Back in Malaysia

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Tue 26 Mar 2024 08:26


We flew back to Malaysia at the very end of February and apart from the questions at check in regarding why we didn’t have a return flight or onward flight booked it all went smoothly. The airlines don’t like it if you haven’t got either of these or a visa as they are responsible for repatriation if you are not allowed entry on arrival. The route around this is to book an onward flight with a fully refundable ticket and then cancel it but usually a letter from the marina or boatyard stating that you have a yacht is good enough. They let us fly, no questions over the spare parts in our baggage at either airport. The immigration officials eyes lit up when Sarah explained that we had a yacht in Pangkor and he gave us both 90 day visas, we will extend these with a new 90 days by visiting Singapore from Puteri.
On arriving at Kuala Lumpa we were hours too early for the bus we had booked to Pangkor so made enquires about early buses. The ticket office tried but admitted defeat so we went off to find breakfast, about half an hour later as we wandered around looking for somewhere in the airport to settle down for a four hour wait we were tracked down by the woman from the ticket office. “Bus is late, they have seats, come come. I get tickets you get on bus”. What a service, can’t imagine that at Heathrow.
On arrival in Pangkor we eventually got a ‘Grab’ car to our apartment at the marina, pleased to be back and in the air conditioning. This was to be our home for two weeks as we prepared Serenity for sea again. The temperatures are in the mid to high 30’s at the moment and we were glad not to be doing the rubbing down for antifoul paint, it was bad enough in what shade could be found on board servicing and fitting parts brought back from UK. Zaman had serviced the cylinder head on the engine and came down to fill the coolant and make sure that it started, unfortunately the starter battery had failed while we were away so that needed replacing. We fitted two new seacocks, some new shower fittings, new vhf radio, the serviced liferaft was returned to its place on the after deck and the fridge was re-gassed. Sarah even found time to do some sewing projects, shirt for Phil, blouse and trousers for herself using some of the colourful material bought in Indonesia.

All ready to launch

And on the trailer

Fairly soon it was launch day and time to move back on board, the engine was tested and tweaked, sails were refitted. A start has been made on restocking with food for this years cruising, we’ve cleared out of Pangkor, tested the engine with a run out to anchor on the west of Pangkor Island and since then a 12 hour run up to Penang, all seems to be working OK.

Having been very slow in sending this blog it makes sense to update it with some news from Penang.
We spent a couple of nights anchored off Jerejak Island, had a quick look a bit further north where there is a public marina, but didn’t like the idea of going into an area reportedly silting up and where there are works being carried out with the dumping of dredged waste. We decided to move to the ‘Junk’ anchorage off Georgetown where we could get ashore. This used to be an anchorage used by local boats just off the Clan Jetties, a Chinese trading area, at the moment it is empty of boats, a bit smelly at LW when the mud around the jetties is exposed but well protected. Having anchored we were eventually approached by a sampan and we made arrangements with ‘Sun’ for ferrying us ashore, a bit expensive at 10MYR per person each way (£7 total round trip) but better than trying to leave our tender on the jetties.

On our forays ashore we have found a nice Gelato offering a small range of Gelatos and Sorbets, not served in plastic, a very good Thai restaurant and re-found the traditional Chinese biscuit shop that has biscuits Sarah can eat.

Lovely Gelatos and Sorbets
We have visited Immigration and Customs to clear in and have now moved into Straits Quay Marina which is now dredged allowing entrance at all times.

Tonights view