Singapore and Malaysia Jan 2020
SINGAPORE – well technically Malaysia (as that is where we left the boat) but still SINGAPORE. Crossing the Singapore Straits was exciting – in the way that playing FROGGER is exciting, it is a very busy stretch of water that has theoretical ‘lanes’ marked on the chart and also ‘pedestrian’ crossings – which we took. The ships captains are very professional and the whole crossing took only a few hours, but it had both of us on high alert as those boats move fast.
We are a long way from home now and we are off for some big city life - The Singapore F1 Grand Prix (Jamie’s birthday present). As big fans, we couldn’t miss the oppourtunity to see a GP, when we were so damn close, and of course that meant a few nights having a hoot in Singapore. Singapore is an expensive place to have a boat in a marina so we have gone around the back of the island and left her in Johor Bahru in Malaysia and taken an Uber into Singapore. What ensues is days of sightseeing, eating amazing foods and watching a very cool race! Then home to Australia for 3 months of work (see previous post)
Once back in Malaysia we are on a mission! Get up the Malacca straits to Langkawi – about 500nm to see if we can get there in time to meet up with our friends Ken and Megan who are flying in for my 50th Birthday. And to reunite with our long time boat sailing buddies Waterhorse, who happen to be there as well. We mostly day sail, with a few overnighters up the very very edge of the Malacca Straits, making sure to keep in contact with any large ships going past, and also avoiding once again the many fishing vessels out and about. Unlike in Indonesia, these are relatively well lit, and easy to drive around. The weather is very kind to us also, and we mainly motor sail our way north.
After about 5 days of passage making, we pull into Rebak Marina and reunite with our old friends. Ken and Megan fly in and then its all about me the birthday girl! We have a beautiful dinner on the beach at one of the local resorts, and spend many days driving around Langkawi and exploring the resorts, the history of the island and spend a terrifying 20 mins going up the worlds steepest cable car. Wow, that was HIGH. And we get stuck into some boat repairs.
Sadly, the birthday celebrations end, and our friends go home. However, as we zoomed up the Malacca Straits we didn’t get time to stop at Penang, which is meant to be a mecca for foodies, history (Georgetown is world heritage listed) and street art – and it is a $50, 30 minute flight! Penang was amazing, so hot yet so cool. The food hawkers on the street have spent their lives perfecting just on dish, and they do it so well. $3 a plate, with equally cheap beer, we were in heaven. And the street art and history of this amazing island was uber cool. It felt like Singapore from 40 years ago. WOW. I now have 2 new dishes to try to perfect – Char Kway Teow and Roti Cannai.
Penang over, we set our sights on heading briefly to Thailand with Waterhorse. Why briefly? Well, work beckons us home for 6 months this time. Our one small remaining business has not been flourishing as expected and we need to go and spend some time on it – either get it back up and running well, or sell it. But first – Thailand!