Sunday, February 28, 2016

JB to KL - (Johor Bahru) to (Kuala Lumpur)

Here's the layout of this part of SE Asia.  The Malaysia Peninsula is connected to Thailand and Burma (Myanmar).  Singapore is at the tip of the Malaysia Peninsula.  Eastern Malaysia is on the western part of the island of Borneo.  The Malacca Strait runs between Malaysia and North Sumatra, Indonesia.  The tides run 10-12 feet.  That is quite a bit of water to be flowing through what is essentially a river running from Thailand to Singapore.  The current is much stronger than anywhere we have been, with perhaps the exception of the Great Barrier Reef.  If you don't run the engines, you will essentially lose 6 hours while the tide is running against you.  Of course you will make that up when the tide is helping you but the day is short and night sailing is not an option with the hoards of unlit fishing boats out at night.


This is our first exposure to sailing Malaysia.  We should have left Marina Puteri as early as possible.  We could have obtained our port clearance documents the day prior but decided instead to wait for the office to open.  Big mistake.  The supposed outgoing tide never appeared and then the current of the Malacca Strait was against us.  This made a short day into a long slog motoring most of the way.  We anchored at Pulau Pisang (Banana Island).  We tucked up behind the island and had a good night until the land breeze started and we ended up with our stern getting slapped by waves coming across  the Strait.  Most of the Malacca Strait is less than 30 feet deep and we were told that if you want, you can just drop anchor anywhere.  A few boats did anchor off the island and apparently departed very early since they didn't have to navigate the shallows around the island.  They probably had slapping waves during the night also.

Pulau Besar (Water Island)
We had a long day as it was to our next anchorage at Water Island.  There were 6 boats anchored there when we arrived at sunset with a huge thunderstorm chasing us during the last hour.  There was plenty of lightning but we all made it through fine.  This was a nice island and would have spent a day exploring it had we not been on an agenda.  There is some type of deserted or lightly used resort on the north side of the island and beaches to land the dinghy.

We departed early for the short day sail to the Admiral Marina in Port Dickson.  This is the closest yacht facility to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

The Admiral Marina.  By far, the nicest marina we have ever stayed in.

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