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Old 24-09-2014, 01:12   #16
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Re: Good sailing in Malaysis and Thailand?

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Originally Posted by twoblocktom View Post
Al, thank you for your gentle correction. I did not mean to grovel, however I am humbled by you thoughtful responses. I know very little about the people or the history of Malaysia, in fact I know little of the Philippines history. I did get to know a lot of people there and made a lot of very good friends. I hope I fit in as well in Lumut. Am I correct that the best sailing in the malacca straits is durning the northeast mausim? (December to march)
lamut is a nice little provincial town.
I suggest you go down to the yacht club and make some friends!
swimming pool ,drinks and meals served.
,there were a few transient European sailors who kept there boats in the small marina when we stopped there.
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Old 24-09-2014, 01:27   #17
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I will do that the first chance I get Atoll. The people on the job I have talked to say it is a nice little town also. I am looking forward to it!
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Old 24-09-2014, 03:24   #18
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Re: Good sailing in Malaysis and Thailand?

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Am I correct that the best sailing in the malacca straits is durning the northeast mausim? (December to march)
Any time is a good time to sail or mess around in boats.

The monsoon regime connects Australia to Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia. That monsoon regime (NE monsoon - first Inter-monsoon - SW monsoon - second Inter-monsoon) has been blowing for hundreds of millions of years.

In the NE monsoon, big raptors fly the wind from Siberia (and neighbouring localities) to the Maritime Continent (otherwise known as the Great Archipelago that includes the thousands of islands of Philippines and Indonesia and more). In the SW monsoon, the big raptors fly back. In Lumut you'll get to see some of them fly over.

Bugis/Makassar navigators used the monsoon regime to sail to the northern coast of Australia to trade with the aboriginal Australians (and take some of them back to Sulawesi), including collecting trepang, pearls and other marine goodies to sell to China. South of the Equator, the wind bends. So the NE monsoon becomes the NW monsoon, the SW monsoon becomes of the SE monsoon.

The use of the monsoon regime for trading ships, with sailing ships plying to and from ports in S China (eg Quanzhou, carrying porcelain), to the Maritime Continent (for spices, deep forest timbers, gold and other minerals, pearls and seafood delicacies) Kerala state in India (for pepper), to Yemen (to link with markets in Europe and N Africa, and for Arabic/Islamic advanced knowledge and technology).

Ports such as Phuket (aka Junk Ceylon), Penang, Melaka, and Singapore developed as waypoints or harbours in which sailing ships could wait through an Inter-monsoon. Lumut played a part, particularly in the export of tin when canned food became significant.

In the NE monsoon and the SW monsoon, a fairly reliable gradient wind blows. Of course, that wind is reliable offshore. Close inshore, island effect, land breeze/sea breeze can be more significant.

In the Inter-monsoons, calms or light winds may be more common that a reliable gradient wind. But close inshore, island effect and land/sea breezes can still supply a pleasant sailing wind.

Pulau Pangkor and the smaller islands around it rank, according to me, among the more stunningly beautiful parts of the world. The Dinding River (called Sungai Manjung on recent Malaysian charts) is fun to explore.

I think you will find the new marina at the artificial island "Marina Island Pangkor" (at 04 degrees 12'.699N 100 deg 36'.030E) valuable. The island was built on a shallow bank, with the hope of earning big RM from real estate sales. The marina looks good and has good management (Mr James Khoo) and facilities. Time will tell if it survives commercially and does not silt. It is connected by a narrow causeway to the mainland. And a ferry service connects it to Pangkor Island.

The big disadvantage for Marina Island Pangkor is that, unlike Langkawi, it is not tax free. Everything from antifouling to electronics are available at Langkawi duty free. Alcohol is duty free in Langkawi, but heavily taxed elsewhere in Malaysia. When the GST is introduced in Malaysia in 2015 to replace sales tax, Langkawi will remain tax-free. Not Lumut and the rest of West Malaysia.

As for the winds of the monsoon regime, I can do no better than to introduced you to the internet resources supplied by the National Environment Agency of Singapore. The Sing NEA publishes each day a Regional Weather Chart of the area, a forecast of the wind for 0700 Local the next day.

That Regional Weather Chart is a Surface Streamlines chart. The surface pressure weather chart used in temperate latitudes is useless in the tropics as a guide to predict wind direction. Surface streamlines are what works - a display of wind streamlines and wind barbs for 10 metres above sea level.

See the Singapore NEA Regional Weather Chart. Check it each day (and perhaps save the graphic) so you can see the pattern of the monsoon regime. We're just now at the start of the 2nd Inter-monsoon, so you could accumulate a library showing a year's worth

Singapore NEA also publishes every hour a satellite image - see their Index to Images.

On top of the seasonal or monsoon pattern, you need to learn about the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). One easy way to think about the MJO is as a wave of atmospheric energy that starts in Western Hemisphere/Africa and then runs along the tropics through Indian Ocean, then to the Maritime Continent, and finally into the Western Pacific. When the MJO wave is at an active peak over, say the Maritime Continent, you can expect stronger winds, squally weather, and cyclogenesis.

The US Climate Prediction Center operates a website that brings together the MJO predictions from 15 or 16 nations' meteorological bureaus. If you check it regularly, you start getting a feel for which is the more accurate (although that changes from season to season). My favourite is the prediction from the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (TCWB).

You'll need time to learn how to read the diagrams of the MJO predictions. If you hover your pointer over the name of a national met bureau, you will see their latest prediction. The thin red line with black dots is recent history (the black numbers are the days of the current month). The thicker green line is the prediction, with black dots as the days ahead. The distance from the centre of the square is the height of the wave. Check the CPC page of aggregated MJO forecasts here.

Al
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Old 24-09-2014, 12:55   #19
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Wow Al, thanks! I feel like I am back in class reading your posts. Being unfamiliar with the area I would expect to have to locate places, but you have me scrambling for definitions. It is fun trying to keep up and I am doing my best! I will find the marina you suggested and eagerly watch for the migration of the raptors. I also appreciate the links and will watch them and learn local patterns. Your thoughtful insights are great. Oh, and I'm sure I will get to enjoy the taxes to mentioned also!
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Old 26-09-2014, 21:21   #20
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Re: Good sailing in Malaysis and Thailand?

As part of your prep for Lumut, you might want to browse the local media.

According to one authority, the only mass media in Malaysia with freedom of speech/the press (owned and operated by the ruling political party) is: Utusan Melayu

The leading English language daily (owned and operated by a political party in coalition with the ruling political party) is The Star

For places to live, you might want to browse Pulau-Pangkor.com

And for the dirt on living in Lumut, you might scan the cache of the now-expired alloexpat.com, where you find such gems as:

catbaloo Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:44 pm

I have been offered a job in Lumut.
My search so far has not uncovered much activity in the area.

Assuming that there are expats living there, would they be living on the islands or in Lumut?

We intend visiting the area and it would save time knowing in what area other expats are living.

Appreciate any comments.

Patrice Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:17 pm

Hi,

There used to be a quite sizable expat community in Lumut at the time of Manjung power station build up and of better days of the Navy base.
Nowadays, it seems much lesser. As for activities, well, there is not much besides going to the beach at Pangkor, and hanging out at the few bars...

As far as I know, there are only locals on Pangkor island, and even (most of) the resort staff use the ferry to go working to the island.

bungalili Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:18 am

If you are seriously considering it, live in Lumut. The Sitiawan/Manjung/Lumut area has:

--KFC/Pizza Hut
--Secret Recipe
--an awesome steak house, I don't remember the name though...
**note, no McDonald's ok?

I think the closest shopping mall is Jusco in Ipoh, which is about 1 hour away. KL is about 3 hours away.

catbaloo Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:54 pm

Thanks for the replies.

You have just confirmed my worst thoughts.

Quotes from some travel guides:
"the best part about Lumut is leaving by ferry for the island"
and " if you are marooned in Lumut".

Can't wait to get there!!!

esstelle Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:45 pm

Well I'm from Sitiawan so I know Lumut pretty well...

We have a few supermarkets/hypermarkets (Fajar, Billion, Giant) but yes if you wanna catch a movie at a cineplex (not the old traditional theatres) you'd have to go to Ipoh for that. You can either choose Jusco, or Ipoh Parade, and there is a Tesco in Ipoh too.

Lumut to KL is about 3 and half hours to 4 hours; Lumut to Ipoh is about one hour and 15 minutes.

You probably already know that there is a naval base near Teluk Batik and Lumut, and a very saturated industrial area in Kampung Acheh.

You should also know that Sitiawan/Lumut is famous for its seafood

Can't wait to go home for Chinese New Year...

cyclingman Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:08 am

Well, I guess I am an expat, living in Sitiawan, doing a website about Pangkor (see above-mentioned pulau-pangkor.com), so I should know it, right? Well, there are occasionally a few expats staying for longer time at Pangkor (I know of a couple that stays over the years regular for a month or 2 at Sea View) but the bulk of expats live in Lumut. Most of them either work at the Powerplant or are retired.
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Old 28-09-2014, 21:46   #21
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Al,
I have looked over the links you provided. I should be there by mid October and will try to get over to Pulau Pangkor at my first chance. Also Langkawi when time allows.
Tha more I research the area the more excited I get.
Thank you again for your thoughtful response!
Perhaps we will meet and I can buy you a drink and shake your hand!
Tom
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Old 07-10-2014, 18:53   #22
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Thumbs up Re: Good sailing in Malaysis and Thailand?

Well said, Al!
...and spot-on! Couldn't have said it better myself. I live here in Malaysia (presently in Langkawi) for the 4th time (previously Labuan, Johor, and KK) - and the religious part is getting more stronger by the years... exceptions probably KL, Penang and East Malaysia in general.
Anyway, a lovely country with lovely, warm people.
I am settling down here.
BTW, I run the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa and if you have time, come over for a beer or two (017-529 7574).
Thomas Mueller

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I've not cruised BVI, but just in Selatan Melaka/the Malacca Straits the tidal range varies from 1.8 m around Melaka to 4 m at the northern approach to North Port in Port Klang.

As for culture, I'm no cultural expert but I have cruised and visited a few island in the Philippines and am currently cruising the Malacca Strait coast of West Malaysia. And I reckon the culture of the Philippines is quite different that that in West Malaysia.

As Filinos (or at least Tagalogs) would say, the Philippines spent hundred of years in a convent (colonial rule by Spain, subcontracted to Mexico for some of the time), 50 years ruled by Hollywood (or at least the USA), and a few years as part of the Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere of Dai Nippon.

The result of course a mixed culture - the provinces are not the same as the big urban centres of Metro Manila and Cebu. But the core is a moral culture that is very accommodating.

West Malaysia is not like that. And not uniform. Penang, Dindings, and Melaka were British Straits Colonies that were essentially rational capitalist economies. The other states were sultanates, religio-feudal moral economies owned and ruled by individual sultans. Most of the other states were Malay sultanates, although Bugis and Minangkabau were significant - the current prime minister of Malaysia is one of the six Bugis princes; Negri Sembilan has more significant Minangkabau cultural influence than some of the other states. West Malaysia had a nasty civil war in the 1950s to the early 1960s - it was called the Emergency rather than a war so insurance cover on factories, plantations, and businesses would not be voided. During that civil war, the Brits happily did the IS thing of beheading people and the My Lai thing of wiping out entire villages. Of course, it's also worth mentioning that in the supposed struggle to get independent of Britain, one of the local heroes killed the British Resident when the Resident was in the bathtub. Rumour is (but never spoken publicly in Malaysia) the real reason the local hero killed the Resident was that the Brits were cramping the hero's slavery operation!

The differences are clear, for example:

* something like 70% of Western males visiting the Philippines buy sex at least once. In Malaysia, fraternising with a Malay female would attract the attention of the religious police. And visiting a Chinese or Indian operated night club to play with the China- or Vietnam-imported GROs could see you detained during a police raid.

* look at the politics. The Philippines has recovered from a nasty dictatorship, but kleptocracy is alive in politics. Nevertheless a version of popular democracy (People Power) has seen the people force political power to change twice: once to end the Marcos dictatorship and once to force a president from office. Presidents are, at least for now, limited to one term only. Look at the name and personalities of the presidents: Aquino (whose mother was a Cojuangco, a descendant of a Chinese immigrant as shown by that -co ending; previous president was a Macapagal, one of the few elite local families that were so noble and powerful the Spanish did not force them to take a Spanish name. Most everyone else had to choose a family name from the census list of Spain - in parts of Luzon, you can find a village where all the old families have, for example, Spanish surnames starting with P. And the next village has surnames starting with Q). In Malaysia, one political coalition has been in power for just over 57 years - no change in power at the federal level. So Malaysia fails the rule-of-thumb test for a democracy that should have had at least two changes of political party in power. A Sedition Act, initially established by the British colonisers as part of their divide and rule bag of tricks, is still in place and used to discipline opposition politicians that criticise the governing party in public. I'd go on, but I'm in Malaysian waters and do not want to tall afoul of the Sedition Act either.

Al
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Old 07-10-2014, 20:56   #23
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Hi Thomas, Thanks for the reply. And you are right that the other replies have been thoughtful and very helpful to me! I should be traveling late this week or early next. I look forward to getting settled in a new lifestyle. I plan to be in Langkawi in January or February if not sooner and will look you up. I saw there is a sailing school in Langkawi that I thought I would check out also.
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Old 08-10-2014, 21:46   #24
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Re: Good sailing in Malaysis and Thailand?

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and the religious part is getting more stronger by the years... exceptions probably KL, Penang and East Malaysia in general.
Anyway, a lovely country with lovely, warm people.
I am settling down here.
I'm busy with the usual repairs, but I hope to wander across Langkawi and meet you, Thomas.

I think we have three or more ways to view the current political phenomena in Malaysia.

One is to see it as a continuation of the rise of political Islam - a force that didn't exist before the 1970s and the revolution in Iran. Islam has gone through historical periods of separation of state and religion and other periods of theocracy. It's fun to see the parallel with Buddhism a faith tradition that extols separation of the sangha from the state, and the recent rise of nasty right-wing/racist/anti-democratic and politically active Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma.

Two is to see it as the continuation, by UMNO Baru (the political party started and still controlled by Tun Dr Mahathir), of the Englander policy of divide-and-rule. Dividing by religion or race is antidemocratic, in the sense that a person cannot change their race and may be unwilling (or, for Malays, constitutionally banned from) to change their religion. In a polity divided on socio-economic lines, an individual can change (to some extent) their social and economic status (e.g. bankruptcy, upwards social mobility associated with an open economy). Not possible if your political and socio-economic position is decided by your skin colour. Note that we are writing in the season of annual UMNO division meetings, so the media is full of seasonal chest beating and metaphorical kris-waving of UMNO division chiefs in competition with others in their divisions and with other division chiefs.

Three is to see it as part of the last gasp of a conservative establishment soon to be discarded by the juggernaut of democratisation due to better schooling of urbanites and employment in an open and globalised economy. Note well that the conservative establishments in Thailand and Indonesia are currently doing a jolly good job of halting and reversing democratisation. Not helped by developed capitalists nations confronting a crisis in democracy (fragmented authority and lost popular legitimacy in the US, Europe, etc), so democracy seems out of favour at the moment. So democratisation is not necessarily a sure thing.

Four is to see it as part of a natural and necessary protective thrust by the poor rural Malays, who are caught by a price scissors wielded by an economy dominated by a few urban and global capitalists. In some years, that thrust has been to use Islam as a shield against the sugar-coated and ethically bad bullets of capitalism, the bullets that lure people into unethical socio-economic positions (as prostitutes, as drug users, etc). The location of banners at masjids warning the faithful against recreational drug use, against promiscuity etc, suggests that Islam is losing that battle. In other years that thrust has been to create Malay capitalists (e.g. Dr M's crony capitalists, some of whom were actually Chinese or Indian) and to constrain the activities of Chinese and Indians (e.g. by advantaging Malay property developers, so Chinese cannot compete; by walling off certain economic and professional sectors so non-Malays cannot apply; by schooling only for Malays and trying to control the funding and existence of other schools - and of course of Chinese companies only hiring Chinese-speaking staff to deal with Chinese customers).

For transient cruisers, watching Malaysian politics is a recreation. For you, its effects on your commerce and life are likely more serious.

The bottom line is that Malaysia remains a very cruiser-friendly and tourist friendly destination. I've met plenty of people who arrived in Malaysia clothed (as opposed who those who arrived naked and do not have a passport to get them out), who enjoy, respect, and value Malaysians and Malaysia.

Al
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Old 13-11-2014, 03:22   #25
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Re: Good sailing in Malaysis and Thailand?

Hi

I was recently working as a sailing instructor in Phuket, Thailand with plenty of trips down to Malaysia. Have no fear the sailing is great. There is a growing charter scene in Thailand and companies will let you sail down to Malaysia. You can read more about Asia here: Yacht Charter South East Asia | Sailing Holidays South East Asia

If you have any questions please feel free to private message me- I loved sailing around Asia so will be happy to share my experience.
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