Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Poly 50

i volunteered as a first aider to be on duty during Singapore Polytechnic's Poly 50 2011.

it is an annual event that sees teams of 5 to 10, running 50 rounds around a route like a relay.

i heard from first aiders who volunteered last year that there were 2 cases of broken bones, and heat injuries are very common.

this year, thankfully there were no serious cases, with majority being minor scrapes and cuts as a result of falling onto the gravel pathway while running.


Friday, 23 September 2011

Formula 1 Night Race 2011

i am stationed at Pit Zone's Advanced Medical Post (AMP).

DAY 1;

the first case we attended to was a call-out at the stands, a male in his 30s was "not feeling right" after drinking a cup of beer at 5pm in the sun. he was neither dizzy, nauseous, nor had a headache. however, there have been cases where people were allergic to alcohol and had bad reactions, especially when dehydrated, so we have to stay and observe him. in the end, we drove him back to our AMP in the emergency buggy and let him stay there till he got better.

our second unique case was a guy asking for panadol for tooth ache.

the day almost ended with nothing serious, except after we got the stand-down order and was packing up, we received a call out to the suites. a waitress was down with pain in her foot. turns out that she can't stand for long, bought new shoes for work the day before which we tight, and had blood circulation to her feet cut off for the whole day. the doctors diagnosed her with bilateral plantal cramps, but as it was so serious she flinched whenever we touched he legs, and could not stand on her own, we recommended her to be evacuated to the hospital, yet her mother told her to go home, so we sent her on a buggy out.

while we were tending to her, a tipsy patron jumped from second floor of the suits onto a patrol buggy as the staircase gate was closed. intoxication is to be handled by security, but we put the stretcher and neck brace on standby just in case. he landed fine.

on the way home, i lost my pass.

DAY 2;

other than giving out the usual plasters to ladies with heels, and the doctors issuing panadols (especially to staff during the afternoon sun), the day was pretty much uneventful.

DAY 3;

the Formula 1 race ended with Vettel from Red Bull winning. the moment Vettel stepped out of his car to give a victory pose, fireworks were set off. less than 100m away from my AMP was where they were launched, so my fellow first-aiders, doctors, and nurses all stood up to watch it.

BEAUTIFUL. we had the best view of all.

orders to stand-down were given at around 11pm, as the races ended early, so being issued an all-zone pass, we could walk anywhere we wanted after we were off-duty.

as we were about to head to Zone 4 Padang to catch the last half and final performance of Linkin Park, a call came in about a lady bleeding from her feet. it sounded serious so we took the emergency buggy there, but when we reached, it just turned out to be a surface wound when she ripped off her plaster too fast.

we spent the next hour drenching her foot with saline to remove the zinc oxide plaster, and rebandaging both feet for her.

by the time we ended, it was already 1am, so we took the last public transport back.

the Formula 1 Grand Prix Night Race 2011 was an enriching experience, and i would like to volunteer again next year.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

MMA session 8

went for training early.

today, instead of the usual training, we did 3 rounds of shadow boxing.

following the match time of 5 mins, we executed multiple strikes against an imaginary opponent.

5 minutes continuous striking is a long time, and very soon, i ran out of moves in just the first round.

after that, we did a varient of sparring.

3 groups went each time, the first doing striking, second doing full-on sparring, and the third doing rolling.

i had the most fun watching the boys flail around.

the most common injury in MMA is a broken toenail. so far we've used 3 packets of tissue and plasters cleaning people's toes.



Saturday, 10 September 2011

Red Cross F1 Training

today i went for 4 hours of training in due of F1 duty at the Red Cross House at 15 Penang Lane.

for 5 years, Singapore's Red Cross Society will be providing first aid cover for the Formula 1 Grand Prix night race in Singapore. this is the 4th year.

what was covered was basically our posts, assignments, inventory, chain of command, Dos and Don'ts.

i am assigned to the Advanced Medical Post in the Pit Zone.

looking forward to the excitement on the track.


Friday, 9 September 2011

MMA session 7

This session was mainly a recap of the basics, being arm bar, triangular choke, from a close guard.

did not spend much time training, as i arrived late, and left earlier than usual to send a friend off.


Friday, 2 September 2011

MMA session 6

finally i'm back at MMA!!

after almost a month's break to concentrate on exams, i was very out of practice.

after the usual training, we had sparring, and i participated in the ground fighting segment.

i felt the after-effects of not working out for a month, and lost to my partner by an armbar after the whole round was over.

i'll be back next week with more muscles~!


Sunday, 21 August 2011

APC 1 & 2

i went for Abseiling Proficiency Course 1 & 2 on the 30th of July, and 20th - 21st of August.

APC 1's syllabus is on abseiling safety, with a belay line, soft lock, and triple leg loop.

APC 2's syllabus was on rigging the main, belay, and safety lines, belaying, abseiling with an autolock, without belay, self-rescue and the Single Rope Technique.

also covered and practiced were the miscellanous hitches and knots, and prussicks.

i passed both APC 1 and 2.

am now waiting for my certificate to arrive. ^-^

we were also given a preview into APC 3, where changing rope and anchor line efficiency is required.

i managed to attempt the changing rope technique, and succeeded, although i also found 3 different ways to jam myself. first with a single, second with a double, and third with a triple prussick jammed way beyond the reach of my short hands.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

MMA session 5

as this was the first MMA session this year to fall during the month of Ramadan, training official started at 7.45pm, although a few of us were there by 5pm to start training on our own.

we went through the basics of striking, parrying, using the legs to parry, slides, etc.


Friday, 29 July 2011

MMA session 4

at today's session, i had my first ground fighting experience. it's called "Rolling", where you try to to pic your opponent down and score points using locks, chokeholds, and manipulations.

S and i were the only 2 girls who attended that session, as most seniors were dead tired after course submissions that day.

for 3 whole minutes, S and i were evenly matched.

she used her weight and bulk against me so i could not pin her down, but i used my speed and flexibility to keep myself above her.

in the end, both of us did not score any points.

during this training, i made up my mind to learn and master all the MMA techniques taught to me, and be able to execute them smoothly and effectively.


International Sports Challenge

dates i volunteered: 22/7/11, 29/7/11. both fridays.

this was an event organised by Singapore Polytechnic's International Student Club.

the purpose of the event is to encourage friendship and sportsmanship through a series of sports games.

each team goes through a challenge of basketball and soccer, among 2 more other games.

as a first-aid volunteer, my duty is just to ensure that whoever gets injured during the events receive proper first-aid, and subsequent medical attention if necessary.

the first day went by smoothly. the only injury was a bleeding pimple.

the second day went by without any accidents, even though the players were rougher than before. the only thing i attended to was foot cramps.


Friday, 22 July 2011

MMA session 3

today's MMA session was a rather exciting one.

as usual, we learnt more holds, and how to break our falls using our arms.

the holds were a little too awkward for the other 2 girls and i to do, so we skipped out on those, and practiced the breaks more.

after trying many times, we only got it after someone threw us down.

a rather scary yet effective way to learn.

at this MMA session, i had to apply standard first-aid onto a fellow trainee.

as boys will always be boys, they were fooling around the impact-absorbing mat, and decided to do double chokeslams onto each other.

the person who wanted to be chokeslammed was a scrawny year 1, with weak arteries.

halfway during the chokeslam, the pressure in his brain was too high and he blacked out. about 30cm before he hit the mat, his nasal artery burst and started spewing blood.

i immediately went to retrieve my first-aid kit and stemmed the bleeding.

he was fine and conscious, and the bleeding stopped after about 2 minutes 35 seconds.

i cleaned the cut with an alcohol pad and sealed it with a plaster.

less than 15 minutes after that, he was up and wanting to train again.

i have not seen such enthusiasm for training before, and it made me want to master the holds and chokes we learnt in the previous sessions.

during this incident, the vice-president of our club came up to me and appointed me as the club first-aider. so i no longer have to pay fees, and i get an errand boy to buy whatever i need in the first-aid box for the club.

xD~! MMA is fun!


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Edgefield Dance Day

location: Edgefield Primary school

time: 3 - 7pm

purpose: they were trying to break the Guiness World and Singapore records for the most number of people doing the chacha at the same time.

i was there as a fellow Red Cross volunteer, along with 2 other first-aiders from my school, and a dozen other volunteers from elsewhere.

they broke Singapore's record, but was short of the Guiness World Record by around 700 people.

no one got injured, but we had a fun time observing people during the dance/parade.

Mabel. 17/7/11.

Friday, 15 July 2011

MMA session 2

this MMA session tired me out so much that at 9.30pm, i could not even lift my legs to kick properly.

this may also have been an indirect result of meeting up with S to train at her place before MMA, but this session was exceptionally grueling, with learning 2 new chokeholds, practising proper MuayThai kicks, and a brief physical training session.

i am now more aware of my speed and physical built.


Friday, 8 July 2011

MMA session 1

this was the 1st official Mixed Martial Arts training session i've attended since the trial, and it was a very fun and enriching experience.

we started warmups with basic stretching before moving onto the floor exercises like rolls/crawls/sprawls/shrimps.

it was extremely embarrassing, and being only 1 of the 2 girls present, we were extremely hesitant about joining in the floor exercises.

after warming up, we each practised kicking a mit 10 times for each leg.

normally, MMA training sessions last 2 hours, 7-9pm. however, at 8.30pm, we stopped to have a sparring session, and overan till 10.30pm.

after sparring ended, most people left, but i stayed behind to do more mit training till 11pm.

i have never done 4 hours of training and still felt so fresh before.

i'm looking forward to the next training session.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

community service trip to RCHD

at 9am, we assembled to head to the Red Cross Home for the Disabled, for a community service trip. the chartered bus came to fetch us back to school at 1.30pm.

the RCHD houses residents with cerebral palsy, muscular distrophy, Down's syndrome, epilepsy, among the common diseases.

from 9.30am to 12pm, we interacted with the residents, reading them stories, and using toys to play with them.

i never knew it would be so hard to garner a response from them. even the boy who the caregivers said were among the most responsive just ignored me to continue rolling his head.

after many failed attempts, a 47 year old lady with cerebral palsy finally smiled at me.

the joy that smile brought me gave me the courage to continue approaching other residents, and the next lady i tried to play with also gave me a positive response!

riding on this positivity, i gained the confidence to play with the resident "collector", a young boy with Down syndrome who loves to hog the toys and books.

i started off gentle and wary, but some actions of his irked me, and i decided on a rougher approach. to my surprise, this warmed him up to me and i became his favourite volunteer out of the dozen odd of us there!

from noon till we left, it was lunch time, so we all had a hand at feeding them. i salute the nurses and caregivers there for having the patience to go through this process on a daily basis, with so many special cases to take note of.

i look forward to the next community service trip planned by SP's Red Cross, and am anticipating the smiles and comfort we will bring to other beneficiaries next.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

15th B.O.A.T. Graduation Night.

this BOAT journey has been an enriching and fun-filled one for me.

i will never forget the friends i made here, and will cherish the memories and time spent with them for life.

on graduation night, we had many touching testimonials from our "Best BOATer"s awards, and shared many personal moment.

we laughed together, cried together, wolf-whisteled together, and put on serious faces together.

this is the 15th BOAT memento we spent days working on.

the boats symbolise our journey, heading in the same direction together.
some of us may have gotten lost, gone astray, or left altogether, but we aspire to learn from each other, share precious moments, and just be there for each other as one BOAT family.

we had a ball of a time, and no words can describe how grateful i am for having the priviledge of participating in 15th BOAT.

18/06/11 - 19/06/11.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

campwash 3, graduation night discussion.

today's campwash was the end of all BOAT activities before our graduation night.

the campwash was done quickly without any fuss, as everyone was already used to packing/unpacking/wiping/cleaning up the equipement, and by noon, we were all in the activity room discussing the highlights of camp 3, and any "scandals" that arose during this camp.

after lunch, representatives from the other subgroups/clubs of Toa Payoh Central Community Centre came to promote their individual activities, ask for support, volunteers, etc.

i think i may join the guitar club if time permits. after all, travelling from Marsiling to Toa Payoh can get rather inconvenient at certain times on saturdays.

after all the announcements were done, post-BOAT activities organised by us BOATers for the remaining half a year was discussed, saying that they will be open to the public, but priority will be given to TPAC members first.

we then broke into our various working teams for graduation night, and had a thorough briefing/discussion on what was going to take place.

at 6pm, my entertainment team broke into 2 groups to practice our performances for the upcoming graduation night. it will be held this saturday. after the guest leaves, we are going to have a ball of a time!


Sunday, 5 June 2011

4N3D Overseas Expedition/Camp 3. 2/6/11 - 6/6/11.

Gunung Tapis Mountain Hike, 1512m altitude, 18th highest mountain of Malaysia.

Night 1;
we left Singapore at 11pm for a 6 hour bus ride to Sungai Lembing, Kuantan.

Day 1;
upon arrival at 6am, we had a hearty breakfast and prepared our running lunches.

we reported to the local police station with our particulars, agenda, etc for safety's sake, and hopped onto 4 4-wheel drives to the base of Gunung Tapis.

we reached the trail head at around 10am.

setting off from the trail head, it took us just over 6 hours to hike to the camp site, reaching just at sunset.

in a hurry, we rushed to pitch our tents and designate the kitchen, toilet, and restricted areas while there was still light.

the terrain was extremely irregular, with mud slopes, rock surfaces, and multiple creek crossings.
what made the trek even more tiring, was that it was not a straight climb up like Gunung Panti. instead, the route went up, down, left, down, right, up, down, right, up, and then down again.

by 9pm, most of us were exhausted from the day's hike, so after half an hour of discussion, our camp chief decided to forgo the sunrise hike and set of only at 7am the next morning for the hike to the summit.

Day 2;
5 BOATers and YFFs stayed back at the campsite, as they thought the summit trail might be too hard for them.

indeed, the terrain was harsh till the point i fell to the back of the group. normally, i'd be at the very front, skipping and singing my way to the top. this time, i was rushing to catch my breath, calming my muscles down along the easy stretches, then pushing my lung's limit again within 3 minute intervals.

climbing the rock cliff to the summit and bonsai garden was no easy task either. my legs were too short to reach, to i had to jump quite a few times. thank God i did not slip, as the ledges were very narrow, and the erosion was quite bad.

the summit view was not very spectacular, but it was a quaint site. there was an old collasped shelter, and you could see clouds and mist for miles.

the bonsai garden had the best view yet, although we only managed to go just past the entrance before we had to turn back due to the rain.

the whole of day 2 was filled with sudden short showers, starting when we took off our ponchos, and ending when we got it on.

the trek down was no easy task either. it was definitely much more challenging then going up, especially since the terrain just down a lot more slippery, a few trees fell into the paths, and some loose rocks gave way.

if my legs could not reach the next step before while going up, they had an even harder time stretching on the way down. the incline was so steep, my columbia trekking pants tore from knee to knee. good thing we were all wearing tights underneath.

by the time we got back to the campsite, it was a couple of hours past nightfall.

feeling cold and tired, i immediately went to sleep after dinner.

Day 3;
the camp chief appointed me part of the "priority first class group", so together with 4 other BOATers and 3 YFFs, we went down the mountain 1 hour before everyone.

however, around 1 hour before reaching the trail head, the main group caught up with us.

at the designated pick-up spot, after playing around at the river in the rain for a couple of hours, the 4-wheel drives still had not made its way in to fetch us, so we had to hike out towards the river, where the 4-wheel drives would be waiting.

halfway through the 1-2 hour hike, 2 4-wheel drives managed to cross the river to fetch us. we loaded our bags onto 1, and a few of us rode the other.

due to the multiple showers on day 2 and 3, the river level we had to cross rose greatly, and even the 4-wheel drive i was on had difficulty crossing.

those who weren't on the same vehicle as me had to cross the river on their own, with only a safety rope to hold onto.

all of us finally made it to Lembing town at 9pm.

we spent the 4th night of our camp travelling by bus back to Singapore, after a nice seafood dinner at Kuantan town.

we only reach Singapore at 6am the following morning.

this concludes our 4N3D Gunung Tapis hike, from the 2/6/11 - 5/6/11.

in total, i had 18 leech bites, multiple insect bites, cuts from sharp torns/leaves, and fell over 20 times.

yet, it was an extremely fun trip due to the people around, and i felt extremely pampered, as everyone was worrying about me, offering me food, dry clothes, and constantly helping me up.

after graduation from BOAT, i am going to miss everyone very much.


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Kayaking Orientation

our kayaking orientation was held at Water Venture, Changi.

we assembled at 9.30am for a theory session on the difference between a ca
noe and kayak, parts of the kayak, how to handle a kayak properly, etc.

then we brought the kayaks and equiment to the beach, where we were taught how to properly wear a life vest, how to properly handle a paddle, and had a dry practice on using the paddle.

in the water, we learnt how to get on and off properly, and what to do when we capsize.

finally, we got into pairs and set off for a short-distance row before breaking for lunch.

after lunch, i swopped from a double kayak with my buddy, to a single kayak, as i wanted to experience handling direction, power, and orientation on my own.

as a group, we got into a diamond formation, and rowed across the sailing channel, took a brief break at the board walk, then rowed back.

before we knew it, it was already time to pack up, so we did the proper boat washing, kept all the equipment, and left at 5pm.

it was a rather enjoyable trip, getting to know how to properly handle a kayak, and i learnt quite a bit from the youth volunteer instructors.

i may consider getting my "stars" for kayaking in the future, if time permits.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

PT 7 (last)

it was the last PT session for 15th BOAT.

after training with a 12-15kg backpack for weeks, 40 stories x 4 sets is suddenly a piece of cake, with each set done within 10mins.

according to a YFF, if we have attended every single PT session till now, and completed every scheduled set with minimum load, we would have climbed a total of 1000 floors!

wow, i hope 1000 floors of training would suffice for the anticipated Gunung Tarpis overseas expedition.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Hike 4 & Ropework 4

Hike 4:

Date: Sun, 22 May 2011

Meeting Time: 9am

Meeting Venue: MacRitchie Reservoir Park (near the Mushroom Cafe)
Target End Venue/ Time: MacRitchie Reservoir Park, 4pm

Area Going To Cover: MacRitchie Reservoir Park – Tree Top Walk

Attire: Long pants, covered shoes, long/short sleeves tee

Things which you must bring:
- Running lunch
- Minimum 3 litres of drinking water
- Motivational food
- Rain-gear (poncho)
- Whistle
- Cords (for practicing ropework)
- 15th BOAT Course Book- Writing material
- Backpack the one that you are going to bring for camp 3

Things which are good to have:
- 1 set of clean clothing
- Towel
- 1 pair of sandals/ slipper
- Insect repellent
- Personal 1st aid kit
- Sun-gear (cap, shades, etc..)

Please water-proof all your belonging and you must have minimum 12kg load before start of the hike.

Some pointers to note:- To be on time and we will wait 15mins for the late-comers.
- Warm-up before we start the hike
- To have buddy system
- Do head court before we set-off.
- Please inform the facilitator if you need to leave the group.
- Keep within sighting distance of each other. Pls shout 'a-o-nah' if you can't see the pp inform or behind you.
- Look out for one another.
- Trail courtesy at all times.
- Only leave nothing but our footprint

so for this hike 4, we all set off with a min 12kg backpack, and went by the 5km nature trail. after the lovely tree top walk, we went up the Jelutong tower to take group photos at the top.

We walked back to the MacRitchie visitors' centre via the usual jogging route past the golf course.

it was a rather peaceful hike, at an enjoyable pace. we ended early and started on ropework 4.

for ropework 4, we learnt the Alpine Butterfly, and Bow Line.

after this BOAT session, most of us went in 5 cars to commonwealth cresent for ice kachang and tzi char together.

i think i'd really miss BOAT after graduation.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Graduation Night briefing & Camp 3 discussion

instead of the usual PT on thursday nights, we had a briefing from a "phantom" YFF about our graduation night.

as usual, we split into 5 groups;

Entertainment, for which i was the co-i/c

and Team OPSHH ( a special group going around sabotaging people, releasing all the gossip news about 15th BOAT from start till end)

we started 15th BOAT with a camp, and so we shall end it with a camp.

our graduation will be held overnight in TPYC CC, and shall be organised the same way as all other camps.

for camp 3 discussion, my food team and i settled most of the menu, what to bring, how much, who to make what.

this is the menu for our 3D3N camp, which i will be using as my qualifying venture;

3 June (Fri)
Running Lunch : Dumpling/handroll/riceball?
Dinner : Creamy soup with rice
4 June (Sat)
1st Breakfast in early morning : Cereal and Milo
2nd Breakfast at summit : Mashed potato and French loaf (need bring cooking tool up)
Running Lunch : Motivational food (while descending)
Lunch : Porridge
Dinner : Claypot rice and seaweed soup
Supper : Chengteng
5 June (Sun)
Breakfast : Mee Hoon Kway
Lunch : Mee Siam?

i was also appointed the 2nd i/c, taking charge of the food team if the first i/c too busy or not around to settle the issue on the spot... and help i/c to take down notes and details.

we will confirm the menu by hike 4, and buy the food the following saturday (28 may)


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Overseas Expedition Planning

today's session was on how to plan overseas expeditions.

we started with one of our YFFs teaching us the theory segment, and defining an expedition.

he also emphasized on the difference between an organiser, and a participant.
eg. organiser: safety, challenge, fun. participant: fun, challenge, safety.

after going through the important points (eg. what is insurance. not just buying insurance, being alert, but also about transport booking, contingency plans, campsite availability), we went through the second part of the session.

we were split into 4 different groups, and each group was assigned a place to plan an expedition for. after the end of this 15th BOAT program, we will use that expedition plan, and organise those expeditions.

the expeditions were as follows;
1.) Pelapah Waterfall (planned: 2D1N leisure trip, camp at summit)
2.) Gunung Datuk (planned: 2D2N leisure trip, campsite close to summit)
3.) Mt Ophir (planned: 3D2N exploration trip, camp at summit)
4.) Gunung Belumut (planned: 3D2N photography-leisure trip, camp at summit)

after seeing how each group planned the expeditions, i would like to go for all except the photography trip.


Thursday, 12 May 2011

PT 6

we were supposed to climb 4 sets of 40 stories with a 12 - 15 kg load.

as i came from school, i was late and did not have my loaded backpack with me.

instead, i climbed 2 sets of 40 stories with my slingbag.

fortunately, i have been taking the stairs up 11 floors to my place the whole week, so that makes up for the training.


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Abseiling Orientation/camp wash 2

we started the theory session about abseiling at 9am, and completed a 2m ground training by 12pm.

at 1pm, we started to abseil from both the staircase, and the rooftop.

i started at the staircase, and had to go twice, as i failed the first descend.

reason; i wore a glove on my breaking hand, and could not feel the rope. i clutched too tightly, so my hand got tired pretty fast. after the 3rd floor down, i stood on the railing to readjust my breaking hand. i let go of the rope. failed.

so i tried a second time.

on my second try, i went down without gloves.

the rope slipped even though i gripped as tightly as i could, so i decided to just complete the descend faster.

my both hands had rope burn after that.

the second abseiling point was from the rooftop.

i feel that this descend was easier, and at every point in time, there is a wall for me to place my legs on and steady myself.

to me, the descend was much easier than the staircase.

for campwash, my group kept the equipment/tents. due to the heat from the afternoon sun, the tar on the roof melted, and keeping the tents was a lot harder than normal.

at the debrief, we were informed of the various levels of abseiling courses we could undertake, and which would allow us to do what.

i am currently considering going for APC 2, which allows me to self-belay, which is necessary for abseiling waterfalls and caving.


Thursday, 5 May 2011


instead of the usual physical training, this week we had a yoga session instead.

our YFFs invited a yoga teacher, who happenes to be an ex-BOATer from 14th BOAT, to lead this session.

we practiced how to control our breathing, relax certain muscles, stretch individual necessary muscles needed to carry out our trek, and improve our posture while trekking.

among poses covered were the "mountain' pose, which improved our grip and balance needed to keep a strong foot-hold on rocks, the "warrior" poses, which strengthens the leg muscles to prevent joint/knee injuries while climbing, and "bow" poses, which strengthens the back, to prevent spinal injuries while carrying out heavy loaded backpacks.

the instructor also help us spot our individual "weak spots", and improve on it.

mine was the knees and upper thigh muscles, so she helped me modify the "warrior" pose 2, to focus more on the muscles directly above the knees, and improve flexibility of the inner groin muscles.

after the 2-hour yoga session, i could feel my stiff muscles relax, and my joints felt more flexible. i also became more aware of my posture while lifting a 16kg load to climb vertical cliff surfaces.


Monday, 2 May 2011

Camp 2: Gunung Panti & Pelapah Waterfall Hike [29/4/11-1/5/11]

this post contains planned information and my personal journal about;

15th BOAT CAMP 2

Gunung Panti & Pelapah Waterfall Hike
30 April 2011 ~ 02 May 2011


Teamwork amongst 15th BOATERS
Experience trekking in tropical rainforest terrain
Dealing with unexpected situations that may arise

Location Gunung Panti (513m) & Pelapah Waterfall, Kota Tinggi, Johor
Time to summit Approx. 5 – 6 hours (for novices/big groups)
Difficulty 2 – 3; Moderate fitness required
Water source None; expect water rationing
Trip Date 30 Apr 11, 0800 hours to 02 May 11, 2030 hours
Trip Briefing 14 April 11, 2000 hours
Distribution 28 April 11, 2000 hours
Safety Briefing 14 April 11, 2200 hours
Camp Washing 8 May 11

Group size 40

Other Information;
Gunung Panti
- Located in Kota Tinggi, Johor and is a good place for anyone looking
to start out in hiking.
- Expect to scramble on all fours on some parts of the terrain and
some help from the roots, ropes and your fellow boaters. Will need
to overcome an almost vertical rock face just before the summit.
- The summit can become quite chilly at night depending on weather
conditions. On a good day, one can get a good view of Gunung
Muntahak (634m asl) from the summit.
- Expect leeches along the way

Pelapah Waterfall
- The trek starts from plantation entrance next to Kota Tinggi
waterfall resort.
- Average difficulty with a bit of technical climbing and river crossing,
but trail is clear and obvious. Mostly rocky paths but expect muddy
and slipper terrain.

15th BOATERS Roles & Responsibilities;
Area cleaning & rubbish management
morning call
Sleeping & tent arrangements (tent ic)
Water rationing
Ensure all eat together as a group
Other instructions from trip leader.

Food plan:2BF, 3RL, 2D, 1S,
emergency ration
Work closely with the facilitators on camp 2
happy meals…
Buy, pack, label, and distribute food to main group.
Cooking & Washing roster
Ensure food gets cooked at the respective meal times
Ensure people help to finish any leftover food
Equipment check & log plan.

load distribution/redistribution
Account for equipment
know who is carrying what etc.
Ensure food log equipment is properly stored before sleeping
Camp washing

Lead warm up exercise
Keep us entertained
(keep the morale up)
_ Spare time on Sat
_ Bus journey on the
way home
_ Along the trek

30 April 2011 (Sat)
0700hrs Final Packing at TPC CC Check load
0800hrs Safety Briefing
0830hrs Leave CC Headcount
1130hrs Reach base camp Set up camp site
1230hrs Lunch Running Lunch
1300hrs Set off waterfall
1600hrs Trek back
1800hrs Reach Camp Cooking Dinner
2000hrs Dinner
2300hrs Zzzz….. Debrief
01 May 2011 (Sun)
0700hrs Rise & Shine
0730hrs Breakfast
0830hrs Break Camp Area clearing
0900 hrs Set off to Gn. Panti
1230hrs Lunch Running lunch along the way
1500hrs Reach Summit Set up camp site, R&R
1800hrs Dinner
1930hrs Debrief & Sharing
2100hrs Supper
2200hrs Zzzzz
02 May 2011 (Mon)
0700hrs Rise & Shine
0730hrs Breakfast
0830hrs Break Camp Area clearing
0900 hrs Set off to Lukut Village
1230hrs Lunch Running lunch along the way
1430hrs Reach pick up point Wash up change to clean clothing
1530hrs Reach Kota Tinggi town Early dinner
1830hrs Reach Johor Custom
2030hrs Dismiss from Woodlands Toa Payoh Adventure Club


Day 1;

we were at the Singapore Customs for around 4 hours total. the jam at the causeway was unlike any other i've ever seen before, and by the time we reached the campsite, we were 2 and a half hours behind schedule.

we set off for Pelapah waterfall at around 5.30pm. by the time we reached the base of the waterfall, it was already sunset. the terrain was extremely slippery and narrow. we were almost either balancing like blind ducks in the water on the rocks, or pressing ourselves to the side of the rock cliff surface.

due to various factors, we had to turn back at the gorge, after scaling a 3 story high rock cliff in the dark.

1.) our sense of sight was taken away, as there was absolutely no light streaming in from above. our headlights were barely sufficient to even see our feet, much less traverse the dangerous terrain.

2.) our sense of hearing was forfeited, as the sound of water was soo loud, it might as well be roaring in our ears.

3.) the water at the gorge was up to chest-high, and it was still raining, so the water level was expected to rise much higher.

after crossing the dangerous portions of the trail, an unexpected situation arose. at the last steep slope down, 2 of our male YFFs fell and injured themselves. one laying on the ground clutching his head, while the other seemed to have a broken foot.

we quickly and carefully as we could, we used a safety rope to create a makeshift stretcher, and lined it with the ground sheet to transport the immobolized guy. with 5 people on each side, we carefully lifted him and started moving out of the trail as quickly as we could.

after rounds of interchanging the stretcher bearers, re-doing the stretcher rope, and changing lifting tactics, we finally got him to safety in around 2 hours.

3 guys took turns supporting the YFF with the injured foot back to camp, while a team stayed behind with him, cheering him on and keeping the atmosphere positive.

finally when we reached the camp, the biggest surprise of all came to us. it was a planned exercise.

the 2 male YFFs were only pretending to be injured, to test our response to emergencies. glad and reliefed, none of us flared up openly, and we celebrated over dinner.

i think, if this drill took place any earlier, or with a different group of people, the response would have been very different. we stood by each other, shared each others' burdens and worries, without any blame or hard feelings, only because the past 2 months have really bonded us together as a team.

back at camp, we checked through our equipment in the designated 'kitchen', and found that the troupe of monkeys we spotted earlier on had clawed through many of our plastic bottles for water collection, tore a brand new 'Platypus' water bag, and even broke a belgian bottle.

Day 2;
we started our hike to Gunung Panti after breakfast.

we planned to reach the rock cliff surface just before the summit at 4pm, but all of us reached at 2+pm instead, well ahead of schedule.

the rock cliff was an almost vertical, 80m climb, with a safety rope tied around our waist, at only the first 3m.

the remaining 70m had to be climbed using our both hands and feet, and a dangling rope, or whatever roots and branches we could grip.

however, the climb was extremely steep and challenging, and some of us were not used to climbing up such heights, so we ( 40 BOATers + YFFs ) took a total of 3 hours for everyone to reach the top.

the tents were sent ahead of us, with the guys, to be pitched first in order to save time.

the climb was rather treacherous and challenging, but extremely fun and rewarding.

the view from the top was spectacular.

we met some Rover scouts from JB at the summit, and learnt how they travel light, create a controllable fire, modify the bottoms of soft drink cans to create a fuel canister, etc.

we also spotted a huge millipede the length of my forearm!

the thing was so strong i could not dislodge it from the trunk.

in the night of Day 2, it started to rain at the summit. there, a crisis occured.

as the guys went ahead to pitch the tent for us, it was not pegged down, so we could make adjustments if the ground was not comfortable. however, not a single one of my tent mates nor i realised it.

i woke up 3 times in the night because of the cold. then i realised, i was soaking wet.

this was what happened;

it rained.
when the wind blew, our fly sheet flew.
the rain soaked through the tent walls and flooded the sides.
at that instance, we noticed that our tent was tilting to one side, and was about to collapse.
there was a loud roaring sound, as though we camped in a cave behind a waterfall, and none of us dared to step out of the tent.

so we all just sat in the middle and started have a picnic.

in the morning, we heard from the Rover scouts that it only rained for a while, but the wind was so strong, it caused the massive roaring we heard.

Day 3;

the morning was really cold due to the wind and rain, and the seeing the early morning mist get blown away was utterly breath-taking.

after breakfast, we started hiking back to civilisation.

instead of the usual route of going down the way we came up Gunung Panti, our YFFs took us down an almost virgin path.

the vegetation was overgrown, and moss was everywhere.
some of the the pandan plants we saw had to be at least a thousand years old. the leaves were thicker than my head, at the middle! i could not even see the base of that thing!

a few of our team got stung by bees through their clothes, but no serious cases.

finally, after a sped-up trek of 6 hours cutting through vegetation and sliding our butts down a 120m rock cliff, all of us reached the base of Gunung Panti.

We started hiking pass a kampong village to a town, where our bus would pick us up and send us to the check point.

almost everyone were bitten by leeches, but did not realise it till we changed clothes and saw blood. i had 2 bites on my right leg, and a fellow female participant had a leech bite on her chest.

in the bus ride back, we had a very fun time singing our throats sore, and announcing the "angels" for the "Angel/Mortal" game we played. in our hearts, each and every one was an angel to each other.

Gunung Panti and Pelapah waterfall were very challenging, yet they awoke the adventurer in me. after this camp, i immediately made a decision to set a goal. i want to climb 100 mountains.

hopefully, most of the trips i make will be with some of my fellow 15th BOAT participants.

i am looking forward to camp 3!


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Day to Night Hike.

Details for the "Day to Night Hike":


1. To experience long distance hiking with load
2. To Experience night hike
3. To train for camp 2

Date: Saturday, 16 April 2011

Meeting Time: 2pm

Meeting Venue: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre

Target End Time: 11pm

Finishing Venue: Woodlands MRT

Area Going To Cover:
Bukit Timah Hill, Upper Pierce Reservoir, Chestnut Ave, Bukit Panjang,
Mandai, Woodlands Ave 2

Attire: Long pants, covered shoes, long/short sleeves tee, tights (to prevent abrasion)

Things which you must bring:
• Minimum 5 litres of drinking water
• Running dinner
• Motivational food/ fruits
• Rain-gear (poncho)
• Whistle
• Head-lamp with extra batteries (for the night walk)
• Backpack the one that you are going to bring for camp 2)

Things which are good to have:
• Isotonic drinks
• 1 set of clean clothing
• Towel
• 1 pair of sandals
• Insect repellent
• Personal 1st aid kit
• Sun-gear (cap, shades, etc..)

Please water-proof all your belonging and you must have minimum 12kg load before start of the hike.

Some pointers to note:
• Please be on time and we will wait 15mins for the late-comers.
• Warm-up before we start the hike.
• To have Buddy system. The strong & fit boaters to be at the back of the line.
• Do head court before we set-off
• Please inform the facilitator if you need to leave the group.
• Keep within sighting distance of each other. Pls shout 'a-o-nah' if you can't see the pp inform or behind you.
• Look out for one another.
• Look out for cyclist.
• Keep to the left side of the cycling trail and walk in single row.
• Trail ourtesy at all times.
• Only leave nothing but our footprint

Most importantly, please remember that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY

for our day to night hike, we walked from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve's visitor's centre, till woodlands, blk 510.

we covered about 20.1km of flat distance, close to 1600m total elevation, lots of winding trails, and have a body-full of aches to prove it! ^.^

according to a fellow BOATer, this is currently Singapore's longest hiking trail.

from Bukit Timah, we went via Chestnut drive, till Upper Pierce Reservoir, down to Mandai, all the way to Woodlands, pass the Singapore Sports School.

we stopped at Upper Pierce Reservoir to enjoy our well deserved running dinner, and to catch the beautiful sunset.

although the real highlight of the day/night would be after crossing Chestnut drive. to liven up the atmosphere, a few of us starting singing random songs such as Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling.

we ended up singing at the top of our lungs from there till the Singapore Sports School.

after the trek, most of us further walked to Woodgrove for a nice supper together.

from Woodgrove, i walked home.

so i guess, we covered about 21km in total? ^.^

reaching home, my legs gave way, and i think i may have pulled a muscle on my left calf. i am walking funny with a limp, and someone said i look like a duck now.

the hike was absolutely enjoyable, and i hope to be back at it again soon.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Risk Management

today's session was on Risk Management.

the 4 kinds of hikers, namely, the unconscious incompetent, the conscious incompetent, the unconscious competent, and the conscious competent.

how to identify "lemons", dealing with them, etc.

"lemons" include all things that may make the trip sour, eg. going off trail, monsoon season, hypothermia.

after listening to the theory, we were broken into 4 groups, and each group was given an article from the news about accidents/fatalities during previous expeditions. most articles including drowning at a waterfall, in places we would be going during our camp 3.

after identifying them, we had to suggest ways to avoid those "lemons", or how to deal with them.

the YFFs also told us about their own experiences where they encountered "lemons" due to unconscious incompetence, etc.

during our hike 3, we'll be going to bukit timah, and finding out which category of hikers we fit into, and what our "lemons" are.


Thursday, 7 April 2011

PT 3 & Ropework 3

this time, the scheduled was a 6-8kg load, 4 rounds of 40stories.

i went for 7.5kg, (2.8l of water in my 50+10 Jade backpack), and managed to complete only 3 rounds.

from the first round, i could feel my dehydration catching up with me, and i had to stop and rest a few times in the next 2 rounds.

i stopped after the 3rd round, due to time constraints. it was approaching 10pm when we walked back to the CC. today was supposed to end at 10pm.

a very heartfelt thank you to those who encouraged me during the rounds, waited for me, and stayed with me throughout!

for ropework, we did a 'fisherman's knot', and a 'double fisherman's knot'.

as i am an avid angler, i enjoy tying my own rigs, and am used to the above-stated knots.

these are meant to tie 2 loose ends of string/rope together.

i normally use it to join my hook line to my main line.


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Camp 1 2/4/11-3/4/11.

our camp 1 was held over the weekend, for 2 days, 1 night.

we met up at 8.30am to take a ferry to Pulau Ubin.

the first thing we did upon reaching the island was to walk to the campsite and pitch our tents.

for most of us, being city folks, it was the first time pitching a tent.

the YFFs showed us how to properly set up a 6-men tent with just 4 people, then we all tried our hand at setting up our own.

after everyone set up their sleeping quarters, we prepared for lunch.

lunch was beehoon with black fungus, mushrooms, fishcakes, cooked with our indian pots.
dessert was beancurd skin with barley.

both tasted really good.

after lunch, we split into our individual teams for activities.

the YFFs put up a skit for us, about a kampong murder. in our teams, we're supposed to find clues at each station to solve the murder.

at each station, we had to complete a different task.
eg. at 'Elvis', we had to pitch a steady basha within 15mins.
at 'Ah Leow', we had to transport him from one place to another.
at 'Or Gow', we learnt how to make a fire from materials we could find.

after dinner, we had a tiny campfire, where the Entertainment team put together about an hour of team bonding.

we ended the first day at around 9pm for everyone to wash up, clean up, and get enough rest for the next day.

at 7am, we were all awake, and by 8.30am, everyone had washed up, packed up, had breakfast, and broken tent already.

at 9am, we set off for our topography exercise, where we followed a map using a compass, to 3 checkpoints around the island. at each checkpoint, we were given another task.

eg. checkpoint 2 was at the base of a hill overlooking a quarry and river. we were split into pairs, and each pair was given a place to find, by a compass, given bearing, and distance, and a clue.

the view from the top of the hill was beautiful.

we ended our topo exercise at 12.30pm, and returned to singapore's main island at 1pm.

at 2+pm, we reached back at ToaPayoh Central CC, and did our campwash.

we ended everything, including debrief at 5.30pm.

our debrief was really detailed, and gave us a clear insight of how camping in an unfamiliar place would be like.

for our camp 2, we would be going to malaysia, to a mountain without any water source, or such luxuries like a toilet, etc.

i am looking forward to it.


Thursday, 31 March 2011

Safety Briefing & Packing for Camp 1

we were briefed on what to and what not to do during our camp in Pulau Ubin.
eg. always go in groups, if lost, stay and blow your whistle.

group equipment like tents, indian pots, ladles, knives, were also distributed among us, to be brought to camp.

food was also distributed, and instructions were given on how to keep them fresh, without spoilage, how to properly wrap perishables, etc.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Camp Craft 2 and Outdoor Cooking

today, we learnt how to set up a basha using 2 tapac sheets, and improvising with cords.

we also learnt the proper way to set the different stoves, etc.

for lunch, we did our outdoor cooking, with 3 groups cooking noodles/kuay tiao, and my group cooking bolognaise risotto rice and ABC soup.

after ending at around 3pm, some of us headed to Camper's Corner to buy hiking bags and shoes.

our photographer and outdoor adventure enthusiast helped each of us with fittings, weights, etc, and helped us make wise choices in our buys.
thank you for being so kind!

we went for dinner together, and all took the train home.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

PT 2 & Ropework 2

B.O.A.T training starts at 8pm, and ends at 10pm on thursdays.

today, Onion Rings, the food group i'm in decided to meet an hour earlier to buy ingredients necessary for our food dishes for the outdoor cooking competition on sunday.

for PT, we climbed a 40-storey building 3 times, with a 5kg load.

my bag was about 4.3kg, just short by 700g.

after climbing 40 storeys a few times, i'm more or less used to the turning and altitude by now. however, with a bag, there was a new challenge.

during the second round, around the 7th floor, my back felt like it was on fire. i had to switch methods of carrying my haversack many times to cool down my back.

for ropework, we learnt how to tie a clove hitch, and the 'short-cut' method too.

i have also officially received my certification card from Raffles Medical for Standard First Aid today.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

Camp Craft.

we learnt about camp craft today.

how to pick the correct campsite, separating the various camp 'departments' (kitchen, sleeping, toilet), what to pack, what's in a survival kit, first-aid kit, how to pack, what kind of hiking equipments, etc.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Food Planning & Logistics Planning

today, i met up with 4 other BOATers earlier to do our own PT. we completed 2 sets of 40-stories.

at BOAT, we learnt how to do proper food & logistics planning, preparation work, job of an i/c, delegating who to do what, planning within a tight budget, and making our food survive the trek in the most efficient and least energy-consuming way.

i was made logistics i/c, and we decided to cook spaghetti and ABC soup for the outdoor cooking competition on the 27th.

i still cannot access the Yahoo group for BOAT.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Navigation practical 2. 13/3/11.

we were split into groups, each given a map, empty route cards, 2 compasses, etc.

the task:

out of 4 checkpoints, go to at least 3, including the farthest, compulsory ones, and be back at checkpoint 1 by 1pm, to trade maps with another group, and follow their route to each check point.

our result:

we went to 3 checkpoints, except the compulsory one, lost our main map and sketches of the checkpoints, did not trade maps with anyone or start on the alternate routes, made it back to base by 3.30pm.

and we all turned into 'lobsters'

even my eyes are sunburnt.

it was fun.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Physical Training 1

today's B.O.A.T was on topography, and physical training.

we learnt how to read a topographical map, contour lines, identify ridges, valleys, steep/gentle slopes, etc.

we also learnt how to "unlose" yourself, by either aiming off, triangular point, or backbearing.

after trading maps, setting off, and following each others' routes, we gave both positive and negative feedback.

physical training was to climb 40 stories, twice.

my group overshot the timing, and went to climb 2.5 rounds in the cc instead.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Navigation 1. 3/3/11.

first theory session for B.O.A.T.

we had navigation. we were taught how to use certain kind of compass, directional arrow, north arrow, destination arrow.
we learnt the proper way to aim the compass, hold it, position it, moving the map, etc.

each of us formed groups of 4-6, and started trying to map our way around Toa Payoh.

there were 2 checkpoints only, so it was actually really short.

however, each of us had a different role to play.

one person would fill up a route chart, with details of bearings from one point to the next, distance, elevation, estimated number of steps and time.

one would handle the compass, comparing it with the map, etc.

i had to sketch a map for each checkpoint from scratch, drafting out legends, major landmarks, routes, without using logos or words, as each group's maps are to be exchanged with another group's during the next navigation session.
every group had to take a different route.

our final checkpoint was the 40-story HDB flat we were going to climb for our Physical Training sessions. before we set off on our trail, we were encouraged to try, time ourselves, and better our timing as B.O.A.T goes on.

we were the second group to reach, and together with the first group, decided to climb and time ourselves.

i took the lead, and completed the strenous climb in 9 mins and 18 seconds.

at the 3rd floor, i was starting to feel my vision spin, as we were climbing in a rather narrow stairwell. by the 17th floor, i was just relying on moving in the same way for the past 15floors, and not looking where i was going anymore.

halfway through, one guy started counting down, "17 more floors! we're halfway there! 16!! 15!!"

the encouragement was tremendous, and no one gave up halfway, or even slowed. we kept to a constant pace, and our whole team took only 10 minutes and 16 seconds to scale all 40 stories.

on saturday and sunday, 'hike 1' and 'ropework 1' are scheduled. however, i will be in KL for a business meeting, and am unable to attend.


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Standard First Aid. day 2 of 2. 20/2/11.

As of today, i have completed the Standard First Aid course, and passed. Within the next 4 weeks, a card will be issued to me, certifying me as a trained first-aider. It will be issued by Raffles Medical, and is valid for 3 years.

We were taught skills like bandaging, how to stop bleeding, clearing the airway, treating poison, stings, among others, and of course, Compressed Pulmonary Resusitation.

What seperated our course far from being a mundane one, was our instructor, Ms Li Lian. She kept questioning our answers, throwing our assumptions/deductions off balance, and re-enacting real-life scenarios with us. This happened especially during the theory test and practical examination.

Instead of just testing us individually on the procedures, etc, she assigned us into random groups, limited our options by creating obstacles, chaos, and of course, sudden casualties.

the scenario;
4 casualties on the road, an old man, a potential spine fracture, a pregnant lady, and a female child. in my group of 5, 2 of us were restricted to touching the victims, etc.

halfway through, Ms Li Lian started wailing extremely loudly, and approaching the "bodies", begging us to save her family, shaking them, putting them, us, and herself in more danger.

in the end, we had to work with 5 casualties, with her fainting, no longer breathing, puking, etc.

I really want to thank her for giving us a more in-depth view of a real accident scene, where in most cases, we may be the only first-aider, with multiple casualties, and distraught family/friends that may not only hinder our life-saving attempts, but also cause more danger.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Standard First Aid. day 1 of 2. 19/2/11.

Today, i went for the first day of a 2-day First Aid course.

I am taking it along with about 15 other fellow BOATers, as part of the BOAT programme.

It was conducted by Ms Li Lian, an instructor who had been a paramedic for many years, working 12-hour shifts daily on the front line, saving lives.

On weekdays, she attends classes after work. on weekends, she dedicates her time, from 9am-6pm, volunteering as an instructor for first aid.

Ms Li Lian taught us a lot of practical skills to be used on the scene of casualty, and shared much of her personal experience with us.

We would feel her passion for saving people as she spoke to us about how she was in an accident in her younger days, how each life matters, and even when there is not much hope left, or doctors declare it a bad case, as trained life-savers, we should still go all out into preserving the person's life.

Other than what was written in the notes given to us, she went further in depth into explaining the rational behind each and every single movement, and re-enacted it out herself, so we could have a better understanding of an actual incident happening, the risks of each movement, what should be done, and possible outcomes.

Much of her sharings would never have been spoken about by other trainers, even if they had first-hand experience. Many BOATers and i felt it was essential and puts us at a great advantage above other first-aid trained people.

This is especially so, as we would be taking on various physical challenges, inevitable risks, and unmediated danger in the course of our BOAT programme.

Today was a great learning experience, and tomorrow, we would be taking both a theory and a practical test.

At the end of this course, those who passed will be issued a card which certifies us as being trained in first-aid. It is valid for 3 years.