Sailing home from Tioman Island on the tropical east coast of Malaysia, we stayed at some deserted islands and some with resorts. Luckily the resorts welcome visiting yachties. It would have been a very hungry cruise if they didn’t.
We weighed anchor after ten idyllic days at Tekek on Tioman Island. Our next destination was Pulau Tulai (Tulai Island) An epic 7.11 NM (nautical mile) voyage.
Talk about a stunning uninhabited island.
Next morning we woke up surrounded by local fishing boats. We waved to the fisherman as we left. They didn’t wave back. Just grinned and sledged. What were they saying? “Ooh you’re obviously not a real man pulling up the anchor while your wife drives?” I’d love to know. It felt good natured but alimak! I wish my Bahasa Malaysian vocab was more extensive.
Sailing home slowly
We were sailing home to Johor Bahru slowly and reluctantly. We’d have loved to keep going north.
Our next anchorage was Pulau Seribuat. About five hours away.
By this time the other captain was starting to express his concern at our poor provisioning. Eating angst was setting in. He was counting the eggs supply and cans of tuna in the food locker on a daily basis.
Slummin it at the Rawa Island Resort
Moving right along, the following night we anchored off Pulau Rawa. The Rawa Island Resort is very posh.
We’d had a yummy expensive meal and were ready to go home.
Oopsie. Low tide. Not enough water to take the dinghy out through the coral. Waiting waiting waiting for the tide to come in.
Around 8:00 one of the guys from the resort said “You’re going to be here till 10:30 man”. Then sweetly suggested he pulls us out from the jetty using a long rope. Yay. And God bless him it worked.
The next day we continued sailing home slowly via Pulau Babi Besar (literally Big Pig Island).
No shops on Babi Besar anymore
According to our Pilot (like the Lonely Planet for sailors) there was a shop on Babi Besar.
We walked. We looked. We hoped. We were expecting a Tesco or an Aeon or a Giant. But no. Not even a 7 Eleven. Apparently the reported shop was closed down. The other captain’s provisioning angst was quietly escalating.
So we settled for a beer at the Aseania Beach Resort.
Lovely. Cold. All you expect of a tropical resort beer.
I was looking sadly at my empty eggs container. The waiter noticed, took it from me, and came back with six eggs. Free. We had a great dinner there too.
The toilets there were special in their own special way…
Three nights on Pulau Sibu
We anchored off the north of Sibu Island. The Rimba Resort is very civilised. European style service and hospitality. Lovely snorkelling in the bay.
We heard there was a village on the other side of the island. So off we trekked in search of provisions. The jungle walk from Rimba to the uber friendly Sea Gypsy Village resort was excellent. Didn’t see any monkeys on the way but there was a big pig lurking in the jungle. I suppose they’re safe on Muslim islands.
Still sailing home slowly
Time oozes when you’re sailing. We get excited when we’re doing five knots – about ten kilometres per hour. You see the next island as an imagined mirage. Like a visual whisper. Is it really there? Then it slowly slowly materialises before your eyes.
Our next stop was Jasons Bay. We held our nerve so we could be as protected from the rolly swell as possible and anchored with 1.5 metres under our keel. Lucky it was good mud holding. A storm raged around us almost immediately.
Our final stop before returning to Senibong Cove Marina was Tanjung Pengileh. We ate out of date two minute noodles for dinner. I don’t think they can kill you. If I don’t write any more blogs you’ll know I’m wrong.
Pulau Tioman, just north of the ferry jetty
N 02 49.333 E 104 09.563