Moving down the coast of Malaysia we began to feel we were making good progress towards our destination of Sambas, in Indonesian Borneo, where we would soon be joining the West Kalimantan Rally.
From Pangkor we sailed to Sungai Burnam a river that marks the border between the Malaysian states of Perak and Selangor.
We had a very comfortable night there anchored outside a Chinese Temple – the only disturbance being some loud bangs which we think were firecrackers probably being used for a ceremony in the temple.
As we motored out of the river early next morning we were suddenly aware of a fishing boat roaring up behind us. It’s an unnerving experience having quite a large boat heading straight for you with people yelling and waving their arms but we had noticed some markers denoting fishing nets ahead and realised the fishermen were saying “follow, follow”.
We slowed down and as the fishermen went passed us we fell in behind them. As we got nearer to the markers we realised that there was a drift net that was spread over quite a large area – maybe 500 metres or more. Had the fishermen not told us to follow them we would have been in a right tangle and would have destroyed the nets. A lucky escape and a good lesson to remember that just because someone rushes towards you shouting doesn’t mean they have ill intent!
That afternoon we anchored at the appropriately named Port Klang, Malaysia’s largest container port. We were actually quite a long way from the actual port but the clanging and thumping of containers being unloaded and loaded travelled across the water. It was actually quite a comforting noise and we had a very good sleep that night despite the constant background hum.
The next day was very misty and the cranes used to load and unload the ships rose up through the mist like gigantic metallic giraffes.
I know container ports aren’t meant to be visually pleasing but there is still something about them that I really like. Maybe it’s the thought of all those ships crossing the oceans to every corner of the world, or the many and various goods that are safely bound up in the containers which will keep countries fed, clothed, on the move and entertained. Or perhaps it had been my secret dream job to be a knarly sea captain?
After an early start we arrived at Admiral Marina in Port Dickson mid afternoon.
The meal we had in the bar that evening was quite disappointing and the drinks horribly expensive so the next night we walked to a restaurant about 20 minutes from the marina. Judging by the lack of welcome I don’t think many non-locals have eaten there. Our Chicken rice and stir fry vegetables plus bottles of water wereunremarkable but then it did only cost the equivalent of Aus$6.50 (around £3.85) for two!
It was great to welcome the crew of the good ship Yantara the following day and catch their lines for them. They had departed Langkawi quite a few days after us but managed to make up time by not stopping longer than overnight everywhere along the way.
Our meal on the beach that evening was a tad more expensive than the previous night but the great company, the good food and a lovely sunset made it more than worth the extra.