After having spent 9 months away, we decided to head back to Australia to see our kids. We are only a 5 hour flight away and as Indian Summer is safely tucked up in a marina it seems the right time. Perth was unusually cool for January when we arrived – we were back in Jeans for a day or so, but then the typical heat came back and without the tropical humidity we are used to so we felt quite comfortable. We sorted out all the business side of things, and had a great holiday with our kids. We also needed to get our Thai visas organised as we needed 3 months rather than the 30 day on arrival visa. This took 5 days and 4 trips up to the consulate, they needed to sight documents that were still on the boat and it took ages to get these re-issued – anyway we sorted it all out and spent the rest of the time sourcing parts and playing hard.
During our couple of weeks back in Australia was ‘Australia Day’ which is celebrated in style right across the country. We have traditionally spent it on the water with friends and this year was no different – hundreds of boats on the water, all decked out in Aussie flags, everybody having bbq’s and drinks, swimming and laughing – such a brilliant day and we were really glad to be home for it. We went out for the day on a friend’s houseboat and celebrated our national day in style – winning Highly Commended for the Best Dressed boat!
We flew back to Malaysia for a couple of weeks to put Indian Summer up on the hard to get her bottom stripped right back to the gelcoat, antifouled and polished. It was great to be back on board – albeit up on the hard. As always there were lots of small jobs that seemed to appear while we were out of the water delaying our splash down but luckily we did manage to get a great position right beside the restaurant which was nice and fell into the pool every afternoon after work – a very welcome treat in this heat.
We flew back to the UK for a week to go to my nephews wedding after we had splashed down. It was lovely to catch up with our families again – a very short trip but well worth the long flight. The wedding was in a castle and we all stayed the night – another first – sleeping in a castle! Very romantic. Such a brilliant day and we were so glad we were able to share it with Charlie and Jenn.
The next day, we flew back to Malaysia to provision and organise our trip to Thailand. We hired a dilapidated car for only A$16 – such a bargain – and set off to do the ‘grog run’. As Langkawi is duty free, we wanted to stock up as much as possible as we were not going to be back for six months. The dinghy groaned under the weight of all the cartons of beer but she coped well ! We visited the island of Singa Besar before we left which is inhabited by a guy called Zen, who has made it his little slice of heaven. He has his bedroom up in the trees, a primitive but brilliant water system for his kitchen, crab nets in the small stream behind his house, a huge swing, and a small battery which he charges his mobile phone from! We stayed the afternoon, had a few beers and then headed off to Kuah to clear out of Malaysia.
We set sail for Thailand in company with our good friends Michelle and Phillipe from Tereva on 10th March 2107. We have one week of island hopping before we have to clear in to Phuket – exciting stuff.