Monday, November 16, 2015

Anchorages and routes

We have finally re-entered all of Sea Turtle's anchorages and routes travelled since 2009. The anchorages had originally been done with a company whose system crashed and almost all of our anchorages were gone. Luckily, we had kept a copy of our information! Our anchorages, and also our routes, have now been entered with the program Google Earth. Do NOT use for navigation!!

You must have Google Earth - a free program - installed on your computer to view. When you click the word HERE (or as shown at the right side of this page under Sea Turtle Links), you will be directed to a page that asks you to "Download" (as usual with web pages) or "Save to my Dropbox". Simply click download. Then you will be asked to save the link. No problem. Simply save it wherever you want and open.

So download and save. That's it, easy.

The link takes you to a copy of our Google Earth page where we add or delete stuff, instead of just the globe. If you make any changes, additions, or deletions to the file by accident or on purpose, your changes will NOT save to our linked file. When you close Google Earth, you have the choice to "discard" or "save".

Discarding will remove the copied file from your computer's Google Earth but will NOT remove Google Earth from your computer. Saving will save the file (and any changes you have made to the file) to your computer, not to our link.

So don't worry about moving any anchorages, etc. by mistake. It won't change our original linked file. You can simply close (discard) the file and re-open it from the link on the right where it says "Click HERE..." if you mess it up!

Have fun with Google Earth. Zoom in and visit the places we have been to. You can see the sandy beaches, marinas, anchorages, cities, etc. and share our dream...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mr. Ted is Dead

In memory of my Dad who recently passed, I (Jordan) have been asked to compose a brief entry for our blog. For a while now, I have been wondering what to say, wanting to avoid a repetitively hollow and cliché piece.

Pondering the subject, 2 compositions that I had heard come to mind that I thought might give me some inspiration. Both were short yet unusual.

One was about Mr. Head (pronounced "Heed" in the Scottish vernacular). After Mr. Head from Bitterhead Scotland died, Mrs. Head thought she should post an obituary with the local village news rag. And when she inquired as to the cost, the clerk said it cost by the word. So Mrs. Head wanted to keep it short. When she suggested that the obit should read "Mr. Head from Bitterhead is dead" the clerk tactfully suggested that it was a little curt and offered to add 3 words more at no charge. So after a brief moment of thought, Mrs. Head revised her submission as follows: "Mr. Head from Bitterhead is dead. Volvo for sale."

The other, a true story, was a posthumous obit written by the person himself posted in the local paper after his death. Apparently he was a jovial fellow and all who knew him weren't surprised by his words. His self-composed obit simply read "John is Dead" under a picture of him with a broad smile.

Now this I think makes more sense than the usual and typical "Theodore David Mills, born...blah blah blah..." because obits are only meaningful to people who knew the deceased and they probably know everything that you might want to say anyways. So words can be an inadequate substitute.

I could bore you and say that Dad was an extremely steadfast and honest father (which in fact he was) and that I couldn't conceive of a better Dad (which in fact I couldn't). And I could add that because of this and by his lead, he taught us there could be a balance in being responsible and enjoying R & R activities. But for those who knew him, knew that his "quiet love" was unequivocally evident without showy displays. I suppose, as a simple description that says it all, I could say this: "If all earth's inhabitants were of Dad's nature, there would be peace without strife and conflict."

Or for the sake of brevity, and in light of Dad's scriptural belief in the life after: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5.5)

Or...I could just say...

"Mr. Ted is Dead"

Monday, April 20, 2015

Put to bed

We tied Sea Turtle up to a dock on April 13th, the first time in many months, at Marina Island, a 318-acre man-made island. Here, we prepared her to be put up on the hard at the family-owned Pangkor Marina.

We hauled out on an unusual but very efficient Sea-Lift, a first for us. Jordan manoeuvred Sea Turtle onto the air-filled bunks and the operator of the lift raised then drove Sea Turtle up the ramp and out of the ocean - all with his remote control! No scratches, bumps, or nicks. After a bottom power wash, she was settled on the hard.

Jordan powering onto Sea-Lift

Soft and easy lift

In the humid heat with the daily predictable afternoon showers, we continued preparing Sea Turtle for a long sleep. We found relief from the heat by taking an air-conditioned hotel room and an occasional swim in another hotel's swimming pool!

We felt comfortable with the security of Pangkor Marina's yard knowing Sea Turtle would be in good company for the months to follow, nestled in with other yachts from all parts of the world, some from Canada too.

With a sad goodbye to Sea Turtle on April 20th, it was a cheery hello to family and friends in Canada where we will be until approximately November to complete a project.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back to Malaysia

We needed to travel a couple of days south from Koh Lipe of Thailand to the Pangkor Marina of Malaysia. So on April 10th, we checked out of Thailand, and with a breeze on our nose, we first motorsailed for the Langkawi group of islands about 5 hours away. Halfway there though, we decided to bypass Langkawi and do an overnighter south for our check-in at Penang Island of Malaysia.

Throughout the night, we kept a vigilant eye to avoid nocturnal fishing boats and nets. Then as the day broke and we cut through the haze as we entered the Penang Strait, it was the freighters we had to give way to. We anchored in front of George Town at Penang Island (Malaysia) around noon (N05°24.646' E100°20.569').

At George Town, having previously seen its sights, we made haste and did our Malaysia check-in and our port check-out all at once for a quick departure to resume our southbound track. The afternoon departure was good timing. Just! We picked up a southbound tidal current that pushed up under both bridges while we watched an ominous black squall intensify just over our shoulder. Realizing we couldn't outrun it, we pulled over in the shallows as close to shore as we could and dropped the hook (N05°16.321' E100°17.524') just as the wind and rain hit.

Looked lower than it was!

Once the squall abated, we lifted the hook at 23:00 and continued to motorsail until we reached Pangkor Island (N04°14.696' E100°34.344') where we anchored on April 12th for one evening. The next morning, we dinghied to the nearby man-made island (Marina Island), where we confirmed our reservation and then motored Sea Turtle over (N04°12.688' E100°36.109').

This would be Sea Turtle's home for awhile...

Thursday, April 09, 2015

In stitches!

April 7th was an interesting day at Koh Adang of Thailand. Early in the morning, many longtail tourist boats passed Sea Turtle on her mooring ball heading to various shores for their passengers to snorkel in the nearby coral or stroll on the uninhabited beaches. We counted at least 20 boats, sometimes 5 all together!

Tourist transportation

We were excited to get into the water for some long-awaited coral reef snorkelling. But as Jordan was about to attach the dinghy wheels, he stumbled when a wave from a passing boat bobbed the dinghy and he stepped on a sharp bolt head which was part of the dinghy wheel bracket. It sliced and ripped into the bottom of his little toe. The diced flesh was bleeding profusely, and upon examining it, it was obvious that it needed stitches. Koh Adang was uninhabited so it was back to Koh Lipe for medical attention.

Back at the village, we went to the closer of 2 clinics along Koh Lipe Walking Street, later wishing we had tried the second one. For 8 stitches in a small toe, including doctor and nurse, it cost $350!! Plus they wanted another $200 for antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, which we succinctly declined.

We returned to Koh Adang immediately afterwards where I snorkelled for the next 2 days with Jordan following me, peering down below from in the dinghy. I felt so bad for him not being able to get into salt water because of his wound, but at least he had snorkelled this same area previously when I was in Canada.

Evening sunset

From Koh Adang, we once again returned to the white sandy beaches of Koh Lipe (N06°29.074' E099°18.009') for one last evening.