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Published: April 19th 2015
Well after those weeks of relaxing in the Butangs we are certainly back into ‘work mode’ sailing. Long dull hot days of mostly motoring with little to look at except fishing nets and boats to avoid.
The return to Langkawi was frustrating. I got rudely awoken by Naomi as that big wooden boat was drifting near to us again so we pulled up anchor early which meant fighting current as we left the channel between Koh Lipe and Adang. Then the wind was right on the nose and tacking made painfully slow progress so the engine was back on again for most of the trip.
As we got within 10 miles of Langkawi large dark clouds were hovering over it and must have been sucking in air as we were delivered a 20 knot breeze from the south, which gave us a thrilling beam reach almost all the rest of the way to land.
We anchored in Telaga Harbour and dinghied into the marina to drop off our laundry. We were going to visit friends we knew were there but dark clouds loomed toward us so we raced back to the boat for shelter and enjoyed a wet but
the worst injury at sea in months....occurred in a marina
unusually cool evening.
We took a berth in the marina the next day and after our usual set meals at the Italian restaurant, visiting offices to check back into Malaysia, we went to the catamaran Ananda for Millie’s 4th birthday cake cutting. Alex had lots of fun playing with her and and her friend Ava. This included racing across the breadth of the the trampoline. When it was time for us to leave, Alex wanted one more race. Unfortunately this was the time he tripped and landed face first on a metal beam, splitting the skin above and below his right eye.
Once we mopped up the blood, we finally left and took Alex back to Luna Ray for surgery - well just steri-strips.
We caught up with a couple of boats we knew from the rallies, but we had a schedule now and left the marina the next day for Kuah. We stopped along the way as the headwind would have been quite strong down the channel, so avoiding a choppy ride. We motored all the way and then just 15 mins from the anchorage, a 15 knot tail wind picked up!
We met some friends
from another boat who coincidentally we had last seen when we waved them goodbye from this same spot, a week before Xmas. We had drinks with them the next evening.
The next day I was dispatched with a shopping list for the hardware store but returned with only one item. I collected Alex & Naomi from the park and we walked down to the pier to visit more offices to check out of Langkawi. Naomi got her ice-cream fix at Baskin Robbins, then onto the giant Eagle, then McDonalds and shopping at Billion,and another stop at the playground before we returned to Luna Ray.
We set off early the next day to get some use out of the wind that was predicted to die out slowly over the morning. When we came out of the shelter of the islands the sea was a bit ugly. The wind was stronger than expected and just off the nose, gusting to 26 knots, with short steep waves. Rather than battle with this we turned back to anchor off a small island and have breakfast.
When the wind had dropped a little we headed south again and things were much more sedate
with the wind in the upper teens, but within a short space of time it dropped further and wasn’t strong enough to contend with the remaining waves so the engine stayed on. Just like when we left Phuket !
A few hours later we were motoring passed Pulau Payar with a gentle breeze behind us on flat seas. We made our anchorage just on the brink of darkness at Pulau Bunting.
So our one day that some decent wind was predicted was wasted on us.
The next day was more motoring but we took in the sights of the Penang from the water as we motored passed at 6 knots at lunchtime, eating noodles, passing under the 2 huge bridges. The wind suddenly blew up from the west just as we we coming across to Pulau Rimua ( a little island off the southern tip of Penang) but we tucked in close to shore and had a relaxing afternoon playing cards and watching the large fishing boats head out for a night’s catch. This was our day off after all - only 8 hours sailing!
The following day was endless, 55 miles before anywhere to stop so
we were up at the crack of dawn which is 7am here and began the perpetual motoring. It didn’t start well as the windlass jammed and I saw the stripper had been snapped in half! Mentally I added this to “must have repaired list” and began our 12.5 hour trip.
The morning was broken up as Naomi made puftaloons.
Dodging more fishing boats and nets, we chugged on with large towering cumulus clouds forming out to sea. Mid afternoon we able to sail for a couple of hours but as the wind eased our ETA had us arriving after dark so the engine was back on as the vague low outline of land came back into view again.
We dropped anchor at Pulau Talang just as it got dark and a storm came over a few hours later giving the boat a wash down and a bit of bumpy evening.
The next morning we had no rush and I lay in until 10am - unheard off! - but well timed to catch the flood tide that runs south. More motoring into a light breeze, some overfalls at the headland before entering the channel between Pangkor Island and the mainland,
lots of nets to avoid before the sharp left turn across the shallow water into Pangkor Marina Island where Luna Ray will rest for the next half a year.
I made my final entry into the Captain's Log for a while. Since the Gold Coast we have travelled 5819 (nautical) miles having been underway for 1358 hrs (8 weeks).
We have been here a couple of days now getting the boat ready for storage…..washing & cleaning, removing sails and ropes etc etc. We even set up the large boat cover we have had stored up the front and never used. We will be hauled out on the “Sealift” on the 21st.
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