While Palau Perhentian is a pretty place, it is also crazy busy with tourism. There were water taxis going by like flies all day long. The island near us had several small “resort” hotels and lots of little cafes and restaurants. I found this out the next morning when I went to investigate dive shops. One of the dive shops had an American running things and he gave me some insights. The two best dives in the area are a pinnacle dive to the northwest – which is home to some bamboo sharks. We have never seen one of those. And the other good dive is a wreck dive on the southwest – a 90 foot sugar cargo vessel in 18m of water. Most of the diving here is geared toward beginning divers and training.
After discussing options with 3 different dive shops, I went back to Tahina to tell Karen what I found. We decided we would rather go diving at Tenngul or Tioman where things are more relaxed, and less developed. Rather than stay at Perhentian, we decided to go back to Palau Redang, to our favorite anchorage so far in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, we have been discussing our travel plans and options. We have been planning to go see some other nearby countries like Cambodia and Vietnam. We had originally thought of leaving the boat at the marina at Kuala Terengganu (KT), but the marina’s waters leave a yucky yellow stain on the waterline. So, we’ve thought about getting back to Puteri sooner instead.
Another development is that we have a mechanical issue with one of our sail drives (the lower unit of our engines). There’s a metal clanking noise that started one day while we were under power. I noticed it immediately, but it had not effected our speed or power. We turned it off and are not using it now. There was nothing on the prop, the oil was topped off and looks fine. Something is loose or wrong in the sail drive. This is bad news because the only way to investigate is to look at the sail drive innards. And the only way to do that is to haul out again. Sigh. Fortunately, since we are a catamaran we have the other engine, so we can still move fine. But, it will be a hassle until we can haul out find out what needs to be done. We have the option of waiting until we get to Pangkor in October, or we could haul out at a yard east of Johor Bahru when we get back there.
So, we now are starting our way back south and plan to be back in Puteri by the first of September. We went out to dinner at the resort in Redang one last time. Fantastic food! And such a great anchorage. Yesterday we reluctantly left to make our way back to KT. We managed to sail a few of the 30 miles towards KT, but the wind was the wrong direction to make it without tacking all day. We arrived about 3 PM and were soon tied up to the same slip we used before. We immediately called the taxi we used before and went to the Giant supermarket to re-provision. Afterwards, I organized getting some fuel from the marina. We met some other cruising boats here as well. Today we plan to head out and start south.