Sunday, 13 July 2014

Our plan to stay in Langkawi

So, the blog has been pretty quiet the last several months and we haven't done any cruising. We have been brewing plans. I actually totally missed our two year cruising anniversary. It was end of May 2012 that we left Christchurch, and three weeks later we left New Zealand. We have LOVED the cruising life, and we have visited many beautiful tropical islands and met a ton of interesting people, both locals and other cruisers. We pretty much followed our route that we decided on back in the Pacific, but we never knew what was going to happen after Thailand.

Even though cruising life is pretty cheap (much cheaper than most people's lives back home, see my monthly costs here), we are going to run out of funds. We could go back to New Zealand or maybe even Denmark to work. But we could also stay! So that's what we're going to try.

Phil is already selling sails to other cruisers (plus of course old customers back in NZ) that we meet, so that's what we're going to expand. He designs and engineers sails on the computer, and they get made at a big whole sale loft/factory exactly to his specifications, just like he would make them at home. This seems to be the direction sail making is taking.

Langkawi is cruiser central. Hundreds of boats pass though every year and there are three marinas, plus lots of boats on anchor (us included). It's taxfree and it's more of less halfway between New Zealand and Denmark. We don't know how long we'll stay, we'll just wing it, like we do most things.

I'm off to Denmark tomorrow for a month. Phil is going to Phuket Race Week next week also, but then he'll be back on Sophia in Langkawi. I'm going to stop posting our monthly budgets, because we won't be cruising as such for a while anyway, so it's not that relevant. I can also guarantee that I won't be blogging much, but I'll still try and chronicle our life, the blog is mostly for our own sake to have as a keepsake.
Langkawi's icon, the sea eagle. Sophia is achored out there in the background
Yikes! What happened to our anchor after it had been down for a long while!
I bought myself a bike! It's was so cheap, just under NZ$ 100, but of course pretty basic and with no gears
dinghy dock by night
Traditional Malay house on Langkawi, although most people have converted to more modern concrete houses
Erja and Phil on black sand beach (!) during a hash run. Erja is a lovely Finish lady who is also a sailmaker, but just retired
Langkawi has many hornbills, this is just up the hill behind Kuah, the main town. Check out an amazing photo of a Great Hornbill I posted on facebook that Pablo (visitor) took back while he was visiting us
our anchorage
halfway up the mast on a traditional Malay junk rig
And of course another beautiful sunset, we can never get enough of those

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Rainforest World Music Festival on Borneo

I'm very lucky. Just like that, I flew to Kuching for the Rainforest World Music Festival. Cheap direct flights with AirAsia and accomodation on Nalukai (the Aussie family on a catamaran) very close to the festival site. We missed the festival last year because we did the Borneo International Yachting Challenge, the race from Miri to KK via Labuan. It then happened that Nalukai was planning to go, and I saw the chance to see them again AND to go to the festival at the same time, total bonus!

The festival was taking place at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong, which in itself is a really cool location and beautiful rainforesty background to the stages. There were bands from all over the world, as well as of course Malaysia. Most of the music wasn't mainstream, but more alternative, so it was really interesting. Phoebe, Hatty and Willow did really great as it wasn't oriented towards kids at all, but of course we didn't stay till midnight, so some music we missed. My favourite bands were Kalakan from Basque (Spain), DakhaBrakha from Ukraine and Gema Seribu from Malaysia. When I get somewhere with good internet I'll definitely be spending a bit of time finding videos of these bands and also some of the ones I missed.

In the meantime Phil flew to Singapore to do the Besar Regatta from Changi (Singapore) on a Young 88 which he also supplied new sails for. Of course they won, both on line and handicap, well done. See photos (also of Phil) and race report right here.

After five days on Borneo I flew directly to Singapore to stay with Theresa again, repeating the success of my visit three weeks earlier. I'll post a few photos to facebook from that visit. Also thanks to Iona for about half of the photos below.
Ohh how I had misse these three lovely girls after all the time we spent together in Thailand and Langkawi
beautiful sunset over the festival, this is looking towards the audience, the two stages are on the left
one of the traditional Malay houses in the Santubong village
every day there was a community drum circle for everyone who were keen, the girls loved it and it really was good fun
finger painting at one of the craft stalls. Guess who braided their hair :-)
Malay band Gema Seribu was energetic, colorful and fun and had dancing
my favourite photo from the festival despite being a bit blurry, happy Nalukai girls
check out the ears!
beautiful girls who attract a lot of attention everywhere they go, here there are about five other people also taking their photo, in hinsight, that would probably have been a more fun photo...
Willow by one of the traditional long houses (communal living, now not many left)
two stages meant there were no breaks between bands
after the festival we visited this private museum in Kuching witch has an amazing collection of beads and other old traditional artifacts. The scabbard in the bottom right photo has human hair on it!