First Day Back Down Malacca Straights

On Tuesday, it was a hugely hectic day as we did all the remaining tasks for departure. A partial list (not in order) included: getting diesel fuel, a few more provisions, getting scuba tanks filled, getting our final awnings installed and paying the bill, paying the bill for the marina, returning the car we rented, washing down the outside of the boat, repairing an old halyard, taking down most of the awnings for the passage, changing oil on the last engine, disposing of used oil, and actually many other tasks as well. It was a crazy day!

We planned to leave at first light on Wednesday. But, around 4 AM a sumatra (thunderstorm) blew in and so we had the usual couple of hours of wind and rain. But, this time the rain lasted a bit longer and was still going at 7 AM. But, it looked like it was going to end soon, so I got us up at 7. By 7:15 the wind had stopped so we departed at about 7:30.

The winds were light to non-existent at the start, but we were going very smoothly under one engine. In fact, we had been only making about 5.5 knots with one engine at normal cruising RPMs when we arrived at Pangkor. Now after freshly cleaned and painted bottoms, we were back to our normal speed of 7.8 knots with one engine. Yay!

Better yet, about 1.5 hours later, the winds picked up a bit off our aft quarter to about 8 knots. We first tried out the new jib sail and it worked quite well as expected. But, then the winds went to 10-12 knots, so we raised both sails and were soon sailing. With adjustments we made, we can sail with the new sail if the winds aren’t strong (since we need some hardware for the new reefing system, and two of the luff connections are missing). The new sails worked quite well in these conditions. The engines were shut off and we surged to 8-9 knots. For the next two hours we were able to sail, and we even were doing 9-10 knots with a few more knots of wind (12-14 knots). Unfortunately, the winds shut off suddenly and we were back to motoring much of the rest of the day. Still, we were thrilled we got to try out the new sails and other equipment. A happy day indeed!

Because of our greater speed, we arrived at our selected anchorage by about 3 PM. We are at the same spot north of KL we were last time. Of course, right as we set the hook, the winds picked back up. But, that just helped cool things off. Especially after we raised our new center awnings which cover the salon. We are going to call this section our “bat wings”.

Since most of the anchorages are exposed to the entire straight, our anchorage was a bit rolly. The winds died off during the night and we were turned according to the current – which was at odds with the wake. A jar fell off our drying rack above the sink and woke us. It took me a while to figure out what it was and I took a while getting back to sleep. Otherwise it was good night. We are leaving at first light this morning for a 90 mile day – we hope.

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3 Responses to First Day Back Down Malacca Straights

  1. What did you do about the foot of the new sail being too long?

  2. Kerry Mettert says:

    I’m also curious about the new sail. It worked for you? Did you decided to keep it and is the sail shop going to compensate you for making it wrong?

    • Frank Taylor says:

      Kerry, the sails were not as bad as we originally thought. I plan to do a post explaining about what we are doing once the sailmaker helps resolve the remaining issues.

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