Home of the yacht "RHUMB DO"
  july 2014


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01/07/14  The Sail Malaysia Rally boats have been arriving over the last few days, the marina is now full of crews, mostly American.  The sea wall outside the Kudat Golf Resort Hotel is crowded with boats anchored Mediterranean style with stern lines to the wall and a further 7 or 8 boats are at anchor in the entrance to the harbour.  Sam, the skipper/owner of the power boat Glory, asked me if I would like to go out for a 'jolly' tomorrow, up to the tip of Borneo with some guys to take water samples and such like.  On Rhumb Do, the varnishing continues, the first coat being applied to the saloon table and the chart table area.

02/07/14  Slipped Glory at 10am and made out to sea with Sam, myself, two French crewmen, one New Zealander geologist and two Malay female assistants, heading toward the tip of Borneo where they were to take samples from the sea bed.  I helmed the boat up to the headland and went in between the lighthouse and the tip of the mainland.  Sam and I both agreed that the sea state would deteriorate once around the point - and we were right!  The boat started to pitch and roll badly, the height of the flybridge accentuating the motion and making it difficult to hold on - a novel experience for me!  It became obvious some miles short of our destination that the scientists would be unable to take any samples in these conditions, so the trip was aborted and we turned around to make our way back.  With the current behind us and mid-range revs on both engines, we made 11 knots back toward Kudat, mooring on the berth around 3pm.

03/07/14  Royalty in the marina today!  The last few days have been manic with workmen putting up bunting, flags, ribbons, fancy chairs and red carpets in preparation for a visit from the Prince.  By 0730 this morning, the place was swarming with armed police and soldiers, waiting for the Prince to arrive, officially open the marina and board an army boat out to the islands.  We were expected to line the pontoon, bow and shake his hand.........but I don't do things like that!  I sat in my cockpit with my coffee and watched management and rally crews falling over themselves to kow-tow to a priveleged person.   Not my style at all.  Instead, I got more and more annoyed that the extension lead to Rene's boat had to be removed "for safety reasons", thereby cutting off our electricity supply for the whole day!  If the management want to look at issues of safety, they need look no further than the unusable pontoons that are breaking up through lack of maintenance, the non-existent safety equipment, the missing escape ladders and a host of other things which have received no attention since they took over the marina some nine months ago.

04/07/14  No Al today.........his wife gave birth to a daughter at 0300 this morning so he is obviously off work for a few days!  Congratulations to them both!!  I am hearing reports that two crocodiles have been spotted within the pond area, close to the boats anchored against the wall - baby ones about one and a half metres long but as Craig on one of the boats said....."they get bigger!"  And if there are young ones here, where are the parents?  I think I'll skip having a swim!

05/07/14  Giovanni arrived in the marina this morning - seven days late from his original ETA because of weather and boat problems.  I helped him tie up and had a chinwag to catch up on events since we were in KK.  During the afternoon, I went across the pond with Sam to look at a 55 foot Sunseeker that he is negotiating to buy - it needs masses of work, but he seems to think that is only cosmetic.  I wouldn't like to take it on, but then again there is no chance of me having that much money to splash out in the first place!  'Lunar,' the cat from my neighbouring boat comes to visit each day now!

07/07/14  Nice dinner with Barry and Gerrie onboard New World last night and a day of relaxation today.  Giovanni left for KK and his flight home to Germany.  A category 5 typhoon (Neoguri) which is passing north of the Philippines and heading for Japan is causing strong gusts of winds here in Kudat as it sucks the air up.

08/07/14  Heavy rain throughout the night continued until mid-day today.  Completed the varnishing of the saloon table and chart table areas, so that's the forward end of the boat complete now except for the cabin sole.  As I intend going to KK for a couple of days in the near future, I shall get Al to do that while I am away.  The after cabin (the shed) still has to be emptied, re-organised and similarly sanded and varnished.

10/07/14  Rain again last night with strong gusts of wind; Lunar the cat settled on the cushions of my cabin and didn't want to go home in the bad weather!  Sanded the deck in the fwd cabin in preparation for varnishing, then went into town for some essential bits of shopping and a replacement under-laptop cooling fan because mine has given up the ghost.

14/07/14  Not much going on at present, wind and rain caused by two cyclones going through the Philippines over the last day or two.  Went to the Golf Club for dinner last night with Barry, Gerrie and Tim (from Sunshine Forever).  This morning I helped Tim move his boat to Penuwasa for haul out - a slow process because of his prop being badly fouled.  Then Barry and Gerrie left the anchorage for KK around 2.30pm - I was glad it wasn't me, and a couple of hours later they were back in the marina!  Headwinds of over 30 knots with big seas forced a rethink.

17/07/14  One of the Philippine cyclones developed into full blown typhoon (Rammasun) and has claimed the lives of ten people as it passed through Manila.  Here, the winds are now decreasing to normal levels.  Barry and Gerrie have decided to sail today and have another go at getting down to KK, and on to Miri further south.

19/07/14  Emptied the after cabin completely and tried to sort out the lockers and all the things stored in them, dumped quite a bit and rearranged the rest before putting all the boxes and bags back - and there seems more in there than when I started!!  I have to get rid of more!

20/07/14  The state of Sabah continues to have problems with the Sulu rebels and this morning saw great activity in the marina area and in town.  Hundreds of soldiers were being transported to local trouble spots and a curfew has been put in place for the next two weeks.  Reminiscent of my first visit here in 1964!  See the link to the Borneo Post.

21/07/14  3rd anniversary of the Atlantis Space Shuttle's last landing and effectively the end of the USA's ability to get astronauts to the ISS.  Sanded the deck of main cabin today and went into town to the doctors for a new supply of tablets!  Off to KK tomorrow morning for a couple of days.

22/07/14  Gary (Inca II) and I got a taxi at 0730 this morning and went down to KK, booked into the Cititel Express Hotel and then went in search of a new outboard for my dinghy.  This was Gary's first visit to KK so I had the tour guide job for the next day or two.  I bought a new 3hp Yamaha outboard from the main dealer and Sam (who lives in KK) loaded it onto his truck to take back to Kudat tomorrow morning.

23/07/14  Another day of searching for various bits and pieces - out to Karamunsing and Inanam before having a relaxing evening close to the hotel.  My feet are killing me!

24/07/14  Up early and showered, then out to breakfast by 7am, after which we walked to the bus/taxi terminal and caught the 8am bus back to Kudat, arriving there at 11.30am.  Al had been busy in my absence and the cabin sole is now varnished and clean looking!

25/07/14  Helped Sam move his new project to Penuwasa shipyard - he is buying a 55 foot Sunseeker to renovate and needed help to get it from the pond to the yard.  With Gary and I in two dinghies, we pushed and nudged it over the half mile to the travel hoist.  Sam has a huge job ahead of him!

30/07/14  Nothing much happening except that I've been cursed with some sort of stomach bug for the last three days and dare not stray more than a boat length from the loo!

31/07/14  Enough of the abdominal pain and stomach cramps - off to Angeline Cheong, the doctor.  She wanted to put me in hospital on a drip but there was no way I was going back to that hospital....sanitary it is not!  So she gave me a shed load of tablets to take after every meal, let's see what happens now.  My parcel sent to me by my mate Rob in UK arrived today, only eight days over schedule...but it's here!

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