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Published: December 17th 2014
Its not long since the last blog, partly because the last blog had been delayed by lack of internet as we cruised the south of the Langkawi Islands and a need to use up our remaining internet before we leave Malaysia in the next day or two.
The second day at Rebak Marina was really the last day of the rally. It started with a ferry to the main island, to our tour bus and a visit to a rice museum and its own padi fields. Then we had some “free & easy” time to look around the souvenir/duty free shops at the main tourist strip at Pantai Chenang. We enjoyed a relaxed lunch as Alex was being baby-sat by Kerryn & John from SV Esoterica.
Back on the bus to visit a batik producing studio/shop (again!), a herbal medicine shop and then onto the yacht club at the Royal Langkawi Marina for high tea… lots of nice finger food and free beer! There was meant be more “free & easy” time after this to explore the shops which of course we had all seen before when we checked in to the island, but the
free beer kept us on our seats and it was time to go straight to dinner which was at a restaurant about 10 mins walk away.
Thankfully we had a half hour break for some food to digest before lining up for another buffet meal. We had some speeches, some traditional dancing, the few “Under the Bridge” participants (including us) were presented on stage with a Sail Malaysia pennant, finished off with a truly funny tribute song to Sazli (the rally organiser) by some of the cruisers.
Then it was back to Rebak by bus and a scarily fast ferry ride in the dark, straight into the narrow marina channel. A couple of cocktails at happy hour finished off the evening.
The next day there was a jumble sale at the marina and we picked up a wind scoop for only $15, and decided to stay an extra day to enjoy more cocktails by the pool. When we did leave the following afternoon we motored all of two miles to the same popular beach strip we had visited on our tour.
There was some wash from the banana ride, parasailers, and jet
skis that circled us like flies around dog doo. One guy trying to impress his kids came so close he sprayed water across our hull.
The next morning we walked the souvenir strip again (Xmas is coming!) and gorged ourselves at McDonalds. Back at Luna Ray we planned to tow the dinghy 5 miles north to Telega Harbour as friends had told us how nice it was and close to the Langkawi’s cable car ride. We sailed off the anchor and things were very pleasant until we came around Rebak Island to be hit by 20 knots on the nose. The waves were not big but the dinghy was getting flogged so we turned around to hide behind Rebak Island but once we saw the speed we picked up now that we with the current, and the dinghy riding smoothly we took it as a sign and continued on to our original planned destination off one of the southern islands.
The wind picked up again as we crossed the main channel to Pulau Singa Besar and didn’t like the look of the exposed anchorage there, not even behind a small island, so continued over
Taken from the ridge
The Lake of the Pregnant Maiden
to Pulau Dayang Bunting. Followed the vague description from the SE Asia Pilot and found a cool spot tucked into the nook of a small island of sheer cliffs and jungle, surrounded by similar islands of stunning vertical limestone mountains jutting out of the sea.
Naomi went off for a hoon around on the dinghy with Alex, and then I joined and we explored the cliff edges and overhangs, coming so close Naomi was worried stalagtites might fall on top of us.
The next morning we motored a few miles along with the many tour boats delivering punters to the jetty at the “Geopark”, which is where you can climb up through the forest and then down to the ‘Lake of the Pregnant Maiden’. Here the foreshore is sectioned off with floating jetties and tourists (mostly in life-jackets) swimming about, and beyond them pedlos are scattered around the large fresh water lake.
We had some swims and I attempted to take the boardwalk to the viewing platform but was blocked by a gang of monkeys. I could have risked squeezing passed but a young american told me one just took a swipe at him, so
they didn’t sound very friendly and I haven’t had my rabies shots.
Legend has it that drinking from the lake can make you pregnant - I reminded Naomi of this when she admitted she had had a pee during her swim.
We spent the night there - even before the many boats had left it was a beautiful spot.
The next day we travelled a few more miles to the southernmost bay of the island. This short journey took us through a channel so narrow I would normally avoid it. The exotic lush islands loomed over us either side, we had to crane our necks to see the tops. Christmas Bay according to the chart plotter is a beautiful large bay flanked by more steep jungle with a long clean beach to explore.
The next morning just before lifting anchor we saw a group of 10 otters clamber along a beach and into the water. We were heading back to the main town of Kuah and with my confidence built we threaded our way through more narrow rocky channels but as we came out to open sea a fresh wet breeze was
giving the dinghy a pounding again. We turned back into shelter so Naomi could raise the dinghy properly whilst I kept us off the rocks. As the rain got heavier we decided to go back further to drop anchor… only half a mile from where we started!
We hid out below deck (mostly watching TV shows) and headed off once the rain abated, arriving after a couple of dreary hours in Bass Harbour again just at twilight (around 7:15 pm).
Today (17th Dec) we went ashore and I picked up my passport from the agent with my Thai visa. Halted briefly by a sudden downpour, we splashed on over to the shopping mall for groceries. Whilst Naomi and Alex enjoyed the nearby huge playground I walked off to the main part of town on the hunt for a few hardware supplies - I found half of what I wanted.
Back at Luna Ray we had another wet afternoon of drizzle. Tomorrow we will visit the ferry terminal offices (customs, immigration, harbour master) to check out of Malaysia, then head around to the NE of the island (“Hole in the Wall” anchorage).
After this we
will take about 4 days to hop up to Phuket where we will check in to Thailand. Sounds like there are some special places on our way and a shame we won’t have time to linger as we are not really supposed to stop… apparently they can kick up a fuss in Phuket if you take more than a week.
Bye for now, Luke
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