4th November 2013.
Just sitting in a bay around the corner from RLYC waiting for the sun to come up and we will head north around the island. A bit of a sticky night, no breeze and rained a bit so sitting out the back in the cool. The best time for being in bed is around 0700 to 1000, nice and cool.
The guys off Cest La Vent, they reckon it means, with the wind, my translation was, close the hatch, marked all the good anchorages on a tourist map for us so we are going to spend a couple of days at each one and check the place out.
It is bloody hot here and when the clouds disappear you have got to find shade, the AC has been going flat out while we were in the marina.
We spent 11 days in the marina waiting for a set of new engine mounts, went to service the motor and it didn’t look right, a bit of further investigation proved me right, the bolts had both sheared off and the motor was wedged in between the mounts, lucky I guess.
Got hold of Patrick Cheng again, he is a ripper, at CLLS in Singapore and got them happening. Up here they won’t take a credit card payment over the phone which is a major pain in the arse, you have to go to the bank, get a number and wait your turn, then they will do a telegraphic Transfer. It takes a couple of days for that to show up in their account, then they will dispatch the parts to you. One good thing about the whole process is that in Malaysia, Friday is Sunday, so it is quite normal to receive parts on the weekend which is what happened.
Spent 10 hours in the engine room, Jen up on the winch, in the blazing sun, raising and lowering the boom which was our crane, worked a treat, the lifting lugs were right below the hatch, Brian Perry is onto it. Snapped a mounting bolt so had to go buy a tap then drill a new hole, tap it out and all ok. Then you have to set up the footings and ended up setting the other motor up as well as it was not right, thank god for the Yanmah manual. In the end it all worked and we did it ourselves so a few beers and wines were consumed at knock off time. I have never drunk so much water, pissing on the hour.
We have been to a few restaurants and have had good and bad results, one was good but the squat dunny was in the kitchen and the cook was smoking a ciggy while he was at it with his wok. Went to another place and the food was pretty good but by the time our fish came out we had finished the rice so we ordered some more, about half way through it I hooked into another rotten prawn, horror, that combined with a little kid spewing up a bucket full of white stuff on the ground in front of our table ended our culinary desires. A place we won’t be going back to.
Over on the tourist side of the island there are hundreds of restaurants, it is amazing they all survive. There is also a go cart track where Duncan and I had a ball thrashing the bags out of the carts. They are pretty fast and we were flying, we thought so anyway.
We all went on a cable car to the top of the mountain, had to que for an hour and it was the same at the top so up we went and down we came, all over in 15 minutes. Pretty cheap and you are a long way from the tree tops below.
We hired a car for the time we were there, rm50/day, and it got a fair bit of use, carting jerry cans of diesel from the service station, alcohol and shopping from the duty free shops and touring around. There are happy hours all over the place, lucky they don’t have booze buses. I like their happy hours, they usually go for 4 hours. I also think my driving is becoming more free flowing, I don’t know why they even bother putting indicators on the cars, no one uses them or the lines on the road.
Lankawi is duty free so diesel is rm2/litre from the servo and to buy it from the marina was rm3.1 so payed for the car for a few days by getting 200 litres from the servo and using a trolley to get it to the boat. Drove the car right to the ramp, although you only get away with that once, I thought the poor girl was going to cry.
At the duty free shops you can get alcohol, cheese, endami beans all for unbelievable prices. We found a bottle of Hendricks gin that the Pamplemooses used to drink, cost rm100, a bottle of Gordons is rm18, jack Daniels is rm50, absolute is rm32 then you have the blue cheeses, even got blue castello and for the first time in a while big blocks of good cheddar although it comes from New Zealand. Same with the butter.
Going to the wet market is a eye opener. There are 5 parts to it, fish is the largest and you can get fresh fish daily. If you get there early, 0700, you have an excellent choice, we have bought garouper, red schnapper and prawns. They fillet it up for you, the guy filletted a 3kg schnapper for me butterfly style with a cleaver, impressive to see. You need to have good thongs on as you are slip sliding your way down the aisles in a quarter of an inch of water mixed with other stuff. My new pair are about an inch high so floating on fluid for me, don’t even get my toes wet anymore.
The next section is meat, they cut the chickens up so quick it is pretty cool, but I wouldn’t go near them, the meat is hanging off hooks and they just slice a chunk off weigh it and slap it into a plastic bag, didn’t look like they cleaned the dish on top of the scales much, bugger that. Then you have veges, excellent fresh coriander, spring onions, limes, Kai lan, we even bought a cauliflower, which was tea a couple of nights ago, cauliflower cheese that Jen cooked to perfection. They have papaya, apples and oranges but they don’t have durian which is a bonus. I remember looking at Tommos face when he tried it at Pulau Aur, Jen was the same so they can stick that. By the time you reach the dry herbs the floor is not slippery anymore but it stinks of dried fish and other things, then you have the food hall, not for the faint hearted eating in there. There are hundreds of cats cruising around eating scraps that get chucked their way, like I said it is an eye opener.
We had a lucky score the other day at the yellow duty free, that is how you tell the difference by the colour of the shop, we were going through her frozen foods and on top was 2 containers of not frozen shuimai, so we grabbed them and went to pay, the lady laughed and said we can’t have them as they were for her family so I grabbed them off her and pretended not to give them back, she ended up selling them to us and they are superb. We had a little feast of shuimai and Kai lan with oyster sauce for brunch yesterday. All the dimsum here is chicken not pork so when we came across proper shuimai she wasn’t getting them back. She has promised to take us to get some when we get back to Kuah Town.
Well we left our anchorage at around midday, slept like a log from 0700 to 1000, as usual and
upped anchor, we are now in a bay on Pulau Langgun which is unreal. Bit of breeze, had a good go at cleaning the hull, first proper swim since Tioman, geez that is a long time ago, heaps of little barnacles on the prop but the hull just has a covering of slime that is easy to rub off, wish I could remember the name of the anti foul we used as it works a treat. Jen even came in for a swim, Hempel is the anti foul it is good shit.
Went over to a fisherman to see what he was catching, squid and prawn, he had a little compartment in his boat with holes in the bottom for his live bait. His name was either Me Me or me is Me. Shot back to the boat and Jen made him up a bag of stuff, biscuits, peanuts, can of coke and a plastic cup full of ice and to top it off an old squid jig. He was stoked but I only got 3 squid for the effort, he offered me 4 without giving him anything, well we made a friend who now thinks Australians are alright.
Headed up to Hole In The Wall, very Kimberleyish in looks but lots of boats anchored up, some look like they have been there a long time. One was green all over and it wasn’t paint. There are a couple of floating restaurants and fish farms. It can be quite tranquill but come 0900 it is horror. Speed boats flying around full of tourists. They come so close I was going to get a bucket and empty it over as they shot past as if it was an accident. It is pretty amazing but I think they think it is good and that we enjoy it. Just smile and wave.
We are now in a river on the northern coast, had a spin out yesterday with tide and wind but the anchor held and once the storm passed we could get the anchor up and move into this anchorage. Only one other boat in here, Captain Mike another Tassie, reckons no one comes in due to the really dodgy bar crossing, otherwise the place would be chockers, he is right about the bar crossing.
Mister Rod and Missus’s Jenny.