Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Heading for the Boatyard

Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit -Brooks Atkinson
We left the Langkawi Yacht Club on 14 January, intending to have a couple of overnight stops before entering the boat yard. And, of course, straight into over 23 knots on the nose as it funnelled through the Langkawi Islands. First stop was Palau Timun, another favourite stopover. We had made friends with an old alpha male monkey who had severe facial injuries. When we say 'made friends', he would tolerate Lea getting close to lay down the oranges, but would not let Keith anywhere near him. 'Mr Wilson' may have bad experiences with the male of the species.
Mr Wilson
In later visits, Mr Wilson would be at the old cable drum as soon as he heard the dinghy outboard.
Next stop was Ko Koi Yai (now in Thailand unofficially) to wait for a rising ride the following day.
Ko Koi Yai marked
Comfortable anchorage in calm conditions

Tientos has a 2.5m draft, so we required a high tide to go up the Chebilang River. 
Deeper bit somewhere here
There were quite a few bumps and slides through mud until we tucked in behind a fishing boat. They were trying to sell us fish but we were more concerned with avoiding the shallow bits.
Follow the big guy

Entry into the PSS Shipyard is by a railway and the great diver always ensures your keel is firmly in its appointed spot. 
The diver in yellow
Staying aboard as you rattle your way along the rail line is terrifying (just kidding) but you have a great view. 
Starting the journey
We had come a long way
Once the yacht is positioned in place and straightened, (have you ever noticed how many other yachties stand around watching this process)Immigration comes to the yard. 
Always supervisors
The following day is a visit to Satun to finalise Customs and the Harbourmaster.
We were in the boatyard! 

May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!

Sunday, 14 January 2007

The New Year Runaround

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign - Robert Louis Stevenson
The festivities over, our fellow yachties had departed and tranquility reigned again. 
Our haven peaceful again
We decided it was time we looked at the long-promised refit and headed for a berth at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club
Dressed for the New Year
This is where we would leave Tientos while we scoped out boatyards in Southern Thailand. 
2006 comes to a close
Arriving in time for New Year celebrations at the Club, we actually made it past midnight. 
The Pennicott's welcome in 2007
The ferry to Satun in Thailand leaves from the jetty next to the Yacht Club so along with Geoff from 'Pussyfoot', we hopped over to Thailand. 
Leaving Malaysia overlooked by the Lang
Arrival at Satun Thailand
Staying at the Sinkiat Hotel for three days, we hired a car and driver to check out the local boatyards.
Tuk Tuk to the Hotel
Sinkiat Hotel with On's Bar next door (very handy)
View from our room
The Sinkiat Hotel provides rooms on the upper floors for 'farangs' and the view was spectacular.  This Hotel highlighted the advantages of banking with the 'Police Credit Union'; Keith was saluted with 'polisi' everytime he collected the key and never did our card 'disappear' out the back in any country.
We looked at both Ratanachai Slip and PSS Shipyard
Never did find out what this building was
Boats were in all sorts of designs
Yellow is the King's colour - Tientos was a hit
Our driver recommended against Ratanachai saying the local area was not completely safe for westerners but we focused on PSS anyway as we liked the people and had already made friends in nearby Satun. 
Home away from home
Having decided on the boatyard, it was back to Langkawi, then another fast ferry to Penang for our Thai visa. 
Fast ferry to Penang
This time it was a stay at the Hotel Hong Ping (we don't do backpackers, long story) on Lebuh Chulia, smack bang in the middle of historical Georgetown.
Sign on the side of the Hotel
It was more tourist treks while waiting for our visas to be processed and a good look at the Chew Jetty. The Chew Jetty is a settlement of wooden houses built on stilts, over a century old, with the name 'Chew' indicating the families who live here. 
Historical Chew Jetty
Main terminal point
A fascinating walk with an insight to the clan families
Low tide
With visas in hand, we returned to Langkawi, stocked up on roast lambs, smoked salmon and duty-free drinks and cleared from Malaysia.
Time for a refit...

May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!