December 11th: The anchor alarm went off at 12.45am, we both bolted out of bed and ran up to the Pilot house. The alarm was definitely going but we had not moved out of the anchor zone. (We set the anchor alarm with a measurement that if the boats moves past this measurement the alarm goes) We have never dragged yet but sometimes we move over the zone, it just means you increase the measurement. Bit strange this one but Robbie got straight back to sleep. I couldn’t, I sat and played 500 on the iPad for an hour. The alarm always gives me a big fright. Departed the river at 7:30am, we were pleased to be leaving as it wasn’t a very pleasant anchorage. I stood on the bow for 20 minutes and washed the thick, grey, smelly mud off the anchor. It was also one of the first anchorages we have heard dogs barking. There were an awful lot of dogs in Indonesia but sadly, I don’t think they had the energy to waste on barking.
We decided to run the wing engine, it’s been a while since we gave her a run. She fired up first time and we cruised for 3 hours at 3300 rpm getting 5 knots, not so bad. We had a bit of current with us.
We arrived at Pulau Pangkor at 1:00pm, a very pretty bay called Teluk Nipah. There was lots of activity with small boats filled with people with life jackets on roaring past, to and fro to the small island in the bay. The beaches looked golden and sandy and there was interesting rock formations, very scenic. We took the duck off and went for an explore to the main beach. It was very touristy with small market stalls filled with souvenirs and clothes. The tourists were all Malaysian, Indian and Chinese. We did not see any other Caucasians. Most of the women were dressed in long sleeves, trousers and veils. I felt very under dressed in my shorts and singlet. They were not very friendly either and this could be why. Under duress, we had a Magnum ice cream each – Robbie’s idea! We walked to the end of the beach and then back to the duck. By this time Steve and Claire were up on deck so we stopped and had a lovely big cold fizzy water from their new Soda stream and then all went for a ticky tour in the duck. We attempted to head out between two islands on the East side of the bay but it got really choppy and the waves were swamping the duck so we turned around and headed back to the pretty island in the middle of the bay called Giam Island. The water was nice and clear and nice white sand but there were lots of tourists, and they were all wearing their life jackets in the water – they cannot swim! We had a bit of an explore and Steve walked around the rocks. As we were getting back in the duck an Indian gentleman called to Steve for help, his wife was struggling and was drifting away in the water. She had a life jacket on but could not swim and was just drifting further and further away. Steve dived in and swam and got to her very quickly, she was starting to panic now and he got her on her back and assisted her back to her husband, who could not swim either and was just standing there helplessly.
Back to Southern Star and Clair and Steve came over for a game of 500. They had never played before but they picked it up really quickly. We have missed our games of 500 since Peter and Heidi went back to Germany for Christmas, so we really enjoyed it.