Monthly Archives: June 2014

The duty free island of Labuan

Driftwood on the beach

Driftwood on the beach

Labuan is only 20 miles from BSB in Brunei and, as it was a Sunday and we wouldn’t be able to check in until the next day, we decided to have a lunch stop at Keraman island. It’s a small island just south of the main island and had an interesting sand spit protruding out into the sea that gave us a nice protected anchorage. The tide was out exposing the beach along the sand spit so we jumped into the dinghy and headed over to it. It had a steep incline to the beach landing and it was easier to jump in the water and wade in, luckily we had gone in swimming costumes. The beach was littered with the most amazing driftwood that had been washed up on the high tide.

Bill brought the dinghy up the beach while Camomile watched

Bill brought the dinghy up the beach while Camomile watched

 

 

 

The dinghy was misbehaving so Bill managed to drag it on to the beach so we could walk the length of the sand spit.

 

 

 

There was surf on both sides of the sand spit

There was surf on both sides of the sand spit

Bill and I on the beach

Bill and I on the beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm clouds building

Storm clouds building

 

 

At the far end where the two sides of the beach met the sea the waves were crashing into each other and sending up great walls of spray but look behind the waves and note the black clouds forming in the background. We managed to launch the dinghy and headed back to Camomile and lift the anchor quickly. We motored as fast as we could but the squall caught us and we were lashed by the driving rain followed by 40kt gusts of wind as the storm picked Camomile up and propelled her through the choppy sea towards Victoria harbour on Labuan. The visibility was down to a mile or two but with the radar on we carefully inched our way to the marina in the north of the bay.

Lots of contacts on the chartplotter

Lots of contacts on the chartplotter

 

 

The AIS contacts on the chartplotter showed many ships anchored in front of us but we couldn’t see them.

 

 

 

 

There were many ships anchored in the harbour.

There were many ships anchored in the harbour.

 

 

 

Gradually as the storm cleared the ships started appearing out of the gloom. It appeared they were all support vessels of different kinds for the many oil rigs in the area

 

 

Victoria harbour marina

Victoria harbour marina

 

 

By the time we got to the marina the blue skies were back and you wouldn’t believe we’d had a storm.

The next day we had to go through the usual hoops to check in, it took 2 b*****y hours because we had the wrong stamps in our passports. Long story, won’t bore you with it but eventually they cleared us so we could go shopping.

Mission accomplished

Mission accomplished

 

 

As I’ve said before Labuan is an island; it’s a duty free island, what does that mean ….. cheap booze! Particularly if you go to the Chinese shops because unlike the Malaysians they love to barter. By the end of the day we had been back to the boat twice with 14 litres of spirits and 66 litres of wine. This is my supply of white wine for the next 5 months, the red trolley bag is full of red wine in boxes, they didn’t have a very big supply but managed to find some Banrock Station Shiraz and some French Merlot, we bought all they had. We spent the rest of the day finding places to put it all including lifting the floorboards, Camomile will have to have her waterline lifted again!

Sailing north leaving the ships behind us

Sailing north leaving the ships behind us

The next day, with mission accomplished, we left the marina for an overnight trip around the tip of Borneo to Kudat. The rally were there so we would finally catch up.

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The Kingdom of Brunei

Finally got internet coverage so I can continue the tale of our adventure.

The east Malaysian coast

The east Malaysian coast

After stopping at the island of Pulau Satang Besar we continued on our journey North East. There wasn’t time to visit Kucking and so we motored about 50 hours until we reached Miri (I’m pointing the pencil at it) on the Sarawak coast.   We arrived at the marina entrance on 23rd June about an hour before low water and we knew the entrance was shallow. We had a tense half an hour as we slowly edged towards the entrance in a 1-metre swell watching the depth dropping. Fortunately it didn’t go below 1 metre below our keel. Bill had calibrated the depth transducer before we had entered as it had been set wrong. First things first – air conditioning on. The plan had been to check in and do some shopping but the next morning I discovered the marina was right outside the town and a taxi was needed to get there. I managed to get a few bits of shopping in a local shop.   After which a plan B was developed and we decided to move on to Brunei. Originally we didn’t think we would have time to visit but after talking to friends who said fuel was the equivalent of 15p a litre the decision was made.

Oil rigs in the distance

Oil rigs in the distance

 

We didn’t want to do any more night sailing because this coastline is littered with oilrigs and their entourage of supply ships so a day sail to Kuala Belait was planned. We passed many oilrigs on the way mostly a fair way out to sea but some were closer in.

 

Some were a little closer

Some were a little closer

 

Oil rig construction

Oil rig construction

 

 

We entered Kuala Belait at 4pm and motored up the river for about a mile and a half before dropping the anchor. In front of us was a bizarre sight as this was the base where the rigs were built and there were a row of them along the riverfront. They were a hive of activity until 5pm when it was down tools and home time. It left an eerie silence except for the cicadas chirping in the untouched jungle opposite.

opposite untouched jungle.

opposite untouched jungle.

 

Beautiful sunset in our wake

Beautiful sunset in our wake

 

 

We left at 5am the next morning for the 63 mile journey to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei otherwise known as BSB. There wasn’t any wind so we motored all the way arriving at the entrance channel just after 6pm leaving a beautiful sunset in our wake.

 

Pink glow over the container port

Pink glow over the container port

 

The container port looked striking in its pink glow as we approached the anchorage. Fortunately there was enough light coming from the land to guide us in.

 

 

 

 

BSB yacht club

BSB yacht club

 

 

The following morning we took the dinghy into the yacht club. It had a wonderful colonial feel about it.

Camomile sat and waited for us.

 

 

Camomile waiting for us.

Camomile waiting for us.

 

Lots of washing to do

Lots of washing to do

 

 

I’d heard there was a FREE washing machine, yippee, cruiser price. The lockers were emptied and all the washing was taken ashore; don’t know where the next washing machine will be.

 

 

 

Lovely outlook

Lovely outlook

 

Delicious chocolate fondant pudding with ice cream... yummmm

Delicious chocolate fondant pudding with ice cream… yummmm

 

 

 

While the washing was churning away we sat and used the free internet service to download emails and facebook then enjoyed a delicious meal.

 

 

 

Lovely swimming pool

Lovely swimming pool

 

They even had a swimming pool but we didn’t get a chance to try that out. We contacted Allan Riches of Sailmail who, its reported, can arrange a fuel run.   His van was booked that day but it was arranged for Zahir to pick us up the next morning with our jerry cans and take us first to a supermarket then on to a fuel station. We retired to Camomile for the evening. Sharia law has limited the bar to soft drinks and beer so we opened a bottle of wine on board instead.

Striking buildings

Striking buildings

Zahir was a funny little man in his early 30s and insisted on calling us Mammy and Daddy even though we had given him our names, quite weird. It took almost an hour to drive into the city during which time Zahir ‘grilled’ us about out life. We in turn found out a lot about Brunei from him. Contrary to popular belief the people don’t lead a suppressed life, far from it, Zahir was extolling the virtues of the Sultan and how he looks after everyone handing out money to the children at the end of Ramadan and inviting the whole country to his palace for Hari Raya (the big feast at the end of Ramadan, their equivalent to Christmas). Also they have no income tax, no capital gains tax, no VAT, free schools, free health care, all in all they have a pretty good life. The supermarket was bizarre because it was full of English products, some of which were from Waitrose, right down to the price printed in pounds on the products, although they were being sold for the equivalent of twice the price. I managed to get some things that I haven’t seen since Australia like yoghurt mixes for my yoghurt maker, cranberry juice and really nice museli.   I filled the supermarket trolley and it was loaded into the back of the van before we moved on to the fuel station.   Bill was really pleased because it was B$0.31 a litre which is the equivalent to 15p a litre….. 15P A LITRE! That’s the cheapest we’ve found since Gibraltar, luckily Bill had borrowed some jerry cans from the yacht club.

Chinese temple

Chinese temple

As we drove back to the yacht club Zahir took a different route so we had the chance to see a bit of the town. There were some very modern buildings on the way as well as some traditional ones like this Chinese temple.

 

 

 

The water village on the opposite bank of the river

The water village on the opposite bank of the river

 

 

BSB is home to the biggest water village in the world. Founded at least a thousand years ago it has its own schools, mosques, police stations and fire brigade and is home to an estimated 20,000 people.

 

School on water

School on water

 

A mosque on water

A mosque on water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the car parks for the water village

One of the car parks for the water village

 

 

 

 

On the opposite bank there were large car parks with luxury cars parked in them, many of which belong to the water village residents.

 

 

The Sabah coastline

The Sabah coastline

We stayed at the anchorage for a second night so we could enjoy another meal in the Yacht club but the following morning we had to leave. If time had allowed it would have been great to stay another couple of days and explore further but we needed to keep heading north to catch up with the rally. This chart shows us just outside BSB and the rally were at Kota Kinabalu and travelling north to the tip of Borneo so we weren’t far away but we wanted to stop at the duty free island of Labuan first for a little alcohol!

We’re on our way to Malaysian Borneo

Puteri marina from the Traders hotel

Puteri marina from the Traders hotel

Monday morning 16th June we were up early because there were lots of last minute things to do. Turned the instruments on – no depth! Can’t go without a depth sounder; no speed either. Bill had to get the transducer interface box out from behind the panel again to investigate. It turned out to be a locking collar on the cable had come lose because Yap hadn’t tightened it properly – naughty Yap. Bill got it sorted and we continued with our jobs. Bill wanted to do an oil change as we anticipate lots of motoring on the next part of our adventure. That involves moving the stairs and lots of swearing at inanimate objects to curse them into submission! I beat a hasty retreat to the gym with Jackie for one last time. At 11am they came to collect us in the marina golf buggy to take us all of 300metres to immigration to check out. I don’t think they realise that we are able to walk but it helps them to justify the charge of £10 for doing the check out paperwork that consists of writing out the port clearance and stamping the passports.

Goodbye Bill, Zdenka, Jack, Jackie and Jake

Goodbye Bill, Zdenka, Jack, Jackie and Jake

At 2pm we said a final sad goodbye to Hokele’a, Soltice and Kite then left Puteri harbour, it was almost exactly 5 weeks to when we had arrived and 8 weeks all but 2 days since the lightening strike.   It was like travelling with a new baby with all the new noises Camomile was making. The VHF was beeping every 4 hours because Bill hasn’t set up the NMEA connection with the GPS yet and the AIS kept peeping because there were so many ‘dangerous targets’ around. We felt quite nervous. We were also going really slowly and Bill decided the prop must be covered in barnacles; he couldn’t get any speed out of the engine.

The island of Singapore

The island of Singapore

This is a screen shot of the chartplotter.   The black line is the course we took. The first ‘current track’ is Puteri harbour and the first red cross is the waypoint for our first anchorage. We had decided we wouldn’t go far on the first day and just anchored at the bottom of the Johor straits, which took us 4 hours. It was strange to be out of the marina after such a long time. We were also now without the air conditioning and it was hot hot hot.

Jets flying over us

Jets flying over us

The next morning we left early and by 9am we were sailing. We were over flown about a dozen times by the Singapore air force, I think they had come out to see us off. There had been regular flyovers when we were in Puteri but usually only 2 or 3 at a time.   Today they had all 6 out. 5 were in formation and we think the sixth was probably training them, any way they looked pretty spectacular.

 

Going round again

Going round again

We sailed down to Raffles lighthouse, putting in a tack along the way as the track shows (we do sail properly sometimes!) so we didn’t hit the little island. We were so lucky with the shipping because just past Raffles lighthouse we crossed the Singapore shipping lanes, which are normally incredibly busy, sailing, practically unheard of. The next set of 4 red crosses is where we stopped for an hour among some islands so Bill could go over the side to scrape the barnacles off the prop. It really needed it and he said the hull was quite bad too but for now just scraping the prop made such a difference.

The gap

The gap

This next screen shot is a smaller scale and from side to side the distance is about 500 miles, don’t take any notice of the numbers along the top, they were Camomile’s current position at the time I took the photos. So the red cross that’s sitting on top of the word ‘Singapore’ was how far we got at the end of our second day out. We had made the decision not to stop for the night because there had been some sea robberies among the islands on the bottom left of the picture, which is northern Indonesia. So we kept going. We spent the next 60 hours, 3 nights and 2 days, going backwards. Not literally, of course, just travelling eastwards towards the sunrise. The first night there was a bit of lightning which lit up the sea in front of us but hopefully we’ve left that behind now.   Bill used his time to finish some of the jobs like interfacing the NMEA to the VHF and SSB radios and working out how to turn the alarms off. The new system is very user friendly and we are both learning how things work and teaching each other. After the red cross in the middle, which was marking a tiny island, the wind was much more constant and we put up the cruising chute. Camomile was sailing really well and we had much better winds than we were expecting.

Dolphins

Dolphins

 

 

We were visited by a wonderful pod of dolphins half way across. As usual when you get the camera out they become shy but I managed to get a few photos of bits of fins and tails.

 

 

Dolphins again

Dolphins again

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

 

When we reached the first red cross on the right hand side at the tip of the point on Friday morning the wind died. We spent the day motoring to the island at the last red cross on the right hand side.   It was Friday evening, the crossing had taken us 4 days and we arrived just in time for sundowners while we watched the most beautiful sunset over the island.

Just as beautiful in the day

Just as beautiful in the day

 

Our position is

01º46.8 N

110º10.15 E

Pulau Satang Besar.

It looked equally attractive in the day and as the water was so inviting Bill put his wet suit on and spent about an hour in the water under the boat scraping off the barnacles. Lucky he had his wet suit on because there were quite a lot of jellyfish in there. My much-desired swim was not to be.

Camomile back in the islands again, where she likes to be.

Camomile back in the islands again, where she likes to be.

Camomile on the Mend week 5

The autopilot hydraulic ram

The autopilot hydraulic ram

So the auto pilot hydraulic ram turned up on Monday. Bill spent the morning finishing off some wiring for the crossover DC switch in the radar arch to get his horns working (I’m not going to begin to explain that). After lunch Ally turned up with the hydraulic ram, which she had extracted from the Singapore customs. When we opened the box we kind of understood why they had held it. The ram was skilfully attached to a backing plate to prevent it from moving in transit, it had come from the UK, but on an x-ray the profile probably looked like a gun. Secondly it had a little container of hydraulic fluid attached to it and the customs officials, bless them, had drained it.   Why? Who knows but it meant we needed more before we could test it.

Trying the mounting unit for size

Trying the mounting unit for size

 

 

 

This is how the unit fits onto the mystery object.

 

 

It needed some fine-tuning!

 

Fine tuning

Fine tuning

The base of the ram in place

The base of the ram in place

 

 

The hydraulic ram hull mounting reinforcement, Bill’s official name for the mystery object, was fibre glassed in place by the end of the day Monday. Bill spent the next 2 days mounting the ram and wiring it up. The main mounting is under the port locker next to the bed with the ram going through a hole in the bulkhead ready for attaching to the rudder quadrant.

The ram ready for attachment to the quadrant

The ram ready for attachment to the quadrant

It couldn’t be tested without the hydraulic fluid and I spent 2 afternoons, on the bus, going to the next two towns carrying my little empty bottle trying to buy hydraulic fluid with an ISO of 10 – without speaking the language! Who says I have nothing to do all day? Unfortunately I failed. I managed to get cable ties, easy, and electrical terminal blocks, little harder, but not hydraulic fluid. I could have bought a 15 litre bucket of it but we only need 2 or 3 litres and they wouldn’t sell me a little bit. So I came home disappointed. We had a further disappointment when we heard the TV coming from the UK had been held up until Monday but at least that gave us a focus to work towards – leave on Monday.

Meanwhile Bill had sent another email to Aquila asking again about the VHF and the SSB. To give Aquila their due they always respond well to emails. Ally assured us the new VHF was on it’s way from Australia and would be here before the weekend, and they had bought a new Icom SSB from their supplier and installed it in their office to test ours, (apparently their supplier maintained it didn’t have a warranty because they don’t break) and they had our SSB head working! She also had hydraulic fluid. As our parts for the fridge had also arrived with the refrigeration company in Singapore we decided another trip to Singapore was in order.

Busy streets of Singapore

Busy streets of Singapore

Thursday morning we got on the bus and made our way across the border, stopping to get a stamp in our passport either side. We went to the fridge company first to pick that up and got all the parts in our backpacks. After lunch we made our way to Aquila’s office. They are based in an unusual building in that it’s a vertical industrial estate. Singapore is very short of space so they have built many light industrial units vertically, it’s a brilliant idea. Apparently there was a service area around the back with a multi story ramp that delivery vehicles can drive up and there’s a large service lift on the inside.   Aquila has a showroom/storage area on the 7th floor with a large office at the back of their unit.   Very practical. Any way we arrived and had a demonstration on the SSB and sure enough it was working – brilliant. We made our way home – stopping to get two more passport stamps – and refitted the SSB head to try it. Turned it on …. same problem, GGGRRRR.     Another email.

The new TV with two of my cushion collection

The new TV with two of my cushion collection

Friday 13th was it going to be our lucky day? Aquila were due to come over in the afternoon and commission the new instruments. The first good news of the day was that Ally had our VHF radio from Australia. The second good thing was the little TV turned up from the UK early, hooray nothing to stop us going now except a couple of radios! Then we heard Aquila were delayed and wouldn’t be over until late afternoon. 2 steps forward 1 step back all the time.

Bill made an attachment to go on the back of the TV so it could sit were the old one had been.

Bill had arranged for Aquila to bring over the new SSB system they had bought to check our system, which meant my sewing machine cupboard had to emptied – again.

We waited all day for Aquila to arrive and just as we were giving up hope of them coming, they arrived at 4.30. There had been a big accident on the causeway bridge causing gridlock in the area. Sylvester and Allyson had come along with Raja the SSB technician, the new SSB set and our VHF. While Sylvester started working on his laptop downloading the latest firmware for the sonar unit and configuring the new system, Raja started swapping out different parts of the SSB.   Their head didn’t work on our system either so the next thing to check was the transceiver. Success, suddenly the system was working. So the new SSB set was fitted to Camomile and Aquila took away the non-working set to argue with Icom that it was faulty. We now had on board everything we had ordered, Friday the 13th turned out to be a good day.

Bill squeezing in cupboards again

Bill squeezing in cupboards again

 

Saturday Bill spent all day fitting the VHF and it’s speakers. Again wires and connectors were bigger making life difficult for poor Bill.

 

 

 

 

 

SSB transceiver on the left VHF on the right

SSB transceiver on the left VHF on the right

 

 

 

 

The main VHF unit had to be fitted next to the SSB transceiver because it wouldn’t fit in its old place.

 

 

 

VHF speaker above the SSB speaker

VHF speaker above the SSB speaker

All the wires neatly tucked away

All the wires neatly tucked away

 

The speakers for the SSB and the VHF are now together and the wires are encased in some conduit because they wouldn’t go behind the ceiling panels.

Sunday was clean up day trying to put everything back where it belonged. I scrubbed the outside decks because as there’s a building site next door the boats are all covered in dust. No photographic evidence I’m afraid!

Bill putting his tools away

Bill putting his tools away

 

 

 

Bill spent time putting his tools away including oiling his big vice.

 

 

 

 

Bill oiling his Grandpa's big vice

Bill oiling his Grandpa’s big vice

All back to normal

All back to normal

 

 

 

 

The bikes back in place and the workshop all back to normal.

 

 

 

The forepeak all clear

The forepeak all clear

The cupboards back in place over our bed

The cupboards back in place over our bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new instruments all configured

The new instruments all configured

The completed navigation station

The completed navigation station

And this is the chart table, looking like nothing happened, with Bill’s new computer and the new instruments. It’s worth noting that in the middle of the instrument on the bridge head is our faithful, stand alone Garmin that survived the strike and still works. It displays our trip figure and has a very useful snails trail, which we often use, so it was refitted among the new posh instruments.   It looks very old fashioned but it works.

 

Some of the old instruments

Some of the old instruments

 

 

 

The final use for the carrier box is storage for all the old bits which I managed to make Bill part with on the basis they don’t work!

 

 

 

A last drink with our friends

A last drink with our friends

 

At the end of the day we met the crews of Soltice, Hokele’a, Totem, Utopia II and Kite for a farewell drink. Soltice, Hokele’a and Kite are heading across the Indian ocean this year so we won’t see them until we get to the US some time in the future.

 

 

Jackie and I

Jackie and I

It will be sad to say goodbye to Jackie after our gym sessions together. Utopia II and Totem went back to their boats but the rest of us had a final meal together. Tomorrow we head out of here.

 

 

 

 

Bill (Soltice), Jackie, Sue, Jack, Jake, Jamie, Bill, Behan and Zdenka

Bill (Soltice), Jackie, Sue, Jack, Jake, Jamie, Bill, Behan and Zdenka

Camomile on the Mend – week 4

The kit arrives

The kit arrives

40 days since we were hit by the lightening, 19 days since interim payment from Insurance company was agreed, 12 days since we accepted Aquilla’s quote and paid for the bulk of the new instruments but we are still waiting for most of it. Bill has been really busy fitting what we have so that when the rest of it arrives he can get straight onto it. Thankfully Monday morning 2 big boxes arrived from Aquilla, one contained the new radar dome and the other had the rest of the items we were waiting for but sadly no auto pilot hydraulic drive, still on ‘back order’. Bill agreed with them that we would be ready Thursday for the technician to come and connect the network. This would be a struggle but Bill thought he would be able to do it.   Monday afternoon I went on the bus to Gelang Petang looking for conduit and found a little emporium that had what we needed.

Respraying speaker pods and autohelm housing

Respraying speaker pods and autohelm housing

 

 

 

Tuesday was wiring, wiring and more wiring. Before it got too hot Bill started the day spraying the bridgehead, new auto pilot housing, and speakers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respraying the bridgehead

Respraying the bridgehead

 

The transducer under the floorboards

The transducer under the floorboards

 

 

 

Then the floorboards came up. Bill fitted 2 transducers 1 for depth 1 for speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floorboards up for more wires

Floorboards up for more wires

New course computer

New course computer

Now that we have the course computer and all the wires that go with it Bill was able to fit this and run all the wires ready for Mr Yap to arrive on Thursday. He sat at the chart table most of the day with his arms in the cupboard but at the end of the day he had achieved it.

 

 

 

AIS and network box

AIS and network box

 

 

It looks quite impressive, again all the boxes are much bigger than the old system but they just about fit.

 

 

 

 

All looking very smart

All looking very smart

It works!!

It works!!

 

 

All the wires are behind the panel and at the end of the day we have a chartplotter that works with AIS contacts on it. The red boat in the middle is us.

 

 

 

Bill working in the aft cabin with more wires

Bill working in the aft cabin with more wires

 

Wednesday was radar dome day. Ironically our old raydome was still working but it was analogue and our new system is digital so it had to go.  Again the wires were bigger and the connector was too big to go down the A frame arch where the raydome lives. So Bill took the collar off the connector and took out the wires for the lights and horn in the starboard side so that the new wire would just about fit down inside. This was achieved with me inside pushing and Bill outside pulling the wires out with a mouse attached then we had to push the radar wire in and down. The old wire was inside the port side so that had to come out and the lights and horn wire had to go back inside there. As you can imagine there was a lot of huffing and puffing and shouting and cursing of inanimate objects but we did it and the Ray dome was fitted!

Posh new Ray dome

Posh new Ray dome

 

 

All this was going on through my lockers in the bedroom so clothes stored in the forepeak.

It’s birthday week this week and today it was Bill’s sister Kate’s birthday in NZ. Happy Birthday.

 

 

Yap working at the chart table

Yap working at the chart table

Thursday was the day the Rally were due in Kucking where we had hopped to catch up with them but we are nowhere near ready to leave yet. Yap arrived from Singapore to start fitting the instruments. As it was shopping day I disappeared for the morning, when I got back everyone was scratching their heads. It seemed there was stuff missing, there were things not working and generally everything was still in a muddle; will we ever get out of here. I managed to get Bill out for a meal that evening because he hadn’t been off the boat for over a week.   Bill sent a strong email to Aquilla later that evening listing all the problems which included the fact that we still couldn’t get the SSB to work and the VHF she had brought over was the wrong one and where was the hydraulic ram for the autohelm? The good news of the day was that the little 12v TV (unheard of here) we had found on a UK website had arrived at my brother-in-law’s company and Alan was sending it out for us.

The at Traders overlooking the marina

The at Traders overlooking the marina

Friday was a good day because we finally got to use the gym in Traders hotel right next to the marina. Several of us have been asking about it for some time and the marina has reached an agreement with them.

 

 

 

The hole in the cockpit coaming for the new autohelm control

The hole in the cockpit coaming for the new autohelm control

The new autohelm control

The new autohelm control

Bill worked on the housing for the new autohelm controls in the hope that one day we’ll get our hydraulic ram!   The old control had been on the side of the binnacle but Raymarine don’t make those any more so Bill cut a hole in the cockpit coaming for the housing he had made to take the new control.  Very cleaver considering it’s humble beginning.

In response to Bill’s email Sylvester and Allyson from Aquila came with Yap in the afternoon to sort out our problems.   After their trouble shooting session it was established that the SSB wasn’t working, the wind instruments at the top of the mast wasn’t working (originally we’d thought it was ok but the tests showed it had been zapped), we were short of some wires and connectors, and the VHF was the wrong one so they took it back with them along with the SSB head. The good news was that the hydraulic ram was in Singapore but unfortunately held in customs. Another birthday today, our nephew in NZ was 18. Happy Birthday Will.

New wind transducer

New wind transducer

 

 

 

First thing Saturday morning Bill went up the mast to change out the wind transducer.

 

 

 

 

 

The new instruments being wired in

The new instruments being wired in

Wind and second autohelm control on the starboard side

Wind and second autohelm control on the starboard side

 

Yap arrived with missing items and made good progress in the morning with the new instruments in place. Bill worked in aft cabin finishing off the Radar wires and sorting out the wires in the cupboards so I could put my clothes back.

 

 

Speed and depth and chartplotter repeater on the port side

Speed and depth and chartplotter repeater on the port side

 

By the end of the day all the instruments are working, including the autohelm control even though it isn’t connected to anything yet. We had a meal out that evening when we were finally able to stop.

 

 

 

New autohelm control working

New autohelm control working

The contents of the food cupboard on the table

The contents of the food cupboard on the table

Sunday I washed down cockpit while Bill wired speakers in and finished off the last little bits. Camomile is starting to look dressed again. As soon as it warmed up we moved inside and Bill started working on connecting up the Gas alarm.   The wires had already been run through the deck locker so Bill just had to get them to the alarm, easier said than done! I had to empty my big food cupboard; the contents covered the table.

A working gas alarm

A working gas alarm

By the end of the day we had a gas alarm.

Last birthday of the week was our son Thomas.

Happy Birthday Thomas.

Still no auto pilot hydraulic drive!

Camomile on the Mend week 3

Palm trees at Puteri harbour

Palm trees at Puteri harbour

 

Life continues in Puteri harbour, it’s 32C most days and over 80% humidity so we are lucky to have out little air conditioning unit. It’s over a month now since the lightening strike but we don’t seem to have got very far. Everything is on order and we just have to wait.

 

Housing for the mystery object

Housing for the mystery object

 

Bill has been doing some more fibre glassing over the weekend.  This is where the mystery object sits; it’s under one of the lockers in our bedroom.  Maybe a clue.

 

Monday afternoon we went to the dentist, it was amazingly cheap. I had a check up and small filling, Bill had a check up, x-ray and fairly big filling with an injection plus they gave Bill about 3 lots of drugs in case of infection, pain killers, etc and the whole lot came to £86, we couldn’t believe it.   Bill said his filling was painless too.   Geoff the surveyor came in the late afternoon to see how things were going, and probably to check that we had spent the insurance money properly!

Our box arrived from the UK

Our box arrived from the UK

Tuesday was delivery day. Firstly a delivery came from Singapore with the first of the new instruments. We were just sorting that out when a knock on the side came from the marina boys with our UK parcel that my brother-in-law Alan had sent over for us. It was like Christmas opening all the boxes. Bill certainly has some work to do now.

Lots of goodies inside

Lots of goodies inside

All stacked in the fore peak ready for fitting

All stacked in the fore peak ready for fitting

 

 

I stacked all the boxes in the forepeak along with the cupboards that have been taken out of our cabin.

 

 

 

 

Nice new chartplotter

Nice new chartplotter

Not connected yet.

Not connected yet.

The LED’s were fitted first in the saloon; they were an easy job. Then Bill spent the rest of the day fitting the new C95 chart plotter and AIS. The chart plotter looks smaller than our old one but in fact the screen is the same size.

 

 

 

The circuit breaker panel with it's red lights all repaired

The circuit breaker panel with it’s red lights all repaired

Wednesday saw Bill starting with a couple of little things, the water gauge and configuring the new anchor windless hand control, both of which had stopped working. The rest of the day was spent working on the circuit breaker panel fitting new red LED’s and replacing the circuit breakers that had blown when the lightening struck. Bill is starting to realise that the wiring is going to take the most time to replace.   Everything seems to be bigger, fatter wire, bigger connections, and bigger breakers’; trying to put things in the same place is proving difficult.

Shiny new alternator

Shiny new alternator

Thursday I went off in the marina mini bus to the supermarket for the weekly shop and came back to find Bill had fitted a shiny new alternator. It was finished off on Friday morning along with the replacement smart charger.

 

 

Mystery object in place with wires just waiting for new hydralic ram

Mystery object in place with wires just waiting for new hydralic ram

The rest of Friday, with the boat in chaos, was spent running wires for the new autohelm – which is what the mystery object is for. It’s the base for the new autopilot ram although he can’t go any further until the new unit arrives.

 

 

 

Base of a lock top box

Base of a lock top box

 

 

Bill had the fibreglass out again in the afternoon and I discovered one of my lock-top boxes had disappeared!

 

 

 

 

Making a mould

Making a mould

17

 

 

 

Saturday morning the housing unit for the new autopilot controls came out of it’s mould.

 

 

It was trimmed up

It was trimmed up

filed and rubbed down

filed and rubbed down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Given an undercoat

Given an undercoat

The contents of the deck locker spread around the deck

The contents of the deck locker spread around the deck

While it was drying we emptied the deck locker, I swear there seems to be more in there each time we do it, so that Bill could spend the day replacing the eberspächer diesel heater. Now I know you’re all going to say what do we need a heater for? Well one day we will return to colder climates when we’ll need it and as it was zapped by the lightening, to be covered by the insurance, it has to be fitted now. The gas alarm was zapped too and the wires for that have to go through the deck locker so Bill lost several pounds in his own personal sauna that day!

The re-wiring starts

The re-wiring starts

No peace for the wicked so Sunday we were busy again firstly reloading the deck locker then Bill spent the day working on wires behind the circuit breaker panel inside Camomile with the air conditioning on which meant various lockers being unloaded and reloaded again as the wires make their way through the boat. The good news this week was that we heard our son James had made it safely down from Mera peak in the Himalayas.

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