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    december 2016

 

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01/12/16 Thurs.  Happy Birthday to Ann in the UK!  Today we pumped out the diesel tank because I had noticed some evidence of diesel bug in the glass bowl of the filter.  We pumped out 60 litres of 'clean' fuel from the top of the tank, 40 litres of 'iffy' fuel and 20 litres of Ganges river water fuel.  I dumped the lower 60 litres of fuel as I didn't consider it worth polishing.  Once the tank was empty, we washed it several times and rinsed it out even more before Ana was able to crawl into the locker and reach into the tank through the inspection hatch to scrub it out with detergent.  After even more flushing, it was dried out using 'Pampers' and the inspection cover screwed on again.  The whole operation took some nine hours.

02/12/16 Fri.  Non-stop rain all day, so nothing got done apart from a trip into town in a vain search for some rubber to seal the cockpit lockers from rain.  Bill re-launched after lunch and is now anchored in the pond for a day or two, which leaves a large open space in front of Rhumb Do.

03/12/16 Sat. Sanding of the hull on the stbd side and I can see areas that I have missed with resin.  Covered from head to toe in fine dust, so showered and called it a day around 2pm.

05/12/16 Mon. Rain all day yesterday - today we were both up scaffolding, removing the 'go faster' stripe around the hull as it is now looking a bit tatty after so many years.  If I can replace it with vinyl tape all good and well, if not then it will have to be painted on.  We are having to work on the shady side today, so it means moving the scaffolding around - stbd side in the morning, port in the afternoon.

06/12/16 Tues.  Hired a local guy (Jeffery) to do sanding and filling on the hull.  I stripped down the engine oil sump pump and then pumped out the old oil, cleaned the filter and reassembled it, changed the diesel filter from the tank.......between rain showers!

07/12/16 Weds. Jeffery here again, filling more irregularities in the hull with resin and matting before sanding smooth.  Bob and I polished 160 litres of fuel and put it back in the now clean tank.  Nearing the stage of applying the new matt and resin coats to the rudder and hull.  Continuing to remove the old stripe down each side of the topsides, no vinyl tape available over 4 feet in length, so I will have to paint the new stripe on.

08/12/16 Thurs.  Removed the fittings for 'legs' today, they have never been used nor will they be......so they came off!  Need to fill the holes left now.  The first layers of fibre glass were applied to the rudder and around the cutless bearing housing, some progress being made at last.

10/12/16 Sat.  Rained all night and all morning, so no fibre glassing today.  Went into town for lunch and a few more items from the hardware stores.

 

11/12/16 Sun.  Just the opposite today, scorching sunshine and too hot to work outside!  Close inspection of the hull reveals more indentations and rough areas, I will need to get Jeffrey to do quite a bit more filling and sanding before applying glass matting.  Made a bit of a festive effort even though, like last time I was here in Kudat, everyone is going home for Xmas and I shall be here on my own!

 

 

13/12/16 Tues.  Jeff and I covered the entire underwater area with resin (mixed with micro-baloons) yesterday, and today he was sanding smooth with long board sander while Ana and I cycled out of town to Kim Chok Timber for paint to replace the line (go faster stripe) around the hull, then into town for some more shopping.  On return to the boat, I sanded the Aries windvane parts and Ana painted them with anti corrosion primer.

15/12/16 Thurs.  Jeff continues sanding the hull.  We went into town today for a few things and to sort out a problem with the gears on bike 1.  I sanded the filler where the grounding legs used to be - still a bit to do on that.  Stripped the paint and corrosion from the Aries windvane rudder and gave that a coat of anti-corrosive paint.  Bob left yesterday, on his way home to Australia and today saw the launch of Dave and Vivian......not many of us left now!  Rhumb Do is the only occupied boat on the concrete, and only a few boats on the 'dirt' have skippers aboard.

16/13/16 Fri.  Into town this morning to put Ana in taxi to KK for her homeward trip to Manila...........now I am the only person in this part of the yard!  Howard and Jenny arranged a get together this evening for the lads remaining in the yard and duck pond, rigged up their BBQ for home made burgers and cold beers and gave the ten of us a great evening!

17/12/16 Sat.  Jeff continues with the filling and fairing of the hull in preparation for laying up fibre glass, working mainly on the shady side of the hull - don't blame him as it's almost 40oC in the cockpit area!  I removed the cockpit locker lids and scrubbed the inside ready for painting, completed the sanding of the holes left by the removal of the beaching leg fittings - you can still see where the fittings were, but it's not too bad.

18/12/16 Sun.  Day of rest today, did nothing!  No workers in the yard, very quiet day.

19/12/16 Mon.  Woke to rain which continued throughout the day, so once again nothing was done.  I haven't seen or spoken to a single person now for two days - its getting to be just like at sea!

20/12/16 Tues.  More filling and sanding of the hull by Jeff today, then heavy rain overnight.  I cannot shake off this cold and cough and it's getting me down now!

21/12/16 Weds.  I spent the day sanding the top end of the new transducer tube - getting it flat enough to take the rubber washer and securing nut.  Jeff continued with the fairing and sanding of the hull, finding more irregularities along the way, they will be filled tomorrow.  Later, I painted the new prop shaft coupling flange and I am just hoping that it will not prove troublesome in the future as there is no keyway and nothing to stop the shaft sliding backwards - save the four bolts which 'clamp' the flange to the shaft.

24/12/16 Sat.  Christmas Eve already - where did the year go?  Those that know me also know I am not a Christmas person, and I am so glad to be out of the rat race I read of in the UK papers each day!  The majority of the population in Kudat are Muslim, but the shops still sell Christmas decs and play carols - and holiday over the period!  The last few days have been much the same as the last couple of weeks, Jeff sands and fills the hull while I do the numerous other little jobs on the boat, all between heavy showers.  Tomorrow I shall get the bus or taxi from here for the 4 hour trip to Kota Kinabalu, to meet Ana at the airport there. She is bringing back more fibre matting and micro balloons, about 20Kg worth, so I better go help her this time!  I hope you all have a good Christmas and enjoy yourselves!

25/12/16 Sun.  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!  No snow here.....just rain, and it has not stopped since midday on the 23rd. I went into town this morning about 11am, thinking I would have some lunch before getting the 1pm bus, but Hassan saw me and asked where I was going.  When I said KK, he said "OK come on, lets go now"......so I got a taxi for the 200 odd kilometres as the only passenger, and it only cost me 30 ringgit (about 5.50) - result!!  So a late lunch in KK, then rested up a bit until 7pm before getting the bus to the airport and meeting Ana, who on this occasion had no problems with immigration.  I can't help but wonder about the security of the airports though, she came through with three 2Kg bags of micro balloons - a non-descript white powder which could have been anything!!

26/12/16 Mon.  After breakfast, we made our way to the bus terminal and caught the 8.30am back to Kudat, arriving there at midday.  Yard on holiday today, so day of rest and no work done, save for a bit of sanding and washing of the boat.  Heavy rain during the night again.

27/12/16 Tues.  Ran out of gas today in the middle of lunch, and of course the shop wouldn't exchange the bottle because it came from Labuan!!  Took a taxi to Suni Bumi supermarket and exchanged it there - 22 ringgit for 12kg, not so bad.

28/12/16 Weds.  Jeff back to work today but got rained off around 3pm.  I took off the foredeck anchor hatch and sanded the inside in preparation for painting.  Rode into town during the afternoon for some lunch and a haircut.

29/12/16 Thurs.  My late Mum's birthday today, still miss her.  The boat has four fairleads fitted at appropriate points of the toerail.  Three of them are 'normal' and the fourth is a 'panama fairlead' which has always been a pain in the butt when trying to get mooring ropes attached in a hurry, so today I took an angle grinder to it and 'modified' it - now all four are normal.  In fact, I think the previous owner had done the same to the other three and just hadn't got round to doing the remaining one.  The two head seacocks are seized, so I decided to take them out for replacement - not an easy task and only one was out at the end of the work day.  Now to search for replacements!

30/12/16 Fri.  OK, slight change of plan after seeing the prices of new seacocks - almost 500 for just the two valves and associated fixings!!  Today, I heated them up and took them apart, gave them a good clean and tomorrow I will reseat the valves, grease them and inspect closely to decide whether to refurbish or replace.

31/12/16 Sat.  More rain, so Jeff only worked for 3 hrs before I sent him home.  I ground the seacock valves and, considering they are probably the original fittings, they are in fairly good condition after 40 years!  However, there is a slight discolouration in the bronze which indicates some of the zinc has leeched out, so after another online search I found a company that would supply both valves and deliver from UK to Sabah for 300, and have now ordered them.  During the evening, some of the yachties had a BBQ in the shop area of the yard, but as we knew nothing about it until half way through cooking a roast dinner, we had to give it a miss......and after dinner the heavens opened again, so we stayed onboard and watched a film.  Quite a few fireworks going off towards town at midnight!  Bye bye 2016!

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