The marina is in Georgetown, the capital. This is a bustling town with car, bike and rickshaw traffic. The marina is situated by the ferry terminal. These ferries are large in shape and painted in different bright colours. We had to dodge many of these as we arrived.

Mid-morning Ross and Phil find a driver who is very knowledgeable and speaks excellent English. Everything is so cheap here, especially the delicious cuisine. The cuisine is, no doubt, the result of the three main cultures - Chinese, Malay and Indian - and the myriad of subcultures, and this diversity also makes the history of the place so interesting. Places visited:

• Khoo Kongsi – a magnificent old temple; an old Chinese clan house;
• Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion – 1880’s mansion, of a rags-to-riches Mandarin. A Chinese courtyard house;
• Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – a popular hawker centre (we had dinner here sitting outdoors);
• Chinese festival – a ceremony to get rid of ghosts by setting fire to paper replicas of part of their life.
Making artifacts for burials


Early morning run/walk by the coast. Places visited:

• Fort Cornwallis (well presented with an excellent history coverage). It was the first military and administrative base of the East India Company;
• State Museum – (very well presented).

We learned a great deal from all these visits.

We also experienced Indian cuisine and Nyonya cuisine (an exotic blend of Chinese and Malay savoury cuisines using a fine mixture of spices, herbs and onions, garlic and chillies).

Our special dinner to celebrate our anniversary is at a seafood restaurant on the coast. They have live seafood to choose from and it is cooked delectably.

Raja, our driver, explains that tourism and the economy are down, probably due to terrorism. If this restaurant is an indication, it is billed as the best in the area and we enjoy it very much, but it is “tired”.


Heading off before dawn again we motor (with the foresail up for some time) west of north to Pulau Payar Island, a marine park 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi. The snorkelling here in sheltered, clear water is wonderful with the warm sun on our backs. There are so many different fish of all shapes, sizes and colours. They are obviously fed as we are treated to them surrounding us as we swim over the coral. The mauve, soft corals are beautiful here.

Sailing to Langkawi
We leave mid-afternoon to track up through the islands and to find a lovely place to drop anchor. We are planning to go to the south-west side of Pulau Dayang to walk into the Princess Lake, but the wind and rain come up against us so we change track and head alongside the beautiful islands up to Langkawi to moor at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club near the main ferry and customs jetty. This is a very attractive marina with a small but adequate infinity pool and a magnificent view. It is still raining and we are all tired so we have a lovely relaxed dinner on Free Spirit – much better than wandering around in the rain!

Langkawi marina

Saturday is spent sorting out yachting issues. This involves hiring a car and driving around to find different parts, mechanics, hardware, chandlery etc. It is a marvellous way to really see a place and meet the locals. We need some aluminium welding done on our dinghy motor. It is a beautiful drive out to Wave Master, a huge boat yard and marine centre. Unfortunately, the security man tells us it is closed until Monday morning.

Our second option is the Thai Village. This is not far from the very smart and professional marine centre. It is right on the coast in a lovely position but is very rundown and dilapidated. People are living in tents here and we wonder if they are “boat people”. We are told where to find the welder but discover he is away.

Guess who came to our rescue – Phil! He pop welded a bracket onto a stainless plate so as to make a lever arm to substitute for the broken throttle arm. It’s a better job than anyone else could have done.

Somewhere during the day we find a light Indian lunch and have dinner at the yacht club, which is such a beautiful setting, and we all feel happier not going out in the car again.


Sunday is a wonderful day. We drive up the west coast to Telaga Harbour to find “The Loaf”, a delightful bakery and bistro. This is considered of world class standard and, after eating delicious pastries overlooking the harbour, we all agree.

Bob Ton restaurant and resort
Then we drive south again looking for Bon Ton. We happen upon an Australian run delicatessen and fruit and vegetable outlet store which is a family concern. The lettuce are picked one day in Australia and arrive by air the next, and are then supplied to most of the hotels and some restaurants here. We find some useful items, especially as the fruit and vegetables available don’t seem of good quality elsewhere.

Bon Ton is a very stylish resort and restaurant with 19th century style Malay houses to stay in surrounded by a beautiful setting. It is lovely just to wander around here and take it all in.

Later we arrive at “The Lighthouse” restaurant in time to watch the sunset. Here we literally sit with our feet in the sand and not far from the gentle waves breaking on the shore. The weather is perfect and the cuisine outstanding. Definitely a highlight. We would have enjoyed doing one of the cooking classes offered here.


We have to venture out to the fuel barge, which is never an easy exercise. We end up knocking the hull (we didn’t judge where to put the fenders correctly) and getting diesel all over the clean deck. So instead of heading off we return to the marina to clean up the boat again. We also have to clear customs here.

Eventually, we motor up the east coast of Langkawi. It is very picturesque coming up between the islands by the coast.

Unfortunately, we are delayed again by the dreaded problem of getting fishing net caught around the propeller. Ross has sighted a fishing boat which just crosses our bow laying the nets. This takes some time and many dives with a large knife to clear.

We anchor at the north-east of Langkawi at the “Hole in the Wall”. We enter this through a very narrow passage between very high rock formations. It is a beautiful and calm anchorage. There are several wedge-tailed eagles flying above and, apparently, a group of small monkeys on shore catching mud crabs.

There is also a small floating restaurant and fish farm here billed as serving fried rice which we decide to try. What a sensational meal with the rice and delicious, fresh prawns.

And another perfect, balmy night.

Phil and Robbie have met up with another cruiser, Jim and his son, who they met at Port Douglas. Jim is on his second circumnavigation and his wife joins him at different stages. They are from the USA.

We have only met a few other cruisers so far. The feeling is that the Indonesian rally of about 120 boats is so popular people tend to join that to do the first long leg in company.


We set off at 6.00 am in pitch darkness this morning. We are very glad to have a good spotlight as there are a few moored boats to weave our way through. It is a 70 nautical mile distance to travel and the north-west winds could come up in the late afternoon and be “on-the-nose”, which is very uncomfortable, so we want to make good way as early as possible to reach Koh Rok Nok.

The wind does come up in the west later so we can motor-sail with the headsail up, which allows us to average 6.5 to 7 knots per hour. There are little flagged buoys everywhere, and we think some may have nets attached, but we manage to steer clear of all of them. After fouling the fishing net yesterday we have to keep a close watch.

This is the most idyllic anchorage with beautiful beaches and a wonderful place to snorkel in crystal clear waters. It reminds us how amazing nature is when we see the tremendous variety of beautiful fish.

Anchored between these two small islands about 25 nautical miles from the coast gives us a lovely feeling of space. During the night about 30 fishing trawlers come in to drop anchor further out, and with all their lights on in the dark they looked quite a sight. A very small fishing boat adorned with brightly coloured lights anchored close off our bow in the early hours of the morning. It took Ross a while to work out what was happening.


After a walk up the tsunami escape route to higher ground and fabulous views and another lovely snorkel we head off to Phi Phi Don Island enjoying a sail of up to 8½ knots boat speed with 13 knots of wind.

We are disappointed when we go ashore. This is billed as the third most beautiful island in the world. It certainly is very lovely coming into anchor, but on shore the tide is right out with the wind blowing on shore at the main beach, and the town seems tawdry and obviously affected by the tsunami.

After enquiring and then searching we find a wonderfully cooked local dinner in a small “shed” cafĂ©. Halfway through this meal we notice people running by in droves all in the same direction heading for higher ground. We soon learn there has been an earthquake in Sumatra and a warning of a possible tsunami. Understandably, after the last tsunami people here are very fragile about these warnings. We see some English television news, and speak with an English dive operator, who assures us it is alright as far as they are concerned, as it is just over 2 hours since the earthquake occurred and it would have reached here by now (the previous one was underwater and this one was on land, therefore, not as strong).

We also receive texts from the Joneses and the Williamses warning of this – they have just arrived in Phuket and have to change their hotel to one further from the coast.

Ross is happy with our anchorage as we have a lot of anchor chain out – enough to rise over the top of a huge wave. The greater problem would be if some of the large number of boats of all shapes and sizes in the port were to break free.

We leave the following morning to make our way south-west to Koh Racha Yai Island. Unfortunately, the winds are against us so we change track and go north-west towards Phuket to Ao Chalong Harbour. The weather is closing in and it is raining heavily so we are thrilled with Phil’s news that there are berths for us both at Boat Lagoon Marina. The entrance to this is very shallow and we can only come in on a full tide. We follow the dredged channel, but with care closer to the mariner where there isn’t much room. This is a very up-market marina, catering especially for large, garaged streamlined motor boats.

We take a hire car back to Ao Chalong to go through customs and immigration. We are pleased to have the yachts in the marina as it is a large crowded harbour and we would have had to come ashore by dinghy, possibly in inclement weather.

Unfortunately, these offices are closed so Phil and Ross plan to return in the morning. We provision on the way back to the marina, stow the boat, and have a lovely dinner at the marina by one of the open hanger garages looking over some amazing boats.

Ross and I spend time preparing the boat ready for the Joneses and the Williamses arrival the following morning. We are very excited about this and just hope this weather with its constant, heavy downpours relents soon. Apparently, at this time of the year you can expect a storm for an hour or two each day, which is welcome to clear the air, but not this constantly poor weather.


Ross and Phil have to return to Ao Chalong to do all the immigration and customs forms. We have to leave the marina as close to midday as we can to catch the tide or we can’t leave until the following day.

It is wonderful to have the Joneses and the Williamses on board. We set off to Ko Khai Noh Island. (Today we just have short sails planned so they can all find their “sea legs”.) This is a beautiful small island with white sand and sensational snorkelling over the fringing reef. We all snorkel together, which is just a lovely experience.

Next we head to Ko Rang Yai Island which will provide a protected anchorage for the night. We are warned not to swim off the boat here because of the strong current. We have evidence of this when Margie’s hat blows over. Ross and I try to retrieve it in the dinghy but it disappears very quickly. It apparently posed a challenge to the four crew left on the boat trying to work out how to sail the yacht if our dinghy motor failed!


We go ashore the next morning because Robbie said she had bought some beautiful and inexpensive pearls when last here five years ago. So we girls went ashore with great expectations.

Unfortunately, the prices have sky rocketed, but it is fun looking. We end up staying for lunch in a sheltered spot out of the rain and then head north to anchor off Koh Phanak for the night. It is still raining.


The following morning we head off at 5.30 a.m. to visit a “Hong” at Koh Hong Island. It is a beautiful, calm and serene morning. We have to arrive at low tide in order to get into the cave and through to its enclosed pool. The rain comes in again but it is exciting to get inside and the steep densely vegetated walls of the Hong are beautiful in these conditions. Perhaps it is better to see it this way rather than in picture book sunshine.

The plan is to sail down to Koh Racha Yai. We enjoy good sailing conditions for a couple of hours but then a squall comes in producing heavy driving rain and winds up to 30 knots. So we change plan and head instead into Ao Chalong where we anchor safely amongst lots of moored boats. The plan is to go ashore and meet the Melletts at a favourite restaurant of theirs at Patong Beach (Baan Rin Pa). Getting ashore by dinghy is great fun. It is still raining and there is not much freeboard with six in the dinghy (which is leaking). So we go ashore in bare essentials with clothes wrapped in plastic bags, drag the dinghy up the beach, change in an improvised shelter, find a taxi (for six) and head off for what turns out to be a great meal overlooking the Patong Beach.


It is still raining (wish it would stop) but we set off south for Koh Racha Yai and have good wind for sailing. The anchorage on the north-east side (amongst many trawlers) is sheltered, the weather clears, the snorkelling is good and there is a walk across the island. This is more like it! We find that the Raya Resort will cook dinner so the ten of us have a wonderful (and inexpensive) meal there. The island is so good we decide to spend an extra day here rather than at Phi Phi.
Jones and Williams crewing - Lee bailing
Koh Racha Yai
View from Raya resort


It is a good decision. The weather brightens even more, we snorkel again and see a turtle, scrub the bottom of the boat, have another good lunch on board, go ashore for another walk and a swim at the surf beach on the west side of the island and arrange to eat at the same little restaurant again. This is definitely an island to return to.


We set off reasonably early for Phi Phi.
Phi Phi Don
Neil, Russell and Ross
The wind has dropped out so we motor in calm conditions and with some assistance from the current see up to 10.5 knots speed over the ground. Russell and Lee are leaving us here so we will arrive in time for a swim and to arrange transport for them back to Phuket and, hopefully, a special farewell lunch after six most memorable and fun days.



The brunch at Raffles exceeded
The most demanding mariner’s wishes
The Bollinger came in “free flow”
It was hard to keep count of the dishes.

We cleared Singapore at the Sisters
And elbowed our way down the Road
Through hundreds of ships at anchor
All waiting their turn to unload.

When we sailed overnight past Malacca
The pirates must have been on vacation
There was only Impulsive and dozens of ships
Ranged beside us on convoy station.

Port Dickson offered a beautiful pool
And a chance to catch up on rest
We set off again with Free Spirit
To Port Klang, where who could have guessed.

That the Royal Selangor Yacht Club
Would emerge from the smells and the rain
With Carlsberg on tap and a dance floor
It was old British Empire again.

In the course of the voyage to Pangkor Laut
We met a Sumatran squall
Thirty knots from the north with driving rain
(one the forecasters didn’t call).

So we called time out at Pangkor Laut
Tried some spicy Malay creations
Had a swim and drove round in a hire car
(Fifty RM, no documentation).

We were tied at Penang by late afternoon
The ferry wash threatened our stay
We explored the hybrid of cultures
The Indian, Chinese, Malay.

The relics of British colonial days
The houses of Chinese clans
The Indian hawkers’ food stalls
Improvised anniversary plans.

Pulau Payar has coral and brilliant blue fish
That swim unfazed up to the mask
Now a beautiful sheltered anchorage
Is surely not too much to ask?

It was, for the wind came up from the south
And the sea soon resembled a wash tub
So we sailed up the east of the island
To the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.

We did boat repairs, we took on some wine
We toured and the anchor came in
We ate on the beach at the lighthouse
(Girls choice and a definite win).

We have a short sail to the Hole in the Wall
Two hours would have been a safe bet
But there is an unscheduled stop on the way
When we foul a fisherman’s net.

We’ll eat fried rice at the jetty tonight
Then tomorrow at six o’clock
We’ll say goodbye to Malaysia
And head for Koh Rok Nok.

At Phuket Free Spirit meets Andrew and Kate
We take on the Williamses and Joneses
What price the additional crew list
After sailing Impulsive alone?

The Williamses and Joneses brought wine, cheer and rain
They tested the strength of our tender
We island hopped, snorkelled and ate good Thai food
Sent tsunamis straight back to their sender.

AUG. / SEPT. 2007




The contrast this visit is amazing. It is a neap tide so we don’t see it with the tide right out and there is no wind.

The landscaping where we land in the dinghy has been tidied up and it seems like a lively, well kept place and also looks beautiful.

After farewelling the Joneses on the ferry to Phuket, we go in search of a Thai massage. This is a lovely experience; a combination of being very relaxed and great fun with the 6 of us lined up in a row.

Margie and Neil choose a “local” meal tonight so we return to the recommended tin shed we came to when last here – we are not disappointed. The green curry is a great favourite and costs less than $7 each, including the beer. Here the family cat goes into the large commercial fridge for a few hours to cool off! We can see it through the glass door.


This morning we head off in a long boat (the 4 Melletts’ crew and the 4 of us) to Phi Phi Le. This saves moving the yachts and it is more of a local experience. Our boatman is a lovely young man and it is fascinating to see the engine he works with. Luckily, it’s not as noisy as most of its kind.

This is an unspoiled island with wonderful swimming and snorkelling in exquisitely clear waters. The colours are light turquoise through to indigo. At one point we swim ashore and, clinging onto ropes, pull ourselves along the rocks and up through an opening which opens out to a path through tropical areas across to the other side of the island, which opens out to a magnificent beach (where “the Beach” was filmed). What a paradise!

Getting back to the boat wasn’t so much fun for some of us. Robbie and Kate were knocked by a wave getting back across the rocks, and I was knocked under for a while by the next one. We think a large boat must have gone by just then and set up these few large, strong waves.

We had a farewell lunch with Margie and Neil on Impulsive before seeing them off on the ferry to further their Asian travels. Farewelling Marg and Neil
We are going to miss our 4 crew – it has been such a special time having them. Also, having all these exploring minds on board we don’t leave much unvisited, whether it be the best places to take the yacht, local villages, restaurants and local cuisine, and for the girls – the shops!

I can’t believe that going back to Impulsive I misjudged getting out of the dinghy and fall in! It would have just been funny, except I had the camera. Perhaps my judgement is below par – Ross said he thinks I went into slight shock after the rock incident. Anyhow, we have a light omelette on the boat for dinner, and a long sleep, and I feel like a new person in the morning.

It is very relaxing to think all our long and major sailing is behind us until next February. We are planning just to cruise in Thailand for a few weeks.


We head off to the southern end of Ko Yao Yai, and venture by dinghy up the river to a Muslim fishing village. The houses are on stilts in this small tropical village and there aren’t many people about. It is very hot here so it is a quick visit. After another beautiful snorkel at Ko Kai Nok, with its great diversity of fish, we venture to Ko Nakha Yai to anchor overnight. It is flat calm here and another magnificent sunset, followed by a creative dinner on Free Spirit.


This morning we explore another Hong on the west side of Ko Phanak. This is a great adventure through a long, dark tunnel in the dinghy using a torch, through to a beautiful lagoon. It feels as if you are in a James Bond movie! These hongs were apparently first discovered in the 1990’s. We have to row back to the yacht due to motor troubles in the dinghy but this is probably a good move as several dolphins come and swim across our bow.

Anchored to the north east of this island we swim into a small beach. We have just brought fresh prawns here from a local couple in a long boat, which we cook for a delicious salad lunch. This beach is so idyllic we plan to return here and, hopefully, buy more prawns to barbecue on the beach.

Late afternoon we venture into Yacht Haven marina. On the way we notice a long boat with several men waving flags. At first we turn our boat away thinking we are disturbing their fishing nets but soon realize they have motor problems. They are very pleased to have a tow back to their village.

This evening we join the Melletts at Ban Ram Pa for a special banquet dinner to farewell Andrew and Kate. We always enjoy having the stimulation of the young, so its been great fun having their company this week.

From here we go to Chedi at Surin Beach on the north-west coast of Phuket for a couple of days of R&R off the boat. This is a wonderful place by the beach, where you have your own cottage with a marvellous view. We spend one day taking a Thai cooking course. We observe first, then cook it ourselves, then sit down to a delicious lunch. During the afternoon the chef and her off-sider (and translator), take us to the market to learn where to buy all the ingredients to enhance all the delicate flavours of Thai cooking. We are looking forward to trying all this on the boat!

With renewed vigour we return to Impulsive to tend to various issues. We are now the proud owners of a new dinghy and engine – the old one was actually leaking and the engine had been damaged so it really wasn’t safe any more. All through Asia it is a treat to have work done on the boat, e.g. the stainless steel work, as it is so cheap. ($17 per day which is incredible). It is very hot here so we are very pleased to have air-conditioning.

There are several great restaurants in the area (again very cheap). There are some by the beach where you can have your feet in the sand and another excellent seafood one on stilts.

It actually takes us four days to organize the boat to leave again. The time just disappears when doing this. It is interesting to note that Ross and Phil are asked to wear shirts when they run to show respect for Muslim Ramadam.

PHANG NGA BAY & PHI PHI DON - Hall´s on board



However, we leave at lunch time today and head out to the islands just cruising for a week in Phang Nga Bay, planning to take our time, read, draw and paint and try out the Thai cooking. (We have a great time at the local market buying Thai ingredients and herbs).

It is lovely on bright, sunny mornings waking up to the light dancing on the cabin ceiling as it is reflected off the water and up through the portholes. Sometimes I have been aware of it even before I open my eyes. Actually, one of the joys of cruising is waking up in a new place most days.

We are both enjoying this wonderful and easy lifestyle very much, e.g. living in bathers, swimming off the back of the boat and also showering off the back of the boat (this beats cleaning the head (bathroom) too!.
Buying fresh prawns and calamari at Karak Is.

The grandeur and majestic views of the high limestone mountains rising up out of the sea with their amazing shapes and with their wonderful colours and stalactites are comparable to the Kimberly coastline. There are many beautiful beaches to visit.

The hongs are interesting to see in different lights. They are beautiful with the sunlight shining on them but in misty, rainy weather they hold more intrigue and mystique.
James Bond Is.

Even though we have the new one we still are experiencing dinghy sagas. We realize we can’t become complacent – dinghies have an unfortunate tendency to run out of fuel (the fuel consumption is greater in this one and we just made it back to the yacht coming back from a village on Ko Yao Noi right on dark) and running aground (a tricky manoeuvre going in to a resort on the same island the previous evening up a very narrow channel in the dark. Ross has to go into the water up to his waist to push us off the rocky ledge. Another salt water wash for his good leather wallet! We have Helen and David Gronksy with us.

We have just met up with the Melletts again with their crew (Robbie’s sister, Elizabeth, and Rodney and the Gronksys), and are going in to dinner to celebrate Phil’s birthday. This restaurant has a magical setting right by the beach. The Thai cuisine is excellent.


This morning we have a lovely sail across to Phi Phi Don with just the headsail up averaging 6½-7 knots until we are in the waters close in and the waves are washing back off the island and confront the waves coming from the west. This last ¾ hour is very sloppy and sets up a very uncomfortable rolling of the boat.

We have fun and more exploring with the Melletts and their crew until we set off after lunch on Wednesday to head back to prepare for John and Jenny Hall to arrive.

It is always good to be in the marina to get the yacht ship shape and exciting looking forward to friends joining us.

John and Jenny are with us for a week. We venture from Yacht Haven Marina to Phanak Island and Hong Island to find hongs; then eastwards to Ko Yao Noi Island to go ashore for walking and dinner; sail south to southern tip of Ko Yao Yai, including some quick and exciting weather and wind changes; west to Kai Nok Island for snorkelling;Kai Nok Is.
John and Jenny at Kai Nok Is.
Ko Rang to anchor for the night and dinner on board (lovely to have a fireworks display); south to Ko Racha Yai for snorkelling, swimming, walking and two excellent restaurants.

A highlight here is the Ross/John risotto for dinner for 8 (the Melletts came across to catch up with the Halls and a lovely French couple who have been sailing for ten years). It begins early in the morning after our run, walk and swim when we visit the large fishing boat hereby. They invite us on board which is an experience in itself. We hope to buy one large fish but they give us about 50 smaller fish. Ross and John filet about 24 of them and give some to the French couple.

The dinner (Thai style) is wonderful with its delicate flavours. They tell us the recipe is a “secret”! It is such a magnificent night to be wining and dining – the French couple came for a drink at 6pm and stayed until very late.

(I’ve had to contend with a painful back for a while, perhaps from when I lurched into something in the rough waters off Phi Phi Don. This annoys and frustrates me immensely but with some neurofen and avoiding lifting it is soon forgotten. Also, John has been a great crew member and I haven’t had to do a lot of the usual things, e.g. helping with the dinghy).

We then have a calm crossing to Phi Phi Don to a different anchorage on the north-east coast. This area had no casualties with the Tsunami disaster but it is still being rebuilt. We enjoy a “feet-in-the-sand” dinner with local food and dancing. Breakfast the following morning is at a “Gypsy” taverna – these are one of the minority cultural groups in the area from earlier seafaring days.
Ross fixing Jenny´s toe

We have a couple of memorable days at Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le with the Halls until we see them off on the ferry. We feel very fortunate to be able to share some of these special times with friends. Ross enjoys John’s enthusiasm to help solving problems on Impulsive – there is always something to tend to on a yacht!
Catching up with Impulsive at Koh Yao Yai

We enjoy our final two days of cruising. The weather is idyllic so we venture up to the Krabi area. This area is not protected from the prevailing south-west monsoon season so we didn’t take guests on board up into this region. It is very beautiful with the striking limestone shapes rising out of the crystal clear water and the sunsets reflecting off the wonderful rich orange-tinted colours of the tall cliff faces.

We were fortunate to have a favourable tide to get the dinghy into the lake in Ko Hong Island. We anchor at Chicken Head Island and find the only other yacht here is our newly made French friends. They are a very interesting couple. The snorkelling here is wonderful. Our final stop is to anchor off a lovely beach on mainland Krabi. It can be touristy but we happen to arrive as most of the morning tourists are leaving (you can only get here by boat).
The skipper dealing with an issue in the engine room

We then spend three very busy days in the Yacht Haven Marina preparing to leave Impuslive to go home to Australia. As seems to be the way, everything goes smoothly for 1½ days, then there seems to be problems with organizing everything in time. However, all eventually falls into place and we are happy with the way she is left, especially knowing someone reliable is checking her regularly and running all the systems to keep everything in order.

What a wonderful three months we have had in Asia, better than either of us could have hoped for, including some exhilarating sailing.

So many people ask what we do when we get bored on the boat – we have not had one instance of this happening.

We are now so looking forward to having some time at home with family and friends and taking up our way of life there again.

Religions we observed travelling through Asia:

Indonesia: - paganism
- mostly Islam
- Hindu (Bali)
- Christianity

Singapore: - Hindu
- Buddhism
- Christianity

Malaysia: - mostly Islam
- Buddhism
- Taoism
- Hindu

Thailand: - predominantly Buddhism
- Islam

(The Thais are lovely, polite people but do respond best if respect is shown to their living and their religion, e.g. do not point your feet towards Buddha as they are our lowest dirtiest parts of our body (so sit cross legged) and our heads are the highest andcleanest.)


Indonesia: - nasi goring
- rice, noodles
- seafood, chicken, some beef
- satay

Singapore: - (Malays, Chinese, Indians) – They seem to eat at all times of the day.
- rice, noodles
- Indian
- Chinese
- chilies
- hawkers’ stalls

Malaysia: - (The 3 major ethnic groups are Malays, Chinese & Indian)
- rice, noodles
- vegetables (a favourite is Kangkung)
- curry
- seafood
- chicken

Thailand: - (Mixture of Thai, Malay, Chinese and seafaring gypsies)
- 3 curries – green, yellow and red with chicken, beef or seafood
- rice, noodles, pad Thai
- vegetables – e.g. morning glory, baby corn and kale
- seafood: especially prawns and squid
- + many delicate flavours using:

• limes, kaffir lime leaves
• fish stock
• lemon grass
• Thai basil
• shallots, spring onions
• chilies, chili powder
• mint leaves
• long beans, eggplants (several varieties)
• ginger
• galangal
• coriander and roots
• green curry past
• coconut milk
• cumin
• grind rice