For the first time in many months we’re anchored in a deserted bay and as the sun comes up I’m awakened by the sound of the teakettle whistling. Jack is sleeping beside me and I go up to the kitchen to turn off the kettle but find the sound is coming from ashore and is apparently cicada-like insects greeting the day. As the sky lightens the sound fades and birds begin their morning songs. The water laps against the hulls as we rock to the breeze coming through the gap in the mountains we’ve anchored behind for shelter.
We came in late last night after a tiring three-day plod from Pangkor to Langkawi, mostly motoring in the fluky up and down wind that, when it did materialize, was on the nose. Jack spent the days at the helm, as he likes to do, and called me out for assistance whenever he spotted a flag or buoy that may be marking a fishing net. I take the binoculars and sit on the bow pulpit seat spotting which way the net is oriented and relay with hand signals how to avoid it. This has been our routine as we make our way up the Malacca Strait. It’s the least fun you can have while traveling by boat, but the destinations are mostly worth it.
A new bird has begun a cheerful welcome and two sea eagles are carving lazy circles overhead. The wind is gusting, williwaws coming down the steep mountain slopes, and Escape Velocity swings sharply for a moment, then gently drifts back with a final dip of the stern steps.
Our water tank is full and the weight of 100 gallons of water coupled with the dinghy and its outboard motor hanging off the back makes EV a little sternheavy and dips our bottom steps in the sea as we rock in the slight swell. We could stand to offload a ton or so of excess weight if I could convince my packrat husband to part with anything. We notice this with other cruisers. Those who still have a land based home have far less excess weight onboard than those of us who carry everything we own. A catamaran is much less forgiving of excess weight than a heavy displacement monohull and we really should address it. But that’s a chore for another time.
Jack is up, still sniffling from his recent cold. He brings coffee to the cockpit and in a few minutes we’ll look at the weather reports and plan our day. It’s probably going to remain overcast and we will have rain later, maybe a thunderstorm. It’s about ten miles to the main anchorage where we know people and where there are shops and cafes and a new town to explore. But for now we’ll enjoy this peaceful place and the solitude we realize we’ve missed all these months.