Sunday July 29
A 4.00am start with a bright full moon and glassy conditions as we pick up our anchor by hand. The flood tide helped us motor out from Jamaja Beach. As we turned toward Tioman Psycho Puss joined us after staying at the Palau Datu anchorage overnight. We were under full sail with the engine off by 6.30am.
A steady SSE at 8-10knots slowly increased to 12-15knots. we only had to dodge 1 ship and the mainsail held together. We could have gone with the screecher but were happy under headsail and averaged 8.3 knots for the 95Nm passage. One of the best passages we have had in Asia.
We arrived to anchor at Telek Telek, Tioman well before dark.
Monday July 30.
Clearance back into Malaysia was smooth and easy and we also checked out of Tioman for the next day. Quiet day topping up the beer, wine and spirit supplies. Psycho Puss’s batteries are completely stuffed so they have to run their generator for many hours a day. We decide to fast track our return to Peninsular Malaysia so that they can get new batteries.
Over the next 2 nights, 3 days we sailed back toward Singapore with a night at Palau Tinggi and 1 at Tanjung Kelok an open roadstead anchorage 30Nm South of Jason Bay. Turned out better than it looked.
We elected to return to Sebana Cove Marina for a few days and enjoyed our morning walks through the golf course. We started researching the feasibility of remaking all the cockpit enclosures and covers ourselves. Lea got onto the Sailrite website and did some costings. Initially we thought of just replacing the zips and restitching but closer examination revealed that the material was at the end of its life.
Our sailmaker friend Au Wei dropped in for a visit and to discuss the upcoming rigging replacement. We mentioned that we were thinking of tackling the awnings and he immediately offered us help and the use of his loft and an industrial sewing machine.
Wednesday August 8
On the move again after a nasty storm had passed by. Our journey today was co ordinated to maximise the tide assistance around the bottom of Singapore and up to Port Dixon. Our research indicates for an East to West Passage: Depart at local time of High Water before the higher Low Water of the day, 2 days after either the first or last quarters of the moon.
Lea had calculated some time ago the on the 8th August we should have the best currents with us during daylight hours. It all worked out well except for a few stretches where there seemed to be no current.
The forecast was for light winds so we were pleasantly surprised with a stronger than expected breeze on the beam making for some great sailing again.
Once heading north we kept out to sea on the edge of the shipping lane making for less worry about fishing nets and non AIS vessels during the night.
Easy passage had us pull into Port Dixon’s Admiral Marina and tie up before 10.00am. We bit the bullet and placed our order with Sailrite for $3700.00AUD worth of fabric, zips, bindings and threads to be delivered to Pangkor Marina.
Friday August 10
Heather and Rod had hired a car for the day to go to KL and pick up their new batteries from Selangor. So we tagged along and enjoyed catching up with Naz over lunch and browsing the luxury shops around Petronas Towers.
Battery pick up went well after a bit of confusion and with a heavily laden vehicle we took it easy on the way back. Needed a rest day after that.
Sunday August 12
Waved goodbye to Psycho Puss as they headed back to Pangkor, while we picked up a hire car and drove down to Melaka. Followed the road signs but got well and truly lost. Ended up 20km off course before we realised. Never mind, it was a nice drive through the country side.
Our first stop was Melaka Marina to see if it was at all usable. We dropped in at the office for a chat with the manager but he advised that the marina was all silted up and unless you were happy to park in the mud it was not an option. At high tide you could bring your dinghy in if anchored outside. Only problem with that is you are exposed to Sumatra’s the strong squalls that regularly hit the coast from the west.
We were a bit early to check in. We had chosen to go back to hotel Putri as we loved it so much last time. Centrally placed and a beautifully restored period building.
Hanging out for a coffee we walked round to another favourite. The eclectic “13 States Cafe”. Great coffee and food. Also excellent service.
Although it was incredibly hot we wandered around the narrow streets getting reacquainted with the town and checking out the many sculptures on display.
Then down along the riverfront and the old Dutch Fort.
Climbed the hill up to the remains of the Bastion of Santiago part of the ancient fortifications of the city.
We went through the Sultan’s Palace which was closed last time we were here. We ended up on the waterfront for a beer.
After exploring the bustling markets on Jonkers Street we ended back down at the river for dinner as the temperature was perfect and we could watch the tourist barges go by. The roads were full of brightly lit trishaws adding a carnival atmosphere to the place.
Monday August 13
Leisurely morning enjoying the food and sights of Melaka. Explored the Ethnographic Museum which had a good collection of artefacts as well as good display boards in English and Malay. It is housed in the old Dutch Administration Building called Stadthys.
Early afternoon we headed back to Port Dickson.
Tuesday August 14
On the move again early enjoying an excellent sail with a solid 15-20 Southerly behind us. Experienced a little wind against tide making the waves steep and nasty but we romped along at 7-8 knots SOG and 10 knots through the water. We timed our arrival at Port Klang to catch the tide through and exited the channel at the other end just as the wind dropped. So we turned east and anchored in 6m a couple of Nm off the coast thinking we were well out of the way.
As dusk approached we were approached by some fishermen who wanted us to move. we worked out that they had a drift net bearing down on us. We got the message across that our anchor winch was broken and it was too hard for us to move. Within the hour their net duly arrived and the fishermen deftly pulled it around us by one end. Problem solved we thought. Forgot that the tide turns and returns didn’t we.
The anchor alarm goes off at 2300 hours waking us from deep sleep. Our roaming net had come back and wrapped around us from the bow. The weight was causing us to drag backwards. No fishermen around to help this time. One end of the net was visible just behind the port transom so I dropped the dinghy picked up and tied off the end and dragged it forward. Lea was on the bow with a torch and boat hook to help. The net was draped around the anchor chain and streaming back down the side of the hulls. fortunately it wasn’t yet under the hulls so I pulled my end out in front while lea tried to feed it around the chain so it would drift down out starboard side. It was surprising how heavy the drag was but we eventually succeeded without damaging the net too much. Just as the net drifted clear of us the fishermen turned up.
A nice cup of tea to settle ourselves then back to bed.
Wednesday August 15
Woken by the anchor alarm again but this time it was just to indicate a tide change and time to get underway. The breeze was up and the current already running so it proved a slow and difficult process to get the anchor up using the spinnaker halyard. We only had 20m out and it took us over 30 minutes doing it in small increments to avoid over stressing the halyard.
The spinnaker was up immediately for a good morning run. Discussed dropping the kite around midday as the breeze was dropping. Decided to wait until after lunch. Glad we did as the breeze came back in and we had a blast up the coast all afternoon.
Arrived at Pangkor Marina at sundown.