Hi there! We are back in Malaysia, after a long, but relatively easy series of flights . The money spent for extra leg-room on the 15 hour flight between N.Y. and Hong Kong was well worth it. We even managed to sleep for a big part of the trip. You know the kind of sleep I am talking about if you have flown long distances. Sitting up-right, with your head nodding and drool coming out of your mouth, and then jerking awake because your head is about to fall off your shoulders. Your hands and arms numb from having them crossed in front of you. Your buttocks aching from sitting upright. Your mouth dry and your breath bad from eating airline food. Not exactly your idea of a great night sleep – but still a great way to pass the time as quickly as possible. The Chinese man sitting next to me put his blanket over him as we took off, closed his eyes, and except for snapping to attention during the two meals that were served, he seemed to sleep the entire 15 hours.
All our luggage arrived in Malaysia in good shape. This is always a big relief for us as our bags are stuffed with various spare parts for the boat – things which would be hard and expensive to replace. Our bags must have looked suspicious to the TSA staff as a few of them had obviously been opened for inspection. (They leave you a note inside when they do that).
We had a good nights’ sleep at the airport hotel before proceeding by bus to Setiawan – a small town that is close to our marina. One of our old sailing friends, Jim (from the boat Cardea), picked us up in a rental car we will share with him. Our boat is out of the water and in no shape for habitation for at least a few days, so we checked into the Best Western Hotel that is right at the marina. It is clean and comfortable, with a few oddities, but it has free internet.
I had to laugh when the first song I heard on the radio coming to the marina was “Call Me Maybe” – the number one hit in the U.S. There is such a mix of cultures in Malaysia that it is quite an interesting place just for people watching. We will try to post some pictures to illustrate some of this. The most telling are the women… and how they dress. You see everything from very conservative full burkhas to girls in t-shirts and short-shorts and no-one seems to bat an eye. At least half the women have a head-scarf.
We found the boat in good shape, except that one of the wires on the solar-panel had apparently corroded while we were gone and the batteries, which we had expected to remain fully charged through solar power while we were gone, were nearly drained. Mark was able to repair this quickly and we hope that the batteries will be ok. The boat hull is getting painted this week (between deluges of rain) and we plan to get her back in the water by Friday.