Day 37, Year 5: Unplugged and Properly Initiated
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Weather: Overcast, Rainy, and Windy; NE 20 knots (on the nose)
Latitude: N 06 degrees 18.722 minutes
Longitude: E 099 degrees 50.627 minutes
Location: Kuah, Langkawi, Malaysia

We did it! Windbird unplugged and motored out of Rebak Marina after seven and a half months. As she emerged from the winding canal that takes you out to open water, she was immediately hit with 20 knots of wind on the nose. We couldn’t sail into that, so we just motored to Kuah. It was starting to feel like we would never get away as the list of things that needed to be done just got longer and longer. I was rushing madly this morning to finish up some work on the website while we still had internet, but we’ll just have to continue the work as we can. It feels really good to be back out here on anchor. When we pulled into the anchorage in Kuah, Loretta of CanKata came out to wave hello. I don’t think we have seen much of Darrell and Loretta since Kroko Atoll in Indonesia. And Shirena is here as well as Ed and Lynne on Constance. Ed and Lynne are new friends that we met at Rebak and they are going on the same route as Windbird this year. They left Rebak a few days ago and their auto pilot failed on the way to Kuah. So they are here for a couple of weeks waiting on a new one to arrive from the US. Being here will give us a chance to get to know them a little better.

We lowered the dinghy, picked up Robert and Tina of Shirena, and went to shore for dinner. Because of the air show, we had heard that there were temporary tents set up everywhere with delicious foods from all states in Malaysia. And we didn’t want to miss that. But it was even better than we had anticipated. The air and maritime show is only part of this week’s celebration. The signs call this Karnival and it is like that. There are balloons, neon stick lights, and cotton candy for the kids, foods of all sorts for everyone, and each night a different part of Malaysia presents the entertainment. Tonight it was Sarawak. Sarawak is on the northern coast of Borneo. The Indonesian state of Kalimantan is to the south, and the Malaysian states of Saba and Sarawak and the independent nation of Brunei are on the northern coast. It was not long ago that the people of Sarawak were forest dwellers, but oil was discovered and they are now a very progressive part of Malaysia. The entertainment was interesting. The music was gamelan as in Bali and the women wore costumes and danced much like the dancers of Bali. But the men wore feathered headdresses and loin clothes like Native Americans. So it was a most interesting and fun evening ashore.

We saw David and Patti of This Way Up and Jean Pierre and Collette of Safina tonight. David and Patti are headed out tomorrow for Satun on the mainland to have their boat painted. They have been great friends and we probably won’t see them again unless they make it to the US to do the inland waterway. That is one of Dave’s goals. We will have Happy Hour with Jean Pierre and Collette tomorrow evening and catch up on their adventures. In the meantime, we will shop ’til we drop in Duty Free Langkawi. We are provisioning for eight months and that is a very long time. There will be fresh food along the way, but we understand from those who have done this trek that canned and packaged foods are almost non-existent. And paper products just get more and more expensive. So just how many jars of peanut butter and how many rolls of toilet paper do you think we might need?

091202 Day 37 Malaysia–Rebak Marina to Kuah, Langkawi
Day 38, Year 5: Waterline is Getting Lower
Day 36, Year 5: December Letter to Family and Friends