Langkawi to Puteri – Getting away from Langkawi
Monday 1st June we were ready to leave – just. We folded up the cockpit cover. Bill put the last of his tools away and put his little work bench on the giveway table, it had served its purpose.
We went over to the office to pay our final bill and say our goodbyes to the office staff and have one last look at the Hard dock café. Quite a lot of the boats are unoccupied now as a lot of cruisers have headed home to avoid the southwest monsoon or headed south already. We needed to catch them up.
There were a few goodbyes left to say before our photo was taken on the aft deck and we left at 1pm.
Bill enjoying the view from the new dolphin seat he made. It felt good to be out in the beautiful blue sea again. The first part of our journey only took an hour as we headed to Tulaga on mainland Langkawi for fuel.
Our jerry cans were all empty and the main tank took 100 litres as well. It was quite nerve-racking coming alongside for the first time because of our beautifully painted topsides.
Within an hour we were off again on the 3½ hour journey to the main town of Kuah. Bill wanted to raise our beautiful new sail to check it out. Good job we did because as it has deeper reefs than the old one the reefing lines weren’t long enough. Big problem, new reefing lines were needed, more expense! Eventually the sail went up without the reefing lines attached and Bill could sit back on his superb seat under our lovely new bimini cover and enjoy his Christmas cigar that he had been saving for the occasion.
We arrived at Kuah at 18.30 in time for the most stunning sunset. This is what we’ve missed. We sat on the deck with our sundowners.
The next morning Phil from Lyttleton Sails came on board to look at our sail and confirmed that we needed new reefing lines. Fortunately he was able to give us some tips on where to get them from. After managing to land the bikes ashore Bill and I cycled up to Chin Ho trading to look at rope and do some supermarket shopping. The gears on my bike weren’t working properly and Bills tyres kept going down so we took them to the bike man again but this time he was unable to fix them. They’ll have to go back in their bags until someone comes out from the UK who can carry some bike parts for us. Any volunteers?
That evening wasn’t as good as the first one and in fact as we got back to the boat storm clouds were brewing. We started to lift the dinghy onto the davits before the clouds burst but one of the wires broke – another problem; would we ever get away from here?
Wednesday 3rd I gave Chris and Keith ex of Poco Andante a call in their apartment in Kuah and luckily they came to our rescue driving us around for the day so Bill could buy his rope. We all had lunch together before they took us to a duty free shop they knew to top up our alcohol stores. That evening we joined them again along with many other cruisers including Lorraine and Graham of Lorrigray for the cruisers mid week get together. All enjoyed a wonderful evening. (Forgot my camera.)
Thursday 4th I walked through the park to the ferry port to check us out of Langkawi and get our port clearance for Puteri 400 miles south. There just happens to be a Starbucks there so I finally got my cappuccino I had been looking forward to. The giant eagle is a symbol of Langkawi, there are many eagles in the area. After lunch and a final wine shop we headed back to Camomile.
Bill spent all of the morning of the 5th June trying to replace the davit wire. It proved to be quite difficult but he managed it in the end. The anchor came up just after 1pm and finally it was goodbye to Kuah until the end of the year. We didn’t go far and anchored at Pulau Besar just 2 hours away. Sundowners on the deck again.
Bill wanted to get the new reefing lines in before we headed south so Saturday 6th he spent quite a bit of the day rerunning them in and out of the boom while I sat writing. Once he’d finished we raised the sail to check all was ok and thankfully, with a few minor adjustments, everything was fine.
Sunday 7th we finally left Langkawi. I was beginning to think we wouldn’t ever get away. Camomile motored through this gap and headed south for 60 miles. After all the playing with the main before we left there wasn’t any wind and we only managed to sail one hour of the 12 hour passage.
As we are now in the south west monsoon season there are a lot of storms around. We watched this one approach with trepidation. It’s also possible to see them on the radar and we were able to skirt round some of it but it still hit us with torrential rain and strong winds.
There were also a lot of these guys dotted along our path. No they aren’t pirates just fishermen but they set these fish traps. Not sure how they work but we always steer well clear of them. They are everywhere.
Most of them have a fishing boat next to them but some don’t and as they aren’t lit travelling in these waters at night is very dangerous.
Finally we reached Panang just as the sun was going down. We planned to stay there a few days.