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    march 2015


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01/03/15  We set off aboard Crib during the late morning and made our way northward to the first waypoint for the turn to cross the shallows toward Menumbok.  With the wind on our nose and breaking waves sluicing down the deck, it was a slow passage!  Once we made the first turn to stbd., the now beam sea made things a little uncomfortable for a short time and anything not tied down, fell down.   We soon made another turn to stbd. and with the sea now on the quarter, it all settled down for the entrance into the Klias River.  After passing Menumbok, we continued up river for approximately seven miles before anchoring for the night.  A malfunction of the windlass had Lesley and myself stripping it down under torchlight to clean and grease the clutch cones........good practice for my future windlass!!

02/03/15  Continued upriver.....there have been some changes since my last trip - more buildings have appeared, the shallows have obviously been dredged and some rocks removed.  We reached the limit of the navigable river in the early afternoon and anchored in (to me) a familiar place.  Although we saw quite a few proboscis and grey monkeys, it was a disappointment to me that there were fewer around the anchorage point than on previous occasions.  The same applies to night-time fire flies and I am unsure as to whether that is for seasonal reasons or not.

03/03/15  We retraced our route down the river, stopping about an hour downstream to clear weed from the prop, then anchored for the night off Menumbok.

04/03/15  Made our way across the shallow approaches and into the main East Channel to Labuan, mooring back alongside in the marina there around lunchtime, passing Rob on Jolly Brise as he made his way toward the Klias River!   I gathered my things together and went back to my boat in the inner marina.  The last few days have been a relaxing change for me, so thank you to Rene and Lesley for inviting me along for the trip.  Tomorrow it's back to work on the windlass fitting!

05/03/15  With Lesley giving me a hand again, we cut out the 80mm and 100mm holes in the foredeck and the backing plate - these take the windlass drive shaft and the chain through to the locker beneath.  The through deck bolting holes need to be enlarged a little and the holes sanded and coated with resin before the actual body of the windlass can be fitted to the deck.  Late afternoon rain stopped any further work on deck.  I went over to Crib and removed a  leaking stop valve from their diesel fuel tank, repaired and refitted it.

06/03/15  More sanding, drilling, filling, resin mixing, wiring!  I'm reaching saturation point with the work now, fed up of continually living in a workshop and nothing else getting done, no normal day to day activities like dhobying or food shopping.  Chatted with Barry and Donald on their weekly Friday trip from Brunei.  Also met up with Barry from New World, who is now back from Canada, although Gerri has remained there for family reasons.

08/03/15  Painting the deck and re-drilling resin filled holes.....tomorrow should see the fitting of the windlass, the deck switch and the final wiring jobs!  Paul and Alison from Brunei called in to see me briefly, they had come over on a quick speedboat run for the day.

09/03/15  Fitted the windlass to the deck, screwed up the gearbox in the chain locker and connected the drive motor.  Fitted and wired the deck switch.  Almost all the connections are now made and the only difficult job remaining is to screw the solenoid box into a small cupboard on the stbd side of the fwd cabin.......almost 90 minutes of trying to do that before I gave up for the day!  The problem is the tight space, hands which are too big and the inability to see what you are doing when your arms are in the locker!  Helped Rob with his lines as Jolly Brise left for Brunei.

10/03/15  Lesley came over this morning and screwed the box to the bulkhead..........in about 2 minutes!  My excuse is that she has smaller hands and is able to contort herself into the restricted space!  Working from the front of the boat, I checked all the wiring was correct and clipped in place, finally reaching the batteries and connecting them up to the windlass.  I put the 3 amp fuse into the control circuit and turned on the 135 amp breaker - test time..........NOTHING!  OK...check all the wiring again, now my multimeter packs up, puzzle time.  After an hour or so, it finally dawned on me - at the very beginning, I had cut and laid the cables to the battery terminals (in two different places), today I connected them to the adjacent terminals....but that was wrong, because for some reason I had laid the cables to two positive terminals!!  Now it was a bit of a fiddle to re-route to one postive and one negative, but finally it was done and the second test could start.  This time it was successful, the deck switch works, the cockpit switch works, the radio controlled switch works and the windlass responds accordingly!  That was enough for the day for me, so I went over to the nearest shops and got a little shopping, also made enquiries about wi-fi amplifiers as I have had no internet since arriving here in Labuan, but it looks as if I may have to get another contract with a cellular network in order to connect to the internet.

11/03/15  Helped Rene and Lesley move berth to one in the "inner" marina.  Fed the rode and chain through the windlass into the chain locker - the windlass copes well with both the rode and the chain, but it does not like the splice between the two, so I will have to do something about that in the near future but for now it will do as I seldom drop more than 40 metres of chain.  I then went over to the Financial Park and bought yet another Celcom sim card to access the internet - an expensive way of doing things but I cannot receive the marina wi-fi from my berth.

12/03/15  To give myself time and not be under pressure to leave Labuan, I decided to make a ferry trip to Brunei today, so I caught the 1.30pm fast ferry to Muara, had a cold drink in one of the restaurants in the town, then hopped the 4.40pm ferry back.  On arrival back in Labuan, the Immigration were reluctant to give me a 90 day visa and wanted to just allow me back in until the 23rd of this month when my current visa expires!  After a little wrangling with higher officers at the Immigration desk, they finally stamped my passport with a new 90 day visa, so now I can move on to the next job on the boat - a knocking sound which worried me the whole way down from Kudat.

13/03/15   Started the long process of cleaning up and putting away tools and stores.

16/03/15  Too damn hot to do anything - been like this for a few days now, spent the day reading!

18/03/15  Still very hot!  For interest.....a pic of the old (now removed) manual windlass and the new electric windlass - lower profile and more streamlined, which will hopefully make my anchor retrieval so much easier in the future.

Hidden behind this photo is an electric motor, gearbox, deck switch, two circuit breakers, a remote control point, a two-way solenoid relay, a radio control receiver, around 40 metres of cabling...and a lot of hard work!!!

20/03/15  As Rene and Lesley are leaving in the morning for the UK, we decided to have a farewell dinner in the Dorset Hotel this evening - the usual high standards of food and presentation and with the 'seniors' discount!

24/03/15  An evening out with Alf, Bob, Dave and his girlfriend Aimee......late night!

26/03/15  Many Happy Returns Bro!

31/03/15  I have been somewhat lethargic over the last couple of weeks, not feeling on top form and failing to do all the jobs which are still awaiting me.....but it's too hot as well!

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