18 December 2007

Goodbye Malaysia!

Moored Telaga Harbor/Lenkawi Island
Langkawi Island Group

Happy 41st Birthday Tom!!!!
That’s right, another Bday has passed, can’t believe a year ago we were pulling into Sydney Harbor, my how time flies and the miles too. We have been patiently waiting for a large package my wonderful father has mailed off to us. Thanks for breaking the bank to send this Dad/Bob! The package is quite important as it contains many boat parts we need and have needed for some time now so we can put the ‘Piper’ back together again. After getting her squared away we plan to fill up with fuel since its cheaper here than Thailand for our big trip westward. We haven’t been full on fuel in a few months should weigh us down and slow us down too. Speaking of weighing us down, since being here in Langkawi we have added several extra pounds of duty free spirits onboard. Langkawi is a duty free island, which to us cruisers is heaven. Once we leave here we won’t be able to buy any booze cheaply or at all until we arrive in the Med, which will most likely be April 2008. Once in the Med it will be best if we don’t have to purchase too much there either so we are loaded to the top of all storage compartments. We have also been able to squeeze in a few tourist sites between all our shopping. The island has the longest span wire chair lift in the world, or so they claim. I thought it was a bit scary and unnerving making my breakfast of roti (traditional flat bread whipped out onto a flat oiled skillet sometimes with egg and onion that you dip into a spicy sauce) not settle to well. Once up to the top, 600 meters, we had a magnificent view of the 99 islands that make up the Langkawi archipelago. They also have a suspended, wire-supported bridge, which I held onto the handrail the whole way around, again fantastic views but I was anxious to get to the end. We have rented a car here a few times too which is always exciting since it’s so few and far between I get to drive and it’s all on the wrong side. Wrong side of the road, wrong side of the car, but after the first hour I’m a regular left hand driver. It’s actually cheaper here to rent a car than for a cab and we have a little more freedom too.
The package has finally arrived; we are like kids on Christmas going through the box. Our new heat exchanger, thanks to neighbor Tom back in Oakland, Ca for hooking us up with that. Tom’s really happy with it and looking forward to re-installing it tomorrow. Our gas cap for the outboard, which we seem to have trouble keeping, the new one has a chain on it so it shouldn’t go overboard. My fixed Maui Jim sunglasses oh snap! How I have missed them, I cracked a lens in Darwin before leaving and the last 6 months without them has been torture. Also, a nice care package from Toni, Tom’s mom and Ron, Tom’s brother, sent another stack of movies, just in time we where running out of things to watch. Thanks to everyone for contributing to the package it’s a real treat to receive goodies so far from home and a great Bday surprise for Tom.The next two days consists of us wrapping things up here in Malaysia. We still have a car so we will take one last trip into town for a few more cases of beers, some more cheese and maybe one last McDonald’s breakfast. Tomorrow we will check out of Malaysia with the Port Captain and Customs and start our trip to Phuket, Thailand. Thailand will be our 10th country in a little over our two-year voyage. We are looking forward to exploring some of the surrounding and outer islands of the Phuket area.

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