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    may 2021


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01/05/21 Sat.  Another very hot day - did 3 hours helping Ana to reassemble Neil's chair after she had recovered the upholstery, until it got too hot to work.

06/05/21 Thurs.  The visa/immigration saga lumbers on but we will wait until the latter part of June before going back to the office - which is what we told to do last time.  Perhaps the Malaysian Government will come out with a more precise requirement soon!?  Spent a day cutting the stainless steel tube to the right sizes, then took it in to a workshop yesterday.  Today we picked it up and brought the now assembled framework back to the boat.  Also visited the Health Department and registered for the vaccine, whether that will do any good or not remains to be seen as we are already registered on the My Sejahtera app.

07/05/21 Fri.  Took down the old solar panel and framework this morning, drilled boltholes in the new framework and fitted it to the gantry.  Then I put the old panel back on top for the time being, just to get a little charge in the batteries for the latter part of the afternoon.

09/05/21 Sun.  Hauled the new solar panels up onto the framework today and drilled the boltholes for them, loosely bolted them on before soldering new connectors on the four cables.  Tried it out late afternoon, and was putting in 9 amps even though the sun was way past overhead.  During dinner tonight, we heard a scratching sound on deck and so went out to investigate, thinking a large bird or worse ...a rat!  When we both got into the cockpit, there was a very large monitor lizard on the side deck!  These things are normally very timid but can give a nasty bite when threatened, fortunately he was facing away from us and could not turn around on the narrow side deck.  When he saw us, he scurried forward and dived off the bow of the boat.  He had boarded by climbing onto the back of the dinghy, along the tube and up off the front onto our deck, obvious from the wet claw pattern on the dinghy cover.

10/05/21 Mon.  Varnished a new shelf this morning ready for fitting, then monitored the new solar panels which were putting out plenty of amps by 11am.

11/05/21 Tues.  Another monitor lizard onboard this morning just before 6am!  Strange that none have ever come onboard in all the years I've been in Asia, and now two in as many days!  I spent the day doing some more odd jobs, polishing stainless steel fittings, bolting down the new solar panels to the framework, taking off other fittings which are no longer in use or needed and trying to get my head around the immigration rules which keep changing on a daily basis.  Apparently, we yachties can now stay until 31st December providing you are in a marina or repair facility.  If you are at anchor (like us) then you have to leave Malaysia!  It seems we do not spend as much as the marina/repair yards would like us to do, so get out!  Quite where we are supposed to go, with all countries borders closed is a question nobody seems to be able to answer.

16/05/21 Sun.  I've been doing a bit each day to the instrument pod, it's slow because I can only do a little at a time while waiting for the epoxy glue to set, having no example to follow and making it up as I go along!  We have done nothing about the visa situation and my current thinking is to follow the last instruction given by the Immigration Officer - come back on the 21st June.

20/05/21 Thurs.  Still doing a little each day to the instrument pod and I am still having troubles with my Smartgauge battery monitor as well, every few days I get the error Code 11 come up and over the months I've tried just about everything to cure the problem, all without success.  Tomorrow I will have another go at it and move the incoming power leads to another battery bank.

21/05/21 Fri. Another day, another problem!  Today it's the turn of the heads pump to cease pumping, and a full day of trying to fix it.  I removed the pump and it had an 8mm thick calcium skin throughout the inside which took approx 2 hours to chisel off.  Reassembly came to a halt when we realised that Ana had inadvertently thrown the main diaphragm securing nut overboard with the dirty water.  I did have another (new) pump, a Whale Mk 5 which I could replace the Henderson Mk 5 with and so we set about doing that.  The hose spigot connection is a little longer and I couldn't get the hose to fit on properly.  When I looked inside, that also was caked up with calcium!  Removing the hose proved very awkward as the hose clamp screw disintegrated and had to be cut off with a small cutting disc on a Dremel.......hanging upside down!  By nightfall, I had enough and postponed the end of the job until morning.

22/05/21 Sat.  The heads are back up and running, thankfully!  Today was spent trying to track down the fault on the Smartgauge which is now doing all sorts of weird things.  A full day of that achieved nothing and I still have the fault.

23/05/21 Sun. Stripped out the nav. berth yet again and traced every cable from the Smartgauge, Smartbank and solenoid, labelling some to correspond to the wiring diagram in the manual.  Each time I repower the units, I think it's fixed but a few hours later I know differently!

24/05/21 Mon.  Rented a car this morning and took the laundry into town along with 4 old batteries from Neil's boat, which he sold to the battery shop.  That's as far as the day went to plan!  I visited the Post Office to send my licence application back to UK, queuing outside in the sun for sometime, only to be told that no international airmail could be sent because of Covid.  This really is just ridiculous, there has been a ban on sending mail out since 2nd August 2020, yet they are happy to hold elections and feast gatherings after Ramadan which sends the infection rates sky high again......but you can't post a letter?  To add further insult to injury, we then went to the Community Centre to ask about our 1st vaccination as we had been told to come on the 24th during a previous visit about 4 weeks ago.  The first girl we asked said, "today is for 2nd vaccinations only, try in the main hall."  In there, another girl said, "no, we don't vaccinate foreigners, this is for Malaysians only."  I am rapidly becoming very disillusioned about the Malay people.  At least on our return to the boat, I did find a slight fault in one of the cables of the Smartbank which I fixed and powered up again, let's just hope it's fixed the problem - but only time will tell.

25/05/21 Tues.  Well, the Smartbank went back into error code this morning!  Another day changing the solenoid control cables to get it working as it should, but once again in the afternoon, it starts connecting and disconnecting at random and tomorrow morning I am betting the error code 11 is back!

26/05/21 Weds.  The error code didn't wait until this morning, it came back just after I had written the log for yesterday!  This morning, I couldn't power it up without getting the fault, not until I had connected the battery banks manually and waited an hour or two - then it worked fine until after 6pm and we turned on a saloon light, at which point it disconnected......just as it should do.  What will happen tomorrow?  Watched the eclipse of the blood moon in the evening.

29/05/21 Sat.  All my time is still being taken up in trying to solve the problem with the Smartbank and today I think maybe I have found the fault - fixing it is another matter!

30/05/21 Sun.  There is no way that I know of to fix the fault on the Smartbank and I've exhausted my limited knowledge of electronics, so unless the field engineers in UK can come up with something new, it will have to be consigned to the bin and go back to the manual way of doing things.  Moved Neil's boat to the marina pontoon today in order to fill up with water, not such an easy task with the wind blowing both boats about, and his anchor ripped holes in our sprayhood and pulled a stanchion base from the toerail.

31/05/21 Mon.  We took a taxi to town today and did some shopping before exchanging our gas bottle, which ran out yesterday.  Tomorrow sees the return of a full lockdown for two weeks, followed by a further 4 weeks of restricted business opening and a further 4 weeks in phase 3.

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