Home of the yacht "RHUMB DO"
  february 2012


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 I thought I would start the month of February off with a photo of my cockpit thermometer, taken at 10am this morning.......

.......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 until 2.30am.

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.

07/02/12  Happy 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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