|Posted by Tim Henning on April 6, 2015 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
After contacting friends still working at Honeywell, I (Tim) was offered a great opportunity to help improve an Engineering team at the new Honeywell Aerospace Production Facility in Penang, Malaysia. Ruth and I were flown from the Singapore area in OCT to Penang to meet the team and work out the position details. It was a great fit and I quickly accepted the offered position. It took over 6 weeks to get government approval (VISA) to work as a US citizen in Malaysia and I formally started working on 20 DEC. The challenge was immediate and I really like working with and mentoring a young, but very capable engineering team. I also like the challenge of learning how to work with another culture in an important Honeywell global facility. After nearly a month, I am still going to work with a smile and feeling like I'm making a difference when I leave to go home.
We had heard that the downtown Penang marina was suppose to be uncomfortable (rolly and noisy) and we may need to live off the boat. During our first visit to Penang, we found out that our shallow draft catamaran should allow us to move to a berth close to shore and we would be able to tie off using many lines on nearly all sides of the boat. The noise problem is only during late Friday and Saturday nights (load music from a nearby bar called the QEII) and we positioned Victory Cat to minimize the noise heard in our cabin. So...... we decided to try living on Victory Cat during our extended (1-2 yrs) stay in Penang. So far, no major problems. We are located right downtown Georgetown (main Penang city) with excellent access to restaurants and public transport. I was also able to arrange to car pool to work. Not excited about driving in Malaysia due to the normal chaotic way of driving. The food in Penang is excellent, large variety and very cheap to eat out. We have also found many options for buying groceries. We added an external air conditioner avoiding putting too many hours on the boat A/C and the external A/C does not require water cooling, which was clogging up the filters due to the dirty water and mud (shallow conditions).
We ended up moving the boat to Straits Quay since the Tanjong City Marina downtown Georgetown was failing apart. Its now totally gone. The Straits Quay Marina has an excellent sea wall and great restaurants surrounding it. The only downfall was feeling like we were in a fishbowl due to all the picture taking and crowds peering down onto Victory Cat. As you can see we were the first boat in the brand new marina.
We plan to wisely use vacation/holiday combined periods to travel around SE Asia (ex. Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur) as well as for sailing trips to Langkawi and Phuket Thailand. Penang is a perfect place to base oneself for exploring SE Asia due to the excellent sea, train, bus and airport access. We are also still meeting new cruiser friends since we are staying at the main Penang Marina (Tanjong City Marina). All good!!!