Back to another “real time” blog update – from fascinating Pulau Bidan we made our way to Penang – just a few hours motoring. The last time we had visited Penang was November 2016 when we had taken a ferry from Langkawi to meet friends from Brisbane.
This time there was no opportunity for sightseeing, no matter how tempting, as we had a strict schedule to follow. We were on a mission to get to our last stop in Malaysia, Puteri, as soon as possible, to organise our Indonesian visas for the West Kalimantan Rally.
We anchored outside Straits Quay Marina and left our dinghy in the marina. As a courtesy we called in at the office and were welcomed by name by the charming manager John who had seen Bali Hai on AIS and looked on his computer to see when we had last visited (November 2015!).
He gave us his blessing to leave the dinghy there without charge and was very helpful and welcoming.
We had a bit of a shop at the small but well stocked supermarket and had an early dinner at Uncle Albert’s restaurant looking on to the marina and beyond where we had delicious English style fish and chips.
The following day we had a pleasant sail along the coast of Penang and under the island’s two massive road bridges linking it to the mainland.
Although we have sailed under them before, and the height of the span of both bridges is over 25 metres and our mast height is a mere 18 metres, it was still quite nerve wracking and I’m sure we both ducked as we sailed under.
As we gazed up at the roadway above we both recalled sailing under the Penang Bridges with the Sail Malaysia fleet which had followed directly on the heels of the Sail2Wonderful Indonesia rally.
It had been heady stuff sailing under the bridges with all those other yachts and I think that we felt a sense of achievement and solidarity with each other.
This time though we were quite alone and soon we were approaching a small island just off Penang called Pulau Rimau.
We anchored on the south side of the island in a pretty little bay but before too long we were being tossed and rolled by an ever increasing swell. So we upped anchor and motored back round to the eastern side and found a very comfortable anchorage where we had a peaceful night.