Day 53, Year 4: Kuah to Telaga Harbor
Date: Sunday, December 14, 2008
Weather: Hotter and Cloudier Than Usual, Rain in Evening
Latitude: 06 degrees 21.803 minutes N
Longitude: 099 degrees 40.788 E
Location: Telaga Harbor, Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia

We are officially checked-out of Malaysia and will be leaving in the morning for Ko Tarutao in Thailand. It is only about thirty nautical miles, so we will be there in the afternoon. Today, we once again had to motor to get to Telaga as the winds were first right behind us but not strong to move us forward and then we turned and the wind was on the nose. So goes our year of “sailing” in Indonesia and Malaysia. We did get in a few good sails in Australia, but we also had to use the motor a great deal. So the first thing we did when we reached Telaga today was to go to the fuel dock to fill-up. Actually, we didn’t get to fill all three tanks because we couldn’t get the bronze fill-cap for that tank to open. So we filled the gerry jugs and will put that fuel in the center tank when and if we can get the cap off! Diesel here is 2 Malaysian Riggetts per liter which is about $2/gallon US. Like beer and chocolate, fuel is cheap in Malaysia. Maybe that is why there are so many people that get “stuck” here for years.

After getting fuel, we moved back out to the anchorage. The view of the mountains is beautiful from here and there is a white sand beach that sweeps around the bay, but there are also “signs of progress” that we haven’t seen since leaving the US. Little dune buggies run up and down the beach and ski jets run around the anchorage. These things might be fun but they sure spoil the feeling of paradise. I understand that this gets worse as we head get close to Phuket in the major tourist areas. Of course, those are the most beautiful areas, but I also understand that you can pick your anchorages carefully and avoid some of the “signs of progress.” A welcome sight in the anchorage was Lazy Bones. This is the boat that was right across the dock from us at Rebak with Steve and Magnus aboard. They are the father-son team that are heading to Antarctica and their first little step was to leave Rebak and check out the systems. Unfortunately, they have an alternator problem, so they will move around to Kuah to take care of that. We also heard from Shirena on the VHF radio. They are anchored just south of Kuah, but won’t be coming to Langkawi proper for a few days. So we won’t see them here, but we will see them in Phuket in the new year.

We heard from Kevin and Claire this morning when they had seven hours until take-off. So we are hoping they are in the air and on their way. They should arrive in Bangkok tomorrow and find their way south to Pak Bara where they will take a ferry out to Ko Tarutao to meet us on Tuesday. Sure hope they are having a safe trip and that they arrive in a quiet Bangkok.

Late note . . . we put up our Christmas tree today. I guess the out-of-place Christmas music in Kuah last night got us in the mood. The Christmas tree this year is artificial garland wrapped around the compression post that comes down from our mast and goes down to our keel right through main cabin table. We will wait until Kevin and Claire get here to decorate it, hopefully with shells and seed pods we find on the beach so at least part of it will be natural.

081214 Day 53 Langkawi, Malaysia– Kuah to Telaga to Check-out