After a 73.2nm sail from Lumut we arrived at Pabu Jerejak anchorage off the island of Penang, before going into the Tanjong City Marina the next day in a convoy under the Penang bridge. 


  Once again the champagne and drinks appeared on s/v Matariki this time celebrating Raina and Tom's birthdays.  Their 'deck shower' became the center of some 'wet and wild' fun while we danced and partied well into the night.

Tom & Raina s/v Matariki
 Julian s/v Cat'chus

Steve and Sandy s/v Cat'chus
under the deck shower having a
'WET & WILD' time

Tom & Raina s/v Matariki

S/v Talitha, s/v Ariel
 s/v Cat'chus

s/v Ameonitas
s/v China Grove

s/v Ameonitas & s/v Talitha

Sandy s/v Cat'chus and Gayla s/v Ariel

Julian & Sandy
s/v Cat'chus

The Tanjong City Marina was fairly new as was the QE II restaurant built over the water next to the marina.  Getting into a slip was pure chaos as all 23 boats on the rally came in at the same time after the grand entrance into Penang in convoy under the bridge.   Situated next to the ferry terminal there was a bit of back wash and surge.   The facilities however were beautiful with a nice restaurant, large TV room with CNN and where cruisers could connect to the internet.                                           

The Passion Asia rally was well organized and offered us some of the best stops in Malaysia.  Penang was one of those special places we all loved and many returned to once the rally was over.

            Sazli and Hardeep rally hosts

Sazli Kamal Basha in partnership with Sail Indonesia from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and Hardeep Kaur Dhaliwal Executive Director with Passion Asia were our hosts for the rally.  They had special events planned such as the evening of the Gala Dinner were cruisers were invited to play the drums, dance and partake in some of the most abundant sea food and Malaysian traditional foods cooked at the table in special pots called a 'Steam Boat Dinner'.

The Aussies and Kiwi's join up for a fun night at the Tanjong Gala Dinner
 s/v Arnak s/v Cat'cus s/v Koru

The French give the their OK on this great meal
s/v Saint Cyprien
s/v Virus en mer

We also arrived in time for the Deepavali ' festival of lights'  going on in Penang.  The streets were decorated with lights and each doorway was decorated with art made of colored rice.  Deepavali is a colorful festival celebrated by all Hindus world wide.  The lights signify the triumph of good over evil within every human being and the uplifting of spiritual darkness and awareness of inner light. 

Lights and colored rice decorate entrance ways to many businesses in Little India


Indian shops and storefronts and bangles galore give an air of exotic India in Little India



                  s/v   S D F                                  s/v Zarafet                              s/v Ameonitas

The Passion Asia organizers arranged for Tri-shaws or bicycle peddled carts to take us around Penang for two hours giving us a brief history of Georgetown. 
 It was a great way to see the town.


               s/v Virus en mer                      s/v Saint Cyprien                         s/v Talitha

Rally convoy of Trishaws leaving Tanjong Marina

 As of July 7, 2008 Georgetown the historic capitol was formally inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Passing City Hall

Touring Georgetown by Trishaw


Penang is off the NW coast of Malaysia and one of the earliest and most established urban Malaysian centers with a population of 687,000.   The city evokes images of a slow paced lifestyle of merchants and of the Far East, where European culture intermingles with Eastern customs and colonial buildings stand next to attep houses.

This 38 room guest house is built with Feng Shui architectual elements and was built by China's last Mandarin. 
The movie 'Indochine was filmed here.

Feng-Wind   Shui-Water    The Blue House makes use of nature (free) in the environment and to capture the Chi of wind and water.  It has an open courtyard inside (air-free) and air in motion is wind.  Another gift of nature is water in the form of rain (also free) so the doors and windows are left open to let chi circulate.  The open courtyard with a pond allows rain in and also pipes in the walls to direct the rain from the roofs into the shallow well in the open courtyard.  The courtyard is down three steps, like the back of a dragon and is Yang, as is building on a slope or hill to utilize the chi flowing down (positive).  Ying is closed or negative.  If water must enter the room in a descending form in great force and rapidly, it represents quality and quantity of wealth. 


There is a huge Chinese influence due to their superior numbers in Penang.  Chinese Buddhism is the main religion on Penang Island


A Sunday morning brunch at the 1885 year old colonial Eastern and Oriental Hotel built by the brother of the builder of Raffles Hotel in Singapore was a special occasion for many of the cruisers. 


More friends joined us and
we had a wonderful country meal of
roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
at the David Brown restaurant, an old
British manor house on top of Penang Hill.

We ran into old  friends s/v Djarrka, Sarah & GB  and took the funicular up Penang Hill

We rented a car with s/v Dagon and drove to the south of Penang Island to visit the War Museum a fortress built on top of a hill in the 1930's by the British to protect the island from enemies.  The British Royal Engineers and a work force comprised of local laborers blasted and dug into the hill to create a fort with underground military tunnels, intelligence and logistic center, halls, offices, ventilation shafts, canon firing bays, sleeping quarters, cook houses as well as a medical infirmary.


aboard  s/v Ariel
Penang Malaysia

s/v Sundance
s/v Briana
s/v Ariel

    Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and turkeys.  We have lots to be thankful for but turkeys are hard to find in a semi-tropical country.  Pork is also not allowed in these Muslim countries so there goes the ham.  Fortunately we are blessed with wonderful friends who decided an American dinner with the closest friends was necessary. 
    Kathy and Bob from Georgia of s/v Briana have been friends of ours since 4 years ago back in Tahiti.  Amazingly we have remained friends even after our first meeting aboard Briana when I accidently sat on their precious big grey furry dog, Festis.  I mistook him for a pillow.   Anyway, Kathy is an excellent cook who took the time and energy out of all the hustle bustle of Singapore to find a TURKEY!  She is an amazing lady with over 30 years living aboard a sail boat.  
    Doctor Bob, her husband, is also an amazing man.  He was born in Luxembourg, raised in Africa, trained as a surgeon in Cleveland and got broken in as a doctor in the Mash Unit tents of Vietnam.  His claim to fame, like all cruisers who loose their original identities, now does a lifelike impersonation of a chimpanzee.   This would prove to be an interesting Thanksgiving.
    Also on the guest list was Dave and Betty from Florida off s/v Sundance.  Although we have become good friends on this trip it was back 8 years ago at an SSCA gam that we met this long time cruising couple, our first meeting with anyone who had ever plyed the canals and ancient waterways of Europe on their own canal boat.   Today they are cruising the world on s/v Sundance a 43 foot Gulfstar, one of the three motor sailors on the rally.  Betty is the navigator, sings soprano in the 'Sweet Adelaide's' and one of my good shopping buddies. David, her husband, is a former Navy man and mechanic on one of our US nuclear submarines and like Steve would rather putter around a boat than go shopping. 
    The plan was set back in Singapore when it was decided that a Thanksgiving dinner was a must.  The turkey would be cooked on s/v Briana, the desert on s/v Sundance and the meal on s/v Ariel who had the most seating capacity not to mention the air conditioning!!!  It was a very hot and steamy day in the Tanjong City Marina.    First the stove on Briana packed up temporarily altering the turkey cooking plans, but eventually like all good surgeons  Bob managed to ream out the problem and the turkey remained in the hands of the capable.  While Betty was preparing the desert, it was discovered that more eggs were needed to double the recipe of the double chocolate 'nut' pie as well as the 'nut' having to be substituted for walnuts as no pecans were found.  S/v Ariel was loaded with eggs having found a pallet in Indonesia however they were not much bigger than pregnant jelly beans.   This brought up questions as to weather they were actually chicken eggs to which bird flu was also in question. None the less, three eggs were substituted for two and only after being thoroughly washed in Clorox.  The pie was saved!
    I was in charge of the sweet potatoes and cranberry salad.  Who ever heard of cranberries in Asia?  Well, like a good cruiser and provisionary I had the foresight to load up with cranberries in Darwin Australia.   No problem....but the recipe called for cherry Jello.  There is no such thing as our brand Jello in Australia let alone Asia.   Amazingly we found a store called 'Cold Storage' in Penang and low and behold they had cherry Jello.  They even had sour cream something so rare we'd otherwise have to substitute with yogurt.   All set. 
     One problem remained.  They did not have the orange color sweet potatoes needed for the soufflé.  So instead a tuber was purchased that said 'sweet potato' on the wrapper which turned out to be more like a rotten turnip after 2 hours of boiling.   Hidden away under Ariel's sink among the cans of cleansers and plastic bags I found one and a half left over 'orange color' sweet potatoes from some street stall shopping weeks ago.  The soufflé was saved although only 4 small servings was the outcome.   Betty also found her stores only supplied one can of corn for a special corn dish, so a can of whole baby corn was cut up to make up the volume.  Dave brought the ice, a rare luxury indeed on a boat, but one Sundance always has on hand and one Betty would prefer did not take up so much room in the tiny freezer.  Some things you just can't do without. 
    Steve had meanwhile rushed off to a special bakery where he heard they had real whole wheat bread.  He got the last bag of brown seeded buns only after loosing them twice off the counter to other customers before he had could get his money out of his pocket.   In the end we all managed to scrounge up some of the products we needed to make our Thanksgiving dinner complete. 
    At 4PM all guests descended down the companionway of Ariel dressed in their Thanksgiving best, bearing a roasting pan with the delicious looking 16lb turkey, a pan of whipped mashed potatoes, another pan of buttery spicy gravy which ended up in the fancy coffee press decanter as a gravy bowl. The corn dish was to be cooked in Ariel's microwave but while connected to shore power, only 30 seconds at a time would handle the load through an inverter,  so the Force 10 stove was fired up.    But best of all there came home made stuffing.  There is no Pepperidge Farm all was hand made from local bread and spices.  Yummy!
   Out of their huge insulated carrying bag, which all cruisers must have, came several bottles of real French champagne, various wines both white and red.  Doctor Bob had a little trouble with our 'fish' wine opener accidently pushing the cork into the wine.  We were all just glad he was not attempting an appendectomy.  Out came fluted champagne glasses from behind the settee in the main salon carefully wrapped inside Steve's thickest pairs of winter socks.  A clambering toast was made before we all realized these were not plastic glasses which we are all accustomed to on a boat, but rather 'real glass' glasses.  What an occasion!
    We had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, one that we can be thankful for ever coming off so good despite all the hardships of getting it together.   And in the end we were privileged to have the only practicing 72 year old chimpanzee aboard who came bounding out of the starboard state room, screeching and banging fists on the floor, hopping up and down in a frenzy, creating such havoc as never before seen even more realistic than the great Kosashi, alpha male of the orangutans of Borneo.  It was frightening!!
     We hope you all had as great meal and entertaining day with friends or family and look forward to hearing from you.  Love Gayla and Steve s/v Ariel
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