There were unforeseen difficulties that prevented me updating my blog, when my computer crashed and I lost all my photographs from the last year. I waited in the hope of getting my computer fixed.
Over the past eight months, Apple Malaysia has assured me it was fixed twice, but each time, within weeks, it crashed again.
Thankfully I recently retrieved my photos before my computer crashed irrevocably for a third time a few weeks ago.
I will give a run down of events for the past year and then continue the news in subsequent posts.
After installing our new Yanmar 54hp engine in Pangkor Malaysia over Xmas last year, we still managed to fit in 3 months of cruising Thailand from early January 2019, after spending a fabulous Christmas with family in Australia.
We enjoyed cruising Thailand, particularly along the north west coast, which we found quieter, but we spent time sailing around the impressive scenery and craggy hongs in busy Phang Nga Bay on the east coast of Phuket too, visiting the hongs either late afternoon or very early morning before the hoards of tourists arrived.
After our 3 month visas expired, we returned back to Pangkor Marina in Malaysia to start the next phase of our work schedule.
Firstly though, after meeting Paul, Jenny & their 3 yr old son Max for a wonderful weeks holiday in Bali, I returned briefly to Australia in July in order to meet our latest grandson Remy, born to Chantelle & Avery in March 2019 & catch up with family.
Meanwhile, Frank flew back to the yacht in Malaysia, and installed new lithium batteries and more solar panels to enhance our power efficiency to support the new 12volt refrigeration system he imported from Australia and installed himself.
When I flew back, we moved into an apartment so that we could empty the yacht of most of the fittings, fixtures & our possessions. Then we began the enormous job of stripping back all the tired varnish on the woodwork covering 90% of the interior, sanding it back and sealing it with a teak oil.
In retrospect, had we realised the enormity of the job, I doubt we would have tackled it, but once we started we had to keep going.
It wasn’t surprising that after one month , we had scarcely completed half the interior.
However, we had much anticipated plans to fly to Europe for 2 months in September, so we had to place all the work on hold and pile everything back into Stars End 2 before we left.
Then followed the most amazing holiday. We travelledfrom Malaysia to France to stay with yachtie friends in Brittany and then on to my sister’s home near Limoges.
We spent three glorious sun filled weeks in France and then moved on to England. We travelled hundreds of miles, visited numerous family, friends & were offered incredible hospitality wherever we went.
We attended the wedding of my nephew Tom, and Milli in a lavish ceremony on a spectacular country estate, and the celebrations lasted for over a week as so many of the wedding party were like us, staying in accomodation in the quaint village in Derbyshire or else they lived nearby.
Afterwards, Frank and I hired a car and travelled all over the south of England visiting so many of my lovely family, old friends and school friends I’d not seen for decades.
We relived my childhood holidays by visiting much of Devon & Cornwall, and I was totally enraptured by the picturesque scenery, ancient country pubs and quaint seaside villages.
Our holiday was topped off with the lavish 65th birthday celebrations of my gregarious cousin Chris who hosted a fancy dress party in Hever Castle, the home of Anne Boleyn, (the second wife of Henry VIII until she was beheaded.)
We all dressed up in Tudor costume and paid homage to our ‘King’ Henry VIII & ‘Pam Boleyn’ and spent a luxurious weekend in the historic castle.
All too soon, we were on our way back to Malaysia and straight back into work on board Stars End 2.
Another incredibly busy month of hard work in stifling heat saw us finish 90% of the work. Things didn’t always go smoothly as our portable air con died & the two pack varnish we used on the interior floor reacted to the high humidity, but it was rewarding to see Stars End 2 looking so smart with her new facelift.
We anti fouled the bottom of the yacht and splashed back in the water on Dec 1st.
We spent another couple of weeks in the marina, finishing off jobs and creating order as we replaced fixtures, fittings and found space for everything. Making full use of the car we had rented, I loaded up the lockers with pantry provisions and heavy items we generally struggle to carry back from the shops when at anchor.
With Stars End 2 all shiny and ship shape, we set off north to catch up with friends Del & Craig on ‘Ohani-Uli’ in the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club for a couple of nights before continuing up to Phuket.
We cleared into Thailand on December 19th, picked up our new dinghy, and continued 130 miles north to Koh Phayam on the north west coast in order to meet up with other yachtie friends ( ‘Xamala’, ‘Irie’ & ‘Angel Wing’ & ‘Sentinel’) to share Christmas together.
We waved off good friends Anita & Pierre on ‘Xamala’ on December 28th as they set off for India, and we’ve enjoyed following their progress morning & night in the HF radio skeds.
Frank & I have had a great couple of weeks relaxing and enjoying our favourite spots from our last visit around Koh Phayam, Koh Chang & the Surin Islands.
I don’t think motorbike riding will be high on my list of favourite pastimes, as we managed to crash four times in one day! In Frank’s defence, I must concede that I’m not exactly a lightweight to carry pillion & there were more potholes than road with many areas of soft sand along stretches of the island, but I might give bike riding a miss whilst my ego & body recovers.
Also, our minds are now focused on preparing for our next passage, to Cochin ( also called Kochi) in India tomorrow, the 15th January.
Whereas many of our friends like ‘Xamala’ are headed on from India to the Red Sea in March, Frank and I plan to continue to the Maldives & the Seychelles before heading down to Africa, but this will not be until next year.
That is because we are happy to be flying back to Brisbane in April to be on hand to help out and welcome a new grandchild to Jenny and little Max who will just turn four years old.
so wish us smooth seas and a following ocean for the next 12-14 days it should take us to sail to India.
If you want to follow our progress, Frank hopes to download our daily position which ( if it all works out), will show up once you click on the position report at the end of all my postings at the bottom of my blog.