4th of July Passage

It was the 4th of July on our second day’s passage from Pangkor. We had a long passage planned of 90 nautical miles. We left just past the crack of dawn. Strangely enough the winds were from the northwest. We started out going south so we could get around the bit of land outside Port Klang (near Kuala Lumpur). Once we made the turn southeast (the normal direction when headed along the Malacca Straights towards Singapore), we had the winds behind us. By noon they were just enough for us to start sailing wing on wing. We sailed that way for a while making about 7-8 knots for a while. The winds gradually increased.

We sailed right past the entrance to Port Klang and had to adjust course to dodge a few departing and arriving cargo vessels. A while later things got interesting. The winds suddenly picked up to about 25 knots true. We didn’t immediately notice it because we were enjoying the fast sailing speeds. We were soon making 9-10, then 10-11 knots. The seas picked up (all from behind us), and so we started surfing to higher speeds. When the winds got above 25 knots true (about 15 knots apparent), we briefly surfed up to 16.6 knots twice! Woohoo! But, too much. So, we decided we needed to get the main sail down (which was the only thing we were flying at that point). We couldn’t reef it because of the problems with the new sail configuration. So, we took the main down.

Good thing we did because the true winds shot up to 30-35 knots for a few minutes just after. We put up just a part of the jib sail and were back to 9-10 knots and surfs to 12 or so, sometimes higher. As we were trucking along with 4-6 foot seas with white caps all over them, we were thinking this was really yucky weather to be out in. There was a nasty looking squall over Port Dickson the whole time which might have been contributing to the conditions. But, since we were downwind and following seas, and in a catamaran, things were pretty comfortable actually. The conditions held for another two hours or so as we slowly passed Port Dickson. Our goal was Cape Rachado which is just southeast of Port Dickson. The winds started easing as we approached the cape.

On the east side of the cape is a little bay with perfect protection from northwest winds. We pulled into flat water in front of a nice beach with a big hotel on shore. There was a protected tropical forest on the cape itself. You could hear all kinds of wild critters in there. The anchorage was delightful. Map location below:

We arrived about 1.5 hours from sunset and after anchoring we set up the BBQ and cooked up some dinner July 4th style. We had hamburgers, corn, and pork-n-beans. Our new US flag was flying off the back of the boat. That’s about as good as we could get for our 4th of July. We did have some fireworks later that night. 🙂

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2 Responses to 4th of July Passage

  1. Kerry Mettert says:

    Frank: We had the same thing to eat on the 4th. Had quite a contrast in weather from 1 year ago where we had 102 F in central Indiana. This year was nice in the upper 70s. Were the fireworks any good? Probably not close to those experienced in Australia, right?

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