Exploring Langkawi’s southern coast

Popped up to the marina office first thing today to extend our stay by another day, so much to do. I haven’t had a chance to relax and think about how to get all the tasks co-ordinated. The focus has been on getting the boat seaworthy, having Tim arriving on a set date, helped me get the work prioritised, then the trip to Langkawi ,so we would have  a pleasant base to cruise from. Also one of the reasons for being in Langkawi is that it’s a duty free island, I suppose a bit like the channel islands. I can buy equipment in the UK, have it shipped here without paying VAT at home, and paying no tax here. That means a 20% saving or more in some cases on boat equipment I need. I have a few ‘big ticket’ items to buy, like a liferaft, and quite a bit of electronic kit, plus lots of chandlery, that can add up, ropes, fenders, anchors, chain etc. It’s expensive shipping stuff here, so that has to be added into the calculation, also some states in the USA have problems with removing the sales tax for exports, I can also get good deals in Hong  Kong, China, Singapore and Australia, with lower shipping costs. If I am smart and get the best deal, I might save myself a few hundred pounds, so it’s worth the effort, but the research required is so boring.
Anyway, I have the survey done, and tomorrow I can post that off to my insurers and see what they will offer me in cover. I’m going to need to get the standing rigging replaced, it’s cheaper to do this in Thailand than here, but more hassle.
I contacted a local dinghy company called Swift, they manufacture dinghy’s and also repair them. They only work with hypalon, a tough kind of material, that looks like normal PVC, but is made quite differently. I don’t know much about it, but I’m pretty sure our leaking dinghy is PVC, and they thought so too, so will repair it, but without warranty. They are collecting the dinghy from the marina in the morning. They told me PVC just cant survive the weather here, makes me wonder if I need to be more thorough with the suncream, Im sure my skin isn’t as tough as PVC 😉

So while Tim popped off to get the laundry and some shopping, I got the boat ready for a day trip along the coast. Tim expertly reversed us out of the berth, and took us out of the marina, we travelled West / south west until we reached the sea, then south, circumnavigating Pulua Dayang Bunting. This large island south of the main island  of Langkawi, feels like it’s part of the main island, but it’s surrounded by lots of smaller islands, all densely covered in vegetation. We saw lots of eagles gracefully sweeping in large circles over them.

Our Route Today, about 5 hours, with a stop for a swim at point 5




Not far into this journey we diverted course to look at this old fashioned ship, I thought it looked interesting, however as we went round the stern I saw it was registered in Grimsby, which took some of the romance out of it. I tried to imagine there must be a grimsby in the Caribbean somewhere.

Grimsby’s finest

islands1 islands2

We saw lots of fish jumping out of the water in a frenzy trying to escape their attacker, so I felt I had to join in and got the fishing rod out, I didn’t see any reason to leave Langkawi off my long list of places I have fished in and caught nowt! So that went well, nothing caught and as we were approaching the end of our trip I hauled the line in. Now not having used a fishing rod on a boat before, I tried to look like the guys on the telly when they’re landing a giant tuna and I had the rod high in the air as I wound the line in, unfortunately high in the air meant right by the wind generator. Before I knew anything the wind generator had decided it could haul my line in quicker than me and the nylon line was rapidly wrapping itself around the shaft of the wind generator, so my rod was unravelling into the generator and the fish hook was rapidly approaching the boat heading to the same place. The line snapped off the rod, and the rest of the line jammed the rotor shaft on the the generator and it ground to a halt. this was all very similar to getting a floating bit of rope wrapped around the prop shaft. Bugger.
So I climbed up over the pushpit up to the generator and started to unravel the rope, I had to use some rope to tie the generator away from the wind, as its wind vane was pushing it towards me and at the wrong angle to unwind the line from its rotor axle.
Eventually with Tim tailing, I got all the line removed and recovered the fishing hook and spinner. all that was left to do now was untie the rope and let the windmill get back to making electricity. As I undid the rope, the windmill picked up the wind, start spinning and spun around, it could have been very dangerous, but fortunately, my head was handy to fit in between the rotor blades and stop the rotation dead. Bloody hell did that hurt, it “could have had my eye out”, luckily it just missed my eye and whacked me on the cheekbone, I was sure there was going to be a lot of damage and blood involved, but no, it will only be a bruise I expect. I won’t be doing that again.  That incident has pushed the bag snatch incident down to number two in my chart of bad happenings in Malaysia.

tim helm2
Tim at the helm with the evil windgen above

I took her back into the marina a few minutes later, as I’m still getting the feel for her, and did a great job berthing, but messed up at the last minute by jumping ashore to help Tim tie up just when a gust blew the bow down and out of reach before we had a bow line ashore. It was only a minor glitch, just disappointed that I didn’t think it through properly in advance.

Tonight we had rice and chicken in a very local Malaysian restaurant and with a few drinks the whole meal was less than £4 each.

Tomorrow we plan to head over to Rebak Island Marina if we can get everything sorted here.


Paul C.

Survey Day

It’s a great spot here in the marina, no passing traffic, and furtherst from the shore. The only ugly bit is the concrete breakwater to our stern, but there’s loads of room to turn.

View west from the rear of the boat

Today was survey day, John the surveyor actually had a job on the boat next to us, so he did us in the afternoon. Tim and I spent the morning cleaning up and making the boat a bit tidier. The survey went well, a few small items were marked as needing attention, but they will take me an hour to sort out or two to fix. John also provided a lot of useful tips I hadn’t known about, such as a possible way to get double the water out of our watermaker.

Later we had a lazy time around the swimming pool; well it is hard work watching a surveyor all afternoon. I was able to record four monkeys on the balcony above the pool.

Later we went to dinner at wonderland food store, which is well known in these parts as one of the best Chinese restaurants. The food was great, but my sea bass just didn’t seem at all  pleased with the setup.

something fishy

Tomorrow we are supposed to leave this marina and head off somewhere, but I have so much to organise, that we might stay another day.

I started this entry last night, but all that swimming and eating had me exhausted, so didn’t get around to it until now. Will start todays blogs later.