Pangkor to Penang
Wednesday 8th February, 2012
Now at a lovely marina (Straits Quay) at the North end of Penang, loads of restaurants and none of this nonsense about no beer!
We continued overnight with the clunking and made it to Pangkor Marina uneventfully. When the boat came out the water it turned out to be the rope stripper which had come apart – thankfully intact. No-one could repair it here so we took it off and will take it back to England. The rudder had a small amount of damage where it bounced off the bottom and that has been patched up. The rudder is however is half full of water and this will have to be sorted when we come out again in April. What they do is drill holes at the bottom end and also at the top end to relieve the air-lock; it then has to be left for 2 months, after which they fill up all the holes!
We also reamed out the engine sea water intake and, despite 2 previous attempts underwater, got out enough molluscs to start a shellfish farm; followed by loads of black water. No more white smoke coming out of the exhaust and we can flush the loo; it’s worrying that at no stage did the engine say it was overheating.
The other big news is that, after 6 years of C refusing, we had two such horrid nights that we now have an air conditioner which looks like a Dalek. Most people have rooftop ones but we simply didn’t have enough space for them. The Dalek isn’t quite so efficient but reduces the temp from 39C to 28C and more importantly the humidity from 80% to 50% - don’t believe them when they say the water tray needs emptying every 2 days, every 2 hours more like.
The 140nm journey from Pangkor to Penang was moderately tiresome with surprisingly heavy seas and 20knt headwind (at one stage we were down to 1.1knt at 3am, presumably because of rubbish which I luckily cleared by doing 3000 rpm in reverse) and of course dozens of cargo ships and hundreds of fishing boats.
When I was melting at 2a.m. and realised that the temperature was 38C and the humidity 85% air conditioning seemed inevitable. It is not the most efficient unit but for only £250 we are sleeping comfortably and even need a rug
The marina manager, James Khoo, in Pangkor (Pangkor Marina Island, Malaysia) was Chinese and the most helpful person imaginable. He organised everything for us and special rates for everything. Prices here are amazing. We had 3 very comfortable nights in an adjacent hotel. Not quite a ‘resort’ but a nice swimming pool for only £30 a night. The only down side was no alcohol in the restaurant. Our freezer is water cooled so I could not use it on the hard and I asked the hotel to put some stuff in their freezer. Most of it was halal so o.k. but I had to take away some pork sausages! Not even allowed to put them in their bin!
Some other people in the marina told us we should do the bottom scraping and antifouling ourselves as the local lads don’t work very hard. I am not sure what they expect but at £20 a day we thought they were excellent. Maintaining a boat in Malaysia is about ¼ the cost of anywhere else we have been and more helpful.