Wednesday 19th December 1442 Local Time 0642
Well when I left you youy last we were about to
leave for Malaysia. We had already cleared out of Singapore and should have left
early Tuesday morning. However I was working on our RIB on the hard in the
adjoining boat yard, repairing the damage done on the way up from Bali and when
we lowered the RIB back into the water we had no steering. Amusingly, but
only to the onlookers I almost drove straight into the harbour
So back out of the water it came and while being an
illegal immigrant for a day got on with getting a new cable and dismantling and
repairing the steering. The yard, Marina Yacht Services were excellent,
though Singapore is a tad expensive.
The extra day allowed me to get another couple of
jobs done too. There are only three significant jobs left on the list: New
engine room fan, replacement gas detector, generator fan and a few other issues
to do with hatches plus some engine work, diagnose why the newly replaced
immersion heater is not working, repair the broken fitting on the boom for which
we were sent the wrong part and of course a few other jobs which I can't
remember right now. That may sound like a lot but relatively speaking it
only feels like three.
Anyway early this morning at first light, which
actually in Singapore at the moment is about 0730, we set off SW down the
channel to round Piai point the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula and head
NW up the infamous Malacca Straits. The NE monsoon breeze set in gently once we
were heading NW up the Straits so we got sailing for an hour or two. By now it
was mid-day and quite quickly the NE monsoon
wind was cancelled out by a building sea breeze. Eventually after 1400 the sea
breeze built up to 10 knots from our port side and with our scrubbed up bum and
dried out hull we slipped along at 10 knots in 11 knots of wind across our beam
and helped along by almost a knot of current.
It was wonderful to be sailing along again in a
warm gentle breeze and flat water and making the speeds we have become used to.
Addicted to, actually.
We are sailing alongside tankers, bulk carriers,
car transporters, gas tankers, trawlers, tugs, gill netters you name it, it is
in the Malacca Straits!
What there is almost none of in the Malacca
Sttraits now is Pirates. This once was the Pirate Hot Spot of the world before
co-operation between Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia put a stop to most of
the piracy which was in fact perpetrated by Sumaterans. The smuggling between
Sumatera and Malaysia, bringing illegal migarant workers to Malaysia however has
not stopped and that is one more hazard we need to look out for tonight as their
boats of course are not lit.
But oh! to be sailing again with Rhiann Marie
performing as she can, is bliss and outstanding jobs or not I am a happy man!
Trish of course is blissfully unaware of all this as she has been sleeping since
we left the marina this morning....
We have both had really bad head & chest colds
since we went home and Trish has not been sleeping too well the last few
nights. Nevertheless she will have to be up
to do a watch tonight as there is no way to sleep in the Malacca Straits, not
even a cat nap! There is way too much going on. As I look around me at the
moment there are 31 ships that are displaying AIS and probably just as many
small vessels that are not displaying anything.
These colds are actually the very first ailment of
any type which I have had in the 16 months since we set sail from Southampton.
Trish has had one other chest infection in December 2009. Life aboard, sailing
round the world has been very healthy.
Singapore was incredible but it is time for
new anchorages and new horizons. However I don't want to visit the land of
Malaysia sooner than planned so I have to go back to keep