Moon – Koopmans 47 – 17t fully equipped
Spent some months on the hard, then sailing in Thailand and Malaysia, plus a trip to Cambodia and Sweden
A year full of changes
In March we made a visa run to Cambodia and finally launched in April.
Continued doing boat works in both Malaysia and Thailand, and some sailing.
We also made some delivery trips and a short Sweden visit.
1 – 6 January
Last week –
Decreasing wind and increasing temperature and one downpour with thunder and lightning.
– Last piece of the keel protection is in place.
– Reinstalled the hydraulic ram to the centre board and had to make a new stainless bracket for the ram, as it turned out to be to short.
It was not possible to lift the board to its stop position.
– The mast needs one more layer of paint.
– Started with the cork on the superstructure which made us decide to remove the two hatches to make fibre glass frames, as for all the other hatches.
– The steering pedestal is in place with its compass and display units.
7 – 13 January
Still a lots of wind, sometimes a little to much for the now brittle tarpaulin on the shed.
Another reason to speed up things…
– Centreboard is now operated by the hydraulic ram and it comes all the way up.
– Laminated the hull, covering the hole for the centreboard shaft.
– Will make the last small patches of lamination in front of the centreboard casing today.
– Frames for the hatches on the superstructure ready, and cork soon ready too.
– Starboard toe-rail soon covered with cork all the way, and stanchions back in place.
14 – 20 January
Still windy, no rain and nice cool mornings.
Low humidity helps too.
– We are working on many fronts but nothing is 100% ready.
– All cork on deck, superstructure and dodger is glued, some caulking remain.
– All repaired spots under the waterline are sealed with primer and anti-fouling.
Focus for this week:
– mount all deck fittings including cover plates for the chain plates.
– one last paint layer on one side of the mast.
– paint in lockers and bilge
15 – 27 January
Not a drop of rain in several weeks now.
– started to dress the mast
– paint in lockers and bilge
– bottom ready for primer
– Today, last deck fittings
We are getting closer…
28 January – 3 February
Still no rain, low humidity and almost no wind
– Today – anti fouling
4 – 10 February
Same weather as last week.
We have been painting, and painting, and painting again.
2 layers brown anti-fouling and
7 layers red anti-fouling
And before that 3 layers epoxy primer plus one layer of intermediate epoxy coat.
All applied by roller, four hours each layer…
– Yesterday – shaft and rudder back in place.
11 – 17 February
Same weather as last week, just warmer…
– Propeller in place.
– Grab rail on the superstructure almost ready.
– Two GPS receivers mounted on top of the dodger.
– Wheel connected to the rudder and autopilot.
– Foot contacts to the windlass mounted.
– All excess caulking sanded over the whole boat, just some fine sanding remains plus all cork edges waiting to be smoothly rounded.
18 – 24 February
Still warm and humid
– Thursday Shed down, and guess what happened in the evening – rain – first in six weeks…
Two windows were leaking and some water where it shouldn’t be…
– Mast ready dressed waiting for the crane.
25 February – 3 March
Weather – Warm and no rain.
– Mast up last Tuesday after two days of waiting.
We hoisted the mast without the two head stays and back stay. Secured the mast with temporary stays of dyneema.
Lifted them and the boom with the halyards afterwards – easy.
– Both the boom vang and the back stay tensioner leaked…
– Covered the boat with 70% sunscreen – excellent.
4 – 10 March
No rain and hot, the trees are starting to lose their leaves. Looks like autumn colours.
It is time for a renewal of our visas and this time we will take a break for five days, flying to Angkor Wat in Cambodia on Thursday.
The boat is water tight and can be left alone for some days, and we need a vacation…
Hope to gain new enthusiasm for the last couple of weeks before launching.
11 – 19 March
Back in Langkawi after three days in Cambodia, visiting the temple ruins in the Angkor area.
Fantastic place and covering a huge area. Easy to visit but hot, very hot.
We stayed in Seam Reap, the nearest town, which is a small big city with a nice high pulse night life. Well the night starts at sunset around 6 and by 10 we hit back to our B&B, so more of the evening pulse we saw…
The ruins are restored but in different stages and after visiting a couple it started to be to many piles of stones…The crowd of tourists at some of the most popular spots didn’t help to keep up our interest…
Our tuk-tuk driver took us to one of his friends pre wedding party, and that was a highlight.
Now back to our project with new energy to fix the remaining steps on the to-do list before launching.
18 – 24 March
While we were in Cambodia, Moon had a little rain during two afternoons and now it is very dry again, and hot…
Moon is now dressed, all sails are in place.
The flexible coupling on the shaft is finally assembled.
The to-do list gets shorter, but sometimes new items pop up with out asking for it. Yesterday while refilling air in the tap water pressure tank it leaked water.
We have sometimes to take care of not planed maintenance actions and they also take time to fix.
The screw, and bolt quality here in Asia in not good. Yesterday we broke several screws when mounting the aft deck lids.
Gives us many unplanned added hours.
25 – 31 March
Weather change – we are now starting to see the coming wet season.
Have had 38 degrees C in the shade fore many days now.
– Both lids on the aft deck have now hinges and lock.
– The leaking pressure tank is removed and the system is now back in business with only one tank and pump.
– The hoses to the bilge pumps and the exhaust hose are also back in place.
– All electrical cables from the mast are connected.
– Ongoing – rearrange the electrical wiring for the engine, plus al lots of this and that.
1 – 7 April
Weather – Light showers every three day with thunder and lightning, no wind = hot.!
– Ready to start the engine after a week of reassembling and rewiring when a thread for the exhaust elbow striped in the engine block…
– Restoring hoses and pumps
– Restoring wiring and installation of instruments
– Removal of broken T-connection for a holding tank
– Painting the propeller using PropSpeed
We have booked a berth in the yacht club for late April…
8 – 14 April
Weather – Rainy season, but it is not too bad.
– Engine starting nicely every time, after just pumping up some diesel for the first start.
The 12V alternator is also working but the 24V is sent in for service. Maybe the regulator…
All functions on the cockpit panel, except the stop solenoid, are working.
– Propeller painted
– Aft toilet T connection broke as we tried to remove it – that was not a very good quality brass… T replaced (in plastic) and the new pump installed.
– New bimini top ordered.
On the list before launching:
– Front toilet, same problem and treatment as for the aft one.
– Install wash down pump, wiring and hoses.
– Reconnect the front bilge pump and grey tank for front shower.
– Order name and number for the boat.
15 – 21 April
It is getting closer…
Crane booked for Sunday or Monday next week.
22 – 28 April
We are afloat…………..
Yesterday (Sunday) the travel lift took us to the quay and today at 9 the mobile crane backed in place.
At 10.30 we dipped the bottom in the water and have now slowly made the 4 miles to the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.
We did unfurl both head sails in the light breeze, just to see, and they did look very good.
Now it’s time for cleaning up, sort everything to where they belong and take some days off before we start to fix the rest on the to do list.
As soon as we have organized the boat again we plan to take a break in between working to do short test trips in the neighbourhood to trim the boat and the crew before leaving Malaysia for Thailand where some projects are waiting to be finished.
Since yesterday we have no air-con so now we have to get used to the heat inside the boat too.
Guess if we are enjoying being afloat again.
29 April – 5 May
An odd week,
Started doing some cleaning and organizing and on Friday we left Moon with some clothes and our passports in a back pack.
We had volunteered to be deck hand on a 102 foot power yacht from Langkawi to Phuket in Thailand.
We are now writing this post in Yacht Haven Marina Phuket, planning to be back on Wednesday – or so…
6 – 12 May
Very hot and humid – we are melting…
Came back to Moon Wednesday at lunchtime and have done some progress, but we do suffer from not having the air-con.
This morning we bought and installed two new AGM batteries. The 12v house bank battery had died. Both the starter battery and the 12v house bank was open lead acid and the 24v house bank is AGM’s so we have now all AGM’s.
Also got the new bimini – well at least 75% ready.
Still organizing and finding room for all stuff…
13 – 19 May
More rain and heat…
We have been electricians for most of the week. Navigation instruments including autopilot are installed and working.
We got some hiccups when the echo sounder showed 1,7 m and 30 Celsius.
Giving the plotter the right information about the transducer, we got the correct depth, 10,7 m but 50 C. The main issue is of course the correct depth. The water temperature will be dealt with later.
Reading the manual again and after having reset the system, we got both depth and temperature correct!
All 30…! 24volt halogen bulbs are exchanged to LED:s, and there are still 15 festoon bulbs to be replaced under lockers, cabinets and shelves. We have installed 8 voltage stabilizers in the light circuits to get 12,0 volt instead of 24-30 volt depending of the charging status.
The rigging is tuned and Windex and wind-transponder are in place, ready for sail trial by the end of this week!
The bimini is now done and in place, protecting the cockpit from downpours.
We have started to find places where to store all our belongings…
20 – 26 May
More rain and heat, thunder and lightning.
Today we have hoisted the mainsail but we are still fastened to the dock.
Reefing lines and lazy jacks are in place.
The engine has also got some care, the exhaust hose was leaking.
We have almost run out of excuse to not go test sailing – and on Wednesday the forecast show some more wind. The last days we have had absolutely now wind.
27 May – 2 June
Rain and grey skies – the predicted wind didn’t arrive, maybe on Wednesday/Thursday this week.
Instead we have been working as plumbers and riggers.
The boats heating system…! has 6 radiators and 2 towel dryers and it contains many litres of glycol. First we empted all old antifreeze and flushed the system. While doing this we found valves and connections we haven’t seen before.
Also the exhaust pipe from the WhisperGen – the genset – got a clean up.
Later we have to modify the exhaust hose position as it was quite a lot of deposits around the condensation drain.
It is now two years since we started to live in Moon.
3 – 9 June
At LAST – first sailing ever with Moon!
Finally, on Saturday, we got some wind. After having put all lose items in safe places, we left the marina at the afternoon slack-water.
The sailing?? Absolutely awesome! Two years of hard labour just disappeared.
Our new Swedish sails are perfect, and very simple to get in shape from the first minute.
A really good job done by Albatross in Gothenburg.
All tell-tales at the main aft leach reacted simultaneously and pointed aft 90% of the time the main was properly sheeted. Have never seen that before!
Need of alterations? So far only small arrangements of the cutter clew as the tracks are a little to much off centre.
Moon needs very little wind to get moving and sails surprisingly close to the wind.
The adrift is neglect-able even without centreboard down in 10 knots of wind. With centreboard down, the speed lowered a bit without any significant improvement of the adrift when heeling 10-12 degrees.
In lumpy seas with tide against wind and swell, where our previous experiences with Lindisfarne was not that good, Moon came out “on Top” doing 4-5 knots in spite of close to windward and only 10 knots of wind.
Moon has enough sail area, something both we and the sail-maker were not really convinced of when looking at the sail plan.
Do we need to write that we are more than pleased after this two first days of testing under light wind conditions.
The wind eased out Sunday evening, so now after another nice night at anchor, we are on our way back to the Yacht Club to continue our struggle to get Moon really ready for the big seas.
10 – 16 June
The South-West monsoon is here and the wind average 20kn – Not here, but about 100 nautical miles north of us.
The island Sumatra makes the Malacca strait a very windless area and all week has been unbearable humid and hot.
A normal day with 32-33C (90F) feels like 37-40C (102F). This is a reversed chill factor which increases with the humidity.
It is not easy the get anything done some days.
On top of that the water temperature – 32C, 90F – makes the indoor temp seldom go below 30C, 86F…
We still enjoy our days sailing last weekend and are slowly working our way to be able to finally untie from the marina. This week our new sail-covers will be ready and we are now ordering the last… set of shackles and fasteners.
Last week when going reverse in to the marina the boat behaved differently and we couldn’t figure out why.
The explanation came later that evening as we sat behind the boat on the pontoon having our evening beer together with our neighbours – then we realised we hadn’t released the wind wane rudder. Boaters that have the same set up say that makes a biiiiig difference, we hope so…
17 – 23 June
Another week in paradise. In spite it’s the rainy season we have had almost no rain this week. Not even thunder. Some days are grey and that is very nice, but it could be windier…
We have now tested the heating system which includes the special WhisperGen generator which produces a lots of heat and electricity.
The first attempt to start – the Whisper stopped with an error code that indicated lack of nitrogen, which we managed to fill up as all equipment for refilling was left in the boat.
After bleeding, and bleeding again the radiator circuit (with 25l glycol mix) worked so after running the WhisperGen for 15 minutes we had 70 degrees C in the circuit.
Not that we need the extra heat… Luckily, before bedtime the temperature was back in the normal 30-34C inside the boat.
24 – 30 June
A week of mixed weather, still very humid and warm but including much more rain than before.
The forecast predicted wind and some rain during the weekend, so of course we intended to do some sailing. Unfortunately it was more rain than wind and we stayed foot in the marina continuing our “endless” to do list.
The engine had some water and diesel leaks that were obvious after some hours of motoring. A few hose clamps needed tightening including two nuts on the high pressure diesel pump. A relatively easy job, but finding the leaks…
In this more rainy weather it’s not easy to do faring and paint job with any great speed.
The new sail cover is in place and watertight.
Cover for all our eight hatches are now on the menu. Sailing in this area without covers is not doable!
We have started to investigate the status for our Spectra Water maker.
First attempt showed leaks in the fittings on the Clark pump.
Disassemble to repair and redo the connections. Hopefully this cure the problem, otherwise we have to rebuild the pump more completely.
1 – 7 July
A week with mainly grey sky’s.
The most sever of the leaks in the water maker turned out to be an irreparable crack in the main body of the Clark pump. OK, Spectra has a lifetime warranty, but of course not valid if somebody at the installation (or later) have pulled the metal fitting for the high pressure hose to deep into the composite body. On top of that, the membrane is more than ten years old and not used for at least the last five years.
A radical decision was taken “in almost no time”. It will be a new WM with a traditionally high pressure pump from Echo Tec. We can retrieve all pre filters, valves and the feed pump from the old WM, saving us at least some money.
The choice is between a 24 and 230 volt system. The main engine belt driven version we had on Lindisfarne takes to much space in the engine compartment, and the engine takes almost 3 l/h while the gen-set only need 0,6 l/h.
Our experience from Lindisfarne is that producing water and electricity while on anchor happens quite often as we needed to refill both the batteries and water every 3-4 days. In other words, we have to have a four time bigger WM if we use the main engine, (WM either belt driven or electrical driven), if we want to make water with the same amount of diesel as the gen-set needs for the same amount of diesel.
Finally the 24 volt with 42 l/h turned out to be the most efficient for our conditions (the genset makes 24 volt). Moon has three tanks, one 50 l gravity fed potable water tank, which will always be filled with filtered tap/or WM water. One 300 l tank that can be filled with either rainwater, tap water or WM water. One 600 l tank that will not be connected to the WM.
We had hoped to get experiences from a WM system with a Clark-pump. Now we have to live with our true believe that a normal high pressure pump is far the best for durability and cleanness of the membrane. The latter mainly because of the greater and constant flush of sea water while the pump is working.
We did run the Echo Tec high pressure pump WM in Lindisfarne for 8 years without any need of cleaning the membrane in spite of leaving it with only a freshwater flush for weeks many times.
Yes – we have done some faring and painting too.
8 – 14 July
Mixed weather this week, we even had some wind for a couple of hours one day…
The water maker is now on ordered, but after consulting the manufacturer we choose a model making a little more per hour than we originally planned. The price is the same and the advantage is manly to make sure the membrane is flushed with as much water as possible making it last longer. It draws some more ampere but we compensate that by choosing a less amp consuming boost pump.
We found that one of the two inverters started to sound sparking and we saw some small flashes coming from the back side of a circuit board!
After dismounting, 18kg , and with a help of a magnifying glass we found a bad soldering. We managed to loosen the component and re solder, although it is very tight in between other components. Now it’s as good as new and we saved us another expense of almost $3000. Sometimes you get lucky!
A new sun protection for the deck in front of the mast is ordered for half that amount… and we are about to start making sun covers for eight skylights. Our sawing machine has not been in use for a long time and is known to be a bit of a trouble. We’ll see if we can get it back in order this time too…
15 – 21 July
No rain but haze and high temperature the whole week.
The sawing machine is now working in full speed. Almost all hatches have got their sun protection.
The swim/and rescue ladder has finally found its place. Sounds maybe a bit cryptic. Why have we waited this long?
We have used more than a year of thinking about different solutions. The original place on the transom was not good. Not vertical (leaning “backwards”) and protruding out to port of the hull, not very smart when sailing and water or even harder things in the water may hit it. The final place is at the “door” in the lifelines, almost amidships. It’s been there in our minds for quite some time, but we where not pleased with the attachment to the top rail. A bright idea came the other day, why not connect it to the stanchions with a pipe! OK it needs some improvements when we meet a welder, but it’s working fine right now.
The new dingy and outboard engine are tested. We visited some yachties on the anchorage outside Kuah and soon we will join them even with Moon…
Our bank card stooped working this week. The bank in Sweden could see that we had tried on several ATM’s and they thought the chip had been worn out/damaged and will send a new card. Takes time and we need cash…
After some rinse with denatured alcohol the ATM machine accepted the card. Big relief!!
22 – 28 July
Now we have a period of unstable weather, unbearable hot and with high humidity.
Taking a big step today leaving the marina!!
Though we have five consignments coming, but no problems to pick them up in the marina reception as they arrive using the dinghy. As we are at the end of the Ramadan, ending with Hari Raya, the top of the year in the Muslim world, packages takes more than the normal long time to go through the systems…
Five packages – a new credit card from Sweden, relays from UK, boat stuff from US, LED-bulbs from China and of course the new water maker from Trinidad. There is no import duty into Langkawi, saving us some money…
So far all our packages over the two years have arrived safely, even if some have been very slow. Some companies, specially from US don’t ship to Malaysia because of frauds, so obviously there are some reasons for worries. To the list of packages we have later to add spare parts for the WhisperGen generator. The two heat exchangers need parts, the seawater one probably needs to be completely replaced.
The latter means that right now we can’t produce any charging without running the main engine. To solve the problem we bought the smallest Honda generator. The smallest because we have no use for the next size up. Our inverter/charger charge 100 amp 24 volt and that is to much even for the bigger one. Thanks to the system in Moon for charging with a smaller 25 amp charger when shore power is weak, we can use the little 1000 watt Honda and run the 220 system in Moon on the inverters.
The little Honda is only 13 kg compared to the bigger one – 23 kg. With this little silent generator that only use 0,4 l at full capacity we can keep our batteries charged wherever we are.
Our new sun cover for the deck in front of the mast came in place this week, just minutes before a strong squall. It survived with great success, especially compared with some around us…
Our visas runs out next week and finally we are ready to leave Malaysia on our own boat!
29 July – 4 August Kuah Langkawi
The south west monsoon this year is quite dry, we need and long for rain to clean up.
We have now since last Tuesday (well – we had to pay for the marina and couldn’t do that on Monday) enjoyed the freedom at anchor. This last Thursday ended with us hoisting the anchor by hand. The new windlass emptied all oil as an oil-seal just fell off.
The seal is replaced and has now got a plate to secure the seal so we are back in business again.
In connection with this mishap and that we received the water maker yesterday, plus waiting for another three shipments we have decided to do another visa run to Thailand by ferry today. The plan is to install the WM before leaving for Phuket in a week or so.
Today is also the first time we run the little Honda generator for charging and it gives right now 21amp /11,5amp to 24volt and 12volt systems.
We must also tell you about the first anchorage in a bay with no other boats, we had a visit from the maritime police. Something we almost haven’t heard of in Malaysian waters. Some nice guys just wanted to check our papers and they wrote down some information on a form to be signed, only in Malay… Next time we will refuse, if we can’t read and understand what we are supposed to sign!
5 – 11 August Kuah Langkawi
People are having the flu here on Langkawi, Björn have had a bit of it.
Thunder and rain come and goes, the heat is still on…
One morning we had to wake up a neighbour boat while he was dragging very close to Moon. Later the same day another boat came and anchored to close. Instead of convincing them to move, we weigh anchor and moved.
Bringing up the chain we got another chain on top of our chain! Probably the dragging boat had caught that chain and brought it onto our chain.
Now we have more space around Moon again, although a bit longer ride to the dinghy dock.
The removal of the support for the old water maker is done and we are ready to build a new support.
The little Honda generator is working excellent. We are charging every 3-4 day and by that we never pass 50% of the battery capacity.
The HF radio is installed and ready to use, after some problems finding out why most of the power came back. It turned out being the cable from the tuner to the back stay connection running to close to the back stay tensioner.
Moon has three water tanks and now after two weeks on anchor we have still 300-350 left of total 900 litres in spite of daily showers. The 50 l drinking water tank was empty after 10 days and then we filled it through a carbon filter from the main tank, waiting for the water maker… We are planning to arrange rain water collection. All our shipment have arrived, although we are already ordering new ones…
The time relays for the head and the grey water tanks was a really good investment. Earlier the pump stopped when the switch announced empty.
Now the pump continues to the set time, which makes it possible to really empty the tanks.
12 – 18 August Langkawi
A week with very unstable whether. Torrential rain and thunder almost every day.
Our new toy arrived on Wednesday. Our first tablet, a Lenovo Yoga HD+.
Main reason is that the navigation system in Moon is possible to run from a tablet using the WiFi in the navigation system. Works just great.
In the area we are there is no AIS-station and therefore no AIS report to MarineTraffic or similar. With an app in our new tablet it is possible to manually register a position for Moon.
On Thursday we moved from the open and rolly roadstead outside Kuah and are now anchored in shallow water, much more protected and with much shorter fetch. The approach passes a bar and keep to “channel” in the mud to reach a wider spot in the mud. At low water the mud at the bar is less than half a meter down.
Do we have to tell you that there is no crowd here, only our AUS friends that told us the secret of how to approach. The closest village has all we need, including subsidised petrol less than a third of the price in Europe.
The support for the Water maker pump+electrical motor (41lbs) is ready, only waiting for some paint.
Our working pace have slowed down a bit due to a cracked rib. Annika leaned over the cap rail when restarting our little Honda that sits on the support for the wind wane down at the transom. The generator was only a little bit to far down, thus the cracked rib…The good thing with having the generator down there is that we hardly hear it when charging.
19 – 25 August Langkawi
Really shifting weather! One moment bright sunshine and we have to fly into the shade, only to have to close the boat for a down draft minutes later, both weather preventing us to do any work outdoors.
Between sun and rain we try to finalize our water maker installation. Ok it’s not outside, but it’s in the aft locker and you can’t get there from inside the boat.
But in spite that we have managed to get the membrane and high pressure pump in place on their new supports. The control panel bracket is glassed and hopefully painted today. Three filters and the pre-pump are already in place, so in the middle of this week we are ship shape again.
This anchorage that we moved to last week have really improved the climate in Moon. No fetch for the prevailing wind, and no rolling from the ferries that pass one mile east of us, mainly because the tide keep us perpendicular to the little swell that reach us.
On the beach we have had barbecue together with our AUS friends on “The Silent Knight”. It’s a 32′ twin keel steel boat that draws even less than Moon with the centre-board up, and that’s why we both can use this shallow anchorage.
The pilot does not even mention this bay, although it has two meters depth on low tide and very good holding. But of course not having it in the pilot is an advantage for us…
But we are getting a bit restless, so we will probably go sailing to another anchorage later this week, in spite of all advantages in this bay.
26 August – 1 September Langkawi
A very grey week, temp under 29C almost the whole time. Rain and high humidity makes our life very hard on our patience. But in the shade on for deck we sometimes can have use a t-shirt when there is some wind…
We are almost done installing the water maker, and after that all items in those lockers have to come back and fit in, although we have used some of it’s space to install the water maker. Cleaning the hull and superstructure is a must before “take off”. The rain brings down a lot of dirt. We have not seen this since we left Europe 10 years ago!
As it wasn’t enough with dirt in the air — we will try to describe the water surrounding us. On the surface most things that belong to a garbage dump floating around. This morning even a fridge came by…. The tide runs 1,5 knot and every day we see plastic bottles, shoes, plastic bags, old rope, trees and more. The tide changes four times a day, and very often we see the same shit twice a day! That’s on the surface. The visibility in the water is less than 30 cm. There is not much snorkelling done around Langkawi and swimming in the water is more or less only done on the tourist beach…
We will not try the water maker here, which reminds us of when we was running the water maker in front of a glacier. Had to replace the pre filters after only 30 minutes.
Where we are anchored in a big shallow bay, which continue to the Ocean through a long narrows between two islands, the visibility is worse than average due to the big mangrove swamp that is flooded twice a day by the tide.
Last week we made a dinghy trip into the swamp at low tide. At low tide because that’s the way to find the whirling canal through the mangrove. We used almost half an hour in full speed to get all the way in! So there is a lot of mud going out with the tide.
On our way to the north we will make a stop on the north west coast of Langkawi and test the water maker in water much clearer than where we are now.
2 – 9 September Langkawi
The week have only partly been occupied with work. The rest have been divided between three anchorages and meeting with friends.
After the water maker was installed on Wednesday, we took the dinghy in to Kuah for shopping and dinner with friends at the yacht club. Back to Moon in the dark, passing the fairway for the ferries became an adventure. One ferry and a tugboat with a barge made it tricky. Luckily we had our intensive blue strobe light which made the captain on the ferry aware of us. He used his floodlight on us, 500 m away, so we where sure he know about us. We passed well ahead of the ferry and the alternative had been to wait for the ferry and been exposed in the dark for another five minutes waiting for the tug and barge. No lights on the barge! The lesson learned is to never travel in the dark without really good navlight, now we felt quite safe although a lot of traffic around.
Shortly after we arrived to Moon the wind picked up and the sky opened for torrential rain for two hours. If we hadn’t left the yacht club before nine, we have probably had to spend the night ashore. The weather is really changing fast during the wet season…
Friday morning we noticed that our water tanks where almost empty. We have not learned the meters way to show the last part of the amount…
Because it was high tide we had to hurry getting the anchor up and move out of the bay over the shallow bar. The yacht club is problematic to enter unless slack water, so that too was a most urgent reach before the tide changed.
After a quick water tank refill we cast off and moved west to an anchorage we had to ourselves some weeks ago. This time there where seven boats. OK it’s a nice change with pot luck barbecue ashore with three other boats. We are almost “normal cruisers” again!
The anchorage was quite rolly, so next morning we continued south around one island to a more protected anchorage. Her we where the only boat, except for the short moments when tourist boats made a quick stop between the steep hills.
The water was not clear, but much better than closer to Kuah. We could swim and clean the propeller from barnacles using for the first time our new “dive compressor” with great success. It’s actually not very new. We bought it on a boat swap meet in NZ three years ago.
One disadvantage with this bay is the step hills. No internet and sometimes funnelling wind gusts. We prepared for take off under sail Sunday morning. But the weather told us differently. Torrential rain with thunder the whole morning. No really strong winds in the rain, but suddenly came out of nowhere a 40 knot gust across Moon. Heeling 20 degrees and the uplift dinghy decided to enter Moon… We came out of the incident quite lucky. Only three stanchions bent and one broken. We got fully paid for our efforts to cast epoxy threaded holes for the feet to the stanchions during our preparations of Moon!
In the afternoon we left for Kuah where we collected our spare parts for the WhisperGen sent from NZ.
10 – 15 September Telaga Langkawi
The weather has been very grey, windy and a lot of rain. Looks like it will continue until Thursday. It has been even worse in Phuket, so we are not in a hurry leaving Langkawi…
After some bumpy nights in rolly anchorages around Langkawi we checked in to Telaga marina on the west side of Langkawi on Saturday. Protected from sea and wind, due to the man made completely landlocked harbour, it’s possible to install our new spare parts to the WhisperGen that arrived last week. The company that are to complete our cockpit enclosure have their shop in Telaga, so hopefully that have been done next week…
As you can see we have still plenty of things on the “to do list”, so no problems waiting for the rainy season to ease before leaving for Phuket.
16 – 22 September Miri MY
We had an emergency call last week and last Friday we flew to Miri in east Malaysia, on the big Island Borneo, to help a friend to deliver a yacht to Phuket.
The tour will take about two weeks. The boat – a Macintosh 47 – had been left alone for fifteen years. Our friend had spent two weeks to make the trip possible.
Moon is left safe in Telaga harbour.
23 September – 1 October Telaga MY
Wednesday morning and we have had a nice full night sleep in Moon.
We arrived Tuesday morning to Langkawi after eight days and 1100 miles non stop motoring from Miri. The boat leaked 10 l/h sea water and a lot more from above in spite Annikas extensive use of duct tape around the mast and windows. Luckily it only rained day three and the last night between Penang and Langkawi, where we also had lightning and strong gusts.
The only really benefit of the trip was the passage through Singapore strait, mostly by night and no moon. The mandatory traffic separation plan makes it both difficult and easy. Thanks to GPS it’s “easy” to walk the line just inside the plan and only have boats from behind on port side. But we had to stay alert, every harbour entrance have an opening in the plan for passage out- and in to harbours, and there normal rules for traffic are on hand.
Yes, the goal for the trip was Thailand and Krabi. But a leaking boat, defective autopilot and more… called for a stop in the marina where our Moon was moored, waiting for a new motor for the autopilot. The last part, 160 miles, will be done without the crew from Moon.
Now we have to restart with the remaining work on Moon to be able to take her to Thailand in a couple of weeks.
2 – 6 October Telaga MY
It took us some time to really get going again after the “jetlag” from our eight days around the clock motoring.
After that came two days with heavy down pours that kept us indoors. The rain and together with that a very grey and dark sky made it difficult to get our brains in motion. Seems that we after all need the sun, in spite it also make outdoor job difficult!
The big question right now is when our package with our new sink for the galley arrives from Sweden. It’s been on a detour towards Mali (wrongly addressed!) but is now on it’s way to Malaysia. We can’t decide whether we wait and then go to Thailand or Penang for the Corian work around the sink, or we just do some sailing and come back for the package.
Our canvas/clear back wall behind the dodger is done. The heavy rain was a perfect test. No water in front of the new wall. Quite a better climate inside the boat when the wall is in place and the rain is pouring down. The wall is in three parts, and even with only the two side parts it’s an amazing different down below when rain and wind comes from behind.
During our two weeks anchoring outside Kuah we got a lot of barnacles on the part of the chain that was above the bottom. Cleaning when weighing anchor was limited to get the chain down into the locker. Now it was time to do the long postponed difficult job! Anchor and all chain out of the boat and onto the pontoon to be able to clean the locker. The four meter fouled chain was put in bucket with chemical vinegar/acetum and left there over night. Next day the stainless chain was clean and shiny as new! Sometimes difficult jobs just disappear… Works perfect for the right quality of stainless chain, but we have not heard of anybody tried it on galvanised chain…
7 – 13 October Telaga MY
A week with lots of rain. Unfortunately it has not been followed by cooler temperature like earlier rain. It’s been uncomfortable humid and hot!
Our time in Telaga Marina has come to an end. The plan is to leave today and sail south. First some nights at anchor around south Langkawi to let our sink from Sweden have a chance to get here, and then to Penang to visit the Thai Consul to get two month visa for Thailand.
One job this week was to re tension the bolts on the engine top.
When we bought Moon the engine top had just been planed after an overheating adventure and now after 40 hours engine run it was time to complete that repair.
First we were convinced that we would manage on our own. But to get to some of the bolts you have to disassemble the rocker system for the valves, not very tempting. After tensioning and reassembling, the play for the valves had to be checked and adjusted. It was a good decision to have the engine mechanic that planed the top to do the job! Now we have learnt how to adjust the valves. When everything was done, the mechanic wanted to see the exhaust smoke to make sure everything was ok. We where quite surprised when the starter motor only , very slowly, turned twice and then died with some smell from the engine room.
We dismantled the minus cable on the starter motor, cleaned, sanded and remounted with some electrical grease. Now the starter motor easy started the engine!
We had some moments when we thought we had to stay in the marina another week to fix the problem.
14 – 20 October Langkawi MY
A different week.
We have been sailing four out of seven days, adding more than 150 nm to the log of Moon.
We left Telaga Marina as planned on Monday afternoon. A few hours of lazy sailing along the south-west coast of Langkawi. Heavy clouds with a lot of rain came out from land, luckily all went behind us. By four our luck was gone. A very black cloud built up over land and the wind died.
Down with the sails and a few minutes later we where motoring into the new wind direction to our anchorage. The thunder seemed to be well over land, but suddenly a lightening stroke between us and a little island, only 500 meters away. The thunder was tremendous, but that was it. No damages. You are not very tough having lightening that close…
After a calm night we weigh anchor just after breakfast to be able to reach our next anchorage at high tide, even if the wind was very week.
Luckily it was a close reach, meaning the apparent wind gave us some extra knots of wind. We could anchor in our favourite spot close to Kuah, where we had a barbecue on the beach together with our friends from Silent Knight, still anchored here since several weeks.
A lots of wind, rain and lightening during the night.
Wednesday we took the dinghy in to Kuah to get copies of our passports and photos of us, all to be able to apply for a visa for Thailand.
Thursday early morning. Weigh anchor in total darkness just after five o’clock. Björn with a torch on deck to be able to avoid getting fishing lines in the propeller. By seven o’clock, after a nice breakfast, we could shut down the engine and sail on an open reach towards Penang. In spite a weak north easterly Moon manage to do above seven knots until lunch when the wind faded and we had to fill in with the engine and go motor sailing. After some hours the wind came back, now from north west. We could anchor on the east side of Penang behind a little island, just before sunset, having done 70 nm since early morning.
We used the whole Friday to get visa for Thailand organised. Dinghy across to the beach where we left the dinghy on the shore and started to walk towards centre of George Town to get a taxi as soon as possible.
The infrastructure is clearly only built for people with a car! It took us almost two hours of walking where parts of the way definitively not was meant for walking before we could get a taxi. After some studies of the map and after consulting a local police, the taxi got us to the Thai consulate in time to leave our applications and passports. After a message that we should be back around half past three, we took another taxi in to centre of town. First lunch and then we spent the rest of the time strolling around waiting for the time to get close to three.
We spent two days in George Town 1995, but we did not recognise almost anything. Plentiful of new high buildings along the city shoreline and lots of ten storie resorts and apartment buildings along the shoreline facing the mainland. Overall it gave the impression of a very overexploited place where they seemed to have forgotten about sewage treatment.
During our walk towards town along all these fancy resorts and apartment buildings, where all had it’s own protection with gates, fences and even a moat outside the fence. Canals that smelled horrible from sewage! Guess if that was mentioned in the fancy advertisement??
Three o’clock we grabbed a taxi to get to the consulate and our visas and passports. After some delay we entered the waiting taxi again, this time with our new visas , and drove more than six miles south through the rain to our dinghy. We got once again good use of our sun protecting umbrellas! We only unplugged the hole in the transom, left the dinghy in the rain and walked to the big shopping mall only a few hundred meters away to wait for the rain to stop. After an hour and some food shopping we where back at the dinghy. Launched it and got to Moon almost dry. Later the rain came back and stayed the whole night.
Saturday; grey, rainy weather and northerly wind, perfect for a day to stay and rest.
Sunday morning – another early start in the dark. Used the engine around the island and reached the northerly long bridge to the mainland just at dawn, but had to continue using the engine due to very weak wind from south west. Behind us the clouds gathered above Penang with lots of rain. We where lucky, it stayed over land leaving us under an only greyish sky. Later the wind increased enough for us to shut off the engine and sail. An open reach gave us no “extra” apparent wind speed and in the sometime high swell we had to aim for the west side of Langkawi to get reasonable speed and stability. The visibility became extremely good. We could see Penang clearly all the way up to Langkawi, more than 60 nm. Compared with the weather on Thursday going south were we couldn’t spot Penang until we only where 20 nm of the coast.
In spite of the weak wind and the not so favourable sailing angle, we still seldom made less than 5,5 knots. Together with the tide it gave us above 6 knots over ground, fast enough to get us to our anchorage before dark.
We where lucky to time the squalls and had no rain on the trip. But just before arrival we saw rain and small “waterspouts” ahead. Down with the sails not to have problems if get hit so close to shore. With the sails secured and covered we motored in to the nicest anchorage in whole Langkawi archipelago, a Z-shaped water with narrow entrances facing parallel to a big island, protected by two small islands. We had checked it out during our first sailing in June and know that the only problem was that sometimes it is crowded with fishermen, waiting over night for the nets to get “loaded”.
We where lucky, the only occupier was six big eagles, an absolutely amazingly colourful kingfisher and some otters. We got an awesome evening with a swim and a nice sun downer accompanied with the exceptionally clear visibility.
A very different week with a perfect ending.
21 – 27 October Telaga MY
The rainy South West Monsoon has not yet past us…
After a relaxing “free day” at our nice anchorage in absolute solitude, we weigh anchor on Tuesday morning to be able to pass the bar into our shallow anchorage near Kuah. High tide around eleven and shortly before ten we passed the bar and ventured into our bay and anchored. Before lunchtime we where already in the dinghy, full speed for town to stock up before leaving for Thailand. Alcohol and chocolate are the only products you can notice a price difference, although Langkawi is tax-free regarding all items… Compared with prices in Thailand, we of course buy our bottles here!
Lunch in town and later sun downer in the Yacht Club together with friends, before we in the dark took the dinghy back to Moon with all our stuff.
Wednesday became a lazy day. Went into the Yacht Club in the afternoon to show our friends in Silent Knight, now in the Yacht Club, some secrets about downloading files from the Internet. Dinner together with 30 cruisers and then again home to Moon in no moon darkness.
We weigh anchor just before lunchtime, again had to wait for high tide, especially as it was spring tide and started the first leg to Thailand! Meaning we sailed to Telaga Marina on the west coast of Langkawi. The main reason for visiting a marina was to reseal our new leaking seawater pump on the engine. To be able to disassemble the pump we first had to dismount one of the alternators. This was of course possible to do on anchor, but we didn’t want to be without engine if we suddenly had to weigh anchor.
We reserved a berth in the marina and sailed in weak breeze. Having two miles to go, we got a heavy squall, giving us a fast run into the marina. Secured in our berth we finally got in contact with our missing parcel from Sweden. It was supposed to have left Kuala Lumpur and where due to arrive Langkawi on Friday! We called the local agent and made arrangement for a pick up at their office in Kuah. (we didn’t dare to risk any detours on the island…)
At last we are on top of all circumstances effecting our possibilities to leave for Thailand!
Having fixed the cooling pump and doing some negotiation with Boat lagoon in Phuket where our new sink will be installed we are now ready to leave for Thailand. The plan is to check out on Tuesday for three months of sailing around in Phuket area (together with some boat job of course…)
28 October – 3 November Phuket Thailand
Finally we left Malaysia.
Leaving Malaysia going north makes the water more clear for each mile. We have cleaned the propeller and the hull several times in Malaysia, but with almost no visibility and with tidal current around the boat it’s not very efficient. Annika had to dive five times to find the through hole for the sink!
Friday – we had more than 15m visibility on our anchorage, and could for the first time study the centreboard in action. Everything ok, but because we adjusted the retrieved position to get it looked up, we lost some of the depth. The angle is now app. 80 degrees and the depth is around 3m.
So far we haven’t have use of the centreboard because of very light winds. Even close haul it only slows the boat down a bit without contributing to the tack angle. We will come back on the issue when tried in stronger wind and greater heeling.
Wind… in this area there isn’t much wind most of the time except for occasionally squalls. You are lucky if there are 2 hours of sailing each day. On passages we can accept two knots, but when you have to reach an anchorage before dusk the engine comes handy quite often.
Today it’s time to check in to Thailand after five anchorages on our way north through Thailand. Rumours say they accept two weeks from Malaysia before checking in at Au Chalong, near Phuket. We’ll see what happens in real life.
First really rainy weather since leaving Malaysia. Hopefully less in the afternoon. A dinghy ride in to the pier and check in is not nice in pouring rain!
4 – 10 November Kho Hong
As usual, a week with a lots of sun interrupted with thunder and heavy downpours.
After clearing customs, which was easy, we had lunch at a little bar. Because of heavy rain we had to remain ashore for several hours, waiting for the flood to once again become a road… The dinghy was still afloat but contained about 30-40 litres of rain water.
Checking in to Thailand is both a modern and an old-fashioned story. First you register, everything is done on a PC by yourself. Even the passport where scanned and put digitally on the document.
Next office Immigration. They used the electronic document, but wanted paper-copies of passports and ship documents. They copied them for free, and next stop – customs. Again the electronic document, and again paper copies of passports and ship documents, again for free. The fourth office was the Harbour master, same procedure but this time we had to pay for the copies. So much for an electronic procedure…
After October first this year all foreign boats have to have an AIS transponder transmitting at all times. If and how they will control this is another issue. The clearance procedure had no references to AIS or MMSI numbers (transmitted by the AIS). We only got a question if we had an AIS at the harbour master. They didn’t bother to check that Moon was out at the anchorage in Au Chalong bay, transmitting boat data. They could easily have used internet and marinetraffic.com, even if they didn’t have their own AIS-receiver…
Tuesday morning, between the thunder and showers, we weigh anchor and motored north. Anchored after noon in the shallows outside the mangroves, waiting for the tide to give us enough water into the Boat Lagoon marina. We had made arrangement to meet Nai, who runs a carpeting business in Boat Lagoon. Early next morning the tide was going up and we slowly entered the narrow channel through the mangroves into the marina. We had depth well under two meters, and that’s on spring high! although there are boats in the marina that draws three meter. The mud is probably very soft…
Nai came to the boat after lunch to give us a quote on the galley upgrade. New counter top (Corian). Unfortunately our wish to have everything ready before mid December was not possible. First thing in January was the earliest possibility. OK things doesn’t always go your way. We had hoped to be able to leave Thailand at that time.
We rented a car for the three night we where in the marina to get some perspective on the Phuket Island. We found some bits and pieces that will keep us occupied for some time. Among others a new “car stereo”. The old one quit working two years ago!
We found a good stainless producer. The right quality (316L) and measurements exact as on the drawing. Not heard of in Langkawi… Ok, the cost was almost double, but that is to compare apples with bananas!
In Boat Lagoon there are two chandlers with substantial inventory, but even so, the items we where looking for was not on the menu. If ordered they come with additional import fee and vat, even if you have a boat in transit. In that aspect Langkawi, being tax free, is much more cost efficient.
Saturday lunch we left the marina at high tide and motored north to some of the spectacular island with caves and tunnels into big holes inland. Those holes are called Hong in Thailand, and are relatively common thanks to the limestone combined with heavy rain.
We anchored outside one of these Hong’s just as the last tourist boat left, but before the tide allowed us to enter the cave early next morning the wind came up, creating a uncomfortably sea. We weigh anchor and continued two miles to the next island where the Hong was in a more favourable angle to the wind.
We launched the dinghy and made a long tour into the system of caves and tunnels through the island just before the first day trip tourists arrived.
From our anchorage we were entertained the rest of the day. Throughout the day there were more than twenty boats offloading 10-30 tourist from each boat on to kayaks, for a short trip in the caves.
We had several charter sailing boats anchoring around us. One particularly had extreme difficulties to get the anchor to set, although trying numerous times. Main reason- to small anchor and short scope, combined with quite a speed reversing trying to get the anchor to set. Ok the bottom was quite soft, but with right ground tackle and scoop combined with modest reverse power we got reasonable good holding.
We are now back to not clear water. The visibility is not more than a few inches…
Talking about the great number of tourists. After the blog last week we got some e-mails, among others from Philippe who compared two trips to PhiPhi Islands, one in the late -80 and one recently. Chocking!
We can only agree. We spent late December -97 on a quiet PhiPhi Island with only one Hotel and a few bungalows. Tony Sai Bay saw a few cruiser anchored and the beaches where far from crowded.
Now we passed the famous bay (from the Brad Pitt film “The Beach”, a must stop for tourists) looking amazing on pictures, positioned in a deep bay between high cliffs. The beach, what you could see between all the boats, was covered with people, not at all like the famous photos.
Later we anchored of a beach on the north west side, only accessible from the sea. Nice when all the day trip boats had left, but before that. The sea surface was covered with oil from more than 30 boats with two stroke outboards, not to mention the “long-tailed” ones, and the noise from all these screaming people!
Of course everybody must be allowed, but some tourist places are better than others to cope with a great number of people. Imagine as an example the Marcus Square in Venice without people, not what we expect from advertisement. The other extreme, a secluded beach in Thailand does not include a lot of people in either our imagination or advertisement.
We were very happy to leave Langkawi, but most of the anchorage there were quiet and without a lot of boats and people…
11 – 17 November Ao Chalong
This week have been dedicated to Phang Nga Bay, the big bay between Phuket and Krabi with numerous of small and bigger islands.
We have even been able to find islands with no tourists! Further away from Phuket less people.
The water is, unless very south in the bay, not clear at all due to all silt the rivers brings into the bay.
But around the southern islands it’s clear enough to clean the propeller and the bottom. The growth is very rapid and a slime builds up in a few days, not to mention barnacles on the prop.
In-between island hopping we managed to install the new car-stereo we bought in Phuket. Very nice to be able to listen to music coming from our fancy loudspeakers.
Now we are back in Ao Chalong, where we cleared customs eleven days ago, to stock up.
18 – 26 November Yacht Haven / Sweden
A week with some sailing and a sudden decision.
The sailing was partly done on the west coast of Phuket. Anchoring off the beaches with the Indian ocean to the west, told us that the season was not quite ready for this. Heading back to the east coast and Yacht Haven we got some gale force wind close haul. Moon behaved beautifully.
Having “done” the area, and only have to wait for the postponed galley work, we suddenly decided to leave Moon in Yacht Haven marina and fly to Sweden for two weeks, in time for Björns mother having her 89th birthday.
After some hassle with paying or not paying bond to be allowed to leave Thailand with Moon still in the country we flew via Moscow to Copenhagen on Monday.
The bond turned out to be “no pay”, only because we had a pre arranged two month visa when we arrived to Thailand. The officials rules are not always easy to understand…
27 November – 1 December Helsingborg
We have had no problem what so ever with the cold… and it have been easy to be out in the sun!
The temperature have been between two and five degrees(C) and the sun have been shining at least some hours every day, not what most of southern Sweden have experienced last week. Stockholm have got a new, negative, record. Only five hours of sunshine during November!! We have enjoyed the change in climate, much easier to get used to this weather compared to the opposite!
Most of the week have been spent together with Björns mother, who reached her 89 birthday last Wednesday. Amazing being so active and manage without any assistance. One can only hope that some of that have been left to the next generation…
We are spending the rest of the time, between long walks in the brisk weather, shopping for Moon. Lots of must have are easy available here compared to Thailand and Malaysia. Despite the heat in Thailand, we are looking forward to fly back to Moon next Monday! We have got reports during the week that Moon is resting safe and secure in Yacht Haven so we are not expecting any negative surprises arriving back to Yacht Haven.
8 December Moscow
In transfer at Moscow airport.
After two weeks in a very pleasant climate we are now on our way back to Moon in Phuket, Thailand.
9 – 15 December Yacht Haven
We are back on the boat and the heat in Thailand since Tuesday after a good flight.
It’s much easier to get used to the cold climate in Sweden! But we have managed to do some work during the week.
The since long planned work to fix the brackets for the running back stay has finally been done.
The main reason for the very long delay have been the lack of a long 19 mm wood drill, which we now found in Sweden. 19 mm because the head of an M10 bolt had to fit. Very exiting to drill vertical through the cap rail 95 mm down into the hull! The hull has “only” 32 mm between the epoxy fibre laminates, so there where little need of miss alignment to hit the laminate…
Everything went well and after the epoxy around the bolts have cured we can after some sanding to flatten the cap rail complete the brackets.
16 – 22 December Koh Lanta
A quite productive week, and still unsettled weather with rain almost every afternoon.
The four new bracket for running back stays, furler, preventer and spinnaker sheet where completed.
A heat exchanger between the coolant system for the engine and the WhisperGen generator installed and tested. Moon can now produce hot tap water both under engine and/or when the gen-set is running. We spent only around $100 to add the engine to the heating system. No boat is complete, there are always improvements possible!
We discovered that our plan to extend our visa became wrong when we came back from Sweden. You can only extend if you come with a two month visa, not if you cross the border without that and only get 30 days. The simple solution, sail to Langkawi over x-mas / new year and be back in Boat Lagoon for our galley work 5th of January.
– Saturday 20th of December.
After having cleared custom in Ao Chalong by car during Friday, we left Yacht Haven Marina at twelve as the tide changed. Our berth was only 10 m and the distance to the pontoon behind was not what you could expect when you pay for a 14 m berth… Meaning it’s not very easy to get out with a long keel and no bow-thruster, especially as we are used to a 3 m shorter boat with fin keel and a bow thruster! Moon is also a lot heavier, which adds to the complexity.
Everything went smooth and out on the fair way the sail came up in the nice breeze of 12 knots. We got an almost close haul and after some sail trim Moon picked up in speed. Apparent wind angle 40-50 and apparent wind speed 16-18 knots gave us a nice speed through water of 7,5-8,5 knots with an heeling angle around 15 degrees. Do we need to tell you that we are more than pleased?
This kept going on for two hours, when the wind decreased and we altered course to 120 apparent wind. Still Moon was doing 6,5 although the wind speed was down 10 knots.
We where surprised how well Moon sailed close haul without the centreboard down. The reasons are probably the modest heeling angle and the long “keel plank”. Thanks to the extra low centreboard casing, to get a flat floor in the saloon, Moon has a 25cm plank from the mast all the way to the rudder, minimising her adrift to leeward.
We only had to motor the last couple of hundred meters arriving in our bay for the night. We managed to anchor, cover the sails and have a nice swim before the evening rain and wind came to our bay. What a perfect day!
– Sunday 21
We weigh anchor at 8 and drifted out of the bay with only the main sail set, testing our patience because it took more than fifteen minutes to get out of the bay in the north easterly breeze.
An open reach took us north of Phi-Phi islands. North of Phi-Phi Don we got new wind and we could sail seven knots in ten to twelve knots of wind, a wind that half way between Phi-Phi and Ko Lanta almost died.
Motor sailing with only the main the wind died completely only a few miles north of our planned anchorage. Dark clouds came up east of Ko Lanta and we rushed down the main sail and closed all our hatches just in time before we got several heavy down drafts. The first without wind, but he second… Moon heeled 15 degrees with bare poles and the visibility was close to zero. With a lots of nets in the water, a constant outlook was important, so of course one of us got quite wet.
Arriving at the anchorage, the rain and wind become more “normal”, and we manage to get everything set before the rain and wind came back. The swim and shower had to be done during an extra shower from above… Not as well planned as yesterday.
23 – 31 December Koh Bulan
Our x-mas week, Langkawi – Malaysia
– Monday 22 December
After a quiet night at anchor on west coast of Koh Lanta we weigh anchor in a grey and humid early morning. Motoring in no wind for an hour, and then a nice breeze until half past two. The last hour of motor sailing before anchoring at Koh Tarutao at dusk was quite rainy and squally.
– Tuesday – Again an early and grey morning start using the engine in very disturbed wind along west coast of Tarutao until the sound to Langkawi where we got a nice easterly. Halfway down the west coast of Langkawi the wind started to be very disturbed by the high mountains, and the engine had to be used again.
We arrived at the anchorage of Kuah four o’clock, and shortly after that our friends from two Swedish boats came for a rain-downer in Moon. The almost constant afternoon rain have made it impossible to have a sun-downer…
– Wednesday – we went ashore for check in and some shopping. What a relaxed process that is in Langkawi compared with some other countries, Thailand not forgotten…
Christmas eve was spent in Moon together with the same crew as yesterday. Very untraditionally compared with a “normal” Swedish x-mas excess in food. Only some cheese, biscuits and some bottles of nice vine.
– Thursday – was a working day for us. The wash down pump for the chain had stopped working. To get to it, everything in the forward bunk had to come up. The pump had a leaking hose connection and that salt water had “killed” the pressure breaker. After some cleaning up and exchange of electrical and hose connectors the pump worked just fine.
The gennaker was stored under the bunk, so now we used the no wind condition to hoist it for the first time. It’s big!
The next job on the list was fixing the outlet from the heat exchanger on the WhisperGen and then test it running. After three attempts we got it running almost ok. There are still some minor issues, but we think we are on top of those.
– Friday – afternoon the sky opened, not for the sun, but for heavy rain for several hours. The eastern part of Malaysia mainland have been hit by enormous amount of rain. People are evacuated and the situation is very critical. Langkawi has nothing compared with that, but for being the “dry season” it’s still extremely wet.
– Saturday – was check out time and some shopping. Again very easy and relaxed. No cost involved for either way.
Sunday morning an early start towards the east side of Langkawi, both to gain windward position, and get more undisturbed wind on Langkawi east and Tarutao east. Worked fine. Nice undisturbed easterly until two o’clock when we engaged the engine for an hour to our anchorage north of Tarutao on the west coast of Koh Bulan. Overcasted but no rain.
Left Ko Bulan after a quiet night. Easterly, almost no wind. We tried the spinnaker pole for the first time. Thanks to the Yankee cut of the head sail, the pole was long enough to work as a whisker pole. Our old boat had a Seldén mast with the pole stored on the mast. Much easier and safer. Unfortunately it’s not possible on Moon because of the Baby stay (instead of forward lower).
By lunchtime black cloud came from the mainland. We got both wind and heavy rain for an hour. Still we have not learned to reef in time… Nice anchorage at Koh Bong after 33 nm.
Now we had some decision to make. We didn’t want to rush to Ao Chalong and check in because of all holidays and paying overtime. We decided to sail north on Ko Lanta east coast and anchored very protected between Ko Lanta and Ko Talabang. A nice open reach in around 10 kn of wind.
We did not want to do an overnight sail to Ao Chalong because of the high risk of catching a net in the propeller. Our experience tells us that even if there is a great wind daytime, it fades out after sunset.
The decision was to sail half ways and anchor somewhere around the Phi-Phi islands.
First leg south along Ko Lanta and then a gibe around the south cape. The second leg took us all the way to Phi-Phi Don in an open reach in sometimes quite a breeze. Around 8kn through the water and after a necessary reefing we still made around 8. Moon prefer a reefed main when the wind is more than 14-18 kn, if not she heels and slow down. Very comfortable and well balanced when reefed.
Reaching Phi Phi we decided to anchor in a small picturesque bay, waiting for the daytime tourists to leave. When that happened we moved closer in but could not get good holding in the thin layer of sand above the corals. Due to the narrow surroundings we didn’t dare to anchor with that poor result. The neighbouring bay had similar bottom, but several hundred meter to shore and other boats.
The night became everything but quiet, not because the holding but due to several discos ashore celebrating new years eve until seven in the morning!
Annika & Björn