Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Langkawi daze

As mentioned before, we had to order a new second-hand SSB/Ham marine radio from the internet and have it delivered to Malaysia as Thailand does not allow them to be imported. This means that we had to sail back once again to Langkawi Malaysia to pick it up. And we thought we had left there for good!

Once we confirmed that the radio had been delivered to the marina of Telaga Harbour of Langkawi, we decided to do another overnight voyage rather than stopping and anchoring along the way as we had okay sailing and motoring weather. We pulled anchor January 5th at 10:15 from Chalong Bay of Thailand and anchored January 6th at Telaga Harbour, Langkawi at 12:30 (N06°21.785' E099°40.887').

Upon examining the radio when we picked it up, Jordan discovered that the microphone receptor on the radio had a male end where a female end was required in order to use our microphone. Also the power and tuner connections didn't match. After searching high and low for a solution, we met with a technician who gave Jordan a fairly simple way to solve the issue. Simple, but it took a lengthy period of time.

With the radio all hooked up, we next need to connect to a radio net that SV Shearwater has told us about. If successful, next is to return once again to Phuket (Chalong Bay) Thailand to pick up a new prop for our outboard engine (none available in Langkawi without a lengthy wait).

Jordan thinks that when he was trying to push and pull Sea Turtle when she was aground that the rubber of the prop had slipped. He has put pins in it so we can use the dinghy in the meantime but a new prop is needed for a permanent solution. We have found a dealer in Phuket that is holding one for us until we get there.

Some of the sunsets in Telaga were amazing, a pleasant punctuation to end the day of boat jobs...

Telaga, Langkawi

Another distraction to our boat jobs: Chanty shenanigans. Like when she tried to get too close to the fish and climbed down the step that hangs over Sea Turtle's side and fell in. She found the safety screen we attached to the stern for such an emergency and she scurried up, soaked and forlorn.

Showered and towelled off

Next off to the Mediterranean. We will post next when internet is available...

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A new year

We began our sailing adventures in September of 2009 and here it is 2017. Wow, time sure flies when you are having fun. Another new year of sailing adventures to look forward to - all the excitement and pleasures as well as all the struggles and discomforts. No, it's not ALL fun all of the time!

To start the year, Jordan spent the morning scouring the internet for a possible solution of why our Frigoboat refrigerator keeps overheating and must be turned off. We just had it looked at by a professional on December 29th and thought all was solved, but apparently not.

He discovered a solution on the internet posted by others having the same problem and decided to give it a try. He straightened a specific pipe and then lightly banged on it to get a possible blockage to move. It worked, but again, for how long? Time will tell. Maybe this time we will be lucky.

After spending a quiet and pleasurable evening, we pulled anchor at 13:15 on January 1st from Koh Naka Yai on the east side of Phuket (Thailand) returning again to Chalong Bay, but this time we decided to anchor on the east side of the Bay (N07°48.865' E098°22.945') at 16:45. The west is so very busy and hectic but the east is much quieter, calmer water, and with less boats too.

Our feline Chanty is enjoying both sailing and motoring now. She came up on deck, looked around, played, and then even had a nap in the cockpit as we motor-sailed. She totally ignored the sound of the motor.

On the 2nd, we re-anchored and unfortunately in the hectic west side of Chalong Bay which is less than half an hour away (N07°49.208' E098°21.468) as we wanted to get an early start in the morning and needed to be close to the dock where we could easily rent a car. The next day we totally filled the car with provisions to get ready for our long passage coming up.

We had started to see windy weather as was predicted. To get out of the fetch on the 4th, we moved from the rough west side back to the east side of Chalong for more protection (N07°48.972' E098°22.974'). It made for a much more pleasant sleep with less bouncing around.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Koh Naka Yai

We untied from the docks of Ao Po Grand Marina today at 13:30 after getting our fridge fixed yesterday and made our longest passage ever. NOT! We only motored for 15 minutes, more like our shortest passage ever, and anchored on the west side of Koh Naka Yai (N08°02.826' E098°27.468'). Many sea kayaking tourists frequent the east side but we found the lee west to be quiet.

We were in no hurry to return to the agitated scene at Chalong Harbour (Thailand) so we just hung out in peace here for the evening.

No photos as our camera seems to be lost...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Not cool

Well, as it turned out, we were not able to do any further exploring of the areas of Koh Pan Yi (Thailand), the Muslim fishing village, as we had to rush back towards Phuket.

Our Frigoboat (refrigerator) quit, and as the holiday season was upon us, we were facing a limited availability of service personnel as this day was the only day they were available. We arranged for a repair person from Cirrus Cooling to meet us at Ao Po Grand Marina and booked an overnight berth there. We pulled anchor around 11:15 and motor-sailed the 3 hours south.

By now Chanty was getting used to the sound of the running engine. We think all of these short voyages have helped.

We arrived at the dock (N08°04.155' E098°26.732') around 14:30 and the 2 repair men promptly showed up. They diagnosed such a simple solution, so simple that we had a hard time believing that that could be the real problem.

They ran pressure tests and amperage draws to determine the cause of the compressor overheating. Finally they suggested the keel cool unit in the water might be covered with growth, preventing adequate cooling. Jordan jumped in the water with a scraper while the technician monitored any changes. It seemed to do the trick. Let's hope it stays that way.

This Marina is full of luxury yachts. One of them, Equanimity, is valued at $175 million and apparently is owned by a Malaysian billionaire and is in the top 50 of the world's largest, according to the internet. She is an impressive 91 m long (300 ft) and meticulously maintained sporting regal navy and white colours.

Equanimity (copied from internet)

Anchored offshore, as though in a competitive flaunt, were 2 other larger private mega yachts. The Ocean Victory, at 140 m (460 ft) with 7 decks and 6 pools, carrying up to 50 crew, boasts that it is one of the 10 largest in the world.

Ocean Victory (copied from internet)

That's okay, we are still happy with our Sea Turtle at 10 m (35 ft) with no pools. Ffffftttt!!! Who needs a pool with the ocean at your doorstep!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

James Bond and more

This morning at 09:00, we left our anchorage at Koh Yang Thailand to dinghy to nearby James Bond Island (approximately N08°16.490' E098°29.965'). The official name of this island is Koh Phing Kan but it became a very popular tourist destination after the filming of The Man With the Golden Gun, a 1974 James Bond movie, where the villain supposedly kept his secret lair in this striking setting.  There is an eye-catching pinnacle rock on one side of the Island's beach.

We were lucky to arrive early and beat the scores of tourists who descend on the scene daily by boats from all directions and of all types: longtail boats, speedboats, day cruisers, and junk boats. We paid the required 300 Baht ($10 CAD) fee per person and walked the steps and short trails for a few quick photos to be able to say "bin there, done that" [sic]. Spoiling the setting were countless souvenier stands hawking their cheap trinkets.

Jordan admiring dramatic pinnacle

Iconic scene of James Bond Island

Once back on board Sea Turtle, we hoisted the anchor at 11:45 to continue northwards. Next stop, a Muslim fishing village on Koh Pan Yi. They constructed all their buildings on stilts perched over the shallow water with a backdrop of a towering karst pinnacle. The residents cater to about 3,000 visitors per day for lunch at the number of large open-air restaurants!!

Approaching Koh Pan Yi

We anchored across from the Sea Gypsy Village (N08°20.202' E098°30.391') at 14:00 in the estuary and of course dinghied to one of the many docks of the restaurants.

As we ate at our seaside view table, we watched the mayhem of the many large longtail boats (powered by huge motors perched on the stern) arriving and departing with their numerous hungry or satiated passengers.

Hefty motors

Longtails and Sea Turtle

By around 15:00, as though there were a curfew in effect, all was quiet as everyone returned to whence they came...

For the rest of the day, we jumped in the dinghy and tried to find a tunnel through the Island and a cave with Neanderthal drawings not far away. No luck. Maybe tomorrow we will try again or go with a tour boat.