01/08/19 Thurs. We went to the market this morning for
chicken and vegetables in preparation for our trip up the Klias River
with Shelley, then a little more shopping in Financial Park during the
afternoon. The exchange rate for the pound against the ringgit has
fallen dramatically since Boris took over as PM in the UK - not good!!
03/08/19 Sat. Slipped the lines around 0830 and
motored northward in the East Channel towards Menumbok, Shelley
close behind. We turned into the (unmarked) channel used by the
car ferry and passed by Menumbok about 1030, entering the Klias River.
Using the flood tide, we continued up river until about 1330 before
dropping our anchors for a lunch stop. After lunch, we weighed
anchor and motored further upriver to Kota Klias, where you can go no
further because of power lines and a bridge. Watched the antics of
the monkeys during the early evening.
04/08/19 Sun. We cancelled today's planned railway
ride because of heavy rain in the morning. When the rain cleared
around 10am, we took the dinghies another 10 miles or so upriver,
exploring the denser forest/jungle, returning to the boats around 1430.
Neil and I then went down to the tourist centre and arranged transport
to Beaufort for early morning.
six of us piled into one dinghy at 0600 and went downriver to the
tourist centre, met up with our 2 girl drivers and drove to Beaufort
Railway Station. Each time I have sailed up the Klias River, I
have intended making this touristy train ride and today is the day!
Despite Borneo being the 3rd largest island in the World, it only has
134Km of railway and we were going to travel the 48Km from Beaufort to
Tenom in the interior. It was originally built by the British in
the late 1800's/early 1900's when the area was British North Borneo and
it's purpose was to transport tobacco from the interior to the port at
Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu). It is now operated by Sabah State
Railway and is single track throughout it's length (with a few 'passing
places') and is run in three sections, Tanjung Aru (KK) to Beaufort -
Beaufort to Halogilat - Halogilat to Tenom. I don't know the track
gauge but it looked to be about a metre. We bought our tickets for
the 0750 train (only 2 a day!), a grand cost of 2.75 ringgit each (about
50p) single journey of around 2½ hours. We had time for a coffee
before boarding. The train consisted of a diesel multiple unit,
one carriage and a goods van. Neil's guests, Sean, Charlotte and
Samara chose the comfort of air con carriage, we chose the goods van!
The locals sit in this, cross legged on the floor playing cards, or
sitting in the open doorways with their legs outside. It travels
much faster than I imagined it would, climbing all the time through the
rainforest and along the edge of the Padas River which is a rock strewn
turbulent river popular with tourists wanting to go white water rafting
- there were a few on the our train. There are plenty of stops at
small 'halt' like stations where locals loaded fruits into the van we
were in. At Halogilat, we had to change trains, the uphill meeting
the downhill, engines swapping ends before making their return journeys.
On this train we had only a diesel multiple unit and a van. After
more stops, we arrived at Rayoh, the white water rafters got off and
took their rucksacks to the Riverbug office while the train waited for
them to reboard. Further up line, they got off again at Pangie to
start their raft ride downriver to Rayoh again. We arrived in
Tenom just before 1100, and had a wander around part of the town before
finding somewhere to eat. It's a nice little town and the locals
are very friendly, there is no tobacco industry here now but Tenom has
made the change to coffee growing and you can visit the factory if you
so wish. We bought a few supplies needed back on the boat before
making our way back to the station for the 1300 train back to Beaufort.
Sitting in the diesel multiple unit, I was amazed the thing didn't jump
the rails as it rocked quite violently from side to side as it rattled
downhill (in fact one did in 2008, plunging 10 metres into the river and
killing 2). When we changed trains at Halogilat, we sat upfront
with the driver for the last part of the trip, I have posted a short
video of part of that below, and we arrived back in Beaufort
just after 3pm - a couple of Grab taxis and back to the boats for a
beer. An enjoyable change from the usual and I think we all
enjoyed it. Total cost for Ana and I, car to Beaufort, train to
Tenom and back, lunch and taxi back - 91 ringgit (£17.86). Now
that's good value for a day out!!
06/08/19 Tues. Time to head back downriver......I cast off
the lines to Shelley, waited while Neil weighed anchor and we set
off downriver in the early morning light. Proboscis monkeys were
sitting in the trees watching as we got underway. The river was
much shallower because of low water and there were several areas where
we had to slow down and feel our way through, Neil hitting bottom at one
point. The skies were darkening as we made our way toward Menumbok
and just as we were approaching "George's Rock", a squall hit us,
blowing 29.5 knots on the starboard side and heavy driving rain which
blinded me (no sprayhood remember!), so we were happy to negotiate
the 'rock' without incident. Once at Menumbok, the two boats
parted company, Neil going up to Tiga and then KK to drop off the
youngsters and we going back to Labuan. We arrived back in the
marina at 2pm and tied up in the usual place on B dock.
07/08/19 Weds. 4am this morning, the wind howling, power
supply cut off, torrential rain and a Malay Met Office Cat. 2 warning of
50kph winds with 3.5 metre seas until Saturday......wonderful!
Spoke with Neil on messenger, he had taken shelter at Kuala Penyu rather
than Pulau Tiga - a wise choice! An hour later, Craig's boat
Kanaway, anchored outside the marina broke free of it's 4 anchors
and hit the concrete wall of the marina. I didn't realise this
until we saw it moving into the marina, then I went over to C dock to
take his lines. His boat is steel, so the only damage was an area
of about 2 metres where filler had been knocked off the toerail.
Still very lucky!
08/08/19 Thurs. Up again at 2am this morning, taking down
our bimini top which was in danger of taking away the stainless steel
framework as it was battered by the winds shrieking through the marina.
Alain's boat next to us broke it's spring moorings later in the morning.
09/08/19 Fri. Last night we got a fairly decent sleep, with
the winds abating! During the evening, we joined Craig up at the
Back Yacht for a couple of beers and something to eat.
11/08/19 Sun. We spent yesterday and today trying to make
the new sprayhood fit but it's slow progress!! The trouble is the
3-dimensional shapes, the deck curves, the front 'window' of the hood
curves, the top curves. Maybe in a few more days we will have a
reasonable fit, we've lost track of how many times we've put it up and
taken it down, altered seams, cut a bit off, added a bit on - it's a
wonder Ana hasn't thrown it overboard yet! Neil returned from
Kuala Penyu this afternoon, the kids having left the boat there and
taken a bus to KK, so in the evening, we had a beer in the Back
13/08/19 Tues. Sprayhood sewing again! Yesterday was
a holiday here, so a lot of shops were closed when we walked over to
16/08/19 Fri. For some reason, we cannot get the sprayhood
to fit correctly and it's driving me nuts! It's been over 4 weeks
now and we are still nowhere near a good fit, yesterday we ended up
taking it down and unpicking all the stitching again. The job is
being made worse by the heat, the tent awning sticking to my skin as I
try to pass it, and the constant hordes of flies which still pester us
17/08/19 Sat. Alex and Jenny (Moggie of Arabia), our
neighbours, left for Australia early today, so we will be keeping an eye
on the boat for them while they are away. Unpicked the 'window'
from the front part of the sprayhood this morning, then erected the
steel framework as best we could before re-measuring and planning a new
method of doing things! Rain stopped play in the afternoon.
21/08/19 Weds. Spent a few days researching replacement
winch options. My mast winches are of the single speed non-self
tailing variety, which is fine except when you want to haul someone
aloft or raise the dinghy with it's engine for overnight stowage.
In those cases, a two speed, self tailing winch would be more suitable.
My problem is the winch mounting pads which are manufactured for a 4
bolt winch base and new winches are 5 bolt fixings, then there is the
mounting orientation to figure out, the self tailing arm has to point
downwards towards the deck while the output gear has to be next to the
entry point for the halyard. A second option is to lead the
halyards back to the cockpit via a 2 sheave deck organiser, to a bigger,
more powerful winch mounted on the coachroof. However, that also
presents a problem on my boat - the halyards exit at the side of the
mast base , so they need to be turned 90o
by the deck organiser in order to be led aft, and the deck space where I
would need to fit such an organiser is limited by the deck moulding and
deck strengthening. Problems, problems! We continue to
re-make the sprayhood, following a different method.
23/08/19 Fri. Checked out with Jabatan Laut,
Immigration and Customs.
24/08/19 Sat. Slipped our moorings and motored across
the harbour at 0815, a relatively calm crossing to Muara. Anchored
in our usual spot off the yacht club at Serasa.
31/08/19 Sat. Back in Labuan and checked in this morning.
We motor sailed back yesterday afternoon, then joined all the yachties
in Back Yacht for a beer in the evening. The weather while in
Brunei was very changeable, and we had rain every day or night during
our stay there, getting absolutely soaked on one dinghy trip back to the
boat. Today has been very hot, so we've basically had a 'rest'
Did you enjoy your visit onboard?
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