Day 175, Year 4: A Little Too Optimistic
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Weather: Rain Overnight; Partly Sunny Day
Location: The Malaysia Hotel, Penang, Malaysia

When I reread last night’s log, I had to laugh. I said we were almost ready to go and at that point I thought we were. But at 1:15 this afternoon I was still cleaning as Mark was carrying the luggage to the ferry dock where we were to catch the 1:30 ferry to Langkawi. I also said I’d write another log before leaving the marina. That’s even funnier. I thought we were leaving the marina at 3:30, but Mark thought that was cutting it too close. So the decision was made to leave at 1:30 giving me
two less hours to get things done. So my optimism from last evening faded away. Even though I started my day very early, I had to work every second as hard as I could to make the deadline. Mark had changed the engine oil and fuel filters yesterday, but we had to clean out the water tanks this morning and clean out the refrig and freezer and find a new home for all the food. I got up very early to go do the last laundry. It was so early in fact that it was still dark out and the electricity hadn’t
been turned. I found a security guard who showed me how to turn on the power and had the laundry washed and well on its way to being dried by 8:30 a.m.

Noel Bradley, the man who will look after Windbird while we are gone, came over to run through the twice monthly maintenance routine. Windbird is all wrapped up in silver tarps and that lovely red and white candy-striped sun shade. She looks secure but just a little on the tacky side. It was the best we could do with the materials available, but when we go back to Phuket next year, we will definitely have a classy cover made to match her new good looks. After Noel left, it was the ‘little’ things
that needed to be done that took so much time. Mark couldn’t close the sea cocks until I was finished using water, and I’m sure he thought I was never going to be done. But the bottom line is that we did do it. We are both beat from working so hard in the heat the past four days, but right now we are sitting in an air conditioned Starbucks at the Ferry Terminal waiting for our 5:15 ferry to the mainland. We should be in our hotel room by 8 pm and then up at 5 am so we can get to the airport for
our 8 am flight. It takes about an hour to get from downtown Penang to the airport, so it will be another early morning. Both of us are looking forward to getting on the plane and sleeping all the way to Hong Kong and then all the way to LA.

So it is time to say farewell to this cruising season and to so many good friends. To all of you who read these logs and send comments from time to time, we will miss you. We can only receive those comments when we are in a port with internet and it is so exciting when we do check and receive your messages. It is wonderful to hear from the folks back home. Cheryl, I’m really hoping to meet you this year while we are home. And Rich, I finally got those pictures of that Pacific Seacraft that
we admired back in November when we first arrived at Rebak Marina. The boat’s name is Island Nomad and she is our berth buddy while we are gone. Her captain, Dennis, and his wife Judy left yesterday. I’ll send those photos to you when we reach New Mexico. Judith, we think of you often and do hope to see you again when we visit friends in Concord. Alan and Helaine, you are always there with information and words of encouragement. We really appreciated your email today. To good friends back
home from NHPR-Scott, Doreen, and Beth, and to friends of mine from years with the Concord School District-Linda and Michael, Tom and Detta, Barbara and Chris, among others–we love hearing from you and can’t wait to see you while we are in the USA. And there are a few of you who continually send us technical information when needed-Stephen, Michael, Larry, David, Bob. We do so appreciate your advice and expertise. Last but not least are our sailing buddies out here. We check in on their websites
and they check in on ours from time to time to see just where in the world we are. The internet helps to bring us all together.

To my daughter Heather and her husband Jed, thank you for all the things you do for us to keep us going. Heather receives all our mail and deals with the financial end of things back home. To our son Justin and his wife Jo, thank you for all you to in keeping the website up and running. It was Justin’s idea to do this blog and the blog is his design. So it is really Justin that makes our communication possible. My sister Patsy and my sister-in-law Sue are two of my most dedicated readers and
they keep us up-to-date on what’s happening back home. And then there are the lurkers that we never hear from but we know you are there. I think my brother’s friend, Wade, is at the top of the lurker list. There have been a few times when he has read our log even before my sister and he keeps my non-computer user brother informed of our activities. A big heap of thanks and appreciation all of you.

Update: We are now in Penang. We had a moment of fear when we first arrived with our four huge bags, two backpacks, and one carry-on. The ferry was unloading from the top deck and we were one below. But finally a crew member saw our situation and magically opened a door through which our suitcases could be hoisted up to ground level. The ferry terminal here is not modern and fancy like in Langkawi. We were deposited on a dirt landing with no terminal. We carried the bags through puddles of
water to a ‘hole in the wall’ where we did find taxis. A wonderful man who spoke good enough English got us to our hotel and made sure we had a room before leaving us. We love Thailand but the language barrier there is huge. Here, almost everyone speaks some English, so it is much easier to get information. We checked-in, got a wireless username and password, and headed out to dinner. We know almost nothing about Penang because we have had no time to do research, but I check my handy Lonely
Planet and found a great Japanese restaurant only a block away. We were in a mood to celebrate and ate and drank our way through almost $100 US in sushi, sashimi, and Sapporo. That was quite a splurge for us, but it went a long way towards reviving us. So New Mexico here we come!

I will post a log in Hong Kong tomorrow if there is wireless, which I would think there will be and then not again until Saturday or Sunday when we arrive in New Mexico. So until then . . .

090415 Day 175 Langkawi, Malaysia–Leaving Malaysia
US Land Logs 1, Year 4: Ziggy is Adorable!
Day 174, Year 4 Happy Birthday to My Brother Dickel