Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hole in the Wall

Several people told us not to miss the Hole in the Wall anchorage in Langkawi.  So, after filling up at the Shell fuel barge moored near Kuah Town on Tuesday morning, we set off in search of this highly-recommended not-to-be-missed spot.  Shown below are several photos showing the approach from the north, going through the tiny "Hole" area, and looking back to the approach from the south.  We did not anchor inside the "Hole" area because it is very narrow between 2 high islands covered in heavy vegetation and I did not want to deal with the hundred or more insect bites I would have received if we had stayed there overnight.  It is quite dramatic and beautiful, but not a place I would want to stay overnight.  Instead, we anchored just south of the southerly entrance in what we called our "Pin Ball" anchorage -- because we were surrounded by several small rocky islands.  Truly a beautiful place.  I was entranced sitting in the cockpit watching 2 pair of eagles soaring high above us with their wingtips stretched out for gliding.  Lovely.

My photos do not do justice to the beauty of this area.  It looks like the postcard and travel advertising photos one sees for Thailand.  Langkawi looks nothing like the rest of Malaysia.  It looks like Thailand.

From the north, first go through the narrow pass.  Can you find it?

Approaching the north entrance to Hole in the Wall.

Yes, there really is an entrance ahead up there.

Entering the "Hole" from the north.

Continuing to exit "Hole" to the south.
Exiting south from the "Hole"
The southern entrance to Hole in the Wall.
Inside our "Pin Ball" anchorage.
We called this our Pin Ball anchorage because if a storm had passed through we would have bounced around amongst these rocky islands like a pin ball because they totally encircled us.  For those with charts, we were anchored at latitude 06.10.508N, longitude 99.47.116E -- on the SW tip of Pulau Dayang Bunting and between Pulau Gubang Laut and Pulau Tajai and Pulau Gubang Darat. Strong winds and rain did pass through the night we were anchored here, but our trusty Wasi Bugel anchor held beautifully.

Weather was a bit crappy the following day.  Around mid-day we motored about 4 miles and anchored on the SE tip of Pulau Singa Besar at Teluk Katapang, latitude 06.11.176N, longitude 99.44.036E.  This anchorage had been recommened by an Australian acquaintance.  It was okay, but a little rolly.  There was nothing special about the surroundings of this anchorage.  Heavy forest (jungle?) stretched almost straight up for 300 feet above a tiny strip of white sand beach.  A sand beach is very, very rare around here.  The islands seem to be rocks that go straight down with very, very few beaches of any description.

This morning we motored about 5 miles to the NE tip of Pulau Singa Besar and dropped anchor at latitude 06.13.477N, longitude 99.44.949E.  This is not shown on the charts or in the sailing guide as being an anchorage, but it looked to us like a perfect place to anchor so we could make water and run a load of laundry.  Best feature of this "anchorage" is that we are again within cell phone range and can use the 3.5G data modem for internet access.  I just went through the fridge and realized we have all the ingredients for Thai style Sweet and Sour Chicken, so that is what we will be enjoying for dinner tonight.  I prefer the Chinese style version, but I left my old recipe book -- "Madame Wu's Art of Chinese Cooking" -- at our son's home in Houston and don't remember the specifics of the recipe in that book.  So, Thai style it will be.

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