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    may 2020


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08/05/20 Fri.  The Malaysian MCO was relaxed on Monday (4th) and a lot of shops here in Labuan are now open but following strict guidelines with regard social distancing etc.  The MCO in general remains in force with no travel outside 10Km allowed.  As soon as it is lifted, which is presently scheduled for the 12th (although Malay residents want it extended), we will have to visit the main Immigration Office to see about an extension on Ana's visa, as of course it expired some time ago.  The engine banjo bolt saga continues, Manfred in UK sent it out by Royal Mail International tracked and signed.  Tracking on Royal Mail says it has left the UK and is on it's way to the destination country.  Tracking on Pos Laju shows it in the Malay International Hub - presumably at some UK airport, where it has been for 15 days!  I have mailed Pos Laju to query it, but I don't suppose I will get a response.  Another company, where I ordered two more banjo bolts from (as 'plan B') way back in the past, finally responded to my e-mails last night, telling me my credit card has been refunded........no explanation, nothing!


14/05/20 Thurs.  The conditional MCO has been extended to the 9th June.  We can move around town now, get some provisions etc but still no travel is allowed.  I have made an 18th May appointment online for Ana to see the Immigration in order to find out what she will need to do with regard her expired visa.  No change with the banjo bolt package and I have swamped Pos Malaysia with e-mails in search of information, but no replies yet.  I did manage to find a banjo bolt in a local autoparts shop but sadly it is the wrong thread (M8x1.25 instead of M8x1).

16/05/20 Sat.  Still no movement on the banjo bolt and no replies from Pos Malaysia.  Thinking about the levels of customer service/care in some companies leads me to the conclusion that many have failed spectacularly to meet basic requirements.  The first package sent by Parcel2Go never travelled more than 20 miles before being returned to sender - no apology, no explanation as to why.  A further order of same from Hel-Performance (UK) resulted in my credit card being debited and a promise of a confirmation e-mail.  That e-mail never arrived.  When I queried it, my mails were ignored until finally they refunded the credit card payment - again no explanation or apology.  I am becoming very disillusioned!

21/05/20 Thurs.  A couple of days ago, I went to a back street machine shop that I have used in the past and asked them to make a new banjo bolt for me, leaving the M8x1.25 with them for a pattern.  I collected it this morning and now I can rebuild the engine!  The one on the left cost 9 ringgit from the autopart shop, the machine shop one was 45 ringgit (exchange rate is currently 5.33 to the pound). The missing one from UK cost 56 including postage and I still don't have it!


23/05/20 Sat.  I started to rebuild the engine at 0800 this morning and by 1000, it was complete.  A late breakfast and then a trial start and run.  I ran it in gear at 1500rpm for about an hour but of course I will not know if the overheat problem has been cured until I can run it at 2000rpm for four hours or so.  I am just glad that I now have a working engine again, 60 days without one was a worry, never knowing when you might need it in emergency!

29/05/20 Fri.  Started a repair job on the deckwash pump today, the 'new' fibre glass securing the base to the 'old' fibre glass had come apart - probably because I had glassed over paint!  Took off the pump and sawed off the glass fibre sheathing, then somehow managed to wedge myself inside the anchor chain locker and wire brushed the remaining paint from the hull side.  It takes me 10 minutes to fold myself into the locker and the same to get out - Ana just crawls in and can practically stand up inside!  I think every boat should have a small person onboard!

31/05/20 Sun.  Yesterday and today I spent in the 'rabbit hutch' sized chain locker continuing the fibre glass repair and also servicing the windlass motor and gearbox.  Now we wait for the resin and matting to dry before re-drilling the pump base and fitting the pump again.  Actually, Ana did the glassing this time when I completed the windlass overhaul, she knows how to do it and can get in and out of the chain locker much, much easier than I - being only 4' 10"

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