01/11/14 Today's job is to fix the leak on the watermaker
pump in the fwd cabin wardrobe. First I had to take off the cabin
door to give me some space to work! A further investigation into
the leak showed that it would be possible to repair the leaking joint
without removing the whole assembly from the wardrobe, which is what I
did. However, a test afterward showed that the actual watermaker
under the galley sink had two leaks - they were not there at
previous test on the 18th of last month! It took the rest of the
day to remove, repair and re-install the unit! We spent the
evening in the restaurant, making a bottle of Bacardi vanish as if by
02/11/14 Sunday.....and a lazy day of doing nothing.
03/11/14 Ran the watermaker for a half hour to check for
leaks again before putting all clothes back into wardrobe and replacing
cabin door. Examined the battery monitor connections for faulty
installation as I get some odd readings from time to time! I will
replace the two defective domestic batteries and then rewire the monitor
if possible. Rain for a great part of the day.
04/11/14 Into town this morning, bought two new batteries
to replace the domestic ones onboard, did a bit of shopping and returned
to the boat for lunch. A very hot day, so very little done in the
afternoon. We went to invite Rene and Lesley (from Crib)
around for dinner onboard, but as Rene had gone to KK, he missed out on
roast chicken dinner and we had the pleasure of Lesley alone!
05/11/14 A day of cursing and swearing at the battery
installation! I moved the position of each battery, making it more
logical to have house batteries together rather than the common negative
going 'through' the engine battery, but re-routing the cables was
difficult and very hot work! The battery monitor is not
wired correctly, but at this moment in time I am unable to do anything
about it because the cable connectors are incompatible with each other
and will need further thought and investigation as to what is available
either here or in KK. We had a walk around the golf course late
08/11/14 Took down the old LED strip light from over the
cooker and fitted a new one that I had shipped from China....it is of
rigid construction (aluminium casing) and has 36 LED's; you can cut them
in blocks of three to suit your needs. The one fitted throws out
much more light than the old one. The drawback is that it does get
a little hot - which is odd for an LED light, I shall have to keep a
close watch on that.
09/11/14 Soldered the wires into second strip light and
fitted it with cigar lighter plug for use at night in the cockpit,
should I wish to eat 'al fresco.' We then went into town for milk
and a few other bits.
10/11/14 With Al winching and Astrid tailing the rope, I
went up the mast and changed the bulbs in the masthead light and the
steaming light for new LED's. A local guy free dived and cleaned
the hull and propeller for me.
11/11/14 Day off! Went into town for shopping and
also bought battery cable and terminals for a future project of fitting
two extra domestic batteries to increase the capacity onboard.
12/11/14 We had intended taking the boat out for a few
hours today, but more problems have manifested themselves, the gremlins
have been working harder than me! The sailing instruments decided
to play up this morning, one of them refusing to register anything
except the alarm for a fault. I may have disturbed wiring at the
top of the mast, but I doubt that is the reason for this malfunction.
Whatever it is, it could be a very expensive and time consuming exercise
to put it right as the instrument heads are no longer manufactured and
all spares have gone! The dinghy keel has come unstuck from the
floor again too, so that has to be re-glued when conditions are dry
13/11/14 Went into town and bought two more batteries,
installing them under the lower step of the saloon companionway.
14/11/14 A day of running cables from the new batteries to
the 'old' batteries. Didn't have time to make the end fittings up,
so that will have to wait a few days.
15/11/14 I turned my attention back to the instrument
problem - for the non sailors amongst you, in the cockpit are three
instrument heads and a fourth down below by the chart table. All
these instruments are in fact mini computers and each 'talks' to the
others, sharing information such as latitude, longitude, distance to
waypoint, bearing to waypoint, time to waypoint, time to gun (for
racing), course over ground, speed over ground, X-track error, angle of
the wind relative to the bow, speed of wind in any format you choose,
depth of water, timers, temperature, speed through the water and many
more useful bits of information. My first problem, and there are
two separate issues, is that one of the cockpit instruments is
'scrolling' through various menu options without my being able to stop
it or select any of them, and giving out beeping sounds continually.
The second issue is the wind information is not being received by any of
the instruments, and my concern is that I somehow dislodged or damaged
the transmitter part of the set up when up the mast a week ago.
So......Al came over this morning to hoist me up again to inspect the
wind instrument transmitter at the top of the mast but while we were
having coffee and discussing the problem, the rain started - and it fell
down! After several hours of it, I decided to cancel for today and
Al went home again. Of course, it cleared up then and was a sunny
16/11/14 OK, up the mast first thing this morning, cleaned
and inspected the connection between cable and transmitter but it made
no difference! I then dismantled the deck connection, cleaned the
contacts and resealed the plug part with silicone grease which, I am
relieved to say, seemed to cure that particular problem and the
instruments now displayed wind data. The malfunctioning instrument
head is beyond my capabilities as I have absolutely nil electronic
knowledge! The only thing I could do was to disconnect the
offending head and use only the remaining identical one for any
information wanted. During the evening, Astrid, myself, Rene,
Lesley, Brian and Meg (Celtic Castle) went to the Chinese for our
evening meal. This is a restaurant which you phone, they send a
car to pick you up, take you to their establishment for dinner and drive
you home aferwards. On this particular occasion, the return
journey was done in a Toyota Hi-lux pick up truck to the delight of the
ladies who all piled in the back. The fact that we were stopped by
a police road block on the way back only added to the amusement - you
just wouldn't get away with that in the UK!
17/11/14 Early morning taxi to Kota Kinabalu - well, that
was the plan, but it's Malaysia and 'their' early and mine differ
somewhat. Arrived KK around noon and had some lunch, then picked
up a pre-booked rental car and set off for Brunei around 2pm, driving in
rain squalls for a lot of the time. We drove through Papar,
Beaufort and Sipitang to the border crossing at Sidumin, checking out of
Sabah and into Sarawak, then on to Lawas and Trusan border crossing.
Here we checked out of Sarawak, filled in the temporary import form for
the car and checked into Brunei. Then it was a drive through the
first part of Brunei to Limbang........check out again and then into
Sarawak again! Another drive through Sarawak to Kuala Lurah -
immigration again - and check into Brunei.......confusing isn't it?
However, despite having no maps, no definite idea of the route to take
and terrible road direction signs, we made fairly good time and arrived
at the Brunei Hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan at 7pm. OK, from the
outside the hotel looks posh! Pulled up outside and bellboys took
the luggage, a valet parked the car and we checked in - nice! The
hotel is owned by Prince someone or other, one of the Sultan's relatives
and it is very comfortable and centrally located in the capital.
We had a walk around the familiar territory and took in the old sights.
18/11/14 After a great breakfast, eggs cooked to order,
multiple choice buffet style counters and excellent service, our first
job was to fill up with fuel, and here we encountered the first problem!
Drove into the filling station, popped the fuel filler lid and the
attendant says....."Sorry, not allowed to fill Malaysian registered
cars. You have to go to a station in Gadong." OK....wasn't aware
of that one, but hey, rules are rules, so we get directions to the
'licensed garage' and drive there, fill in the forms (registration
details, passport number etc.) and fill up the tank. Then we
killed some time by looking around Supasave, me drooling at all the
supermarket foods that are not available in Kudat! After deciding
what I would buy later and take back with me to Kudat, we drove to
Serasa and the Royal Brunei Yacht Club to see old friends. We
purposely had not told anyone of our plans, so as to surprise both staff
and club members - and that worked a treat! Regie in the
restaurant, couldn't believe her eyes and insisted we have some lunch
straight off! Chatted with Alison, Donald, Jawie, Winsner, Wendy,
Pete, Chia, Ruben and several others. Had dinner in the club before heading
back to BSB late that night and with a promise to go back again
19/11/14 Bought a few things to pack into the coolie bag
for the return to the boat and packed it all in the icebox of the room
fridge until we leave. Back in the Yacht Club, we surprised Ninet
who returned from her Philippine holiday in the early hours.
Alistair and Loren arrived from Labuan onboard their boat C'est la
Vie, so it was great to see them both again. We went out to
Pete's boat (Osprey) at anchor, and had a few beers with Pete,
Paul, Barry, Alistair and Loren. We are supposed to be leaving
tomorrow to head back to Kudat, but everyone is insisting that we stay
for Alistair's birthday bash tomorrow.....mmmm, have to phone the car
rental place and extend the hire.....and find somewhere to stay for the
20/11/14 Checked out of the hotel after a lovely breakfast
and went shopping for an hour before heading over to Serasa during the
afternoon. Alistair has family flying in from New Zealand and
Australia today for the birthday celebration and although I offered
my services to transport peeps from the airport, it had already been
covered by the ex-pats here. By 6.30pm, the beer was flowing
freely despite a few bleary eyed long haul passengers!! The club
laid on a great food spread as usual and we took up residence pool side
to celebrate Alistair's 60th - when he slipped away for a few
minutes, we all donned yellow t-shirts with the boat name on (his boat
is yellow), and told him we were all crewing for him tomorrow!
Shortly after midnight, we all adjourned to catch up with some sleep,
Barry very kindly offered to let us crash at his house for the night.
21/11/14 Awake very early.......Barry's house is fairly
remote and sort of in a jungle environment and the racket created by
monkeys jumping on the roof and tumbling about is unbelievable! I
guess you get used to it after a while. We set off on the return
drive about 9am, but it wasn't as easy going back as it was coming!
We seemed to take a few wrong turns along the way, driving some miles
down empty roads before doing U-turns and going back - useless road
signs!! Returned the car to hire company at 4.30pm with around
1,400 extra kilometres on the clock, and made our
way to the King Park Hotel again for a one night stay. Had a walk
around two of the shopping malls and the town.
22/11/14 8am bus back to Kudat! Back onboard at
exactly noon, unpacked, coffee, lunch and catch up on the news in the
marina. Our few days in Brunei was magic, seeing old friends and
the great food was a real tonic. Thanks to everyone who made us
feel so 'at home.'
23/11/14 Completed my additional battery installation,
crimped on all the cable fittings and connected up to the domestics.
We went into town and did some shopping and then spent an hour or so
with Rene and Lesley onboard Crib. During the evening
I went up to the clubhouse with Brian (Celtic Castle) to watch
the last race of the F1 season, Hamilton becoming the World Champion for
the second time.
24/11/14 Bit of an idle day, lazing around and not doing
25/11/14 While Astrid went into town for a few bits, I tied down
the diesel jerry cans, put the Aries rudder on, filled the water tank
and secured the gas bottle. We slipped at 2pm and made our way out
of the harbour.......the first outing for Rhumb Do in a long
while.....just to check that everything was working as it should!
Hoisted the mainsail and motored out towards the tip of Borneo, then
turned northward and let out the headsail, cutting the engine and
sailing toward Banggi at 5.5 knots. We were out for three hours,
returning to the marina at 5pm. The intention is to go out again
tomorrow to Pulau Molleangan Besar and maybe anchor there overnight, have
a swim and look at the beach.
26/11/14 With light winds from the NE, we slipped our
moorings at 11am and motored out of the harbour. We were unable to
hoist sail as the wind was very gentle and the sea calm, so we set the autohelm, put out the fishing line and relaxed for the 16 mile crossing
About an hour out, we caught a nice tenggiri which
was soon cleaned and in a bucket of salt water! As we approached
'little' Molleangan, the anticipated rain squall hit us and we were
forced to slow down due to lack of visibility and poor charts of the
area. When it cleared, we began feeling our way into the
reported anchorage but it was a no go....the water was just too
shallow over the entire area and the only deep patch was on the SE
corner of the island, exposed and vulnerable should the weather
deteriorate during the night. I was far from happy about the
safety of anchoring overnight, so we decided to return to Kudat.
With the current in our favour, we cut an hour off the return trip and
tied up in Kudat a few minutes after 6pm. We gave our tenggiri to
Al as it would provide a good meal for all his family - maybe even for
28/11/14 Astrid's last full day here onboard unfortunately.
It has been such a pleasure having her here, I just wish we could have
done more - like sailing to Brunei as first intended. Her five
week holiday has flown by! During the evening, we went with Rene
and Lesley to Hock Cheong restaurant for a lovely meal and great
29/11/14 We went into town at 7.30am and organised a taxi
to KK which eventually left just after 9am and arrived in KK about noon.
I checked into the King Park Hotel and we left the bags there while we
walked around town, visiting every shopping mall and hardware
store! I bought a few little bits, but importantly, I got some
cheddar cheese to take back with me tomorrow! By 7pm, we were both
exhausted and aching with the days walking, so we had some dinner and
relaxed for an hour before making our way to the airport for Astrid's
flight home. A sad time for me saying 'bye, as I have really
enjoyed the last few weeks - it makes such a difference having company
onboard and someone to talk to and shop with each day. As Astrid
went into the departure lounge, I got my taxi back into town - in heavy
rain, had a quick shower and hit the hay.
30/11/14 Up early, shower, breakfast and off to the bus
terminal to catch the 8am bus back to Kudat, arriving there at 11.40.
I bought some bread and went back to my now very empty boat.
Did you enjoy your visit
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