Sailing First Day Toward Tioman

It’s a long way to Tioman from Tenggol, and there’s no real island stops in between. You can’t do it in a single day, so you need to plan a stop along the shore to avoid going at night (there’s too many fish traps for night passages). You want to do this when there’s no adverse weather on the shore. Winds were forecasted to be light and shifting during the day.

We left at about 7 AM. It ended up being motoring for much of the day although we attempted to at least motor sail a few times. At about 3 PM the winds had clocked around to come from off shore (west). We were headed south. Our plan was to stop near Kuantan after about 65 miles. As we passed the port of Kuantan a bit further north the winds picked up. We weren’t in position to use them yet, so I motored us directly upwind to get us far enough out to pass the point there. We soon had the sails up and we were making 8 knots in 12 knots of true wind! Awesome!

We were making such good time, that we decided to keep sailing past Kuantan to a shoreline that goes northwest/southeast south of Kuantan. As we made our way across the bay, we could see some squall lines forming on the mainland. Most seemed to be passing NNE behind us. We also saw smoke from a big fire ahead and slightly west of our destination. As we got closer and started looking for anchoring, a squally line was forming south and west of us, but drifting towards us. Suddenly the wind shifted from it towards us, bringing the smoke right at us. It was coughing thick and you could smell it was a forest fire. We quickly turned along the shore away from it. After another 3 miles the wind shifted again, but the squall was coming over us. It didn’t rain yet. So, we kept going a bit. We tried to get past a small village and find a spot near one of the cell towers we could see. Always keeping an eye on the weather we could see the squall of rain rapidly approaching. We just got our anchor set before the rain hit. Whew!

Only a brief period of strong rain, no real wind above 20 knots, and the lightning was all far away. Soon we just had light rain for a couple hours. We had good 3G service, so all was good. 🙂 We had a quiet night and the seas were calm. Until the 5:30 AM prayer call from the nearby mosque anyway. But, that was no problem as we are used to hearing that since Malaysia is predominantly muslim.

We ended up going 80 miles yesterday, and we have less than that to go to Tioman today. We’re hoping for a little sailing today as well.

Here’s a map showing where we ended up to the south – near Pekan. Tenggol is east of Dungun at the top.

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