We stayed in Puteri Harbour marina for 2 weeks. Bill and I went to the dentist. We both had xrays. I had a 2 fillings, one big one small, and Bill had a much bigger job culminating in a crown being fitted after 10 days. All for the princely sum of MYR1190 (£205), bargain. The torn sail was taken off, measured, photographed and folded up, while the spare one was hoisted. It’s not as good quality but will do for the next few months while we get a new one ordered. Shopping was brought in, markets explored, jobs completed from the jobs list (it never seems to go down), washing of us, the boat and clothes. Most days being fueled by my favourite cappuccinos from Starbucks and the odd meal at one of the many restaurants at Puteri.
Monday 29th June we took the bus over the 2nd link bridge to Singapore for a few days; a mini break. We had lunch at raffles marina while checking out their Chandler store in the afternoon. Had a wonderful walk around the old colonial area although it’s been dwarfed by the huge skyscrapers everywhere.
Enjoyed a delicious meal down by the old boat quay with a view of the amazing Marina Bay Sands hotel before heading off on the MRT to the night zoo. Good evening but not sure it’s as good as it’s rated.
The next morning after coffee in Chinatown it was back to Bugis and Simlin tower, Bill’s favourite place, to buy a new gadget for the boat. It’s a media player and new hard drive so we can play all the films and TV series people have given us on various formats stored on different computers, hard drives and old fashioned DVDs. Now they can all be kept in one place and played on our new TV.
We went back to the boat for another round of shopping, sewing and preparing for our summer on the East coast of Malaysia before finally leaving at 06.30 on 5th July with Inspiration Lady following. First we had to sail or motor around Singapore on the edge of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. There were many cargo ships carrying containers but this one was loaded with blades for wind turbines. From the writing on the bow we assumed it had come from China but no idea where it was heading.
Having left Puteri 2 hours BEFORE low water and taking the last of the ebb down the Johor Straits, the tide turned in our favour at the entrance and was with us all the way around Singapore as we headed east back into Malaysian waters on the other side of Singapore. The sails were out, the engine was off and the tide was still with us so we were reluctant to stop and carried on passed this huge drilling platform onto to the far eastern corner of Malaysia. As we started heading up the east coast the wind turned into an easterly bringing with it a nasty swell. As it was getting dark both yachts stopped in the first bay but it was obvious we wouldn’t be able to stay. Poor Camomile and Inspiration Lady were pitching and rolling badly. The plan was to stop and try and rest for a few hours before continuing otherwise we would arrive at the first island in the dark. This meant poor Bill was doing a night sail for his birthday but he said he didn’t mind. Having left at midnight the anchor went down on the northern coast of Pulau Sibu at 10.00.
Bill’s birthday celebrations could begin. The first thing I did was jump in the water, my first swim in the sea this summer. Hard to believe I know but the west coast is quite murky and I don’t swim unless I can see the bottom. Later Gary and Jackie of Inspiration Lady and Bill and Caroline of Juffa joined us in the evening for a pot luck supper and a game of cards. A great evening was enjoyed by all.
Wednesday 8th July we continued north past the point we had reached last year with my sister Angela on board and onto the north coast of Pulau Sri Buat anchoring at
An absolutely idyllic spot. We jumped in the dinghy and headed to the beach but I couldn’t resist photographing a beautiful shiny Camomile on the way.
The island was uninhabited so we had this wonderful beach to ourselves. It was great to relax in the warm waters after all the hard work that’s been necessary to get Camomile looking as beautiful as she does during the first half of the year. It felt like summer had started.
But in true British summer fashion we suddenly noticed storm clouds approaching and just got back to the boat before the rain started and this stunning view ….
….. turned into this as the rain lashed down. That was the end of summer for the day.
The following day the sun was out and we explored the bay in the dinghy. There was another lovely beach behind the big rock and I enjoyed an interesting snorkel there. You can just see Camomile peaking around the edge of the rock on the left of the picture. There was some lovely coral further out.
Left the beautiful anchorage on Friday 10th to motor the 15 miles to Tioman island. Fortunately there were 2 spaces in the marina so Camomile and Inspiration Lady went in. Juffa was already there. Jackie and I hit ‘the shops’ in the afternoon while Bill tried to organise some power so we could have the air conditioning on for a few days. Tioman is a quaint island and like stepping back in time but Jackie and I managed to find a few supplies to booster our larder. It’s also duty free which meant cheap wine – yessss. Mick and Janice anchored Zoa off one evening and we joined them and Inspiration Lady for a meal ashore.
Another evening we joined Bill and Caroline on Juffa for drinks and during our conversation discovered they were both teachers from Durrington High school, had 2 boys the same age as ours and lived in the next village to us in Angmering while we were there. What a small world we live in!
Tuesday 14th Camomile and Juffa left Inspiration Lady in Tioman marina. Juffa headed south as they had to go back to Johor but we continued north on our own. Our plan for the summer was head north quickly and then come back slowly. Finally we had good winds and sailed all the way to Pekan passing these anchored boats on our way, and anchored just after 6pm behind the breakwater at
It was ok for overnight but quite rolly. The next day we left at 8am, the sails were out straight away and we sailed all the way to the Chukai river.
The wind had gone round to the south east which was great for sailing but not for entering the river. By the time we reached the bar at the entrance there was a dangerous swell of a metre running. Bill skilfully helmed Camomile through the entrance with 1.5metres under our keel for a minute or two. I sat very quietly watching – doesn’t happen very often – with my heart in my mouth but once inside the swell dropped and the depth gauge increased. Reminded us of the bars across the Australian harbour entrances. Once inside we continued up the river for about a mile and anchored opposite the town.
The next day was the last day of Ramadan and the following day was Hari Raya, a major Muslim holiday. It felt like Christmas eve in the town and the market was very busy with people stocking up for the festivities. As we walked around I saw some live chickens having their throats cut and handed to eager buyers, and a dead cow being unloaded from the back of a truck complete with blood, guts and all – we didn’t stay long and I don’t have any photos of it. Fortunately we managed to find a regular supermarket further in the town. In the evening there were lots of people celebrating with fireworks going off most of the night.
The next morning Friday 17th all was quiet as we chugged back down the river through a much calmer entrance. There was no wind so we motored all the way to Tenggol. What was really strange was there wasn’t one single fishing boat out, we have never seen that before.
Pulau Tenggol was another 40 miles further north with a deep anchorage of 30 metres! Far too deep for us plus the sea bed was reported to be broken coral and wrecks, deadly for an anchor. Fortunately the local dive shop has tied three buoys to some purposely sunken wrecks quite close to the beach but not too close to the reef. So we picked one up at
04˚48.44N (getting further north)
There was another British boat there called Sa Vahn with Fiona and Clare on board with their own dive kit who had dived on the wrecks to check out the lines and all seemed good. The beach looked very inviting so we swam in for a walk. Unknown to us was the fact that the beach is full of sand flies and I came back with my legs covered in bites, they were as bad as the ones we got on South Island in NZ.
Sunday 19th left Tenggol at 9am and sailed all the way to Pulau Kappas dropping the anchor at 4pm at
103˚15.6E in 6 metre on sand.
For all you guys following us Kappas is beautiful; a true paradise island. Teal blue sea, verdant green backdrop, white sand and wonderful coral.
There are a series of beaches on the west side linked by stairways so you can walk between them (either my camera or computer ate the photos I took!) Great for lunch trips with a bit of exercise on the way back to walk off chocolate monkey pancakes which are pancakes with caramelised bananas covered in chocolate sauce – nommm nommm!
The island is quite small so we were able to take the dinghy around it. The rock formations are magnificent.
On the east side I spotted a cave and on closer examination from the entrance discovered it was full of bats. Not sure if you can see from this photo but the top of the cave was covered in them; very noisy and very smelly.
We stayed there until Friday 24th July relaxing, reading, a little writing and snorkelling every day. Such a delightful anchorage. It would have been nice to stay longer but we needed to get to Terengganu to check out the marina to make sure it’s suitable to leave Camomile there later in the summer. So I’ll just post some of the many snorkeling photos I took at Kapas for you to enjoy.