You would think that 99 islands dominated by Langkawi would have been over developed by now. The islands are breathtaking; knife-edged peaks floating in dark green vegetation in contrast to the ocean blues make this place an undisputed tropical paradise. Refreshingly Malay, the east coast peninsula’s coast is an entirely different experience from the mobile phone-obsessed, traffic –clogged, touristy island of Phuket. Colorful headscarves, skullcaps and hauntingly melodious call to prayer are as ubiquitous here as the white sand beaches that fringe the jewel like islands.
Change is the only constant. Walk down your street and on the return walk notice that things are not exactly as they were before. And so it was with Slow Dance. When one door closes another door opens, often for the better. We left Phuket for Langkawi and completed a rough overnight sail to Telaga Marina, a beautiful lush place surrounded by mountains and complete with a boardwalk lined with shops and restaurants. Everyone you pass has a huge smile and a big hello; a very nice change from Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket.
We had said farewell to Thailand and set out for Langkawi. The mood was sour right from the start because it is difficult to have people on board who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. There is no perfection in life, only progress. The wind was blowing 25 knots and gusting up to 30 knots. We nearly lost our dingy boat as it was not secured properly. Our new mate Tim was in foul temperament prior to leaving and during the passage, which did not help matters. (A bad trip all the way around). After settling into a nice slip at the marina we had a few days to prepare for Ron’s son Todd, who was coming for a 10 day visit. It had been four years since Todd paid a visit to the boat, so Ron was very excited and wanted Todd to have a great time. It was at this time Tim, who had been with us less than 30 days announced he was leaving the boat and Vanessa, who has been with us nearly 2 years, was leaving with him. Vanessa had been dating Tim for approximately 6 months and that is how he came to join Slow Dance. To make matters worse, Nikka, Vanessa’s sister who had returned to Cebu, was sent a ticket to rejoin us as stewardess but the Philippine government would not let her leave the country.
|So Sorry Nikka. We wish you good luck for the future.|
|Dinner at Ni-yang Beach, with Tim and Vanessa. The last nice time before the storm.|
|Our new crew, Vadim and Nee-nee|
|Vad, who turned out to be an excellent marine mechanic.|
|Nee-Nee, Me, and the tree|
|Ron with Vadim. They smiled and laughed as they repaired things. Refreshing after dealing with Tim.|
So Todd arrived to a happy boat and we set sail for the surrounding islands. We had a week of glorious sailing and delicious meals. We spent Christmas day anchored on a white sand beach. I soaked the turkey for 12 hours in salt water. It’s called brining and produces a very moist bird. I roasted her breast down for 2 hours and then flipped her over. This insures the legs are cooked to the right temperature and the breast is browned and juicy!
|Todd carves the bird|
Todd, Ron, and Vadim took a dingy exploration ride and came across a Muslim couple from Saudi Arabia vacationing in Langkawi. The couple had been dropped off for a two hour stay on a deserted beach, but unfortunately their boat had forgotten to pick them so they were waving frantically for the guys to rescue them. The wife quickly put her Berque on as the dingy approached. Ron helped them onto the boat but the wife nearly fell into the water as she is not allowed to touch another man’s hand other than her husband. Ron grabbed her anyway. The wife spoke English but her husband did not. Ron told her she was being rescued by two Jews and a Russian. She whispered this into her husband’s ear and he looked worried. Ron dropped them back at the tourist dock and we all had a good laugh over dinner that two Jews and a Russian rescued Muslims on Christmas Day!
|The unhappy stranded couple|
|Oh God, we are in the hands of Jews and Russians!|
|Todd enjoying the delicious water|
|Captain Ron and son at the helm|
|Todd on a dingy adventure. We discovered this awesome waterfall.|
|Vadim and Todd. It was Vadim's Birthday and I made a feast complete with my famous flour less chocolate cake.|
|Thai dinner; Pad Thai, Panang beef Curry, and Morning Glory|
|Came across this beauty while cursing on the dingy.Very old beautiful wooden girl.|
|This maiden head was on the Bow Sprit. Gorgeous!|
|Wha Wha was trilled to be on the dock again.|