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    november 2019


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02/11/19 Sat.  Did our usual monthly check out today, sail tomorrow for Brunei.

03/11/19 Sun.  Slipped our moorings around 0845 and motored out across Victoria Harbour - against the tide and wind!  We could hear a Russian warship calling Muara Port as we left the harbour, and when we got nearer to Brunei, we could see her anchoring outside the port channel.  She was the Admiral Panteleyev, a guided missile destroyer.  Inside the harbour were three Indonesian corvette type warships and a larger Russian ship - a Slava Class guided missile cruiser, the Varyag.  Being Sunday, the crew were all on the flight deck in dress whites....ah, Divisions....I remember it well!  Dropped anchor off the yacht club, Serasa in about 5 metres and let out 30+ metres of chain.

07/11/19 Thurs.  A long day spent going to town for shopping.  Normally, we would borrow a car but on this occasion, none were available so we had to take the public transport option.  First a bus to Muara, then a second to Bandar and from there a third to Gadong.  Maybe one hour shopping and repeat the bus routine - total time taken 6 hours.  Had a drink with Barry and Paul on our return to the yacht club.

08/11/19  Fri.  Time to go back to Labuan.  Took the dinghy to the ferry terminal to start the long process of checking out.  They really are drowning under a sea of paperwork - it's a 35 foot boat with 2 people onboard but.....Health Department, fill in 4 forms, get them stamped, Marine Department, fill in 3 forms, get them stamped, Customs, hand in said forms, Immigration.....questions, get passport stamped, return one form to Marine Department, hand in crew lists to every department.  And all the forms are exactly the same as the ones we filled in on arrival.  The mind boggles.  Weighed anchor at 0915 and motored back to Labuan, with no wind and a 1 metre swell running, it was  a rolly passage.  It's about the same distance as a Channel crossing from Dover to Calais, without the shipping lanes but with the addition of numerous oil platforms, associated support vessels, tugs and buoyed exclusion zones.  You cannot follow previous tracks because the exclusion zones change with every crossing, so it's a case of spot the buoys and re-route around them.

09/11/19 Sat.  Into town for the usual check in with Jabatan Laut and Immigration - quick and easy (unlike Brunei!).  The weather is not so good, gusty winds and showers all day.


10/11/19 Sun.  Under normal circumstances, we would be attending the Remembrance Sunday Service at the cemetery this morning,  but we had many things to do in preparation for leaving again tomorrow.  We will be flying down to Kuching to help Brent with his 'broken' engine.

Some very sad news today too, my good friend Barry from Brunei arrived in the marina onboard Fourth Dimension and an hour later had a fatal heart attack on the pontoon.  He will be sorely missed by all his friends.  R.I.P. Barry.



24/11/19 Sun.  After eleven days or so in Kuching, we flew back last night.  I wish I could say it was a productive 11 days but it wasn't really.  The miscreant engine still refuses to start and I have done all possible to start it.  The only things which were not done was to try it with a completely new jerry can of fuel and disconnect the exhaust piping.  The injection pump has been cleaned and checked 3 times at a professional and competent shop, as have the injectors (I watched).  The valves have been removed and re-ground, the compression checked, the air intake is clear, as is the exhaust mixing elbow.  The fuel injection timing has been checked at 18o BTDC over and over again.  I started to doubt my own sanity until the owner of the injector pump shop came to the boat and tried himself, checking everything and saying "you've done everything right - it should start".  I guess we will find the cause eventually but it's very frustrating for me not to succeed in starting it - or discovering the cause!

30/11/19  Sat.  Yesterday I started to remove the old winch from the port side of the mast.  My first plan to hacksaw through the securing bolts had to be abandoned because of insufficient room to saw - the  hacksaw is too close to the mast to operate it.  The only option remaining was to drill the bolts out and they are stainless steel inch countersunk.  It took me two hours to drill two, and the remaining two today occupied 90 minutes of my time!

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