Home of the yacht "RHUMB DO"
  june 2012


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01/06/12  Weighed anchor at 6am and made our way from Labuan to Menumbok where we anchored for a couple of hours to have breakfast before proceeding up river. On the upstream journey, we passed several troops of Proboscis Monkeys as the banks of the river closed in on us.  We arrived at the anchorage, the limit of navigable river, in the late afternoon and set the barbeque going for our evening meal, drawing several comments from the tourist boats passing by and having our photo's taken by countless Japanese and Korean boat passengers.  At night, Fireflies lit the trees like the fairy lights on a Christmas Tree........and it rained hard!

02/06/12  A peaceful day at anchor.  Roger took his Mum further upstream in the dinghy and then down to the visitor centre for some lunch.  We idly watched the comings and goings of the Proboscis Monkeys throughout the day.

03/06/12  Time to leave the tranquillity of the anchorage and head back down-river to Menumbok.  We weighed anchor about 11am and went down stream with the ebbing tide.  About 4.30pm, close to our intended anchorage, the wind picked up somewhat and we decided to try to find a little more shelter in the mouth of a small creek but on the final approach to the creek, we were brought to a gentle halt by the mud bottom!  Trying to reverse off was fruitless and we had no option but to sit there for a few hours, have a couple of drinks and wait for the incoming tide to float us off.  As I was on the helm at the time of grounding, I guess Roger will not let me forget it!!  Not to worry, anyone who sails the East coast of the UK and hasn't run aground on the putty is lying!!!  We floated off at 8.30pm and as the wind had now dropped, we crossed the main river and anchored in our original intended position.

04/06/12  I guess today and tomorrow are Bank Holidays in the UK to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen's reign.  I can remember the Coronation well - it was the last time I had 'trifle' - horrible stuff!!  We weighed anchor around 9am and made our way out from Menumbok, setting course for Victoria Harbour in Labuan where we re-anchored and went ashore for supplies and a meal.  Back onboard at 6pm and once more weighed anchor, sailing out of the harbour on our final leg back to Muara.  The crossing was a little rolly but no trouble and we were back on the mooring off the Yacht Club by 9pm.  After something to eat and a couple of drinks, I decided to stay onboard Storm Dodger for the night rather than make the effort to collect my stuff and return to Rhumb Do (which was exactly as I left her)

05/06/12  Back onboard Rhumb Do.  The Yacht Club jetty has had it's end platform removed as part of the planned extension and an excavator brought in to move sand and gravel around prior to driving new piles at the end of the jetty.

06/06/12  Went over to Storm Dodger and helped ferry both people and luggage ashore this morning, Roger and family are catching the 11.30am ferry to Labuan and then on to Kota Kinabalu for a few days.  

The excavator which was last night happily digging sand and mud away from the jetty came to grief at some point of the evening and sank into the soft sand to be overtaken by the incoming tide!  I wonder who's head will roll for that error?  We, and almost everyone else at the yacht club, spent the evening watching the recovery operation by two more excavators as they raced the clock against the incoming tide.

08/06/12  Astrid and I went into Bandar (Seri Begawan) early this morning and visited the Sultan's Museum, or should I say the Royal Regalia Building, to see all the presents from Heads of State around the World.  The two exhibition halls displaying the carriages used for both the Sultan's coronation and his Silver Jubilee were the most interesting exhibits.  We were later trapped at the club by the very low tide and watched films in the library until there was enough water to float the dinghy just after midnight.

09/06/12  I'm trying to learn a few words, or at least one word per day, of the local Bahasa Malay language.  It seems terrible that we've been in Malaysia for a considerable time and can only say 'thank you.'  (Terima kasih)

10/06/12  Quite a rainstorm swept through during the night - it started around 3am and continued throughout the day - it was easier to stay onboard and keep dry!  The boat was hit during the afternoon by a log some 70 feet in length, washed in by the tide but fortunately it did no damage save scraping a few of my many barnacles from the hull.

11/06/12  An engine-start battery problem has come to light!  I went to start the engine yesterday and the battery was flat.  Switching over the isolator switch to the domestic battery bank solved the immediate problem but I think the battery (new in Marmaris) is kaput, so I spent the day trying to get to the local Chinese tyre and battery shop to buy a replacement.  One of the Filipino yard workers (Jawie) eventually took me down there in his car so that I could get one.  That's the only trouble with this location, if you are not going to town but to another out-of-town location, it's impossible to get there without a car as the local bus service is very intermittent and the driver makes up his own routes dependent on the destination of the passengers.......sometimes even turning into private driveways for passengers to get on or off.

12/06/12  I took out the defunct battery and fitted the new one and am again able to start the engine in the normal battery mode.  I now think that the domestic batteries are not going to last much longer, even though they were only renewed last December.

13/06/12  Roger, Yolly, Jordan and Leah arrived back from their break in Kota Kinabalu today.

15/06/12  A sudden squall today.  One moment there was no wind, then there were a few spots of rain followed by 43 knots of wind which lay the boat over on her side.  Five minutes later, all was still again and no wind.

16/06/12  Making a little progress with the lingo!  I can now count to 100, ask names and a few other bits and pieces.  I need to get hold of a phrase book from somewhere.

17/06/12  The end of Yolly's holiday and time to return to the UK.  Astrid was flying with her to London and then onward to Germany to attend her sister's wedding, so It was goodbyes' all round in the Yacht Club this evening.

20/06/12  Another 'special' day........in the local language, today I can say, "Umur saya enampuluh-lima tuhun."  Or in other words, today I'm officially an old codger!!   At least, from today the UK Government can start paying me a small pittance in return for the years of contributions I made from my small salary.  I can also become cantankerous, bolshie towards the youths of today, snap at people, grumble at any delays in shops, complain about loud music and say, "in my day........"

22/06/12  Rolland Tasker, the founder of Rolly Tasker Sails Thailand, passed away today after long battle with cancer.  I visited his sail-loft while in Phuket and bought my new genoa from there, long may his company continue to make good sails.  A Friday cruise to Labuan onboard Fourth Dimension with Barry and Roger.  This time, instead of anchoring, I motored around the harbour while Barry and Roger went ashore for supplies, then we took the boat into the closed marina to fill up with water and wash down.  I took the opportunity here to go ashore for lunch and a walk around.  The return to Muara was a very enjoyable sail at 8 knots, arriving back at our anchorage about 6.30pm.

25/06/12  Roger left this morning to travel to the Philippines in search of a new dinghy as his present one has come to the end of it's useful life.  Meanwhile, I will keep an eye on Jordan and Leah, and of course Storm Dodger itself.

26/06/12  The first Storm Dodger crisis this morning!   Leah called me to say they couldn't start either the genset or the main engine.  I went over there to investigate.......the genset starts off a 12v battery which was discharged and is normally recharged by running the main engine for a few minutes.  However, turning the key on the main engine start produced nothing.  Further investigation revealed five broken wires close by the starter motor - I suspect they had been trodden on by someone......Roger!!  After effecting a temporary repair, I tried to start the engine again - with the same result.  Another search of the engine room revealed yet another broken wire in a different location, and repairing this solved the problem and the engine started.  Panic over for the time being!

27/06/12  The generator onboard Storm Dodger would not start again this morning and a further problem has developed with the main engine charging circuit.  The circuit is complex and not one with which I am familiar, so I'm not touching it!  I started the generator by 'jumping' it from the main domestic battery bank.  I also removed my anchor windlass from the boat as it has been stiff to operate for some time, and took it ashore to be overhauled.  It's a little worrying to have only a rope securing the anchor chain to the boat!!

28/06/12  I have been trying to get a new fuel tank for my outboard engine (mine leaks) and have been told they are no longer made and I would have to order one (to be made) and shipped out to me (quote 5 weeks).   That is absolute rubbish!  There are thousands of these Yamaha engines in the World and it's not feasible that production of spares would stop - it's ridiculous!!  However, I have made several trips into the Yamaha dealership in Bandar, and not once have they had the parts I required, nor have they been very helpful.......so if you want anything Yamaha, DO NOT shop there!

29/06/12  Friday......and the usual trip to Labuan with Barry, Pete and Johannes.   A chance call into the tiny Yamaha dealer....."Sorry, no tank in stock but I order you one.  Be here Thursday".  A somewhat different approach to customer service than that offered in Brunei, but I wait until next week and see.

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