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    june 2016


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01/06/16 Weds. The rain continued throughout the night, and this morning the weather was still very unsettled with more thunderstorms predicted over the next few days - so we remained in the marina!  Temperature today was down to 29oC in the cockpit, much cooler than we are used to.

02/06/16 Thurs.  No use going up the Klias River if the evenings are blighted with thunderstorms which would stop us from sitting out in the cockpit and seeing the wildlife, so we are still in Labuan.  I had another go at the dinghy valves this morning and I think the problem is that the valve insert is screwing in too far and stopping the diaphragm from fully sealing the valve - when I loosen the insert, the leak stops.  The problem is that when the valve cap is screwed in, it automatically tightens the insert.  I also discovered a small pinhole leak in the underside of the stbd tube which I patched (wait and see if that still leaks later!)

03/06/16 Fri.  My dinghy was still inflated this morning!  I removed an old patch from the floor of the dinghy and replaced it with a new one........then heavy rain for the rest of the day and night.

05/06/16 Sun.  Slipped at 0800 and motored northward to the Klias River, one hour later we had the first 'problem' - the engine suddenly lost revs and before I could do anything, it stopped!  Lifting the cockpit floor produced a huge cloud of steam from the boiling engine.  A jubilee clip on the thermostat hose had failed, the hose had been forced off under pressure and all the coolant had been lost to bilge.  Funnily enough, I had only checked the engine temp about five minutes earlier!  Pouring cold water into an extremely hot engine didn't fill me with confidence but we had just entered the shallow part of the bar into the river and as there was no wind, I had little choice.  All turned out well and the engine was not seized, nor the block cracked and we were underway again in 20 minutes.  We continued about 24 miles upriver, and anchored for the night about a mile from the tourist place at Klias, then spent the evening watching proboscis monkeys in the trees.

06/06/16 Mon.  Christened the new anchor windlass..........so much easier than the old manual one!!  A late start, moving the mile or so upriver to my 'normal' anchoring place on the last bend before the bridge.  Again we watched proboscis and grey monkeys until nightfall, then the fireflies in a tree close by.

07/06/16 Tues.  Remained at anchor.  Chatted to some of the tour boat drivers as they passed by.

08/06/16 Weds.  Weighed anchor just after 8am and made our way downriver again, keeping a lookout for crocodiles - there have been reports of them but this is my fourth trip up the river and I haven't seen any!  Heavy rain for some of the way with seriously bad visibility but it cleared by 2pm when we reached Menumbok - I decided to make the most of the high water and instead of anchoring for the night, we continued out to sea and made our way back to Labuan, docking around 4.45pm.

09/06/16 Thurs.  Caught up with everyone in the marina and chatted to Bill (Viajero) who returned from Australia today.

10/06/16 Fri. Into town early for the market, couldn't have breakfast there as it is Ramadan and all cafe's are closed during the mornings.

11/06/16 Sat.  One of the problems that came to light up the Klias River was engine starting - it struggled to turn the engine on the engine battery only, and with all batteries connected it still seemed to turn over slowly.  This morning I took the starter motor off and stripped it down, cleaned it, greased the bearings and ensured the four brushes were free in their holders.  It appeared much better afterwards but I will have a clearer idea tomorrow when the house batteries have disconnected from the smart bank.

12/06/16 Sun.  This morning, the cold engine started just fine on engine battery only (reading 12.5V), so it seems it was indeed the starter motor which was at fault.  Repaired two hatch handles which were not locking down, topped up the water tank, then had breakfast!

13/06/16 Mon. Rained all last night and this morning - which is OK because the fan packed up last night!  Into town this afternoon for a new one, and some small self-tapping screws for another job.

16/06/16 Thurs.  Two days of trying to figure out the 'knocking noise' that I can hear when the engine goes over 1500rpm. It's driving me mad!!  The sound appears to be coming from between the gearbox and the propeller when underway, so I have drawn the fittings between those two points - stuffing box, metal plate, stern tube, cutless bearing, prop.....rigid fixed at both ends with the prop shaft running down the centre of all.  Everyone says the engine needs to be re-aligned but I am not convinced as that entails moving the engine vertically and horizontally and not moving the area from where the knock seems to originate.  Furthermore, tied up on the pontoon, I can run the engine (in gear) at 2000rpm with no 'knock', it only happens at sea!

18/06/16 Sat.  Visa time again - caught the 9.30am ferry to Limbang, then taxi to Kuala Lurah, crossed into Brunei and straight out again, back to Limbang ferry terminal and on the 2.30pm ferry back - 90 days for me and 30 days for Ana.

21/06/16 Tues.  After much investigation, I have concluded that the 'knock' is indeed the shaft hitting the inside of the stern tube which means it will all have to come out and be realigned.  That is not something I relish doing as it means the engine and gearbox will have to be removed again in Kudat.  Went to the Kraken Bar with Ana and Bill for a calming pint (or two) during the evening.

23/06/16 Thurs.  The referendum in Britain today, on whether we should leave the EU or not?

24/06/16 Fri.  Still thinking about the damn stern tube assembly and still cannot figure out how the shaft could be touching the sides as the tube is screwed and fixed to the hull at both ends?  I will disconnect the shaft at the coupling and recheck the alignment of the engine as I recall I was not happy with that when 'rushing' to get the engine in for launch in Kudat.  One other thing that I am not happy about is the flexible stuffing box arrangement - it should be 'dogged' to the inboard flange to avoid torsional strain on the rubber connecting tube......and it isn't!  Maybe on haul out, I will replace the whole thing with new from the UK.   The people of Britain vote in the referendum to leave the EU, PM David Cameron resigns!

25/06/16 Sat.  Waved Eric off as he set sail for Kudat at 0545.....and the rain started!  Now it's 1630 and still raining, so nothing done.  Abu Sayyaf have released the Filipina they were holding - and kidnapped 7 Indonesian sailors from a tug in southern Philippine waters.

26/06/16 Sun.  After yesterday's rain, a very cool 28oC in the cockpit at 0600 this morning.......had to put a t-shirt on!  Sail Malaysia Rally boats are arriving in dribs and drabs over last couple of days.



27/06/16 Mon.




29/06/16 Weds.  With most of the Sail Malaysia Rally now here, the marina is full......I count 18 yachts inside and 13 anchored outside the entrance, but they will all be gone again in a day or two!


30/06/16 Thurs. Bill and I took our liferafts for service today - BOTH had problems with valves on the upper tube!  On Bill's, it was the pressure relief valve broken, on mine the inlet valve not allowing air to pass inside the tube.  Both liferafts were over their due date for service, so mustn't complain.  This is the only time I want to see mine out of it's box and inflated!!






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