Year 5 Day 264 Passage To Langkawi: Day 6: The End Is In Sight
02 November 2012 | Offshore (a bit) from Kampung Sungai Betul, Malaysia
Dave/Weather: Mostly Sunny Then Rain Late In The Day
After 6 days of day hopping up the coast of Malaysia, along the Malacca Strait, the end of our passage to Langkawi is in sight. We are at our last anchorage before we start our overnight sail for the last push. We have made about 250 nm of the 410 nm jaunt and have just an easy 160 nm to go. These last six days have not been the most enjoyable since there has really been no enjoyable scenery and we have had to hop, skip and jump over and around dead heads, large islands of floating mats of grass and flotsam, skirting around fishing nets, fishing traps, fishing stakes and fishing boats dragging long nets behind them. And then there have been the large cargo ships and tugs pulling huge barges. By now we are rather used to it all and are not intimidated by any of it anymore. Nevertheless, it does not make for a pleasant passage. Oh, I forgot to mention the daily thunder storms with lighting and thunder and many times lots and lot of rain. Add to that the very high humidity and the high temperatures (typically above 95 degrees F) and the numerous bouts of light to no wind. Needless to say, we are anxious for this passage to end.
I think we also are anxious to mothball Leu Cat for our holiday trip back to the State to see our kids and meet the newest member of the family, Isaac, our grandson. He is our first grandchild so this is something very special to us.
Today, we sailed past the largest dead head either of us have ever seen. In fact, in might have qualified for a floating island. It looked like it was a huge palm tree with the soil and grass around it floating out in the ocean, about 6 miles offshore. I took a picture of it and will post it once we get a good Internet connection.
All told, we also sailed past over 60 fishing boats today. Most of them were flocked together in two separate areas with each area about 20 miles apart. Fortunately, they were all just dragging nets so they were easy to avoid. If they see you, they will try to steer out of your way. We also had a few large pongas carrying lots of goods cut either right in front of us or right behind us. I guess they do not see too many catamarans and wanted to get close to get a good view.
We started today by running both engines at high RPMs once we weighed anchor. There was a huge, black rain cell underneath a towering and growing cumulus nimbus that was heading straight for us from across the Malacca Strait. It was slow moving so we wanted to out run it before it hit us with all of its fury. Fortunately, Leu Cat was up to the challenge and out raced that nasty beast. We just threw our heads back and laughed at the black skies as they slipped behind us Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!
We made a bit over 55 nm today and averaged 6.3 knots doing it. We are currently anchored in 17 feet of water off the coast near the very rural village of Kampung Sungai Betul. It is about 14 nm SSE of Pulau Pangkor. The only reason we stopped here is that we can connect to the Internet as there is a cell tower just off the beach. The connection is very, very slow so we cannot post any pictures using it. Our position is 3 57.44'N/100 39.43'E