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    FEBRUARY 2018


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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 power.

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 boat.

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 Isabelle's birthday!








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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