Greetings from Langkawi!
This beautiful island of mountains and craggy peaks has been good to us.
Included in its boundaries are over 50 small islands. Now that we have survived
again the awful annual job of hauling out Nepenthe and sanding and painting
her bottom, it is time to relax. We hauled out a place called Rebak
marina, the only one here with haul out facilities. It is located in a natural
snail shell harbor of an island. There is a resort here, with NO one there,
and not one store. So, everything, every little thing you need must be brought
with you before haul out. Forces us to be organized. To get to a store for
that one paint brush you forgot, you take a ferry and then a cab to town.
For the cost of labor here it was tempting to hire the sanding done, but
it was Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month. People do NOT work well or long
during that month. We did it ourselves and were in and out in three days;
set the record for the marina we were told! They have a pool here, a good
little restaurant near the haul out area called the Hard Dock. You
just call in and place your order and they bring it over. Civilized was to
treat us hard workers. Our good friends are here………we met them first
in Fiji in 2000. Great to see them again.
We decided to treat ourselves
with a 10 day cruise around one of the larger islands just south of the
main island. It’s about 8 NM north to south and about 6NM wide. Circumnavigating
this little beauty with its coves and fiords should take us a week.
We found two treasures: both with bird calls, the endangered white bellied
eagle, brimany kites and beautiful kingfishers! Monkeys squabbling in the
trees topped it off. The first place was so protected; we had the fishing
boats coming in when there was squally weather, so we ate like kings. Lobster,
squid, fish were bought daily. It was SO good. They loved it also.
The second place was alive with the sea eagles, they must
have a 3-4 ft wig span and we could usually see 3-5 of them soaring over
head. We took little dinghy forays to explore beaches and do our treasure
hunts. This is cruising. It is amazing to us that the three marinas here
are full of boats, and we have these wondrous places al to ourselves.
We are mostly glad they are where they are, gives us the luxury of having
this isolation and peace. We also were able to see our favorite of all birds,
the magnificent hornbill! This one anchorage had them flying over
The weather is still the wet SW monsoon time, so it rains a few days, then
the sun greats again for a few days. Today is rain. We will soon be going
into the transitional month between SW and NE monsoon (the dry one).
We got to see a water spout up close,
fortunate just far enough away to enjoy watching it.
We have four more days to enjoy this, then will go back to the marina that
is in town to get some more food and supplies for out trip to Thailand.
Phuket is only 130 miles from here and we can take a week to get there without
the authorities getting upset. We have plotted out some places to visit
on the way with small day hops making it fun. Jim’s sister is flying
into Bangkok to join us for a land tour of north Thailand………………….then back
to Nepenthe for Thanksgiving and small cruise to two islands we think she
will like. We do not have our on board email working yet, not a priority
with all this WIFI up here, so keep using the Nepenthe43@yahoo.com email
Of course, out here in the cruise mode there is no WIFI so we will
send this when we get to the marina and update all in messages. We connected
to skype, phone calls via internet, to the USA it is pennies per minuet
to a land line, and free computer to computer. If any of you have skype,
let us know. OF course with the time zones it would be a miracle to find
both of us on computer at the same time.
Cheers……………….next update: THAILAND.
Carole and Jim
Here is a web site re Burma, a country so dear to our hearts, we almost
explode with grief for them, and admiration for their courage. Maybe
with all our support, this time they have chance to be free. China is the
key. This was just sent to me this week. Thanks for “standing with Burmese
this is a web site sent to me, from a lady that works with this organization
near the border, a friend of a trusted friend. We will get to meet
her when we travel to north Thailand.