Wednesday March 16

Left Melbourne 0330 with TRS claim done with no problems but a raised eyebrow at the TV we were carrying. Flight was great with an extra seat for Lea to stretch out. Wandered around KL airport for a few hours before our connecting flight to Langkawi. As we were booked into the resort we were met at the airport and shuttled to the jetty for the boat ride back to Rebak. Managed to get the phone and internet access up before we left.

At the TAJ Resort our room wasnt ready so we flagged down a golf cart and got the driver to take us,with all our luggage, to the hardstand and Gemini Lady. She didnt look too bad on the outside with new antifoul. Inside was chaos as Mark from Seaspray Marine had not finished the new installations. Much of the new equipment had only just arrived.

The good news was that the inside of the boat was clean with no mould to be seen. We delivered the bits we had bought over for Mark and left him to it.

Dissappointed with the underwater surfaces. Should have had all the old antifoul removed. New application caused blistering resulting in more roughness. Discovered a compression injury in the aft end of Starboard Mini keel so pulled out the jack to change weight distribution and get an eyeball onto the damage.


Nice digs though!

Hit the sack early. Just as well we didn't wait up for John and Kerryn as they were delayed and didnt arrive until late.

Thursday March 17

On the job at first light to strip down the starboard saildrive leg which was leaking oil. Very difficult to get bearing casing and prop shaft out and that was after a difficult time getting the prop off. Anyway got it all apart by 0930 so it was back to the room for a shower then breakfast.

Next shift we put in the new seals and reassembled the leg so that the priming and antifouling could be completed.

During the afternoon I helped Mark fix a problem with the chartplotter pedestal and got the new Lithium Battery controller installed and the house battery back online. Fired up the fridge and main freezer even though the thermostat in the freezer is a bit dodgy after the Lightning strike and awaits its new thermostat. We had 1.5 kg of good Aussie bacon that needed freezing.

I then attacked the damaged keel area with the angle grinder. Removed all the damaged fibreglass and gelcoat and started to get moisture appearing. Not good! Bugger! Drilled a small hole into keel and small amount of water came out under pressure. Salt water! Hmm! Lightwave Yachts dont build their mini keels strong enough! You listening Roger? Left keel to dry with a paper wick in hole.

After an afternoon swim and relax we were both back on the job just after 1600 to start the hull polishing. Worked through until dusk at 1900 and got 2/3 of outside of port hull polished and then Dulon 1&2.

Keel was dry so plugged hole with quick set epoxy then applied 6 layers of double bias glass over defect.

After dinner, about 2200, with John holding the torches, we checked out the new glasswork and found it had gelled off nicely, so we mixed a batch of epoxy bog and smoothed it all out.


Friday 18 March

Back on the polishing at first light morning shift , 2/3 of outside starboard hull done. After breakfast, second shift we polished the inside hulls under the shade of the bridgedeck. I sanded up the repair and then coated it with clear epoxy to seal it.

Afternoon poolside then back for the late shift finishing polishing the port hull before dark and getting the first primer and antifoul on over the keel repair. Moved hull supports to antifoul hidden areas. Antifould new depth transducers.

Saturday March 19

Dawn shift on the buff again finishing inside bow port hull and rest of outside starboard hull.

Mark had finished so he sent one of his crew to clean the decks while we started tidying up the inside ready for me to wire up the new Seatalk NG network, connect up and commission all the instruments.

Completed the polishing in the late afternoon shift and applied second coat of antifoul to repair and other areas. Just about ready to splash!

While the focus was on getting all the jobs done we did enjoy catching up with friends from last year, Sue and Jon form Ocelot. Jons collection of KAP files has grown from 33GB last year to 180GB now giving us high res Satelite charts for most of Indo, Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo and many other areas. A great backup for normal charts. We spent time poolside with Christine and Russel off Christine Anne who shared much of their 22 years of cruising experience. Gary Martin and Tina have Dragon all back together following their lightning strike 12 months ago. They are off to Italy with Dragon's new owner. Kerryn and John of Esoterica Introduced us to some of their friends from their Sail Indo Rally in 2014. Good peole and good times.

Sunday March 20

We were last on the days list so we had plenty of time to scrub the dinghy and lift it back on deck. Refilled the saildrives with oil, touch up antifoul and clean up hardstand site. Checked out of the resort. Left some of the old large heavy damaged equipment behind but the rest was still littering the cockpit. Esoterica was first in but had engine start issues and had to be towed out to the pontoon.

Our lift went well and as usual the guys managing the travel lift did a fabulously gentle job of putting Gemini Lady back in the water. After Johns engine start problems I had double checked fuel supply and turned over the motors prior to lift. They both fired first touch of the key and we motored into our wet berth feeling very smug.

Wired up for shore power and fired up the aircon. No water flow! Bugger! Time to hit the pool and the bar!

Returned after dinner; cleaned out the now disolved hornets nest in the aircon water intake, reprimed pump and fired up the Aircon again. Bliss!! Rebak is a very sheltered Marina so it gets very little breeze and is like a hothouse!

Crashed again!

Monday March 21

Time to get some food in the cupboards. Can't live on bacon alone! Hired a car from Mr Din with John and Kerryn and took off for a supply run to Kuah. Marine hardware shop and Bakery; then Groceries and Booze after a good coffee at Billion. Visited the Booze warehouse, sort of like a Bunnings for Booze with pallets stacked 5 high with wine and spirits from all corners of the world. Not a price to be seen so it was a slow process to work put what there, was good value.

We had been warned that wine goes off real quick over here due to the heat. In fact our remaining casks from last year had turned to syrup. Alcoholic syrup at least and just still drinkable. Well, for quaffers like us at least. I did entertain thoughts of giving up the booze back in Australia but now we are back here in the heat I crave my medicine of at least 2 cold beers by 1700 hours followed by a Gin and Tonic then wine with dinner. I have a theory that sweating neutralises alcohol. I'm sweating heaps!

After visiting a few more supermarkets chasing good cheese we finished up at Sailors who offer cryovaccumed meat products pre frozen.

Back for the 1545 ferry that departed at 1530 ( just as well we were early) we put all the food away and I started the nav station wiring. Spent ages looking for the cable that connects our VHF Remote Mic to the main VHF Radio. Couldn't find it anywhere but did find a cable with a frayed end and no plug. Tested with continuity function on the multimeter. Sure enough it was the Remote Mic cable. The end had been ripped clean off and the plug nowhere to be found. Bugger! ( Again) Lea, not very happy with our contrator, begins the research to get a new cable, which, incidentally, will be an absolute Bugger to run.

No room at the table for a meal so back to the restaurant and beer, and wine!

However, it was a very pleasant dinner with Sue and Jon off Ocelot. They are off to Penang then the Himalayas for some treking.

Tuesday March 21

Pulled out old Seatalk 1 network cables. Removed at least a kilo of old obsolete wiring.

New Balmar alternator regulator installed and programmed.

All Raymarine Instruments Networked and fired up ok. Dockside commissioning completed.

Xantex Batery Monitor rewired correctly and programmed.

Inverter/ Charger programmed.

Removed old electric winch breaker and installed new one.

Lea sliced up old Screecher and salvaged some good material ( I think she wants a new handbag). We were both very attached to that old Screecher as it had propelled us many thousands of sea miles. (Maybe I'll have a new handbag from it too).

A succesfull day and our first home cooked meal in a week; with no added sugar.

Wednesday 23 March

5km run before breakfast.

New Pactor Modem installed and tested with HF. All good! Checked installation and operation of new Fusion Stereo.

Lea got good news from Spence. He just happens to have a spare cable for the VHF Remote Mic. See! Hoarding is good!

Thursday March 24

3 steps back.

Replacement Gas monitor is the wrong model. Bugger!

Schreecher furler won't fit the new Schreecher eyelets on head and tack. Bugger! Do engineering drawings for new thimbles to fit furler and sail eyelets.

Dismantled Cockpit fridge compressor area to find new controller not suitable. Bugger! Emails to Aus to source correct replacement controller.

Good red medicine enjoying Lea's pumpkin soup & home made chapati with John and Kerryn.

Friday March 21

Good Friday for Christians and Friday is the Moslim Sunday. What are the chances of shops and businesses being open? We went anyway after picking up another of MR Din's rent a bomb's. We didn't have a lot of success but we did manage to find where lots of places are for future reference and we came back with a bootfull of serious medicine and a frozen chicken.

Impromptu curry on Esoterica with more good red medicine.

Saturday March 22

Kept the car and headed out again. First stop was a great chandlery and I found a cheaper, easier solution to the furler issues with 2 nice big bow shackles. Then the post office to return our incompatible gas monitor. All going very smooth until we got back to the car and found it blocked in. Thank goodness it was a little micro car and we were able to squeeze our way out. Did no good sourcing LED globes or gearbox header tank fittings but unexpected bonus was to find some of the special grease for the propellors.

Nice coffee at the Langkawi Yacht Club with John and Kerryn then off to the Booze Warehouse for a bootfull of wine and beer.

Great lunch at a local Restaurant followed by a scenic drive up the central volcano, Gunung Ray, the highest point of Langkawi.

There is a large resort at the top that is being rebuilt and the lookout tower is part of it. Not quite sure why you stay there though.

Back to Sailors for another meat order then back to the boat for a quiet night.

Sunday 27 March

Dawn exercise then Screecher up with new shackles. All good? Not quite, the UV strip on this sail is on the opposite side to the last one so it has to be wound the other way. Hence, another job to do is dismantle the deck block and change the ropes over. Bugger!

Installed boom bag and lashed in the sail battens.

John gave us lift to get the Mainsail out of the guest cabin and onto the cabin roof. Needed to retire to the pool for a lunchtime beer after that bit of very strenuous exercise.

Quick bite to eat then slipped our lines and headed over to Telaga for the last of our major repairs. The Watermaker!

Seems something had gone wrong with the Dockside commisionning of the Autopilot. When engaged it propmptly turned the boat around and went back the other way. When the helm was turned to port, the rudder indicator indicated starboard. Tried everything to fix it before reading the manual and in the end turned the whole system off to try again. However, the chartplotter wouldn't come back on. Help! email to Raymarine.

The Telaga anchorage was busy but we fitted in ok with great views of Machinchang Cambrian Geoforrest Park and the Skyline Cable Car.

We got the outboard on the dinghy and into the water. Fired up first time. Got to love a Yamaha! Took a tour into the marina area, past the lighthouse.
Passed the local fishing fleet
Entered the marina basin
Very pleasant.
Monday March 28

The breeze was up all night which helped a bit with our first night without Aircon. Tried to get the Main up first thing but the breeze defeafed us so we lashed it down and left it.

Surprisingly. Chris and Andrew from Yachtworx turned up on time. They layed out the new components on a rug on the cockpit floor. At my first glimpse of the new PCB board I new it was the wrong one. This was soon confirmed. Chris thought he had a suitable one somewhere so he disappeared and soon came back with another one. This had different plugs but they proceeded to install it anyway. Got through to test stage but no banana, it didnt work. Now have to wait for another PCB to be flown in from the USA. Bugger!

I went ashore to pick up Luigi, our assessor, for an inspection of progress. He took lots of photos and asked a few questions. We loaded him up with 2 big boxes of old equipment but he refused to take the old TV

We met John and Kerryn in Telaga Harbour for a late lunch beer. They had been in town and had picked up a small 12V battery and a Micro SD card for us. We were trying to download the software update for the Raymarine products but the file is over 1 GB and the download kept crashing.

John is flying back to Aus to source a new starter motor solenoid and anchor winch parts. Drastic measure but overall the most cost and time effective way to get what he needs.

After they left we enjoyed chilled Sangria and Tapas at a bar while having one more go at the download. Failed again! John will download it back in Aus.

Finished putting the mainsail back on in the light evening breeze.

Tuesday March 29

Light morning breeze so we managed to get the Genoa back on its furler. The Screecher turning block turned out to be more difficult and time consuming to dismantle than expected. I then moved the door latch in the guest cabin so it worked. Its only taken me 6 years to get to this job. However, now our guests can enjoy some privacy.

No sign of Chris or Andrew to tidy up the watermaker so it can be flushed every day until the new board arrives. Another failure of Chris' comunication skills. After ringing them, Andrew came out to sort it.

Managed to get the Chartplotter to fire up, so leaving it on until I get the software update done.

Wednesday 30

Morning run and found a rubbish skip so we could dump the old TV. Chased up a batten end for the top mainsial batten at Yachtworx.

Had Steve and Julie off Aqua Dream, a Fusion 40, over for morning coffee. They will be doing the Rally with us.

Then it was time to up anchor and go for our first sail in nearly 4 months. We headed south, hard on the light SE wind, past Rebak down to Palua Singa Besar.

Found John and Sukanya off Millennium anchored there so went for a visit to check out Johns new project of an electric Tandem bicycle, all engineered from recycled parts.

Great to be out under sail again.




Tuesday February 16 2016

It’s now just on 2 months since we returned home from Langkawi, leaving Gemini Lady parked on the hard stand at Rebak Marina. We’ve had a great time catching up with family and friends over Christmas and New Year.

We have slowly made progress with the insurance claim as the Underwriters Royal Sun Alliance Assessor, Luigi, insisted on retesting all the damaged equipment. This didn’t begin until after Christmas. He found all was as we had already informed him back in early December. I guess this is fair enough and due process but I will be asking the Underwriters to pick up the tab for all the hardstand fees until repairs are complete. If we had been in charge of repairs everything would have been ordered before Christmas and the boat all fixed by mid-January.

The next hurdle was to get all the quotes in for the repairs, now that the shopping list had been finalized. This involved a bit of negotiation as many items had to be substituted with newer or different models. We have to say, Luigi, our Assessor, was very fair and reasonable throughout this process. We then had to convince the Underwriters to give us an advance payment to fund all the purchases. We suggested we get a loan and then bill the Underwriters for establishment fees and interest. This seemed to prompt them into action and we received $35,000.00AUD as an advance payment for the shopping list. We have learned that most insurance policies for boats are “Indemnity” policies where the owners have to pay for repairs and then get reimbursed by the Underwriters for all costs incurred.

As of now all orders have been placed. We just hope all arrives in time to install before mid-March. Our suitcases will be full of replacement equipment on our return flight. Looking forward to getting back now for this year’s trip over to Northern Borneo. However, just a final rundown of the last days of last year’s trip.

December 2015

After safely arriving at Rebak Marina we spent the next 10 days organizing meetings with the Assessor and Repairers as well as enjoying the Resort at Rebak and the Island of Langkawi. The stress and the heat put a bit of a dampener on it all but we still had a good time and still enjoyed the final social events of the Sail Malaysia Rally. The final spit roast dinner was great night apart from no alcohol.

It gave us a chance to get photos of some of the the main characters in our journey this year.

Julie and Graham (New Views)

Sue and Andy, the Spucettes (Spruce)

Dagmar and Christoph (Flomaide)

Peter “Poodle” and Denise (Reverie)

Leslie and Grant (Cattiva)

Richard and Carol (Pedro 3)

Gemini Lady came out of the water with no problem. The boys on the travel lift did a fabulous job, gently lifting her out.

Then moving her down the hardstand to her new berth.

Rebak Marina Management were very concerned about lifting a catamaran wider than 7.0 meters. Apparently this is a limit set by the travel lift manufacturer due to the compression loads placed on the vessel. We were, therefore, advised that the lift was at our own risk. Gemini Lady is 7.3 meters wide and easily fit into the travel lift with no excessive compression placed on the gunwales during the lift.

Moved onto Cattiva for the last 2 nights and partied on with Richard and Carol. Big thank you to Grant and Les for having us.

Finally got a decent picture of a Hornbill. These eluded us on the jungle trip from Kumai.

Goodbye Rebak Marina


Portrait of a Lightning Strike

Extract from preliminary document sent to Topsail Insurance detailing our initial assessment of damage.


We were anchored out side Straits Quay Marina, Penang. Malaysia with approximately 20 other yachts & catamarans as part of Sail Malaysia Rally.

We had returned from a day ashore and started the generator and air-conditioner to cool the boat down after being locked up all day and to prepare an evening meal. It started to rain around 1930 hours and we could hear thunder in the distance. Very rapidly the situation changed and the Lightning and Thunder were very close to the anchorage, so we disconnected the VHF & HF antennas & switched off the Windless, Davit, Halyard Winch and HF & VHF Radios at the circuit breaker panel.

Our generator, saloon air conditioner & TV were operating as well as gas Controller and lights.

Lightening struck us at 2000 hours with a loud bang & all lights & TV went out. The generator continued running, but the air conditioner shut down & was making a noise.

We quickly turned it off at the control panel & shut the generator down.

We began checking onboard systems.

Lithium House Battery had been isolated by the BMS system. Attempted reconnect but got 2 flashing red LED's. Checked manual and this indicates a cell fault on 1 or more cells usually <2.5V or >4.0V. Measured battery voltage at 13.2V. (3.3V each cell) Noted all LED's on individual cell PCB's green. (Email later sent to Rod Dilkes from EVPower, Australia requesting information re further testing and diagnosis as well as quote for replacement and freight) BMS had already isolated battery but we turned off house battery switch a well.

Noted that VSR (voltage sensitive relay) between house and start battery non responsive to remote override. Installed hard wire link to bridge start battery to house to restore house systems ie. Lights etc.

Noted Xantex Battery Monitor non functional. With hardware bridge in place both start and house battery are registering but manual switching of VSR dead.

Checked Inverter/Charger No LED's on. Checked fusable link from battery and thatwas ok. Inverter/Charger Dead and possibly also controlling Mate 2.

Spectra Watermaker MPC 5000 panel alive but just listing letters of alphabet on display and totally non responsive. (Later email sent to Spectra asking for diagnosis and advice.)

Fired up HF and it was receiving ok but Pactor Modem shows power light but no other normally blinking lights. SUSPECT DEAD BUT NEED OPERATIONAL LAPTOP TO CONFIRM.

Started both main engines. Both fired up and all analogue gauges working ok. However, alarm panels remained illuminated as shown. ( Later found port motor alarm goes off when motor running alone, even though analogue gauges showing all ok. When running both motors or starboard only, not a problem. DIAGNOSIS NOT DEFINATIVE. MAY BE RELATED TO FAILED REGULATOR.

Checked Balmar 612 alternator regulator and found switching on ok via ignition relays but main power supply fuse blown any new fuse blows immediately. Diagnosis of internal short. No field output. This may relate to engine alarm display issues. NO BATTERY CHARGING AND ALTERNATOR STATUS UNKNOWN.

Anderson ST46 Electric Winch.

Attempted to engage circuit breaker but isolates with immediate disconnect. Bypassed remote PCB behind circuit breaker and proved winch works ok but PCB Blown. (Later email to AllyachtSpars Australia for quote re. new PCB)

Samsung 24 inch digital/analogue LED TV. Dead.

Raymarine Instruments.

Tri data shows depth but later found no speed or log functionallity. Temperature reading at 38.8 degrees C and all log information gone.

Wind shows “0.0” display and totally unresponsive to masthead unit and keypad.

Autopilot 6002 head unit displays ” Seatalk Failure” and totally unresponsive to keypad.

C120 shows chart info but GPS, 48Nm 24 inch Radar, 650 AIS, DSP 300 Fishfinder module and Autopilot all dead. All fuses checked and ok.

Sony Multimedia Player lights up but fails to play any media.

Fujitsu Lifebook Laptop was plugged into Pactor Modem, AIS and Chatrplotter NMEA. OpenCpn navigation software with KAP files. Primary navigation system for Indonesia. Dead.

Glomex TV antenna and signal amplifier. Dead


Garmin ETrex GPS. Used as backup GP for Lap Top navigation systems. Dead.

Masthead VHF Antenna, destroyed.VHF antenna hanging from the mast

Also noted all masthead lights non functional. Rigged alternative anchor light for the night.

Called friend and neighbour “New Views” to advise of situation and request loan of portabl genset in the morning. Sent emails outlining event and preliminary damage assessment to Topsail Insurance and requests for information from Spectra Watermakers and EV Power.

Immediate power needs met by start battery. Checked boat re hull damage and water ingress.

All ok. Transferred all food to cockpit fridge/freezer and shut down galley fridge to save power.


Start battery reading 11.5 V. Contacted other neighbour ” Pedro 3″ requesting lend of 240 V battery charger. “New Views” brings across genset as well as charger and spare 90 AH battery from “Pedro 3”. Proceed to rig temporary charging system and extra capacity to Start Battery.

All works well. Noted VHF masthead antenna hanging from mast. SUSPECT LIGHTING STRIKE HIT MOUNTING BRACKET VHF ANTENNA. Minutes later VHF Antenna fell to the deck.

Consider options and elect to proceed to Langkawi escorted by “New Views (Brisbane Aus)” and “Spruce (Portsmouth UK). Heard that ” Flomaide (Germany)” also received damage from last nights lightning storm.

Sufficient charge to start motors and lift anchor. Proceeded 18Nm toward Langkawi. Both Engines on and ok but not charging.



Enough battery power to start motors and lift anchor ok.

Motor sailing and discovered Port motor alarmed when running alone. OK with both and OK with Starboard. MAY BE RELATED TO FAILED ALTERNATOR REGULATOR AS ALL ANALOGUE GUAGES WORKING AND READING OK.

Arrived Rebak Marina ok. Requested “New Views” to purchase 240V charger for us as an interim measure while they are in Kuah. Climbed mast to inspect masthead and rigging.

Raymarine 48 Nm 24 inch Radome. Looks ok but dead.

Glomex TV Antenna/ Amplifier. Dead.

Masthead VHF Antenna Bracket remains.


Masthead anchor light and tricolour LED's blown. wiring OK. Old globes reinstalled & work fine. Navigation, Steaming and deck light globes also blown.

Checked behind engine panel and all looks ok. Volvo Part numbers for alarm display units taken in case new alternator regulator fails to fix problem.

Isophase Forward Looking sonar. Fires up ok but slow to settle depth and apparent artefacts in horizontal display mode.

Cockpit fridge freezer. Thermostat circuit dead and running continuously. Huge job to lift out box to get at compressor and controller.

Tested galley freezer. Runs ok but hunts at cut off before finally shutting down at temp. Thermostat circuit may also have been affected.

Jabsco remote controlled spotlight. One element stil working but second element and servos dead?

We are hoping to haul out and leave Gemini Lady on the hard while back in Australia. We have checked and measured up Travel Lift and we are satisfied it will be ok. We head back to Australia from Langkawi on 16/12/2015. Be great to have assessors visit before then if possible.

This document is a full and true account of the lightning strike on 03/12/2015 and our subsequent actions to stabilise the situation and get Gemini Lady to a safe harbour. The damage we have found so far is detailed but not necessarily limited to the contents of this document.


Thursday December 3

A very early start to catch the 0600 101 from Tesco, then the 204 to Penang Hill and the Fernicular Railway. We got the first carriage of the day and shared it with a Bride to be, dressed in Blue. Unfortunately the clouds were still low and blocked our view of Georgetown 830 meters below.

We decided on the 5km walk to the Botanical Gardens. In places the grade was 30% and soon fatigued the legs. We met some locals doing their morning exercise and they guided us on the more scenic route down to the Gardens and then gave us a tour of the gardens themselves. Lovely people and we enjoyed a coffee with them at the end.

Our guide also directed us to the nearby famous Hindu Temple, which is the last stop during the Hindu Thaipusam Festival where serious body piercings are undertaken in the name of Religion. No succes getting a normal taxi so we called Uber and were soon on our way to Kok Lok Si Buddist Temple. This is the latest Buddist Temple in SE Asia with 30 meter bronze Kuan Yin Statue. The grounds were extensive and steep. The legs were getting very weary now.

Back at the boat all was glassy calm and hot. Picked up the last load of washing and said some goodbyes.

The clouds built and we heard thunder in the distance. This has become an evening event. We didn't pay much attention until the thunder and flashes seemed closer. We had the Genset on together with Aircon while Lea prepared dinner. After a much closer strike I began disconnecting antennas and anchor winch but got distracted by food served to the table. At about 2000 there was a deafening crash of thunder and all went black. The Genset was still running so I shut it down. We finished dinner by torchlight then began the damage assessment. Bugger!


Wednesday December 2

An early morning bike ride through Georgetown with New Views and Reverie. Chris and Sarah off Tulu had recommended this for us and thanks to Julie for organising it. Ken, our guide, has a Masters degree in Computer Science but after 13 years in the corporate jungle decided to do something different. His father was not so pleased after investing so much in Ken's education, both in Belgium for his first degree then the US for his Masters. However, He obviously loves what he is doing and his delight was infectious. When we arrived he had everything ready and had his whistle and boom box warmed up. Minor complication when Denise realised she actually couldn't ride. Deprived childhood and all that. Ken soon had it sorted by hiring a Trishaw for her, much to her embarrassment.

Then we set off with the music blaring and Ken controlling traffic for us with his whistle. Really should try this in Sydney and see how far unlimited self confidence, a high vis vest, good loud music and a whistle will tame the drivers. Here it worked well with everyone giving way to us. Chew Clan Jetty was the first stop.

Although we saw it yesterday, Ken had more in depth history for us. Apparently the jetties originated as an escape from land taxes.
Then on to Little India for a traditional breakfast.
Then back on the bikes to continue the tour.
With grandma Denise muttering away in her Trishaw.

We passed by Fort Cornwallace and some of the street art we saw yesterday as well as a few temples.

We got a bit of the old Triad history. Originally these were good organisations trying to overthrow the corrupt and repressive government in China at the time.


We visited the shop where Jimmy Choo did his apprenticeship. The shoes are still being made in the old tradition by ancient shoemakers. They had photos of Jimmy the on the wall.

The officials love their uniforms.

After the ride Denise and I went to the Dentist. Good clinic, well equiped, good skills and cheap prices.


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.


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.