On board the Pantai Rhei in Langkawi

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Kedah,
Monday, December 7, 2009

When checking out Sunset Valley, there is an option for a personal cruise on the Pantai Rhei. You see, Ria and Andre had sailed from Netherlands through the Mediterannean via the Suez Canal across the Pacific and landed here in Langkawi.

Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and booked the cruise for the family. I had missed a sunset cruise when we were in Phuket earlier. We were joined by another couple from Netherlands, Edu and Jacqui who were staying at the Gate House.

My husband a typical Malaysian who doesnt really listen to instructions decided we should go to Kuah first , shop, lunch and be back by 4 pm . (it was actually 3 pm). Shopping in Kuah's largest Shopping complex the Fair Price Parade or something was really like shopping in Jusco or worse. The liquor of course was great and I pick myself another bottle of vodka lycee. Looked at Chris's DS - cheaper than KL but suspiciously not original. Decided it was too risky and will get it back it KL.

Again we had to rush through lunch when I reminded Chung that it was 3 pm and reconfirmed with Ria. In his usual cool self, he says half an hour should suffice - that's how its always been , me the anxious punctual one and liking some minutes to spare and him the laid back, breezing through and just in time schedule. We have so far been blessed as we had not missed anything major so far- from ferries in Mornington Peninsula to flights in Japan.

But we took a wrong turning and ended it Air Hangat - I am getting lazy and I just want to relax, so no checking maps and routes. The result an F1 driver on a Cherry zipping through quiet village and kerbaus grazing indolently to make the 3pm. We were late of course but only by  5min. Ran into the house to grab my stuff ( thank goodness I packed first - only to find out we are driving back the Air hangat route) .

We get to the jetty and hey surprise, we get to go through the mangrove as well ( haha Andre says- a bonus for us). The Pantai Rhei is docked near some floating restaurants amidst the mangrove. As we board the yacht, it is obvious that the boat is rather special - the interior is designed with love and care by Andre himself as it serves as their home during their seafaring voyage from Amsterdam. The water is really calm and still as we sail through the hole in the wall. I am so reminded of the fjords at Milford Sound minus the snow capped mountains. I have travelled thousands of miles and driven for nights just to see the fjords not knowing that right at our very own backyard , we have such amazing scenery as well.

Ria is busy serving us drinks and feeding us lovely biscuits and tuna on toasties as Andre gives us a brief run through the modern computerised maps - navigation is now paperless too. The boat is extremely stable and Chung who never fails to get seasick everytime we are on the high sea is surprisingly not sea sick at all. Ria explains that the boat has a very large keel that keeps the boat extremely stable. So it is the size of the boat above the water that matters, it is what is under...

I am sailing on a yacht - one of must do's in life and the sea breeze is exhilarating. We come to a stop near one of the islands where we can jump off an swim. Chung Sr and the juniors jump off but you know, we all cant swim well. Chris who has only 3 swimming lessons is the bravest and fastest of us all. He was paddling , I dont know whatever style that kept him afloat and hey with beautiful Jacqueline to keep an eye on him while Chung Sr and Clarissa are finding their way. Clarissa is totally not taking to the sea water and I shout for her to come back. Chung Sr disappears and I found him clinging on the dear life on a rope in front of the yacht. "Hey what are you doing there" "I cant do it.Let me catch my breath and I'll swim back..

And so ended that swim in the sea. I totally chickened. I can thread water but have never tried in such deep waters . Nay, I'll just keep myself dry and enjoy the sunset back. Enjoy we did,and Chung Sr and Jr all had  their time as skipper.

We finally did docked and had dinner at the Hole in the Wall restaurant - dining alfresco under the myriad of stars. And as we went back on the boat back to the jetty, the ride back through the pitch black mangrove under a clear black sky with thousands of stars twinkling and lighting our tripback is indeed the cherry on the icing....

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