We had an uneventful flight from the US back to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. When we arrived, we had a brief while where we thought our biggest bag (the one with most of the boat parts) was lost. But, as we were filling out paperwork at the baggage service desk they pulled up with a pallet of bags that made us, and a bunch of others in line, happy. The only other trouble we had was not being able to get on two trains with all our bags due to overcrowded trains. But, we eventually made it to the hotel.
Not too surprisingly, we fell asleep not long after checking in to the hotel at 10 AM local time. We woke up around 4 PM and were very hungry – which we satisfied with some fast food. Then I was up until about 2 AM and slept another 4 hours. After that, I felt adapted to local time. Or so I thought. Two days later I fell asleep at 4 PM and slept until midnight. My schedule is all out of synch again. Karen had an even rougher time with sleep, and was having some back pain. She barely got out the first day.
Thanks to a new GPS game called Ingress, I met up with some locals and got to see some sights. I went to Merdeka Square. Also known as Independence Square. It was close to our hotel and is next to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which is a beautiful building – especially at night (photo credit). I also visited the National Monument of Malaysia – a tribute to fallen warriors on a grand scale. They have a huge bronze statue that is very similar to the famous WWII Iwo Jima flag-raising statue. Very impressive!
The day we left KL, the Merdeka Square was cordoned off with lots of police. There was a political rally expected. They have had violent rallies in the past, and the police were taking no chances. The police started occupying the square early the previous day. According to a flyer we saw, there are apparently some people who don’t support the current flag. Merdeka Square is where they first raised the flag. There are also concerns about discrimination with top political offices only going to Malaysian people (not from the many other common people here such as Chinese, Indian, English, etc.).
With our second full day we did some shopping to buy some unique things to remember Malaysia by for the boat, and continued to recuperate from our time changes. Then, on the third day, we prepared to head back to the boat. We again took the train – even though it takes about 6 hours compared to a much shorter plane ride. But, it was quite cost effective, and a comfortable ride without too many stops.
We finally got back to Tahina. I wish I had taken a picture, but the back of the boat looked horrible – it was gangrene with green algae all over the back. It was so disgusting we soon started cleaning it up. Thankfully, the recent wax job we had done in Bali made the job relatively easy. It mostly came off with a simple wipe of a soapy sponge.
But, before that, we had to check out the electric systems on board. You may recall that a month or so after we left for the US, we heard from the marina that the electricity on board shut itself down. And, all our food was spoiled in the freezer and fridge. Since our system had never shut itself down this way, we were concerned there was a lightning strike. But, once on board, we soon established that everything (radios and other electronics) was fine. So, no lightning. Great news!
Our watermaker water tank was lower than expected. Almost empty. So, we’ll have to go out to clear water (about a 15 mile trip) and use our watermaker to make more water for several hours.
The only other issue is when they disposed of our spoiled food as we requested, but they didn’t leave the containers on the boat. We had a lot of Tupperware and baskets for organizing our food in the big freezer. We hope they kept it for us at the office. We’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.