Rather than walk in the heat to find the various shops for boat items, Bill asked the marina dock master if someone could take him on a motorcycle. That worked extremely well as it provided Bill both with transportation and a translator. If one shop didn't have what he needed, the motorcycle driver got directions to a shop that did stock the desired item. The salt water pump started making a terrible noise. Bill took it apart and discovered that it needed new bearings. The dock master asked the gardener to take Bill to a shop. Within minutes Bill had the right bearings. Next stop was a cycle shop with a hydraulic press, where the old bearings were removed and the new bearings pressed in. Including the 10 ringitt Bill gave the gardener for taking him on the motorcycle, the entire job cost less than $10 USD. Bill was delighted! But then he discovered that the pump also needed a new seal. This time the assistant dock master drove Bill to another shop. Another day Bill wanted some spare bolts and such. This time the dock master himself drove Bill around town. We think each guy wanted his share of the 10 ringitt Bill gave each time one of the marina workers took him for a ride on a motorcycle. This was so much nicer than walking around town in the heat trying to find whatever we wanted for this repair job. BTW, 10 ringitt is only $3.20 USD. But that is enough to at least buy lunch so the marina workers were glad to pick up this little bit of extra cash.
One evening we went to a movie at the Komtar Center with Bill and Amy on S/V Estrellita. I got a chuckle later when I looked at the movie ticket and saw that we had seen "The Expandables" rather than "The Expendables." This was a movie will many old actors and most of them had indeed expanded, although I think the misspelling was just a Malaysian language error and not intentional..
One evening 6 of us from the marina enjoyed an Indian dinner at Kopitan Restoran. I enjoyed mushroom masala and naan and Bill tried the chicken Tikka and chicken fried rice. All were delicious. I would like to have returned to this restaurant again during our stay in Penang, but that didn't work out. Seems like all we have done since arriving in Penang is eat at different restaurants.
On Monday we joined Bill and Amy for a day tour of Penang. We visited a museum, a Baba house, a chocolate shop, a Buddhist temple, a female Buddhist statue on a hill and topped off the day with a quick visit to a supermarket before Bill and Amy picked up their visas at the Thai consulate. The museum was okay; nothing special. The Baba house was more interesting. A Chinese merchant or businessman from China who moved to Malaysia during the 1800's was called a Baba. If he married a Malay girl (not Muslim) then she was called a Nyonya. Their home was called a Baba house or a Nyonya house. This did not apply if the girl was Muslim as there is and always has been a requirement that if someone marries a person who is Muslim then the new spouse must convert to Islam. Nyonyas were Buddhists.
|Center family dining room|
|Bill, Amy & Bill in the Nyonya house|
|Evil spirit screen partition|
|Bill in front of a big gold Buddha|
|Bill Betts under carved ceiling|
Next stop was the chocolate shop. Unlike other chocolate shops that we have visiting is several countries during tours, this one did not appear to be an actual chocolate factory. There was no smell of cooking chocolate, just shelves of all kinds of chocolate candies. As we walked through the shop we sampled more than our fair share of assorted chocolates, but did not purchase anything. This was the only shopping stop during our day tour. Since we did not purchase anything, the taxi driver did not receive any commission; so she realized that the 4 of us were not interested in buying the normal tourist stuff.
|Building adjacent to Goddess|
|NOT Hitler's swastika|
|Flower Tea -- Fairy Bouquet|
Today we obtained our 60-day visas for Thailand. The visas must be used within 90 days of issuance. We must arrive in Thailand on or before December 7 in order to use these visas. We should arrive back in Langkawi late on December 1 after our trip home to Houston. It is only 140 miles from Langkawi to Phuket, so it shouldn't be a problem to clear into Phuket by December 7. Hate to be so rushed; but it should not be a problem.
|Driving in. Will be driving out tomorrow.|
|Yikes!! Are we going to clear it?|
Our main mast is only 20 meters from water surface. That means there should be a minimum clearance above our mast of 12 meters or about 39 feet.
|Yeah, sure! Looks like 39-ft clearance above the mast!|