At the end of January we exchanged the sodden south of England for an uncommonly dry West Malaysia where it had not rained for over a month. The dry weather continues.
Despite high winds, storms, flooding and general damp we had experienced at home since the end of November, our time was action packed with events involving family and friends, notably a Ruby Wedding Anniversary celebration, quickly followed by a Royal Southampton Yacht Club 60’s evening (www.rsyc.org.uk), the annual regional Bentley Drivers Club (www.bdcl.org) Christmas lunch at Essebourne Manor with Elaine’s parents, and giving a presentation about our passage through the Pacific to the Offshore Cruising Club (www.sailoverlord.org.uk) at its AGM in January. We also made several visits to London to see Chrissy and her family and one to the West Country so clocked up a few miles. Unlike when at sea, though, we do not keep track of our mileage on land – suffice it to say the car hire company provided us with a succession of three different vehicles!
Our short stay on Guernsey just before Christmas brought us together not only with Andrew, Annie and their young family but also with Stephen and Katherine Paine, the previous owners of Pipistrelle (ex Batrachian) with whom we stayed at their home. It was certainly a great pleasure to catch up with them again. Having hung up their cruising gear, they have turned their not inconsiderable talents to micro-distilling damson gin and various fruit flavoured liqueurs. Their website is www.hautmaison.com.
Due to a gap in the tenancy at our cottage in Hampshire, we and a few pieces of furniture from our flat in Poole, moved back in temporarily and despite spending much of the time working hard on the property, it gave us the ideal and unique opportunity to enjoy entertaining in our own home again. Even our Swedish friends came to stay for a week!
Bob returned to Langkawi to have Pipistrelle hauled at Rebak for antifouling and polishing and when Elaine joined him a week later our good ship was back in the water and shining again. We decided R&R would be the next project for us, and set off for a quick flight and short stay in Penang again (see separate blog – Penang Revisited). Restored, we then had a morning sail for Kuah, the main town on Langkawi where we put in to the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club and met Rosemarie Alecio on Ironhorse, a fellow Ocean Cruising Club member and along with her husband Alfred, are Roving Rear Commodores. Rosemarie very generously invited us to lunch on board when we arrived. Convivial conversation was enjoyed, of course, though we missed meeting Alfred who was in the UK attending to family business.
Returning to Rebak briefly we met Hans and Sylvia again who had just come back to their yacht Alumni and joined them for dinner at the resort restaurant before leaving again for Telaga to clear out of Malaysia. As already mentioned, we managed to complete all paperwork despite the fact the Harbour Master was not working, Friday and Saturday being the Muslim weekend. The charming lady Customs officer stood in for him.