Dude, I have no idea how I've missed this story for so long. Have you ever posted it here and I just didn't see it?
Completely stealing it for the BFS thread! Freakin' EPIC!!!!
I think I posted it several years ago, but until recently I have been more active on Cruisers Forum than here at Sailnet.
About the only sure takeaway for me is a conviction that the South China Sea is a tricky stretch of water -- one I would make efforts to avoid in future. We went at the end of typhoon season and got a typhoon. Since I was trying to get from Hong Kong to Thailand, I didn't have much choice. If I were doing a milk run from the US, though, I'd go over the northern side of Borneo and up to Gulf of Thailand.
Here's the problem:
June to October (officially) - Typhoons. But they aren't unheard of through December and occasionally Jan.
December to March - winter monsoon. Guaranteed heavy weather
March to June - light air