Real Sailing

The first two days of our second passage up the Straight of Malacca have really been nice. We have been traveling with s/v Totem, so we have some company, which is nice. Their boat is pretty quick, so our speeds are pretty compatible in these conditions.

The last time we went up the Straight, we had very little wind and it was motoring the whole way to Pangkor. The first night out last time, we had a Sumatra (thunderstorm) and after the storm we had a surprise squall as we were weighing anchor. Another boat departing the same time as us ran aground and bent his rudder.

Our first day out this time, we got to sail across the big anchorage at the end of the river. Had a pleasant breeze the rest of the way. We have had to really use our sailing skills since we have so few working instruments after the lightning. No autopilot to steer, no wind direction (except the windvane at the top of the mast), no speed through the water (no way to tell currents or true wind), no radar, no sonar, and no AIS. So, back to basics on sailing.

The second day, we had a surprise 12-15 knots of south wind all morning (forecast was 5-10). We were on a reach making about 8 knots average. We had a knot or so of current against us (according to Totem), so our sailing speed was higher. The 1-meter swell from the wind was abaft the beam, and made the steering a bit more challenging. But, it was still a very nice sail on a sunny day. Thanks to our awnings, we were nice and cool out of the sun.

We made 70 miles the second day, stopping at Palau Besar just south of Malacca. We invited s/v Totem over for sundowners and everyone was in good spirits, in a nice calm anchorage. It’s been quiet except for the call to prayer from the mosque on the nearby island which has a much louder volume than necessary. We had an awesome red full moon rise in the evening, and it was awesomely bright during the night. Here’s a map of our position:

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