Well we have been in this area for about a year now! How time flies.
To all those spending more than a few seconds perusing this blog and site, we wish you Merry Xmas and a happy new year.

Many of our friends are on Facebook, and that along with Messenger has become our default method for communications, particularly mass mailouts of what we are up to. Accordingly our website has taken second place.

We are about to depart in a few days time, sailing with a friend to help deliver his boat from Langkawi to Perth in Australia. It is a 50 ft ex racing boat called Pacemaker so we are expecting some nice fast sailing. Hoping to stop at Cocos Keeling Islands, and then a wide loop out into the Indian Ocean to get the best winds to Perth.

The past year has been a blur,in more ways than one.  Christmas at Rebak Island with a meal at the resort, New Year's Eve as well. Followed shortly afterwards by a ferry trip to Penang Island about 80 miles away to see the remnants of Chinese New Year and catch up with some friends there.  By coincidence we stumbled on the ISEC eye clinic and enquired about having our cataracts removed and artificial lenses installed.  So bus back to Perlis, another ferry to Langkawi and back to the boat.  A visa run by ferry to the Butang Islands of Thailand, Koh Lipe for some chill out time, and shortly after sail down to Straits Quay Marina in Penang.  We each had both eyes done, with a month's wait for me to get a lens specially corrected for astigmatism. A straight foreward operation and we are happy with the results.  With immigration considerations we decided to have a visa run to Hat Yai in southern Thailand enjoying in particular the 3d Art Museum. Later on another visa run to Cambodia, spending about a week in Phnom Penh, and the same in Siem Reap. Lots of temples and ruins to visit in Cambodia as well as war museums, the Killing Fields and so forth. Very sobering. Much work climbing up and down the massive stone ruins of Angkor Wat, Bayon and a dozen more ruins..but worth the effort to see the incredible scale of the works, and the extensive carvings, many in great condition considering their age.

We lingered in Penang for a while enjoying the cultural events, and good shopping for boat things, before returning to Langkawi. More boat work for a while and then we were off again for a return visit back to the Philippines to catch up with friends in Leytte and Davao, but particularly Kjartan from OceanView Marina on Samal Island. Kjartan was on of 4 people captured from the marina by Abu Sayaff terrorists a couple of years ago, and he was held captive for a year. It was nice to reconnect with him almost a year after he was freed. Unfortunately two of our other friends were killed by Abu Sayaff, and later on in another incident 2 more friends killed. To add to this misfortune our friend on Leytte died of cancer just a few days before we arrived, so we spent a little while with the extended family before bussing down Leytte, ferry to Surigao, and overnight bus to Davao and Samal. More Karaoke, Lechon Baboy and bonding again with Kjartan, our sailing friends and our local family and friends. Thanks again to Lee Warner for having a cabin on his catamaran Chakira available for us and making us welcome. Nice to catch up again with a wonderful, gentle fellow by the name of Filip who we had met the previous year.. a few months later he was arrested as Australia's most wanted having skipped bail on a huge cocaine importation into Australia!!!  All to soon back to Rebak Marina, and prepare Expeditus to sail to Phuket in Thailand.
We anchored out from Telaga Harbour and got a clearance from there from Langkawi, and island hopped, which is tolerated by Thailand so long as you don't spend too long at it, towards Phuket. Unfortunately on day 4 our gearbox failed, and we had no choice but to sail back overnight to Telaga Harbour Marina. Thanks to Patrick and Rebecca for pushing us into the marina in their rubber ducky and the unknown couple who also lent a hand.
We removed and fixed the gearbox on board - same problem as we had about 3 years previously in the Philippines, a worn out forward thrust washer. Having fixed this we decided that we should really do a few more jobs as we were not feeling 100% seaworthy. So here we stopped, and resealled our $600 Rutgerson opening ports...patently insufficient adhesive thickness between the polycarbonate and the frame so they had debonded and were leaking. Other jobs were remove forward vents and fill the holes through the cabintop so that our new dinghy could sit flat on the deck, Cut wedges out of our forehatch and reglass together to make it 60mm narrower so that it can lift up between the dinghy tubes for some ventilation; repaint non skid and gloss white on the deccks, cabin, and cockpit, instal a new fridge; bigger solar panel; bigger batteries; repackstern gland, Service toilet valve, window catches; brackets to tie down dinghy.....innumerable other jobs.

And that our dear friends is how we spent this last year.. now to be finished off with an ocean sail, albeit on another boat!