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RoRC report from Malaysia - What a difference a day makes

by Stuart and Anne Letton 15 Sep 2020 05:12 UTC
Anne Letton © Stuart and Anne Letton

Planning used to be helpful, but not when it comes to a pandemic.

It took a lot of organising, at least compared to a normal week's cruising, but after moving the boat into Royal Langkawi Marina, buying return ferry tickets to Penang, booking a hotel for the night and making an appointment at the embassy, we finally marched out of the Indonesian immigration office with our passports all stamped up, ready for sixty delightful, carefree days cruising Sumatra before leisurely heading west for Madagascar and South Africa just in time for a Christmas safari. I'd also cunningly left it as late as possible to buy our weather/Iridium minutes planning they would get us all the way through to the Caribbean. Altogether I was feeling quite smug that our timing had all worked out perfectly. What could go wrong?

Crash gybe! No more than 24 hours later you could hear the loud sucking sound as the cost of our visas, PredictWind subscription and our non-refundable satellite minutes flushed out the bilge as borders started slamming shut on all our horizons.

For a very short while, a quick change of plan to re-route via the Maldives was on the cards but that too got shelved. Those that did get away, by any route, had pretty interesting times. Randivag up the Red Sea - 84 days before getting ashore. Ziggy and John via the Maldives - 50+ days restricted to the boat. Charlie and Donna - over four thousand miles back to Cairns and they're not home yet. On the other hand, we, along with a couple of dozen other cruisers were locked down on Rebak Island, Langkawi for what seems like two, maybe three years with currently no time off for good behaviour. Check out our YouTube on SV Time Bandit for our "Lockdown Hell".

(If you can't be bothered, I've exaggerated a tad. We've had a five star, private tropical island resort to ourselves. Swimming on the beach, cookery lessons and sumptuous meals so the kitchen staff could keep their skills up, jam sessions and a lovely suntan! Been quite a nice break all told).

Where next? And indeed, when?

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YouTube Channel: SV Time Bandit

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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