Boat maintenance & Sailing
15 July 2011 | Langkawi
As we are not sailing much this year we haven't been as diligent with our blog, but we have been busy, so we will endeavor to update you on what has been happening with us since we have been back in Langkawi. Our plan for this year was to base ourselves in Langkawi in Rebak marina and take the opportunity to see more of SE Asia through land travel. In between times would be spent on boat maintenance and improvements while tied up to a jetty.
We arrived back in Rebak Marina early June after spending the latter weeks of May admiring and enjoying our new granddaughter Ruby who was born (to Jayne & Damien) on the 14th May.
Our first job was to anti foul the boat. First Light was carrying quite a lot of growth due to the warm water around here, so we hauled her out and spent ten days 'on the hard' scraping off barnacles, applying anti foul and completing a few repairs to the prop. It was a hot and dirty job, for Bern in particular, who spent most of the day dodging the sun. Morning sun meant working on the port side and vice versa in the afternoon. Fortunately the air/conditioner that Bern installed over the main hatch earlier in the year has made life in the cabin so much more comfortable. So it became a real haven in which to escape the heat when working outside became too much. The tropical heat and humidity are very wearing and we are now both convinced, we are built for cool climates.
Once we were back in the water, with a nice clean hull, we glided out of the marina for a weeks sailing around the island in company with some Aussie friends on their boat 'Sassoon'. It's amazing how easy the boat moves when her undersides are clean. Our first anchorage was in the Fjords, a narrow but very pretty waterway just south of the main island. The area is completely guarded by high cliffs covered in lush growth, and home to Kites (eagles) and monkeys. It is also quite protected from the weather, so a good place to spend a few days in the SW monsoon season. After a few days, we continued around the island to the ' Hole in the Wall' another protected anchorage, with a very narrow entrance between rocks that opens out to a large bay, once inside. Leading off this bay are many narrow creeks that are a few kms long and again bordered on either side by steep rocky cliffs. It was a great place to go exploring with the dinghy, but we were in stiff competition with the 'hundreds' of local, long tail tourist boats that spend all day zapping up and down and around, laden with tourists. After 5pm the end of the business day, it became a quiet peaceful anchorage again. Our final anchorage was at the northern end of the island, in a bay that is overlooked by an exclusive resort. We dinghied into shore to enjoy a drink at the resort bar which was very civilized. However, our attempts to dinghy back out to the boat weren't so civil. By the time we were ready to head back to the boat, there were breaking waves on the beach. We tried to time our exit in between waves, jumped in the dinghy, ready to fire up the outboard, but despite Bern's efforts it wouldn't cooperate. The next wave threw the dinghy back and washed over us both. Wet, bedraggled and a little embarrassed (there were many onlookers sitting on the beach) we tried again, but took another wave. Totally embarrassed, we resorted to the oars which got us beyond the break- should have tried that in the first place! It proved to be an uncomfortable anchorage exposed to the NW which brought in quite a swell from the ocean and we copped a big thunderstorm with gusty winds in the early hours of the morning. The following day we motor sailed in a lumpy sea down the west side of the island back to the marina and the air conditioner!