Back to boat work.


So the elements laid on a good sunset for our last night in Langkawi, I meant to put this picture up the other day, the beams of light must be caused by the mountain tops illuminating a strata of cloud. Quite fascinating, at least to me.


Now we are boaty¬†tourists, the plan is to work hard on the boat with frequent breaks sightseeing. Our first trip into Penang was a bit rushed but we did get to see an interesting exhibition of old photographs of Penang, Kathy is reading up on the history of the place, and guess what, the Brits don’t come out of it too well, surprise surprise.

I think I’m a bit used to SE Asia now, but I forget how strange it must all be for Kathy having never been east of Kalamos in Greece.

Joss sticks gone crazy


Spotted some kittens playing, Kathy wanted one, and of course I would love to have obliged, but the thought of splitting them up seemed so unfair ūüėČ


IMG_1998IMG_1997 IMG_2003IMG_2002

Back at the boat I have started on the starboard side cap rail and coaming. This side has more damage, but I think I can repair the wood sufficiently.

Very rough
Very rough

One day I might replace the whole rail, but there are other priorities right now.
Since we arrived I have checked off quite a few tasks, we have a new mixer tap in the galley, so now we have hot water for doing the dishes. I have stowed the old CQR anchor in the lazarette and also re-organised the stowage, there’s a chance the fenders will all fit into the locker, which would be amazing.

The best bit was connecting the boats internal Air-Con into a supply of tap water from the pontoon, as it’s own sea water cooling pump has failed. This worked, which proved the refrigerator part of the AC is working, so I can now hunt down a water pump in Penang, the challenge is to find a pump that works with salt water, runs continuously, is quiet, and not too expensive.

Back to the sanding

Paul C.

Batu Uban and George Town

On Sunday evening we walked to a huge shopping mall in Batu Uban, the small town in which the marina is situated.  Our purpose was to buy more food in the well-stocked supermarket there but we had a walk around before doing that. The building was wonderfully cool after the 30-minute walk in intense heat. Apart from a few cultural differences, the mall could be in any city in the world Рall the usual designer shops, brands and fast food chains were in place, complete with a multiplex cinema on the top floor.  I had a look around a bookshop which we thought might have been a Borders once, until we found an actual Borders on another floor.

I only bought one book!
I only bought one book!

In the alcohol section of the supermarket (suitably distanced from the shop’s more worthy items such as sugar-loaded cakes, biscuits and flavoured milks), Paul showed me how much more expensive it is to buy wine here. ¬†It’s almost double what it cost in Langkawi, so it’s a good job I’ve cut down ;).

On Monday afternoon we moved Sister Midnight from the emergency pontoon to a berth just around the corner which is where we’ll stay until the 2nd of September while Paul gets on with sanding and varnishing and other maintenance jobs. ¬†We also want to see some of the George Town festival however, so late in the afternoon we set out to check out the first of the events I’d chosen. ¬†George Town is further away than I thought. ¬†A bus service runs there and the stop is on the main road near the marina (in the shade of some trees luckily, considering the 20 minute wait in blast furnace heat). ¬†I didn’t know which window to look out of on the journey; we passed elegant Chinese-style houses and temples, shanty town-like shacks, coconut trees, farms, parks and the ubiquitous high-rise tower blocks were dotted in between them all.

We got out at the Komtar tower complex (basically another huge shopping mall, except this one includes a hotel). Paul knows the town fairly well so he led the way to the centre from there Рquite a walk in the heat but plenty to look at on the way.  I particularly loved Little India, an area of streets where saris, flower garlands, and Indian jewellery and statues are out on show in the colourful shops and stalls.  The more unpleasant street smells are masked by the gorgeous aromas of incense and curry wafting through the air. Indian music coming from one of the shops added to the festive atmosphere.

Little India
Little India


The exhibition we’d come to see was in a venue called The Black Kettle, a modern airy cafe bar, which (unusually) served wine. ¬†We also managed to buy some real bread in the delicatessen shop here (well worth it at ¬£3 a loaf!).

A break from walking the streets
A break from walking the streets
It would have been rude not to sample it.
It would have been rude not to sample it.

‘Penang Then and Now’, showed, in photographs, how specific locations in the city had changed over the years, with historical anecdotes explaining how and why etc, and I found it fascinating. I think Paul enjoyed it too :).

Back on the streets, we spent some time searching for a restaurant Paul wanted to revisit.  It was worth the walk and the wait. We had delicious Indian meals (Mushroom Masala for me and Chicken Masala for Paul).

An Indian feast!
An Indian feast!

Before getting a taxi back we had a walk along the waterfront. The night was warm and as in any seaside town the prom was lively and crowded. I’m keen to go back and have a proper look in the daylight. ¬†The waterfront has several places of interest relating to the history and development of Penang, and some beautiful buildings too.