01/04/14 After a six hour flight, we landed in Dubai for a
"technical stop" and were on the ground for about 90 minutes. Took
off again for the seven hour flight to Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei and
landed there about 5pm local time. I then had a two hour wait for
the final flight to Kota Kinabalu, arriving there around 8.30pm local.
There is no way to get to Kudat at that time of night, so I took a taxi
to the hotel I had prior booked. I had a wander around the town,
refamiliarising myself with it and having a beer! It was nice to lie
down and have a much needed sleep.
02/04/14 Out early and found myself some breakfast, then
into Centre Point shopping mall to draw money, get a phone sim card and
check out of the hotel to make my way to the pick up point of the Kudat
taxi's. Annoying that I had to wait over three hours there until
the driver had enough passengers to make the three hour trip northward.
It meant I would arrive in Kudat just as it was getting dark - and I
didn't want to arrive onboard without being able to see what a mess I
was anticipating the boat to be in, so I phoned Danny (the taxi driver
in Kudat) and got him to book me a hotel there for my arrival. All
the Kudat hotels are fully booked for a convention, but I was lucky that
he managed to get me a one night stay in a town centre hotel.
Tomorrow I will find out just how much work I now have to do! This
may be the last entry in the log for a while as I will need to source a
dongle and sim card.......I'm using the hotel's wi-fi for this!!
03/04/14 Made it to the boat this morning! I was, I
suppose, pleasantly surprised at the interior state. I was
expecting there to be mould everywhere but it was only on the seat
cushion covering the fridge, and that was because of burst soft drink
tins in the fridge. I cleaned out the fridge and dumped everything
in it, along with some tins and bottles of various and dubious quality.
The engine battery is dead but the domestic batteries have held their
charge and were showing 13.5 volts - or I thought they were until 7pm
when they went totally flat! The engine throttle cable is
also seized. I introduced myself to the new marina management and
partially settled my outstanding account with them. Thanks go to
Danny the local taxi driver who stayed with me most of the day and
helped out where he could. A very humid night for my return and I
tried without much success, to sleep in the cockpit, no light in the
saloon, no internet, no anything.....except mosquitoes.
04/04/14 Removed the batteries (the engine battery and one
domestic) and went in search of replacements. I eventually found a
shop that would supply two domestic batteries of a similar size, but not
until Monday. Another shop said there was nothing wrong with the
engine battery and it just needed charging, so I left it there until 3pm
for them to charge it. When I brought it back to the boat and
reconnected it, there was no difference....still a very weak ignition
alarm tone and nothing when the starter button was pressed. Maybe
it's not the batteries, maybe it's another fault......I hate boat
electrics! I also found out that the throttle cable is not seized,
but the throttle butterfly valve is! Stripped the manifold and
removed the valve, soaked in in petrol, heated it up, gave liberal
squirts of oil and eventually got it moving freely again. Refit
that tomorrow. As I was having difficulty with the new internet sim card
that I bought yesterday, I also went into the shop to query it - the
manager very kindly came down to the boat and sorted it out.....hence my
being able to update the blog again!
05/04/14 OK, yesterday's battery charge was a waste of
time, but it would be wouldn't it? You can't charge a battery in a
few hours, needs at least 24....what was I thinking? Will continue
to work on the engine start, low power, lack of charge problem.
Refitted the throttle assembly to the induction manifold and checked it
was working as it should.
06/04/14 I think the jet lag and disturbed nights finally
caught up with me today - I got up at dawn, had my breakfast and started
dozing over coffee! So I lay down in the saloon and didn't wake up
until almost 2pm - so I guess I must have needed a good sleep. I
reconnected the furling gear control line and ran a power cable onto
René's boat next door, piggy backing off his electricity supply - he is
connected to a socket in the marina office building by a very long
extension cable! At least it is now allowing my battery charger to
function, along with the fridge, lighting and importantly.......a fan!
07/04/14 A more reasonable charge in the engine battery
this morning! Emptied the nav berth and got in behind the
instrument panel (my old favourite job!), checked all the connections to
starter switch and ignition alarms. Now the alarm is working but
the starter solenoid only 'clicks.' A bit of persuasion with a
Liverpool screwdriver and the motor started to work and turned the
engine - but it was struggling. Took the starter motor off and the
rotor felt very stiff, so I took it into a workshop in town for them to
test, strip and clean. Checked other electrics on boat and there
are a few things not working.....masthead light and stern light amongst
them, and the domestic/engine battery isolator switch has disintegrated.
The main VHF radio is also suspect. Add them to the list of jobs
08/04/14 Filled and flushed the water tank this morning, it
will need doing again but for now it will suffice for washing up and
such. I collected the overhauled starter motor and refitted it,
crossed my fingers and pressed the start button......the engine fired,
caught and ran, but seconds later the cockpit was filled with the smoke
of burning belt drives, so I quickly shut it down again. Obviously
one of the belts was slipping around something that should turn but
wasn't. OK, as the raw water cooling was being discharged
overboard, there could only be two other culprits - the fresh water pump
or the alternator. It turned out to be the alternator and I
quickly had that sorted out and the engine running again, bringing it up
to operating temperature with no other obvious faults. Turned my
attention to the non-working stern light, checked the bulb which seemed
OK, a voltmeter across the terminals showed zero, so a fault in the
cable somewhere....that's going to be a problem to find. Enough for one
day, don't want to rush anything! Work started today on installing
power points on the pontoons and is expected to be completed in about
09/04/14 I think it's going to take me a few weeks to get
acclimatised to the heat after my prolonged stay in the UK.
Today's temperature of 38oC was too much
for me to be scrabbling around chasing faults and my feet have swollen a
couple of shoe sizes, so I decided on a day of rest! I did
however, manage to get the masthead light working - a dodgy fuse!
10/04/14 Another day of not doing very
much because of my swollen feet! Tried to keep them high for most
of the day and wrapped my left one in a wet towel overnight.
11/04/14 Enough! I went into town
at lunchtime today and saw a Chinese Doctor about my feet. She
gave me a thorough check up and some tablets to take to try and reduce
the swelling, told me to keep my feet high when resting.....so very
little done onboard again today.
12/04/14 Claude & Nelson, two long time
friends, came into the marina this morning on their boat 'Black Swan',
they have been on the hard in Penuwasa Shipyard for the last eleven
days. I did see them a few days ago, when they came over to say
hello and check out the marina. I managed to get the VHF problem
sorted out this morning and the radio is now working fine, as is one of
my two handheld radios (haven't found the charger for the second one
13/04/14 Still 'resting.' I did
have a cursory look at the stern light wiring in the aft most locker
which is where I imagine the fault to be. This is where the cable
run was extended when the light was moved higher onto the solar panel
gantry some years ago in Turkey. I made that connection with gel
filled connectors and wrapped the join in heat shrink which still looks
in good condition, so I will now look further upline on the cable.
14/04/14 Two days ago, the police
stopped a boat in which the crew had no papers and no import/export
papers for the hardwood they were carrying. The crew were arrested
and the boat impounded in the marina, tied up at the end of the pontoon
from me. Today, it sank! The wood onboard was caught on the
pontoon and was pulling that under with it, so the marina management and
I cut the wood free and levered it off the pontoon. The boat is
now suspended by it's mooring ropes as the police scratch their heads
and wonder what to do with it.
15/04/14 A big congratulations to my
friend Astrid, who has today been fighting cancer for one year since
diagnosis and remains cheerful despite all her problems - power to you!! Yesterday's boat drama concluded with the
police unloading as much timber as they could before towing the boat up
into shallow water and beaching it. My stern light saga continues,
I've crawled in behind the engine instrument panel and searched for any
broken cables or any I may have damaged when fitting the new exhaust
hose 15 months ago. I found nothing and returned to my original
thought that it was in the after most locker. With that idea, I
dismantled the connector there and checked for voltage....13 volts!
The remaining 2 metres of cable pass vertically through the solar panel
gantry and that shows no continuity - so that's where the fault lies!
16/04/14 Dug out the silicone sealant
from the holes at the top of the gantry and removed the old stern light
wiring, pulling through new wiring at the same time. Made a new
connection and Presto!.....a working stern light! Just need to
find some more silicone now and plug the holes again to prevent ingress
of rain and sea water. Also confirmed that the blood still flows
down my arm despite having an artery removed!
17/04/14 Not much done today, my ankle and foot have
swollen up again and I took it easy, doing just a few little jobs around
the boat. Tomorrow I will have to tackle the battery isolator
18/04/14 The dreaded nav berth area again! Changing
the (very) broken battery isolator switch is today's job. Luckily,
I had bought a spare from the USA whilst in Brunei to replace the
already broken domestic battery switch and had never got round to it.
Now the engine/domestic isolator is more important, so I will have to
get another at a later date. The nav berth, sometimes called a sea
berth (though I don't know how anyone could ever sleep in it) is a small
coffin sized bunk which is actually under the stbd seat area of the
cockpit and accessed by sliding feet first into it from the chart table
seat. The battery isolator switches are recessed into a panel
fixed to the bulkhead separating this berth from the engine compartment.
In order for me to get to them, I have to go in head first, on my back,
and undo the panel on the deckhead, then take down the panel on the
bulkhead - not an easy task because the panels can only be removed from
the berth in one position, and also the DC inverter and battery charger
are fixed onto the panels. Once I had cleared the panels out, the
actual job of replacing the isolator switch was relatively straight
19/04/14 Happy Birthday
Just having my morning coffee when this fella swims up to the boat to
say hello! (about a metre long).
Pottered about today doing little jobs, having a bit of a tidy up. The
two Canadian boats that were here left this morning, so there is only
Nelson, Claude and myself remaining in the marina!
21/04/14 Scratch the last sentence, I didn't realise that
Nelson had also gone back to Oz to work! René from next door has
gone to Coron to help deliver a boat and his wife Lesley has arrived
back from the UK - so there are still three of us in the marina!
Today, I walked over to Penuwasa Shipyard - said hello to staff who
helped me through my problems in Dec. 2012 and got the engineer there to
repair my damaged genoa pulley block before going into town for a few
bits and pieces needed for further jobs on the boat.
22/04/14 Happy Birthday Jordan - 21
23/04/14 Plenty of activity on my boat but it seems little
is being done! Trying to find stowage space for the gear that's
piled on bunks and tables! I've thrown some stuff away but I seem
to have twice as much now as I did 15 months ago.....where does it all
And I forgot it was St George's Day, so no flag flying!
27/04/14 Work continues slowly but the list gets longer!
Two of my old jerry cans had to be thrown away because of UV damage, two
more have split breather nozzle caps which I've repaired by melting the
nozzle and fusing the plastic together. All the genoa sheet pulley
blocks are now refitted. Today is Sunday, it's 11am and already
the temperature in the shade is making work very uncomfortable!
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