Yesterday started well, we left the outside berth at the marina and motored out into the main channel between Penang and the small island of Pulua Jerajak.
The island is a tropical rainforest, I think it’s ancient and unspoilt, bar a small resort at the southern end.
The waters here are very shallow and we had to keep a close eye on the depth sounder and the navionics chart to keep in 5 metres. At the end of the little island the water shallowed again, and we had to head out to the other side of the island then down to the centre arches of the bridge.
Erik was sure we would fit under the bridge, which was nice.
I took this little video below of the trip under the bridge.
From the bridge we proceeded to the the travel lift slip, now this is where it gets challenging. Erik was in charge, but very nervous, and for good reason, with the boat so fouled she was very unresponsive to the throttle and rudder, and reverse wasn’t that effective at stopping us quickly. To make matters worse, the entrance to the lift was narrow and had a few knots of current going at right angles to it. also the waters around the sides were full of concrete piles and shallow mud. As we tried to enter the stern was being pushed down, and going fast wasn’t an option as we couldn’t stop quickly, going astern did seem to swing the stern to port exacerbating the problem, also some wind picked up from the opposite way, making it even worse.
Erik got the bow in, but only just and the tide took the stern down river, I was doing my best to fend off , but the concrete piles were arriving thick and fast. The end result is we ground (hate that noise) to a stop on one of the piles, then we motored away to lick our wounds. We then waited an hour for slack water, but it didn’t seem to come, waiting a bit longer made a slight improvement, but Erik was keen for me to have a go, so I did, I got a little further in before the tide dragged us around, but we managed to get lines ashore and with the help of a lot of fenders were able to get in without any further damage. The damage we sustained was slight, the topsides were scratched, a little filler and polish should sort that out!