01/04/17 Sat. Happy Birthday Ana!
With no shops or night clubs for miles, it was a quiet
birthday for Ana. We took the dinghy about another six miles up
the river (we are at the limit of travel for a yacht), passing isolated
houses and dense jungle scenes, all very peaceful and quiet.
Although we have seen grey monkeys and proboscis monkeys, I have to say
I am a little disappointed about the size of the troops around, their
numbers have certainly diminished since I first visited the Klias River,
I'm not sure as to the reason why that should be so. In the late
afternoon, we weighed anchor and moved a mile back down river to our
previous anchorage, and no sooner had we got there when a police fast
RIB shot by - what is going on....why so many police around here now?
Spent the evening watching the fireflies - which are actually beetles!
A close look at one that landed on my arm shows that they have maybe a
dozen tiny lights and not just one as I first thought. A late
night trip in the dinghy, taking us close in to the jungle and the trees
lit by hundreds of fireflies, like large Christmas trees.
02/04/17 Sun. A late start again, making our way down river
to anchor behind the island off Menumbok at 2pm. We will stay here
now until late tomorrow morning, then catch the high tide across the bar
at the river entrance.
03/04/17 Mon. Weighed anchor at 1130, noticed another yacht
anchored off the ferry terminal at Menumbok but didn't recognise it.
We passed over the bar without incident and motored into a force 2
headwind to Labuan, arriving in our berth at 1400. A check online
of my parcel from the UK shows it 'held in KK' since Thursday morning -
I think DHL have a lot to learn from UPS!
04/04/17 Tues. Tried to order a new drive ring for the
wheelpilot from UK but they cannot accept non-VAT payments, or ship to
Malaysia. Now I can understand that from a newly formed company,
but this particular one has been trading for 40 years! I think I
will try to get one made locally, maybe in aluminium instead of the poor
quality plastic used by Raymarine.
05/04/17 Weds. Finally my parcel arrived from the UK! The
belts ordered from the USA via UPS took 3 days to reach me. The
DHL parcel from UK took 3 days from Exeter to KK, via Germany and
China..........then 7 days to travel from KK to Labuan - a 3 hour ferry
ride away! Went out in the evening with Ann, her sister, Jessie
and a couple of others, a good evening in Vintages and Rusty Blade.
07/04/17 Fri. Spent the day taking out the old GPS and
fitting the new one. I had a little trouble configuring the NMEA
output to the VHF radio, but sorted it out in the end.
08/04/17 Sat. Next job up is fitting the new battery
charger. Of course, the wiring size is different, there is no a/c
cable supplied, nor any fuses for the output cables. We spent a
few hours trailing around all the motor factors and electrical shops in
search of fuse holders suitable for 10mm2
cable and 40amp fuses - seems they are not available! Maybe I will
just do away with the fuse requirement as the cable run from charger to
battery banks is only 1 metre long, and the previous charger had no
fuses fitted to the outputs.
09/04/17 Sun. OK, the battery charger job turned out to be
more demanding than first imagined - why am I not surprised? I had
to take down the deckhead (ceiling) and the bulkhead (wall) panelling in
the nav. berth again. I may have described it before, but I'll
recap........the nav. berth is accessed from the saloon and extends
under the starboard cockpit seat. Some have called it the 'coffin'
berth and with good reason. It is shaped and sized like an open
ended coffin and normally you would shuffle in feet first from the chart
table seat until your head is on the seat cushion. You have an end
wall by your feet, a wall on each side and a ceiling (lid) above you -
very cramped but at least you wouldn't roll out of bed in bad weather!
I long since did away with the mattress and use the space to store
things in plastic boxes. The battery charger is located on the
wall by your feet, along with the circuit breakers for shore power.
Today, I firstly had to go in head first and remove the end wall
complete with circuit breakers. Next is to remove the wall
panelling which cannot be done with the ceiling in place - so now I'm
lying on my back, head first in the 'coffin' undoing the screws around
the outside edges of the ceiling. The last central screw holds it
all in place and when you remove that, the ceiling falls on you!
OK, wriggle out and remove the ceiling panel, then you can remove the
wall panelling which reveals miles of electric wiring hidden between the
panelling and the engine room bulkhead. Then came the fun job of
tracing cables and trying to discover why the previous owner had wired
things the way he had. All done with the shore power disconnected
of course, so no electric light or fans, and 350
of heat. I made a few alterations for the new battery charger,
re-routed some cables to the new position and re-sited the circuit
breakers. By this time it was 5.30pm, and I'd had enough for the
day, so connected the circuit breaker for shore power, packed away the
tools and called it a day. More tomorrow!
10/04/17 Mon. Spent the morning finishing off the wiring of
the battery charger and replacing the panelling. All working now,
although I have some doubts about the life of this charger, it does not
seem to have the same quality as the old one. I guess only time
11/04/17 Tues. Chartplotters.........argghhh! My old
Standard Horizon plotter has got the dreaded death screen setting in, so
it was time for a new one. I first thought, buy the same type and
model, all the
wiring is in place, just plug 'n' play. Not that easy!
Standard Horizon no longer make plotters and you cannot buy them
anywhere now, so that plan went in the trash can. I decided on a B
& G Vulcan 7FS - because it takes C-Map electronic charts (and I have
three of those), so some weeks ago I ordered one from the UK.
Today I opened the box and read the instructions.....first
problem......C-Map have changed the format of their charts from C-Card
to micro SD cards, so none of my charts will fit in the plotter
card slot and as each chart costs around the £200 mark, I'm not very
pleased about that! Second problem is connecting it to my Vesper
AIS transponder - that was connected via NMEA 0183 to the Standard
Horizon, but the B & G plotter works on NMEA 2000 data. All
day spent online trying to source micro SD cards with the appropriate
Asian charts, and trying to figure a way around the AIS problem so
target ships can be shown on the plotter screen. Why does one
simple problem turn into a marathon troubleshooting session?
13/04/17 Thurs. After two days of thinking and scratching
my head, I have figured a way around the NMEA and chart problems.
Today, I ordered two NMEA 2000 drop cables to connect the chartplotter
and the AIS into the Furuno backbone system, hoping that will work and
solve the connection problems. Charts are not available to buy,
but I can download them on the internet to a blank micro SD card and use
it in the plotter. Problems solved...........maybe!
Rented a car today and drove around in search of a small Freon tank to
use for topping up my fridge system as required, none available on
Labuan island, another job for Ana when she goes home to Manila next
week! Also went to Ramsey's machine shop to see if they could make
a new drive wheel for my wheelpilot, Kenneth (the boss man) said he
could by next Friday, this time in aluminium rather than plastic.
That will create it's own problems but as long as it lasts a couple more
years - that's fine. Picked up 80 litres of diesel in jerry cans
on the way back to the boat, 172.80 ringgit - that's around 40p a litre,
and poured it into the tank.
14/04/17 Fri. Had a drive around some of the more distant
hardware shops, not looking for anything in particular, just taking
advantage of having a set of wheels. Picked up another 100 litres
15/04/17 Sat. Went to the market in town, then collected
another 20 litres of diesel - that's the tank almost full and a spare
100 litres on deck. Returned the car to the ferry terminal at
1200. Parcel from UK is in Hong Kong now.
16/04/17 Sun. Lazy day again! Updated the
route map on this site.
17/04/17 Mon. Didn't do much today, fitted two new eye
bolts to the dinghy transom so that it can be lifted from the water on a
halyard (once I've spliced up a sling!) Did a little shopping in
Financial Park, Ana buying chocolate to take home tomorrow as it's
expensive in the Philippines. Chatted with Paul and Merissa and
watched a film. That was about the lot for the day! Parcel
is in KK.
18/04/17 Tues. Walked into town this morning and put Ana on
the Menumbok speedboat to catch the express bus to KK, she will
fly out to Manila in the morning. Not sure how long she will be
gone for, as she has to renew her passport and the authorities there are
not known for their speed!
The time onboard
since leaving Gillingham....
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