach", where Dom and I persecuted them with our video camera.

Everyone had to be up bright and early on Monday morning, to head back out to their Phase 3 projects.


Alpha 1 were off to finish the kindergarten building in sunny Mapan Mapan.

Venturers: Gregory J Cowan, Tasha A Gomes, Zuraimi B. Rahman, Shavaughn S Dill, Stephen Pendrigh, Sophie M Farrelly, Richard Taylor, Bryony Tedder, Gere' A Scraders, Callum Adams-Carr, David Miller
PMs: Colin Burman, Sandra Pritopia, Tom Godfrey, and Chris Ashford


Alpha 3 headed to Imbak to finish off the preparation work for the construction of a new suspension bridge.

Venturers: Sean Rice, Will McNess, Michael G Petrie, Geralvonno Williams, Trusha Kothari, Darreana M Burchall, Christian E Faulkner, Alneisha J Outerbridge, Koong Hui Yein, Maurice A Pomeroy
PMs: Sophia Wilson and Pip Edwards

Alpah 4 will be working on the sun bear enclosure fence in Sepilok.

Venturers: Anna J Harte, Yap Shon Lee, Alisha R Chapman, Catarina D Correia, Tessa L Wharton, James P Croke, Seleta Q Williams, Charlie R Green, Tom J Beirne, Amy Harcus


Alpha 5 started start the phase with the Dive Island where they will get their PADI Water Diver certificate, and spend two days doing an underwater clean-up and coral planting. After that they will be trekiking. [we apologise for the delay with the photo, but our photographer has been away spending some time with Alpha 5].

Venturers: Alex J Barrow, Gareth Mountain, Duanette R Symonds, Henry J Routh, Saskia R Bartlett, Jack L Deith, Razis Bin Nasri, Emily Nash, Madeleine Colmar
PMs: Bobby Rebeiro, Miles Bullock, and Sue Howe



Alpha 6 were also off on their Trek & Dive adventure phase, but start with an 11-day trek around Long Pasia, and then the Dive Island.

Venturers: Yang Su Lan, Katherine Taylor, Joseph d'Ursel, Julian Akole, Gwen Reid, Edward C Ottley, Mandy L Scott, Philip E Holmes, Jessica V Richards
PMs: Leon Warner and Toria Read (medic)

Hopefully everyone will make the most of their final phase before the final gathering for the End of Expedition party. We will keep you updated!