Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Langkawi revisited

09 December 2009 | Langkawi
Langkawi 9th December 2009
Photo, Shady Tree Restaurant, Penang

The cable car travels slowly across the clear blue sky, at night the two hilltop stations glow like hovering UFOs .Once again we are anchored at Telaga, Langkawi, at the foot of the major tourist attraction of the island. Last time we were here was April 2008 in Talitha. A lot has flowed under the keel since then. The anchorage is very full at present with the Malaysian rally boats arriving as well as many other cruisers getting ready for a season in Thailand and beyond.
Our trip from Danga bay up the Malacca Strait was uneventful. A calm trip, very little wind also very little other boat traffic. Very different from our trip with Talitha, we had learnt some lessons, we stuck to the plan, no unplanned overnighters. We encountered less fishing boats, nets and shipping than we did in 2007. When we left Penang we only spotted a handful of trawlers compared with 2007 when for 20 miles or so out of Penang the sea was so covered with trawlers I was amazed they didn't run into each other. Cockroaches of the sea I called them, dark shapes hoovering up every fish they could get. This year may be we struck a fishermans holiday. I like to think not, rather that the fish are getting a break.
On this trip back to Thailand via Malaysia, we have been trying to go where possible to different places. We stayed at Pankor Island, 70 miles south of Penang. A pretty group of islands, sandy beaches and clearish water. The Opera singer Pavarotti was said to have cried over the beauty of the place. If true I think he hadn't been out of an opera house for a while when he went there (certainly had never been to NZ)! An attractive area but not worth that amount of emotion. As with many places in Malaysia we are left with an impression of slow decay. The word and meaning of maintenance does not seem to be part of the Malaysian language. Except for the very new most buildings need a paint, footpaths have holes and the prevailing Malaysian ambience (drain smell) spoils what are quite nice tourist destinations. For a wealthy country very little is spent on infrastructure, the politicians need to get out of their police escorted motorcades and look around them. In spite of that little spot of criticism we have enjoyed our trip through Malaysia once again, the people are friendly, the food is good and we can find most things we need.
In Langkawi we have been completing our provisioning and preparation for our trip into the Indian Ocean, we will still have a few things to purchase in Thailand. Having spent time here we know where most things are that we need whether food or spare parts for Tuatara, so it hasn't taken up too much time. For a newbie to the Island hunting out everything takes time, as it is rare that any two spares can be found in the one shop. Filters at one part of town, impellors at the opposite end, charts from the middle of town, flashing anchor lights at a frozen food shop (naturally)and two good supermarkets, with slightly different products, 8 kms apart. Not to mention the alcohol, Langkawi is duty free so cruisers stock up here for their season in Thailand. If going to the Red Sea/Med most try to find room aboard for 6 months supply. A nice wine found in one shop, cheaper beer elsewhere, and a favourite rum eventually found in the back room of the supermarket. It all takes time and careful listening to cruisers who have been visiting here for years. Giving advice and directions to others about favourite places and especially restaurants is always a bit dicey. In Penang we told people about our favourite restaurant, The Shady Tree, a five minute walk from the marina. We hadn't been there for about 18 months so we were very pleased to find the food, in fact the whole Shady Tree experience was still great. The name comes from the tree growing through the roof in the door way. We warned people that the impression from outside was not the best but after dining you will be a fan for life. Luckily everyone who went there on our recommendation enjoyed the Shady Tree experience.
Andrew and Gemma have joined us for three days on their way home from London via a month in India. It is nice to see them if only for a few days. We plan to leave for Thailand a couple of days after they go. Phuket for Christmas and New Year then along with many other yachts we will leave for the Indian Ocean about the end of the first week of January. In the meantime we are looking forward to revisiting Koh Petra, Koh Muk and the Phi Phi islands on the way to Phuket.
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ