Thursday, December 08, 2011

Royal Langkawi Yacht Club

This is a pretty flash place we are staying.  There was a big party of the upper deck the other night. We are about as far away from the clubhouse as you can get, but that is okay because there is ferry wash that hits the other end of the dock but does not affect us too badly.  Cat's-Paw IV is second from the end on the finger that is the furthest away from the camera, the dinghy is on deck and has a blue cover over it.  
There is a big aeronautics and marine show on in town this week.  Apparently it is not just a show but they are selling the jets.  This boat that docked at the opposite end to us name is Anna.  One of the other cruisers googled it and it is only number 90 on the list of top 100 mega yachts.  The sign at the end of the gangway says "Attention, this is a private yacht and you are being monitored on CCTV".  I always made sure I smiled at the camera as I went by.  The crew were working on the helicopter, attaching the forward rotors.  Just before it sailed we walked by and they were loading some things in heavy long thin rectangular containers.  Our buddy who was with us said he figured they were getting ready for a crossing to the Red Sea and the containers were magazines for big guns and the chopper was ready to do recon duties to keep those nasty pirates at bay.  I wish them luck.  

Langkawi is a duty free island, so a big part of the economy is based on selling duty free goods.  There are whole stores dedicated to selling chocolate.  I have never seen so much chocolate for sale in my whole life.  The Cadbury and the Toblerone sections were particularly hard to resist.  

It seems that Corning Ware, Corelle as well as the all time favourites perfume and liquor are particularly well liked. I must tell you about dining out in SE Asia.  You are never sure what will appear to join you at the dinner table  At one spot in Penang I took a look at the food at the one end of the restaurant and it looked fresh and clean.  We walked into the store and had to wade through about 2 cm of water that was coming from the tanks in the middle, I think.  (That should have been the first clue) The tables were pretty grubby, sand the floor was pretty filthy, our food came, it was mediocre and then a mangy old dog wandered in.  He had no hair left on his hind quarters and he flopped down on the floor one table away from us and patiently waited for a tidbit.  The other night we were in a much more respectable looking place.  It had marble looking table tops and it was nice and clean. A cockroach skittered up the wall beside to see what was happening, I told Barry to wave his menu at him and away he went.  The food was delicious there, Thai chicken, spicy prawns and great mixed vegetables.  
This is totally unrelated to anything but I have to tell you.  The other night I was going to have a shower. We had rented a car for the day to do some sight seeing and we wanted to fill up our cans with diesel since we had the car. I asked Barry if he thought it would look too weird if I walked into the shower building with two 20 litre cans in my hands.  He said it would not matter as long whatever I was wearing matched the cans!!! It paid off in the long run because the diesel on the dock was 3.00 ringat a litre and it was only 1.80 at the pump, we bought 80 litres so we saved the price of the car by filling up the cans that way. 

I love the shape of the hills in Langkawi
We toured around the island with the car.  Langkawi is a real tourist destination for Malaysia and SE Asia.  It is a school holiday at the moment so there are lots of families visiting the island.  We went up the cable car which went up 700m.  There were wonderful views.  The hanging bridge made me realize my vertigo has gotten worse over the years.  I had to hold on pretty tight when I was looking over the edge.  

I could feel the bridge moving as I held on. 
An anchorage at the bottom of the hill, Cat's-Paw IV is about  20 km from here. 

There is a 12m high statue of a  Brahminy Kite perched on the shore fairly close to the yacht club.  Langkawi apparently got its name from the eagle, in old Malay kawi denotes the reddish brown colour. I have seen quite a few of these majestic birds soaring around. Fishing for a living is very popular on this island and their colourful boats caught my eye the other day as we drove by.  
Barry has been busy trying to resolve our electricity problems.  We have not been able to plug in at the marinas because our boat is only wired for 110 power, it is 220 or 240 here.  The other day he bought a universal charger which will take power from 90 to 240 and it will charge our batteries.  We have been having to run our generator every day in order for the fridge to work.  The water is so hot and the air temp is so hot that the fridge had been working almost continually to keep cold.  It kept defrosting and we didn't know why but it was because our batteries were too low.  No longer, Barry managed to replace our old battery charger with the new one and the boat has not blown up yet.  He was very reluctant to do anything with the electricity but after consulting with others on the dock he figured it out and we are good to go. The only smoke that appeared was the stuff coming out of his ears.