Thursday, April 7, 2016

Penang Island

Our last stop with the rally is Penang Island.  It's a 60 mile day trip so we decided to leave a few days early and kill a few days anchoring off the nice little beach at Pangkor Island where we had the catered lunch.  Big mistake.  We were buzzed all day long by motorboats and Jet Skis.  We did have a nice dinner on shore once all the commotion calmed down.

The following morning we moved to the next bay to the north along with LUNA BLU and FLOMEIDA. We swam to the beach and did some walking.  I helped Christoph troubleshoot his malfunctioning dinghy engine.  Turned out he had bad petrol from Indonesia.  Seems to have been mixed with diesel.  

Rimau Island Anchorage

We left this nice quiet spot the next day at sunrise which was a good thing.  Not that we were running out of daylight but that we barely anchored before the thunderstorms hit.  We anchored in a nice little cove at Rimau Island.  Just off the south end of Penang.  The thunderstorms were brutal and lightning was striking very close for a few hours.  The cracks and flashes were instantaneous, and loud.  We were with about 10 other boats and fortunately nobody was struck.  We spent the next day exploring Rimau Island but it was pretty overgrown and we couldn't get to the lighthouse. 

Rally going under the Penang Bridge
The Rally had planned a group sail under the Penang Bridge during morning rush hour.  About 50 rally boats from various anchorages rendezvoused an hour south of the bridge and we went in full convoy mode under the 2nd longest bridge in Malaysia.  Another 30 minutes further up the Selatan Strait, we dropped anchor in front of this leg's rally sponsor, The Straits Quay Marina.

The streets of Little India, Penang Island
We learned the bus system fairly quickly.  We went with LUNA BLU and LAZY LADY exploring the historic Capital City of Georgetown in search of culture, hardware, and food.  We ended up in Little India for a great lunch.  That evening the marina had free beer and food for Happy Hour.

Penang Hill Incline train tracks
The following day we took the inclined train to Penang Hill.  At 2500 feet above sea level, the air was cool and the view incredible.  

Notice the angle of the Incline train in the background

Georgetown from Penang Hill, still have haze in the air from burning forests.

Penang has a large Chinese population and we spent a few hours exploring the enormous Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple and monestary.  They have 10,000 Buddah statues.  Seems like they must have gotten a good price on them.

Buddahs everywhere

We go to the same barber.

Entertainment at Fort Cornwallis

The Penang Dept. of Tourism put on a great dinner for us that evening at Fort Cornwallis.  It is a star shaped fort built by the British in the late 1700's with some canons that date back to 1600.  We had use of the entire fort property after closing hours, the food was nice for us vegetarians, finally, and the entertainment was interesting.  They had the large Chinese dancing dragons, singers and dancers.

Buddhist Bunny

The following day, most boats departed to the north towards Langkawi and we went south back to Pangkor Island.  We passed CONVIVIA, who was heading up to Penang.  We've been trying to meet up with them since Australia but kept passing and never ended up in the same place at the same time.   Had a nice chat on the radio though.  Tucker is the guy who designed the Farkwar website.  They are heading across the Indian Ocean after Thailand so we may not cross paths for a while.

The day was long, the current strong, and anchorages were nil.  We would be making a night arrival at our anchorage and have to risk collisions with fishing boats.  We passed up an unfamiliar anchorage for the one on Pangkor Island that we already visited, were familiar with, and had GPS tracks from when we left a week earlier.  In 10 years of cruising, this was only our second night time arrival.  The next morning we motored over to our new home at Marina Island and started preparing Tortuguita for haul out and storage.

No comments:

Post a Comment