Feature storyMiss Jody

Ron & Joanne left Pensacola, FL more than 3 years ago on their Antares Miss Jody to circumnavigate the world – currently they are travelling in Singapore – 1*09’N 104*25’E

The past two months have been a mixture of Malaysia sightseeing and dealing with the Malaysia boating Industry. (link on images to enlarge)

Miss Jody (Antares Hull #2) departed Johor Baru, Malaysia on April 22 to visit the East Coast of Malaysia.  This area is in the South China Sea/ Gulf of Thailand and very non-tourist when compared to the West Coast of Malaysia & Thailand.  The existing weather system is in transition from the NE Monsoon to the SW Monsoon.  The wind is very light and variable and the temperature approaches 100*F most days.  This passage is a side trip in our extended visit of South East Asia until Jan of 2011 when weather conditions will be favorable for passage across the North Indian Ocean to the Red Sea.

Our cruise of the East coast took us first to the Tinggi, Sabing, Tioman Islands [or palua].  Tioman is a resort location for Malaysia and Singapore approximately 100 miles north of Singapore.   We went scuba diving two days with a local dive shop.  The water clarity was about 20 feet.  The island settings along the coast are beautiful as they rise vertically out of the depths. The movie”South Pacific” was filmed here.

From Tioman we traveled 180 miles further north to Palua Redang, a remote island group 25 miles off shore and not convenient to any large city.  There were 3 large resorts on the north end of the big island.  The occupancy was 95% Chinese, most from Singapore.  Their boat outings were a sight to behold, 25 to 50 persons on a big flat boat, all dressed in red life preservers, two to four boats arriving at one beach, every one jumps in the water and most stay in one spot laughing and having a good time.  We located one dive resort away from the others, dove with them 3 times, nice dives, beautiful setting.

We traveled another 25 miles up the coast to Paula Perhenthian, 10 miles off the Malaysian Coast, near the Thailand border.  The island group is popular with backpackers and tourist from North Malaysia.  Joanne met a lady on our Borneo dive trip, Julie McMillan from Plymouth, England.  Julie was in Perhenthian when we arrived, she joined us for the next three days.  We dove with the “watercolor” dive shop twice.  The island has several resorts and backpacker hangouts.

We started our slow motor trip back toward Singapore on May 25,  We stopped in Paula Redang for four more days of diving and exploring. We arrived back in Johor Baru on June 12.

During this trip we stopped at the Prospect Boat yard in Endow, Malaysia.  The boat was hauled on a rail car shipway.  The short version of the experience is;  The old bottom paint was stripped, new epoxy barrier and new anti fouling applied.  During the haul out the bottom of the keels were damaged by the rail car.  The attempted repair was not done properly and we took Miss Jody to the Raffles Marina Boat yard for a proper repair. The untold moral of the story is; never take a fiberglass pleasure boat to a commercial ship yard, no matter what the shipyard tells you of there ability.  AND, never attempt to achieve a boat maintenance or repair task with persons you can not communicate with, ie. you can not speak their language.

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