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    december 2020


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01/12/20 Tues.  Happy Birthday to Ann in the UK!  Not a particularly good start to the month!  Ana told me (somewhile ago) that the sink was leaking a little.  While we were in KK we bought some silicone to seal the joint between sink and worktop.  This morning, we started the job......and it's turned into a major galley rebuild!!  Water has rotted the shelf on which the watermaker stands and the worktop itself which is ply and formica (not easily obtained in Malaysia).  It took us all day to strip out the front of the main cabinet, remove the sink and under shelf.  Now of course, we have no sink for the foreseeable future while we search for replacement material for the worktop.  I know there is a place in KK where you can buy 12mm pvc type board in 8' X 4' sheets but I would still have the problem of getting it to Kudat, and storing it somewhere while I cut out a new worktop and shelf, and I don't think that material would be suitable for a kitchen worktop?

05/12/20 Sat.  Early morning trip in the dinghy, over to the yard for a case of mineral water and a chat with Jamie of Esper, then a day of stripping out the nav. berth (again!) to run main cable from battery compartment to the new Victron gauge. Yesterday's new Covid cases for Kudat are down to single figures although Sabah remains the worst affected state of Malaysia.

07/12/20 Mon.  I've run the cable from the Victron to the battery compartment, now changing all the terminals on each lead to the shunt - because the new shunt is a larger size and all the existing terminals will not fit it!  I made a new 'main' negative battery lead yesterday, crimping and soldering the terminals on each end.  Inter district travel restrictions were lifted today and the road blocks removed, so travel to KK will now be easier (for the time being!)

08/12/20 Tues.  2 new Covid cases in Kudat yesterday, hoping we keep them this low for the next month or two.  Completed the new shunt terminals today, all crimped and soldered now and the new Victron installed and working though not synchronised yet.  I will do that tomorrow midday when the batteries are fully charged (if it's a sunny day of course!)

10/12/20 Thurs.  With the Victron now synchronised, the Smartbank, Victron and NASA instruments are all within 0.2amps of one another.  I still get an error code of E 11 on the Smartbank when I start the engine but it quickly disappears - I still cannot figure out why it has started to do that!  We will be going down to KK again (Neil's hosp. appt.) at some stage next week and I will look for Formica laminate there as there is no supplier in Kudat, then I can start the rebuild of the galley worktop and cupboards.

14/12/20  Mon.  Today we went into town for a) some battery cable and b) to post a letter to the UK.  Well, that was the intention anyway!  Hardware store had no cable bigger than 120 amp and only 1 metre of that.  The post office was even worse, we queued outside in the heat for over an hour, did the check-in, temp taking routine and then we were told by the counter staff that we were not able to send a letter outside Malaysia because of Covid.  On return to the boat, I checked online in readiness to send a blistering e-mail of complaint, and sure enough.......no letters, parcels or postcards can be sent outside of Malaysia, effective from 2nd August until further notice.  All international post is suspended!

15/12/20 Tues.  Brent was supposed to be hauled out this morning and I was to go over to the yard to give him a hand, and to help drop his rudders whilst in the hoist.  He called me at 8am and said he had a problem with his steering, the boat would only turn to stbd, and not port.  Craig and I went into town, Brent picked us up at the police jetty and we all went out to his boat to look what could be done.  The stbd rudder was doing it's own thing when the port rudder was turned, so we removed it and plugged the resulting hole, cleaned the propellers and limped round to the pond.  Sadly, the yard could not now lift him out until the morning, so he is anchored in the pond for the night.  The stbd rudder has come adrift from it's stock and will need to be rebuilt.

16/12/20 Weds.  Craig, Josephine, Ana and I went over to Brent's boat at 7.30am and we hauled out at 8.  The bottom of the hulls resembled a marine park with tons of growth which took a couple of hours to scrape off and we could not drop the port rudder because of a very tight keyway and no available chisel small enough to get in the space available.

17/12/20 Thurs. Gave Neil a hand today to strip his outboard engine leg and gearbox, in an attempt to discover why the engine seizes when left for a few days.  The only things we found were two worn oil seals and the engine tends to jam up when the water impeller is fitted.  Without the impeller, it turns without any resistance!

18/12/20 Fri.  Booked a KK Hotel for a couple of nights from Sunday evening.  We went over to the yard during the afternoon, now that Brent has removed the port rudder and cut both open.  What a terrible design!  Where I expected steel plates to be welded onto the rudder stock were small diameter steel rods - and not welded to the rudder stock, so were able to move around and destroy the surrounding expanded foam.  I would be redesigning those if I were in his shoes.

20/12/20 Sun.  Picked up the hire car and drove down to KK during the afternoon.

21/12/20 Mon.  A full day of shopping for Formica, tools, glue, outboard engine spares and various other bits.  Neil, Ana and I all went for a steak in the evening but the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was not visible due to low clouds on the horizon, fortunately we saw a very near approximation of it two days ago, and I suppose none of us will be around for the next one!

22/12/20 Tues.  After breakfast, we started back towards Kudat, calling at a couple more shops in Inanam, then at CKS for some grocery shopping.  The rain started about 10 miles out from Kudat, so we got a bit wet loading the dinghy with all the stuff.  Took the car back before settling for a relaxing coffee!

23/12/20 Weds.  I gave Neil a hand this morning to rebuild his outboard lower leg and gearbox - all good now.

24/12/20 Thurs.  We went over to the yard this morning to see Alastair, Brent, Shane and Roy.  On return, I emptied out the Nav. berth yet again and refitted the false bulkhead which had been taking up space in the front cabin.

Tonight's sunset.........

25/12/20 Fri.



26/12/20 Sat.  Yesterday, about 15 of us yachties got together on Craig's boat, all taking some cooked food and drinks with us for an afternoon of eating, drinking and chatting!

27/12/20 Sun.  Today was my outboard engine's turn!  I stripped the carburettor and gave it a thorough cleaning, greased all the moving parts of the lift mechanism and reassembled it.

28/12/20 Mon. Refitted the outboard to the dinghy and ran it up, all seems ok, just fine tuning needed.  Took Ana and Neil ashore to go to town.

29/12/20 Tues.  We joined Brent and Shane on Kaya in the yard, along with a few others for a spot of late lunch and a chat.

31/12/20 Thurs.  Slowly things are coming together with the galley worktop area.  I changed the sink outlet seacock yesterday and today painted the inside of the cupboard.  The front of the cupboard is already unscrewed and just propped in place at the moment to hold up the worktop.  In the new year, I will get some plywood and start to make the new top and shelf although it isn't going to be very easy because of lack of workspace.  Oh for a nice dry workshop!

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