Home of the yacht "RHUMB DO"
  september 2014


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03/09/14  Another little setback today - I finally got around to hoisting the mainsail to check it and spray the slides with silicone.  Birds have obviously been nesting in the after end of the sail at some point and have left the remains of nests and eggs.  That is no problem in itself, but rats have been trying to get the eggs from the mast end of the boom.  Unable to do so because of the lashings around the sailcovers, they have gnawed through a small part of the covers and also chewed several holes in the mainsail.  I hate the damn things!  So, now the mainsail has to come off and be repaired, not an easy job with the way my sailbag is set up in the same boom track as the mainsail boltrope.  I should have taken the sail off and stowed it before leaving the boat unattended for such a long time, but there was no opportunity to do so before flying back to the UK.  Another very small problem was the partially seized mast winch used for the mainsail halliard - but I soon had that stripped, cleaned and re-greased, along with it's twin used with the foresail halliard.  During the evening, seven of us yotties went along to a dinner and social sort of event - not really my cup of tea but it made a change from sitting onboard in the evening.  We were picked up by car at 6pm and driven about 35Km to the village where the event was being held, put on a VIP table, given dinner, some long speeches, a beauty competition and talent show before being driven back to the marina at midnight.

04/09/14  Invited out today with Rene and Lesley aboard their boat Crib for a day sail.  The boat is junk rigged, so it was a completely new experience for me but at least I could helm while they hoisted and trimmed the sails!  Downwind sailing is good but it is outweighed by the inability to sail close to wind when going upwind and we were obliged to motor the last 10 miles back to Kudat when squalls and bad weather looked imminent.  The 7pm to 5am sea curfew along the east coast of Sabah has been extended from today until the 19th following intelligence reports of possible intrusion and kidnapping attempts. The areas affected are Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Sempora, Kunak and Tawau.....do not sail in these areas at night!

09/09/14  My parcel, posted in Southampton on the 3rd, arrived this afternoon at 3pm, so that's tomorrow's job sorted!

10/09/14  Back to my least favourite job of stripping the deckhead and bulkhead panelling out of the nav. berth.  I swear I'm going to fix it all with velcro one day!  Anyway, changed the two damaged battery isolator switches and put it all back together again over a seven hour period of sweating blood!  Next job.....take off the mainsail.



11/09/14  Took off the mainsail today.  Lesley from Crib will next week kindly sew a patch onto the area damaged by those damn rodents while I was away in the UK.  I was going to do it myself, but as she has a machine it will be far easier and less time consuming, and give a far better end result than I could manage by hand!






14/09/14  A few anniversaries this month, and today is that of leaving Gillingham Marina eight years ago.  Since that day, Rhumb Do has covered 15,121 nautical miles. 

Time for a tot or two!






15/09/14  Another anniversary.  It's five years since my dear Mum passed away.  Those five years seem to have flown by.  A sad day.



16/09/14  My new chartplotter cover, started on the 23rd of last month and which I have done a little to whenever I had time between other jobs, is now complete and I am quite pleased with the end result.  That's three layers of glass fibre matting, filler, three coats of paint and three coats of clear lacquer.  Stronger and better than the original thin plastic item.





18/09/14  So today the Scots vote whether they should stay a part of the United Kingdom or not?  300 years of history could go down the pan - a disaster for the rest of Britain but catastrophic for Scotland.......my two pennies worth!

19/09/14  Sanity prevails and the Scots vote against leaving the UK!  At least I and all the other yachties flying ensigns which incorporate the Union Flag won't have to buy new ensigns!!   I was just about to leave the boat to go shopping late this morning when I received a phone call from my friend Giovanni who is 'trapped' in Kota Kinabalu with a failed autopilot, asking me to help bring his boat Mescalito back to Kudat. So, a quick tidy up and throw a few things in my bag before getting a cab down to KK, arriving there at 5pm.  It then became apparent that there would be a delay of at least 24 hours in order to fix other problems before slipping the moorings.

20/09/14  I spent most of the day rewiring the autopilot course computer and looking into a problem with the navigation lights (none work!)  Because of the lateness of the day, we were unable to purchase new nav. lights and the old ones had corroded to such an extent they were useless, so as a stopgap measure, we lashed on red and green Chinese fishing lamps - not legal, but hey....no choice if we were to leave in the morning!  We then went to dinner with friends Peter and Danielle.

21/09/14  Up early to do the last little jobs on the boat, stow the sun awning, spare diesel fuel and general clear up, then we slipped out of Sutera Marina at 0800 hrs.  I helmed the boat for the first four hours as we tried to get the autopilot to steer a reasonable course without much success.  In early afternoon, we disconnected the rudder sensor because of a malfunctioning potentiometer, (not really needed anyway), altered the computer settings for the rudder response and rudder gain and we had a reasonable working pilot!  Sea state was good with only slight swells and white capped waves and with a following wind we were able to hoist the headsail and motor sail at 7 knots, slowing to 6 with the engine rpm reduced.  By late evening we were rounding the tip of Borneo for the final run down to Kudat, ahead of a thunderstorm that was threatening to soak us.  Entered the 'duck pond' and tied up alongside at precisely midnight - 97 miles in 16 hours isn't too bad!  Nice to get back onboard Rhumb Do and some sleep.

22/09/14  The anniversary of my leaving home and family in 1963 and going off to join the Navy!  Had a few gin and tonics with Giovanni and Mike up in the marina cafe.

23/09/14  Repair of my mainsail today; Lesley came over and asked if she could start it today, so I took it up into an air conditioned room in the marina building and spread the sail on the floor to see exactly what needed patching.  After several hours sewing by Lesley, I now have a sail without rat holes!  Giovanni's intended sailing this morning was put on hold .......hangover!

24/09/14  Over on Giovanni's boat for coffee by 0500, to say cheerio to him as he sails for Puerto Princesa, against advice from myself and others.  I tried to persuade him to remain here until he has remedied some of the onboard faults, but he was adamant on going.

26/09/14  News received that Giovanni has arrived in Peurto Princesa after a non-stop sail in good conditions.  However, he did have a collision with a Fillipino fishing boat ( a banca) when entering the harbour there.  As usual, these fishermen do not display any lights and the almost inevitable collision resulted in the banca being sunk. 

27/09/14  A day of internet searching for LED bulbs and new masthead light, ordering and arranging shipment out here.  General shopping in town squeezed in during the morning!

28/09/14  The Abu Sayyaf rebels in the southern states of the Philippines have now threatened to behead one of the German yachtsmen kidnapped off Palawan, unless the German government pay a ransom, and stop their support of military attacks on IS.  Sabah has declared a 'red alert' and increased it's military presence in the surrounding areas.

29/09/14  A few more problems to attend to - the engine is idling much too fast but that could be due to the lack of an air filter, have to order a new one from the UK!  The morse control for gear selection is stiff to operate, particularly when disengaging astern gear and although I completely stripped, cleaned and greased it today, it remains difficult to disengage.  Perhaps that also is connected to the engine speed being too high, the gearbox being under load?

30/09/14  Many Happy Returns Angie! 


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