Our arrival back to Langkawi in October saw ourselves in a self imposed quarantine due to a viral flu from Australia. Perhaps this was a reaction to work after 4 months? On touchdown, we raided the airport pharmacy and downed Chinese ‘miracle cure’ medicine over next 4 days. It worked!
It only took 24 hours to sort the boat out. No mould inside; outside only slightly green deck in patches. Our $A6.00 fan had burnt itself out, but had done a great job for most of the time inside the boat. One less item to carry!
Weather was certainly into transition, unlike this time last year. Some westerly squalls, days of NE winds and thunder storms. Mongolian High establishing itself on and off.
The biggest surprise was the prop being free of barnacles. Lanolin and plastic bag wrap did the trick (we thought we were being so clever – but read in an old ‘Practical Boat Owner’ magazine that Lanolin will keep prop clean. (of course: Lanolin is waterproof!)
So we finally made the big 6 mile move to Rebak marina for our lift. Despite being expensive, ($A500 for lift and $A100 per week on hardstand) it was the cheapest option. They were very careful with the boat and did an excellent job. They put a diver in the water to check the slings, even though we had sling positions marked on the deck. Marina workers not only washed the boat with a high pressure water blaster, but they scraped the hull as well! There were hardly any barnacles, which was great since it was 18 months since our last lift and 4 months sitting in a marina. (Fresh water flowing into marina maybe) Although it was very hot, the pool was a good respite and the place for a social gathering! Live music every night, nice open lounge to sit in and a 50% discount on food for yachties. We coped! So now we not only have a clean bottom, we have a new waterline – a few inches higher! Peter also used the opportunity to use the forklift with pallet atop as a balancing platform to put the new bearing in the windbugger! The only downside on the hard was a visit from the monkeys whilst we were in the pool. They came on board and ate the fruit supply and the garlic! So locking up the boat was a must. Downside was the sauna when we returned!
Behind the hardstand there is a path which leads to a two story, relatively new building which was to be the Langkawi Crystal Building. In a style very peculiar to Malaysia, the building had never been completed or used, had furniture still wrapped in plastic, glass that was to be blown, new air conditioners and lighting that had never been used. At the back of the building there is a stainless steel jeep – long bodied that was to be used for the tourists. It looked as though it had come from the Philippines, with etched glass inside the rear.
Our depth sounder had an intermittent fault before we left here in June. We thought (somehow) with a rest, it might correct itself in our absence. Not working on the way to Rebak, it must have taken fright when it heard we were ordering a replacement. It has worked ever since! Of course, we did not give enough thought to our purchase, and now have a very expensive unit – the transducer costing as much as the head unit! Still, we reasoned that the previous owner had refitted the boat with quality fittings and instruments, which have done us well. So we should follow suit. (?????????) End result is we have a depth sounder that now works and a new one. We have two transducers, each side of the hull, which read the same depth! Lucky!
Our motor back to Telaga Marina was done in record time with 6.5 knots at 1500 revs. Amazing difference a bottom job makes. Life at Telaga just happens. More and more shopping to stock up for the Indian Ocean! At least it is 1/3 of the price of Perth. We are running out of room – storage for 40 toilet rolls and enough powdered milk for 8 months? We still have beer, rum, red wine (alas cask only) and soda to get. Question is, how much? Peter thinks that the worst thing in the world is to run out of wine and coffee. I think we will have enough for 2 years!
We bit the bullet and gave up our old trusty Johnson outboard. Not very reliable for our new adventure, but more importantly it uses too much fuel! Initially, we were very sad to see it go, and gave it to some new friends (who collect Johnsons) only to observe its demise yet again. Peter’s repair in Bali finally gave out. It was then passed on to a local guy here who seemed quite pleased, even though he had to fix it. Our new Yamaha 15 was only to take 4 days, then a week, maybe another 3. Cannot, we said. Surprisingly, it was transported here express delivery at the retailer’s expense. Although half the price it would cost us in Australia, they are obviously still making a good profit. Unfortunately, a Yamaha 15 is the outboard of choice for the fishermen here, and in the Indian Ocean. We never had to worry with the Johnson, as who would want it? Anti theft devices are in the making.
Towards the end of November we will move to Thailand in our final preparation for the Indian Ocean. We are planning to do a visa run to Burma in preference to coming back to Langkawi, before we depart in January. If enough time, we will do a run up to Bangkok and on the way back, visit the bridge over the River Kwai and the cemetery where the WWII Thai-Burma POW’s are buried. We have had some more information on Kenya, so we are hoping to make that our destination for this season. That will enable us to have two seasons in the Indian Ocean and get to Zanzibar. The idea of being able to leave Stolen Kiss in dry dock for $A160 a month with 24 hour security appeals to us. I am still forever hopeful of picking up work in the Seychelles.
Cruising gossip has it that there are 100 boats transiting the Red Sea this year as many yachts hanging out in Australia from the Pacific are coming up. It’s going to be like rush hour.
Telaga marina now has wireless broadband connection free of charge. Malay government is putting in broadband wireless connection all over Malaysia for $10 Aus a month. Not bad for a developing economy.
So here we sit, finally at anchor! We managed to struggle 300m outside the marina. It is a beautiful anchorage behind two man-made islands, underneath very high mountains; white sandy beach with palm trees.
Life is a reach, then you gybe.