Dancing goats and dragonboats in Penang

Amanda: Hey guys, wanna meet at the Penang Botanic Gardens? Wayne (SV Irie): We are dancing with goats at the moment. See you there at 12 o’clock. Amanda: And then you can tell us about the dancing goats…! It turns out The Dancing Goat is a coffee shop in Penang. A really average one actually:…

Marine Biology 101: Jellyfish

Actually  “jellyfish” is a misnomer. Fish are vertebrates (i.e. they have bones) and jellyfish don’t, so they aren’t fish at all. In any case, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to dive or snorkel, so the only marine wildlife I’ve spotted in the last two months have been various jellyfish. Each day…

Sealift magic in Pangkor

We hauled out. It was time to replace the anodes and anti-foul, so we engaged the services of the sealift at Pangkor Marina, and hauled our girl out for a few days. Hauling out is always a bit stressful, but the team at Pangkor Marina were uber-professional and got the job swiftly and expertly. And…

A missing girl in Ipoh

About 90 minutes drive from Pangkor is the city of Ipoh. Once a small village, then a wealthy tin-mining town, and now the regional capital of Perak, we were enticed by its reputation for awesome street food, cool cave temples, and overall good vibe. So we grabbed a hire car and hit highway 5 for…

Murder in Pangkor!

A murder of crows that is. There are crows EVERYWHERE here in Pangkor Marina. No seagulls, just crows. (Maybe they ate all the seagulls??) Anyway, they love to hang out in your rigging and poop on the decks. And they’re creepy. We are docked in Pangkor Marina for nearly a month, so I’ve had to…

The dizzying heights of KL

What’s the best way to see a city? On top of a 34-storey building, cocktail in hand, with a 360 degree panorama of the city skyline! KL has heaps of great sky-bars but the coolest one I’ve found so far is the Heli Lounge Bar . It’s bloody genius really: by day it’s a rooftop helipad,…

Safe as houses in the Malacca Strait

“A century ago, and for more than half a century before that, piracy was rife in the Malayan seas. … The Archipelago was split up into countless petty kingdoms and each rajah was the commander-in-chief of a pirate fleet. … A thousand rivers gave them hiding-places whence the swift warboats could dash out … and…

A change of pace in Johor

Puteri Harbour (our first stop in Malaysia) was a big change of pace! After three months in Indonesia, it was both strange and refreshing to be parked (at anchor) in a marina beside high rise buildings and shops and stuff. We hadn’t been in a marina since we left Cairns in July! We didn’t waste…

Galley Goodness: Sundowner Mushrooms

We are currently on passage along the Malacca Straits, and while anchored at Pulau Pisang, we were invited by our good friends Garry and Julie on MV Fiddler VI to join them for sundowners and dinner. While on board, Garry whipped up a delicious sundowner snack (that I think he adapted from an old CWA recipe…

Strait sailing with the big boys!

“A typical Malaccamax* tanker has a maximum length of 333 m, beam of 60 m, draught of 20.5 m, and a tonnage of 300,000 DWT.”  That’s roughly 30 times bigger than us, and 37,000 times heavier than us!! But in order to transit from Indonesia to Malaysia, we needed to cross the Singapore Strait and…

Gee, 90 days go quick!

It feels like just yesterday that we were arriving into the little Indonesian port town of Debut after five days sailing across the Arafura Sea. But 90 days, 2200 NM and 30+ islands later, we are anchored in Tanjungpinang, and with the rally wrapped up and our port clearances done, we are preparing to sail…

King Neptune has the last laugh

I woke up as a slimy POLLYWOG … but went to bed a trusty SHELLBACK because we crossed the equator!   And crossing the equator is a coming of age for seafarers. Reaching the equator deems that you are capable of enduring long and difficult sea-voyages (apparently), and thus marks the transition from jube to…