Sunday, October 5, 2014

Southbound to Singapore Sep-Oct 2014

Yep, that's me, Karen, with a huge python wrapped around my shoulders.  A guy at the Pernakan Festival in Kuala Terengganu (hereafter referred to as KT) was letting folks take pictures with it.  It was heavier than I'd have thought and I could feel the strength of the solid muscles as he tried to squirm away.  Beautiful colors up close, though, and smooth and cool to the touch.  Still, just a quick photo and I was glad to give him back.
This is the color of the water as seen through the escape hatch in our cabin on YOLO.  Such a brilliant green/chartreuse, eh?  We've seen it all colors in our travels.  While the water looked green under the boat while the sun shone, it left rusty orange stripes and spots along the water line and wherever the water touched,  We had to spend a day at Kapas Island snorkeling to wipe the orange stuff off.  YOLO is looking a bit yellowed now as it will take a lot of elbow grease or chemicals to get it all off.  It will wait for the haulout.
 YOLO at anchor outside the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.  That big motor vessel behind us belongs to the Universiti Malaysia and once in a while it makes runs out to the offshore islands to move student to their study of coral or turtles.  The other boats are passenger ferries that run between resort islands.
 Looking across the river from the marina to the town of Kuala Terengganu.  The fresh market would be to the far left of the shot, behind that white arch; Chinatown is along the waterfrong in the rest of the picture.
 These two guys cleaned the fuel injectors and checked the valve clearance in our engines.
 Colorful food at the Peranakan Festival in KT.  The bags in front contain soup.  People often buy drinks in a plastic bag with a straw rubber banded into a corner.  No plastic bottle to fill or dispose of.
 The fresh market at KT.  I could shop here every day!  The Chinese woman who had cilantro/coriander leaf and cherry tomatoes got to know me and would sell me what was fresh that day from her stall.  I spread my ringgits around to many different sellers, though.
 Just outside the market, sellers plied their wares, too.  Bananas here in all stages of ripeness.  Boxes of duku, jungle fruit and rambutans, too.  Durian, coconuts, limes and wavy beans are all here.
 Outside the market, Jason spotted this cat nibling on a fish skeleton, just like in the cartoons.  That is durian (the stinkiest fruit in the world) husks in the crate behind the cat.
 This cat also had an almost-normal tail for a change.
 A squall blew up one afternoon while the kids had their Optimists and Lasers out on the water.  Most of them got overturned and a few were damaged.  I counted eight overturned boats when it cleared.  Luckily, all the kids had been rescued.  One cried as his boat dragged down the side of YOLO, out of control and full of water.
 In Chinatown, in KT, the alley ways are all decorated with different themes.  This one is Turtle Alley and is filled with mosaic pictures of turtle scenes all along the walls.
A close up of a close up turtle encounter on the wall in Turtle Alley.
 This sculpture of a turtle hatching is at one end of the alley along the street in KT.  There was a place to leave dinghies on a stairway to the canal that runs along the city here, so Turtle Alley is a landmark for cruisers.
 A different alley had hearts with locks on the fence.  Something with a 'key to my heart' theme?
 This alley was covered with umbrellas hanging from above.
  Close up of the umbrellas in one of the alleys in Chinatown.
 One of the beef and chicken stalls in the market.  Fresh beef and frozen, imported beef can be bought here in the open air.  The chickens still have the heads and feet on them.  They price them by weight and weigh them with the heads and feet, even if you don't want them.  I think they chop them into tiny bits for cat food or use them in some dish I don't know of.
 Jason doing engine checks and working to keep YOLO running smoothly.  He does a great job of it.
 A Chinese temple lit up at night during the Peranakan Festival in Sept 2014 in Chinatown in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
 A kebab cart on the street at night during the festival.  Friends of ours on Reflections ate several of them and raved about them.  You could have meat, fish, or veges fried in oil or steamed in water. Not a very common sight.
 Festival food like faces at a Japanese stall.  Folks cooked local foods and gave away samples.  Some of the VIP guests were mingling and one told me that the current generation are losing the ability to make the traditional dishes.  He pointed out that only the older women were making the foods in the stalls for local dishes.
 Heather and Jason are delayed in the street having a conversation about something.
 The festival included a yoyo contest the next day and this young lady was practicing her skills.
 A wall of plastic containers with Chinese fighting fish.  Only one per container as they will kill each other if put into the same water.  They were brilliant crimson and blues.  Pretty fish with a deadly reputation.
 Here's that python again on a little kid.  He's a little bigger than snack sized for this snake, but I'd still keep him from wrapping himself around me if I was him, too.
 The Sultan of Terengganu state showed up for the festival and in the background are some of the dance performers waiting for his arrival.  Like all heads of government here, they kept the crowd waiting.  We slipped up onto the seating dias for the VIPs and sat on the chairs in the back row to rest while the folks waited for the king/sultan to arrive.  Nobody kicked us out!  When we left, we took the goodie bags that had been on the chairs as nobody was there to claim them.  Just some snack foods and one bag had thousands of ants in it.  A few of them got onto the boat before I realized the issue.
 The parade was over an hour late getting started, and we'd decided to give it a miss, but the guy from another boat we'd given a ride to was no longer with us and we had to find him.  Couldn't leave him stranded across the river, so we waited by the dinghies while Jason went looking.  The Chinatown area isn't that big and he just did a big loop searching for him.  He got back to us before Jason returned, but by then, the parade had started so we just sat on the curb and watched.  I think Peranakan means the mixing of cultures and thisfestival is about the shared cultures and the heritage of the Chinese and Malaysians here in Terengganu.
 Blown up plastic shapes on sticks were part of the parade.
 A Chinese dragon gyrating along the street in a dance.
 The dragon standing still.
 YOLO in the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina in KT.
 Jason and Karen eating in a local restaurant. Jason liked his meal so much, he ordered a second one.  But he's still thin as a rail.  A typical meal would be 5-12 Malaysian Ringgits, about $2-4, depending on the meat or seafood you got in it.  We generally had no idea of what was really in the meals as we just picked them off a picture board that had photos of the dish with a price.  We never really had a meal we didn't like.
 A lady sitting up above her stall in the market in KT.  Those brown-grey sticks are a local fish sausage that are famous in KT and made nowhere else.  Kerepok lemok is the name (or something close to that).  We'd tried it once in the rally.  They fry it up and serve it with a spicy chili sauce.  It's ok with the sauce on it, but I'd let it pass if it was just plain.  We didn't like it enough to buy some.
 Chiles and eggplant for sale along the wall of the market.  Spread out rice bags make a seller stall for this person.  I bought heaps of those red hot chili peppers during our stay in Malaysia and pickled a bunch of them.  You can't find salsa here, so I buy cilantro from the Chinese folks in the fresh markets and these chiles and make my own hot sauce.

 Another market shot in KT.  Colorful places, these markets.  That's ginger root in the front.  The dark stuff is tamarind and the red stuff in bags is chili sauce.  Lemon grass, long beans, eggplant , cucumbers and squash are evident in the front stall, and you can see the red and orange of tomatoes and carrots and chilis surrounding the lady in the stall across the aisle.  I never found out what to do with all the different greens and veges they sell here.  I'd need a personal guide to teach me how to use them all. Can't even tell you the names of many of the things I saw here.

 An egg seller in the market.  You could get class A, B, or C eggs, which relate to the size.  All eggs here are the brown eggs and they sell them one at a time or any number up to the full flat of 30.  I'd pay about 12 ringgits for a full tray of eggs, about $4.  They aren't refrigerated so I don't have to keep them in my fridge on the boat--a great help.  We go through a lot of eggs as it's an easy protein to obtain.  Eggs and chicken are everywhere here; beef can be found, but only Chinatown provides pork.

The tailings from this mining operation created colorful red and orange stripes of rock and gravel on this island we passed on our way south.
 This is the view from our anchor spot of the town of Cukai.  You can just make out the concrete stairs along the seawall where we could land our dinghy (provided the tide was up enough) and walk to the markets or shops in town.  We enjoyed Cukai for a couple of days on our way up and again on the way south.  This isn't a 'tourist town' by any stretch of the imagination.  We had to wind our way up the river to get here.  Fishing is the industry around here.
 Karen in her "international" sailing attire:  The headscarf is a scrap from the material I'd bought in Kuah, Malaysia that Myra made into a dress for me when she was back in Ireland; the sunglasses were found by Jason snorkeling in Nai Harn Bay in Thailand and probably had belonged to one of the thousands of Russians who tend to take over the beaches there; the facemask is from my trip in Vietnam, purchased just before our crossing to Laos via a dusty road in an open truck; the t-shirt is from Dominica in the Caribbean; the life jacket is an original purchase from our earliest days of training in sailing in the USA.
 The smoke in the air got so bad one day, I resorted to wearing the mask to breathe.  Jason's lungs hurt.  I don't know who is burning what (slash and burn is still common here), but is seems the entire country is on fire and the smoke is so heavy you can't see land sometimes from just a few miles away.  Everything looks grey and hazy.  The sun 'sets' early behind the haze and we lose at least a half an hour of daylight because it is so thick the sun can't get through it.

 These are a couple of the bazillions of little white eels we saw off the shallow coast between Rompin River and Tioman.  Jason caught a couple in the bucket to have a closer look.  They are only a few inches long.
 The island of Tioman as we sailed away from it.  The distinctive peaks at the south end are said to look like donkey ears.  Tioman is a duty free island and you can buy beer and spirits here at a reasonable price.  Alcohol is not permitted in the locals' religion so they don't make it easy to get.  If you find it elsewhere, it is prohibitively expensive.  18RM/beer on the island--about $6/can or bottle of beer. We won't drink at those prices.
 This tern decided to be lazy and ride instead of fly.  The slippery stainless steel of our davit caught him off-guard when a wind gust blew him down and he slipped between the poles and fell to the lower level.  He ended up on the winch controls below his original perch.
 Here he sat for nearly an hour, not minding when we walked right by him.  He'd take off once in a while and fly out and come back.  He spent some time on the end of the boom, too.  Eventually, we must've reached his stop as he took off for good, leaving only a poop mark that dribbled down the winch control.

1 comment:

s/v Libertad said...

A snake around your neck - you are crazy woman! Looks like you are still enjoying life - as are we. We crossed the Messina Strait today and are now in Sicily.