Saturday, November 22, 2014

Admiral Marina Port Dickson Nov 2014

The first rally stop after the Puteri Harbour kickoff was at Admiral Marina, up the coast near Port Dickson.  It was a two- to four-day hop (YOLO took 4 days), and this is the sunrise after our second night at anchor.  Here we were just leaving the Water Islands, Pulau Besar, as the sun came up. YOLO only went about 20 miles and anchored in another tiny rock-surrounded cove with a pretty beach for the night, but others made it to the marina.  We don't see many pretty anchorages along here, so we took our time to enjoy the scenery a bit.
 Karen's wardrobe is showing signs of age.  This is one of my $5 Old Navy America t-shirts that has literally rotted away from the sun and sweat.  You can see one of Jason's patch attempts (the mass of stitching on the right shoulder) but it is about to join the rag pile.  A shame, as the front is still good....perhaps I can put another patch on it?
 Our friend from sailing in Tonga, Jim on Chesapeake is passing us in a rare moment of actual sailing in the Malacca Strait.
 Once at the Admiral Marina, the activities included a 'team building' event.  An obstacle course called Tough Nation is on the grounds of the complex and we went along for a dirty day of fun.
 After five different challenges, we were all filthy and soaked.  The grey pole in the background is full of holes and the team had to plug it with fingers, toes, cheeks, foreheads, tongues, etc. while other team members poured little buckets of water into it to try to float a couple of ping pong balls to the top and out.  Lots of leaks meant we got wet.  Thankfully, this was my last event and the water felt good by then.  This couple is Simon and Robyn from Kiwi Coyote.
 Jason showing us the dirt and sand he accumulated crawling under the lines like the Marines in the movies.  I wore my brand new white rally shirt for this event and was I sorry!
 We had to crawl on arms and elbows to not touch the ropes, so the sweat held the sand and dirt.
 Another yachtie who wore her new shirt.  She's rinsed it off as much as possible.
 Jason hosing down to remove the bulk of the grit and filth.
 This was like a game of 'telephone' but with no sounds.  The leader made a bunch of gestures and one person was to repeat the series of movements and then pass it on to the next person, all without talking, We couldn't watch the ones conveying the moves as they came down the line; you tapped the person in front of you when they were to watch you.  The sidelines hooted in laughter as the 'message' got warped and destroyed before reaching the end of the line, often from the first exchange!  Many of the movements were risquee and got laughs as the people tried to remember and mimic them.
 The marina also provided a day tour around the state of Sembilan, where Port Dickson is located.  We went to a homestay location where the local claim to fame is the archers on horseback.  Homestays try to preserve the local village way of life and their customs to share with visitors.  They offer accommodation to adventurous travelers who want to live with the locals in a village atmosphere.
 We were greeted with a martial arts demonstration that is used for ceremonial purposes now.  They tagged on a display of knife fighting with the traditional 'kris', often a wavy-bladed dagger they carry in their waistbands.
 The grounds also maintained some exotic birds and animals.  These blue and striped birds were unique to me.
 Traditional peacocks and peahens wandered freely, but the white peacocks behind them were kept in the cages .
It was nearing Thanksgiving and these gobblers reminded me that we are going to miss a turkey dinner again this year.  These turkeys strutted their stuff for photos for quite a while and actually gobbled quite a bit.  A shame the pens are so small.
 Who needs a nest to lay an egg?  Right in the sand in the cage is fine for these exotic chickens and life goes on.
 This is the horse used for the archery demonstration later.  The rider was a top representative for Malaysia in the international competition for mounted archery.  This horse is 16 years old.
 A traditional Malay-style home, on stilts to keep it cooler and provide a shady spot for relaxing and keeping stuff.
 Karen trying her hand at archery.  One flew over the tarp in the back of the target--someone will have to hunt for that one!  Another hit the target--the enemy would have been singing an octave higher after a hit like that.  But mostly, the arrows ended up way off target.  All in good fun.  They told us the riders didn't really aim; just load and shoot in the general direction as speed and the number of shots was more important than accuracy
 After release...where did that one go?
 They start them young here!  This is the local guides son, shooting arrows at age three and a half.
 Jason taking aim; his shot went way wild the first time, too.
 Nocking another arrow for another try.
 JIm on Chesapeake and Jason both loading for another shot.  The local guide is the woman in the tan shirt on the left, making sure a youngster stays out of harm's way.
 Trying to aim isn't easy.  The arrow keeps falling off the hand so they told us to tilt the bow a bit to rest the arrow on it until release.  I learned later that I'd had the arrow on the wrong side of the bow for a couple of shots!  We all got to try as many as we wanted--a nice pace for a tour activity as we weren't rushed to move on.
 The guides wanted us to cross this river on foot to view the mounted archery demonstration.  After the recent rains, the water was a bit too deep and swift for us to want to deal with it and the shallow fording area was gooey and soft.  We all declined and had to trek down to the local bridge to cross it.
 The rider tied off the reins and the horse galloped past while he drew an arrow, nocked it and fired as he rode past the targets.  No bulls eyes, but he hit the target each time, quite a feat while riding with no hands.
 Poor was hot and humid and he got a workout in a short time.  The track they run in is sand, so that is tough at a gallop. He was sweating and frothing and wanting a good wash and rub down when the demo was done.
 On to lunch, then.  The locals wear traditional garb and set out the food to eat on the floor.  Men sit cross-legged and women tuck their legs off to the side.  Pointing your feet at someone or stepping over the food is extremely poor manners.  All the food was coverd in celophane wrap until we began eating.  We had a fresh oyster mushroom soup with tofu in a broth.  Chicken curry, shredded young papaya in a spicy coconut sauce, okra, square beans and long beans, anchovies with chiles, and bunches of bananas were our lunch, with the big bowl of rice to put under it all. We wonder how they train to chop chicken into small pieces so that every piece seems to contain a bone...  There were a few spoons for serving, but we were expected to eat with our hands.  What a messy way to eat!  Rice and slopped sauces were everywhere when we finished.  But the food was very tasty and they provided desserts and coffee afterwards, too.  Black coffee comes pre-sweetened and the sweets usually seem to be some gelatinous concoction made from coconut milk or rice water in flavors and color combinations that are most unusual.
 A collection of ceremonial kris in a stand on the stage.  Lots of different designs and sizes.
We drove past the largest timber palace in the country, but it was closed for renovation.  They let us onto the grounds to take photos, though.
 A golden yellow carriage that the Sultan and his wife would be carried around in.  Used only for ceremonies now, but it is pulled by 99 attendants to the sultan.  The palace has 99 pillars, so the number 99 figures in this Sultan's palace.  I just loved the female scarecrow, complete with the Muslim headscarf, in this display rice paddy.
 A sort of Malaysian 'sword in the stone' thing here.  A sword stabbed into the stone marked the place where the sultan would settle and here it is.  Interesting....
 More carriages kept in the palace, these set up to be pulled by horse it seems.
 A picture from the moving bus window of the Seri Menanti mosque with its gold onion-shaped domes.  The sheep roam freely here and keep the grass mowed.
These pots were hanging at a small abode just across the parking lot.  I thought they looked interesting as a composition, but they have no real meaning.

1 comment:

s/v Libertad said...

Hi Karen and Jason - you are really getting to know malaysia - glad they tapped you two as resources. Why did you drop out last year....hope neither of you got sick!

We are in France - not doing much sightseeing now, on a mission to get to the Canaries so we can go home for christmas before returning and crossing Atlantic in early January.

Keep in touch!