Makani Kai - Postcards from an adventure

14 June 2010 | Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
26 May 2010 | Bali, Indonesia
18 May 2010 | Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
16 May 2010 | Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
14 May 2010 | Uluwatu & Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia
12 May 2010 | Serangan, Bali, Indonesia
10 May 2010 | Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia
09 May 2010 | Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
06 May 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali, Indonesia
28 April 2010 | Serangan, Bali
22 April 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali
19 April 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali
18 April 2010 | Lovina Beach, Bali
14 April 2010 | Belitung, Indonesia
13 April 2010 | Belitung, Indonesia
10 April 2010 | Nongsa Point Marina, Batam, Indonesia
07 April 2010 | Danga Bay Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
01 April 2010 | Melaka, Malaysia
24 March 2010 | Pangkor Island, Malaysia

One of our other favourite places in Malaysia

01 April 2010 | Melaka, Malaysia
We arrived at Melaka on the 29th of March, our wedding anniversary. We arrived in the midst of some wild weather, the marina had only 4 other boats in there and we could see them all rolling about as the water washed through from the Malacca Straits. It was another case of almost getting a marina design right. There were small gaps in between the concrete pylons in the retaining wall that was supposed to keep the wash out. We had tried in vain to contact the marina, both phone numbers for the office on their website were incorrect, there was a number for a marina manager but when we called him he had already resigned from the position but gave us another contact for the marina, unfortunately that number rang out. We checked the waypoints for the marina as listed on their website and found that they too were incorrect, they placed them 12 miles inland! So we sent an email which was never answered and decided just to try our luck. On our way we tried to rouse the marina on the radio, we had to try Channel 16 as on their website it told us to call Channel __, there was no number inserted! So in between the fisherman playing music, whistling and generally having long conversations all on the emergency channel, Channel 16, we tried the marina also to no avail. We drove into the marina to very little fanfare. No one came out of the office to see us but it was after 5pm so I assume they had gone home. An American guy on a small catamaran was out fixing his lines as his boat moved around in its berth and looked ready to give a hand. 'Where's a good spot mate?' Jay said. 'Everywhere's the same, it's all bad!' came the reply, not very reassuring. We decided to go for the nearest and easiest berth to get into, the American guy had gone back to what he was doing so we were on our own tying up. With fenders and ropes in place I climbed over the hand rails, balanced on the gunwhale as we rocked and rolled and readied myself to jump down to the pontoon, crossing my fingers that I didn't miss and end up in the muddy water.

Finally safely tied up with a criss cross of several ropes to stop us from smashing into the pontoon, we were able to leave the boat and go in search of a nice restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. The gates to the pontoons were not locked and 24 hour security sat at the entrance to the marina from the road. A perfunctionary glance and a request to fill in an arrival form was all we received from them, they did however warm a little when a few words of Bahasa were spoken and they happily gave us directions to Chinatown. We were pleased to see that we were within walking distance of everything and it was interesting to note a lot of the changes that had occurred since our last visit. Melaka is a heritage site, a lot of the old buildings have been restored and an effort has been made to make it 'tourist friendly'. Both the Chinese and the Dutch influence are obvious, the local government have installed soft pink lighting at the front of private homes and businesses. The effect on the architecture and feel of the place is beautiful. Lanterns hang everywhere a leftover from Chinese New Year, trishaws covered in gaudy colourful plastic flowers and flashing neon lights with booming dance music coming from their speaker's cycle past one after the other, their occupants suddenly the centre of attention, a conga line of trishaws. We are starving, a lot of restaurants appear to be closed, the streets are quiet, it appears tourist season is almost over here too. We come to the Geographers Bar and decided to eat there, the meal is not fantastic but achieves its purpose, we are no longer hungry. Wandering down the street we find a better restaurant and vow to come back to eat there the next night. We walk aimlessly through the streets before deciding to head back to the boat, we have travelled quite a few miles in the last few days and the effects are now starting to hit us, we are tired. Back to the rocky marina to try to get some sleep, we will explore tomorrow.

Our sleep was fleeting and what little of it we did get was interrupted by a sound I would liken to long sharp nails being scraped down a blackboard. It turned out to be the brackets on the pontoons scraping on the pylons as we rocked up and down and the tide came in. It's a wonder anyone could sleep there, the noise was SO loud especially being on water which caused it to amplify. I would assume that people staying there before us would surely have mentioned it but nothing had been done. Jay was out the next morning undoing the bolts to adjust it and when one of the bolts was found to have corroded and could not be undone, he came back, got a big hammer and belted the crap out of it! That was loud too and I half expected to see security running down the jetty to drag us off for vandalising or something but Jay's manic determination to 'fix it' proved fruitful and we were able to get some sleep in the nights that followed. We decided to go and check out Melaka in the daylight and wandered up to the office to check in. When we let them know about the wrong phone numbers, wrong waypoints and unresponded to emails they merely nodded their heads. 'Yes, we know', they said, why should we be surprised, this is Malaysia after all! But it's hard to be indignant when they are cheerfully smiling and laughing at Jay speaking Bahasa, there are more important issues in the world and this is not one of them!

This trip we are becoming little mallrats. The weather is so hot and although the threat of illness is always hanging over our heads (see Penang excerpt), the draw of air conditioning and ice blended drinks from Starbucks is strong! Besides, once you set foot into a Malaysian shopping centre you are lucky to find your way out again, literally!! They are a maze of shops, never-ending corridors and escalators leading to endless levels of shopping. Like Alice in Wonderland we walk along all of a sudden feeling as though we have eaten the cake that makes you BIG, the ceiling has lowered to a few inches above our heads and we walk through a shopping centre marketplace selling DVD's, jewellery and some, shall we say, very interesting fashion. This goes on for quite some time and then all of a sudden we are back in the 'normal' part of the shopping centre. There is some GREAT shopping, unfortunately when I shop with Jay I don't find anything (I need you Gem!) The other thing about shopping in Asia is that most of the ladies clothing is a little too quirky for me... I don't want bows, beads, flowers, ribbons, cartoon cats, lace or multi coloured buttons all over my t-shirts!!!! I have found some shoes but again Asian women have gorgeous little petite feet, I dread the look I get when I ask for something in my size, which is invariably followed by a quick (semi-disgusted look) at my giant feet! I do look forward to being home and being normal size again! We kill a whole day in the shopping centre!!! Where did the time go? When we head out from the boat that night we marvel again at how beautiful Melaka is by night. We stop at the river and take photos as boats pass by on tours. That night we eat at the restaurant we found the night before. We order a few meals to share including Butter Chicken and sit there salivating at the thought of an Indian meal but being Malaysia we should know better than to assume that Butter Chicken is an Indian meal and not just chicken with butter! I try it and cannot finish it, it makes me feel ill! Lucky for me Jay has an iron stomach, he finishes it easily and contemplates dessert. But I am slightly over exaggerating, the meal by Malaysian standards is actually really good. Plus the free entertainment in the form of Japanese tourists being ferried around in the trishaw disco conga line is priceless.

Having been sucked into the shopping centre void the previous day we decide to turn our heads as we walk past the tantalising mecca of air conditioning and instead decide to walk the streets for the day. We see a man at a roadside cart serving food, he has half a face, I remind myself how lucky I am and we continue on. First stop, the chicken rice ball shop. We order a quarter of a duck and half a dozen rice balls, there are rice ball restaurants everywhere, after the meal last night we're not sure what to expect but in an unexpected turn of events they turn out to be exactly what they say they are. Plain white rice shaped into small balls and are actually quite yummy dipped in some soy sauce. We wander in and out of antique shops, some of the furniture on offer is exquisite, ornately carved daybeds, huge Chinese urns and delicate screens. One item in particular that took my fancy was what looked like a lacquered cabinet which stood at around chest height, when opened it had a collection of drawers and shelves and was actually a huge jewellery box. The Chinese lady turned conspiratorially to me and said that if I bought it Jay would have to fill it with jewellery for me. I didn't think she would understand the term 'fat chance' and instead turned to Jay expectantly, he laughed nervously and we left the shop. A lot of places were closed after the busy month of February, so we just walked aimlessly up and down back streets in amongst peoples cramped living spaces and tiny businesses they run from their homes. We end up on the outskirts of Melaka which has none of the charm found in Chinatown and its surrounds. Instead it is a mass of dirty modern buildings, busy roads and businesses squeezed in next to each other, we eventually find our way back to the river and walk along it taking in the old buildings covered in historical murals and the squalid shacks that they have hidden behind a screen of hanging lights so that they are not visible at night. After being in Asia for the last couple of years the conditions people live in still amazes me. Old wooden houses well beyond their prime sagging in the middle and sinking into the mud they are built on, random placement of corrugated iron and scavenged pieces of wood form a dwelling where evidence of its occupants can be seen from the childrens clothing placed on the roof to dry and the smell that so often accompanies these communities, that of rubbish and sewage in the heat. As we cross a bridge over the river we are approached by a dark Asian man with dirty long hair wearing a turban and dirty cotton clothing, we expect him to ask us for money but he comes to us to say hello and to tell us with pride that Melaka has a lot of history and that there are a lot of things we should go and see. We take in the history and finish our day with 'Alice in Wonderland' in 3D at the air conditioned cinema. The perfect fusion of old and new. We leave tomorrow on the high tide for Pulau Besar only an hour and a half from Melaka, we will then get an early start and head towards Danga Bay, Johor Bahru where our journey through Malaysia will come to an end
Comments
Vessel Name: Makani Kai
Vessel Make/Model: Stroud 44
Hailing Port: Gold Coast, Queensland
Crew: Jay and Jodie Stroud
Makani Kai's Photos - (Main)
42 Photos
Created 21 February 2010
Using Mai Sai as a base, Jodie and Jay head up the mountain Doi Tung, where Jay almost gets into trouble with the Burmese, they go to a temple and find a little treasure beside the road.
43 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
Basing ourselves in Mai Sai looking directly across the river at Burma. We spent the day exploring the markets and temples of Mai Sai.
35 Photos
Created 7 December 2009
Checking out of the Garden Home, Jay and Jodie took a boat ride to the Burmese border and travelled to Chiang Rai.
26 Photos
Created 7 December 2009
Patch joined the crew of the Makani Kai for a couple of weeks in The Banyaks for a catch up and some good waves!
108 Photos
Created 6 December 2009
Visiting the Chiang Dao caves before moving on to a pretty village called Tha Ton.
31 Photos
Created 3 December 2009
The non-surfing photos taken at the Bay of Plenty in June!
10 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
A collection of shots taken at The Bay of Plenty, The Banyaks.
33 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Jay and Jodie head into Sibolga to renew their visa's. Not a place we want to spend a lot of time in but the sunsets were awesome!
23 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Hiring a car, Jay and Jodie set out for Chiang Dao with Ian and Michelle from Raku. They visited a monastic centre there.
21 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Hiring a motorbike for the day Jay and Jodie headed up the mountain for a day of exploring.
26 Photos
Created 1 December 2009
Our brief trip to Afulu Lagoon on Nias and to Asu
14 Photos
Created 1 December 2009
Taking a day off the tours we walked around Chiang Mai taking in what it had to offer.
15 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
Our first weeks in the place that would become our surrogate home for the next 6 months.
51 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
Jay and Jodie venture outside the city to visit some hill tribes and hang with the tigers.
37 Photos
Created 26 November 2009
Our first experience at Pulau Simeulue, a place that would become our base for most of our 6 months in Sumatera.
31 Photos
Created 26 November 2009
Keen to see some of what Chiang Mai has to offer Jay and Jodie embark on a temple tour of the old walled city and learn how the beautiful Thai umbrella's are made.
44 Photos
Created 25 November 2009
Leaving Pulau Weh behind we headed to Luk Seudu on mainland Sumatera, Pulau Raya and Pulau Lakon where the boys got their first surfs in Sumatera.
41 Photos
Created 25 November 2009
After almost 2 days sailing we arrived in Pulau Weh from the Butangs in Thailand. Not knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised by the efficiency and friendliness of the Acehnese.
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Created 23 November 2009
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Created 29 March 2009
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Created 23 February 2009
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Created 27 January 2009
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Created 5 December 2008
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Created 26 November 2008
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Created 1 November 2008
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Created 19 September 2008
33 Photos
Created 19 September 2008
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Created 14 September 2008
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Created 13 September 2008
Photos from our relaxing time at Nembrala.
39 Photos
Created 13 September 2008
Photos of our 5 days in Kupang.
7 Photos
Created 1 August 2008
Our trip through the Northern Territory to Darwin for the beginning of our rally.
104 Photos
Created 19 July 2008
Pictures of our journey to the top of Australia.
63 Photos
Created 27 June 2008
22 Photos
Created 15 June 2008
Documents our magical 10 day stay at Lizard Island.
75 Photos
Created 14 June 2008
A photographic journal of our trip from Port Douglas to Cooktown.
81 Photos
Created 29 May 2008
This is a photo journal of our trip from Dunk Island to Cairns.
38 Photos
Created 28 May 2008
This album shows our journey through the Hinchinbrook Channel to Cardwell.
50 Photos
Created 24 May 2008
A photographic journal of our trip from Townsville to Orpheus Island.
53 Photos
Created 13 May 2008
This album documents the journey from Airlie Beach to Townsville.
38 Photos
Created 8 May 2008
This album documents our quest for the best Pina Colada between the Whitsundays and Thailand.
2 Photos
Created 6 May 2008
A photographic journal of our journey beyond Brampton Island.
43 Photos
Created 4 May 2008
This is a photographic journey through the Islands of North Queensland.
54 Photos
Created 1 May 2008
A photographic record of the boys surfing regardless of how bad it is...
5 Photos
Created 1 May 2008
This is a collection of all the sunset shots we have taken during our trip.
12 Photos
Created 1 May 2008
This album shows photos of our travels from the beginning at Peel Island to Pancake Creek.
63 Photos
Created 22 April 2008
This album contains photographic evidence of our fishing exploits! Yes, we really are catching them!
53 Photos
Created 14 April 2008
These are the photos from the first Island paradise we have encountered.
16 Photos
Created 6 January 2008
N.A.S.A. (not to be confused with the American one) is a group of people with a series of events or occurances that bind then to one another in a way that non-NASA members cannot understand, unless it happens to them. Affectionately known as N.A.S.A. (not a sailors a'hole)a group of men, Tony, Tony, Ken and Athol, will be held up as role models to those that come after them. Jay and I having had our application for membership denied have taken it upon ourselves to find other would-be members from around the globe. This is the pictorial account of our efforts.
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Created 21 December 2007
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Created 21 December 2007
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Created 18 December 2007
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Created 7 December 2007
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Created 7 December 2007
These are the weird and wonderful fish we have caught on our journey so far!
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Created 7 December 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
These are the photos from our trip to Australia Zoo. If you have the chance, make sure you go there!
18 Photos
Created 14 November 2007

Who: Jay and Jodie Stroud
Port: Gold Coast, Queensland