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    april 2021


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01/04/21 Thurs.  Happy Birthday Ana!  Drove down to KK this morning, good trip down until we reached Tuaran....then roadworks and heavy traffic all the way into KK.

07/04/21 Weds.  Back to Kudat today after a hectic week shopping for all sorts of things for the two boats - solar panels, stainless steel, smart tv's, tools, materials for seats and covers. Most we brought back with us, the solar panels had been delivered to Kudat before we got back, and the stainless steel is going to take 5 weeks or so to come from Kuala Lumpur.

09/04/21 Fri.  R.I.P. Sir.  Condolences to Her Majesty and the Royal Family.

15/04/21 Thurs.  We may have a problem on our hands!  The Malaysian Government have issued an announcement that all foreign nationals with expired visa's must either leave Malaysia by 21st April, or apply for a special pass to remain.  We have spent a few days trying to sort out the genuine information from the mis-information, obtaining letters from the High Commisioner and various other bodies.  The end result though, is that we cannot leave because there are no country borders open.  We will visit immigration on Monday morning and ask what we have to supply to them in order to remain in Malaysia.

17/04/21 Sat.  After days of stress with the order to leave Malaysia, we will drive down to KK tomorrow and meet up with Alvin who is with Malaysia Yacht Support and Services to get help with the forms and requirements needed for our application for visa extension.  Four of us will be going down in one car, four in another and two in a third.

18/04/21 Sun.  We drove down to KK this morning, no trouble and very light traffic.  We then spent the afternoon at a copy shop in CentrePoint, copying reams of documents in readiness for our application before meeting up with Alvin in Sutera Marina.  He told us he would be going to Immigration in the morning, speaking to the officers there, and to meet him there at 11.30am.

19/04/21 Mon. The chaos caused by this order to leave Malaysia is unbelievable.  We met up with Alvin at the main Immigration Offices as arranged.  He told us we had a choice to either sit and do nothing while he took the issues up with the Minister in Kuala Lumpur, or go up to the Enforcement Office and apply for a 30 day special pass.  His advice was to not go to the Enforcement Office as they would then open a file on us and investigate our 'visa overstay'.  We all opted to follow his advice, return to Kudat and play the waiting game.

20/04/21 Tues.  Drove back to Kudat this morning with nothing to show for all the work done over the last week or so, except that all our papers are lodged with Alvin who is acting as our agent to resolve this mess.  My new engine instruments arrived in the yard during the afternoon, so I have another fun job to do now.

22/04/21 Thurs.  After a visit to the Immigration offices yesterday, we again went today and spent almost all the day there trying to resolve the situation we find ourselves in.  It seems that we will be allowed to obtain a special pass if our application is accompanied by various documents, one being a supporting letter from our relative Embassy's.  Mine is easy, Ana's is a problem!!  We have e-mailed the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur several times over the last 6 days, and twice this morning, all to no avail.  We've phoned this morning, maybe 40 times before they actually picked up the phone and told us to send an e-mail.  Really helpful, about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

23/04/21 Fri.  Another whole day of e-mail exchanges with the Philippine Embassy!  They wanted copies of ship registration, crew lists, bank statements, passport copies, a letter explaining why we didn't leave before the 21st April, and a myriad of other documents.  For crying out loud, all that is irrelevant, it's all lodged with the Immigration Offices here, all we want is a simple letter of support for Ana.  Every other yachtie here (British, Kiwi, Australian, German, French, Chinese) obtained a letter from their relative embassy with no problem whatsoever.  Now it's the end of the day and still no letter, weekend is upon us, Immigration (and no doubt the Philippine Embassy) is now closed until Monday.  I will write a letter of complaint to the Office of the President, Republic of the Philippines regarding the level of service offered to their own Nationals - it's totally unacceptable!

26/04/21 Mon.  Ten minutes after writing Friday's rant, the letter from the Philippine Embassy arrived!  Today, we again visited the Immigration Office and it seems the rules or notifications change on a daily basis.  We were about to apply for a special 30 day pass until the officer told us that it was not renewable and was meant to give us 30 days to organise our departure from Malaysia.  I said that nothing would change in 30 days time, we still cannot go anywhere, and he agreed.  I asked if it were true that we had to apply for this special pass before 30th June and he confirmed that was the case.  So basically, we have 60 days to apply for a 30 day pass, which will give us 90 days total.  Now where is the logic in that?  No doubt it will all change again in the near future but we did not apply for the special pass and will wait until nearer the end of June before doing so.

27/04/21 Tues.  Gave Neil a hand to remove his boom, then the in mast furling motor and gearbox which had ceased to work.  It wasn't the gearbox as expected but the motor itself at fault.  He took it ashore to have it overhauled at a local repair shop.

29/04/21 Thurs.  Made another 'shelf' to fit on top of the dividing partition between the galley and chart table area.  Ana continues the upholstery work on Neil's boat and late afternoon I helped Neil to refit his mainsail furler motor - all now working.  My 316 stainless tube arrived from KK (2 x 6mtr lengths) and did not take the 5 weeks that I was quoted, so the solar panel support bracket can now be made.

30/04/21 Fri.  Collected my 316 from the yard first thing this morning, then continued with the new instrument pod for a while until it got too hot to work in the cockpit.

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