Friday 20th February – early start today to catch the
8.15am return ferry from Penang back to Langkawi, then Rebak and
‘home’ to Anahi. We have had a really wonderful four day break
visiting friends…..and what a wonderful island Penang is – far more
cosmopolitan than sleepy Langkawi with a fantastic diversity of cultures which
consequently reflects favourably on their cuisine – Chinese, Japanese,
Malaysian, Indian with more eclectic variations you could possibly imagine.
From the crowded buzzyhawker stalls to pure sophistication – it has it
all – night markets to top end malls – beach huts to 6 star hotels
– the choice is yours. But what really hits you there is the feeling of
safety, friendliness and a natural propensity to customer service no matter
whether you are indulging in a foot massage on the beach or eating in a first
class restaurant……..it comes from the heart and the feeling is
Boat yard’s have a hierarchical system all of their own. As a
newcomer you arrive with nothing but gradually as boats leave the hard dock
they leave behind all sorts of very useful paraphernalia…..and within
minutes of their keel hitting the water the vultures pounce! Bearing in mind
that everything you take down your ladder tends to get ruined with glue, paint,
resin or worse you are pretty keen to get your hands on old buckets (for mixing
paint etc), pillows and clothing to use as protectors for your mast or boom,
dilapidated chairs are a particularly satisfying find on which to relax with
your cup of tea, two oil drums and a wide plank become a work bench, old
tarpaulins make great mats and sun shades and so it goes on. Of course with
over a month under our belt we are at the top of our tree - it looks like a
gypsy encampment under our hull – we ve got the lot!!
A chair is pure luxury
The spreaders hanging up to dry and the junk accumulating
in the background
We managed to finish the mast before we left Rebak – sanding off
all the corrosion, flattening off all the remaining paint work, etch priming
the bare aluminium, three coats of primer and three coats of two pack white
gloss to finish off – all done with a five pound spray gun the size of a
coffee cup which needed filling every few minutes (at speed so the painted
surface didn’t dry in the meantime in the baking sun!). Again, we
underestimated the length of time it was going to take us but the finished
product is a testament to our endurance – it looks great. Putting all
the rigging back and remembering where it all came from and which way around it
went was a feat in itself and pulling all the halyards back along the inside of
the mast with the nylon leads we had left in their place when they came out was
another challenge (one broken string and how would you ever get your halyard
down that mast again?) but its done; everything is in place and ready to go
back on the boat when we put her back in the water. But then we looked at the
boom……….we just had to give her the same treatment!
The mast, stripped, sanded down and etch primed
And looking good, nearly finished…..
We’ve had a bit of monkey business – and a very narrow
escape – coming back to the boat a week ago we wondered if we had been
robbed such was the mess on board…….then it dawned…..we had!
The monkeys had got inside – by pushing back the hatch cover: the
biscuits were a favourite taken from the ‘lock-tight’ boxes –
ginger sweets came a close second – fruit of course obviously popular –
not keen on the rice but they’d spread it about a bit - the entire bag of
fruit juice Tang powder demolished leaving a lovely sticky orange trail. No
poos in the boat luckily – just on the deck, no smell of urine and no
permanent damage. Muddy foot prints and tell tail finger prints suggested they
sat back in the cockpit enjoying the comfort of the cushions and their booty!
Since then we have locked ourselves in at night fearful of the return of a
dominant male but the downside of that is the incredible heat……..
tonight the weather has broken and we have some very welcome rain….and a
The culprit? Ransacking the bins on another night….
The other disappointment was a visit from a fellow yachtie demanding to
know where our kayak had come from……we explained we had been given
permission to take it by the marina staff in Telaga as it had been abandoned.
No no! His friend had died recently and this battered item was part of his
friend’s estate so his sister might be over to reclaim it (I dread to
think what the rest of the ‘estate’ looks like poor chap!) So,
we’ll see what transpires…..
We lugged all the bronze rigging screws, nuts, step treads and winch
tops to Penang in the hope of getting them re chromed but after miles of
exhaustive searching around the industrial areas we failed. Our next project
is to pull out the prop shaft, replace the cutlass bearings which have worn out
and realign the engine. A lot more teak deck plugs have popped out since the
sanding down so they need replacing, the anchor windlass needs reinforcing and
we still need to find a sail maker to repair the main sail and a rope to wire
splice expert to replace the chaffed section we found. Then there is the
refrigeration which needs attention, the top sides which require a polish, the
stanchions which need to be strengthened, the hatch covers and port holes which
need refurbishing and the toe rail which requires a
pint……….it seems endless! What was that _expression_ about
messing about on a boat on a river?
Gotcha! A better picture of our hornbills….
The pretty gardens….still in bloom
…..and of course the ritual tea