01/02/15 The start of another month. I need to get a
move on now, organise the accumulated 'rubbish' into a more logical
storage system and ready the boat for sea. I hope to leave Kudat
within the next ten days. I have a
onboard......this is the second one in as many weeks, I caught the first
one and put it ashore on the pontoon - now there is another, or maybe
it's the same one come back up the mooring lines? However, not to
worry, they are harmless enough!
02/02/15 Shopping excursion into town postponed due to more
rain, same applies to launching the dinghy to inspect for any damage at
my stern caused by Glory on the 25th of last month. My
dinghy is still deflating (through the new valves) in a relatively short
period of time - that could be a nuisance! Had lunch onboard
Crib and helped with the reassembly of their water pump.
Researching electric windlasses is proving troublesome as well, there
seems to be a lack of information regarding dimensions and prices on the
internet and my indecision gets worse with the information that I can
get! Should it be a vertical or horizontal windlass? Lemar,
Maxwell, Lofrans or Muir manufactured??? More
03/02/15 Managed to get into town for a little shopping in
between showers. Spent a good deal of the day on the internet
searching for the 'right' windlass - my initial leaning toward the
Australian manufactured Muir VR1250 has now veered toward the American
Maxwell RC10-8......decisions, decisions!
04/02/15 Another day of internet research, talking to other yotties.....I
see you have a Muir/Maxwell/Lofrans....."any problems, what's it like,
happy with it, what would you change?" Think I will go with the
Maxwell RC10-8.....oh dear, hope it's the right choice! Managed to
get the dinghy launched and check my stern - some superficial scratches
and the large chuck of paint visible from deck is from Glory and
not Rhumb Do.
06/02/15 Sailing date draws near! Plan is to check
out on Weds 11th and sail in company with Crib on Thurs 12th,
doing 'day hops' southward down the coast. My windlass is on order
and on it's way from the USA to Labuan (currently in Cologne, Germany) where I hope to fit it.
Sailing as always, of course depends on the weather forecast for next
07/02/15 Putting a few bits away again today, defrost the
fridge which was iced up badly! And the engine ignition showed the
same fault as earlier - lights and buzzer on, press the button and
everything goes dead.....leave it for a few mins, and it works again!!
(in my best Chinese..."sum ting wong"). Windlass package is in
09/02/15 I'm beginning to panic a little....not much
getting done as I keep getting side-tracked onto other little things.
I went into town today and bought 20 metres of the 50mm2
battery cable to take with me to Labuan, then updated the operating
system for my iPad (which took hours!) before getting a late lunch.
I arranged for a local guy to come tomorrow morning and brush the
underbelly of the boat which is showing signs of weed growth again.
I will have to get my skates on in the morning and get some of the
surface junk put away into boxes or lockers! Windlass package is
in Sepang (Kuala Lumpur) having been from India to Shenzhen, China.
10/02/15 The sailing date is out of the window - I just
will not be ready in time. I've spent the whole of today trying to
find spaces to store the various bits and pieces that have accumulated
during my stay in Kudat and still the boat is a mess.
Rob, who was due to sail this morning, cancelled because of 30 knot
winds and 3 metre waves outside. Crib are also running late
and will not check out tomorrow either. Deep depression bears down
heavily on me!! And the promised diver didn't turn up today
either! It's feasible for me to check out on Thursday 12th and
sail the following day, but Lesley aboard Crib is a little
paraskevidekatriaphobic.....so maybe Saturday! My parcel has been signed for in Labuan Marina, so is now
waiting there for me - 4 days from Connecticut to Labuan.....well done UPS!
11/02/15 Rob (Jolly Brise) left this morning to head down to
Brunei and Singapore, I went into town and got some shopping, (as much
as I could carry in my rucksack) and applied some more waterproofing to
the sprayhood. I launched the dinghy and had a look at the hull
because the promised diver cannot now come until next week, but it is
completely covered in growth. It's worse now after a couple of
months, than it was after over a year! One of the other local lads
is trying to get me a worker for tomorrow. I think I have a
'family' of chee chak's onboard, as I have seen a baby one in the
cockpit a couple of times.
12/02/15 Rudi turned up this morning with a friend who
would dive and clean the hull - great! So I gave him all the
necessary gear and set him to work, Crib also had two lads dive
on their hull. At lunchtime, all three went for 'makan'........and
disappeared! Around 2.30pm, the two on Crib returned,
finished the job and then came over to finish mine - as my worker had
done a runner! I washed down the deck, took down the sun awning
and folded it and lifted the dinghy from the water. A little more
tidying up below decks and we are now back on track for checking out
tomorrow and sailing on Saturday (14th).
13/02/15 Friday the 13th...........a busy day! Went
into town at 8am to the Harbour Master's Office, Customs Office,
Immigration Office - all checked out for leaving! Then onto the
shops for last minute supplies, then the marina office to settle bills,
deflate the dinghy, roll it, bag it, stow and lash on deck, put away the
shopping, check engine oil levels, run the engine, check instruments
working, check navigation lights and numerous other little
jobs........still some to do in the morning! Chinese New Year is
coming up, and gifts of oranges were presented to us in town, then the
marina gave us a box of oranges each....I have over 50 oranges
onboard....I think I will turn an orange colour after eating all these!
Crib and I are the longest 'serving members' of this marina,
Viajero organised a yottie get together in the evening to say
'cheerio' to us, so we had a few rums in the now closed cafe on the top
deck of the marina offices. The target is to leave tomorrow around
6am....but I think that may be somewhat too early!! Next log
14/02/15 I knew I shouldn't have had a drink last night!
Woke up at 0515hrs, rushed around getting washed, breakfast, coffee -
only for Crib to declare a laptop navigation prog. crash!
Lesley borrowed my laptop in an attempt to get her back up system up and
running, but without any success. It was decided that I should go
and they would catch up later in the day, so at 0710, I slipped the
lines, waved cheerio to all and made out to sea. With little wind
to speak of, I motored up to the tip of Borneo, rounded inside the light
and headed southward down the coast to Teluk Agal (our intended first
anchorage). I was able to use the genoa now, but the winds were
still very light and I arrived and anchored in 10 metres at 1350hrs.
Rene and Lesley arrived and anchored off my port side just after
15/02/15 A rather restless night, up and down all night
long, and up permanently around 0500hrs. After breakfast, I hauled
up the anchor (not as fit as I used to be!) and made out to sea at 0730
for another relatively short motor down the coast, very little wind
again but used the genoa some of the way. Crib on the other
hand, is 'junk rigged' and the light airs were good for their sailing.
Once again, I left on my own as Rene and Lesley made rig adjustments to
their sails and five miles short of Teluk Usukan, I dropped sail, shut
off the engine and heaved to for a couple of hours until they caught up.
With the sea state worsening and the wind picking up (barometer
dropping fast), we entered the bay of Usukan. I let them anchor
first and then tried to raft up alongside.....only to find that I had no
throttle in ahead, only in astern! A quick check of the engine
revealed the problem - the air filter had 'fallen off' and jammed in the
gear linkage! Once alongside them, I fixed that and we sat with
coffee and cake for a chinwag. Anticipated bad weather didn't
actually arrive and the anchorage settled down about 6pm.
16/02/15 Up early, washed and ready to go by 0400.
Roused Rene and Lesley and had my second coffee, then at 0430 slipped
the ropes and made our way out of the bay as the moon rose over the
hills behind us. Conditions outside the bay were rolly and I
thought it was to be that way for the whole day, but once the sun came
up, the breeze set in and with all sail up (engine still on), we made
our way down the coast to Pulau Tiga - 62 miles away. On arrival
there at 1630, the sea was calm and sheltered from the northwest wind,
so another night rafted alongside Crib was possible. Perhaps I
have manually lifted my anchor for the last time?
17/02/15 A more leisurely start to today, we made a move at
0730, motoring out of the shelter of the island into another rolly sea
swell. The only wind was that created by my own movement through
the air, but hoisting the genoa gave me an extra half knot of speed,
which was fairly short lived as the ahead wind was cancelled out by a
4 knot stern wind! We entered the now re-opened and re-vamped
Labuan Marina at 1545 and tied up. In the office, we form filled
for an hour and collected my package from the USA. That completes
my first real trip on the boat since my haul out and on the whole, most
things were OK, some new problems showed up and will have to be attended
to in due course. In Labuan marina, I met up with Alistair onboard
C'est la Vie who has sadly split from Loren and she has returned
home. New World is also in the marina, but neither Barry
nor Gerri were onboard. There are a couple of problems in the
marina - Alistair tells me they have a big rat problem, so doors and
hatches have to be kept closed at night (and it is soooo hot here), the
pontoons which are new, are falling apart, and there is no wi-fi in the
marina area, only in the office building during office hours - great!
18/02/15 Not a very fruitful day today......Alistair took
us into town to do our checking in formalities - and I ran into a bit of
trouble with that! My Malay visa runs out tomorrow (they say
today) and Kudat didn't stamp us out because we were not leaving
Malaysia even though Labuan is a federal territory and has it's own
little rules and regulations. So the choices were, a) sail out
again to Brunei, b) catch a ferry to Brunei and back, or c) go to the
main immigration office in the financial centre and apply for an month
extension of visa. I chose to do the latter and it took all day!
They wanted photocopies of almost everything, letters from engineers, a
Malay National's name, address and ID.....and it took until 4.30 to sort
out. On top of all this, it's Chinese New Year and most of the
shops will be (or are) shut for a few days, so I can't get hold of the
items I need to fit the windlass, or the end fittings for my hosepipe
for topping up the water tank. I was thinking today that my
hosepipe hasn't been used since Miri? As it has been coiled on
deck for some years now, the plastic end fittings have degraded in the
sun and need replacement. There was a party in the Waterfront
Hotel this evening, to which we were all invited, but after the day I
had, I chose not to go.
19/02/15 After a good nights sleep (my first in a long
time), we had a fairly leisurely day, didn't do very much at all except
wander around the nearby shopping mall - most shops are closed but a few
of the 'tut' type shops were open as usual. Had some lunch before
returning to the boat and reading the destructions on windlass fitting!
Barry and Ali turned up on Fourth Dimension last night, so it was
good to do a bit of catching up with them today.
20/02/15 Lesley came over to help me make a start on
fitting the new windlass and we spent the whole day planning and then
drilling holes for the main battery cable run from back to front of the
boat. All the lockers on the starboard side behind the sink,
cooker, wardrobe, fwd cabin and chart table had to be emptied so that we
could plan the cable routing and drill the required holes.
21/02/15 Another day like yesterday, we got the two main
battery cables in position as well as three smaller diameter ancillary
ones. Fitted the first part of the unit (the 135amp circuit
breaker) into the side of the chart table. Just a few more short
cable runs to make before actually taking the old windlass off the deck
and siting the new one. By the time I had clipped the two 50mm2
cables into place, it was 7.30pm and time to call it a day.
22/02/15 Sunday, and a day off! We all went to the
Dorset Hotel for lunch - very nice, and a 30% 'age discount' to boot!
23/02/15 Spent the whole morning and most of the afternoon going
from one hardware/electrical shop to another in the search for various
lugs and cables. A lot of the shops have now re-opened following
the New Year celebrations, though some are still on extended holiday.
I managed to get most of what I wanted but a 12 volt, 3 amp circuit
breaker cannot be found, so I will have to fit a 3 amp fuse until such
time as I can either locate or order one. My Kudat neighbour, Rob
on Jolly Brise arrived alongside me in the late afternoon.
24/02/15 Another full day of wiring - fitted the remote
control in the cockpit and wired it to the main 135amp breaker.
Just the two main cables from the relay to the motor to fit now, plus
the lesser diameter cables to the foredeck foot switch.
25/02/15 Removed all the chain and rode from the chain
locker before unbolting the old manual windlass, removing the backing
plate and lifting the windlass from the deck. Then I had a bit of
a tidy up and put some of the locker contents and tools back in their
26/02/15 Using a heat gun and chisel, I removed the old
silicone sealant and treadmaster glue, plus the gel coat from around the
area for the new windlass. It also meant removing some of the new
paint and cork deck covering, but that can easily be patched later.
A quick measure up of the deck angles and chain alignment showed that I
may have to build up the deck somewhat in order to get the chain to meet
the windlass gypsy at the right angle. Made up a new backing plate
for under deck fitting.
27/02/15 A frustrating day looking for epoxy resin and
similar fillers. The only supplier I could find just had resin in
gallon cans (I need about a half pint!) but he did have a small tin of
two part filler which I took, but on returning to the boat and opening
the tins to mix it....discovered it was no old stock and of no practical
28/02/15 I trailed back into town first thing this morning
and returned the out of date filler, the shopkeeper had no more, it was
his last tin. Yotties are a great bunch though, and a few rallied
round ......Paul offered me some resin, Lesley had some filler and
offered her help again in filling the old windlass holes and coating the
deck area with resin. I screwed up the backing plate as a
temporary fixture until the filler 'sets' fully - and that is how it
will have to stay now for a few days while I go up the Klias River with
Rene and Lesley aboard Crib.
Did you enjoy your visit
onboard? Please sign my
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