December 17th: cleaning day preparing Southern Star for our visitors. Starting to get very excited now. Kristie and Jessie arrive 12.15pm tomorrow. We had found some energy and decided to start cleaning the outside of the boat last night, it was drizzling off and on but it was quite cool so we decided to make a start on the massive job. It normally takes us both 3-4 hours to clean the outside. I did the fly bridge while Robbie climbed up and did the stack, top of the Bimini and the dangerous bits. It gets so dirty and black with the soot from the dry exhaust, the chimney comes out the back of the stack, but depending on which way the wind is blowing determines which way the soot floats down onto the deck. Very annoying and we have started using the exhaust sock which was on board. So Robbie puts on the sock with a pole, then we start the engine and run for a few minutes and then take the sock off. It helps but you still get a bit. Oh well, takes a bit of scrubbing to get the black marks off but it comes off. I also cleaned the duck, took it apart and gave it a good scrub. Amazing how dirty this gets, and we regularly clean it. Robbie did the bow – this gets quite dirty from the anchor chain. We are so glad we never brought the 55’ Nordhavn – they are a lot bigger and a lot more gel coat to clean and polish than our 47’. The 47’ is a perfect size for us, and we keep pinching ourselves – we love this boat and love it more all the time, so well made and just perfect for what we are doing.
We called in to see Per and Elizabeth who had been working on their water maker and had sundowners on Oda. Very enjoyable. Got some bad news, they have stuffed up Kristie’s flight and she got to Cairns airport to fly to Darwin to meet Jess, and there was no flight to Darwin!!! Devastated!! Cut a long story short, they put her up in the Hilton Hotel and rebooked her flights, she will now arrive on Friday. Very disappointing, but could be worse I suppose.
December 18th: Today is the day!!! Have been waiting a long time to see the girls and it felt like it was never going to arrive. Two would have been perfect but will be lovely to see Jess today. Was pretty organised so had a leisurely breakfast and we set off to catch the ferry across to Langkawi. (Rebak marina is on a small island) Nice ride only 5 minutes. We had organised a car hire through the marina, we had to meet Mr Din. Found him, it’s a very casual business – 50 ringgit cash for a day hire, NO paperwork, NO licence required, NO nothing – just pass the cash! The car we got was a teeny box car but quite new and drives, well, it drives like a little box!
We went for a quick drive and found the airport only a few minutes from the ferry point, and then proceeded into Kuah town to get some hardware bits and pieces to fill in the time until Jess arrives. I found some LED outdoor Xmas lights and a small LED lantern that is really cute and charges up on your iPhone charger. This will be perfect for when having sundowners on the fly bridge and the lights are too bright, this will be the perfect mood lighting!! Robbie is looking for some 3/16 Stainless steel bolts and nuts but they don’t have this grade. Anything less than this will rust.
Arrived to the airport a bit early so Robbie went back to get a haircut, we had passed a small shop a few minutes from the airport. I went and waited for Jess. Was great to see her and I didn’t cry! Robbie arrived back quite soon – but no hair cut? They wouldn’t cut his hair? They were females and were cutting men’s hair but refused Robbie. Perhaps a religious reason, not sure but it’s now looking very likely that it will be up to me!!! Oh dear this is desperate!! Perhaps a couple of wines might do the trick, I will relax, and perhaps find some creativity???
We headed off to the little township of Cenang, which is very touristy and had a nice lunch, thanks Jess! Robbie headed back into Kuah to try and buy some fibreglass to repair the seat on the duck which broke when someone recently sat on it (not naming names and it wasn’t us) Jess and I wandered through the shops, very good prices but we didn’t buy anything just looking. A nice duty free shop (they are everywhere) and a 1 litre Captain Morgans spiced Rum is 35 ringgit or just over $10 just goes to show you how much tax you pay, in Australia, you would pay $35 for a 750ml bottle. Didn’t buy anything and then Robbie arrived back. We headed off to Sailors, a cross between a deli and a butcher and a baker. Brought some lovely whole grain bread (very hard to find bread without sugar in it here) a range of sausages, some mince pies (Yuk) for Robbie and some pure lean beef mince. All looks very nice. Can’t buy Pork here, they are Halal certified which means no pork anything and very strict inspections. If they weren’t certified they probably wouldn’t survive. A nice couple own the business and they live on a Yacht in Rebak marina. I have a feeling we might not get bacon anywhere on the island, which probably means no Xmas ham? Eeek that’s disappointing. We do have a small ham we brought in Singapore luckily but it’s only tiny.
We caught the 3.30 ferry back to the island and got Jess settled in. Per and Elisabeth and Sue, Bryan and Dick from Gypsea Rover came over for sundowners. Sue, Bryan and Dick leave tomorrow to fly home, and they brought all the food from their fridge and freezer over for us, which was lovely. Jess disappeared quite early, we didn’t have a late night either.