Monkey aboard!

Sebana Cove Marina

Hi Everyone,

  Luckily for us the monkey was aboard the boat next to ours.  At least that’s where we saw him.    I had gone out to hang laundry (risky if there are lots of curious monkeys!)  and noticed the monkey on the sail boat next to ours.  By the time I had gone back inside to get Randal, a mini-crowd had formed.  A cruiser was yelling to the Sebana Cove security guards that the monkey had come into his boat and now was on his neighbor’s boat. (The boat between ours and his.)  His suggestion was that they get a gun a shoot the monkey.Yuck bad!!!  Hearing that must have scared the monkey who started to climb up the furled foresail and do what scared monkeys do. They poop!  Yuck bad!!!  I guess this monkey knew the longer he stayed the bigger trouble he’d be in, so off he went.  Off the boat, onto the dock, past the guards and mini-crowd and back to land and the safety of roofs and trees.  You don’t usually see monkeys alone.  But this one may be the one several cruisers have spotted at the marina complex and watching cruisers play tennis.  The thought was that he had been kicked out of the troop being a threat to the dominant male.  I can’t help but think he is just lonely for company.  The dock trash cans have heavy metal sliding tops that might or might not be monkey proof though you never see trash strewn about.  I don’t know if he wanted company, food, or what.  I did wonder about hanging out our laundry! 

clip_image002 clip_image004

These monkeys are fun to watch, but they will bite and don’t seem so cute or cuddly like the gibbons or even the proboscis monkeys.  And a monkey running amok in the boat, yuck bad!!!!

Just another morning at Sebana Cove.


email to all

November 16th, Sebana Cove Marina, Johor, Malaysia

Reading and Riding


I thought I struck it rich the other day when I found the May 2008 issue of Oprah’s magazine in the Sebana Cove Marina office. There are 3 shelves of books and a half shelf of magazines and cruisers may help themselves. Every few days I go to see what’s new. Sadly most of what’s new isn’t in English. It’s either German, Dutch, or Swedish reflecting the passports of many of the cruisers. But every now and then I do find some piece of fiction I think will entertain me. I read one of the Inspector Monk books by Ann Perry and started something called Move to Strike by Perri O’Shaughnessy. I never would have chosen the O’Shaughnessy book if there had been other choices; but there weren’t really. (After a few chapters I skipped to the end to see “who done it.” I don’t really like historical fiction and so left those for someone else. There were no biographies of autobiographies which I do like to read.

But back to Oprah’s magazine. A perk of having worked in a library is that I could take home magazines when the library closed at 9 pm and have them back next morning when we opened. So though I didn’t buy many glossy magazines, I did flip through them often enough to miss them out here in the cruising world. My Oprah magazine’s cover price in $4.50. In the Philippines where one could actually buy magazines, the magazines were even more expensive and just not worth the money. But I do miss them. Randal told me he couldn’t tell my hanging around the boat clothes from my go to town clothes. That’s not quite true, my go to town clothes don’t have cut off sleeves and shortened bottoms that roll up. And my go to town clothes are clean, or at least they are when I first put them on the first day I wear them. So it’s not like I want women’s/fashion magazines for the clothes. I want them for the company.

On the van to town the other day we started talking about books and one woman with a “BBC” accent just had read an amazing amount. We started talking books and have since gotten to know Elizabeth and her husband Patrick a bit. Elizabeth teaches English and History. I say teaches because every now and then they stop cruising and she teaches. Very interesting person with a wide range of knowledge and interests. Sadly she and Patrick will leave this week, but I will think of them when I read the half dozen 2007 New Yorker magazines she passed along to us. The New Yorker was not one of the magazines I took home at night, so old New Yorkers will be new to me.


clip_image002 Yes, it’s an elephant crossing sign.

Just before the Marina access road meets the main road into Sungai Rengit there is an elephant crossing sign. It isn’t just an example of the Marina owner’s sense of humor. At least I don’t think. Our van driver said there are “no more elephants.” What exactly does that mean? I’m taking it to mean once upon a time there were elephants because I like to think there were elephants here and maybe one day one will come walking out of the jungle that lines the road. Randal and I did see a family of wild boar one day. And of course there are monkeys by the dozens. You can see exactly where the expression, “monkey see, monkey do comes from.”

clip_image004 Look who finally got back onto their bikes! Randal and I got the bikes ready and did an hour test ride Friday night. There is a lovely back way to Sungai Rengit that is totally flat and goes through jungle and palm plantations towards the main road running along the coast. It is paved and FLAT!!! Perfect for riding. Inspired by our Friday afternoon ride, Saturday about 11 we rode all the way to Sungai Rengit for lunch. Occasionally a car or truck will passed by, but we pulled over and let them pass. It’s more the monkeys you need to keep an eye out for though we only heard them in the trees along the way. When we left the back road and joined the main coastal road cars were still courteous. They might be used to bikers. Many come from Singapore to ride and we chatted with several who were also riding to Sungai Rengit for lunch.

By the time we arrived in Sungai Rengit I was certain our 27 kilometer ride was more like 27 miles. For lunch we found a great seafood Chinese restaurant and ate a very filling pan fried sweet and sour fish with rice and veggies. Wisely we took the shorter, 12 kilometer but less flat way back to the marina. Hills, lycra and a full stomach are not a good combination for riding. Thankfully it was overcast and not blazing hot. When we arrived at the Marina entrance gate with 3 more miles to ride I told Randal that I was really out of condition for riding since we hadn’t ridden since the Philippines. But since it was flat I should have done better. “But you’re old,” said Randal. Hmm. Now being, 58 doesn’t mean you’re too old to ride. Our buddy Artie Levin was 75 when he and I rode up Bent Mountain in Virginia and he had to keep waiting for me. I was 30 something. But being 58 means that you can’t hop on your bike once every 4 months or so and ride. While we wait for boat parts, because it is such a tempting area for riding, I should hopefully get better.

Blue Station Wagon Pork and Chicken

Hi Everyone…I hope the wifi will send this…..I didn’t have photos my last few emails but finally took these.

  Randal and I rode the Marina van to nearby Sengai Rengit yesterday.  Randal lugged the alternator to take to the alternator fixit man.  I lugged the cooler so I could buy chicken and pork from the blue station wagon meat shop. The alternator man was closed arbitrarily.  The meat man never sells meat on Mondays.  Now we know.  So we went back today.  The alternator man was still closed so Randal and I walked through town and finally found an alternator shop that was open.  Trusting to intuition and faith, Randal left the alternator to be cleaned.  Then we went back to the meat man and bought a whole chicken and more pork.  We bought a baguette at the bakery and some veggies across the street at the small shop that’s our drop off and pick up spot.  Then it poured while everyone huddled under the shop awning to wait for the van. During the return trip the van stops at a local small “supermarket.”  Luckily by the time we returned to the Marina the downpour had lessened to a sprinkle.  For the second day my laundry isn’t drying so I moved it into the engine room. 

clip_image002  This is the shop where we meet the van.  You can see our cooler to the right of the yellow bicycle.  Another cruiser’s backpack is to the left of the bicycle.  No one bothers our stuff as we walk around town shopping. 

clip_image004  The blue station wagon and the meat man and our chicken.  Last time I asked him to chop it into quarters.  This time we left it whole so Randal could try our rotisserie.  I did ask that he chop off the head and feet….

clip_image006  On the way back to the marina we stop at this little “supermarket’ which sells beer and soda and paper products and ice cream.  Monday we bought kleenex and ice cream and squid balls (like gefilte fish) to put into soup.  Today I bought chunky peanut butter and quick cooking oatmeal.

Then it was back to the boat and try to find somewhere in the frig for food and storage space for everything else.

Out walking

Sebana Cove Marina, Johor, Indonesia

Hi Everyone,

       Most mornings I walk from the boat, past the Marina buildings, and follow the paved path around and through the golf course.  Some mornings Randal goes with me.  So far on our walks we have seen:

a huge monitor lizard about 5 feet long swimming in one of the water holes and one smaller lizard

at least one Purple Heron; I’ve seen it more than once but it could be the same one

several Great Egrets

a whole family of wild boar who snorted and ran into the woods when they saw us

lots of monkeys

one scrawny squirrel

lots of small birds, one that sounded like it was chirruping, “it’s a lizard! It’s a lizard! 

I think we were most amazed by the wild boars; and we’re so used to monkeys that it was the squirrel that looked out of place.  This weekend there were actually golfers, usually there are not.  When there are golfers we have to walk on the access road instead.  It goes past the golf course but not through it.   That’s less fun because you have to watch for cars and you see less.  Lots of golfers from Singapore used to come here on golf weekends.  But that was before the ferry fare between Singapore and Sebana Cove tripled; that and the fact it’s the rainy season.  Now there are not so many golfers which is good for walking but not so good for the Marina. 

This evening we had dinner with Terry and Brian and Ruth and Cliff, all Canadians.  They knew all about Obama: I can’t tell you who is the current Prime Minister of Canada. 

Everyone brought a dish.  Terry and Brian made chili and rice. Ruth and Cliff brought a salad.   We brought garlic bread and Randal’s fresh baked first ever apple pie which was a great success.  Then we played a card game called Cadiver.  That’s what you say when you want to pick up the card someone just discarded. The first person who says it gets to take the card, depending…. I have no clue how to spell it and it would take way too long to explain it.  But for 6 people to play you really do need 3 decks of cards. 

Tomorrow we’ll catch the Marina shuttle to town for fruit, veggies and whatever….  Just before you reach the end of the Marina drive there is a yellow and black elephants crossing sign.  But unfortunately we’ve been told it’s been ages since there really were elephants.  Too bad.

That’s all for now.



Sebana Cove Marina, Johor, Malaysia

7 am

  Hi Everyone,

It’s November 5th here so it seems as if I should know who won the election, but we don’t.  We just have to wait to find out. 

Randal and I are at Sebana Cove Marina for the time being.  We have boat work to do and this is a good place to do it.  It is a lovely protected setting.  And it’s a good place to take our bikes from the flybridge and do some riding.

I been posting all of my emails only on our website because sending multi-photo emails to more than one person hasn’t been possible.  If you want to check it once a week there should be some updates posted.  Sometimes I have no wifi access.  Sometimes there is just not much to say.  But you can still write back to me at

We are about 8 miles from the closest town, Sungai Ringgit.  The marina provides a van 4 mornings during the week so everyone can do their small shopping.  We are dropped off on the main street in front of a small shop that sells lots of canned goods and where there is a small table and chair.  You go to the vegetable shops for veggies, fruit stands for fruit and the bakery for baked goods.  Two shops sell a pretty good selection of canned goods.  I bought chicken and pork from the man in the blue station wagon parked on a side street!  He comes highly recommended by the marina and all of the other cruisers.  The chicken comes with head and feet, but he chopped those off for me and quartered the chicken.  The pork was sliced into 7 pieces.  This all took about 5 minutes and cost 30 ringgits about $8 U.S.  I cooked the chicken last night and it was very good.  After each purchase you go back to the shop where we will be picked and leave your bags of purchases.  No one touches them!  They sit outside on the corner near the table and chair and they are there when you return.  We have 2 hours to shop.  It seems too little time, but once you know the routine it takes less than one hour.  I go for the fruit and vegetables and Randal goes to the hardware shops or to look for a barber.  Next trip we’ll find the fish man around the corner and I’ll take photos of the different shops.  We hope to ride our bikes one day.  The small town reminds me of a very uncrowded China. 

Just one photo from our time in Belitung, Indonesia.  Since there are no libraries or English Language book stores, cruisers swap books.  There was a book exchange held on a tiny island at Belitung.  I gave up Shipping News  and Chez Panisse and Randal got a memoir by David Attenborough.  Here at the marina they have a help yourself collection of books.  I borrowed an Anne Perry Inspector Monk mystery. 

So, though my Red Sox didn’t win, they gave it a great try and it was a good season.  (Winning 2 World Series in 4 years makes losses bearable.)  Now it’s “Wait till next year.”  And there is now a Red Sox farm team in Salem, VA to follow. 

clip_image002  This is a scene from the book swap.  Our first cruising friends Terry in yellow and (headless) Brian with the wine.  We met them at Rinca Island where we saw the Komodo dragons.  The lady in brown, Anne I think is her name. had brought the David Attenborough book and wanted to “trade” but just let Randal have it since she didn’t want either of the 2 books I had brought.  The next night they did the swap again and brought videos too.  We couldn’t make that swap. 

Internet Scrabble

Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008  5:10 pm AM

Subject: Internet Scrabble

OK, the game is on… Afternoon Scrabble – Keep it going!!!
Change one letter of the bottom word posted and let’s see who gets stuck and can’t continue! 
Rules: You cannot add letters. You cannot use foreign languages. You can only change one letter.  Send it back to the person who sent it to you, plus 10 new people. Add your entry to the bottom after you hit Forward, or to be neater please Copy and Paste!
Don’t forget: send it back to the person who sent it to you, plus 10 new people.
To make it even more interesting, let’s add what city and state we are from & the date to see how far this goes and how long it’s been out…
Bray -Marion Herts.UK 18/0 8/08
Tray  20- Jenny, Essex UK 18/7/08
Tram – Marian, Essex UK 18/07/08
Trap – Wendy Pike 18/7/08
Trip Fion a Baxter, Essex 19/08/08
Grip – Cheryl Hadley, Essex , UK 20/08/08
Grid – Chris Baker, Scotland 20/08/08
Grin – Lyn Wood , Barbados 21.08.08
Gran – John Coombes – England 21.08.08
Bran – Wendy Morris, Kent, 24.8.08
Rant- Val Parker England 27.08.08
Pant – Janet Gilboy, South Australia 27/8/08
Pint – Adriana White, Hervey Bay Queensland Australia
Punt _ Issy Major Craignish Qld. Australia
Puny – Maureen Tarrant – Pt Elliot South Australia 29/08/08
Punk – Derek Napier – Goolwa Beach South Austraila 01/09/08
Pink – Shirley Everson – Canterbury UK
Sink – Helen Foad Herne Bay Kent
Link – Sue Sullivan Herne Bay Kent . 2 Sept 08
Line – Denise Helv in Essex 2nd September 08
Lint – Sam Nash Wal ton-on-the-Naze, Essex 02/09/08
Tint – Kathie Hazelwood – Orpington , Kent 03/09/08
Tent – Jocelyn Mayes – Sevenoaks , Kent 3/9/08
Rent – Laura Baker – Fairseat , Kent 3/9/08
Dent – Gina Turner – Bromley Kent 3/9/08
Bent – Paula Sams – West Wickham , Kent 3/9/08
Sent – Alison Randall – Borough Green, Kent 6/9/08
Went – Joanne Fenlon – Southport UK – 06/09/08
Want – Christa Beyer-Kay Southport UK – 06/09/08
Wart – Georgia -Lee , South Grafton20AU -07/09/08
Fart – Susan Elizabeth South Grafton AU=2 0-07/09/2008
Cart- Charm Lawrence Brisbane Au- 08/09/2008
Tart – Angela Clark Maryborough AU – 08/09/2008
Dart – Faye Clark Brisbane Qld Australia 08/09/08
Dirt – Melissa Skehan Brisbane Qld Australia 8/09/09
Girt – (by sea) Annie Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Gift – Rob Nielsen Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Rift – Peter Bassett Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Rife  Elaine Scott Brisbane Qld Aust 09/09/08
Life – Kaye Best Qld Aust 10/9/08
Wife- Margret McGregor WA Aust 11/9/08
Waif – Tonya Boon WA Aust 11/09/08
Wait – Julie Hussey WA Aust 11/9/08
Bait – Bobbie Hall WA Aust 11/09/08
Gait – Janet Skillin, Glasgow , Scotland 15/09/08
Gain – Morag Williams, Coulsdon, Surrey 15/09/08
Pain – Dominie Carr, Woodmansterne, Surrey 16/9/08
Rain  Clare Tanner, Banstead, Surrey UK 16.09.08
Raid-Sharon Doolin, Surrrey UK 16.09.08
Paid – Christina Joyce, Hants , UK 17.09.2008
Laid – Ros Walkden Wales UK 17.9.2008
Lair – Margaret Jones South Wales UK19.09.2008
Lain – Lynne G Reyed South Wales UK 22.09.2008
Lean -Isobel Jones Birmingham 22.09.08
Loan-Marjorie Forth-Hampshire-23.09.08
Moan -Peter Fisher West Sussex 24.09.08
Moat  Val Wingate West Sussex England 24.9.08
Boat  Nicholas Pope, West Sussex . England
Beat–Peter Harding, West Sussex UK 24/9/08
Neat – Diane Stearn, Cambridge , England 24/09/08
Peat–Bill Winschief, Chicago , USA
Feat–Trudy Stephenson Willis, Mountain View , CA 26/09/08
Teat – Arnie Miller, San Caros CA , USA 26/0 9/08
Meat – sherry zwagil, Baltimore , MD 9/27/08
seat-Linda Vinson, Raleigh NC 27609 9/28/08
sear- Ruth Fader, Boca Raton , FL 9/30/08
rear- Maddie Levine, Pikesville , Maryland
bear-RenA  Bronfein Ades, Baltimore , Maryland 09/30/2008
tear-Angie Bronfein, Baltimore , Maryland 09/30/2008
team-Stephanie Nislow, Owings Mills , Maryland 10/1/08
teal- Barbie Levy, Owings Mills. MD 10/01/08
seal-Susan Vogel, Phoenix , MD 10/2/08
sell-Dena Stetson, Framingham , MA 10/2/08
bell-Carlee Stetson, Framingham , MA 10/2/08
lobe-Jodi Schechtman, Framingham , MA 10/2/08
bowl – Colleen Breitbord, Framiingham , MA 10/5/08
cowl  Jodi Schechtman, Framingham , MA 10/5/08
coal  Carol Hanover, Weston, MA 10/05/08
coat – Betty Weiner, Wellesley, MA 10/5/08
boat-Yael Cohn, Brattleboro, VT 10/5/08
beat  Marty Cohn, Bratt leboro, VT 10/5/08
belt- Ann Getman, Cambridge MA 10-06–08
pelt – Frankie Lieberman, Cambridge, MA 10-6-08
melt – Tina Christensen, Burlington, VT 10-6-08
Malt – Penne Tompkins, South Burl=2 0ington, VT Oct 7-2008
Molt – Louise Francis, Berkeley, CA Oct. 7, 2008
Mole – Margaret Absalom, Bensalem, PA 10-7-08
Pole – Lenore Rosenberg, Teaneck, NJ 10/8/08
role – Anuradha Murti, Oberlin, OH 10/8 /08
dole – Patricia Pande, Portland, OR 10/8/08
doll – Nancy Buecker, Vancouver, WA 10/8/08
dolt – Chris Ommert, Milwaukie, OR 10-8-08
bolt – Linda Cook, Milwaukie, OR 10/9/08
volt – Vickie Pierce, Milwaukie, OR 10/10/08
colt – Jill Bratcher, Concord, CA 10/10/08
coat- Jeri M., Northern UT 10/10/08
cost – Kristin Sheppard, Chantilly, VA 10/12/08
post – Lisa Dellinger, Centreville, VA 10/12/08
lost – Sheila Toney, Gainesville, VA 10/13/2008
loot – Ann Sharpe, Chantilly VA 10/13/2008
soot – K. Coyne, Clifton VA 10/13/08
boot – T. Weiner, Roanoke, VA 10/14/08
bolt- S. Hilliard, Durham, NC 10/14/08
volt – T. Weiner, Roanoke, VA 10/14/08
love–D. Bliss, Bumpass VA 10/15/08
dove–D Hamner, Roanoke VA 10/15/08
dive- M. Sharp, Louisiana 10/16/08
idea – P. Wylie, Houston, TX 10-16
deal – P. Gerard, Houston, Tx. 10/16
dial – D. Dempster, Palm Harbor, FL 10/18/08
maid –  D. Koval, Hamilton Square, NJ  10-20-08
paid – l montani, Hamilton square, NJ 10-21-08
raid – E. Lewis, Bellville, TX  10/21/08
said – a different E. Lewis in Bellville, TX 10/22/08
Laid – Cara Cooksey, Houston, TX 10/22/08
Paid – Amiel K. Sealy, TX  10/22/08
Pail – Nikki W. Sealy, TX 10/22/08
Bail- LILA T. Sealy, Texas, 10/22/08
Rail—Bug, Wallis, Texas 10/22/08
Rain – L.J., Eagle Lake, Tx. 10/23/08
Rein – Wayne Bustamante El Campo, Texas 10-23-08
Reif  – Philip Osbun    Sealy, Texas 77474
Reef – Andrew Jackson   Sealy, TX
Reed- Ian Hodgson Sealy, TX 10-23-08
Feed- Ryan Spanagel, Fairfield, Oh. 45014
Feel- Tex Dorsey, Fairfield, Oh. 10-23-08
Reel – T. Cable, Fairfield, Oh  10/23/08
Real – K. Mayabb, Middletown, Oh 10/23/08
Read – H. Kirn, Cincinnati, Oh  10/23/08
Bead-  H Boyle, Loveland, Ohio 10/24/08 
Lead  –  P Boyle,  Loveland, Ohio 10/24/08
Leap – P Wolfe, Tampa, FL 10/25/08
Reap ~ MJ Lefcourt, Tampa, FL 10.25.08
Read – MJ Belcher, Tampa, FL 10/25/08
Dire – G. Burke, Tampa, FL 10/25/08
Fire – J.Vaziri, East Hampton, NY 10/25/08
Rile – C. Lynch, East Hampton, NY 10/26/08
Bile- C. McCoy, Austin, TX
Tile – S. Sain, Austin, TX  10/27/08
File – J. Valentine, Austin, TX 10/27/08
Mile – K. McGhee, Austin, TX 10/28/08

Mule – G. Faris, Houston, TX 10/28/08

Mull – SA Beyer, Houston, TX 10/28/08

Dull – N Womack, Houston, TX 10/28/08

Bull – D. Price, Dallas, TX 10/29/08

Full – M Dally, Dallas, TX 11/3/08
Pull – K Bergren, Greensboro, NC  11/3/08

Pulp – J Calkins, Southborough, MA 11/3/08

Gulp – L Salett, Newton, Ma. 11/3/08

Gulf p – P Mapps, West Chester, PA 11/03/08

Golf – H. Dahlgren, Salem, Virginia  11.3.2008

Loft – R Johnson  aboard MY DoraMac  Sebana Cove Marina, Johor, Malaysia