Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Malacca Straights

(Apologies for lack of pics...I will post them when we get some internet)

We're on our way through the famous Malacca Straights, known for its piracy and being the busiest shipping channel in the world. No sweat…we got this.

We're day hopping up to a little island called Penang on the west coast of Malaysia. Here, Jake will have a long awaited reunion with some of his friends from Majuro and we'll get to have a proper Thanksgiving with some other Americans. Fortunately, the weather is benign (so far) and even though we're burning diesel, it's not such a bad trip.

The days are a bit monotonous with the droll of the motor, dishes, cooking, dishes, cooking, movies, droll of the motor, etc. But everyone is happy enough. Jake was able to finally do his dinosaur dig, a present he got for his birthday. He made a huge mess, but we now have a baby triceratops skeleton to add to our display.

After Tioman we made our way down to Johor Bahru to get fuel and stock up on some groceries. Jake was lucky enough to meet a little Australian girl on another boat in the marina. They spent two complete days playing - water balloons, slip and slide, playing in the rain. It was a much needed moral booster for Jake.

Probably the most exciting part of our last week was coming around Singapore. At one point we counted over 120 ships and that was without really trying hard. On shore was just as many tall buildings as far as the eye could see. To our port side was Indonesia. So much to look at. Andy and I spent the day with our head on a swivel, trying not to get run over. We look like a little bitty life raft bobbing out here around all of these massive ships.

Singapore, as we were passing by.

Some fish traps to watch out for.

We decided to give way to this guy.

An oyster farm at the entrance of Senibong Marina.
Now we're anchored in front of the Admiral Marina in Port Dickson. We went ashore to drop off some trash and try to meet up with some other boats we know (with no success) and we once again observed a strange phenomenon here in Malaysia. There are many buildings and structures in this country that were once quite grand. The problem is there is no concept of maintenance. Many marinas have been built and then left to ruin only to be rebuilt 5-10 years later, then left to ruin again, and continue the cycle. We see beautiful hotels from the water and then when we pick up the binoculars and look closer, they're really old, forgotten structures in desperate need of a paint job. It seems such a waste of time and money…but a cycle not soon to be broken.

A few more days and we'll arrive in Penang and hopefully break our own little cycle of monotony.

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