10 December 2007

Pulau Gubang Darat

Anchored at Pulau Gubang Darat
Langkawi Island Group


First off we want to give a HUGE shout out and congratulations to our amigo Chris Allaire who, along with his trusty sailing vessel Christa, has just crossed the Gulf Stream from Florida and is currently in full cruiser mode safely moored in the Bahamas!!

Team Sandpiper got an early start this morning and left our tiny island anchorage just as the sky's were starting to lighten up. We had perfect winds, a first for a very long time, and were able to sail till noon with 15 knots of wind coming right off the starboard beam. Even though we did not sail for more than 5 hours, this is this first time we can remember sailing for the longest time. Our passage through Indonesia and Malaysia has been more westerly than north. And mostly we have been right along the equator where the doldrums are. That means that there are no trade winds to help us along.

We have mostly motored our way every since checking into Kupang, Indonesia to here due to the lack of winds. We are at 6 degrees latitude north and we feel confidant to say we are hoping that the unstable weather of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone is behind us. Or at least the unstable weather we have been experiencing has moderated considerably. We have had rain the last two days, but none of the crazy violent lightning that we were experiencing south of us.

Not that this really means anything. But we just came below 100 degrees of longitude and is a little weird seeing on the GPS as we have not seen any number lower than 100 degrees longitude for 2 years.

Sandpiper is currently anchored in a very picturesque narrow channel between a small and large island. The islands go straight up with deep water right up to the edge and we are right in between the cliffs. As I type this, there are monkeys on the beach looking at us and porpoises swimming alongside. If you go to the Google Earth link on the right side of this page you can see where we are anchored and the many islands that are surrounding us.

The Langkawi Island Group consists of 104 islands with many protected anchorages and several marinas to choose from. These islands remind us a bit of Tonga. They are all quite close together, tall, with lots of green vegetation.

We are planning on staying in the Langkawi Island Group for the next week as we are receiving packages from home. Langkawi, being a duty free zone are, so we are loading Sandpiper up with as much booze as she will hold as we are off to the Muslim countries to the west where finding an icy cold beer could be a challenge.

Tom and Amy

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