On the move

JJMoon Diary
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sat 23 Jun 2012 11:40
We are on the move – slowly and a little reluctantly. We were in Rebak, off and on, from November 2009 and we had developed an emotional attachment; it had become our second home.  Particularly in the last month there has been a very good atmosphere in the marina enabling us to make new friends and re-establish old relationships.  Included were some excellent relations with a large French contingent.  This does not always happen and I think Mags’s fluent French and enthusiastic Francophilia helped.  Anyway, it was a hard to drag ourselves off and there were a good few “last drinks” and “gettings together” at the Harddock before we let go the lines and motored out mid-morning on 20th – an hour north to Telaga Harbour for fuel, then 2½ hours south to the “fjord”, aka Monkey Creek, near the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden (don’t ask; I’ve forgotten).  This is close to the southern tip of Langkawi and gave us a good jumping off point for the next day’s trip to Straits Quay marina, Penang.
We are now comfortably ensconced in Straits Quay, where we expect to be until 26th.  This is a small marina in a huge residential and retail development.  There are 40 berths in all and only eight reserved for visitors.  Not many Malaysians own boats and I think this is really a “trophy marina,” rather like a “trophy wife;” well formed and smartly turned out so that the residents can benefit from the added touch of luxury that comes from having international yachtsmen in their midst and the many tourist visitors can take photographs.  With these photographs in mind it is an obligation within the rules that the boats be kept “squared away.”  The marina is run in a friendly and efficient manner by John, an Englishman, and his assistant, Michelle.  The boats are bounded on three sides by two storeys of retail and four storeys of luxury apartments.  The retail element consists of expensive boutiques and expensive restaurants.  However, there is also a 7/11 on site and Tesco is five minutes walk away.  The “Irish pub” looks familiar but is subtly different.  I went in for a quick pint (well, a large glass).  I was invited to sit at the bar and there was good banter from a Malaysian chap in an emerald green rugby shirt.  From then on it all went a trifle peculiar.  Drawing the beer took ages and three goes to get the head just right and then the barman wasn’t permitted to handle money.  I was put under a good deal of pressure to have something to eat before, rather reluctantly, a girl was called over from another part of the establishment to handle the till and deal with my massive payment.  Irish beer is clearly a luxury drink.  I couldn’t help thinking of the Guinness stand at the boat shows – calm and efficient people behind the bar, nodding at each customer as they pressed forward, taking multiple orders, each member of staff dealing with four glasses at a time and turning over cash like nobody’s business.
In conformity with our obligations the exterior of JJ Moon is “squared away.”  The interior is altogether a different kettle of fish.  After three years to think about it we left in a hurry with much tidying up remaining undone.  There was such a lot going on and it was so very, very hot.....  We have rarely been so wet on the inside of our clothes, or so tired.  There was a bit of a breeze coming down from Langkawi and it revealed our lack of preparedness - bangs, rattles and quite a bit of stuff ending up on the floor.  On reflection I don’t think we have ever left harbour in a less prepared state, internally.  We have got four days here to put our house in order.
All being well on 26th we shall look for an anchorage at the south end of Penang Island so that we can get a good start the following morning for a long day’s hop to Pangkor.

m_Straits Quay Marina Penang