Penang, it is still the same after 32 years, excellent.

September 2013.

We find ourselves in a bay on the bottom end of Pulau Danyung Bunting, in the Lankawi group. It is pretty nice, you can swim again and not much rubbish here even though there are fishermen everywhere. Jen and I set the crab pots up a creek this morning, there were traces of other previous crabbing so it is probably fished out but we have to give it a go.

Every time we have been there we have seen a beautiful kingfisher so it is a winner already. On the beach to the north of us we have small monkeys coming down to the waters edge splashing about, took the dinghy in and stirred them up, there are also some pretty big mothers there as well, not that keen on hanging out on the beach anymore, there is a resort somewhere as their boat arrives just about every day and drops some lovers on the beach with a shade thingy, I bet they don’t know about the gorillas in the trees checking their every move.

There are islands everywhere here, but no fish, that we can catch anyway, and it is a very picturesque joint with currents pouring through the many channels all over the place. It is not unlike the Kimberley but has different trees and no crocs.

We left Port Dickson after almost a week, good place, another one of those places you would never go to if you weren’t on a boat. Hired a car for the time we were there and pretty much saw every thing there was to see. The lighthouse was excellent, the city itself is all over the show with really wide streets so you can go anyway you want on any side, suited my driving style down to a tee, the wet market was great with fish, crabs, prawns, meat and veges of all sorts, fresh as and cheap. You are meant to haggle but it is so cheap I can’t be bothered, usually get something chucked in for free or to try.

We went down to Melaka and had a good look around, bit hard at first as we had no map or anything but eventually found the old part of town, lots of food, clothing and hardware shops that have been there for ever. This place was Portugese for a while back in the spice trade years so there is a mix of cultures and styles, the place needs a good coat of paint though. On our way back we went the coast road and soon found a sate stall and a outdoor Chinese restaurant. We had one of the best meals so far, sate followed by a local marpoo tofu meal, superb.P1010973 

On our travels around PD we met a group of old blokes who go prawning out the front of the power house drain, we went back twice to get a couple of kilos but missed them both times. Bit of a bummer as they don’t get fresher than that.

We were pretty much ready to leave PD but realized it was Friday so had to hang out for another day, ended up quite good met a couple who were looking after a big cat and they had a few electrical problems, sorted 2 out of 3 jobs and sent Mike off for a new alternator for the third, collected rm300 for the trouble, they were stoked but recommended to me not to tell to many people that I can fix electrical stuff otherwise you can end up flat out in engine rooms of boats, they have got a point. Pretty hot and sweaty occupation up here.

We left PD and headed for Penang, you have a couple of choices to get there but we chose not to  overnight and pulled in to Port Klang just before sunset, this is a port of huge proportions with so many cranes, they go for miles, the ships leaving are hitting 15 knots and the bow waves are huge, more crap fell over in one ship than the whole trip so far.

We found our way up to the Klang River and the Royal Selangor yacht Club where we were met on the jetty by Honey and a couple of boat boys. We hadn’t intended to stay but next thing we were in the bar drinking beers and wines to a point of not leaving, managed to cook a grouper fried Malay style, Jen got some fried rice from the restaurant and it turned into a feast. Listened to the Freo Dockers win on the HF radio and the sleep was excellent.

We woke and got our act into gear, just next to the RSYC is a loading facility for Indo freighters, huge old wooden ones and the way the skippers can maneuver them is amazing, they spin them around and reverse them into the tiniest gaps using tyres as fenders. Got to see it to believe it. We followed one of these boats out, a bloke had to stand on the cargo up forward and direct the skipper out of the river as he could see nothing in front of him for a good 200 metres.P1020077

We set our sails at the mouth and reached all the way out of the port, another array of cranes then back out to sea with the fishermen. We stayed just inside the 20 metre contour and pretty much had a free run. With the spinnacker up doing 8 to 10 knots we decided to keep going and not stop at Pankor, will go back there for the Raja Muda. Around 2000 we dropped the kite, set the jib and Jen took over until 0100 the next morning, had a few close calls and a boat come right up to us but no problems but still had to put up with a few fishermen and their antics. It seems that if they see a yacht they have to pass in front of you, the smoke billows out their chimneys as they give it the juice, they then just beat you but you have to change course as they are dragging a 200 metre net behind them. I have given up smiling at them now. 

We had been in touch with the Sutamonsters and they had teed us up a berth at the Straits Quay Marina so we headed up the strait under the bridges, apparently these are 30 metres above low water, massive things, the new one is almost finished. 

Spoke to Gary and Bev from Muscat who had been rushing to get to Penang and told them we were staying at the marina, spun them out as they were having to wait for some one to leave which ended up being us. There you go should have said goodbye to us and not left on a Friday. What more can you say.We rolled up to the marina and parked up right alongside a Perry 57, I want one, Jen reckons they are to big, I reckon she has got no idea. The Sutamonsters met us at the jetty and beers all round. The marina crew were great and once again we were welcomed to their pride and joy. It costs rm3/metre, plus electricity and water.
At SQM you are surrounded by restaurants and bars, probably not the ideal location for us, but it is good to know you can grab a beer at 1000 to 0100 just about every day. 0200 on a Saturday. There is an excellent Yumcha restaurant near the marina office. The marina crew are great and John even checks every boat every day himself.

P1020238

We rolled up to the marina and parked up right alongside a Perry 57, I want one, Jen reckons they are to big, I reckon she has got no idea. The Sutamonsters met us at the jetty and beers all round. The marina crew were great and once again we were welcomed to their pride and joy. It costs rm3/metre, plus electricity and water. 

At SQM you are surrounded by restaurants and bars, probably not the ideal location for us, but it is good to know you can grab a beer at 1000 to 0100 just about every day. 0200 on a Saturday.  There is an excellent Yumcha restaurant near the marina office. The marina crew are great and John even checks every boat every day himself.

                  

Duncan and I hired a couple of scooters, I think 135cc, brand new and we had a ball. Riding through the traffic was great fun, racing through the mountains was a hoot, Johnno, Cala, Brownie, Rod, Gunna, by the way Luke it is not to hard to answer once in a while, you would love it. I reckon a family holiday at Batu Ferringuy could be the go. The Penang GP and pub crawl would be a highlight. It is unbelievably cheap, we have breakfast at the local Roti shop for rm6 all up for both of us and you can make it to mid afternoon before you are hungry again,  then a curry and rice with a couple of Big tigers will get you  fed, plus another few tigers and bobs your uncle.

The old Penang and little India are still there, still had a bung ankle, so wasn’t keen on walking, buses are easy and you can get just about anything in Penang.

We went to the street markets in Batu Ferringhi and had a feed of Lebo then went to a reflexology place, I got the master and I may as well pull up stumps and go and die. Since then I have drunk so much water and actually chew my food to a paste, got to say it works my crook ankle is better, probably gout, he reckons I had high uric acid levels, I was running low on minerals etc. cut back to a few beers and a wine see how that goes, Jen is doing it too. Her bloke was a Chinese who couldn’t speak English so we never got to hear what was wrong with her, or Duncan or Jaine.

We extended our stay at SQM as the weather turned to shit, northerlies and storms and left on Tuesday morning at 0700. Motored most of the way but got some wind towards Langkawi. The ocean was normal, full of rubbish and crap, we caught a bag fish but chucked it in the bin. We made it to our latest anchorage about 1600, and here we are.

Just checked the crab pots, heaps of little ones which is pretty amazing, so left them in for the night might get a biggy but I am not holding my breathe.

Bugger all crabs, didn’t expect much more, we have now made our way up to the Royal Lankawi Yacht Club, not to bad they have got a pool and a nice bar on the water, oh dear here we go again.

Seeya,

Captain Rod and Mrs Jenny.

Another Email on PD.

 We are at a place called Port Dickson, meant to only overnight but reckon its worth hanging around for a bit. Plus can’t leave port on Friday so most likely Saturday morning.
Drove down to Melaka yesterday, got lost and dropped in on a copper, not good, but just kept going, snuck in front of a bus at some lights then shot down an alley and hid. He drove straight past us, I don’t really think he was that bothered. Melaka is nice but PD is really nice, met some old Chinese guys down the beach, they were prawning and got yacking to them, so got to go down tomorrow to buy a kilo of them for the equivalent of $10. Can’t get fresher and they are catching them out the front of the Shell bunkering jetty so they should be safe, what you reckon dad? We went to two markets this morning, fresh fish, veges, blokes chopping up cow meat with axes that sort of thing, got me bewildered how everyone isn’t sick. Met an old bloke who was telling us stories about the war and the Australians who came here to fight the Japs, bit hard to understand but they like Aussies.
Had the good old roti canni at some little stall, met a high up politician who thought I was an admiral, we are staying at the Admiral Marina, so now I am Admiral Rod. Just kind of rolls off your tongue don’t you think? His body guard was taking photos of us, don’t know why. Hope they weren’t mug shots.
Just spent 10 minutes totally confusing the hire car bloke, in the end I couldn’t rip him off which even confused him more, he needs to go and do some Maths, at primary school. There is never a dull moment. We are trying to find some mint to grow on the boat as it is hard to get, Jens on the mission although she was talking about buying a bird today and when we are sick of it letting it go, sounds like rats to me. So that isn’t going to happen
Time for lunch, 30 okra, cost rm4, which is about $1.25, probably won’t bother growing them again, I reckon they probably cost us $1.25 each.
Seeya
Admiral Rod and First Mate Jenny.

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