March 26, 2011—Our trip from Langkawi to Penang went fairly well. We left Rebak Marina around 11 o’clock on March 22 and motored just a few miles to the Fjord anchorage. We dropped the hook in the small bay and were thrilled to see that we had it all to ourselves.
We took the time in the afternoon to just relax and made our last weather checks. We decided to leave at 6 a.m. in order to have enough time to make it to Pangkor before dark. We pulled the anchor and discovered that the wash down pump was not working so Steve and I had to clean the chain by hand as it came up, and it was not fun because there was heavy mud on it. It was still dark when we left, but the moon gave us enough light to see by, and we had to dodge only a few fishing boats.
We motored most of the way; however, in the afternoon the wind picked up enough that we were making very good time. We had one heavy rain for about 20 minutes, but we had no high winds associated with it. As we approached the entrance to the channel at Penang, the waves had built and were rolling by us just off the beam. It was making the ride a bit uncomfortable; however, when we got in the lee of the island, the waves calmed right down, the current pushed us nicely along, and the ride through the channel was quite enjoyable. Our only stressful moment was when we had four ferries all crossing the channel at the same time but from four directions.
We entered Jerejak Anchorage at about 5 p.m. and looked for our anchorage spot. We saw a fishing net in front of us, so we turned and went further south to drop our anchor. After getting the anchor down and everything secure on the bow, we looked up and saw the same net coming at the boat. It was a drift net so it was moving with the current. It was too late for us to pull our anchor so the net went on both sides of our boat. We tried pulling it from one side to the other; however, the net was deep, and we could not budge it. We decided to give up and hoped that the owner would see what had happened and come out.
He did see, and he did come out with two men, and he was not happy. He started yelling at us about his net and told us to pull the anchor. Steve responded that if we did we would tear his net. The owner then was yelling at us for not seeing the net, so Steve told him that we anchored in a designated anchorage and the net drifted onto us. After much grumbling and posturing, they took one end and pulled it across our bow so that we were free. We agreed to move to the side of the anchorage so we pulled the anchor and moved.
The holding was good, and the anchor set well when I was backing down with the engine in reverse. Just when we finished, the throttle cable broke. This meant disassembling the pedestal to get at the cable. It was an hour before dark, so Steve started right in on the project. Once we had the top off, we could see that the set screw holding the cable in place had come out, so all we had to do was replace the screw. This was, of course, more difficult that it sounds. Steve had to remove a small center section of the pedestal, and the screws were tough to get loose. Then he had to remove a long bolt that was very hard to get a grip on. Working together we were able to get the set screw in and began to reassemble the whole thing. Just when we thought we were there, the bolt dropped out of the hole. Luckily, Steve had a replacement bolt, so we kept working and finished the job just as it got dark.
We slept well that night and woke at 6:30 to leave. We needed more light to leave this anchorage because a bridge is being constructed, and the waterway is filled with barges and other ships. Steve did a quick download of email and weather only to learn that his brother had passed away that morning. Steve was able to call his mom to get the details, and she asked if he could come home so we told her that we would leave as soon as we could get a flight.
We decided that we would continue to Pangkor and leave from there. The weather was nice, but the current was not being helpful. We spent most of the day in calm seas but had another major rain shower, again with no wind. The fishing boats were out in force, so we played “dodge the fleet” for most of the day. About mid-afternoon the wind picked up just enough to increase our speed so that we were able to make it through the channel and into the marina by 7 p.m.
We were greeted at the dock by James and his crew, who got us all tied up. Glen and Marilyn from sv Tin Soldier were there as well. They are putting the boat on the hard and going back to Canada in a few days. We had a quick reunion and then called it a night.
The next morning Steve began a search for flights home. Since it was short notice, he had to work at it, but we did manage to book one that worked. We spent the day getting things out to be packed to go home and preparing the boat. The sv Spirit of Sobraon with Gary and Wendy aboard are also here, and they told us there would be a pot luck on the dock at 7 p.m. so I decided to make spaghetti and garlic bread. At 7:30 Tin Soldier had been pulled out and was on the hard, so the crew from the marina joined us, as well as couples from some of the other boats on the hard. There was plenty of food, and everyone seemed to have a good time. We called it quits at 10 o’clock and returned to the boat.
It rained most of the night and into the morning so we just stayed below and worked on chores. It is quite hot so it doesn’t take much effort before one is sweating and hot. We have to pace ourselves with frequent breaks, but we managed to get things done. We will leave tomorrow night from Kuala Lumpur and be in Albuquerque in the afternoon on March 28. We will have two weeks at home before we return to Malaysia and continue down the coast.