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 several times.  

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 email for now.

 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 people”.

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.