Port Dickson to THAILAND! 500 miles :)

Captain's Log November 29, 2022

Leaving Port Dickson! It was a really enjoyablece stop, especially considering all the great banter we had with all the sailors we first met in Puteri Harbor. Now its time to leave though, on to the next. 

We left dock at approximately  8:30am and looking at Pangkor for our next stop. Seas are calm, not much breeze but still flying the main sail to get whatever we can get. We were planning on 30 hours but made it ini a SWIFT 28 with NO ISUUSES and an absolutely LOVELY trip. 

We docked in Pangkor Marina at 12:30pm and after cheking everything over on arrival, the engine and everything was exactly perfect in every way. The happiness couldn't be expressed in words, Such agood trip. We averaged 6 kts and ended up having a nice sailing wind most of the time and no storms whatsoever. 

Pangkor is a nice, quaint little marina with decent docks, some needing repair, but overall no problems for us. The site is equipped with a nice pool, restaurant and receiving office. Very friendly staff and SO very helpful. As for the "Sailors Bar".... stay away, And I don't say that often. Rita had ordered a daquiri and about 20 minutes later, got something in a martini glass that tasted identical to straight sweet vermouth. As for me... you can't mess up rum on he rocks so I was happy minus the insanely annoying karaoke going on in front of of us playing at 100 decibels too loud for an empty room.

Dec 2, 2022

Leaving Pangkkor. Managed to get a LOT of maintenance and cleaning done and now its time to go to LANGKAWI! Another long haul but worth it to save time. 

That's what we had hoped anyway. Weather had different plans for us. 

We started off with the most stunning and absolute BEST sails we had thus far. 15kts of wind coming straight across our beam, full main, full jib.. just unbelieveable. We we cruising at a steady 8 kts and just absolutely kicking ass. 

And then... like all good things.... must come to an end, 

Due to the strong sailing (also first real push on the boat since we owned it) we hit a few hiccups. Big ones. 

Our rigging from the very top of the mast came loose and popped out of the spreaders at mid mast. For the non-sailors, what this means is simply.. our mast had ZERO support up top and was wiggling around like a spaghetti noodle. AKA not good. 

At this point the seas are rolling around 1.5 meters (4 to 5 feet) which creates another issue when you drop a sail, you no longer have the stability of what a sail gives you so you are CRASHING through the waves. I decided to change course and head straight to shallows to drop anchor and (despite my best wishes) climb the mast and repair the rigging.

It took about 2 hours to get to a shallow sandy area where we could drop anchor and the most annoying part of this area is that it's not a gradual increase of shallow. Its from 30m (100ft) to 5m (15 ft) in less than 100ft of travel. That makes the waves WORSE and we were rolling like CRAZY. After anchor dropped, I did manage to get up and repair the rigging. It was difficult and maybe a little foolhardy but I really didn't want to be sitting any time with that kind of issue with pretty high (ish) winds. The video on youtube (episode 3) puts it in great context as to what I was doing, and yes, we had to get it on camera. otherwise it never happened (lol)

After we picked up anchor and started makaing way to Koh Lipe, we had a storm moved off of our stern quite a ways which took the majority of the wind with it. Unfortunately we still had the waves from the falling tide & tidal current against us so it made for a longer trip than originally planned for. 

A short 10 hours later and a huge squall upon arrival, we made it to Koh Lipe! We dropped anchor around 11pm and despite a few fall backs, we managed to find a nice place to sit and get some rest. 

First impression of the island:

The island is so friendly and beautiful. Walking down the main street of the island, "Walking Street", your senses go into overdrive. So many great smells, food, trinkets, bars and great views. The street literally connects one side of the island to the other in a short 15 minute walk, which is pretty nice. Sitting in the Butang Archipelago, there are many other islands around which makes for great scenery and AMAZING diving. 

Longtail boats are one of the most iconic features of Thailand's islands. Longtails are generally large wooden boats with a large "horn" on the front, sometimes decorated with wreaths or scarves and an extremely long propeller shaft that sits very shallow allowing the boat to move over shallow reef without damaging it. On either side, Pattaya Beach or Sunrise, you'll find anywhere from 10 to 30 of these longboats tied up to lines coming from the beach.

Overall it's been a great time. We did have some issue with our dinghy being vandalized for, what we can only assume, docking it in a "taken" place on the dock. This is really our only explanation but it has turned into a huge issue. Sand was poured inside the outboard engine, filled the inside of the dinghy with a few hundred pounds of sand and even put saltwater in the gasoline can. It took quite a bit of work but we managed to get it running, very rough, but running.

Some other issues we've been dealing with is the swell coming from the SE, straight into the bay we're in. The swell comes in against the wind which makes the boat roll UNCONTROLLABLY and has caused many sleepless nights and quite a few broken dishes and spilled food containers. That mixed with relentless bad weather, we've decided to hole up in a hotel room for a few days until the storms and swells pass. The dogs are here, things are much easier and more relaxed and everyone is getting sleep. So all is good in the world.

Thats is for this week! 

We'll be doing a special episode for Christmas and will be doing lots of underwater and drone video as the weather clears up.

Thank you for reading and see you next week!

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There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
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