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    may 2018


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02/05/18 Weds.  Started patching the dinghy floor again!  Motorship, when they repaired it, put a large patch over a smaller one that I had previously glued on, and of course it leaks.  In Brunei, the floor was deflating in around 4 hours.  I removed the two patches today, sanded the area again and applied the first coat of SC2000 cement.  Tomorrow, I will apply the second coat and the patch, then move on to any other leaks we may have!  The sewing machine finished it's round the World trip today and arrived at the marina, so we unpacked that and assembled it.  To be fair, the delivery was forecast to be today, so at least FedEx got that right, even if they did send it to China from KL!  Now waiting for another parcel from Jimmy Green in UK.

05/05/18 Sat.  Rented a car yesterday for 24 hours, this morning we bought 40 litres of diesel and 10 litres of petrol - that's us topped up again!  Then exchanged the gas bottle which was getting low, for a full one.  Ana has been making mosquito net to fit the hatch of Bill and Lyda's boat, the first job with new machine!  The dinghy repairs are complete for now and it's in the water, fully inflated for a short trial.

07/05/18 Mon.  Dinghy stowed away along with most other gear.  Into town to Jabatan Laut, Immigration and Customs for check out.

08/05/18 Tues.  Slipped at 0815 and made out to sea.  With a gentle WNW wind of 10 knots, we unfurled the genoa and cruised toward Brunei at 6 knots.  The wind increased as we approached the channel into Muara, to the extent we had to furl some of the sail away, slowing to allow a ferry to enter ahead of us.  We anchored off the yacht club at 1300, taking the dinghy to Immigration at 1500.

10/05/18 Thurs. We have had two very peaceful nights at anchor, no bad weather.  The bridge is all but complete.  I hear the official opening is on the 18th and they have put up coloured lights (marching ant type) along the entire length of the bridge in preparation.  There will be a huge amount of fireworks on that night, so we are thinking we may stay until it's over......after all, we will have a grandstand view from our anchor point!  Sad the island has be de-nuded of trees now and the new refinery is in full view, somewhat spoilt the view from both the anchorage and the yacht club

11/05/18 Fri. Borrowed Barry's Land Cruiser today and went shopping in Gadong.  Coming back, it started to rain and we got soaked going back to the boat in the dinghy - of course it stopped when we got onboard!

12/05/18 Sat. Ashore in the yacht club for the morning, Ana doing some sewing for Barry.  We saw the rain coming across the bay but were too slow and again got caught out going back to the boat!  Ashore again early evening when it stopped.

16/05/18 Weds.  With no confirmation of the bridge opening date, we decided to head off back to Labuan.  After a beautiful dawn this morning, we took the dinghy down to the ferry terminal and did the painful check-out process.  Apart from a few words to show my displeasure, I keep out of it all now and let Ana do the checking out.....helps keep my blood pressure down!  Then we went to the yacht club and had some lunch, paid our bill, said our goodbyes, went back to the boat, hoisted the dinghy and stowed it before weighing anchor and motoring out of the anchorage.  We hoisted the genoa and motor sailed out of the channel, passing Barry and Precious on Fourth Dimension going the other way.  After a very nice quick sail back, we ran into a squall about a half mile from Labuan and the genoa UV strip tore along it's entire length before I could furl the sail!  I was never very happy with the repair by Rolly Tasker, or the material used, so I won't be going to them again!


On this night, in 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led Operation Chastise (the Dambuster Raid) on the dams of the Ruhr Valley.  Of the 19 Lancaster crews that set out, 8 did not return - remembering the 53 men who lost their lives that night.



17/05/18 Thurs.  Into town for check in and a little shopping.  Also made a follow up visit to the surgery where the Doc made me an appointment with a dermatologist in KK - sadly not until 10th July.

19/05/18 Sat.  So...........Prince Harry and Meghan are now married!  We watched some of it on BBC (laptop) during the evening as it was screened live in UK.  Most of the day was spent doing things with the sewing machine, Ana making a dress for Precious, and winch covers for Bill next door.  I need to get hold of some material to make a new sprayhood, bimini and renew the UV sacrificial strip on the recently torn genoa, not easy unless you import it from either the USA or UK.

20/05/18 Sun.  Took off the shower/toilet door again and shaved a little off the bottom edge where it was touching the frame, re-varnished and re-hung it.  Removed the toilet lid and seat, made new rubber washers for the hinges and replaced it.  Heavy rain from 8pm onwards, thunder and lightning all around.

22/05/18 Tues.  We took down the genoa this morning, measured the leach and foot in preparation for ordering Sunbrella to renew the UV strip, then folded it and stored it for the timebeing.  Hoisted the other (newer) genoa.  Yesterday, I went to the Post Office complaints dept? and asked about a package from UK which left KL at 0046 on the 15th and has not yet arrived....8 days for a 3 hour flight??  There should also be another package, posted at the same time, both via Royal Mail Airmail.  They reach Malaysia and then everything stops, no tracking, no delivery, nothing.  Earlier this year, 3 other deliveries went missing and have never shown up.

24/05/18 Thurs.  Unbearable heat again today, 42oC in the cockpit and we are plagued each day by swarms of flies which are driving me nuts!  Today's package tracking shows my parcel being 'processed' in KL.......very odd because it was supposedly sent out from there on the 15th?  Ana visited the loofah tree for a new shower aid - not that I ever use one!

25/05/18 Fri.  Barry and Precious on Fourth Dimension over from Brunei, so Ana gave her the new dresses she has made for her. Barry also gave us a sack of rags, which was once a mainsail cover, and asked us to repair it!  We also went to Dulce as Anton and Pam have returned for a few weeks and the starboard engine was refusing to start.  After cleaning all the electrical connections to the starter motor, the problem still existed so I removed the starter motor for overhaul.

26/05/18 Sat.  Stripped down the starter motor from Dulce, checked the armature, commutator and brushes - all OK.  Took out the planet and sun wheels from the drive 'gearbox', cleaned and greased them.  Reassembled it all and tested both motor and 'bendix', all good.  Took it over to Dulce and fitted it, tried to start and exactly the same problem occurred, so it can only be the battery at fault, even though it is showing 13.3 volts.

27/05/18 Sun.  I have fond memories of my time in Turkish waters and the news on various yacht forums is depressing!  In my mind, the Turkish Authorities have now made it very difficult, if not impossible, for a small foreign flagged boat like mine to visit places like Marmaris.  Marinas along that coastline are suffering with vacant berths because yachtsmen/women have been priced out by the blue card, health insurance, transit log, berthing fees and various other charges.  Additionally......the Egyptian Government have raised the cost of a southbound Suez Canal transit for a yacht of my size from $40 to $652!  That is for port clearance, there is also a $400 charge for canal dues on top of the agents fees.  Now that is just greed!!

Completed the remake and repair of the mainsail cover for Misteeza, Barry's other boat.

28/05/18 Mon.  Stbd engine battery on Dulce is confirmed as the fault, dropping to 6v across the terminals when the starter is energised.....but just to be sure, we swapped batteries with the port engine and got an immediate start!  Ana measured up the saloon cushions while we were there, as Anton and Pam want them recovered.

29/05/18 Tues.  Today we removed the old obsolete LMR400 wi-fi cable from the high gain antenna to the chart table and ran new cabling for an anchor light.  It should have taken several days to do, but with Ana's invaluable help (she is small and has small hands!) we did it in a day.  Without her help, I would have been cursing the small openings for hours!  The two packages which we chased up on the 22nd have still not materialised although one (according to tracking) has been in Labuan for two days - it's now 19 days since they were posted via Royal Mail International Delivery.  Sorry Pos Malaysia, but your service is crap!

30/05/18 Weds.  Maybe a reason my package has not yet arrived is the number of public holidays in Malaysia?  In the UK, we have 6 days a year, here they have 24!  Yesterday was Wesak Day, today is Harvest Festival, tomorrow is Harvest Festival Holiday.  Normal business on Friday - except they are all off praying on Fridays and Saturday is Nuzul Al-Quran.  Sigh!

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