We took a 15 minute walk to the nearby shops to get sim cards so we can have phone and data and got that sorted for both our phones reasonably quickly. We thought we would catch a bus or taxi into the main town of Port Dickson for a look, but after waiting for about 45 minutes in the very hot and humid heat we gave up and walked back to the marina complex. We went and had a beer in the bar and Robbie was able to catch a Liverpool game on Foxtel on the bar TV so he was happy. We had some snacks fried chicken, Nachos and French fries. Very civilised.
We had a walk around the marina and Robbie spotted another Nordhavn, a 46’ called Arcturus, unfortunately they were not on board.
Had an early night and slept like logs.
December 8th: Hired a car and drove into Port Dickson to complete our Immigration and port check in, and clearance procedures. Armed with maps and directions we made it to the 3 different offices and completed our immigration procedures, including fingerprinting and then procedures at Customs and then the Port Authorities. Only charge was 7 ringgit or about $2 for lighthouse charges, strange but not complaining at that price. Makes Australia look pretty bad, where it cost us hundreds of dollars to check in.
Then we went exploring to the city of Melaka. No GPS and so just following the signs, which most were in Malaysian and we made a few wrong turns but we had a very pleasant drive through the countryside and small towns until we got to Meleka. This is a UNESCO world heritage city, it was established in 1403 and was an important trading post in Malaysia’s early history.
We found a large shopping mall and decided to have a bit of lunch and check out the shops. We had lunch at Kenny Rogers Roasters, a very healthy Bar-B-Q chicken and salad and then hit the supermarket. Still get excited seeing a good variety of food after our 4 months in Indonesia with NO supermarkets. Especially cheese! They also had Cadbury chocolate, Crunchies and Caramello Koalas!!! Won’t say how many we brought! Time to head back to the marina. In our wisdom, we decided to use the google maps on Robbie’s phone and choose the highway option, which was a toll road and would be the quickest route. BIG mistake! It took us 3 hours to get back to Admiral Marina, the traffic on the highway was at standstill, or snail’s pace for most of the trip.
Arrived back and unpacked and made my favourite Chicken and sweetcorn soup, I have a great recipe you make it from scratch with a whole chicken and it’s the best I have ever tasted.
December 9th: Departed Admiral Marina, Port Dickson, just after 9:00am with Steve and Clair on Almacantar. We had decided to travel together up the Malacca Straights to or close to Langkawi. Steve and Clair are flying home to Britain and Scotland respectively and leaving Almacantar in Rebak Marina, Langkawi where we will be based for the next 6 weeks. We had a great run, we had the current with us most of the way, reaching 8 knots of speed at only 1500 rpm, around 3 knots of current. Brilliant for us.
We decided to berth at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club for the night as it was getting late, with big dark storm clouds forming and it was still a way to the anchorage we had picked. We phoned them and got 2 berths so headed on in. Gosh it was a tricky berthing experience, there was a lot of current rushing past but we managed to berth with no damage or problem, as did Almacantar. Once we had a look at the marina we got a bit of a shock. It was really run down, the docks were all lopsided and uneven, with broken concrete and the individual pontoons were roped and chained together where the original cables had broken. There was a huge amount of rubbish and plastic floating past and in the marina, quite shocking actually. The club house looked really grand with a huge verandah and tables and chairs but on closer inspection was also really run down. The club is owned by a Sultan who obviously never visits. But we were happy to be safely berthed for the night and we joined Steve and Clair for a couple of beers and some dinner. Chicken chops (we had never heard of this but it was a flattened leg and thigh piece) and salad.
We had a pretty early night ready for our next leg up the Malacca Straights.
December 10th: Departed the Royal Selangor Yacht Club around 7:30am in slack tide along with Almacantar and one local solo Yachtie who was heading for Langkawi. He was loading on a huge bag of ice on his small yacht, makes me appreciate all the home comforts we have on board Southern Star, house sized fridge, 2 freezers and of course, the automatic ice maker.
Very little wind, no swell and a very pleasant journey. We started getting a lot of ships on the AIS (Automatic Identification System) and they were all similar numbers. Well we must have passed at least 100 identical fishing trawlers, all trawling nets. They were pretty good we didn’t have to do too much dodging, only a few moves to avoid collision. I would hate to have to pass them at night time!
Been trying to ring my sister Lynnie for her 60th birthday today, have also recently discovered FaceTime, and finally around 6:00pm our time, but 10:00pm NZ time was able to FaceTime her, which was just lovely. So good to be able to see her smiling face as well as talking. I haven’t bothered with a sim card for my phone since Australia as it just wasn’t worth it and the phone calls in Indonesia were incredibly expensive. So it’s really nice to have a phone for myself again, I feel really pleased.
We made our way up a river mouth called Sangai Bernam, very shallow and very brown water and have anchored in 5.8m of water for the night. We are very close to one of the Birds nest buildings that were common in Indonesia. A tall, ugly concrete structure with tiny square holes in it solely for swallows to come and build their nests and then they harvest the birds’ nests once the chicks have flown away, and make their product that they sell for hundreds of dollars for, which is used for birds nest soup and other uses of which we are not 100% sure of.