Kuah, Langkawi

As most of yesterday was taken up with getting the boat shipshape, we didn’t venture out until evening.  It’s surprising how quickly a day passes when it’s spent sorting out cupboards, stowing clothes and rearranging bookshelves.  Just before the sun set we went for a drink at the yacht club bar and sat watching the party boats return from their beach jaunts. These are lit up with fairy lights and the dancing and cheering continues on the top deck until the boat is tied up.

Today’s boat trip around the islands south of Kuah was a good chance for me to get the feel of Sister Midnight and to learn the differences in her steering and navigational instruments after the familiarity of Lady Stardust’s equipment.  The only concern I had was that I found it harder to see ahead because of the height of the spray dodger. Luckily, it was so calm, it was easy to spot the jetskis, pleasure boats and fishing boats. It felt great to be back on the water, especially in such a beautiful place. Kuah, like many places in Langkawi, has a legend to explain its name. Apparently, in a Romeo and Juliet-like scenario, a union between a couple was refused by the girl’s parents, and in the resulting family feud, pots and pans were thrown at the island of Belanga Pecah (broken pots). The gravy jug landed at Kuah, which means gravy. In the end, the fathers of the feuding families were turned into mountains, and they are quite beautiful to look at so that all worked out well.  The lush, mountainous islands have eagles soaring over them constantly and as we motored past them, I noticed several pretty orange flowers (in my limited knowledge of all things botanical, I thought they looked like orchids) floating on the water.

After lunch at anchor in a shallow bay in the lee of those mountains, we set off on our return journey.  Apart from a slight worry about possible uncharted rocks in the water, it was a relaxing and enjoyable trip back. The breeze was refreshing, the sun was warm on my skin and it was just too tempting not to lie back and doze for a while.

When we got back, I went to the shower block to wash off all the greasy suncream. The first thing I saw when I entered was a beautiful green lizard on the wall above the sink. It looked just like the ornamental ones people have on their walls, but it scuttled off when I got near.  When I came out of the shower, I was convinced one of the monkeys was about to come in. The noise was so near the door and was just like the sound monkeys make (although when I tried to replicate the sound when explaining it to Paul, he said it was nothing like a monkey). When I looked outside though, there was nothing there. I think whatever it was had moved onto the roof of the block because I heard scampering sounds above me. Things like that really emphasise the feeling that this is an exotic and amazing place to be. Below are some pics of the day.

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Bucket overboard

Up early today for a motor around the the island. Langkawi is made up of loads of smaller islands, and just to the SW of Kuah, where we are berthed is the large island of Dayang Bunting. This in itself has scores of smaller islands off it. So we left without event, a calm slightly dull day, but a light breeze to cool us. We went anticlockwise around the island as shown below.6augcircumKathy steered us out of Kuah and soon got the hang of it. Notice the freezer bag used to protect the iPad, our main chart plotter right now.


Later Kathy put together a lovely lunch while we lay at anchor on the new Spade Anchor.

Kathy admiring the view across the anchorage

We motored up the eastern side of the island, and this time I took the inshore route, the last time with Tim we stayed offshore for safety, I realised why when I noticed a few uncharted rocks had been marked on the chart ( I know this technically makes them charted, but as they were added by users of the charts, not the makers, one has to be careful assuming how accurate they are. Also if there is one uncharted rock, there might be more! ) As it turned out we missed them all and arrived back in the marina about 5pm.
My first attempt at berthing failed, I was just a little to far off the pontoon for Kathy to feel safe stepping ashore, so like a pro I reversed back out the slip, and had another go. This time I over compensated and almost parked the boat on the pontoon finger. All was well, and thanks to the fact these pontoons have nice plastic fender strips all along the edges no harm was done, we just slid along and Kathy stepped ashore and tied us off. I need to work on this, the problem is I just cant see the pontoon finger from the helm once I get close. As Mr Wilde might have said in these circumstances, either that spray hood goes or I do.

Just realised I didn’t explain the title, I lost the bucket overboard while getting water to flush the anchor chain down. The deck wash pump didn’t seem to work, but thinking about it now, I may have turned the seacock off for it (Duh). Anyway, we set about the bucket overboard drill and due to the fact the water was calm and warm, the bucket survived, it only took 3 attempts. I wouldn’t have fancied his chances back home though.

Paul C.