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    august 2018


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01/08/18 Weds.  Not a very good start to the month.  I had a message from a friend in the UK this morning at 6am, telling me that my good friend Astrid had lost her long courageous battle against cancer.  She flew from Philippines to Kudat to help me when I was taken ill, then visited in the UK the day before my operation.  Rest in peace Astrid. x

02/08/18 Thurs.  A very happy Diamond Wedding Anniversary to my brother Clive and his wife Barbara!

03/08/18 Fri.  A night of unwanted problems last night!  About 8pm, the wind was blowing hard on our stbd side and we were watching a film.  Suddenly there was a very loud bang, very much like a gunshot sound, we dashed on deck as another three bangs sounded in quick succession.  On our stbd side were two boats with a combined weight of around 50 tons moored to the next pontoon - which had snapped it's securing bolts, drifted onto our pontoon and snapped those bolts too!  We were pushed onto Inca II moored on our port side, and trapped there.  Ana dashed off to get help while I forced fenders between us and Inca II.  With other yotties and marina staff, we managed to get lines to boats and secure them to any point available.  As the pressure came off my boat, it drifted out (still attached to the pontoon) and there was then a mad rush to get onboard from other boats in order to get it back!. All was well in the end, and at midnight we were able to sleep a little, the pontoons and three boats tied back with only rope.  This morning, Craig moved his boat to the outer wall and I moved across to 'A' dock.  The marina staff then cobbled together what they laughing call a repair but which in fact has lost five berths.  The photo shows just one of the securing brackets, each is cast alloy about 25mm thick and the bolts are about the same size - the bracket broke on the right hand side and ripped the left side bolts out of the pontoon.

04/08/18 Sat.  More strong winds last night, that's 3 nights in a row!  Good to see the marina staff out during the evening, checking lines and pontoon bolts, but of course the deterioration of the marina will continue until investment is made and maintenance carried out on a daily basis, along with better management.

06/08/18 Mon.  The weather continues to be very changeable, sunny one minute, winds and rain the next!  Susie Goodall is now in 6th place in the GGR, with the fleet spread over 400 miles of the south Atlantic.  I recently came across another solo sailor who is attempting a round the World, non-stop circumnavigation in a boat like mine; he is Andy Press and his Warrior 35 is named 'Greenfingers', you can follow his progress at www.wbyc.co.uk

08/08/18 Weds. Strong winds every night - not much sleep last night with the wind at 35kts, ropes snatching and fenders squeaking!  Off to KK tomorrow morning to the clinic again, the pathology lab confirmed the docs diagnosis as a malignant carcinoma so I need to have it removed - hope the seas are not rough outside - or they will cancel the speedboats again!

12/08/18 Sun.  Back from KK yesterday afternoon.  At the clinic on Friday, Dr Melinda Tong, the specialist treating me, very kindly removed a chunk of flesh big enough for an Aussie barbie, stitched me up and sent me on my way rejoicing.  I jest of course.....it was about the size of a large grape, don't know how many stitches inside but seven external ones.  Hopefully it's all out now and I won't have any further problems with it.  Path. lab report should be in about 10 days, same time as I will need stitches removed and I'm not allowed to go mast climbing until they are out!  My shoulder has been a little tender and sore for the last two days which I guess is fair enough.  Poor Ana had to carry the rucksack and bags back from KK - 1Kg of coffee beans for Garry, 2 litre tins of glue for Barry, a new inverter for Rhumb Do and a sewing overlocker machine....along with the stuff we took up there!

13/08/18 Mon.  Update on the GGR - Susie is in 6th place as they all head toward the Cape of Good Hope.  Phillipe Peche who has led from the beginning made a phone call to his partner which meant he was excluded from the race but now leads the Chichester class.  Separately from the race, Andy Press, sailing his Warrior 35 Greenfingers is having battery charging problems and will most likely put into the Azores for repairs.

16/08/18 Thurs.  I've spent the last two days up the mast trying to change the rigging!  Brent and Shane have been over each day to help with hoisting and lowering.  We took off the furler, then discovered the lower most fitting on the new forestay was a different size to the old one, so I am having to have one made at Ramsey's machine shop.  In the meantime, we replaced the old furler and forestay to support the mast, then took down both backstays and fitted the new ones.  The cap shrouds are the next problem.....at the join with the spreaders, there is a bracket which holds the stay in place and it's held by a through bolt which is seized in the spreader.  After struggling with that for a while, we gave up until tomorrow, when I will have another go to release it.  There is the identical problem on the port side too, so I hope that does not provide any further drama.

18/08/18 Sat.  Sorted out the problem with the cap shrouds and the new ones are now fitted.  It was a little disconcerting to be at the top of the mast with the top half unsupported!  Still have the forestay problem as Ramseys quote to make a new double toggle was extortionate and I told them to forget it - now I have to figure a way to solve that.

23/08/18 Thurs.  I am having an adaptor plate made at Neptune machine shop (for the forestay) and they want around one tenth of the price quoted by Ramseys!  The next problem is the lower shrouds - the other day when we took down the first one, the new one was a metre too long!  A further check showed all 4 to be a metre too long, so somehow, Neil when he measured (I was up the mast with the other end of the tape), read the tape as 7.317 metres instead of 6.317 - go figure. I will have to order some Sta-Lok fittings from the UK, then cut the wire to length to solve this problem, adding another 200 or so to the rigging cost.  So I am not a happy bunny about that as you can imagine and I won't be asking Neil for help in the future!  We rented a car for a couple of days, took Brent and Shane around the island and sourced a new alternator for him.  Had my stitches removed at the clinic on the 20th, all good!

25/08/18 Sat.  My Sta-Lok parts are on their way from the UK, scheduled for delivery here on Weds 29th.  We checked out with Jabatan Laut, Immigration and Customs this morning and will sail (motor) to Brunei in the morning.  Susie is still in 6th place as they all approach the Cape of Good Hope.


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