28th November 2013.
Up up and away we are on AAX the friendly friendly way, headed for the big Kl.
Only one hour late but it’s still in the air so shouldn’t winge to much. Had our final fish and chips Friday today with the mob we have met in Langkawi. Captain Mike invited us there when we were anchored up next to him in Tanjung Rhu. We have met the whole crew and geez you can have some fun with them, Keith and Joe our marina mates always keen for anything, Jonno and Michael, the Scottish father and son team who are always up to something, Terry and Jeff and George all make it up to Scarborough Fish and chip restaurant. Good fish and dingen beer. After the feed it’s off to Raffis in Chenang which is like Kuta was 30 years ago. Cheap drinks and good. It is pretty amazing how well you get to know the place when you spend a bit of time here, we know Langkawi like you wouldn’t believe, where to get bacon, Hendricks gin, diesel by the 100 litres for mr2 per litre, gout pills, good roti canni or really good roti canni, hire car for rm50, crabs and fish fresh from the sea, drill bits and taps you name it. We have made lots more mates, Keith and Jo, little Keith and Kath, the fish and chips crew, the marina dwellers and the girls at Telaga Harbour, are all great, so nice and friendly we bought them a cake and they loved it.
Ray and Bev joined us although their luggage didnt as it went somewhere else. It had 8 porterhouse steaks and snaggers in it so we went back and forth to the airport a few times trying to suss it out. The next day it arrived in the arvo so we went and picked it up and as soon as we got back headed north to Datai Bay and parked up for a couple of days there. Had steak on the BBQ, unreal, we had brekkie one morning at the Andaman and scrubbed the hull. Ray reckoned his hull was so shiny we would be doing circles. We then headed up to Tanjung Rhu for a few days, got some crabs and had a feast, Ray and Bev went for a walk and got escorted off a private beach then the heavens opened up while Jen and I watched a DVD. We went to Thailand for a BBQ on Ko Kai Tai Island one afternoon, a deserted place with a dunny in a shed, heaps of thongs and the usual crap you see floating around.
Took the guys to Jens Hong and we spent a bit of time having a beer and cooling off.
Showed them up the river and through the cave and then out hole in the wall and back to the boat via the open sea. It was a great day and pretty buggered by the end of it.
We went back down to Penang for the Raja Muda yacht racing, it was soon apparent that Boomerang is not a racing machine but we came second in the rickshaw races which get a bit rough and ready but we quickly adapted to the rules and ran one team into the fence, it was a pitty that it was them as Alfie ended up being one of the best people we came across. The crowd hated us and started booing us during and after all our races, I was only trying to get in front they could have gone around us although we provoked it a bit more by giving them the fingers, spun them out when I started neighing to Jen in the crowd it was quite an experience.
We got protested out of the first yacht race for going around the wrong mark, the real mark had been dragged way out the way by some mono and we didn’t know, the Breezies rung us up and told us race control were trying to call us on the radio, ours was turned down, so we had to speak with them and they gave us the option of coming back and racing the second race or retiring, we cracked a beer and retired an easy decision especially on the up down course we had to sail. Told everyone that Jen was cooking a roast and watching DVD’s once we were back at the dock.
The prize giving night was a pearler with a 2 person dragon jumping from platforms, no bigger than a foot square that were close to 10 feet in the air, then picking up speed before lunging through the air and landing on another platform and coming to an instant stop. It was the best thing we saw in Penang. The two young fellas, who were the dragon, had looks of sheer joy once they finished the routine and high fived each other, I clapped for ages.
Got on it with the neighboring table who come from a boat called Lady Bubbly, they were mixing Captain Morgan rum into coconut milk, bloody good drink. There were heaps of coconuts.
The food was excellent, hot and well cooked by local people, there was so much that they fed all the security guards, I grabbed two huge plates of chicken sate and some other chicken that looked like KFC and took it out to the taxi drivers who bogged in big time. We had used these guys heaps so they all new me and I reckon taxi fares could be quite cheap next visit to Penang.
We also hit the hawkers market just up the road from the marina where I found my new food group, frog. Dry chilli frog will always be a favourite, bit like chicken without the bird flu. Finally got Jen to try oyster omelette, which she loved, Ray and Bev went the pizza and fish spagbog, an unusual choice. There were some great dishes to be had and we would recommend this place to anyone, a few km’s past the marina on the right.
Next day we had to head 7 nm out to the shipping channel where the start boat was, it was blowing NW at about 8 kns, not real flash for us, but we were in amongst it for the start and would have featured in the photos as we all crossed the line, but once they sorted themselves out the other 3 light boats moved away from us. We held our height but not boat speed even though we clocked 8.7kns in 15kns of breeze pointing at 50 degrees. If only it had have been the 15knt NNE that was predicted.
We sailed for nine and a half hours on the same tack, steadily improving our height but all of a sudden the breeze dropped to bugger all and we just bobbed around for a while. It was decided by all on board that lets get out of here so on with the yanmahs and off we went for Langkawi. At about 0200 we were passing the finish boat and let them know we had retired and the next radio call was steel de breeze telling them they had finished, good timing by someone, probably them. They did okay but we’re pretty glad to be finished, I was pretty glad to be back at Telaga harbour in our pen drinking beers reflecting on how we had performed and really it was lucky we came second in the rickshaw races.
We couldn’t be bothered sailing any of the inshore races as there was hardly any wind, Ray and Bev moved out to their hotel, I got my bed back, ripper, and I set about scrubbing the boat while Jen washed sheets and sorted out cupboards. We had one interlude with a BBQ out on an island with the marina mob. It was a great night with a fire on the beach and briars to cook on. One other excellent thing here is no bugs night or day so hanging out on a beach is a pleasure.
It took all day to clean the tops of the boat, then loading the fuel took half another, at 100 litres at a time. By Wednesday morning we were ready for our move to Rebak Island and haul out on the next day. Every thing went well, they even had a diver to check the straps, we gave the boat a polish and a big clean up inside which was 2 days of hard slog but when we finally shut her up it was a job well done. We stayed in the Taj resort for 2 nights which made a total of 4 nights in 7 months we had not slept aboard. It felt weird, the bed was to hard, but it was nice too.
We moved out and caught a ferry back to the mainland, Keith picked us up and we picked up Jo and said goodbye to Little Keith and Kath then headed for Friday fish and chips at Scarborough’s, drinks at Raffii’s with the crew, then to the airport and home we went.
Well that was a great holiday, 7 months of fun in the sun. I love the Asian people and here are a few tips when in Asia, always smile, shake everyone’s hand and most of all be nice.
There is no point arguing with Indonesians and Malaysians, they just don’t get it and good on them.
Captain Rod and Missus’s Jenny.