Redang - again
31 August 2014 | MALAYSIA – PULAU (ISLAND OF) TIOMAN AND REDANG
Our August pilgrimage to NE Malaysia kicked off again this year, this time with 2 boats in company - Kokomo and Pelican. First stop - a 135 mile passage - was Tioman, to clear us / boats into Malaysia and the obligatory stop at the Duty Free shop to load up with our favourite tipples. This year there was a very pretty cat outside the shop that both Kokomo and we fell in love with and were tempted to do a bit of cat-rustling! We spent some of the afternoon at the funky beach Cabana bar with beers and burgers, and then adjourned for a peaceful night aboard our boats before voyaging to Redang next morning. The Tioman anchorage is scenic, sheltered and one of our favourites, particularly as it is the closest topography to the Marquesas that we have seen. The main town itself is lack-lustre, which is such a pity.
We weighed anchor 0930 for the 200 mile trip to Redang and made it into anchor after 33 hours to be advised that our social agenda - cocktails aboard S/V Pelican - was about to start.... And thus went the next couple of days, including a great taco night aboard Kokomo. There was another highly social boat in the anchorage - Ajax - who were tons of fun and we all forged a great yachtie friendship with them. They were active in the galley department, providing all of us with pickled onions and chillies and cheese scones!
We love Redang because of its sparkling crystal clear water, its giant turtles and its fine white sand - the stuff postcards are made of.
Unfortunately the next day 2 things happened: Julie of Kokomo fell and hurt her back badly and husband Mark got an urgent call from the office to return to work. Damn. So after only 2 days in "paradise" they had to leave but needed an extra crew member to help them return the 350 miles back to Singapore as Julie could barely make it up/down the companionway. Henry wanted to stay aboard Dreamcatcher in Redang and do boat jobs so I moved aboard Kokomo to crew for the passage back to Singapore - it was a rough ride with 15-25 knots of wind on the nose and we got there wiped out. We had an alarming situation when we accidentally ran over fishing trap buoy: impossible to spot amongst the white horses and spume. Big bang, boat stopped, and we though we may have to sit out the night adrift until we could clear the prop, but were able to limp into Tioman slowly on the engine and clear the obstruction just before sunset. GT had one night at home in Singapore before boarding the flight back to Redang to re-join Dreamcatcher. So, sadly I missed some cocktail nights and fun times but, we are great believers in karma particularly in the sailing theatre, and we know that others have helped us in the past, so, glad to have an opportunity to help out friends. We spent a further 3 days at Redang, hosted a raucous cocktail evening, took our kayaks on their maiden voyage and had a lovely dinner at the Taaras Resort. Our major casualty was our freezer which decided to resign after only 3 days, so Henry made block ice purchases almost daily to keep things cold, plus we were able to move our frozen meals to the other boats. One of his ice sorties was on the back of a local motorbike!
We left Redang to passage back to Singapore - once again, rough ride with wind on the nose 10 degrees either side of south and not much sailing done. We pulled into Tioman for a shower, sleep and drinks - a lovely calm respite on the voyage home. When we arrived at the Singapore on-water clearance area, the immigration boat pointed out a large blue rope that appeared to be hanging off Dreamcatcher's stern! We hadn't seen it but must have picked it up passaging down from Tioman: we gingerly turned the prop but the line jammed, and there we were, dead in the water. Thankfully, we were only 1 mile from the marina and the boys from Keppel Bay towed us in with their RIB. The line we caught was substantial. When Pelican arrived the next day, it turned out she'd also had an up close and personal encounter with fishing nets and line. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory when sailing alongside Malaysia, either coast. The next couple of days in berth was spend de-salting the boat and getting her ready for the next trip, planned in December, to Phuket in Thailand.
So, GT ended up sailing in excess of 1,200 miles in a 2 week period - no wonder feeling a bit weary.....
Pic is of Henry in the dink at the Redang Island resort jetty.