Wednesday 31 October 2018

October Newsletter 2018

News from the Crew of Matilda
October 2018
Right on dawn two Malaysian warships: 11 & 25 tied to the dock at the Navy Base - Pengelih Point.
Ships log: 
  • October 2: We left Sebana Cove Resort marina and with the high tide we made the hour journey out of the Sungi Santi (river) to the Navy Base anchorage. Our anchor was dropped at 01 23.06N, 104 05.73E on mud in 7.7mtrs with a dropping tide.
  • October 4: We travelled 66.3nm's south and under Singapore. Stopping at Pulau Sauh (small island right beside Pulau Pisang). Dropping our anchor in sandy mud at 01 28.45N, 103 16.04E in 8mtrs on a rising tide.
  • October 5: We travelled 63.2nm's to Muar town dropping anchor in the Muar river at 02 02.84N, 102 33.51E in sandy mud. Good depths the town side, we anchored in 6.1 at high tide.
  • October 9: Travelled north 23.8nm's and even enjoyed a sail to Pulau Upeh. We dropped our anchor in 5.5mtrs right on low tide. 02 11.66N, 102 12.39E was in sand. 
  • October 10: Travelled 34.7nms to Pulau Arung Arung - Port Dickson McDonalds anchorage. Dropping the pick in 11mtrs on a rising tide, on sand at 02 30.99N, 101 47.86E.
  • October 12: travelled 52.3nms to the mid Klang river anchorage. Dropped the pick at 03 02.43N, 101 20.37E in 8.6mtrs on a rising tide, the bottom was sand or clean mud as the anchor came up clean.
  • October 13: we travelled 77.38nms to Pulau Rumbia. Dropped anchor at 04 01.81N, 100 33.21E in 19mtrs on sand.
  • October 14: we travelled 11.9nms to anchor outside Pangkor Marina. Anchor was dropped in 04 12.67N, 100 35.71E in 7.6mtrs at low tide. 
  • October 18, went for a look around Pangkor Island, due to a storm we came back into the bay - Pasi Bogak dropping anchor at 04 12.56N, 100 32.99E in 8.2mtrs at low tide on sandy mud.
  • October 18 - returned to Pangkor Marina anchorage basin 04 12.60N, 100 35.75E in 9mtrs.
  • October 23, took Matilda to anchor in the Dinding river outside the town of Lumut. Anchored at 04 14.24N, 100 38.23E, dropping anchor in 10.5mtrs on a rising tide.
  • October 28 we took Matilda over to Pangkor Island to the bay of Teluk Dalam. Dropped anchor in 3.5mtrs on a falling tide to a muddy bottom at 04 15.50N, 100 33.46E
  • October 29 we circumnavigated Pangkor Island to top up batteries & water and returned to the anchorage outside Pangkor Marina. We dropped anchor at 04 12.63N, 100 35.78E in 7.3 mtrs on a rising tide.
Crew log:
To the left is the damaged impeller, no blades- to the right a brand new one with all its blades as it should be!
As with boats when they sit for a while things can get brittle and fail. For us as we started our engine to leave Sebana, the exhaust was not pumping water as it should. Engine off and a quick investigation revealed the impeller was shredded beyond recognition. Once a new one was in place, it worked like a champion and we were off!

We choose Sebana Cove Marina to leave Matilda while we flew home to Australia. It's very secluded and it has a constant (apparently) supply of fresh water flowing into it, but we did think that was more the case in the wet season. While it was indeed secluded this was a little problematic upon our return as we needed to resupply. The marina has no shops anywhere near it and you are locked and loaded to use the resorts bus. A service is put on a few days a week which takes yachties to the local shops but you are charged for the privilege, 

For those interested the trip for us to get to Singapore's Changi Airport looked like this: 
  • 0530 the alarm went off so we could have some breakfast, a shower and do our last minute things putting Matilda to bed.
  • 0645 caught a taxi to the Belungkor Ferry Terminal (Malaysia). The taxi's charge a fixed rate of RM80 which we felt was a bit steep as the journey only took 40 minutes.
  • 0800 the ferry left the terminal for the 20 minute ride to Singapore, Changi Ferry Terminal. Cost RM148 for 2 people one way.
  • From the Singapore ferry terminal you need to catch a taxi to the airport. Singapore dollars now: S$15 which was pretty good. The journey took 20 minutes.
  • We arrived at the airport at 1000 hrs. 
The ferry timetable page is from the Harbour Master at Sebana, who is an extremely helpful man.
As a footnote to the above you need to carry Sing Dollars, there is no ATM at the Changi ferry terminal. We had a little trouble ordering our taxi to get to the airport because our phones didn't like the roaming option (could have been the operators) but we were kinda stuck for a while until we figured it out. Plus the sign on the wall with the taxi information had phone numbers on it but they were obsolete! The taxi's do not come into the terminal, but you could walk out to the main road and hail a taxi. This was an option for us but we had a fair bit of luggage with us and it was pouring with rain.

Bruce considering some new luggage!
Changi Airport now boasts 4 terminals. Each one is a tremendous improvement on the previous one. We were at terminal 1 which was operational from 1981, it provided terrific seating while you waited and loads of cafes/restaurants to choose from but from what we hear not much in the way of entertainment compared to the new and up market terminal 4.

Terminal 1, Changi Airport.
Sebana Cove Resort itself is magnificent, but some of its resident boats have been here a bit too long and clearly are unattended. Some sections of the docks ensure you keep your eyes where your walk..............a few happy snaps of the sights.

This fire hydrant stayed in this position the entire time we were there.

Used this a few times and the pool showers were awesome!

Harbour Masters office.

The reflections were stunning.

The fingers where sooooooooo long.

Lovely to see our buddies one last time for a while.

Someones pride and joy - a little lost?

Our neighbour had been in the pen for a while.

The cute award went to Oso, so small and from Darwin!

Queen Tala was a very interesting looking vessel, with a very cool stern light, but she was also suffering from sitting in her pen unattended for way to long.

Bruce making use of little wind to dry out Big Blue which got wet in a down pour.
Leaving Sebana heading further north, the run under Singapore is always a little stressful as there is so much going on and we must be on point the entire time. A few more happy snaps of that journey.......

A jack up rig being moved on an interesting vessel. This ship is designed with a clear belly ar for its goods to transport.

Half of this working boat was covered in barbed wire - wonder where he has been....

I love this image looking straight on their bow's. Both big boys are being refulled - they are absolute giants.

This is what we look for when the ships are in tight packs. The smoke indicates his engine is on and will be moving soon.

No idea what this vessel carries but it was huge.

Natural gas carrier.

One very well protected tug, ready to fend off.

We see loads of these fast boats carrying pilots - the tankers etc can not move in or out of their alloted anchorages without a pilot on board while in Singapore waters.

The famous Raffles light house.

A bit of colour. The red boat has his anchor wash on.

A Singapore warship cruising past.

Not sure what he is carrying, but maybe the bases of some wind turbines?

The blades of some wind turbines.

Love this. Two tugs having a chat.

Two oil rigs in operation right in the middle of the Singapore Strait area.
Once past the mayhem of Singapore waters we moved up to drop anchor in the river of the town of Muar. The entry into the Muar River requires a rising or high tide depending on the depth at the time. We draw 2 meters and went in on the last hour of a 1.81mtr high tide and had a minimum of 2.7 mtrs total depth. 

The river shoals have moved slightly. This was our trip in.

Our way points where:
  1. 02 03.398N, 102 30.132E
  2. 02 03.528N, 102 31.092E
  3. 02 03.316N, 102 32.215E
  4. 02 03.224N, 102 33.125E
The Malaysian maritime government vessel: Pedoman. Not sure that translates well into English.....
The town of Muar is also the home of the Sultan of Johor: Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar. Due to the town being a royal residence the streets, shops, park lands etc are exceptionally well presented, a credit to the Sultan. 

A few happy snaps......

Container art at a Container Hotel.
More container art

Bruce outside the Container Hotel with a Transformer.

The container hotel was very colourful.

One of our favourite eating places.

Bruce ordering our lunch at another favourite cafe, and a very popular place with locals. This cafe sells pork, pork, more pork oh and duck. We enjoyed the roasted and bbq'd pork belly with rice.

One of the streets in Muar is all pink, even the footpaths.

The royal insignia is everywhere around town - even has pride and place at the round about.
 Muar has one of the best cake shops we have been in!

A chocolate lovers heaven.

These looked so good.

Kitty cookies.....

Bite size Kitty treats.
A bit more of Muar town.........

A stork or crane enjoying a free ride but more importantly he is on his own FAD (Fish Attracting Device). We watched him fish several times right from his floating home to catch the fish hiding underneath the floating mass.

Orange overalls cleaning all the time.

Our view every night.

Not the best timing but we decided to go for a walk just as the skies opened up. Matilda is anchored way down the river.

The mosque over the other side. We anchored over there last time.

We anchored out the front of this mosque and were glad that no speakers were facing us.

This is what all the park lands look like here, beautiful.

The Sultans, Muar residence - very funky.

This is a tree floating up and down stream with the current. We counted our blessings it didn't come over to Matilda.
As we left Muar we took our last shots of the park land buildings which displays the words 'Daulat Taunku' on a huge sign....the English translation: God Bless The King.

Malay's do love their selfies......

One of the buildings in the park lands. This one had the most incredible amount of free space in front of it for the people to enjoy.
Deb had her birthday while we sailed up Malacca Strait to Pangkor. We enjoyed a breakfast out and then we had to haul diesel....Happy Birthday Deb!

Birthday Girl.

This month both of us had published items. Some time ago Deb entered a competition with SisterShipMagazine and while she was not in the final 3 her article was published in the anthology, titled: Facing Fear Head On, which was released on Amazon for sale.

How exciting to be a part of this release.
Facing Fear Head On doesnt have photos so here are mine that went with the piece....

This was paradise before the squall hit during the late evening.

A broken fishing hut,,,,a hint of what goes on in the bay.

We had 3 of these hit us one after the other on the night in Debs published story.
Bruce had two articles published in Cruising Helmsman this month. He had one 'how to' article on 'How to Reseal a Timber Handrail' and his piece titled 'Heaven to Hell in 5 Minutes' was also published.

Something we never tire of is the sight of a squall line. They make us nervous and have us on our toes the entire time they are present. Someone was smiling on us the day we left the Klang river bound for Pulau Rumbia (south of Pangkor Island) as this squall must have been moving south and did not come towards the land, it stayed out at sea and we sailed away from it - phew.

These squall lines make a very impressive and foreboding sight.
Anchoring beside Pulau Rumbia was a first for us. The landscape there was impressive as are the depths surrounding the islands. Often showing over 100mtrs deep and rising sharply to 10 mtrs, a lot of water moves here. We dropped our anchor as the last of the sunlight faded. When we got up in the morning and took in our surroundings, we were delighted. The island is uninhabited and from the few hours we saw, its full of wildlife. We lost count of the eagles flying over head calling each other and we saw loads of other bird life. Loads of water monitor lizards and watched heaps of hogs foraging on the high water mark. Fish galore breaking the surface and we just needed some monkeys to appear to complete the vision, we could hear them but not seem them.

A class local Malay fishing boat. They never waste an opportunity to wet a line - its all about survival.

This monitor lizard was huge. His belly was full and he had loads of smaller lizards around him/her?
The whole island was incredibly green with thick foliage.

The hogs came out to graze on the sand. One to the right was having a snooze.
On the way to Pangkor we passed this C class fishing boat with a homemade cabin on top.
Love the washing out.

We have been in here, they welcome visitors. At night this mosque is magnificently lit.
Pangkor is such a great place to sit for a while doing the never ending boat jobs. I guess because we have been in Asia for a while we have gotten to know a few people. Its so good to catch up with our friends progress and their sailing plans.

And this crew off Site are exactly why we love this lifestyle. They did 91 nautical miles in a 15.5 hour day from Port Klang to find us up the Dinding River just to say HI.

Sitting out the front of the marina gives us spectacular views each night of the sun setting over Pangkor Island.
The other great thing about being here is the food. There is always a local Biryani which sells Indian style foods. One of the deserts is not to be sneezed at......

This is a Roti Tisu. A sweet flat bread with a sugar coating - its very decadent.
Towards the end of the month we decided to move Matilda around the corner to Lumut. This meant moving her up the Sungi (river) Dinding. Its an easy river to navigate with good depths, its wide and very well marked. We were quite surprised how busy the river was. 

This little chap isn't much bigger than Bruce's hand. The lizard was watching us as we ate breakfast one morning.
Lucky for us we got to sit just east of the ferry terminal which meant no ferry wash and we were not impeding any traffic. We had heard that a few boats had been hit while anchored in the river, but we didn't drop anchor where they were.

This is going on all day and night. Many deliveries go past us. This guy is delivering a huge load of timber, gas bottles and loads of other stuff.
The bloke is delivering a new boat wheel house!
Coming up the river I got to indulge in my photography on Warships as there is a naval base located on the river. Complete with its own construction infrastructure. This does mean that a fair bit of the river has prohibited anchorage areas, but that's OK, as the river is huge.

Warship 30 complete with a fisherman's flag out the side.

Warship 134.

Warship 151 on the hardstand.

Warships 255 & 76 sitting proud side by side at the dock. Note the fisherman's flag out the front of 255.

The mighty Warship 1504 - the biggest one we have seen yet. And another fisherman's flag is present.

The dry dock is massive.

Full covers on.

This is Tunas Samudera a two masted schooner. She is owned by the Royal Malaysian Navy and was christened by Queen Elizabeth II and the King of Malaysia in 1989. She is a sailing training ship.
Some mornings at Lumut we had some very low lying cloud. This was our view from the cockpit while enjoying a coffee one morning.
Once we left the calm of the Dinding, we went and sat for a while in a small bay on Pankor Island. Then we took Matilda for a run around the island to top up our batteries. During this run we came accross Warship 29. Its the first time we have seen a warship with a heli pad.

Love the blue tent out on the bow.

Passengers about to board the chopper.

And their mobile.
One morning while enjoying our coffee we were thrilled to watch the participants of the local Outward Bound association enjoying the water in rowing boats with beautiful burgundy sails and about 40 kayakers.

So many kayakers!
To finish off we admire the local fisherman. Their boats are built very strong and life onboard is not like life on board our Matilda. These guys do it tough.

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