What have they done to Penang?..
My Penang how you've grown, up!
Someone once said, "Malaysia - when they've finished with it... It'll be really nice!" Too true I guess. Penang the Pearl of the Orient but where did all those tall buidlings come from! Like much of Malaysia, there's a 'boom' in progress. Where all those peple will come from to fill all the buildings is beyond me and when they do finally show up, there's going to be an even more massive traffic jam than the present one!
But sailing around Penang was nice.
We sailed under the first 'world's longest bridge' at 11pm heading for the marina which is on the end of the reclaimed land north of Georgetown. Fort Cornwallis is still there and very nice to see that the majestic E&O Hotel is still intact.
Fort Cornwallis is where we had pulled the Nacra ashore at 7am after sailing up non-stop from Lumut. Then we just had time to go fetch a plastic bag of hot coffee and head off to Langkawi in the hopes of catching up to the Raja Muda Fleet..
Fast forward 22 years...
The fleet is days behind us, we've had a decent sleep on anchor in front of the Straits Quay Marina and we're off again at 8pm. Penang is like a ladies ocean, every time I've been between Penang and Langkawi its been the same... Light breeze in the morning, then nothing at lunch time and then a storm at night... No reason this day should be any different!
Right on key, the breeze faded after what looked like a promising ride into Langkawi. So on goes the Tohatsu and we leave the ghost of the Nacra behind. The night on the Nacra turned into quite a ride as the predictable blow came and left us battling it all the way for the remaining 60miles in pitch darkness. I remembered being so wet that it was getting hard to keep my eyes open.
Opening my eyes after a short kip in the mesh shade on RAW's trampoline I couldn't imagine how we'd been inspired to sail the Nacra all the way to Phuket! So I slipped down below on RAW, opened the fridge, grab a cold drink and thought "my how times have changed".
With the fridge onboard it's as if RAW is a super yacht. Running the engine for about an hour will see the fridge go from 20 + degrees down to 0. This makes a huge difference onboard! The Tohatsu 9.8 has an alternator kit and with all the motor saiing that you do on delivery in these parts, gives enough juice to keep the fridge happy. We also run a solar cell and between the two we've got more than enough current to take care of all the electrical needs. It's taken us a little while and this sort of trip to see what really works, but it's all good now. Mind you our electrical requirements are pretty low with only a chartplotter, LED house lights, Nav' lights and that's it!
The only hazards between Penang and Langkawi would be the northern style of fishing stakes! These are in about 20m of water and kind of look like a palm tree in the middle of nowhere. I guess we had
averted these to on our Nacra because until now, I'd never seen them! That's one in the background of the photo abaove.
The Malacca Straits, you won't see really clear watef until you're within sight of Langkawi. The rest of it further south is the normal muddy Milo. So here as we picked our way into Kuah Harbour, the waters were clean, finally.
Straits Quay Marina. This is it. The entrance is right under the dome looking building and it's a hard right turn!
Pearl of the Orient to the Island of Legends
Fridge. This is great kit. With the Tohatsu alternator running it can keep up with the power demands of the fridge.
Tohatsu. In Southeast Asia, you can't leave home without it! It keeps the fridge cool!