07/02/18 Weds. The weather while we have been in Brunei has
not been favourable! We have had constant strong winds and
frequent long downpours which made life at anchor somewhat unpleasant to
say the least. We should be thankful that the holding is good and
we didn't move from our original spot during the long hours of 30 knot
winds. Much has changed in Brunei, the bridge to Pulau Muara Besar
is mainly complete - all the segments have been placed and the huge
crane dismantled, most of the lighting is in place and road signs are
going up at the 'on' ramp. We caught the bus into town for
shopping during our stay and I was surprised to see that the main
department store in town, which had a supermarket and about three floors
of clothes, tools, electrics, cameras, toys etc., had been evacuated,
closed up and empty! Also the main HSBC bank and all the ATM's
have been removed from the various sites. Now you have no choice
but to use other banks ATM's - and pay a $5 fee for the privilege!
This afternoon we checked out with immigration, harbour master and
customs.........this time (oddly) without too much hassle!
Tomorrow morning looks to be OK weatherwise for the trip back to Labuan,
so the dinghy was hauled on deck, deflated and stowed.
08/02/18 Thurs. Very calm at 4am as we sat in the cockpit
with a coffee. At 5am, we hoisted anchor and motored out of the
harbour. Outside, the sea had retained it's residual swell and we
rolled quite a bit until the genoa was unfurled, and with a 10 knot ESE
wind we made reasonable speed back to Labuan, only running into a rain
storm as we approached Victoria Harbour. By 8am we were tied up at
our berth and a half hour later we were having breakfast. At
midday we went into town for the check in formalities.
12/02/18 Mon. Walked into town first thing this morning and
rented a car for 3 days, then drove out to the airport to meet Maree who
has come to clear out personal things from Dulce prior to the new
owner arriving next month. So nice to see her again despite the
sad circumstances. She had booked a room in the Waterfront Hotel
because of power outages on 'A' dock which has left Dulce without
13/02/18 Tues. Into town again with Ana, Maree and Lyda for
shopping at the fruit and veg market, then onto Emporium supermarket on
the other side of the harbour. Later, Ana and I went in search of
a carpenter to make a new cupboard front for the upper lockers of the
toilet - the bottom edge has (like the lower cupboard) rotted away.
I could make one myself but would need to buy a whole sheet of plywood
(8' x 4') for a small piece 30" x 15", and I don't have the necessary
tools to do the job properly anyway! We found a small woodyard
that make things but everything is closed up now for Chinese New Year,
so that job will have to wait a week or two!
14/02/18 Weds. Busy day today! Picked Maree up from hotel
and we three went out for breakfast, then to the hardware store for some
engine oil and a few things for Bill next door. From there to the
garage for 40 litres of diesel which we then took back to the boat.
Then dismantled the air-con unit on Dulce and took it to the shop
out of town for repair; had to leave it there for a week though because
everywhere is shutting down for Chinese New Year. After that, we
drove to another hardware store to pick up a few other things before
returning to Dulce to help clear some of the items out of the
lockers. In between times, I spliced and whipped a couple of ropes on my
15/02/18 Thurs. Returned the rental car this morning, then
helped Maree with her clearing out of Dulce for most of the day.
Had a chat with Paul and Alison who called in on their way to Tiga.
Heavy rain for most of the night.
18/02/18 Sun. We have been helping Maree over the last few
days, putting up awnings etc. Today we rented a car again to
go to the airport ticket office and change Maree's flight dates (put
back a week!) then during the evening we went for dinner with her,
Alison and Paul.
19/02/18 Mon. All onboard Manta this evening for
21/02/18 Weds. We went to the air-con shop today to see if
Dulce's unit had been repaired - there was severe corrosion
inside and it was beyond economical repair, so into town for a new unit.
Took that back to the boat and fitted it for Maree.
22/02/18 Thurs. Today we had a ride out around the island
so that Maree could take some video shots, took the car back in the
afternoon and had a relaxing evening.
25/02/18 Sun. Again rented a car for the day. At 4pm,
we took Maree to the airport for her journey home to
Melbourne..........sad that we will probably not see her again now that
Dulce is sold. Tomorrow, we will check out and sail to
Brunei for Ana's visa requirements again.
26/02/18 Mon. Returned the car and checked out with the
relevant offices. Back onboard, we filled with water and slipped
the mooring at 1030. With only 8 - 10 knots of wind and a flat
calm sea, we motor sailed across to Brunei. After anchoring in the
usual spot, we took the dinghy to immigration for check in.
27/02/18 Tues. OK, first problem.....we have a RAT
onboard!! I don't know how or where it came aboard, but we think
maybe it was in the dinghy bag, and got inside the boat while we were
inflating the dinghy yesterday. Tonight it woke us when trying to
get inside the egg box, I shone a torch under the cooker and there it
was, staring back at me! The rest of the night was spent trying to
catch it in a trap.
28/02/18 Weds. Still no luck with the rat, we go ashore
during the afternoon, leaving three traps with cheese, chocolate, apple.
The damn thing eats the bait, sets off the traps and somehow evades
getting it's neck broken!
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