We left the Pangkor Marina on Wednesday and arrived in Penang Island yesterday (Friday) before noon. The sail was uneventful (except for the failure of our watermaker). There were lots of fishing boats, many of them trailing nets, light morning breezes from the northeast, and nice afternoon winds from the west. We sailed more than I expected. It was sunny and hot, and we had to get used to sleeping in a hot boat while anchored (at Pulau Talang and Pulau Rimau).
Yesterday morning we sailed up the east side of Penang, through the new bridge under construction, then under the old bridge, and around the top to the new marina at the massive and still incomplete complex being built by Eastern and Oriental (E&O). The marina, Straits Quay, was built as eye candy for the luxury condos and shops built on a few square miles of fill. There are 40 restaurants fronting on the marina, including Starbucks and Subway, and twice as many shops including Versace and all the fancy brands. There is a performing arts center, pools, spas, and exhibition space. Seven new highrise towers are being finished just to the west of the marina, and a few more to the north. There is a giant mall centered around a Tesco supermarket. A delightful oceanside walking path follows the coast for a mile in the direction of Georgetown (the main city), all of which is part of the same E&O development. The path fronts one and two story luxury homes, many still under construction. Many have private pools. There is a whole lot of new money floating around southeast Asia and it seems as if a lot of it is getting parked in Penang.
The marina is quite small but it is the nicest one we have seen since we left the US, and probably the nicest we have ever stayed. The cost — $17 day plus power (perhaps $5 day, metered). We booked 12 days here (reserved two months ago) and later today we will explore Georgetown. Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage site with many urban and physical attractions, and is considered to offer some of the finest food in the world. Duck is a famous specialty. We will report more on all this later.
Here are some photos of from our launch and sail.