Saturday November 28

A bit of a restless night with wind and swell opposing each other. We left the anchorage with tha majority of the flotilla fleet and got in a brief period of sailing before the wind died out again. A strong favourable current was at least some compensation for the first 5 hours.

Then it was a sweltering motor through a glassy sea for the afternoon. We finally arrived at the anchorage on the northern side of Palau Rimau around 1700, just as the afternoon deluge and thunderstorm hit. Parlay and Pedro 3 had already arrived but we found a good spot tucked into the shallow bay in 4m at half tide. A lovely spot with thick jungle coming all the way down to the beach from the steep slopes.

After the rainstorm and dinner we took a glass of wine up on the tramps and enjoyed the cooler temperature.

Sunday November 29

Lea did a few salutes to the sun to loosen her stiff back up. Only 6Nm today up to the western side of Palau Jerejak after passing under the new Second Bridge from the Mainland to Penang.

Not a place for swimming with huge amounts of rubbish in the water including a dead dog. Great spot for plane spotters being right under the flight path of jets taking off.

We left the dinghy at the pontoon and walked to Queenstown Shopping Mall and a welcome respite form the heat in its air conditioned comfort. This is one very luxurious Mall and it was full of people. A brilliant huge Christmas Tree made of white Led lights and a European White Christmas Theme including Carols filled the central floor to ceiling (4 stories) atrium.

Every upmarket brand had its own shop front here and it was all a bit overwhelming. As we walked out Graeme and Julie were flagging down a cab so we joined them for a ride back to the dinghies. New Views had a mild lightning strike the other night off Pangkor Island and lost their Autopilot, AIS and Stereo.

The tide was at full run with opposing wind as usual so the boats were moving everywhere. We dropped by Reverie to borrow some more cups for tomorrow as we had been asked to host the CEO of Malaysian Tourism and his entourage of 8 for the sail past under the main Penang Bridge.

On que, we copped another storm and deluge which cooled everything down for the night. Called Graham to ask for his assistance transferring the dignitaries if I couldn't get on the jetty on the morning.

Monday November 30

Lea was stressing about hosting all the dignitaries tomorrow especially if it was still raining. Not being able to sleep she was up at 0400 to cut up the fruit for the fruit platter. Up a 0515 use slack water to tie up to the jetty ready to receive our guests. Anchor was caught on an old fishing net. This caused a lot of grief and worry as we had to use the motors to compensate for the current while not fouling the props on the net. Lea drove while I wrestled with the filthy net and finally cut it free.

We motored across to the jetty only to find no free space, we anchored again close by and I called up Graham to assist with the transfers.

As daylight increased the rain eased and finally cleared. Lea handed out towels for everyone to sit on. 8 guests in total, Malaysia's top civil servant in the Tourism Ministry with his 2 PA's, 3 members of the Tourism Ministry's team specialising in boating, diving and marketing, Sazli (the Sail Malaysia co ordinater) and his uncle.

Sazli and Misre, CEO Malaysian Tourism

 

They all enjoyed themselves on the front deck while we motored around to the rendezvous point at the bottom of Jerejak Island. Here 26 boats all frocked up with flags, formed a convoy to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Sail Malaysia. Then in tight formation we motored up to and under the bridge. Unfortunately, the seaplane that had been organised to photograph us from the air was grounded but Air Traffic Control due to the backlog of flights coming in that had been diverted away during the nights thunderstorm.

We anchored off Straits Quay Marina and enjoyed our combined breakfast. Sazli had bought us a traditional Indian breakfast of Roti with Curry and Dahl. Lea had prepared pikelet's with jam and cream, lemon slice and a fruit platter.

We had a session of photo taking and we were presented with a beautiful book of Malaysian Architecture and significant buildings all beautifully scent he'd and water coloured.

Peggy West was little miffed as they believed we had anchored too close to them. We were and planned to move when our guests departed. However, they up anchored and moved well away. A good move in the light of subsequent events.

We took our guests ashore and were invited up for coffee. This turned into a full blown press conference with TV, Radio and the tabloid press all asking us questions. I believe we featured in 3 newspapers and the Tv news. We were given another gift of a scale model Penang Ferry. Not the prettiest of boats but iconic in the area. Again we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the people here.

Drinks onshore hosted by Penn Marine with delicious local finger food. Buses picked us up to take us to a local food court. We joined Andy and Sue and the food and the service were great and so cheap. Sazli and Joseph joined us a bit later. Totally full after all the finger foods as well as dinner, Andy, Sue, Lea and I elected to walk back to the marina in a token effort to burn some calories.

Tuesday December 1

Off to Georgetown by the 101 bus from the front of nearby Tesco's. Only 2Rm each for the whole trip. We were wanting to find some fold up bikes. In town we got talking to a Trishaw Driver. We struck a deal for 40Rm where our driver/rider would show us all the street art in Georgetown then drop us off at the best bike shop in town. Lea was not in the mood for walking and it just sort of happened but it turned out to be fantastic. We just managed to get our now much wider bums into the seat and off we went.

Our driver was a wealth of information and enthusiasm. His English wasn't perfect but quite understandable and we thoroughly enjoyed it. He was very considerate and always rode in the shade, often on the wrong side of the road but hey, road rules are only guidelines over here anyway. I think he enjoyed us as well because he gave us 90 minutes instead of the quoted hour so we have him a big tip.

We loved the street art and our guide showed also us lots of temples as well.

At the bike shop we checked out some Dahon and Tern folding bikes.

For lunch I mutinied on more Asian food and headed for KFC.

Headed back early to get ready for our formal reception dinner at Fort Cornwallace. The first bus left on time at 1700 and we sat at the Irish Pub enjoying a drink while waiting for the second bus. The bus returning for us got caught in traffic and it was 1900 by the time we arrived at the venue. The Penang Minister of Tourism had made his speech, eaten and left by the time we arrived. A lot of the food was gone but we did get to sample most of what was on offer. Coconut milkshake with ice cream was a highlight. Each dish was served in individual small dishes, beautifully presented and very tasty. The quality was excellent although the quantity for the late group was limited. As quickly as we arrived we were pressed to leave. We braved the rain and went back to the boat for an early night.

 

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Tuesday November 24

We selected our bus carefully and were rewarded with no kids and a front seat. Our bus got lost going to the Chinese Buddist Temple so we got a drive through the Chinese suburbs of Ipoh. We were a half hour behind the others and missed the guided tour through the temple. There were no explaination boards around so we understood little of this temples significance but it was pretty awesome.

The cave temple was beautifully done with a polished concrete floor and lots of marble tiles. The many large statues were painted in gold. Various levels have us a good overall view of the cave and the lovely reflection garden on the other side of the cave and surrounded by high limestone karst formations.

Everything was lush, damp and well tended.

Next was the city of Ipoh. This is the capital of the Malaysian State of Perak. It's history began with the tin mining in the 1880's. The tin rush sparked huge growth and wealth. The population was 27500 by 1914, mainly Chinese immigrants.

We did a heritage building tour on foot in the heat, starting with the Railway Station, a twin of the KL Railway Station built in the Neo Classical Style. Often referred to as the “Taj Mahal” of Ipoh.

Town Hall and old post office by same architect as station.
 

The town is named for the Ipoh tree from which in times gone by the indigenous people used the toxic sap for their poisoned darts fired from a blow pipe. 2 trees still survive in the city and this is one of them.

The clock tower is a memorial to J.W.W Birch the first British resident of Perak. The panels portray famous figures from world history.

Wall murals by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic adorn the walls of many old warehouses and buildings.

We were let loose to find our own lunch and we settled too quickly for a basic Chinese Restaurant. We should have looked further afield before deciding as the girls found a great spot for lunch while wandering around afterwards.

I was still searching for 5mm fuel hose to replace what I had borrowed back in Indo to fix the Genset. No luck there.

On the way back it was raining too hard for our planned visit to Kellie' s Castle but we did stop at a large fruit shop where we sampled many different fruits.

Quiet night on Gemini Lady with Aircon actually running for a while.

Wednesday November 25

I went off searching for the fuel hose I needed. My search took me back over to Pangkor Island with Graham off New Views. No luck there so I sought help from James and ended up driving around with him for 3 hours solving other yachties problems and requirements until finally we found 5mm fuel hose at a paint shop would you believe, where James needed to place an order for paint.

It was interesting chatting to one of the local shopkeepers here in Lummut, Malaysia. He was absolutely disgusted with his country after media reports today indicated that 11% of Malaysian Muslims support ISIS. Discussing this with others later I also heard that media sources have suggested that 25% of British Muslims support ISIS. I have seen secret video footage taken inside the London Mosque showing a lecture to some women, the content of which I would definitely call seditious. The question remains: how do we manage the Islamic question at home? ISIS is one problem and a convenient target to bomb but the more insidious issue for the western democracies and possibly the more moderate Islamic Countries, is what is currently being preached inside the Mosques of our Islamic communities. To some degree we seem paralysed by our constitutionally enshrined rights to free speech and freedom of religion. Our current laws on sedition are mired in controversy as they impact free speech. The central question here being, “Is speech which may be considered to incite seditious behaviour an action or not?” The only precedent legal cases I have seen referenced date back to the days when communist ideology was considered seditious in law. I think it is about time we had some open community debate about where we draw the line between freedom of speech, freedom of religion (and I include atheistic communism and any other ideology that fits under the broader definition of religion as “world view”) and seditious behaviour.

We might even have to go further and first consider what our own and other Western Democracies actually stand for and value. A bill of human rights might result that provides an ideal and a benchmark for our politics and laws.

Hopefully from the clarity of this perspective we can target the root of current problems such as, what I consider to be, the seditious side of Islam, lawfully and without vilifying or living in fear of the millions of wonderful Muslim people in our own communities and throughout the world.

Got back to Gemini Lady around 1430 absolutely starving. Fortunately Lea had bought some French Quiche and Lemon Merangue Tarts from the local French cook.

Caught up with Cattiva to trade some movies and music and saw Ray off Parlay to give him the fuel hose. All chores complete we were all set for a big night at the Marina with dinner and a band. The same band we enjoyed back at JB. The food was great. The beer was free and we danced all night. Great finish to our stay at Pangkor Marina. Big thank you to James, Rose and all the crew that worked so hard to meet all our needs.

Thursday November 26

Left the Marina and motored around to the lovely bay in front of the restaurants on the west side of Pangkor Island. Spent most of the day catching up on this blog while local jet skis and Watersport boats did circles around us. One jet ski rider came in too close once too often and got the air horn right in his ear. That got the message out there and the operator came out to apologise. Dinner ashore at the great restaurant we enjoyed for a lunch a few days ago.

Friday November 27

Moved round to another part of the bay to get away from Watersport enthusiasts. Bit of SUPing around the bay before spending one and a half hours underwater cleaning the hull and props. Just beginning to get some of the barnacle activity this area is reknowned for. We have been asked to carry the 10 VIP's for the Penang Convey under the Bridge. It's the 10th Anniversary of Sail Malaysia and a big milestone for our organiser and all round great guy Sazli. So Lea has been in the galley making slice.

Big thunderstorm just went through as I write this with lots of rain, noise and flashes. Next stop Penang.

 

Wednesday November 18

Up at 0400 to catch the last of the ebb north. Not much wind so a day of motor sailing . We were in company with New Views and had decided to go through Port Klang and anchor off the lighthouse at the northern entrance of the port. Lots of shipping activity and we were chased in by a large container ship. We hugged the Starboard bank but were called up by Port Operations and politely asked to move to the Port side of the Selat. Motored past huge loading docks. depots and modern infrastructure on one side contrasting with low scrubby islands on the other.

Reached our anchorage about 1430, just as the tide turned in our favour and the afternoon sea breeze came in. We elected to continue and had a great sail for 4 hours averaging 9-10 kts with the tide assistance. At dusk we were still 10 Nm short of the next anchorage and radar was showing lots of small fishing boat activity so we motored a few Nm in toward the shore and dropped anchor in 6m about 3 Nm offshore. New Views joined us and we had a very calm comfortable night.

Thursday November 19.

Slept in and got going about 0730, motoring in glassy conditions. We had heard that Pangkor Marina was filling up rapidly so we were keen to secure a berth. If it was full then our Plan B was to anchor in one of the many lovely bays and the west side of Pangkor Island.

Passed this strange structure about 6Nm offshore. We thought maybe it is some kind of offshore resort. It had the name “Paradise” emblazoned on it. Weird!

Arrived at the marina and guided into a berth by staff. Bell and Ben from Ocean Jaywalker had arrived a bit earlier and helped us tie up. They came aboard for a beer and then we moved round to the bar for the start of a big night of beer and Pizza.

Friday November 20

Lea did a thorough deck scrub while I messed about doing other stuff. The Marina's electrical system was struggling to cope with all the boats. The voltage appeared to be dropping below 200V and our Airconditioners were tripping out. I got out the multimeter and after measuring the voltage coming aboard I recalibrated the AirCon units. This got them running a bit more than less but most of the time we settled fo just having the smaller bedroom unit running so that the voltage wasn't dragged down as much.

A swim at one of the nearby hotel pools was a welcome respite from the heat. We were supposed to have dinner with Ben and Bell but they were still suffering from last night so we took a rain check. We took the opportunity to catch up with Peter and Denise off Reverie which turned into dinner. Their whole jetty was having power problems and Reverie had no power at all. However, the marina team had it sorted by 2000 and their Aircon was back online.

Saturday November 21

Hired the marina shopping car for 40 Rm for the morning and headed into town for some fruit and veggies. Ben and Bell came with us in search of an Aircon unit and we were on the lookout for folding bikes. We tried the huge Giant Store but their bikes were rubbish. The huge Aeon Mall was excellent.

Afternoon swim was a struggle for laps due to kids and other crews but Lea managed 1km. The water was looking pretty murky so I didn't stay in long. I'm already fighting a low grade flu and don't want it to get worse.

Another big social night. Lea is now an accomplished beer drinker.

Sunday November 22

I went off on the organised shopping trip to local chandlers leaving Lea in peace for most of the day to enjoy reading and relaxing.

Monday November 23

Most of the Rally crews turned up for the Pangkor Island trip adding up to over 100 people.

 

From the ferry we picked a taxi minibus for an island tour. James from the marina was in charge and soon got every body under way.

First stop was the Dutch fort built to control and protect the tin trade.

Local hawkers were selling all the usual tourist stuff but at least these dried puffer fish were original.

Chinese Temple was set in beautiful grounds on the side of a hill.

 

Some stunning ceramic work with brightly coloured glazes.

 

 

Traditional Boat building. These boats are trawlers designed to drag huge nets. They launch the boat by knocking over all the supports on a high tide. All the fitting of Engines, pumps, refrigeration etc is done later. These boats are fitted with 5000 HP engines swing huge propellers. With their cut away sterns to reduce drag they are very different to the Indonesian boats we saw being built. Those had the prettier, longer flowing lines of a deep sea boat.

The timber was all massive hardwood, mainly sourced from Indonesia.

Next to the boat yard was a fish factory where all the small fry is dried and sorted.

Much of the sorting is still done by hand. They did have a sorting machine here as well but it seemed less productive than a man.

It was very hot and after checking out all the weird and wonderful merchandise at the dried fish shop we headed to othe side of the Island for lunch at a beach cafe.

The food was sensational with 10 courses and beer provided by James. A lazy afternoon on the beach followed with a swim before taking a taxi back to the ferry terminal.

Lea worked out the beer on a treadmill. Tried the local Chinese Restauant after a couple more beers with friends.

 

Sunday November 15

2 hour bus ride toward KL. First stop was the huge gold Hindu Statue with 272 steps leading up to a limestone cave containing numerous smaller shrines.

We were warned about the local monkeys being very fast and clever. Booker off Tortuguita was wearing earrings that looked like nuts and she got a big fright when a monkey jumped onto her shoulder, pulled off an earring and leapt back up a lamp post. Here it sat trying to open the nut. Dave finally managed to coax the monkey to give it back.

At the top of the stairs I was given a blessing and got my forehead painted. Then I was asked for a cash donation to the gods. I asked the guy what the gods needed money for. He just waved me off.

The interior of the cave was undergoing restoration and beautification so jackhammers were going and construction equipment everywhere. Not quite a refuge of serenity. However, the temples were pretty and the Hindu people very colourfully dressed. Many, seeking blessings had shaved their heads and covered them in a yellowy ochre coloured powder.

 

Next stop was the Royal Salangor Pewter factory, complete with the worlds largest beer stein, reported to hold about 3000 litres.

Interesting to watch the hand making of stuff but naturally Lea and I only liked the most expensive pieces.

Then on to the Petronas Towers. A gorgeous piece of Architecture in Stainless Steel. 451m and 88 floors high. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and are still the tallest twin buildings.

2 hours of shopping in the very fancy Mall and a nice lunch in the food court before heading back to the Marina. Some really annoying kids on the bus got Lea muttering under her breath. I slept.

Monday November 16

Lea did a morning session in the gym with her IPad, UE Boom and Michelle Bridges. I went for run then did some weights. Then a quiet day of catching up on chores before our Team Building Exercise at 1600. The heavens opened after lunch and Lea was hoping the afternoon events would be cancelled. The rain eased before 1600 so a big crowd turned up at the large ropes course. With a rock climbing wall and lots of obstacles it looked like it was going to be fun. However, the rain started again and we were restricted to undercover games. 4 teams, 4 games. It was like herding cats but we eventually got through it. Each team won an event so all even.

Long happy hour at the bar with the Marina putting on a light dinner for us. Live music started at 1930 so we danced and enjoyed a few more drinks with friends. Caught up with Rita and Dave off Beachouse who we met back in 2005 at Airlie Beach.

Many partied on and then some more. We retired early.

Tuesday November 17

Another bus trip today got off to a bad start when the buses were and hour and a half late. While the buses loaded we hung back to see which bus the kids got into. Thinking we had escaped them we boarded on to find the worst offenders from yesterday got on and sat directly behind us. Lea reckons it was my bad karma for being Scrooge with the Hindu Priest yesterday.

It was a long 1.5 hour drive and we realised we are a bit sick of bus trips and crowds. Our first stop was the Cultural Museum at Negeri Semblian. Lots of reading in poor light and bad choice of script colour. However, very interesting and informative displays of the many different cultures of Malaysia. Toilets here were very poor for a major museum.

Travelled to another Homestay for lunch. No tables and chairs only mats. Some custom dancing while we lined up for food. Very average.

There was a planned stop at an Eco park and waterfall but we cancelled due to heavy rain, however, it took a lot of convincing to get the driver to take us back to the Marina early. Trip back was painfull due to same horrible children.

Not the best day but made up for it with a great roast beef dinner Lea and I cooked and shared with Graeme and Julie off New Views. The last roast in the freezer.

 

 

Friday November 13

0900 taxi pick up and we were joined by Ben & Bell off Ocean Jaywalker. The taxi ride was fast and furious with an occasional jarring in the back as the worn out shockers bottomed out. One and a half hours later we were dropped off at Hotel Puri. Lea had already booked us in and Ben & Bell got the last room. The hotel was originally a wealthy Chinese Merchants family house, right in the centre of the old part of town and beautifully converted into a hotel.

The Chinese Mansion over the road from the hotel was also pretty impressive.
 

It was a bit hard to reconcile the Malacca of today to the thriving port it used to be for hundreds of years. The harbour is now all silted up and land reclaimation work is rapidly changing the coastline. I expected more of a medieval flavour to the streets and buildings but preservation work did not really start happening until 2008 when UNESCO listed it as a heritage site. Much has been lost but the place still has a great feel to it and the museums are excellent.

Coffee was first on the agenda and we were surprised to find our nearby little coffee shop (Calanthe Art Cafe) had an incredible selection of different coffees and blends. The food was also irresistible so we enjoyed banana on toasted French stick slices covered in syrup and served with homemade vanilla ice cream.

It took awhile to get our bearings and find Chen Hoon Teng Temple, which is the oldest remaining Chinese Temple in the country, built in 1646.

There were many alters inside to family ancestors and all were spectacular in their decoration.

The detail in the architecture is amazing.

Then we made our way to the old Dutch Town Hall and Admin centre called “Stadthuys”, built in 1650. The old building has been much renovated and surrounding gardens were lovely with a little Dutch Windmill.

From there we climbed up to the remains of St Pauls Church.

Then down to one of the only remnants of the original fort that protected the harbourfront and the hill.

Nearby were the Independence Memorial and the Sultans Palace.

So much history and changing rulers.

Portuguese 1511 – 1641

Dutch 1641 – 1795, 1818 – 1824

English 1824 – 1941

Japanese 1941 – 1945

All makes the place a bit quirky as demonstrated by their chosen mode of tourist transport.

After lunch in a local restaurant we visited the Maritime Museum. The main displays were held in a replica of a Portuguese Caravell.

The displays inside on many deck levels were very well done and we all enjoyed the history lesson. The aircon was a welcome respite as well.

Back along the riverfront a waterwheel has been recreated as a symbol of both the past and the present. Near the original river entrance are more remains of the old fort wall.

It was time to head back to the hotel for a quick siesta before heading out into the famous night markets of Malacca.

At dusk we headed out and the assault on the senses was immediate as we turned into Jonkers Street. So many things to look at, so many different smells from all different types of food and cooking styles. We made our way through the jostling crowds of locals and tourists from all over the world. We bought small serves from numerous food vendors to experience the variety. I got left with a plate of chilli octopus that none of the others would eat. At least it banished my cold for a while.

We caught up for drink with Carlos and Sarah and the kids plus grandma off Sea Monkey at the Geography Cafe. They had anchored just off the River entrance and left their dinghy at the Customs dock. I think we will do this next year as there is just so much to see in Malacca.

While the whole Night Market was very touristy it had a great vibe with stages for Karaoke and live music and people everywhere.

Saturday November 14

Comfy bed, great shower, good aircon and a little balcony overlooking the courtyard garden.

All for $61.00 per night in the centre of a UNESCO world heritage city.

The Baba and Nyonya heritage museum was booked out for the 1000 session so we went around to the Cheng Ho museum that covers the Chinese Treasure Fleets. These fleets were sent out on goodwill and trade missions with the world in the early 1400's. Great museum displaying well the artefacts and evidence for this nearly forgotten time in China's history. Recent DNA studies have identified Chinese genes in NZ Maoris and Australian Aborigines and many other parts of Africa and Europe.

28000 people made up the fleet and the museum shows models of the fleet including many specialist boats carrying water, food, horses as well as people transports.

We made it back to the privately owned Baba and Noyonya museum. The name represents a blended Malay Chinese family. They were a wealthy merchant family and the house is magnificent but no photography is allowed.

Found a local food court for lunch which Ben gave the thumbs up.

Took the River Cruise though the old town up into the new section. The riverfront is very attractive with boardwalks, bars and cafes. Murals adorned the walls of industrial looking buildings. Shame the monorail running around the city appears defunct.

They even have their own Venetian Rialto Bridge.

Not quite Venice but a great city.

 

Saturday November 7

Tour of The JB Province today. first stop was the nearby Johor State Government Administrative Centre. This is a new Complex inspired by Moorish-Andalusian Architecture and beautifully designed gardens. The overall effect is very grand without being kitch or showy. Very stylish and impressive.

These canons are Portugese and were a gift from Queen Elizabeth of England.

The skeletal dome roof structure made for light, airy internal spaces.
 

The large mosque associated with the complex is not yet ready to take western visitors but is very specacular.

The gardens were lovely.

 

 

Our guide was very enthusiastic and informative. He was obviously very proud of the place. The government system is modelled on the English system.

I questioned our guide on the religious bias of the government but he assurred me that the lower house contained democratically elected representatives that could be from any faith.

I have to say here in light of the recent tragic events in Paris that our experience in both Indonesia and Malaysia, as predominantly Muslim Countries, has been very positive. We have found the many Muslim people we have encountered to be delightful. The women are working in jobs, are outgoing, friendly and some we have met have a wicked sense of humour. We have seen no evidence of anything other than the offer of genuine friendship.

However, the fact remains that we have been given strong security with police escorts in many places within Indonesia, so maybe we have been shielded from underlying problems. I personally think that the governments of both Indonesia and Malaysia recognise the value and importance of the west in terms of their economic well being and the prosperity of their people. At this stage there seems to be a separation between church and government.

The problems always comes down to religious dogma and the contradictions it contains.

Ii

Our Christian History shows many similar Biblical contradictions that have been used to justify Crusades and Inquisitions. We shouldn't be too quick to judge all Muslims, but the moderate, peacefull followers of Islam, together with our governments do need to do a lot more to help stamp out the sedition, fundamentalism and fanaticism being preached in many of their Mosques.

Anyway, enough of politics and onto lunch. At a local home stay hall. This is a government tourist intitiative to enable tourists to enjoy and interact with local people and experience traditional food, games and handicrafts. We were treated to a fantastic buffet lunch and some traditional dances from the local kids.

After lunch we tried our hands at basket weaving,

and a game using marbles.

Then on to a traditional Malay Home. Suspect this was not typical but the home of a very wealthy family.

The houses are all wood and designed to be picked up and moved. Most of the timber jointing is mortise and dowel so it can be disassembled.

It was quite a large home with showy chandeliers, lots of glassware and dinner sets in beautiful carved timber cabinets.

Next and last stop was Tanjung Piai, a National Park protecting the mangroves at the SW tip of the JB Province. Hard to believe we are 6233km from Sydney and that Japan is closer.

Nice snooze in the bus on the way home.

Sunday November 8

An early morning run to kick start our fitness programme to get back in shape before we arrive home. Then it was into the washing machine to get at the circuit board. This meant cutting all the silicone sealant around the outside edge of the machine and removing the base holding bolts. I could then move the machine aft about 8cm and get the top off it, (the back was already off from earlier explorations). Then the front control panel could be removed. By sliding the machine forward now into the bathroom with Lea's help (will only go half way without removing drum support frame) I got enough access to remove the wiring loom and lift out the circuit board enclosure. This took a while to dissect, finally revealing a pristine looking circuit board.

At this point I handed it over to higher powers and Peter off Reverie came over to analyse the board. He sat quietly and intently, with his magnifying glass, the circuit diagram, and his multimeter for about 45 minutes.

He then looked up and pronounced a fused relay as the problem. He took the board back to his workshop on Reverie to lift the relay out of the circuit board. I then began researching to find another one, cursing that I hadn't done this before going to Singapore where all the electronic components in the world could be found in either Sim Lim Tower or Square.

After lunch we did a provisioning trip to Tesco and Aeon and came back with Uber, loaded up with new bed sheets and food. Malaysian and Singapore queen size sheets fit our mattresses perfectly unlike Aussie ones.

Gala dinner in the Jens Hotel Ballroom was a posh affair. Well, as posh as a large group of yachties can make it anyway. Lea borrowed some “heels” and looked gorgeous as always. There was lots of excellent traditional dancing, a few speeches and a great meal. I did the rounds of the guys asking for a new relay. As luck would have it Dave off Tortuguita said he had a few of them. When they left early I went back to their boat and sure enough he had 3 of the right relays sitting on his Nav table. Back at the dinner I gave the new relay to Peter to install on the board.

As it had been an alcohol free night, so we went to the Belgian Beer Cafe for a nightcap.

Monday November 9

Another run/walk. Peter bought the circuit board back all repaired so I put the machine back together and gave it a test run. All good.

Masked up and re siliconed it all in to finish the job. Only a couple of screws left over and one tool in the bilge that I couldn't find.

Disconnected from shore power and settled our account to get our clearance papers.

Catch up with friends for a drink then an early night.

Tuesday November 10

Lea went off for a swim in the top floor hotel pool, while I sorted out bills and Dental re registration. Lloyd, Mandy and Heidi dropped in to say goodbye. They are off to Cambodia to start their new life there.

By 1000 we were ready to leave and followed Flomaida out of the marina. We pushed a little tide down the Johor Strait and it was stinking hot. By late afternoon we had a lovely breeze and had a good sail, beam reaching under Screecher and Main with the current with us.

Anchored off the north of Paulu Pissang with many other boats. A squall came through with lightning,rain and a bit of wind. We put off sundowners on Flomaide as the weather looked a bit unpredictable.

Wednesday November 11

A long boring day with a total of 72Nm in 11 hours of mainly motor sailing. We had a 68 minute session of great sailing before the wind turned on the nose then died out again. Half the day we were pushing strong current and the rest we had a bit of assistance but we still can't predict it.

We were going to anchor at Paulu Besar (Water Island) which is a very historic stop as the old trading ships used to anchor there to restock their water barrels and firewood. With good current with us and a bit of wind assistance we went on to anchor at Palau Upeh just off the coast from Malaka.

Thursday November 12

A nasty squall came through about 0400 with Torrential rain and some wind. The swell soon built up enough to make things uncomfortable. Flomaide had already just left so we decided to go too seeing we were already up.

With a pitch black sky and intermittent heavy rain resulting in very limited visibility we got underway, navigating with Radar and AIS. Lea cursed as the chain and anchor were fouled with thick sticky mud. Navigation was interesting as there is a lot of land reclamation going on here so the chart and the Radar did not always agree. Even the Satelite pictures were out of date.

With wind and current against us we slowly motored 7 hours around to Admiral Cove Marina

No problems getting a berth, so we tied up, checked in then headed for the pool. Dress regulations in the pool were a bit ambiguous about bikinis but Lea snuck in anyway.

Drinks and dinner at the Sailors Bar catching up with everyone. Lea arranged a taxi to Malacca for tomorrow.

 

Tuesday November 2

Big kids at heart and my favourite childhood toy, so Legoland was a must and it was only around the corner.

Even had its own hotel.

We headed straight for the water park and enjoyed a few hours hurtling about getting wet.

Well some parts were not quite at hurling speed.

When the bucket tilts it's guaranteed to knock the little tackers of their feet. Good entertainment!

Then it was off to more serious displays. The whole Star Wars story was told in Lego! Fantastic!
Lea even found a Lego replica of her dear departed George.
 

There were a few roller coaster's we enjoyed and fortunately they were not made of Lego but the scene stealer was the model scenes from all over Asia.

Even Anckor Wat, Cambodia.

Kevin enjoyed a day with no beer and only an occasional smoke in the little yellow squares designated for smoking.

The gardens throughout the complex were stunning and as it was a Monday we virtually had the place to ourselves.

A very enjoyable day!

Tuesday November 3

Quiet day with a few jobs done in the morning. The girls headed of to the Aeon Shopping Complex. Kevin settled into the Belgian Beer Cafe and secured his place as their best customer. Darren, the barman, even gave him an Octoberfest Stein because he was such a good customer. I rebuilt the leaking Genset raw water pump for the umteenth time.

Special dinner out at Spice & Grill Indian Restaurant. Kevin had a coffee for entree then retired to the boat to pass out. Fantastic meal enjoyed by the remaining 3 of us.

Wednesday November 4

Off to Singapore via an Uber Taxi to JB CIQ. Crossed over to Singapore. Kevin forgot to declare his smokes and got pulled up by Customs. Fortunately he only had to pay the tax on them.

No luggage lockers available so we went to our hotel to check in and Kevin and Leanne went to the airport to check their luggage in. Agreed to meet at harbourfront at 1500.

Lea and I had time to explore Sim Lim Square and Tower for high tech goodies. Finally got a new AIS antenna.

Joining back up with Kevin and Leanne we headed for Sentosa via cable car.

Started at the East end of the Island at Fort Siloso which was significant in the Japanese Occupation in WWII.
Madame Tousades wax museum is also on the island and there were LifeSize model scenes of both the British surrender to the Japanese and the subsequent Japenese surrender 3.5 years later. Very interesting!

From the top of the Fort the views across to Singapore showed some amazing architecture.

Soon it was time to say goodbye to Kevin and Leanne. We stayed on for Lea to have a go at “I Fly”, the free fall simulator, and the sound and light show.

All dressed up for her maiden flight.

Flying! Only took 146 km/hr wind to sweep her off her feet. I'm sure I didn't have to blow that hard!

The light, laser, sound and water show was awesome.

Even fireworks for the grand finale.

Retired to our hotel room with a nice bottle of wine. Good end to a busy day.

Thursday November 5

Lea and I had time to explore Little India and then China town. We both resisted the urge to spend money on more “stuff”. Even though it was really good “stuff” like fold up bikes, new HF Radio and Garmin Vivo Active watches.

Then off toward Raffles Marina to pick up some new engine parts. I wanted a new thermostat for the Starboard engine to see if I could get it to run any cooler. Port runs around 85C but Starboard up closer to 90C and oil pressure drops a bit at this temp.

Found the engine part place at the back of some high rise complex in the middle of the new Tuas Industrial Estate. Thought we would walk on to the Marina after that but it was very hot and roadworks everywhere made navigation difficult. Arrived at Raffles Marina a bit frazzled and in no mood to put up with crap service, warm beer and shit food. Lea vented her displeasure on FB. Pretty swanky building though.

She did, however, enjoy a swim in the pool while I checked out the Chandlery.

Ran into Grant and Leslie (Cattiva) and agreed to share their taxi back to Puteri Marina. Enjoyed a few drinks while waiting and had a brief catch up with Carol and Richard (Pedro 3) who were staying at Raffles Marina.

Much easier way to get home than MRT and bus.

Friday November 6

Boat day with Lea cleaning and me fitting new thermostat and AIS antenna. Then joint attack on the black streaks on the hull sides.

Rally briefing after dinner followed by drinks with Peter and Denise (Reverie) back on board in Airconditioned comfort. We were doing well without the AC until Kevin and Leanne needed it. Now we are addicted.