Malaysia - West Coast

 

Our first stop (being towed) was in Puteri Harbour Marina, Nusajaya.  Our engine (Danny the Dirty Detroit Diesel) was taken out, repaired and returned in a week.  Unfortunately, something was amiss went we left Puteri, the oil pressure was a lot lower than we had before, so we turned around.  Danny was taken out again and sent off to Kualah Lumpur (KL) for another repair.  After these were done we went up to KL to see how he was.  All seemed OK, although the oil pressure was still less than we would have expected.

After 7 weeks in Puteri Harbour and finally getting the engine installed again (although not yet trouble-free) we left for the Admiral Marina and Leisure Club, Port Dickson.  This took 3 days with overnight anchorages.  We came to spend Christmas and New Year with our friends David, Juliet and Sarah on "Reflections".  They also had engine problems and were waiting for a new Yanmar.  While waiting, David decided to have an Archilles tendon fixed, so he was in plaster.

 

We certainly enjoyed Christmas and New Year with them in the Marina resort hotel.  During the interval, we went off to Melaka (Malacca) for some historic sightseeing.  Highlights included Jonker St in China Town, the Stadhuys and other museums, flower-bedecked bicycle rickshaws, a ride in the Eye on Malaysia and on the Melaka River.

See some photos at the Google site: http://picasaweb.google.com/MeridianofSydney/

LUMUT

We headed off to Lumut to have some issues with Danny the Diesel rectified.  We had oil leaks and consumption, and also needed to look at the drive shaft because it was noisy.  We hauled out at the slipway of the maritime University, organised by Massimo.  A new st of piston rings and a new crankshaft bearing sorted out Danny.  The drive shaft was sent off to be straightened and new bearings fitted.

Cameron Highlands

While we were waiting for bits and pieces to be organised, we decided to take a few days off from life on the hard, and drive to the Cameron Highlands, a couple of hours east of Lumut.  A hire car cost RM100/day and while no rocket, it managed to get us up the very windy road.  Being at around 1000m above sea level, it was pleasantly cooler than life on the coast.  Our first hotel, the Century Pines was nice enough, but the staff weren't very friendly or helpful.  While out driving, we visited the Hotel de la Fernes which impressed us with the friendliness and level of service, so we checked out of the Century Pines next morning.  We drove south to the Boh Tea Plantation which was interesting, but we couldn't see the factory as it was closed for maintenance.

From there we drove to the Lake House for lunch, and were quite disappointed in the quality and the price charged.  Returned to Tanah Rata via the Smokehouse Hotel where we had afternoon tea of scones and strawberry jam.  Returned to the slipway in Lumut for a couple of days before going back in the water and down to the Lumut International Yacht Club marina.

PENANG

Our next stop on the west coast as we proceeded north was Penang.  We spent a very interesting week there, although not too happy about the Tanjung City Marina.  It has some very shallow patches, a noisy disco in the restaurant upstairs, but worst of all, it is located next to the vehicular ferry terminal.  The wash from arriving and departing ferries continues every 10 minutes until about 8 or 9 pm.  This tends to make vessels inside the marina leap about and strain at their mooring lines.

Across  the road is the wonderful "Shades" restaurant, the one with a tree growing through the roof.  The food is tremendous, cheap, and service is extremely fast.  Well recommended.

We hired a motor scooter for a day and visited the war museum constructed from an old fort.  Circumnavigated the island, visited a butterfly farm  and back to the hire shop all intact.

An interesting day started at 5am to witness the start of Thaipusam, an Indian festival.  Here an ox-drawn silver carriage was loaded up with various offerings.  Later we went to the site of many temples and adherents, some of whom showed their penance by inserting various sharp metal objects through their faces or other places.  Some had hundreds of small hooks with cord attached to weights.  Some even pulled a wagon by the strings anchored in their backs.

LANGKAWI

This is a very popular place for yachties to settle down while they wait for the seasons to come and go.  There are three marinas, the Royal Langkawi in Kuah, Telaga and Rebak.  Rebak has a hardstand and haulout facility where much maintenance is carried out.  It is also a 5? star resort with a very inviting swimming pool, much appreciated in the hot and humid climate.  We stayed for about a month, including a circumnavigation of Langkawi before heading back to Sydney for Ian's and Kellie''s wedding.