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    october 2016


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01/10/16 Sat.  I spent most of the day trawling the internet for suppliers of seals and bearings for my Jabsco pump but to no avail. They are either out of stock or each part has to be bought individually from a parts list which is a very expensive way to do things.  The seals are carbon and ceramic faced so there is no chance of buying those out here!

02/10/16 Sun.  Removed all the engine instruments today and Ana made new rubber gaskets to fit behind them, then I replaced them with the exception of the 'speedometer' - part of a Stowe log that has never worked since I've had the boat.......that went in the bin!  Walked over to the marina bar in the evening for a couple of beers.

03/10/16 Mon.  We went into town and bought a few things, paint, turps, brushes etc.  None of the 3 ATM's worked - guess because of the holidays they have no money left in them!  Cleaned the engine and washed it down with strong detergent.

04/10/16 Tues.  More cleaning today, Ana got in the engine bay and gave that it's first cleaning, also took the gearbox down to the concrete and gave it a wire brush and clean up.   During the evening, we went over to the marina bar and met up with a dozen friends for a beer or two, then back to the boat for dinner.

05/10/16 Weds.  Into town this morning in search of suitable paint for the engine and gearbox but couldn't find anything, maybe they have it in Labuan - and we are going there on Friday to help Bob sail his boat Dulce up here.  Also bought trays, jugs, spatula's and the like, for mixing and applying resin.  During the afternoon, started on making the glass fibre tube which will need to be glassed into the bottom of the boat for the new transducer.



06/10/16 Thurs.  Removed the GRP tube from the mould this morning, sanded and cut it to the slope of the hull - when fitted and faired in, the depth transducer should be facing downwards.....hopefully!  My anchor and chain were picked up today and shipped down to KK for re-galvanising.  Tomorrow, off to Labuan to help Bob bring his boat here.


07/10/16 Fri.  Got a taxi at 8am to KK, arrived there at 11am and made our way to Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal where we met up with John.  The 1.30pm ferry to Labuan was a bumpy ride with strong headwinds and rough seas, the skipper kept dropping the engines to idle revs to ride over the waves.  Bob met us at the Labuan end and after a bit of shopping, we all went to the Kraken Bar for dinner and a couple of beers.

08/10/16 Sat.  The intention was to leave at 6am, and we did - but immediately realised there was no astern gear on the port engine!  We re-docked and lost 2 hours while we fixed the problem.  As soon as we were out of the marina, we hoisted the genoa and settled down for a motor sail northward.  As the afternoon winds set in, the boat picked up speed and reached 11.5 knots at one point.  At sunset, we furled the genoa, leaving about a third out in case there were any surprises during the night.

09/10/16 Sun. At 2am, just past Agal Bay, and just as I took over the watch, all hell broke loose!  The winds veered and hit 50 knots, the seas kicked up, instruments went down and the autopilot alarm went off.  All three of us were needed to furl the remaining genoa away and hold the boat on course away from the rocks at Agal.  Maybe 30 minutes later, although it seemed longer, everything was under control and we made slower progress toward the tip of Borneo, rounding it about 5.30am.  By 8am, we were in the duck pond at Kudat - so 24hrs for the whole trip.

10/10/16 Mon.  Went over to Dulce and helped Bob to get into the travelhoist for lift out.  When safely on the hard (picture), returned to Rhumb Do and breakfast before starting work again - filling the hole left by the now removed Stowe log and a bit more work to the new transducer fairing.


11/10/16 Tues.  OK, today is postage delivery problems day!  I've had packages delivered here to Kudat without any trouble in the past, but now, since the introduction of GST tax which has to be paid before you get the parcel, it is not so easy!  I have two packages on the way here, one is in KK with DHL, the other is in KL with UPS.  I have had an e-mail from DHL telling me to pay the GST into their bank account before they will deliver the parcel.  This morning, Bob, Ana and myself went to town and into Maybank and tried to pay the fee into DHL's account but you can't do that unless you have an account with Maybank, and of course, I do not!!  While in the bank, UPS phoned me and the delivery driver was at Penuwasa shipyard with the parcel and wanting the GST paid (why can't DHL do it that way?), so back to the yard, get the parcel and pay, then back to town with a local bank account holder (Danny the taxi driver) and get him to transfer the money to DHL and I give Danny the cash.  What a performance!!  DHL really need to sort out a different payment system - we yachties do not have 'local' bank accounts!

12/10/16 Weds.  Back to fibre glassing the transducer tube into the hull and building up the area around it to smooth the water flow.  Fitted basket to back of bike while waiting for resin to dry so that Ana can carry veggies and the like back from the market.

15/10/16 Sat.  Work continues on the transducer fairing, it's slow because of having to wait for the filler to dry enough to sand between applications.  A pedal fell off the bike while Ana was riding it, and it was obviously put in 'cross threaded' originally because both pedal and crank threads were useless, so into town to get new ones fitted.  Made up a blanking plate to go over the now removed Stowe log readout on the instrument panel, just needs fitting now.  My DHL parcel arrived this morning with new engine mounts, couplings, rubber stern tube parts and flexible shaft coupling - nowhere near ready for them yet, still much to do in the engine bay!

16/10/16 Sun.  Took off the Eberspacher today while the engine bay is empty to check for any electrical fault which may be causing one of the fuses to blow (since Cochin!), couldn't find anything much wrong with it.  It then took 3 hours of trying, to reconnect the two water pipes, finally giving up in frustration.  I shall give it another go tomorrow morning and if I do not quickly succeed, the whole lot will go in the trash can because I've had enough of messing around with it!

17/10/16 Mon.  Another non-productive day aboard Rhumb Do!  Unable still to connect the two pipes to the Eberspacher, so I removed the fittings and threw them.......will fit radiator hose of same diameter if I can find any tomorrow.  Helped Bob remove his propellers and cutless bearings and to take down his genoa and fold it, the UV strip was torn during the squall we had coming up here so that will need to go away for repair.  I had an e-mail from Hyde sailmakers in Cebu today telling me that my sail has been repaired and is ready for despatch to Labuan.

19/10/16 Weds.  Each day is taken up by painting, sanding, filling.  Ana is repairing damaged varnish work in the cockpit and saloon.  Paid for my chain and anchor galvanising + transport costs today.....turns out that it hasn't even gone to KK yet!!

20/10/16 Thurs.  Almost another entire day in town searching for simple electrical connectors - something you can pick up in almost every garage, DIY store, Halfords etc., in the UK........but not here!  Finally found some of dubious quality in the only remaining shop we hadn't checked.  Bought a new kettle to replace the one that gave up yesterday - can't do without my intake of coffee during the day!!

21/10/16 Fri.  Today, it's the fridges' turn to play up - it defrosted itself and chooses if and when to run by itself.  Traced the fault (one of them) with Bill's help, to the thermostat - now I have to search for a replacement.  Strange fault also, ......it's a dual voltage fridge, runs off 24vDC or 12vDC - when shore power is plugged in, the juice runs through a rectifier which changes the voltage from 240vAC to 24vDC and powers the fridge.......except it doesn't!  Rectifier is putting out 24vDC but fridge will not run, connect it direct to ships batteries (12vDC) and it runs fine.  Hmmm......?  Applied third and final coat of paint to engine bay bilge. 

23/10/16 Sun.  Went with Ana into town at 9.30am this morning for a taxi to KK (she is flying to Manila tomorrow), waited in vain for a taxi for hours, and eventually she got on the 1pm bus!  Fridge/battery problems are giving me a nightmare and I have wasted days trying to fix things instead of getting on with the jobs that I am here to do.  I have had a fridge engineer out (I just wanted a new thermostat, but he insisted on doing the job!) and he, I think, has fitted a freezer thermostat rather than a fridge one - so now it never switches off and is dragging down the batteries constantly.  The fridge still refuses to run on 24vDC, so I think that's a fridge compressor problem.  The battery charger has a 25amp output and used to fully charge the batteries overnight but is now struggling to charge the house bank.......so I am thinking it is kaput and in need of replacement.  So that's 3 faults, all combined yet separate and they are driving me nuts!!

24/10/16 Mon.  I can't believe the run of bad luck - if I didn't have bad luck, I would have no luck at all.  Bill came over today and we disconnected all the batteries and checked each individually, they were all OK.  Moved onto the charger and that was showing an output of 14.5 volts........but no current (amps), so that is no good anymore and the only way of charging them now is the solar panel, except Bill accidently touched the spanner between the positive battery terminal and the negative monitor shunt which fried the solar panel controller!  OK, need to keep the fridge running and I have a small transformer which converts 240vAC to 12vDC with an output of 6amps, so I altered all the wiring for the fridge and hooked up the transformer - great, it worked initially, but then cut off.  The 6amp output is not enough to keep the compressor running and shuts down after a few seconds and comes back on 90 seconds later.  Back to the drawing board!  Meanwhile, we made a temporary connection of solar panel with a spare controller that Bill had.

25/10/16 Tues.  Cycled into town in search of another transformer but no luck (surprise, surprise), they only have 6amp output ones.  Found a little fridge repair shop tucked away in back street and bought another thermostat - same as the one fitted earlier, but part number marked with the letter R, as opposed to the first one with letter F.  So..... that so called fridge engineer did fit a Freezer 'stat instead of Refrigerator one - I won't be using him anymore!  Back onboard, Bill suggested running a DC supply between boats, so we did that to supply the 'fridge, but........even with full DC supply, fridge refuses to run more than a few seconds - I now suspect the control box of the compressor.  Of course, no other jobs were attended to again!  Oh, and Ana tried to get a transformer in Manila as well, but they are all 220v, 60Mhz - which will not work on the rest of the Worlds' 50Mhz systems!  My anchor and chain were also delivered back to the boat today, so that's one good thing, and is another job to splice on the octoplait rode to end of chain......at some point in time!

26/10/16 Weds.  Bill very kindly came over again and took out the old wiring for the solar panel controller, ran new cables and fitted a new controller.  I researched the costs of replacing the "machinery" parts of the fridge - around the 400 mark(!) but I also found out this particular compressor has a 'hidden' self diagnostic test for the control box, so that's tomorrows job to hook up a LED light and count the flashes on power up, then compare with the diagnostic code.

27/10/16 Thurs.  With the new thermostat in and self diagnostic test done, fault indicates the thermostat, so back into town to exchange it.  Ah, he doesn't have another 'high quality made in Korea' one, and neither does anyone else in town.  Why, with all these fridges, freezers and air-con units does nobody sell spares for them??  So back at the boat, and by-pass the thermostat, now the fridge starts but stops again after about a minute.  I connect up the LED again and that shows a 'low voltage' fault, diagnostic chart suggests a poor connection or faulty wiring but I can't find any.  Maybe it's an internal fault in the compressor control box, I just know it's driving me insane!

28/10/16 Fri.  A week of fridge woes has gone by now, and I have made little progress with this annoying fault.  This morning I connected up the multimeter to the control box power terminals and monitored the voltage through it's start/stop routine and the power never drops below 10.7 volts (the cut-off is at 10.4v).  According to the troubleshooter chart, the LED shows 'low voltage' and the suggestion is to replace the power leads until the area of resistance is found, but I've had 4 different power sources connected and the fault persists - they can't ALL be faulty.  I'm convinced the fault lies within the electronic control box but so far I have been unable to get any response from engineers/suppliers in the UK.  Afternoon.........Bill and I both carried out the same tests and we are both of the opinion the control box has a fault, as it now trips out the fridge at anything below 12v, and refuses to even start on the 24v supply.

29/10/16 Sat.  Finally, I get a reply from a fridge engineering company in the UK (who shall remain nameless), I think it was from their receptionist judging by the content.  SHE said, "I suggest you change the wiring between the battery and the fridge as there may be a loose wire."  I nearly choked!

31/10/16 Mon. I think that maybe I am making a little progress with the 'fridge - getting so close to finding the fault(s).  Ana flew back to KK yesterday, didn't have any problems with immigration in Manila, which is the usual 'stumbling block', but the officer at KK airport is a jobs worth and told her to go to the Enforcement Officer in the main immigration office of KK, which she did this morning.  After waiting there for some time, she was told that the boss was the only person who could authorise her entry, and he was at a meeting, she would have to come back tomorrow.  What a way to run a public service office!!  So instead of arriving back in Kudat at lunchtime today, she is still stuck in KK until at least tomorrow.


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