A light hearted start to the month - I bought this pack of Australian
cheese in BSB the other day, clearly the Aussies don't have a problem
with cheddar from the dark side! You wouldn't be able to get
away with this in the UK guys!
With a couple of warships in
from the American Fleet, the yacht club have booked the band "Orient
Express" (from the ships) to perform over the weekend and we all went
along, together with Stefan and Lorna who live here, this evening to see
them. They were very good - as was the BBQ buffet style dinner.
02/10/11 Tonight was a repeat of last
night but I think they cranked up the volume somewhat and conversation
was impossible. Couple that with an ear infection/blockage that I
have and it was virtually an isolated night for me as the background
noise drowned out everything!
03/10/11 It looks like my domestic
battery bank has finally given up the ghost as it will no longer take,
or retain a charge. I will have to find some new batteries.
I'm still awaiting confirmation from the supplier in UK with regard to
the damper plate for my gearbox. They have the gearbox, but the
plate is proving a little troublesome - it looks like a car clutch plate
without the friction material and it's purpose is to take up the shock
load when either forward or reverse is selected and when each cylinder
05/10/11 Stefan took us battery hunting
yesterday in his car but I think I will have trouble in getting any new
ones into the available space. My current 'house' or 'domestic'
batteries are of the gel kind and you cannot mix them with lead-acid
types - the trouble is the gel ones are smaller than lead-acid....hence
my current (no pun intended) problem. On the gearbox front, my
good mate Rob in Yorkshire (of Slip Anchor fame) has secured a
new box for me and I am having the damper plate sent from Lancashire to
him for onward shipment.
07/10/11 I think that the gearbox and
damper plate issue is now under control and both parts should be shipped
from the UK very shortly. The battery problem remains but Stefan
has loaned me his car to go and fetch new batteries to the yacht club
today and I will physically try to fit them in the available space.
In the meantime....Roger and I have refitted his windlass and it seems
to be working properly. The test will come on the next anchoring
08/10/11 OK, the battery problem is
resolved for a short while, I have fitted two 80A/h automotive batteries
into the space vacated by my two 75A/h AGM batteries - they won't be as
good, or last nearly as long as the AGM's but it's only a temporary
solution until I can afford or find a couple of deep cycle batteries.
Only one of the old batteries was defective - easily identified by the
heat being generated by it - and this was dragging down the other one.
I've now dumped the u/s battery and put the good one on trickle charge
in the club workshop, the intention being to store it and see how it
holds it's charge over a couple of weeks.
Sunset, looking towards the Yacht
Club from the anchorage.
12/10/11 Roger, myself, Stefan and Lorna
took Storm Dodger to Labuan on Sunday for a day out, while Astrid,
Jordan and Leah chose to remain at the yacht club, using my boat as a
base. We arrived back in Muara anchorage about 9pm with the
anchor windlass working well in both Labuan and Muara. Yesterday
was spent shopping with Stefan and Lorna, visiting their house and
having a meal in the yacht club. My gearbox was picked up from
Rob's house yesterday and is now on it's way to Brunei. Weather
wise.....it hasn't been too good today with overcast skies, frequent
rain squalls and lower temperatures making it feel quite chilly!
Unable to really do anything outside, Roger and I took his forward
batteries out and tried to find the power fault he experiences when
using the bow-thruster. Nothing 'jumped out and bit us' and we
didn't come to any conclusive solution, perhaps it's just a question of
needing larger capacity batteries?
14/10/11 Went into Bandar Seri Begawan
with Astrid and Jordan for a day away from the boats and the yacht club.
My gearbox package is presently in Brunei but listed as a 'clearance
delay.' The more I've thought about the gearbox, the more I think
that everything is related to engine alignment with the prop. shaft.
The last time I tried to realign the shaft, one of the engine mountings
was very difficult to alter despite it's newness. When I take the
gearbox out, I will take extra care over the alignment.
16/10/11 Sunday......and my gearbox is
in the delivery facility. Spent the afternoon at the pool.
Last night was the 'Oktoberfest' party at the club but on the experience
of the last party night, I chose not to attend - no point sitting unable
to talk because of loud music and I decided to stay onboard and read.
All this spare time has meant a lot of reading and I have now run out of
books, having read my last three in just three days!
17/10/11 Brought Roger and Astrid over
to the yacht club first thing this morning so they can get to BSB early.
Checked with the yacht club on gearbox arrival - nothing. Had
breakfast in the restaurant before going back to the boat for a couple
of hours. I'm now back in the club with Leah and Jordan, and my
gearbox is with the courier....somewhere between the airport and here!
The winds are changing to north-easterlies now - the wet season. Because
of all these mechanical delays we may no longer be able to head further
north to the Philippines.
18/10/11 My gearbox has arrived!
From being picked up in Yorkshire to arriving in Brunei took just under
72 hours, so it seems incredible that it took a further 96 hours to
travel the 15 Km from Muara airport to the yacht club!
Bringing my parcel to the boat from
the Yacht Club.
19/10/11 Started the gearbox change
about 9am and by 11am I had the old box out, overcoming the problems
which I had anticipated and dreaded but which in fact did not occur.
However, a further problem has manifested itself....but I will write a
page later about the changing of the box. Late afternoon, we
all went ashore as a storm rolled in and five minutes after getting into
the pool, the heavens opened and the wind blew hard. Seemed
strange to swim in warm floodlit water with freezing cold rain falling
and palm leaves landing in the pool.
Birthday Sandra! And it's Trafalgar Day....but there
are no French or Spanish in the anchorage! Almost the entire day
was spent hoisting the engine, removing the exhaust pipe, the flywheel
housing and eventually the completely shattered damper plate. The
whole process was then reversed, rebuilding to allow me to lower the
engine back onto it's three remaining mountings, the fourth mounting
staying off so that I can free up a jamming adjustment nut.
22/10/11 In the absence of a 'painted'
gearbox, I had a day of relative relaxation, freeing off the jammed
engine mounting in readiness for replacement.
23/10/11 This morning, my gearbox was
having its final coat of paint. On leaving the yacht club after
dinner, I collected it and took it back to the boat ready for fitting
tomorrow. I have bought some more jerry cans for fuel from Stefan,
who had no further need of them - my black ones having reached the end
of their life in the UV rays of the sun. I now have eight cans on
deck, plus I've replaced my 'dire emergency' can in the cockpit locker.
Roger went and filled them today, taking my four full, black ones to
pour into his tanks.
24/10/11 I refitted the fourth engine
mounting and then the gearbox during the morning but then ran into
difficulties with alignment of the propeller shaft. No matter what
I did, the engine remained out of line by 1mm in two directions, and
after five hours of sweating and cursing at it I decided to call it a
day and come back to the problem tomorrow. It was so frustrating!
25/10/11 More frustration today with
engine alignment. The gearbox output shaft flange and the prop
shaft flange just will not line up, not in any of the three planes
required. Each is out by about 1mm. Perhaps the prop shaft
stern gland is out of alignment? There is no way of getting to
that without either cutting a hole in the cockpit floor, or removing the
engine and gearbox. I took out two of the engine mountings to
check them, one has elongated holes which are not quite in line, the
other two I will take out next and check shortly. Time is pressing
too, our visa's are about to expire (27th) and a check today with
immigration showed there could be no extension - if you overstay, it's
go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect £200. Since we checked
into Brunei, the rules have changed and you now get 90 days visitors
visa instead of the 30 days that we got. Immigration said they
could not add the 60 days to our visa and that we would have to leave
the country and return to get another visa.
26/10/11 Other yachties and residents
came to our rescue quickly last night and this morning we borrowed a car
and drove to Kuala Lurah on the Malaysian border, checked out of Brunei
and walked across the short section of no-man's land and checked into
Malaysia. We then turned around, checked out of Malaysia and
walked back across the gap checking back into Brunei. We can now
stay a further 90 days.
31/10/11 Days of frustration, sweat,
blood and almost tears! I've taken out the engine mountings and
modified the elongated securing holes so that I can make larger
adjustments to the lateral movement of the engine. Replacing the
mountings took a long while! After seven hours today, I gave up
and went to the yacht club for a swim and a hot shower. I've now
replaced the flexible shaft coupling and left it without nuts until
tomorrow morning......when it's cooler!
Did you enjoy your visit
onboard? Please sign my
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