01/04/11 A mixed day of rain and cloudy
skies. Made contact with Rolly Tasker in Phuket with regard to having a
new sail made......expensive!! Went to the pool during the
afternoon as there was little I could do onboard in the rain. The
local troop of monkeys became quite daring and approached to within a
metre of where we sat at the side of the pool.
02/04/11 Armed with tape measure, pad,
camera, sewing kit etc., I took my sail by taxi to Jeti Pelancongan
where there was room to lay it out flat and under cover (outside the
sailmakers office!) and measured the luff and foot of the sail before
phoning Rolly Tasker's again. That wasn't good enough though,
because they would rather have the sail and measure it themselves.
So off to town and the local DHL office where I packed it up and sent it
(at great cost) off to Phuket. The alternative would have been to
take it there myself, find somewhere to stay for seven or eight days,
and then bring it, plus a new sail, back to Langkawi - and I didn't
fancy doing that! Why couldn't the sail have failed whilst in
Thailand? Rolly Tasker's was only a few miles up the road from Ao
Chalong!! Actually, the tear isn't too bad and is along a seam
rather than through the material itself but it's not the first
time I have had to repair it and not knowing the age of the sail, I
guess it may be time to renew it. The plan today of
repairing my existing sail was shelved when it had to go to Phuket - I may as well ask
Rolly Tasker's opinion and get them to repair it. Astrid, who was
dropping off laundry in the same building, can be seen in the photo busily measuring the sail! This morning also saw the
arrival in the marina of Dan and Mary's boat Still Dreaming which
has been brought from Cochin by Nelson and crew of Black Swan.
Both Dan and Mary (who are American) were unable to sail her here as they are in
New Zealand tied up with residency applications.
05/04/11 We hear from James onboard
Swordfish in Ao Chalong, that they also had terrible weather over
the weekend of our trip down here, boats in the anchorage dragged into
other boats, were washed ashore and some actually sank - so perhaps we
were in the best place......at sea! Incidentally, we are having no
more rain now, the last few days have been sunny, hot and humid, so the
pool has been used by us every day!
06/04/11 Sunset in Langkawi can be
spectacular - last night's was superb and I didn't have my camera with
me! The image above is tonight's sunset looking over the marina of
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club and into Bass Harbour, the lights on the right
are the pier of the ferry terminal. It is actually four photo's
'stitched' together, taken from Charlie's Place (the bar/restaurant of
07/04/11 I've spent the last few days
studying everything about alternators that I can get hold of - for a
while now, I've been convinced that the alternator (of Land Rover
Defender origin) fitted in Salalah is
not producing the amps that it should. Anyway, this morning I've
taken it off in order to renew the wiring, which I'm convinced is the
problem, as there is too much voltage loss between alternator and
BUT......trying to get the correct cable is impossible here in Langkawi,
so I will have to resort to automotive cable until such time as marine
cable is available. During the evening, Roger, Astrid and I went
to 'Wonderland' restaurant just outside of Kuah town, where we ran into
Pam and Doug of Helly (Satun yard). They are anchored in
the bay and it was such a pleasure to meet them again, hopefully they
will come over to the marina one night for a drink in Charlie's Place
before they head off to Sumatra.
12/04/11 So, life goes on in the
yachting fraternity! I rewired the run from the alternator to the
ammeter and split diode - which meant emptying the nav berth, taking out
the battery charger, inverter, shore connection box, taking down the
deckhead (ceiling) and the inboard bulkhead (wall)......I've said before
that I should put this lot up with velcro! I've also
realigned the alternator and water pump pulleys. We've partied onboard Storm Dodger,
Mick (guest of Full Flight) being the only casualty from
that......he fell and gashed his leg, shoulder and head! Pam and
Doug came over to the marina for that night. Today, I've taken my
sprayhood and bimini over to Erja, the sailmaker for repair. Rolly
Tasker have repaired my old genoa and are now in the process of making
me a new one which I hope to have back here in the near future.
13/04/11 I had my bimini and sprayhood
returned today with all new Gortex stitching, new 'windows' with a
central opening to allow breezes through (a previous moan of mine).
Most of the day was spent with Roger and Astrid in a hire car,
collecting diesel to fill the boat tanks - fuel is currently 3.01
ringgit per litre in the marina and 1.80 ringgit in roadside garages, so
there is quite a saving to be made, even allowing for the hire car.
It was midnight before we finished.
14/04/11 I went with Roger again this
morning to get another 240 litres of diesel (Storm Dodger has big
tanks!) Roger later made another trip to
the garage for a similar amount.
15/04/11 Those who have read my
Navy Service blurb will know that I spent the latter part of 1964 and most
of 1965 patrolling Borneo aboard HMS Zest during the conflict between
Malaysia and Indonesia. For that service, I and hundreds more
sailors and soldiers, were awarded the General Service Medal by Her
Majesty's Government, with either the Malaya or Borneo clasp. When
I arrived here in Langkawi last September, I received a phone call from
The National Malaya and Borneo
Veteran's Association informing me that the King and Government of
Malaysia had awarded eligible service personnel a second medal - The
Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal (PJM). And could I attend a
presentation ceremony at the Malayan High Commission building in London?
The caller was a bit put out when I told him
that I was in Malaysia, and asked, "What?....... Still?"
Anyway, the upshot of it all was, the medal
was posted to my residency address in the UK, although of course I have
not yet seen it. So,......better late than never I
suppose......it was only 47 years ago when all is said and done!!
Ironically, HM the Queen was advised by the Honours and
Decorations Committee to deny British Citizens the right to wear the
medal, although Commonwealth servicemen are allowed to do so - clearly
an unjust decision. If you want to see the whole story
and/or help British servicemen, click this link
Home Page of Fight For
The PJM Below is the citation which accompanies the
16/04/11 Engine oil change this morning
- I hate doing that job, always messy! My engine has a cleanable oil
filter rather than the 'renew cartridge' type and I have yet to find a
way of transferring it from the bottom of the engine to a bowl of diesel
without spilling black oil everywhere! Also removed the fuel
filter and cleaned out the sight bowl in readiness for fitting new
filter. Went into town to collect my mainsail cover which I
had taken to Erja for re-stitching, then replaced it on the boom, along
with the mainsail.
17/04/11 Fitted new fuel filter and bled
the fuel line, then went over to Storm Dodger to give Roger a
hand, re-assembling his autopilot hydraulic lines whilst he was busy
fitting a new work surface in the galley. We later had some problems in
expelling all the air from the autopilot, calling it a day about 10pm.
18/04/11 My new sail is being made at Rolly Tasker's sail loft in Phuket, but I'm
not sure when I'm going to get it. Again on Storm Dodger
all day, this time helping Rog with the galley work surface. When
it started to rain, I reminded him that the washing was still out but
forgot about the open hatches on my own boat and it wasn't until it was
absolutely pouring down that I remembered. Ah, well, wet
bedding for me tonight!!
19/04/11 I've been told not to
mention a certain someone's birthday in past years......so I won't
mention it this year, but...............
Happy Birthday anyway!!
21/04/11 There's not a lot happening at
the moment unfortunately.....the papers are full of news items about a
couple called William and Kate who are apparently getting married soon,
but more important to me is my sail - it's not yet made and my schedule
is getting tight as I am/was supposed to be heading south by now.
Happy Birthday Jordan! Eighteen today but didn't
care much for my comment that he could now keep night watches alone!
Went to the ten-pin bowling alley late afternoon, then to The Shore Cafe
for a drink and game of darts, neither activity in which I could
participate because of a recurrent shoulder injury - but I did manage
the 'drink' bit. Franz, Sylvia, Mick and Helen also came along.
23/04/11 St George's Day.....and my St
George flag is hoisted! (the ONLY one in the marina). Word this morning from Rolly Tasker that
my sail should be dispatched no later than Monday 25th - a bit too late
to make the start of the Sail Malaysia Rally as I should be in Pangkor
Island Marina by then (some 130 miles south), so I guess I'll have to
re-think the future cruising plan. Feeling somewhat down, I went
up to Charlie's Place and had a few beers during the evening.
24/04/11 Storm Dodger left the
marina today and went out to anchor in the bay, but before going Rog and
Astrid came over to dive and clean my prop of barnacle growth. My
sail should be dispatched from Rolly Tasker's tomorrow evening, so (with
any luck) I should have it by next Friday.
25/04/11 Full Flight left the
marina to head south and join up with the Sail Malaysia Rally in Pangkor
Island Marina, Mick and Helen are staying onboard with Pat and Tony
until Singapore area.
26/04/11 Storm Dodger sailed
early this morning, also heading south (to Penang).
28/04/11 Still having a few problems
with boaty bits! Yesterday, I inflated my dinghy in order to fit
and overhaul my outboard motor which hasn't been too well of late.
This morning it had a considerable amount of water in it - and it hadn't
rained! The guy next door had washed down so I thought that may be
the reason but tasting it showed that it was indeed sea water. OK,
put the outboard on anyway and get that sorted out - a simple matter of
adjusting the mixture and re-gapping the spark plug, then hoist the
dinghy out of the water and dry it out. On putting it back
in the water, it immediately started to fill again! Haul out again
and have a close inspection........a loose corner of fabric by the
transom was the culprit, so get Farid Dinghies to come and collect it
for repair. The outboard motor has another problem - the
securing bolt on the left side has a stripped thread (and tomorrow is
holy day so everything will be closed) so that will just have to wait
until later. My new genoa sail was supposed to be here
tomorrow and when I went up to the office to inform them I was expecting
a package, they said "It's already here." This despite the UPS
tracking site showing it to be in Kuala Lumpur!! Astrid phoned and
told me she was getting the ferry tomorrow, back to Langkawi from
Penang, to keep me company on the day sail to Penang - which is very
nice of her! Had a few drinks in the evening with Penny and Rod
onboard Yana de Lys.
29/04/11 Went up to the office first
thing and collected my sail - nearly killed me carrying it down two
flights of curved stairs (it weighs 30kg), then sweated buckets getting
it onto the forestay foil and furling it. Astrid arrived around
mid-day and we went into town to get last minute bits of shopping and
some lunch. My dinghy was brought back about 5pm, duly
repaired. Francesca and Marco arrived in the marina onboard
Vintas, doing a quick visa run and we all spent happy hour in the
bar watching the Royal Wedding live on BBC World News. Afterwards,
we filled the water tanks and stowed stuff away ready for an early
departure tomorrow morning.
30/04/11 Not a very good start to the
day! Set my alarm for 0400 but was up at 0345 and made
coffee....then bang on 4am the heavens opened up and it poured!
Waited until 5am for it to stop before lashing down the dinghy and
disconnecting shore power. Slipped the mooring and 'reversed' out
but the engine didn't sound right and as I was trying to turn the boat
around, it started to die on me. I spun the wheel to starboard and
gunned the engine just before it cut out entirely, which gave me enough
momentum to make it back onto the pontoon. I suspected fuel
starvation and bled the lines at the injector pump - despite having done
all this previously when changing the fuel filter. By 0600, it was
running again and we once more left the marina and made out to sea,
leaving the Langkawi archipelago and heading south toward Penang.
The wind of course was 'on the nose' as was the sea current, so it was
very slow going (less than 4 knts) for most of the day. Not until
about 15 miles from Penang did the wind veer onto the stbd bow and I was
at last able to put up the new genoa and increase speed. We
arrived in Penang after dark and tied up port side to in Tanjong City
Marina, aided by Roger and some other boat crews, then we had a few
bacardi and cokes!
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