Sunday, 5 March 2017

Fwd: Jardines de la Maria - Final Pictures

These are the final publicity photos of our apartment - now ready for letting - hopefully!!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carlos Sandoval <>
Date: 3 March 2017 at 08:29
Subject: RE: Jardines de la Maria - Final Pictures
To: Rich Holman <>, James Donald <>
Cc:, sara <>

Hi James,


We finally got the edited pictures of the apartment. You can find them on the link below:


We think the unit turned out amazing, now it is ready to be marketed by the rental department.


I'll put you in contact with them on another email later today, so they can start discussing with you the rental rate, occupancy policies, rental agreement, and more details.


Any comments please let us know


Best regards,

Carlos Sandoval

Design-Build Services Director

Mobile: (+57) 301 670 1256
Office: (574) 604 4991 Ext. 111
US: 954-363-1169

Headquarters: Calle 10 #42 - 28,
Global Express Travel & Business Center


De: Rich Holman []
Enviado el: miércoles, 01 de marzo de 2017 4:22 p. m.
Para: 'James Donald'
CC: 'Carlos Sandos';; 'sara'
Asunto: RE: Jardines de la Maria




Carlos has to assist with the photos and progress so he is copied above.


Since brick does not burn, your building exterior is covered by insurance under the HOA dues, that you have 24 hour security to protect from theft, that we collect and maintain security deposits from renters and have not had any serious damage problems in ten years and that this is not a litigious society and nobody sues here like the US, I would say skip the insurance. 99%+ of our clients do not carry it.


But we can look for an insurance broker for you if you wish to pursue. Let us know and I will try to find one.



Rich Holman

Founder/Director of Institutional and Residential Sales

Mobile: (+57) 314 863 0621
Office: (574) 604 4991
US: 954-363-1169

Headquarters: Calle 10 #42 - 28,
Global Express Travel & Business Center


From: James Donald []
Sent: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 4:12 PM
Subject: Jardines de la Maria


Good afternoon Rich,

We seem to be experiencing delays again with communication. We are currently awaiting the final photographs of the finished and furnished apartment. Apparently the photos should have been finished a couple of days ago.

And we have enquired (again) about insurance of the apartment contents - especially in the context of it being let. The enquiry has apparently been referred to Colombia Legal Partners but we recall some months ago we asked them the same question and they were unable to help.

Surely there would be insurance companies who would offer that cover?

If you could assist with these enquiries, that would be most appreciated.


Jim Donald and Jean Tallentire




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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Langkawi leaving and NZ sojourn - beginning

Hi to all,
We have been sanding and re-varnishing our port caprail - the starboard one and the bulwarks will have to wait until we return early in April.
After Penang, Langkawi is a most welcome slower pace of life - especially when driving!
It was Jim's 70th. on the 27th. - not sure whether that's something to celebrate or not! Guess it must be though to have achieved the 3 score and 10. We had a very pleasant dinner with Lorraine and Graham of "Lorrigray" to mark the occasion at the Fat Frog.
Apart from all that we were preparing the old girl to be left for 2 months and packing. We had purchased 2 large suitcases before we went to Penang to hold small items we have removed from the boat pending its sale.
They finished up weighing around 28 kilos each and so when we booked our flights to NZ on Air Asia, we had to buy 30kgs of checked baggage each. Meanwhile, the cases had stayed in storage on Langkawi.
Our other focus has been the on-going redecoration and furnishing of the Medellin apartment, which has been frustratingly slow. However, the end is in sight with final furniture selection and agreeing colours for "feature walls"!! Maybe we'll earn some rental income yet!!
All that has to happen is for the old girl to be sold, ideally to a younger couple who wish to take her on her next adventure. And then we'll be living the Medellin lifestyle.
We left the marina by taxi around midday on Feb. 1st. so that we could collect the aforementioned cases before the customs agent went to lunch and carried on to the airport where we were early for our 1745 flight to Kuala Lumpur. We had no problem booking all the way to Auckland via KL and Coolangata. We'd also bought bulkhead seats and meals so we were probably as comfortable as you can be in Economy.
Then 3 hours on the ground at KL followed by 8 hours to Coolangata. 1 hour on the ground there and we had to vacate the aircraft with all our carry-on bags. Unbelievably we had to go through a stringent security check after having endured 3 of those since Langkawi!  Even though we were merely in transit. The Aussies are like the US - paranoid. Still, we managed to have a couple of toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, which was a rare treat after the pork drought in Muslim Malaysia. Then off again to Auckland where we arrived at 1700. Our checked through bags did arrive which was a relief and then we got NZ SIM cards for our phones and another for our internet device. Then Supershuttle to Pt. Chevalier where we were to collect Perry and Tracie's car from Tracie's sister and brother-in-law. Deborah was away on business but we met Steve and after a pleasant conversation, headed north on SH16 for Wellsford.
Arrived there just on dark and very happy to be there and see Jean's brother, Keith and Keith's son, Darren and Jolene in the MacGillivray home on MacGillivray Rd. A quick dinner and then off to a very comfortable and welcome bed in Jean's old room - from 54 years ago!! A restful day followed with much catching up. Then one of Keith's lambs which had found its way into the freezer some time previously. Beautiful young NZ lamb. Haven't had anything like that for many moons.
Then it was on the road again heading north to Whangarei to our friends, Hamish and Sara. Was great to see them again and they always make us very welcome. They only have a 1 bedroom house and when staying there previously we've slept (very comfortably!) on a blow-up mattress on the floor. However, since then they have acquired a shipping container which they have fitted out as a sleepout next to Hamish's stainless steel workshop. We would have been very happy to sleep in the container, but very generously they made their room available to us and they slept in the container. That was especially good as about that time we both came down with some sort of viral flu which laid us low and made us feel fairly lacklustre for a couple of days. So, we haven't been social and effectively have lost that time. However, we did contact the carrier we had organized from Langkawi and also researched various "antique/collectable" dealers in Whangarei. As a result, we have the carrier coming on Tuesday and we have identified a dealer who has the necessary space to display items. Interestingly, he occupies the premises of an old service station whose then owners were very well known to Jim's family. This dates way back pre-war when the family held the Reo motor vehicle agency for NZ and the Adams family of Whangarei ran a bus company apart from the service station. The Adams bought a number of Reo bus chassis over a number of years and a strong friendship was established. Jim's recollection of Len Adams Motors was when we always pulled in there for fuel going to and from the Bay of Islands. So, quite coincidentally we're involved in a totally different way with the same premises.
On the 10th. we drove south of Whangarei a short distance to Mangapai where another of Jean's relatives (a niece - Josephine) lives on her newly acquired property. She bought it for a fantastically low price. It is sitting high on 5 acres inland from state highway 1 with a commanding view of Whangarei Heads and was an  Once more - catchups with various family happenings. All very welcoming and nurturing.
The climate needs a mention. Northland has had virtually no rain since November and just before we arrived had officially been declared a drought area. One day when we were both well down with the flu, the mercury hit 34C (98F). That was so enervating, especially in our state of health. And water use had to be very restricted as most places where we stayed were on tank water with existing supplies very low.. However, the day and night after that it rained steadily for at least 36 hours which filled everyone's water tanks, and considerably lowered the temperature. Since then it has not exceeded the mid 20's which is perfect, although the drought is still official and there is not much rain on the immediate horizon. 
Next week we hope to have our storage unit substantially reduced by all the major furniture items and then later in the week we are going to the South Island - Greymouth on the West Coast via Arthurs Pass and then back to Christchurch to be with Jim's youngest daughter, Charlotte.
More blogs to come, that's for sure.
With lotsaluv from us,
Jim and Jean
Mangapai (30 kms south of Whangarei)

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Launching and back to Langkawi

Hi folks,
Well, after all our trials and tribulations the launching day had finally arrived. Was going to be the 3rd. but Jim wasn't well mainly we think due to the residual effects of a tick bite he had on his face under all the whiskers! Apparently these little critters fly and one must have landed there. For some days it just felt sore and we didn't know what it was but just after New Year the body bloated with yours truly's life blood fell off. Just as well we saw it in daylight - if it had come off in bed it wouldn't have been so nice! We then went to a local hospital to get it checked out because in Australia these things can in some cases be fatal. Anyway, the doctor re-assured us and the pain has slowly subsided. But Jim was definitely unwell on the day originally scheduled for launching, hence the delay, but then we were used to those!  
Quite a logistical exercise getting ourselves back on board with cleaning etc. The interior of the boat looked as if a bomb had gone off in it, so everything had to be cleaned and re stowed and squabs retrieved from the yard office where they had been stored. However, Jean had insisted on putting most things in large plastic bags, so the cleaning was less of an issue than it might have been.
We had queried the bill, as we had been expecting to and so at the last minute on launch day there we were going through the invoice line by line! The last thing we needed at that stage. Anyway, we managed to reduce the cost by approx.18% due to the painting shambles and the fact that they had overcharged most things compared to the quote.
The travel lift picked us up mid afternoon when we had been told the tide was highest and there should be slack water. But they never seemed to get the tides right and even told us the tide was flooding when in fact it was ebbing! And there was  a strong cross current across the mouth of the launch basin. So, as soon as we were free of the straps - but still being held by the shore crew with mooring lines - we went full astern and just hoped for the best. Fortunately we slid clear and managed to miss the concrete walls. Then we decided to go to the Jerejak anchorage just under the new bridge and 2 miles to the north as anchoring off the yard, as they had recommended, seemed too fraught with fishing trawlers coming and going. We don't trust those guys. 
We had a rolly, pitchy night due to an unseasonable SE swell rolling in and then returned to the yard the following morning for our final engine alignment check. Except that they didn't do it! The engineer, like Wit at Krabi, insisted that all was well before launching and therefore would remain so afterwards, but most boats "move" on being re-launched (wooden ones especially) and we were less than impressed. But there didn't seem to be any excess vibration and we'd had enough by then so just decided we'd get it checked once back on Langkawi. They did find however, that a hose clip on the exhaust hadn't been tightened and so we were pumping salt water into the boat! That is not the kind of thing that you expect to find on sea trials after a major engine refit. Having said all that, we are generally happy with the engine work and also the fact that we decided to lift the engine after 50 odd years!
They then went ashore and we thankfully headed north under both the Penang bridges as by then the tide had turned and was flooding north with the current in our favour. A marked contrast to the situation when we arrived 7 weeks ago. We had intended to go across the north coast of Penang and around the NW corner to Monkey Bay but when we got there it was very much a lee shore and quite unpleasant - again very unseasonable. So we went back into the western end of Batu Ferringhi and spent a reasonable night there. We were then about 15 miles on the way compared to coming direct from the boatyard so that made for an easy 50 miler the next day.
We re-assembled the area under the cockpit sole and stowed everything that belonged there (fenders and mooring lines) and had a restful night. Broached our final bottle of Laphroaig and celebrated getting this far with a huge sense of relief at being out of the place.
The next morning (06/01) we raised the anchor and headed NW on 340 true. There was a reasonable NE blowing so we motorsailed at a reasonable clip (av. 6.5 knots) under reefed main, staysail and gradually a full genoa. Would have been great to have just sailed, but as usual we had a deadline to get there in daylight due to unlit fishing boats and large scale fish traps. You'd be in a bit of a pickle if you sailed into one of those in the dark. The wind dropped as we approached the island so we dropped all sails and continued under power. The old engine purred along without an issue. Jean rang her friend Efa in the marina office and it turned out that she had saved our old berth for us!! That was nice. So at around 1630 we entered the marina at the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club and tied up on D13. Wonderful to be back.
By then though the sky was looking very threatening and sure enough it started raining cats and dogs. Thank goodness we came in when we did. It then rained more or less continuously for the next 2 days but we just slept mostly. Then on the 9th. was the start of the annual RLYC Regatta. This has been in full swing ever since with big parties every night ashore and all the usual razmattaz. 2 nights ago we went to dinner at Wonderland with Graham and Lorraine off "Lorrigray". They are an English couple who spent much of their working lives in S Africa and "Lorrigray" is a large twin engined 65' steel sloop - quite a lot for 2 people to handle, but they seem to manage her well. We first met them in Bundaberg and came through Indonesia the same year they did.
Our focus at the moment is to prepare the old girl for leaving here when we go to NZ on Feb. 1st. Cleaning and re-doing the varnished caprails which were adversely affected when the cowboy painters placed masking tape on them. The masking has ripped the varnish so we will have to re-sand and give another couple of coats of Sikkens. Then there's the damage caused in the companionway when there was an ill-judged attempt to remove the engine from the boat. Not the happiest of experiences.
Then there's the ludicrous situation of having to present passports to be able to buy 5 bottles of spirits or wine per month per passport on duty free Langkawi.. Jim thought he'd be smart and bought one bottle and then a day later tried to buy 5 bottles at our regular shop, but the Customs computer was onto it and the dastardly plot was foiled. Still, Jean's got 2 passports so we don't think we'll be too deprived. We had managed to buy enough before we went to Penang and so, even with the delays, we didn't run out. But it was a close run thing!
We've been celebrating the fact that the Malaysian Ringgit has declined some 16% against the Kiwi in the last little while which helps every time we visit the ATM, but every thing imported either has risen or will rise in price accordingly. This is one of the prices that the Malay general population is paying for their grossly corrupt and dishonest government. Singapore has already tried and convicted 3 individuals associated with the 1MDB scandal and there is more to come. In the meantime the Malaysian PM has sacked all who were involved in the original investigation here and the whole thing has been forcibly shut down in Malaysia. Anyone who dares to criticise this state of affairs is likely to end up in jail on sedition charges.
Well, the sun is now just about over the yardarm so it's time to do justice to one of these bottles. Looking forward to seeing everyone back in Godzone.
Cheers and lotsaluv from us................
Jim and Jean
s.v. Tiare Taporo III

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

More in the saga

You won't believe this - any more than we did.
We arrived at the boatyard this morning (27/12) just after 8. There was a discussion about the weather which was forecast to rain at midday. We refused to take the responsibility as we had the least knowledge of local weather. Anyway it was decided to paint and we always had the option of stopping at the aft chainplate should that be necessary.
The painter started painting, then soon after started complaining that the paint was going off excessively quickly. We couldn't understand that as there had never been an issue previously. Then we went into the shed and found that he had poured International Danboline (the bilge paint) into the painting tray instead of International Toplac (the topside paint) - which he had been using already and apart from the name, has a distinctively different label.
So, it was completely incomprehensible. It now means that we have lost yet another day as the affected area (not too big thank God - not the Muslim one!!!) can be quickly dealt with before painting again.
We felt numb - it's like dealing with kindergarten children, but these are adults - at least that's what they look like.
We then had a meeting with the yard owner who leaves the day to day running to his son and he was shocked to hear our tale of woe. Something is going to happen (it needs a large BOMB!!!) and as long as it results in our getting back in the water within another week at the most, we'll be happy to escape.
At least the engine is coming along well and we hope to test run it tomorrow. We have organized a fresh water feed so that we can flush the salt water cooling system and run the engine out of the water. We have insisted on this as we have very little confidence and we don't want to get back in the water, only to find that "Oh dear, there's a problem"!!!
There'll be more in this saga you may be sure!
Lotsaluv from us..........
Jim and Jean  

Monday, 26 December 2016

The saga continues

When we first accepted the quote for hauling out at Limbongan Batu Maung, Penang earlier this year, we felt it was acceptable because the time frame was 20 days. And we had a very competent visit to the boat in Langkawi with acceptable costs subsequently tendered..
Now the reality is that we have been hauled out for 41 days so far and neither the painting, nor the engineering is finished. It is likely that it will be day 49 or 50 before we are launched and we are very much less than impressed.
The main problem was that our boat was ignored for at least 10 days after we arrived and even after that the work was desultory and largely unsupervised. It is still unsupervised.
Now we are doing the supervising and kicking the appropriate ass as required.
However, the frustration has been huge and has impinged on our domestic life as well. We originally rented an apartment for 30 days thinking that would allow enough time but when it became apparent that that wasn't going to work and we asked for an extension of time, the landlord refused. He claimed to have another tenant but we frankly didn't believe him. We cannot imagine the mindset, because there is a serious glut of apartments on Penang - whether to let or to sell.
Anyway, we are now living in another 22nd. floor apartment which is owned by the boatyard owner. We are sharing it with a Moslem woman who also works for the boatyard. It's reasonably comfortable
Then there is our rental car - fortunately we have it at a very reasonable cost (NZD14 per day), but again we rented it for 30days and now here we are!
But all these costs are impinging on us and there is going to be a robust discussion when we finally leave. Watch this space!!!
We had an enjoyable Christmas Day. We visited the boatyard to check on our old girl sitting forlornly on the hard and then (slowly) rove north up the inland road of Penang to Batu Ferringhi, which is on the north coast of Pulau Penang. A very pleasant leafy drive over some rugged country, but no great distance (a bit like the Scenic Drive in Titirangi) and soon we were descending onto the coast road to Batu Ferringhi, which is probably the most sought after area on Penang for expats - and prices to match!!
We found the Magic 1 Restaurant where we had been before and where we had made our Christmas reservation. We were a little early for our repast, so we repaired across the road to the Hard Rock Café and had a delicious entrée of spinach and artichoke puree with Parmesan Cheese and a Latte and an Americano. A great way to spend an hour or so.
Then back to the Magic 1 and a wonderful 4 course meal with roast beef for Jim and Turkey for Jean. All in all with a bottle of Chilean red (excellent) and 2 beers and 2 soda waters MYR389 for both of us. This is equivalent to NZD125 - not bad for Christmas Dinner for 2 and a lovely ambience and friendly staff. We rolled out of the place!
Then we had the encore - an hour and a half drive to get a very short distance back to our apartment midway down the eastern side of the island. The traffic is insane. Of course it was a public holiday (in spite of it being a Christian celebration and the bulk of Malaysia being Muslim), but they never let anything so crass as to get in the way of a day off!   
Tomorrow (27/12) will see the resumption of work hopefully - watch this space.
Cheers and lotsaluv from us....................
Jim and Jean

Friday, 23 December 2016

Fwd: Penang - good and BAD!!!!!

Well, here we are again only 2 weeks after the last blog. Things have not been going well, but slowly starting to improve.
We had been assured that if we needed to extend our Penang apartment stay beyond the initial 4 week booking, we could do so. When we actually tried to extend because of delays in the boatyard, the Chinese landlord refused. This was extremely concerning because we quickly realized that, although rents are by NZ standards very cheap, they are almost invariably for a term of 12 months or more. However, the owner of the boatyard has come to our rescue and we are now ensconsed in a 26 story tower on the 22nd floor with a delightful Malaysian girl and her boyfriend. However, we must hide any obvious visible signs of the demon drink and we cannot cook any pork products - so no bacon and eggs. She doesn't own the apartment - just rents it herself from the same Chinese owned boatyard where she works. We find all these precious restrictions very hard to accept and are especially irritating as we wouldn't even be here if the yard had been efficient and actually done their job in a timely manner. But this is Malaysia and it is obvious from conversations and just observations, that the place is falling apart under excessive racially based taxation, and creeping Islamisation coupled with rampant corruption and theft - a la 1MDB. A year ago one NZD was buying 2.7 Malaysian Ringgits - now it's 3.15. That's a change of 17% and it's even more pronounced when you compare the Ringgit with the USD.    
Malays consider themselves above any other race - incl. the 10 generations or so southern Chinese (Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, etc.) and Indians whose forebears came from Tamil Naidu in SE India many generations ago as well. The Chinese and Indians we talk to are by and large very discontented and in many cases would love to get out but cannot due to affordability, family ties etc. Malaysia is NOT a happy country and sooner or later will erupt in some kind of protest. But it is very difficult at present because the military and the police are firmly in Malay (Bumiputera) control. If you are not Bumiputera, you cannot join either of these organisations. 
Anyway, to get back to our haulout - it is now week no. 6 and we had been assured that everything would be finished by the end of week 3. It is a long way from finished and this sad state of affairs is due to the fact that workers have been pulled off our job for others - in spite of the fact that we had a prior booking. But in this country, if you are competing with a large motor launch whose owner might be an influential Malaysian, you have no show. Add to that extreme incompetence in the painting arena and you could imagine that we are pulling our hair out - it's akin to nailing jelly to the wall.
However, after a series of very fraught meetings we may be gaining some progress. We need to be there every morning to make sure among other things that they are mixing the paint correctly. These so-called painters appear to have no concept of percentages of mixing additives. They are in fact painting cowboys. We've even had to dictate the correct type of painting rollers and various techniques of applying the paint! We may have to do it all ourselves before we are much older. However, the yard has a policy of not allowing owners to work on their own boats, although that requirement would be easily overturned. It's just that at almost 70 we do not relish the knee pain of clambering up on scaffolds and kneeling for long periods.
The engine is almost back on its mounts except that the mounts themselves now have to be replaced. This will happen tomorrow (21st.) after which we should be able to see the engine hooked up again and ready to go. As soon as that happens we will be able to clean the boat and move back on board. It did not happen on the 21st. because they suddenly decided that the engine mounts were not long enough. We thought that they were long enough but possibly at Satun they put the alignment shims in without addressing the issue of the bolt lengths. This has meant that we had to make in the yard's workshop 3 new bolts which has taken a day and a half.
Then there has been the issue of our dripless ceramic stern gland. It seems that in the past, either at Krabi or PSS the seal was fitted back the wrong way around. So there has been excessive wear and we have to replace it. But the shaft is 1.75" in diameter and the seals are available here only in metric measurements. However, we have come to an acceptable compromise and we are confident that the seal will perform with much better integrity than over the past 18 months or so. 
It is great that we are at last getting to the bottom of all these issues in a professional manner, but it's frustrating that it's taken so long due to the fact that the engineers were taken off our job early on.
Today we thought that we could get the final coat of Toplac on the port side but there was a threat of rain on the forecast, which in fact duly happened, albeit 3 hours later. But it would have ruined the paint and then we would have had to sand it all offagain and start all over. We're hoping for tomorrow............................!!! 
Life generally has some frustrations. The Malaysians are very authoritarian when they are in any position of power and that is most evident when dealing with security guards. On this apartment complex there are uniformed guards all over the place.
1) There are at least 5 security guards for this 26 story apartment complex. We are on the 22nd floor. This may be the only way in which they can deal with their own life frustrations, but these useless guys just sit on their fat asses and make life difficult. We have a parking spot in an adjacent parking building but sometimes need to park in a temporary spot to unload things. You have to register if you do that - Jim just tells them we will be gone in 5 - 10 minutes but they get their knickers in a twist and shout in a most obnoxious fashion.
2) Then there was the "reading library". Jim went in there and found a couple of books that looked interesting. In the absence of any instructions to the contrary, he thought that it was like most marinas and you could take books and bring them back, including any that you may have brought from elsewhere. A true lending library. But the security Nazi just started shouting "cannot take" without any other reasonable discussion. So, after a fruitless minute or so Jim just threw the books at him and walked off.   
3) There are the abominable driving "manners". We've had some close calls - notably with a lunatic on a motorcycle who somehow squeezed past us through an impossible gap on our left at 80 kph plus and then lifted one of his legs in our direction in an obscene gesture of defiance and absolute stupidity. Unbelievable. Motorcycles pass left or right on the motorway at high speeds. All it would take is for a vehicle to move left or right and there would be (and is) carnage.  Absolutely arrogant tailgating where you cannot see the front grill of the vehicle behind is another example of why Malaysia kills 6500 of its citizens each year on its roads. But it's not just Malaysia - it's Thailand and Vietnam as well. And mainland Chinese - and the more of these lunatics that we import into NZ, the worse NZ's road toll will be - already on the rise again.
4) Then, the Piece de Resistance - we had seen an ad. for a Christmas dinner at the Penang Club (which was started in 1868) under the auspices of the Penang Expats Society. So, we registered and went along. Jim had even bought a new long pair of trousers as we had read that the club required this minimum level of attire. He had a new pair of Hush Puppy sandals for the occasion as well. You need to bear in mind that yachties do not have the ability to have vast wardrobes at their disposal.
Anyway, these throwbacks of a British colonial mentality wouldn't let us in because the feet were showing bare skin!!! So, we went further west to Batu Ferringhi where we found a delightful restaurant and to which we will almost certainly return for Christmas Dinner. Unbelieveable again that these Neanderthal colonialist attitudes persist in these enlightened times. 
Another astonishing thing - we were at the checkout at the Aeon Supermarket the other day with 4 bottles of wine and some ham. When the operator saw these sinful items, she rang for a non Muslim supervisor (an Infidel like us!!) to actually handle these untouchable items. We feel they are so precious in their attitudes, especially given that Penang is overwhelmingly Chinese and therefore not Muslim! 
Then there is Penang in 2016 compared with 2010 when we first came here. The place is littered with high rises, which are not sold or let. In spite of that it is very difficult to take an apartment for a month. Most want at least 12 months. So, most are empty - surprise surprise. Pollution is also very evident (as it is also in Langkawi) and in these days of the NE monsoon it is Chinese industrial pollution which is causing a distressing lack of visibility. Even looking at Butterworth sometimes on a bad day which is only 2 miles at most across the water, you cannot even see the high rise buildings there.
We really cannot wait to get to Medellin at 5000 feet. But, if the boat doesn't sell we don't quite know what we are going to do. The apartment in Medellin has been completed as far as renovations are concerned - all that is required now is to complete the decoration and furnishing and we'll be in business. We wish we were in a position to move in ourselves.
We feel very frustrated that our lives are on hold until a sale can be negotiated but we just have to accept it. If Tiare doesn't sell we might just have to bite the bullet and ship her to the Mediterranean and maybe sail to Colombia - Cartagena or Santa Marta. But that's a gamble and as always we are not getting any younger. Next month 70 for Jim and the same for Jean in February. Neither of us fancies the voyage across the Indian Ocean to S. Africa and then up the S. Atlantic. 
Still, at the moment our focus is to complete this haulout and then get the old girl back to Langkawi. Then soon after we leave for NZ for 2-3 months and we are looking forward to that to see family and celebrate our joint 70th's. with them.
More on that in due course.
In the meantime all the best to everyone for the festive holiday season - stay safe and we'll look forward to catching up. 
Lotsaluv from us..............
Jim and Jean

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Fwd: Seasons Greetings

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Donald <>
Date: 23 December 2016 at 11:52
Subject: Seasons Greetings
To: Abbie Kitchen <>

Hi to all our friends and family wherever you may be.
We send our Christmas Greetings as it's that time of the year again. How time flies. We hope that this finds everyone well.
We will be spending the festive season on Penang hopefully finalizing the last boat maintenance issues.
We hope to be back in the water around New Year and then back to Langkawi. At the moment frustrations with painting delays caused by earlier poor technique and now unsettled rainy weather. The engine has been out and now back in place but an issue with the dripless seal on our propeller shaft which hopefully will be resolved soon.
In the meantime we are living in a pleasant apartment on the 22nd floor of the Bayswater Apartments. It's only a 20 minute trip from here to the Limbongan Batu Maung Boatyard so quite handy.
We will be having Christmas lunch at a very pleasant restaurant we discovered the other day at Batu Ferringhi which is on the north coast of Penang, west of Georgetown.
There will be a detailed blog very soon on 
Christmas Greetings once again to all................
Lotsaluv from us,
Jim and Jean
Bayswater Apartments