Malaysia again 2019
This year we spent the summer at home in Alandia and returned to the boat in Sebana Cove, Malaysia early in November.
Malaysia seems to have a large population of White-bellied Sea Eagles (Sv:Vitbukig Havsörn, Lat:Haliaeetus leucogaster). We saw them many times hunting for fish close to the boat in the marina.
After a week of preparations, our new crew arrived. Andrei, Katarina and 12 year old Marta, all from Belarus.
The plan for the coming weeks was to sail to Langkawi (approx. 500 NM) with a stop in Pangkor on the way. A good trial for a new crew.
The start was not without surprises. As we left the river leaading up to Sebana Cove and entered the high traffic area around Singapore a really heavy squall hit us with violence that only the tropics can produce. At the same time I discovered that the bilge in the engine room was full of water. One of the engines was pouring out large amounts of sea water from its exhaust elbow.
Thank god we have two engines and AIS. Sight reduced to almost nothing, lots of ships around us and only one engine. Not a good start for a new and unexperienced crew.
Well, squalls don't last forever and with sails and one engine we took us around Singapore and continued up through the strait of Malacka until we reached Pangkor, an island about 350 NM from Sebana Cove marina.
Our first priority was now to get both engines running again so we started with a few days in Marina Island. A nice marina with beautiful Asian wood furniture in the bar and good sized fans for proper air circulation.
After a few telephone calls I understood that it would take too long time to get a new elbow delivered to Pangkor so I decided to make a temporary reparation and wait until Langkawi where we would have more time. I filled the cracks with epoxi and wrapped the entire elbow up in self vulkanizing butyl tape. Worked fine.
In Pangkor Marina we met Swedish couple Sven and Lisa on S/Y Randivåg. They left Sweden many years ago and have sailed the southern oceans around South America to end up in Pangkor before their final trip up the Read Sea and back to Europe.
The catamaran on this picture came in the day after us.I talked to the owner and he explained that a fishing boat had crashed right in to the front of him. The beam between the hulls broke and this made the mast fall backwards. So far I understood, but how can a fishing boat crash right into your own boat, front to front ? Were both captains sleeping ?
After a few days in the marina we wanted to se Pangkor Island. There is a small tourist village on the east side and also a harbour for fishing boats.
The west side of the island is more remote. We anchored in two different bays, Nipan and Belanga. See map image above. Nipan bay houses a big resort and was very busy with tourist boats and jet skis. No fun. Belanga bay was more interesting. No tourists, only a former resort in ruins. A wonderful bay surrounded by beautiful green wooded hills. Only living creature was a pig and then all the eagles of course.
We had the entire beach in Belunga bay for our selves. No swell, landing the dinghy was easy.
The resort was abandoned and the buildings were sadly falling into pieces.
Strange that a big capital investment like this is left without care. We saw a similar situation in "Las Perlas" close to Panama some years ago. In that case, a drug lord was the owner, but he was killed and no one took over the resort. See: Logbook from Panama 2017, Las Perlas
A small creek of fresh water came out from the jungle into the sea. For some reason somebody had found it nessecary to inform people that this water was not from sewage. Why would that be nessecary?
So, after a few days in nice anchorages we decided to continue our voyage north, through the strait of Malacka. Next stop would be the island of Langkawi, close to the border of Thailand.
We anchored in Kuah, the main city and checked in with Customs, Immigration and Port Authority. Then I ordered a new exhaust elbow from a Volvo Penta Center in Phuket, Thailand, not far from Langkawi. We now had time to spend on Langkawi island and also time to discover the islands south of Langkawi.
Two conspious landmarks in Langkawi are the Eagle statue close to the Ferry terminal and the big sign on the roof of Goldsands hotel. A new city tower is under construction that will also catch your eye when it is finished.
Before we arrived to Langkawi I had been in contact with Mrs. Surin Kaur who runs a small business close to the dinghy jetty. She can help sailors with many things. I had to pay the company in Thailand for my exhaust elbow so she took me to her bank and let me use her account to transfer the money. Quick and easy. The elbow would be sent to her adress and she would take care of the package for me once it arrived. Many thanks to Mrs. Surin for all help. E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +6017-6845762
We spent one day in "Mardi Agrotechnology Park". A fruit plantation driven by the government as a research and development projekt but also open to visitors.Many different fruits were cultivated here. Jackfruit is one of the biggest. Sweet and nice.
Pineapple is also nice. The fruit on this picture is young and not yet ripe but looks wonderful, doesn't it?
Grapes are not usually grown in tropical climate but here they were grown under simple plastic roofs to protect them from too much rain. Our guide said it was an experiment but it seemed to work out fine. Maybe a future export industry for Malaysia?
The white fruits to the right above were called "winterfruit" or something similar. It's not easy to keep track of all the different plants in the tropics. Here is a link to the fruit garden.
There was also a pond full of Catfish (Sv:Mal). The guide gave us fishfood to feed them.
Under a Cashew nut tree I found this beautiful Butterfly Lizard.
And once again wonderful furniture in massive wood.
We also made a trip to "Makam Mahsuri Cultural Village". The story tells that Mahsuri was so beautiful that women around her became jelaous and spread rumors about her that finally got her sentenced to death.
The village also contains a number of traditional buildings. Here is one with a big horn used for ceremonial purposes.
We needed to fill our water tanks so we decided to go in to the marina for a couple of days. We took up our anchor and this time it came up with a piece of battery cable.
It is always interesting to see a catamaran designed by James Wharram. Ropes only, are used to keep all pieces together. Even hinges are made from rope. See: Wharram Design.
With full water tanks and still waiting for the engine part to arrive we left the marina to explore the islands south of Langkawi for a few days. Many beautiful beaches and high green islands with narrow passages between them. Lots of fish...
... and lots of birds. This one is probably some kind of Sandpiper (Sv:Snäppa).
We returned to the anchorage in Kuah on Langkawi and now the engine part arrived. A few days later we were ready to leave Malaysia for good and set sails due west for Sri Lanka. Read about that in the next Log Book.