Log of the s/v Malaya

Small boat, big ocean. Join us for the adventure!

15 August 2014 | Dania, Fl
18 February 2014 | Dania, Fl
04 February 2014 | Wrightsville Beach, NC
01 February 2014 | Beaufort, NC
31 January 2014 | Oriental, NC
30 January 2014 | Oriental, NC
24 January 2014 | Fort Lauderdale
22 January 2014 | Fort Lauderdale
22 January 2014 | Fort Lauderdale
18 January 2014 | Oriental, NC
02 January 2014 | Still in Indiana
03 August 2013 | Indiana
05 April 2010 | Fort Lauderdale, Fl
01 February 2010 | Stuart, Fl
25 November 2009 | Stuart, Fl
16 November 2009 | Fernandina Beach, FL
30 October 2009 | Charleston, SC
16 October 2009 | Tidewater Yacht Agency, Portsmouth VA
12 October 2009 | Cape May, NJ
10 October 2009 | City Island, NY

To the Dry Tortugas

15 August 2014 | Dania, Fl
Al/hot and muggy typical s. florida
Our two week shakedown to the Dry Tortugas from Fort Lauderdale was a success! Other than being very hot and muggy especially at night in anchorages the weather was actually pretty good. We did encounter one heavy thunderstorm as we approached Government Cut to Miami, we had been watching it for an hour or so and decided it would catch up with us before we could reach a safe anchorage so we put a double reef in the main, rolled up the jib and hove to for half an hour.

One very good thing I like about Malaya is how well she heaves too under main alone. In this storm with winds of F8 or so she found her groove and just sat there. Very comforting!

We spent a night off Virginia Key in off Miami, then sailed or rather motored to Key Largo anchoring off Rodrig Key for a couple of nights. Here we couldn't figure out whether the water or the air was warmer. The air was cooler after getting out of the water but no relief from the heat in the water.

In Miami I started sleeping in the hammock on the foredeck or in the cockpit so that I could have a little breeze. Before we were home everyone except Josh had followed suit. Much nicer on deck at night. That lead to our biggest surprise the lack of bugs everywhere, no no-see-ems, no mosquitoes! Very nice!

After Key Largo we made Marathon for a couple of days, picked up some new belts for the engine and then made for Key West.

We made Key West in good time and then spent a couple of hours looking for someplace to anchor. We found close to town either too shallow, occupied or hard rocky bottom. After hauling in the anchor 3 times I broke out the old Lead Line and tested the bottom in a few more spots before we found a sand patch about a mile north of Key Largo. There was a good tidal current through the area in 20' of water but we got a very good set and were comfortable leaving Malaya during our day trips into Key West.

We spent three days exploring and eating our way thru town with again hot but good weather. Then weighed anchor and went on to the Marquesas Keys for a night. We tried to go ashore here but ran out of water a half mile off the beach in sea grass beds. We didn't want to walk or drag the dink thru the grass beds so returned to Malaya and snorkeled around for a bit.

Next morning under chute and main we made for Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, arriving late afternoon. We found good holding in 10' in sand in a well protected anchorage 100 yards off the beach at Fort Jefferson.

We spent the next 3 days exploring the fort and the surrounding reefs, lots of history and fish. The water on the reefs was a bit cloudy but otherwise some nice coral and fish.

After our 3 day stay we headed home setting a course to take us out into the Gulf Stream in the Straits of Florida where we got a nice 3+ knot boost from the current. The boost was really welcome considering we never saw more than F3 winds for 220miles!. Motor sailing and running with the chute got us home in 40 hours with no seasickness and no fish on the line.

We accomplished all our objectives, found out what works and what doesn't and what needs changing, saw some new places, got some good pic and gave Tristan a nice calm introduction to offshore sailing.

Home at last

18 February 2014 | Dania, Fl
Have finally made it to Dania Beach Florida, it took sixteen days, most of it cold and unpleasant but that trip is over.

I don't know what happen to the posts I made along the way but several posts appear to be missing. So to recap....

After reaching Wrightsville Beach NC on day three I was again forced to wait a day for weather. So day five I went down the Cape Fear River and headed to St Mary's River On the Florida Georgia border. However while the wind was fair the temperatures were not and by 3am I was very cold and having a hard time off it so bailed out for Charleston, SC where I would need to spend and extra day waiting for weather.

After a day in charleston I sailed on to St Mary's River, usually a 24 hr. Sail this time it took 36 hrs in light winds. Highlight off this section was a broken belt on the engine off the Savannah River with ship traffic around!

After a full day in Fernandina Beach I left with a blustery north wind and the promise of freezing temps (ice storm not many miles north of me). Had a fast trip to St Augustine and then several days on the Intercoastal Waterway, each day a bit warmer than the last brought me to Vero Beach and two day sails that were warm and clear with light winds to Fort Lauderdale.

So now we are in Royal Palm Marina on the Dania Cutoff Canal just south of Fort Lauderdale. Hopefully everyone will get settled in soon and we can get on with daily living and enjoy the sun in south Florida!

Moving and cold

04 February 2014 | Wrightsville Beach, NC
Al, overcast and cool
For the last couple of days I have been motoring down the ICW from Beaufort, NC. It has been interesting to say the least.

Shortly after leaving Beaufort heading south you cross under a highway bridge and enter Boge Sound, very shallow except for the ICW, markers are about a quarter mile apart. Doesn't seem like much until the fog rolls in and visibility drops to under a sixteenth of a mile!

So for two hours or so it was compass course, radar and depth sounder, as you left one buoy behind it was steer close and watch the depth. On radar one buoy would disappear behind off the scope and sometimes another would appear at the top, sometimes not at least for a couple of minutes. Wood squares and triangles on posts don't really make great radar targets, some have some radar reflective material added to them but you don't know which ones.

I managed to get out of the channel once and just touched bottom as I was already backing down to hopefully keep the grounding light. I did, and headed back to the last mark that I could still see and started over again with a very closely watched compass course. Finally about 1015 the fog started to lift and was gone by 1100 and I was able to make better time.

Arrived at Mile Hammock Bay on the Marine Base Camp Lejeune around 1700 and set the hook in 12'. About a half hour later was surprised to see not 1 but 3 more boats come in. Busy place for February.

By 0800 the next morning the other boats were all gone. I had decided to hang out there for a day as I have two days to waste before my next weather window on Thursday. Glad I stayed, fog was thick by 0830. Didn't need another day of that kind of travel!

Today left Mile Hammock at 0800 on a rising tide, passing the New River sandbars without any problems about a mile from the anchorage. The rest of the day was uneventful, had to wait for a couple of bridges that only open on the hour but still made Wrightsville Beach by 1500. (40 nm on the day)

Tonight got a slip at a marina, needed a hot shower, laundry and some heat below for the night!

Tomorrow a little shopping.


01 February 2014 | Beaufort, NC
Al, 50 overcast and raining
Finally got away from Oriental this morning at 11:40, the channel to the marine there isn't real deep so at one point I plowed thru some mud to get out, other than being slowed down for a minute, no problems.

Reached Adams Creek for the passage to Beaufort without anymore problems and once there found that for the first time in 7 trips down/up Adams Creek I had a fair current! In fact in was running in places at close to 3 knots so made great time.

Just north of Beaufort there is a junction in the channel. The main channel goes right towards the deep water ship channel and the inlet the left channel is a short cut into the Beaufort. I decided based on the mud flats around to stick with the main channel as the short cut is notorious for having depth problems and I didn't want to chance it.

However just after I made the turn for the main channel I hit hard doing over 8 knots, instantly heeling 20+ degrees to port with the bow slewing around to starboard. First thought was what the hell followed by this is one grounding you will be towed off of. Then SURPRISE Malaya came up right, the depth sounder started showing deeper water and we were back in the channel like nothing had happened. Looking aft I could see I been swept further left than I thought by the current so I moved over and hugged the starboard side of the channel the rest of the way to the bridge. Interesting moment!

In the end made Beaufort Town Docks without anymore problems. Malaya's engine ran well so because of the weather forecast I will motor south in the ditch (ICW) for a couple of days or so towards Charleston, SC which is about 250 miles south on the ICW.

Projects done, ready for sea

31 January 2014 | Oriental, NC
Al, sunny
Finally got all the projects on the commissioning list done, most important was the engine, new exhaust and belts, change fuel filters, check fluids. Today was up the mast to inspect the rig and install an new antenna. Replace a broken sail slide and hoist and check all the reef lines ect....

Afternoon was spent stowing gear, calibrating the new depth sounder, and such.

So tomorrow morning I will get underway for Beaufort Town Docks to get fuel and await the next weather window that will allow me to make Charleston, SC. This morning it was looking good for a fast sail on Sunday afternoon into Tuesday. Tonight NOAA and the grib charts are not speaking the same language. NOAA has the winds fair thru Wed. and the grib charts fair through Tuesday morning and then going foul. So who is right? We'll see how the forecasts change over the next 36 hours and then make a decision.

Until then I am going to try and enjoy tomorrows 20 mile passage across the Nuese River and down Adams Creek to Beaufort. Away from Oriental at last!


30 January 2014 | Oriental, NC
Al/25 and covered with frozen stuff
Woke this morning to the fairway frozen over with thin ice! The good news, it is 10 degrees warmer than it was this time yesterday and is suppose to get near to 40 today!

Arrived back on board on Sunday, parts for engine and windlass arrived on Monday. Since then I have made good progress on the commissioning list, windlass now works, engine runs, gear is stored so given a warm day or two to melt the ice off the decks and a weather window Malaya will get underway.

Still a couple of projects to do on deck, a sail slide or two needs to be replaced on the mainsail, I need to go up the mast to replace the vhf antenna and inspect the spreader tips and rig on the way down. Also need to check water and fuel levels.

Our weather here was considerably better than Atlanta's but still we got a 1/4" of ice with 2"+ off sleet on top of it. whole mess is frozen together on the side decks and cabin top. Needless to say it is very hazardous to walk on. So I won't even try. I tried to remove some of it yesterday without much luck, Maybe today when it warms up some I can clear the decks, we shall see.

Hopefully the decks will clear and the weather window predicted for Monday will hold, the work gets done on the mast and I can get underway on Sunday for Beaufort Town Docks and get underway early Monday and make Charleston, SC before the winds swing south for the next front on Wednesday.

Stay warm everyone where ever you are!
Vessel Name: Malaya
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Alton Bay, NH
Crew: Al Hatch, Keely Webster
Extra: Contact us Al@svmalaya.com Keely@svmalaya.com
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Malaya's Photos -

Malaya's crew

Who: Al Hatch, Keely Webster
Port: Alton Bay, NH