We came here by small steps in daylight to avoid the worst of the fishing
boats, fishing buoys and rubbish in the water. When heading north in 2009
we sailed directly from Singapore to Rebak taking 72 hours and we had no trouble
just outside the main shipping lanes. People said we were lucky.
Twice, this time, we found ourselves in among fleets of 40 to 50 boats moving
about in apparently random fashion engaged in various forms of fishing.
The buoys were less numerous than expected but the quantity and type of rubbish
floating in the water could only be described as disgusting. It is a shock
and quite disturbing, particularly to the watch below, to hit a large
The economics of the fishing industry are difficult to understand.
Many of the boats are large and heavily manned. Their capital cost in the
Malaysian economy must be very significant. Some of the smaller boats
travel at over 25 knots pushing up huge bow waves and using great quantities of
fuel. With such numbers involved the catches cannot be large, indeed there
is no obvious evidence of full nets, and the prices obtained at market cannot be
very high. How can all those men be sustained?
Straits Quay marina, Penang
We enjoyed our stay at Straits Quay and left in good spirits. The
first night was spent off the island of Rimau immediately to the south of Penang
Island so that we could get away to a good start the following morning.
The second anchorage was an attractive and well protected bay at the south end
of Pangkor. On the third day we covered 75 miles and anchored under the
lighthouse marking the Angsa Bank to the north-west of Port Klang, Malaysia’s
largest port and only 20 miles from Kuala Lumpur. The pilot book advises that
this anchorage should only be used in settled weather but it was and we had a
comfortable night. The following day we sailed only 16 miles and fetched
up in a peaceful spot close to the wooded shore of one of the channels between
the low-lying islands west of Port Klang. We arrived here on June 30 in
the middle of the afternoon well cooled by a fierce rain shower. It was
interesting coming past Port Klang with a great tonnage of shipping both
anchored and on the move. It gave a taste of what it will be like around
Singapore. The AIS was an invaluable tool.
Up the creek west of Port Klang
We plan to be here for a little less than a fortnight. We have booked
a hotel room in Malacca for three nights from Wednesday. We shall go by
taxi. It is said to be an interesting