Thursday, July 03, 2014

Finally leaving

If Sea Turtle could speak, she would say "Get me out of here!" After 4.5 months, it came time to finally get her out of the scummy waters of Danga Bay Marina (Malaysia) where the barnacles had densely populated every part of her unprotected bottom. But just before leaving, Jordan had the horrid job of diving and cleaning the heavily encrusted prop, giving him a short-lived ear infection.

During that 4.5 months though, we had some sojourns away. There was a trip back home to Victoria and Alberta (Canada) to catch up on things and visit family and friends. Another trip while waiting for repair parts to return, we flew up to visit the north half of Vietnam. Then later we flew to Thailand to meet up with family. But finally it felt good to be on the move again with Sea Turtle as we headed out for the sail up the west coast of Malaysia.

We left the dock at 13:15 on July 1st and at first chance, with fingers crossed, we turned on the auto-pilot. It worked! So after a 3-hour motor down and out the channel, we set anchor in much cleaner waters (N01°18.888' E103°36.713'). This was approximately the same spot we anchored a few months ago when we had originally attempted a departure from Danga Bay and discovered that our auto-pilot was not working. We were next to a small Malaysian island between Malaysia mainland and the Island of Singapore.

Off in the distance, we could count about 50 freighters of all sizes at anchor, and at 1 of many container ports, we could count over 50 gigantic offloading cranes. Strategically, this area is the engine of growth for the developing world, and it's evident in the scale of shipping commerce and land development. It's beyond prodigious.

Ships filling the horizon

So we settled in for the night, enjoying the quiet with no blaring music.

The next morning, Jordan got out our Hookah equipment and did a complete underwater hull cleaning. But when the tide and current became too strong, he had to hang on to a rope attached to the striker plate at Sea Turtle's bow to keep from being swept away! (I really wanted to help but he thought it was too strong for me.)

We delayed pulling anchor until the tide and current were flowing with us and set off at 14:15. We had a great sail for the the rest of the day, setting anchor at 19:00 (N01°20.887' E103°22.433'). We were now in the infamous Malacca Straits. As we were cruising along the coast of mainland Malaysia, we were able to anchor almost anywhere in shallow waters and out of the freighter lanes.

The next day (July 3rd) was a late start as we discovered some needed boat jobs. For the first few days, while working the boat systems at sea, a few things needed attention. Some critical, some minor - all were fixed in short order though. We pulled anchor at 10:30 and with no wind had to listen to the Perkin's purr until anchor time once again at 19:00 (N01°46.717' E102°47.008') alongside the Malaysian mainland.

So nice to be out on the water again!

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