Monday, January 13, 2014


I was getting a bit cocky I think, and I was feeling pretty relaxed as I lifted the anchor from the disgusting black mud of the Kuah city anchorage. It took some 20 minutes or so using the deck wash to hose off the squid ink black goo off the anchor. I was happily motoring through the anchored boasts looking forward to a new anchorage at Cenang Beach. Then the worst possible happened. The motor slowed and then gently faded to a deafening silence. OK, me thinks, no motor, lots of anchored boats around. What now? I knew straight away the cause of the problem. I had equalized the two fuel tanks, but instead of having equal tanks, the diesel was in just one tank. The wrong one, of course!  A stiff breeze was thankfully blowing us out into the open water, so I hoisted the jib to give me some control of the boat. I quickly engaged the auto helm and changed over the tanks. I tried the motor a couple of go. Plan B was to drop the anchor and try to sort things out while still in shallow water, so I furled the sail and tried the ignition one more time. Hurray! The engine fired into life. With my confidence shaken somewhat, it took me much of the two hour sail to Cenang to calm myself down. A just reward was dropping anchor off beautiful Cenang Beach right outside the Frangipani resort.

My Frangipani Resort guide

The next day I rowed ashore, washed the slime off the dinghy compliments of a week in Kuah and walked into the beautiful resort for a coffee while I waited for the start of the eco tour I had promised myself. I was the only participant, so got a really good low down on the features if this amazing place. It feels like a regular resort, with restaurants and bars overlooking the beach, swimming pools and lush tropical gardens but behind the scenes, everything has been considered,  environmentally.

Mr Wong, the owner said that beating the environmental drum has little affect, but an appeal to the bottom line, works wonders. In this vein the resort collects rainwater and saves, uses solar hot water and saves, recycles grey and black water and saves. The features go on and on. There is a farm on the premises that provides fresh vegetables, fruit, chickens fish and ducks, all nourished  by scraps from the kitchen and gardens. The artist in residence has a  brief to produce work from recycled raw materials. There is also a workshop that recycles broken furniture into functional pieces.
All black and gray water is cleansed through a series of ponds and reeds, then used to water the gardens

Kitchen and garden waste is composted and used to mulch the kitchen and other gardens

Collected rainwater is used to flush toilets

Everything has a secondary use

A squid fishing light globe transformed into an art work by the artist in residence

To say the least it was inspirational and the resort is leading the way hopefully for resorts everywhere. It was a great contrast to much of SE Asia where there is little consideration for aesthetics, let alone the environment.

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