Not much happening here...
Sunday 3rd February 2019
So, a whole month has passed and we are still on the hard waiting for the boat to be repaired. Frustrated? Doesn’t even begin to describe it.
The past weeks have been spent dealing with a surveyor who wants us to replace our chartplotter with a discontinued model bought from ebay to save the insurance company money, and a claims handling company that don’t know their arses from their elbows. They are supposedly marine claims handlers, but seem to have no understanding or expertise in small boat claims. They are ridiculously inefficient, unable even to put together an accurate spreadsheet of costs for reimbursement, despite having copies of all invoices and our own spreadsheet to work from. And so it goes on…
Meanwhile, in order to stay sane, we have been keeping busy. We have been going across to Langkawi and taking pot luck with Mr. Din’s cars, which is always interesting. Luckily we haven’t had a repeat of the battery fiasco when we had to call Mr Din out to rescue us from a car that was completely dead, nor the occasion when the electric window got stuck open and Bear took the whole door apart to repair the wiring. Indeed, every car we’ve had recently has had a needle on the speedo – luxury! And one thing we have never had a problem with, is the air con, thank goodness.
We are now quite familiar with the roads and no longer rely on Google maps to get about the island. Some of our visits have been to see Mrs. Chew the dentist – yes, really – as both of us have had need of her services, and several visits have been in search of equipment or materials for the boat, or to visit the Raymarine agents. We generally have lunch on the island, either in one of the local cafes, or if I’m in need of some air con, one of the tourist outlets. Last stop is always grocery shopping as the cool bag can only hold out a short while in the heat here, so once it’s done we head straight back to the boat.
Lunch in town at a street café with the locals. Plastic crockery and minimal cutlery – no frills here but the food is good and very cheap.
Steve posing next to his initials in Chinese New Year decorations.
Actually they stand for Secret Recipe, the name of the restaurant, but don’t tell him.
Days spent in the marina are long and very hot. Being protected from the weather on the lee side of the island, there is often no breeze, and the block paving on the hard soaks up the sun’s heat and sends it back up again, making the temperature higher than on the resort side of the island. On days spent on the boat, after doing a few jobs in the relative cool of the morning, we sometimes go for a walk along the shady trails, or else hide down below in the air con. On most days in the late afternoon/early evening we go round to the breezy resort side to the pool for a swim. Usually Pepe and Bear are there, and we have a good old chin wag catching up on news.
It gets very hot on the hardstanding, where the pavers soak up and regenerate the heat. Protected by hills, there is often no breeze.
Some evenings we get together with other cruisers.
An evening of Mexican Train dominoes with Alan & Patricia from Nauti Nauti and Pepe and Bear.
Patricia had replaced the usual train pieces with Mexican creatures with nodding heads.
These days though, there are fewer cruisers around that we know, as most have pushed on with their travels. Some have gone back east, exploring more of Indonesia along the way. Others have continued west via the Indian Ocean, and some via the Red Sea. With very few incidents in the High Risk Area in the last couple of years, more yachts are taking the risk and making it safely through to the Med. Food for thought.
As time ticks away here, so does the time on our visas. Malaysian Immigration automatically gives UK passport holders a 90-day visa on entry. Ours will expire in less than three weeks, and in order to renew, we have to leave Malaysia and be out of the country for at least seven full days. If we wait until they’re nearly expired to do a visa run, it could coincide with work starting on the boat, and Steve needs to be on board otherwise an electrician could take a year to find his way around our wiring system.
So tomorrow we will be flying to Bangkok for a few days, then on to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand, and then to Kanchanaburi to the west of Bangkok before flying back to Malaysia and hopefully receiving a nice new stamp in our passports allowing us to stay for a further 90 days. It was so much easier in Turkey where we would get the morning ferry to Rhodes, clearing out of Turkey and into Greece. Then we’d do a bit of shopping – mainly bacon, sausages and pork chops – have a nice Greek lunch, and then return to Marmaris on the afternoon ferry, clearing back out of Greece and re-entering Turkey on a new 90-day visa. Still, we’ve never been to Thailand, and I so need to get away from the hardstand, that a 9-day break is just what the doctor ordered.
Tonight we had a combined “farewell” and birthday dinner with Pepe and Bear. I am yet another year closer to getting my State pension – although every time I get close they move it back again! – and while we are away in Thailand Pepe and Bear will be slipping the lines and heading Beez Neez out of the marina on the first leg of their Indian Ocean crossing – an overnighter to Sabang. We will miss them enormously when we get back and find them gone, but wish them a safe crossing with fair winds and calm seas all the way to Antigua. Enjoy!
Trying to keep the candle alight long enough to blow out. Custard-filled sponge cake on top of ice-cream – yum!
The last gang photo until Antigua. Safe sailing guys. xxxx