Smoke and Storm

Pangkor smoke

Pangkor smoke

On our passage down to Pangkor the other day we noticed the visibility was really bad. An awful haze possibly of smoke had our visibility at times down to less than 2-3 miles. When I was rinsing the boat at the marina that night, I noticed lots of soot rinsing off the boat in droves. But, when we woke in the morning it was much worse. The smell of forest fire smoke was very strong, and the visibility was awful. The picture here is of Pangkor island from the south – only a mile away – at dawn. That is smoke, not fog. You may remember last year when we survived awful smoke while we were at Pangkor. That was smoke from fires in Indonesia. This time, the smoke is from Malaysia – the winds are not right for it to be from Indonesia.

Except for the periods of choking smoke, where sometimes the visibility was less than a mile, we had a decent passage down to Port Klang off Kuala Lumpur. Another 80 mile day at least. We again had some sailable winds in the morning, but we had to motor to counteract the speed reduction caused by tidal currents in the morning. In the afternoon, we had again the westerly winds and this time the current with us. We made 9 knots for many miles as we approached Port Klang.

Storm approaching

Storm approaching

Just as we were arriving into the port, a dark menacing cloud appeared over the mainland headed towards us. As it got really close, I called on Karen and we quickly turned the boat to a nearby shoreline and dropped the anchor. We had just set the hook when we were blasted with 30+ knots of winds (according to the plotter it was up to 37 knots). We took down our awnings in case things got worse. Fortunately, the brunt of the storm passed on either side of us. We did get a bit of rain which helped rinse off fire soot.

We have 2-3 days of sailing left. We may sail overnight tonight by going into the Singapore ship channel to avoid the risk of fish nets. An overnight trip will reduce the number of days and give us plenty of time to get the boat settled in Puteri before we go to Singapore for my medical procedure.

The map below shows how we were ended up parking because of the storm. We intended to be 2-3 miles further in where the ships anchor.

This entry was posted in News, Passages, Sightseeing, Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *