So buckle up kids here’s a quick catch up of the best bits:
So after waking up with fuzzy heads we discover we are in Penang. Heading out into Georgetown we were scoping out the situation in terms of possibly doing some trips. Which naturally ended up as wandering all over Penang buying booze from supermarkets and ending up in a bar. Amazingly the boys fabbed out early, leaving me and Charlotte to carry on our night. We spent it in a nearly empty bar chatting with the delightful locals who seemed to stop charging us for tequilas, despite a sneaky bottle of rum slipping out my bag and smashing all over the floor. Somehow made it back to the boat. Sisters are doing it for themselves!!
Decided there was no point staying in Penang as there’s no tourists, so we left the next day under these two giant bridges. Which were pretty awesome. Had a right palava floating up to what seemed like hundreds of different boats to ask for diesel, all of which uncertainly pointed back to the other ones. Gave up pronto like.
The night of the 22nd of June was our first night sail. We worked out shifts and I was paired up with Dennis which I was pleased about. There’s something otherworldly about night sailing and I can hands down say it’s been one of my favourite things so far. We chose a good night for our first go, the stars were twinkling like a million fairy lights in the thick velvety sky, so close you could almost touch them, and the boat cleaved its way smoothly though the inky water. Everyone sleeps up on the deck when possible and during nice weather night sails there’s cushions and an air of quiet tranquility all around the boat, with the water lapping at the sides and soft murmurs from clusters of people talking in the night as they wait for their turn. It’s all perfectly enchanting and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We moored up finally at a weird place with mist and floating platforms with loads of dogs on them and not much else.
After that it was on to Port Dixon. And joy of all joys, McDonald’s! (Wifi, yay 😛)The next day me and Chaz explored, found GIANT bananas (Seriously, what!?) and we’d actually just got back to McD’s when Chaz sat on an ants nest literally getting ants in her pants, leaving me dissolving into helpless laughter as she ran screaming to the toilet, and a handful of baffled locals looking at us in amazement. Later our missing compadre – Paul – who’d been having his own personal passport nightmare in Bangkok finally arrived, so there was beers all round.
The day after that was calamity as the autopilot broke which meant you had to do all the steering by hand, which is actually more tricky then it sounds. But our morning was heavenly as we discovered the nirvana that is Admiral Marina. An oasis of opulence, this place was all the finer things in life. Feeling slightly bedraggled compared to our glistening surroundings we sheepishly checked out the buffet, rode up and down in the elevators and me Chaz, Caz and Nate took full advantage of the swimming pool. Which was glorious. The icing on the cake was when me Chaz and Caz managed to convince a very obliging young chap to let us check out the super yacht he was looking after, and of course selfied the shit out if it :
After that we were cruising down the Malacca Straights, I was at the helm and there was a few peeps knocking around the wheel house as per usual. There hadn’t been a boat, or in fact anything, in sight for ages so when Dennis started a fascinating story about Singapore I was instantly engrossed and may have forgotten to look where we were going. I was soon reminded by Aeg yelling, and a few other people on the fishing boat we nearly hit yelling as well. I of course panicked and swerved the boat violently to the right (see our nice smooth course pre fishing boat) before Nate jumped to the rescue and stopped the engine. Realistically we were at least 10 metres away, but that was unfortunately enough to do for Dustys fishing lines and I don’t think it done wonders for the other guys either. I was curling into a ball at this point but they seemed to be ok, so we set off again and with our usual tendency to make the best of things Chaz made us all bracelets out of what was left of Dustys fishing reel. And after that we saw dolphins which cheered me up considerably.
Unfortunately that was not to be our last run in with Malaysians and their pesky fishing lines. Naturally going against everything the book said we decided to do a night sail through the Malacca Straights, I was on with Dennis as per usual but with boats surrounding us left right and centre the atmosphere wasn’t quite so tranquil. As we were ploughing along I’d noticed about three boats shining some sort of signal at us with big bright torch beams, which I pointed out to Dennis who didn’t seem overly concerned. It was as we were sailing past maybe the fourth one of these I was like “Dennis that boats doing that flashing thing again” and it seemed to come to him in a lightbulb moment that there must be fishing nets across our path. This was confirmed when two angry Malaysians in a speed boat started circling the boat, yelling and shouting and waving torches around in a vaguely threatening manner. Who the Harry Hell puts fishing nets across a shipping lane is what I’d like to know actually. Either way we had to take a detour around the other side of an island and all was well.
And finally…DUSTY CATCHES HIS FIRST FISH. We don’t call him the fish whisperer for nothing you know.