Wednesday, 27 November 2013

1st rally stop - Port Dickson

The first night out from Danga Bay, our little fleet of 4 (us and Tintin, Gemini and Kailani) stopped at Palau Pisang, the second night was Palau Bessar and that nearly counts now as the worst anchorage ever. On arrival mid afternoon, we anchored well out from the 10 other rally yachts already settled, knowing that if the weather changes we had plenty of room. We were in a large open bay on the south side of the island near a small village, a nice clean beach and lush vegetation. We had thought we might have a 24 spell here and head ashore in the morning to explore the island. This island is apparently the birth place of Islam is Asia with a lot of history documented ashore. There was a slight swell coming in to the bay, but nothing that we couldn't handle. Or so we thought. Soon after midnight we could hear the wind suddenly start to howl and there was lightning in the distance. Within no time at all the storm was upon us, with wind gusts up to 35+ and the surrounding waves looking more like a surf beach than our calm little bay. Voices were then heard on the VHF calling to other boats questioning if they may be dragging. Spot lights were being beamed all around us, checking distances to our nearest boats. Suddenly everyone was up and about, some boats opting to lift anchor and re settle, others just taking off into the night happier to be in open water. Whereas other storms we had been through had passed quickly, this one hung around for 3 hours and it was nearly 4.00am before Pete and many headed back to bed. In the light of morning, all we wanted was out of there so a mass exit saw all 12 remaining boats heading north.

Later that day saw us arrive into Port Dickson. This was a beautiful colonial influenced marina building with marble floors and grand staircases sweeping up either side of the entrance. A lovely pool and good amenities, restaurant and bar, IT room - now this was a marina ! Walking distance (10 mins) into a string of good restaurants and the township of Port Dickson also only 5mins in a taxi. The rally had planned a 'team building exercise' for one afternoon right next door to the marina and it  turned out to be a lot of fun. The different challenges were all at ground level, though Pete was hoping the high rope course would be included. Considering the average age of the cruisers is near to 60, the organisers decided to play it safe.

Pete taking his team across the moving plank - all 10 members on at one time

          Leading Cheryl (Adagio) through the rope lines without touching - easier said than done

Another rally tour was a day trip into Malacca. It is such an interesting place and one that we will definitely return to. An hours coach ride from the marina and we arrived into the centre of town. Jonker walk is famous for its food outlets, temples and shopping stalls and you could easily spend a day there alone. First stop had to be for a decent latte and morning tea and obviously everybody had the same idea as the cafĂ© was full of yachties.  We wandered around the harbour area, looked over a replica of an old Portugese ship and took in the maritime museum

The entrance to Jonker Walk

The highly decorated bicycles for hire 

                                                                   Pete with Carolyn and Duncan on the Portugese replica
Robyn could relate to this t-shirt .....:-)

Not sure what the statue was - Mr Universe maybe

Craig in front of one of the many temples and shrines in Jonker Walk - Malacca

Karen (Tropicali) getting lost amongst the t-shirts
We thoroughly enjoyed Port Dickson and the amenities on offer, and usually ended each day with a swim in the pool last thing at night. It always makes for a better nights sleep when you are safe and sound in a marina and even the sight of the approaching storms don't fill you with fear. You can get a permanent berth at the marina for the equivalence of $AUS125 per week including water and electricity and use of all amenities. Food for thought !!



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