|Langkawi, Malaysia, Jan-Feb 08||
|We left Port Dickson with s/v Shiraz and traveled up the Malacca Straits, safety in numbers. We did day hops and anchored each evening, there are some nice places to anchor so you do not have to sail at night. During the evening the fishing boats come out in the 100's all with bright lights on fishing for squid, it is quite a sight to see on the horizon. We stayed just outside the shipping lanes to avoid the large merchant ships, but this put us in the area where the fishing boats are. You have to keep a good watch and keep clear of their nets. Most of them are bottom trawlers, so you can go right over the nets, we preferred to avoid them. They are very friendly people and would always give us a wave.|
|The color change in the water shows the current flowing in two different directions.|
|The entrance to Klang Harbor the 16th largest in the world.|
|On the voyage North we stopped four times to break up the trip, during this time we did not have an opportunity to get off the boats, so Phoebe and Drake entertain themselves climbing the rigging. Malaysia sells these fantastic fishing lights, they are water proof and have a sensor so they turn on in the evening and off in the morning. The fishing boats look like Christmas trees as the lights come in all different colors. We bought some of these and hang them on the boat when we anchor, it is not the correct protocol, but, the boats see us and stay away. Plus we don't use our energy and don't have to change the bulb at the top of the mast as often. We know of a boat that was anchored with their anchor light on and was hit broadside by a fishing boat who did not see them, these boats are looking out for the bright flashing lights instead. Luckily no one was hurt and the boat received minimal damaga.|
|Arriving in Langkawi we found our friends from s/v Good Hope anchored by a lovely beach off Pantai Tengah. It was nice to go ashore after five days on the boat. Phoebe, Drake, Matt and Jack could choose from the pool or the beach to play in. Another beautiful sunset.|
|Langkawi is Malaysia's best known vacation destination. It is a duty free island, so attracts many tourists. A case of beer is $10.00, now that is a good price! There are many large people on the beach with very small swimsuits. Langkawi means strong eagle, and there are dozens of bald eagles soaring over the island.
Phoebe and Drake saw their old friends Finn and Sophie from s/v Sunburn before they left for Thailand. To the right is the beach at Telaga Harbor. The movie Anna and the King was filmed here. There is a gondola that will take you to the top of Gunung Machinchang (708m), where you can see Thailland on the otherside.
|From Telaga we walked to Telaga Tujuh, where there is a 100m waterfall. The water travels through a series of seven wells. Phoebe and Drake enjoyed sliding down from one pool to the next. The middle photograph is the view after we climbed over 600 stairs. The water was very refreshing after the hike.|
|After the gruelling walk down an ice cream cone was much appreciated. During the walk we saw natural rubber trees and the process to extract the latex. We also saw many different types of monkeys in the trees. The weather is hot and humid, around 90 degrees F.|
|Phoebe was the main course for dinner one night, as we served her head on a platter of fruit. Drake got lost in a pool of balls. Above the Petronas station (gas station) at Telaga harbor is a wonderful Science center that Patronas' sponsors. The children can spend hours in there playing, an added bonus is it is air conditioned.
A dinghy ride away from the anchorage is the Berjaya Resort. They have a lovely swimming pool and welcome Yachties. Jim is sitting with Brad from s/v Good Hope and no he is not giving you the finger. He was helping Brad lift up the chaise, which is made of solid wood, when it fell. I took my first aid kit out and looked at his bleeding finger, and realized my bandaids could not repair it. Thankfully, there was an onsight Doctor, and five stitches later he was back in time for happy hour. The moral is if you need a Doctor when you are out of town, always go to the resorts.
|Not only was the Berjaya a nice place to relax, we also met some wonderful people. On the right are, from left, Nic and Sharnila, who live in London and are getting married this summer. Then Constance and John from Colorado. They enjoyed a drinks on the back of Blue Sky and a late night swim off the surf boards.
Drake made a friend in the pool, whose parents Mark and Amanda came out to the boat, then allowed Beau to have a sleep over.
|While we were waiting for Jim's finger to heal so we stayed inTelaga. During our stay we met some other boats with children. One day we went to the Oriental Village to walk around. Top right are Simone, Phoebe, Jack, Drake, Julien and Matt. There was a petting zoo, Phoebe and Simone, from s/v Lara Pinta, are feeding a deer. There were so many bunnies, of all ages that the children could feed and pet.|
|At the petting zoo this little boy was enjoying himself as well. His t-shirt reads "Osama our hero". Emma says that I need to get one too. Thus confirming that I will never have a political future.|
|For Australia day, we gathered the troops and had a beach BBQ. The children received a certified Eagle Scout lesson in how to build a fire. They all enjoyed a round of beach cricket. There were twelve children ranging in age from 5 to 16, and everyone enjoyed themselves
After Jim had his stitches taken out, by the same Doctor, we left Telaga and anchored off Rebak Marina. Where are new friends from s/v Lara Pinta were getting ready to head back to South Africa. They are pictured on the left, Matt who is a family friend, Briatte (14), Michelle, Dirk, Simone (12) and Nicole (16). One day all the girls came out to Blue sky and played Barbies with Phoebe, it was great to watch. All the children gathered round to bid their farewell. We are looking forward to seeing them next year.
|Another good-bye was to Rene and Steve Slack of s/v Shiraz, we have been sailing with them for almost two years. I helped Rene provision, she had to prepare for a few months worth of good food. They are heading up the Red Sea to the Mediteranean. To the left are Blue Sky and Shiraz anchored together.
Here's to anchors that hold and beers that are cold! Happy sailing.