Rebak Island, Langkawi, Malaysia
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April - June 2008, Blue Sky is safely in her berth at Rebak Island Marina in thegroup of islands known as Langkawi.  In order to go to town to shop or go out for a bite to eat we take the resort ferry. There are no cars on Rebak, which makes it very safe for the children to explore on their own, plus we have access to the pool and beach.  One necessity for cruising children is a scooter.  If you are planning a long walk  there is less complaining when a  scooter is involved.  All of the children have them here which facilitates moving around the Marina.   Phoebe is with our friend Gwen, off s/v Gwendolyn on the ferry to town.  At the small ferry dock is a "cheap and cheerful", as we call it.  An inexpensive but tasty restaurant.  To the right is Cath pictured with her grandsons' Jack and Matt and daughter Georgie off s/v Good Hope.  Cath flew in to Thailand from Australia and spent some time there then sailed back to Langkawi for a couple months.
Gwen's son Dare celebrated his 12 birthday with Ty, Angie, sister Tatyana, Phoebe, himself and Drake   
Quoll II, friends we met in Thailand prepare to head back down the Malacca Straits to the East side of Malaysia for the rainy season. We say good-bye to David and Matthew and mom Trish and dad Tim.
After going to see Iron Man, the children had cake at a local restaurant on the beach called the Oasis.  Following cake the older children, Gwen and Jim included, went for a spin on the go-cart track.  Of course Dare was the winner. A few days later Jim celebrated his birthday and the Marina left him a cake and a bottle of wine on the boat, what a nice surprise.  His birthday was uneventful compared to Dare's.  

One morning we awoke to a call on the VHF that a sail boat was on the rocks at the entrance to the Marina, Jim and Brendan from s/v Sunburn got in the dinghies to go offer assistance.  S/V Saadine, a Hallberg Rassy, caught on fire when it was on the hard and after insurance settled the claim, the owners sold it at a very low price.  The new owner tried to sail out of the Marina with no engine and no wind, just a small out board as a back up.  The tide was going out and luckily after much perseverance the boat was freed.  He was towed to an anchorage, which surprised us, as  he did not want to haul out to inspect the bottom for any damage.
Phoebe celebrated her tenth birthday on June 1, with sixteen children from all over the world.  She received some wonderful presents.  The children enjoyed swimming, playing "pass the parcel" and throwing darts at balloons for prizes.  Instead of cake we had brownies with extra chocolate chips and whipped cream on top.  Below left is the group starting in the top row on the left: Maele s/v Sarisu from France, Sophie s/v Sunburn from New Zealand, Arlee s/v Indigo from Australia, Phoebe with Kieren on her lap from s/v Rebound from US and S. Africa, Kelly s/v Savant from US but now lives here, Bella (Arlee's sister), Jack s/v Good Hope from Australia, Ty from here, Finn (Sophie's brother),  bottom row left: Tatyana s/v Gwendolyn from OZ, Moorea s/v Valere from US, Angie (Ty's sister), Axel s/v Ouma from France, Dare (Tatyana's brother) and Drake. Whew! 
Above right Phoebe is pictured with Tatyana, Sophie and Kelly who were movie stars for a day.  A German Film company was in town shooting "Dream Hotels Malaysia," at luxury resorts around the islands.  They needed caucasion extras so we volunteered.  The children were filmed at the Westin and were paid a 100 ringits for swimming in the pool and building sand castles.  The adults were needed at the Four Seasons Langkawi Hotel and we worked for a half day swimming in the pool and walking on the beach.  Brendan looks the part relaxing at the lovely resort.  Jim and Brendan take a break between scenes.  We were paid a whopping $100 ringits, approximately $35 US for six hours work.  I think the last time we were paid that was doing paper routes at age ten.  It was worth it to see the resort, the entrance to the lobby is on the left.  "Dream Hotels Malaysia"  will be shown on German, Austrian and Swiss television in January, so if you find yourself anywhere in that vicinity look for us in the back ground. (Tape it for us!)
Malaysia allows tourists to stay 90 days.  We had checked back into Malaysia from Thailand nearly three months ago so it was time to renew the visas.  The easiest way, without moving the boat, is to take an hour long ferry ride to Satun, Thailand.  Drake patiently waits in line to get stamped into the country.  Once we were in Thailand we took a Tuk-Tuk to the PSS Shipyard.  The main reason for us to visit the shipyard was to buy Anti-Foul paint, which is a third the price than in Langkawi.  The second reason was to visit our friends who are restoring the 1896 America's Cup boat Cariad,. Which means "Sweetheart or Beloved" in Welsh.  Jim and the children are pictured with Stu from s/v Claire du Lune,  who is one project manager.  Mike Howett of s/v Whimoway, from Tasmania is the head shipwright for the project.  At 118' it is the largest and oldest gaff ketch in the world today, and the largest yacht that Summers and Payne ever built. Mr. Stuart Williamson, the owner, should be commended for his contribution to restoring such a historic and beautiful vessel.
There are many Batik outlets here, above a man is painting on the cloth, they use hot wax to keep the colors from running.  Phoebe and Drake had an opportunity to do some on a small scale and they came out wonderful.  The colors are so vibrant.  s/v Glayva pulled in for a few days, before heading back down to Sumatra, Indonesia.  They will be staying on the West side of the island to find all the good surf spots.  I am pictured with Rachel s/v Glayva and Di from s/v Sunburn, on the right are Finn s/v Sunburn, Aaron s/v Glayva, Drake, Phoebe, Namara s/v Glayva and Sophie s/v Sunburn.
Once a month the Marina puts on a cocktail party for the boaters.  The theme for the latest one was crazy hats, the children made their own and were very creative.  To the left is Bella, Sophie, Arlee and Phoebe.  Below left is Maele, Drake, Finn and Sophie.  A rare photo of Jim and I, as I am usually the one taking the picture.  Di is pictured with Finn and Sophie, Brendan is currently in Australia working for a couple months to build up the cruising kitty.
One final note to fellow boaters, beware of Electrolosys.  The above boat was moored at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, it has been in this area for three years.  Six months ago the boat was hauled re-painted and new zinc plates were placed on the steel hull.  Within that time the boat has completely pitted, with visible holes on the hull and a hole in the prop.. Electrolosys is simply the result of stray current.  The zincs we use on the boat are called "Sacrificial Anodes."  Zinc is used because it has a higher voltage in the water so the current will be more inclined to flow from it than from your propeller. To complete the electrical circuit, the zincs must be connected to the items they are intended to protect. If other currents are allowed to get to this bonding circuit they can easily overpower the small voltage available from your zincs and defeat the protection you need.  This is usually the most destructive form of electrolysis.  Zincs should normally last at least a year.  The most common source of this external current is the shore power connection. Docks are notorious for bad wiring and often the ground lead is not connected to ground, but connected to the neutral, and is being used for carrying current to a miswired boat, and causes all other sorts of problems.  It is obvious from the photographs above that there is indeed a big problem with the wiring at this marina.   We were also informed of another boat that was actually holed, taking on water and had to have an emergency haul out.  Unfortunately, the Marina will not accept any responsibility for the damage caused to these boats.
The best way to check for stray current and the correct galvanic protection is to use a silver-chloride reference cell and accurate voltmeter.  By testing the voltage between your hull or underwater fittings and this cell, you can tell if it is properly protected or corroding.   One other really easy check is to hang a zinc anode off the side of the boat connected by a wire and "jumper" cable clamp to the hull or any bonded material.  It's easy to clean and check for excessive loss.