I thought I would start the
month of February off with a photo of my cockpit thermometer, taken at 10am this
.......and that's in the shade! Ah, well, at
least the humidity has dropped from it's overnight usual of 70% to
a more comfortable 40%.
I took the second gas bottle ashore to the gas shop for them to fill
that one also. I will have to find a workshop to turn down a
connector pipe for my own use. We are just waiting for Roger's
outboard motor to be repaired before we move on again. The
con-rod, gudgeon pin, small and big end bearings are kaput.
02/02/12 Stephane and Carina off the
boat Solong, who are anchored next to me, came over this morning
and said they had been robbed during the night - they had been unaware
of the reputation of KK. Later in the evening we all got together
on Storm Dodger and had a few drinks, which sort of dragged on
03/02/12 Both Stephane and Carina were
suffering hangovers today, not being used to drinking (so they say!) and
it wasn't until dark that they came over to me for the Klias wetlands
waypoints. Carina had baked a cake and they very kindly brought
some of that over for me. They will be going up the river Klias on
their way south and I expect to see them again in either Brunei or Miri.
04/02/12 Sailed from Kota Kinabalu at
0715, waving goodbye to Carina and Stephane, and made our way out into
the open sea. I hoisted the mainsail and the genoa but the winds
were light (3knts) so the engine remained on as we set course for Pulau
Tiga. The wind, what there was of it, was of course on the nose,
as was the tide - so speeds were kept down to 5 knots or under and we
didn't arrive off Tiga until 1.30pm. I could see another boat
heading from the south into the anchorage and recognised it as Anthea,
with Jean-Claude and Marlene (we last saw them in Thailand). We
later found out that they were heading for Okinawa. Rather them
than me in the north-easterly monsoon season!
05/02/12 During the night, two boats
with friends we know from Muara arrived in the anchorage - Barry and Sue onboard Fourth Dimension
- Alastair and his wife crewing for them, and also Paul
and Alison with their son Tom and a friend Fleur, on their boat (whose
name I've never known!) Late afternoon we all got together on the
beach for a BBQ which was great, the monkeys staying just on the edge of
'our patch' waiting for the opportunity to sneak in and steal food.
06/02/12 I weighed anchor around 7am and
made my way slowly out to sea under engine and into headwinds, waiting
for Roger to catch up. We set course for Labuan and arrived in
Victoria Harbour about 4pm. When I dropped the anchor, it didn't
hold and I had to haul it up again, pulling up a garbage truck load of
plastic bags, old rope and an iron bar. The anchor set at the
second attempt. We didn't go ashore but had a couple of drinks
onboard Rhumb Do before retiring for the night. Compared to
the peaceful Tiga island anchorage, this place is a nightmare of
noise.....water taxi's tearing around, fast hydrofoil type ferries
making one hell of a racket and all overridden by the muezzin's call to
prayer at all hours of the day and night.
Birthday Roger! Rog and I went ashore to buy beer
stocks but had to search around quite a bit as this is the end of
Chinese New Year and all the shops were sold out! Finally, we got
what we wanted and ferried it back to the boats (mine now sits
considerably lower in the water!) We were then joined by Astrid
and Leah to go supermarket shopping......but we then bumped into Phil
and Ken, ex-pats whom we met on our previous visit to Labuan and joined
them for a beer. Then Phil's wife and daughter came, then Rachel,
a Reuters correspondent who was doing a story on ex-pats, her
photographer and a couple of other guys .......so the shopping went out
of the window and we stayed with them for the evening.
08/02/12 Shopping day!
09/02/12 Weighed at 0815......another
load of plastic bags on the anchor! The sea and wind were again
both against us and speeds dropped to under 4 knots. However, we
made it into Muara and anchored just after 1pm. Later, we went
ashore and met up with Lorna and Stefan for a re-union drink and to
catch up on their news, none of which was particularly good - a lot of
ex-pats have been made redundant from the aircraft industry and are
having to relocate, including Stefan.
12/02/12 We've had a couple of nights
meeting up with old and new friends in the clubhouse (Royal Brunei Yacht
Club). Rog has pulled his dinghy up on shore for more repairs and
the internet is still as poor as ever!
13/02/12 "Lightning Alley" is living up
to it's name with displays every evening, usually accompanied by
stronger winds than daytime and some rain.
17/02/12 Quiz night around the club pool
last night was well attended and our team of six fared reasonably
well - we were not first but we were not last either! This morning
started off with rain from 3am onwards, letting up about 8.30am which
kept the temperature down to a cool 28o for a while.
23/02/12 Life in the sun goes on, with
the usual shopping trips, swimming, socialising etc. Today is
National Day, so there is a bank holiday and numerous processions will
be taking place in Bandar so we are staying clear of town because it
will be packed! The Brunei people are very fond of their
King (the Sultan) and understandably so - he provides subsidised car
purchase, subsidised fuel, free rice and no taxes. Brunei is a
good place to live! Presently, the yacht club is full of children
and their parents, the club sailing dinghies are out in force and
everyone is enjoying their day off. Sadly, the internet connection
is exceptionally poor again!
24/02/12 Roger went to Labuan with Barry
and crew onboard Fourth Dimension today, so I borrowed Barry's
Landcruiser and picked up my 280 litres of diesel fuel from the nearest
garage, then went into town with Astrid to get some shopping from
SupaSave in Gadong.
28/02/12 Another trip to Labuan, this
time onboard Storm Dodger with Roger, Astrid, Stefan and Lorna
for a day out. We had lunch in Murphy's Bar and did a bit of
shopping before returning to Muara about 9pm.
29/02/12 Invited by Dieter to his house
(where Lorna and Stefan also live), we all went there for a BBQ which
turned into the inevitable 'few' drinks! The journey home
afterward is a blurred memory!
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