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Published: April 1st 2015
Passing Turotoa Island on way back to Langkawi last month (forgot to put photo in)
Last time I wrote we were leaving Koh Lipe and now we are back here again.
We anchored out in Telaga Harbour when we got back to Langkawi which was crampt so ended up quite near a mooring. The next morning a large wooden boat took up their mooring and then slowly drifted closer and closer to us. I had just caIled the marina about taking a berth but they wanted us to wait 30-60 minutes before entering when they had some staff on hand. I pulled in some anchor chain to distance ourselves but it didn’t seem to make much difference and the tall wooden bow got closer. The owner plopped a fender over the side but otherwise didn’t look bothered. As I got to the 10 m mark on the chain and there was little resistance it was obvious the anchor wasn’t doing much. Luckily we had the motor warming up and when a few inches from the boat we pulled away and headed for the marina.
A dinghy approached us from a yacht also registered in Southport and kindly told us they were just about to leave if we wanted their space - they
were concerned we had been “bullied” out of our spot.
Luckily a marina boy was around to point out our spot, A25. A good berth for docking as we could approach into wind and it was close enough to the marina office to pick up the free wi-fi.
We spent three nights in the marina, the last day just lazing in the comfort of the air-conditioning. We hired a car again from Mr Dim - it was the same scuffed up little car but runs well and the process is uncomplicated. You arrange a time to meet in the car park, check how full the tank is, see if there’s any new dents and hand over 60 ringits ($20), no paperwork, didn’t even check if I have a license and then leave the car with keys under mat when finished with it the next day.
We drove over to the main town of Kuah for some shopping and McDonalds, and ate this while Alex played in the huge, always deserted, playground across the road. We took a drive over to the NE side of the island and took a look around the jetty area and
boardwalks of the Kilim Karst Mangrove Geoforest area. From here a little further north we found the Durian Perangin waterfall. Naomi only made it as far as the lower pool but Alex and I climbed the steps to the main falls. A little climb down the rocks for a cooling paddle in the pool, near a couple of local girls taking a splash - fully clothed naturally.
Back down by Naomi there were many sheltered seats with adjoining BBQs - reminded me of Australia - and it was hard to drag Alex away from the bouncy suspension bridge.
We delayed leaving for the Butangs as the winds especially over night were predicted a little high and it can be hard to escape the swell so we took a few days to go to somewhere new in Langkawi. We had read Pulau Beras had the clearest water we headed there to find a spot sheltered from the NE winds. It was a lovely few hours sailing south with the wind in the upper teens, and as we passed Pulau Beras and the wind eased we turned in when we saw some beaches on its neighbouring island (P
Singha) that would give us shelter - one had a couple of wild pigs on it. Luckily Naomi’s eagle eyes picked up the shallow fringing reef that isn’t noted in the guide book or chart plotter, before we ran into it.
We had a pleasant few days, late mornings spent reading on the beach while Alex played, until lunch time about 2pm. Set back from the beach we found some abandoned animal enclosures and speaking to a local guy cleaning the beach on P Beras there used to be a collection of animals kept on the island - and some of the survivors still roam the island now.
The afternoons we hide away from the sun and bob about in Luna Ray when the light westerly sea breeze appears. The monsoon transition is kicking in now and there have been some late afternoon thunderstorms this last week - they bring a little relief from the heat.
We had a similarly good sail back to Telaga marina and arrived just after noon - just in time to visit our usual italian restaurant - they have large powerful fans, reasonable set menus and
Carlsburg on tap.
Monday we checked out of Malaysia again (slightly delayed as the customs office was closed for a while). I had the great idea for extra water for showers - fill up the wheely rubbish bin we keep at the back of the boat - after I cleaned it of course. Two thirds full it gives us an extra 60 lts, and adding to our assortment of bottles and shower bags we are carrying about 200 lts on deck.
We left the marina just after noon, a bit late to get the most out of the stronger morning winds. We had a fairly good breeze to start but under the shelter of the island the wind dropped off and we tried to remain patient as we slowly drifted towards the whitecaps just ahead. Then we were off again flying on a beam reach in 18 knots. This eventually eased to nothing and then it flipped around and 10 knots came from the opposite SW direction.
It was pleasant sailing closed hauled but couldn’t quite make the direction to Koh Lipe we wanted so let the wind take us up to Koh
A morning at the beach
Pulau Singha (Lion Island)
Bitsi which is a small island at the NE end of the group. The chart plotter and guide book disagreed about where the fringing reef was so we played safe and anchored out from a fishing boat in 25 m of water, pretty much in the dark at 7:30 pm.
I had decided this detour was OK as I was promised 16 kn winds from the NE the next morning to bring us down to Koh Lipe, but we had only about 10 knots with relatively big waves so it got a bit rolly - in fact Naomi got a little sea-sick for the first time in a long time.
As we rounded the headland on the east side of Koh Lipe the wind dropped and then reappeared from the SW at about 16 knots, straight into the bay, and this had Luna Ray hobby horsing once we were at anchor.
We got called by a catamaran in the bay who like us were a couple with a 3 yr old and suggested we meet on the beach for some playtime. Beaching the dinghy was an adventure and we went to check in to Thailand
at the beach side immigration kiosk. Alex was playing on the edge of the water, and got pummelled by some waves. I ran over to fish him out of the sea but he was very upset as his sunglasses were lost. Fortunately they were already badly scratched. I had rinsed his lifejacket off and hung it up to dry, when we returned later it was gone…. not a good day for Alex. Fortunately it now pretty tatty and probably a bit small for him now so he was due an upgrade.
We had lunch with Jane & Millie from the catamaran. Alex and Millie eventually warmed to each other after an initial spell of shyness. They were waiting for the ferry as they had friends visiting but we found out it had been diverted the other side of the island as the waves were too rough in this bay. So we all headed back to our boats, and headed back around to Lipe’s northern side where we joined another 6 yachts sheltering and anchored off Sunset Beach.
April 1st - no practical jokes, just a relaxing morning reading in the cockpit enjoying the cooling
breeze, drinking shandy (a ladies drink Naomi tells me) until the heat of the day got too intense so escaped down below for lunch and a little TV. Did a few little house repairs and then joined the guys from the catamaran “Ananda” on the beach for a little swim around four or five. A nice day and a good start to our 2 weeks here at the Butangs.
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