Sail Malaysia 2013

So i haven’t updated my blog for a while have i ? Unfortunatly my diary i keep updated on my tablet has been lost/deleted which is a shame as i use to keep that up to date and then when i had wi-fi access would update this blog, oh well, as long as this doesn’t dissapear too !!

Since Singapore we took part in the Sail Malaysia 2013 rally. This took us from Johor Bahru province in the south of Malaysia opposite Singapore up the east coast to Langkawi Island. Johor Bahru (or JB as it is commonly known) is under going massive development, Singapore has become so expensive that property is being built across the border by the hectare. All funded by the Chinese apartment blocks are being built everywhere, probably at about a fifth of the price of apartments in Singapore you could see why people would be happy to cross the border everyday to go to work.

Opposite the marina in Danga Bay, huge ships would come in and drop hundreds of tons of sand into the edge of the river, each time making a larger and larger area to build on. Although the marina was OK a lot of debris would float up and down the river with the tide and get stuck between the boats. That is why is was supposed to see two otters playing on one of the sand islands opposite, TWO otters !! My Irish skipper was thrilled to see them as he hadn’t seen any for over 30 years and that was coming from an area where they were known to live.

We left JB and sailed up (motored) the east coast of Malaysia stopping at Port Dickson, Pangkor, Penang and then finally Langkawi Island. Whilst in Port Dickson we had a day excursion to Maleka, previously the capital of Malaysia and one of the biggest trading posts in Asia, also known for its piracy many years ago. A lot of the old town still stood and the fortress walls could still be seen.

Whilst in Pangkor there was an island opposite which seemed to be a bit of a holiday island for the locals. I had a couple of days break from the boat and grapped a cheap hotel, lots of Malaysians were enjoying the beaches, didn’t seem anything to do at night though. As Malaysia is predominantly Islamic no alcohol is served in restaurants and so there is also no bars/nightlife.

We arrived in Langkawi at the beginning of December, a fantastic set of islands scattered everywhere. We had a few days in the anchorage before moving the boat to Rebak islanx and marina where wr stayed for a week. The island had a 5 star resort on it and we were able to use the facilities such as the swimming pool which was a god send. The marina was in a natural bowl but had been excavated to make the marina. This provided excellent shelter for people wishing to leave there boats there for a while, which many people were doing as they were flying home for Christmas and New Year. Unfortunatly the shelter was a little bit too good which meant that there was zero breeze that passed through the marina. During the day it was sweltering and at night time the mossies would come out and keep you on your toes. Fortunatley the boat had only been booked in for a week in case the owners didn’t like the place. I know the skipper was glad to be leaving the melting pot !!

Malaysia had been an interesting trip, not very far, only 450 miles or so, but you could see the differences in culture, food and religeons quite quickly. I was going to leave the boat for about a month to visit an old colleague and friend of mine in Thailand for the Christmas and New Year period before returning to Langkawi for a bit of boat sitting in the new year. A view of the marina in Port Dickson, not many photos taken i’m afraid of this part of the trip !! –

Sail Malaysia
Marina at Port Dickson
Sail Malaysia
Marina at Port Dickson

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