My contractors and dayworkers had been paid off and jobs wrapped up for this period. Saini was getting the last supplies in preparation for his next maintenance round. I got a new stewardess onboard, Ms. Imtisenla Amur a.k.a. Asen, also from Nagaland in India.
Asen with her new curls
Kalpu making curls night before departure
On the 12th I went to Ao Chalong one-stop-shop and checked out the ship without any hassles and on 13th around 1pm we let go and started for Langkawi.
Since it was Lunar New Year and many of the boats with Thai, ethnic Chinese, Owners had been making offerings and attracting the Gods with fire crackers all morning I decided not be any worse and rigged a length of crackers from my bowsprit. Once we had our lines cast off we lighted the line and let it rip, every yacht in the marina that did not see us, at least heard us departing.
Weather was terrific, a bit of NE monsoon was blowing. As the weather was fine we decided to dive at Ko Ma. Ko Ma is a small Island with a crescent shaped reef on it's northern side. We planned to dive at the southern side where the Island apparently does a steep drop to 20 meters. Once in the water with Saini (we jumped off the aft deck) we started to descend and the water got very murky, at abt 15m it got also cold. Somekind of undercurrent pushed very cold water from somewhere.
I did some photography but it was not much use as I did not have my flash yet and the lighting was too low to get any decent pics. The bottom was bare with some odd coral growth and a multitude of crab holes, one could see them lurking for prey with their one claw out of the hole. After some 19minutes my air was gone and it was time to ascend. All in all a disappointing experience but in hindsight we could have gone a bit closer to the Island but as prudent navigators it is better to be safe than sorry.
Some sea creatures...eggs?
Once back onboard Kalizma the sun was setting and we continued our voyage to Langkawi. The waves were getting a bit higher and we developed a permanent starboard list from the monsoon wind that was blowing. Asen was saying she is getting seasick and she was going our for fresh air frequently.
Kalizma in front of Ko Ma
On the morning 14th we entered the channel to Kuah and winds were blowing there quite freshly. Once arrived to the marina we made fast to the N-S pier, the marina is protected from the wind so I did not have any problems going alongside.
I was met by our agent Mr. John Orr and after changing latest gossip and news we walked to the immigration office at the ferry terminal. Check in was a breeze here too and soon enough I was back onboard with stamped passports...