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    december 2017


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01/12/17 Fri.  Happy Birthday to Ann in England.  My parcel containing rigging is now in Singapore, and so is the new rocker shaft for Bob's boat.

02/12/17 Sat.  Two days of doing very little except the laundry and some shopping.  A note to anyone sailing into Brunei - we used to be able to buy diesel and petrol very cheaply there but the rules have changed since I last bought fuel.  I hear now that you cannot buy fuel in cans unless you have a yellow IC, even the long term ex-pats (green IC) with boats there now have a problem!

04/12/17 Mon.  FLIES!!  They are driving me nuts, the boat is full of them from dawn to dusk!  Yesterday, we retreated to the mall in Financial Park for a few hours, just to escape them.  I am convinced they are in the marina because of all the rubbish strewn around and thrown in the water, as there doesn't seem to be a problem elsewhere.  Marina management really need to do something but that will never happen!

05/12/17 Tues. My rigging parcel (34Kg) arrived this afternoon, and the spare parts for Bob's boat came yesterday - so that's another few jobs lined up!

07/12/17 Thurs.  Caught the 7.45am boat to Menumbok this morning, then a three and a half hour bus ride to KK, followed by a three hour taxi ride to Kudat, arriving onboard Dulce around 4pm.  Had a quick coffee before going into town for a very late lunch and some immediate shopping requirements.

08/12/17 Fri.  Dulce engine - checked all the valves were still free in their guides, checked the cam followers had not rusted in their sleeves, fitted push rods, rockers and rocker shaft and all ancillary pumps, hoses and other equipment.  Attempted engine start......starter not spinning engine fast enough!  Removed starter motor and stripped sun wheel and planetary gears, cleaned and replaced, still not spinning fast enough.

09/12/17 Sat.  Intended taking starter motor to electrical workshop today but like a dog with a bone I had to have another go at it!  I took it off the engine again and wired it direct to the battery and it worked fine.  With 13 volts in the battery, it had to be faulty wiring, so I removed and cleaned every connection in sight before refitting the starter motor.  Turned the key and the engine started immediately - but the alternator was not charging.  I figured it had lost it's residual magnetism while standing such a long time, so I 'flashed' the field coil from the B+ terminal and now it's working fine.  Ran the engine up to operating temp and no obvious leaks of water from anywhere.

10/12/17 Sun.  Inflated the dinghy, fitted it with new safety lines as the old ones were frayed and of polypropylene (hate that stuff!)  and hoisted it back onto it's davits.

11/12/17 Mon.  Ran the port engine up to operating temperature, then pumped out all the oil and removed the filter.  Into town for new filter and more oil, then topped it up and ran again.......all OK.

13/12/17 Weds.  Fitted the new bilge pump in port engine room with a temporary feed direct from the engine battery - as the correct feed line is dead.   Sanded all anti-foul to re-activate it prior to launch.

14/12/17 Thurs.  Last night I found that the navigation lights were not working, so this morning I took the stern light apart and the contacts were corroded - managed to get them to work after a fashion but the lamp will have to come off and be properly serviced soon.  Also discovered the gearbox dipstick (both engines) had broken plastic threads and could not be dipped.  Seems it is a common problem on Kanzak gearboxes!  I am having the workshop make up two new ones in steel.  I cancelled tomorrow's intended launch as the weather is against us for taking the boat to Labuan - 20 knt headwinds and 3 mtr seas!  We will go back to Labuan and return after Christmas.

15/12/17 Fri.  I fitted the new dipsticks into the gearboxes this morning - I think maybe the port one is overfilled which may account for the loss of drive on that engine when we brought Dulce to Kudat a year ago. We tidied up the boat and put everything away before going into town and getting a taxi to Kota Kinabalu, checking into Cititel Express Hotel for the night.

16/12/17 Sat.  This morning we caught the 10.30am bus to Menumbok and a speedboat from there to Labuan, arriving back onboard Rhumb Do around 4pm.  Labuan town centre was jammed with traffic because of some sort of colourful Chinese parade through the streets.



17/12/17 Sun.  The weather remains awful - strong winds and continual rain so I made the right decision not to sail Dulce back!









21/12/17 Thurs.  Finally .........it's stopped raining for a while!  However, there is another depression heading this way so we won't put the umbrellas away just yet.  Lights are up the mast for a week, make it look like Christmas even if it doesn't feel like it.  I am full of a cold as well, so the whisky, honey and lemon are taking a bashing each evening!





23/12/17 Sat.  Rain again today, went into town and rented a car for the day, exchanged our gas bottle before getting 40 litres of diesel.  Fuel has getting expensive now RM 89.20 for 40 litres, which I suppose when compared to UK prices is fairly cheap - RM 2.23 per litre works out at 41p.

25/12/17 Mon.  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!  The day is dry and sunny - with the associated high temperatures of 35o!  We took the car back at lunchtime, had something to eat in town and walked back to the boat.

26/12/17 Tues.  This morning we went to the marine department, customs and immigration, and checked out of Malaysia.  At 1230 we slipped the mooring and motored across the harbour and set course for Muara in Brunei.  With the wind blowing WSW, I pinched to the west as much as possible for the first two hours, then had an easy run to the Muara channel doing 8 knots into the port and anchoring close inshore at the Royal Brunei Yacht Club.

31/12/17 Sun.  Did our usual shopping run today, buying the stuff which is not available in Labuan - and it's payback time......driven to the shops by Regie's daughter Wendy, who I used to drive to and from school some years ago!

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