December 15th: shopping day today, took the duck across to the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club and tied and locked her up to the jetty. Walked to the nearby Ferry Terminal which is in a mall with lots of duty free shops. They are big on chocolate and alcohol. We hired a car. We could have paid 50 ringgit for a car for a day BUT, it is not registered! If you have an accident this means big trouble. We didn’t want to risk it so we paid 100 ringgit for a registered Proton, just a small 4 door sedan. We set off exploring, went to a couple of malls. Ended up in the main town of Kuah where we went into the bank to draw out cash to pay for diesel. We have been getting hit with big bank fees when we have to draw out large sums of cash to pay for fuel. Most ATM’s have limits on the amount you can draw each time so we have been having to make lots of transactions to get enough cash. Then there is also the problem that our cards both have $1,000 limit each per day. We emailed our bank and this is not able to be increased. They suggested we go into a bank and withdraw the cash out over the counter. So, that’s we tried to do. I specifically stated I wanted it out of our cheque account, not credit. No problem she said, went and put our card through an eftpos machine, counted out the cash gave us the docket to sign and it said CREDIT!!! Arrrh this means big bank charges as it’s a cash advance on your credit card, exactly what we didn’t want. After some discussion, and it comes out that they have no other choice the machine automatically takes it from credit we accepted it and decided oh well at least we could get the cash in one hit – 10,000 ringgit. We need 4000 litres of diesel and the fuel barge doesn’t accept cards so we had to have it.
We brought some alcohol to top up our stores Bombay gin 40 ringgit (just over $10), Absolut Vodka 35 ringgit and Gordon’s gin 28 ringgit. Unbelievably cheap. Also got 3 bottles of Chandon 62 ringgit each, not so cheap for wine. We got a carton each of Schweppes soda water and tonic water for 29 ringgit each ($10). We can’t use the Soda stream anymore because the gas bottles are different which a bit of a nuisance is. Heineken tall cans were 82 ringgit. Saw the best Xmas tree that Paul Grace would absolutely love, it was made out of Heineken Kegs!!
We went and picked up Elisabeth and Onni from Elonnisa from another shopping centre and then went and met Per and Elisabeth for lunch. We went to a seafood restaurant and had a lovely lunch that was very cheap. The bowls of Tom Yum soup were huge. Per was joking around and had brought himself a new wallet but only had an expired credit card and 3 ringgit. Good to be around this couple again, Pers sense of humour has us in fits of laughter.
We then left Per and Elisabeth and with Elisabeth & Onni, we went out to Pok Brothers meat suppliers. Where, get this – we were able to buy NZ legs of lamb, loin chops, a whole fillet steak cryovacced, camembert cheese, gherkins and a few other delights! We stocked up this was exciting for us! We are pleased to buy such quality meat, especially with our guests arriving soon.
Back to the boat and packed away our purchases. The others all came over for sundowners and we had a very enjoyable evening discussing our trip to the Med in April. Onni owned charter boats in the Med for years so has lots of knowledge about the area.
December 16th: Woke up to a nice flat calm morning but it changed into a dull, drizzly day, but was a bit cooler which was very pleasant. Today we are filling up with diesel – this is not always as straight forward as you might think! Indonesia was very challenging having to do thousands of litres by Jerry cans, today won’t be as challenging – we just have to tie up to the fuel barge and they have a pump. We have been told it is a fast delivery with huge hose and to be careful. Robbie took our petrol Jerry cans and while we had the car went and filled up. Not straight forward either, they can only sell us so many litres a day, so he had to go to two service stations to get the 3 Jerry cans filled. Interestingly, their 20 litres delivery does not fill to the 20 litre line on the Jerry can!! Robbie returned the car and we then upped anchor and headed over to the fuel barge. We took 3928 litres, at 2.45 ringgit per litre, or about 89c a litre. Not so bad! Cheapest fuel yet.
We then headed off to Rebak Island, where we have a marina berth for the next 4 weeks. Bit commercial, we had to pay in advance when we booked for the month and there is no credit, refund or transfer of any type. This is unusual business practice but we had no other choice the other marinas couldn’t fit us in. The marina has a 5* resort attached and we have use of the facilities and discounted prices, 40% off the beauty spa, 25% off meals and drinks, so may be OK. There is also a restaurant just for the marina and apparently this is quite good and very reasonably priced. I never envisaged that we would be eating out so much with this lifestyle, but it is very social and we eat out a lot.
We had a very pleasant trip around to the marina. It was still grey and drizzling but very little wind. We passed a couple of cruise ships one berthed and one on anchor at the very touristy area of Langkawi. The entrance to the marina is a very narrow channel and you can’t even see the marina, you would not know it was there. Once through the entrance it opens up to a very sheltered bay and there is a lot of boats in here. It is basically just the marina and the resort.
We berthed very easily and staff were waiting to help us tie up. We completed the check in, met up with Gypsea Rover, one of the Australian boats from the rally, and Steve and Clair from Almacantar, we are all on the same arm. We started cleaning the boat, Steve and Clair came down for a cuppa. They are flying home to Scotland tomorrow and we will keep an eye on Almacantar for them.
I cooked a roast chicken for dinner, which was very pleasant, we now have worked out that we can use the air conditioning while in the marina hooked up to their power. Because the boat is USA power, we can’t just plug in and use, like normal boats. It’s very complicated!
While dinner was cooking we set up the new xmas tree we had brought in Singapore. We had also brought lovely decorations but hadn’t found a star for the top of the tree yet. Robbie opened the box to set up the tree and the first thing he saw was a star! Huh? Then 2 smaller boxes which were full of really nice decorations! We didn’t realise the tree came with all this, so now we have miles of decorations. The tree is about 1.5metres high, and is probably a bit on the big side for the boat, but what the heck, its Christmas!!