Thursday, November 10, 2016

Penang - 05° 27’ 40” N 100° 19’ 09” E


On dead calm seas, we headed south to Penang.   

Happy at the helm
 The sky started to turn a little dark and soon we were enjoying 35kns and driving rain.  Once the wind died to below 20kns, we unfurled the heady, picked up a knot and bounced our way across the Bay of Bengal. 

Storm clouds
Just look at that horizon!
We could see the high rises of Penang for a couple of hours before we arrived.  Ships began popping out of the channel, cruise liners, cargo ships, tugs towing barges, as we tiptoed in through relatively shallow water and anchored off the Straits Quay Marina (SQM as it is known).  Sadly for us and our 2.85m draft, SQM is far too shallow and even anchoring in a depth of 5m means we are a good 300m from the entrance. 

Penang skyline
Penang is a very busy port, made busier by the construction of two islands just to the south of SQM.  Penang is in need of a new marina so they are creating a 700 acre island to house it! Barges full of fill line up and rush in at high tide to offload.  Our serenity disturbed by the background noise of construction equipment running 24 hours a day.

Need a bit more land?  Let's build an island!

Last year, we had a stop in Penang as part of the Raja Muda yacht race.  We stayed at a northern part of the island and didn't stray too far from the hotel.  This visit, we decided to explore Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the southern end of the island and we were blown away.  The colours and sounds ... the street vendors ... the street art ... it kept us entertained all day and we just saw a small bit of what there was.


Colours, grittiness, heat and noise.  Very cool.


Great street art at the marina.
In Georgetown.
These bits of ironwork were everywhere.

Trikeshaws are still available for the tourists.
Little India.

Porticos for foot traffic.  Watch your step, though.
Blacksmith shop.
Each garage-sized shopfront could contain an industrial
workshop, merchant, someone's home, storage or a
combination of all of these.
Along a street with bike rentals
Narrow porticos
colorful flowers near Little India
Yep.
A two-stroke pasta making machine.

Sean and Rowan Atkinson


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