Our three day trip from Puteri Marina to the Admiral Marina at Port Dickson was fairly uneventful except for yet another prop emergency.
On the second day, after leaving Pulau Pisang at first light, the poor Capt’n had to dive over the side mid-ocean once again – with an incredible current running – to free up the prop. This was all before breakfast and even before his second cup of tea!
As we don’t have any scuba gear or one of those nifty machines that allows you to dive down and breathe air, the poor thing had to go duck dive down several times to try and get rid of whatever had wrapped itself round the propellor.
The visibility in the water was poor and the Capt’n was getting quite anxious as he couldn’t actually see what was wound round – usually it isn’t hard to see the brightly colored fishing net, ropes or twine. At the third attempt he realised why it was so difficult to see – the culprit was a large thick plastic sack – about the size of a cooker or small fridge. The Capt’n finally managed to cut it away and we were able to set off again.
As we continued on our way it was distressing and worrying to see how much waste there was in Malaysian waters. There had been severe storms in Thailand and we wondered if that had resulted in storm drains carrying large amounts of waste into the sea and then drifting south on the tides and currents.
We kept a close watch after that as we didn’t want a repeat experience of catching the prop on something.
Several times we had to hand steer round massive Islands of rubbish. Food containers and plastic packaging were the biggest culprits but there were also huge logs and whole tree trunks too.
At about nine in the morning we moved into the shipping lane and we were temporarily free from the choking collections of waste.
On the way to a Pulau Pisang it wasn’t trash that we were concerned about, it was the anchored ships waiting to discharge or take on their loads, that we had to weave our way through.
As when crossing the Singapore Strait from Indonesia, it can be disconcerting to see – often straight at you or across your path – the huge tankers, cargo ships and myriad of other craft that ply the waters around Singapore.
We always go in behind these big monsters – no playing chicken for us! Even so it can make your pulse increase when you are heading straight towards an enormous continuous solid wall!
Our last stop before Port Dickson was Pulau Besar that mysterious island which is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims of Indian ethnicity who have been discouraged, and even prevented from worshipping there.
An absolutely massive resort was built on the island in the 1990s – with power brought in from the mainland on a series of poles – only to be closed and left empty in all its glory. One of these days we will stop to explore this intriguing island but decided that it wasn’t to be this time round due to time pressure and unpredictable weather.
So we pushed on to Port Dickson and were glad that we had, as we had a huge storm raging around us about 9 am after a stunning start to the day.
The sea got up and we had some stiff winds but thankfully and miraculously considering how dark the sky was, not much rain.
We were happy to arrive at the very comfortable Admiral Marina where we could enjoy the beautiful pool and revisit our favourite restaurant in the area – Xiwang Village Seafood.
The restaurant is a three ringgit Uber ride (about Aus$1) from the marina and serves delicious seafood. The service is friendly and helpful and they sell jars of delicious peanut brittle which is now our favourite night watch/rough weather snack.
Another recommendation for those going to Admiral Marina – there are plenty of excellent supermarkets a car ride away (including two Tescos) but this time we discovered one much closer that sold wine, fresh vegetables and fruit and most of the food we missed in Indonesia. It’s in the row of shops directly opposite the army barracks (turn right out of marina) and only a short car ride away (we hire a car to refuel and provision/take clothes to the laundry etc).