02/11/18 Fri. We are running a little late and still doing
jobs and shopping - but we hope to check out tomorrow and sail on
Sunday. Today, Ana made a cover for the inverted dinghy (while
it's on deck), to keep the sun off it. We did the market shopping
this morning, stocked on veg and chicken.
03/11/18 Sat. The plan was to check out this morning and
sail tomorrow but strong NE winds put paid to that. We will wait a
day or two!
05/11/18 Mon. Checked out this morning, filled the water
tank and slipped the mooring. Winds are NE, so we will be against
the elements. Not quite what happened!! When I tried to
start the engine, there was nothing - finally tracked the fault down to
a failed relay on the ignition circuit, so into town again to buy an new
one (and a spare). Changed that and engine started but only ran
for a few seconds - obviously air in the fuel lines despite running the
engine for a long while after changing the filter last week. Once
I had bled the air out, the engine started and ran as normal, so then we
slipped and motored towards Tiga Island (It was now almost 2pm).
We were able to hoist the mainsail and get some help from that until the
wind increased and backed onto the nose. The wheelpilot clutch
refused to stay engaged and kept jumping out, so I had to fix that while
underway, then the temperature gauge went off, so rewired that while Ana
steered. The last two hours toward Tiga were hard going, it was
dark, the wind was 30 kts, thunder and lightning all around us, heavy
rain and rough seas. On arrival at Tiga, the other three boats,
Alistair, George and a catamaran who left before us were already at
06/11/18 Tues. Alistair weighed anchor first at 0600 and
headed back to Labuan with autopilot problems. The cat. went next
and we weighed anchor at 0630, shortly followed by George. Both
those boats turned into Kota Kinabalu, but we carried on to Telek Usukan
where we knew we could rest in shelter for a day.
07/11/18 Weds. A day of rest. Just after 0900, we saw
both George and the catamaran passing the bay entrance, so they are now
ahead of us.
08/11/18 Thurs. Weighed anchor at 0500 and again had to
motor into headwinds towards the Tip of Borneo with frequent rain
showers and uncomfortable short seas. We had now burned far more
fuel than we anticipated, so I made the decision to go around the tip
and head for Kudat where we could get more diesel. We entered the
small bay just as it got dark (and in heavy rain) and anchored in the
middle, near Penuwasa shipyard. With a sea of white horses outside
and some running into the anchorage, it wasn't a very comfortable night.
09/11/18 Fri. Launched the dinghy and went into Penuwasa to
arrange diesel, and see John Marwood (Touche) who we had been
speaking on the phone with. So the first job of the new dinghy was
to carry 120 litres of fuel in jerry cans back to the boat! During
the afternoon, we pulled the anchor up and moved opposite the 'marina',
dropping the hook again and putting two stern lines to shore with
George's help. Had lunch with George and Smiley on their boat
Australis. A more comfortable night than last night!
11/11/18 Sun. Remembrance Day and a hundred years
since the armistice was signed. Today, we would have been at the
War Graves Cemetery in Labuan but here we are in Kudat awaiting a
weather window. The intention is to sail direct, non-stop to
Puerto Princesa in Palawan. There is no good weather coming but maybe tomorrow is
our best chance, so we intend leaving in the morning at first light.
Just after writing yesterdays log, I did the engine checks and
discovered a frayed alternator belt, so had to work into the night to
replace both that belt and the raw water pump belt. George very
kindly got up at 5am and slipped our stern lines allowing us to pull up
the anchor and motor out into a fairly calm bay. We chose to go
between Banggi and Balambangan Islands, catching a squall at the top
end. I think we may also have hit some underwater object as there
was a thump and a change in engine revs. I put a reef in the mainsail at 5pm and all went well until
.........big heavy seas and strong 30kt headwinds were making our
progress very slow. A loud banging from the bows had me donning
lifejacket and harness to go forwards to investigate. The anchor
had been forced off the bow roller and was hanging down the stbd side of
the bow - it was a bit of a struggle to hoist it back into place as the
bows dug deep into every second wave. Once secured, I returned to
the relative safety of the cockpit, cold, wet and fed-up! At
daybreak, nothing had changed, the seas were still big and we slammed
into the waves and the NE wind. By 6.30am, we had covered just 17
miles since midnight and discussed turning around and heading back to
Kudat. We made a joint decision to alter course 50o
to port and sail the forty or so miles to Brookes Point, arriving at
1545 where we anchored for the night.
Getting ready to sail again, noticed the fuel filter bowl was cloudy and
bunged with crap! I bought 4 new filters in Labuan (CAV 296)
before leaving, so although annoying, it wouldn't be too much trouble to
replace the filter except......they didn't fit! Fortunately, I
still had some in my spares box! Changed the filter and bled the
air out of the system, then motored out into the heavy seas and wind
again but with both mainsail and genoa set. By 10am, the wind had
veered again and I was forced to furl the genoa. At 1330hrs the
mainsail had to come down as the winds hit 30+ kts again with heavy
rain. We again altered course to head for Rasa Island and anchored
there at 1845. We were contacted by the Philippine coastguard on
approach to the island, and as I could see the ship calling us (and
identified it on AIS) I answered their questions about crew, last port
For once, a peaceful night at anchor. Weighed anchor at 0800 and
with the wind unchanged, motored on our northeasterly course towards
Milanao Island. It took four and a half hours to motor there and
we anchored on the SW side in 5 mtrs of water. At first it was
great, but just after 4pm it started to rain - hard! We filled the
tank and all our spare containers, had showers and some dinner, then the
sea swell started.
What an awful night, the swell got worse and worse, the boat was rolling
enough to dip the toe rails under on each side and neither of us got
much sleep. At daybreak, there was a break in the rain and we
asked a passing bangka fisherman if he could tell us what weather was
expected today. He told us the typhoon had not made landfall yet
and we should be ok to go. Typhoon??? Decided to go, it was
only 30 miles, surely we could make that? Weighed anchor at 0630
and motored out into a 2 metre swell, setting course for PP. With
variable winds, we motored through the morning and entered Puerto
Princesa at 1200, anchoring in the usual position off Abanico Yacht Club
with 45 mtrs of chain out. Several boats here that I recognise,
Puppy, Shelley, Storm Dodger, Hydra, 2fast4you. Didn't do much
else, had an early night and slept well for a change.
Launched the dinghy and went over to 2fast4you to see how Herman
got on with his trip (he left Kudat an hour after us) and of course did
a little better as he is bigger and a catamaran. He asked if we
had seen the typhoon track (we haven't) and told us it was due here in 2
days time. I thought the fisherman yesterday was talking about a
depression, not a damn typhoon! We went into town, got a sim card
for the internet and some pork, chicken, vegetables and bread.
Looking at the grib files, it seems the typhoon has not yet developed
but may well hit PP directly around Thursday. I pray not! We
went over to Puppy and sat with Nicholai, his wife Sherlyn and baby
Masha for a
while, we last met them in Kudat 2 years ago.
Been ashore a few times now, checked in with Immigration and Customs.
I have to say that I am disappointed by PP - it used to be a great
place, but now it's choked with traffic (and associated fumes), the
prices of everything have gone through the roof leading to higher prices
for transport. The trike drivers now want a lot to take you to
town, driven not unexpectedly by the greed of oil companies.
Diesel is twice the price of same in Malaysia - almost on par with the
UK! The expected typhoon looks as if it will be downgraded to a
'storm' and is due here tomorrow.
The expected storm/depression (Samuel) passed to the north of us without
incident here in PP, but now we have another (Thomas) off to the east of
the island and it looks bigger and nastier. Will have to monitor
that for a few days now. Yesterday, I did my back in, I don't know
how, was just walking the 5 feet from mast to cockpit......but it's
agony! I have difficulty moving, standing, sitting, sleeping -
just like I had in Labuan a few years back, so I am guessing it is the
same problem - sciatica. Ana is massaging it with Tiger Balm and
oil every hour or so and that is helping a lot.
Did you enjoy your visit onboard?
Please sign my
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