Monthly Archives: May 2015

Week 17 – Ready to go.

A gleaming Camomile

A gleaming Camomile

Finally we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the jobs list slowly diminished. We had started talking about where we could go when we leave.   The southwest monsoon season has started so anchoring on the west coast is going to be more problematic. It’s too late to go to the Philippines, which is where we really wanted to go, but the East coast of Malaysia is supposed to be nice this time of year so that’s where we are going to head for; we have to get down passed Singapore first though.

Bill rebuilding the binacle

Bill rebuilding the binacle

 

Sunday 24th May Bill rebuilt the binnacle and put the steering wheel back on; the last of the jobs that had prevented us from leaving. We now have a fully working boat.

Polishing up the compass

Polishing up the compass

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile I cleaned right through the boat, again, and washed the floor. The cockpit cover was taken off and washed ready for repairing. That night it poured with rain, without the cockpit cover on everything got very wet.

 

Finishing off the steering assembly

Finishing off the steering assembly

Monday 25th I went for my bike ride and ended up at the pool for a swim, managed 10 lengths although it’s not as long as a regular pool. I headed back to the boat to work on the cockpit cover. UV damage is the bane of our life and all the seams needed re-sewing because the cotton had disintegrated.   Bill finished the work on the steering including fitting a second flange under our bed as well as other little projects. A second night of heavy rain.

The sail bag laid out on the pontoon

The sail bag laid out on the pontoon

Tuesday 26th the cockpit cover was finished but couldn’t go back on because I also needed to work on the sail bag.   When Nasir made it for us we gave him our old one to copy, he did a brilliant job but he knew we had a new sail so decided to make the sail bag a big bigger to compensate. Unfortunately he didn’t know that our old sail bag was already a bit bigger then it needed to be. As a result rainwater has been collecting in it and just sitting there.   The answer was to take the zip off and move it. After planning where it needed to be taken in Bill and I managed to get the mainsail off followed by the sail bag. It was laid out on the pontoon to allow Bill to draw the chalk line on. At the back end it was just a tiny bit but as it got nearer to the mast about 3 inches needed to be taken in.

Busy sewing

Busy sewing

 

 

I took the zip off and sewed it back on in its new place.   It took most of the day but we wanted to get it back on followed by the cockpit cover to stop every thing getting soaked for a third night.

 

Sorting out the 'bad nuts'

Sorting out the ‘bad nuts’

While I was working on the sail bag Bill had the headlining panels down above his work shop to remove the ‘bad nuts’ that were preventing him from tightening up one of the stanchion bases properly. It was one of those jobs that turned into a real problem trying to get the headlining back in place. It had to be severely cursed into place!

 

Shiny new tap

Shiny new tap

Wednesday 27th I took my bike out for a ride around the island ending up at the pool for a swim. Bill got on with lots of little jobs; we are so near the end of the road. The sink tap in my galley has ceased and won’t move from side to side. I bought a new one in the UK and it had come out in the parcel from my sister and Bill fitted it that afternoon. It put up a fight, like most things on the boat do, but eventually he got it fitted. I’m really pleased; it looks lovely.

Scraping the toilet pump - yummy!

Scraping the toilet pump – yummy!

Thursday 28th I took my bike on the ferry to Langkawi to go shopping for supplies in the local shops. When I got back Bill had started a job that he’d been putting off – replacing the outlet pipe in the forward heads (sea toilet).   The pump came off first and Bill had to remove the build up of calcium, which forms as a result of urine combining with seawater. Definitely a ‘blue’ job!

 

Fitting a new outlet pipe

Fitting a new outlet pipe

 

 

The outlet pipe gets calcified too and it’s easier to replace than try and get it out. So the forward toilet is working perfectly now ready for our visitors later in the year.

 

Beautifully varnished steps with new non slip treads

Beautifully varnished steps with new non slip treads

 

 

 

 

Friday 29th Bill applied the non-slip tread on the newly varnished steps that I had brought back from the UK. We are down to the jobs that would be nice to finish but weren’t essential.

Curtains with the old hold backs

Curtains with the old hold backs

 

 

 

 

The wooden curtain hold backs that Bill had made out of scraps before we went back in the water were also fitted. This is how they looked before he started…..

Beautiful wooden ones

Beautiful wooden ones

 

 

….. and after he had finished.

Meanwhile I started to make a new bimini cover. I had also made our old one but it looked awful and badly marked so a new one was in order.

During the evening we went to our last cruisers music session at the Happy Hour bar in the resort. Fred and Rosie and the others put on a nice evening for us all to sing along with fuelled with half price drinks.

Bill bending the sprayhood frame

Bill bending the sprayhood frame

Saturday 30th Bill worked on getting the new sprayhood to fit better. We think the framework has been pulled out of shape over the years so he took it off and used the cleats to gently bend it back into shape. It fitted better but I still need to adjust it slightly. I’ll save that for the next marina we end up in.

 

Removing the last of the blue tape

Removing the last of the blue tape

The door surround has also been having some coats of varnish over the last few days (the only part of the outside wood that Bill has varnished). Once it was finished I was invited to remove the last of the blue tape although I don’t believe it is the last piece! I continued working on the bimini cover while Bill was having a big sort out.   During these last few months most of our lockers (cupboards) have been emptied, cleaned and sorted before refilling.   I’ve taken lots of things up to the ‘give away’ table which in turn has been picked up by other cruisers or staff; one mans rubbish is another mans treasure. While he was going through one of the grab bags he pointed out to me that we did have a body bag (a follow on from a previous ‘discussion’) to which I replied ‘well you’re not putting me in that, it’s orange, I don’t wear orange!!!!!’ For some reason he thought this was amusing.

My hand crafted bimini

My hand crafted bimini

 

Sunday 31st After my last cycle and swim Bill took me for breakfast in the resort, it’s our favourite thing to do here.   For the equivalent of £7 you can eat as much as you can manage with lots of choices. We came back and fitted the new bimini. I’m really pleased with it. Fortunately you can’t see the stitching because my machine isn’t happy sewing canvas and it’s difficult to get the tension right but it manages it.

Waxing the coach roof

Waxing the coach roof

 

 

As it was another cloudy Sunday Bill took the opportunity to finish the last of the waxing on the coach roof; she looks so beautiful.

 

Tools almost gone

Tools almost gone

Later that day Bill finally packed up his work bench with just a few tools left to put away. I ironed the last of the curtains and hung it back up to finish converting the work shop back into a quarter berth, probably won’t be for long.

A quarter berth again - for a while!

A quarter berth again – for a while!

Bill's old shorts and hats

Bill’s old shorts and hats

The final job to do before we leave tomorrow is throw away Bill’s working shorts and hat, even though they’ve been washed several times, although I’ve had to prise them off of him, they are disgusting and are going in the bin. We sat and had sundowners on deck before going down below and enjoying our last night with air conditioning for a while.

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Yes they ARE going in the bin

 

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Week 16 – We’re getting there.

After we’d cleared up all the dust on Friday afternoon we put our lovely new sprayhood on. Will take detailed photo of it later.

Marking position of winch

Marking position of winch

Saturday 16th May Bill fitted the winches and cleats to the port side which entailed taking the ceiling panels down in the quarter berth, the nav station and my wardrobe. Firstly the holes were drilled through the wood from below using the previous holes. The now hated blue tape (because every time I go out on deck I seem to see another piece of it) was used to mark out the position.   Bill placed the winch in position marked round it and pealed off the tape in the middle. Each piece will have a layer of black Sikaflex 291 under it and we don’t want any excess leaking onto the wood.

The base of the winch in position

The base of the winch in position

 

 

The base of the winch is fitted along with a cleat and finally the top goes on the winch. Bill said the sheet winches were in pretty good condition considering how much they’ve been used.

The big sheet winch complete

The big sheet winch complete

The smaller winch and a grab handle are fixed in place

The smaller winch and a grab handle are fixed in place

The smaller mainsheet winch and another cleat were fitted at the back of the cockpit along with one of the last of the new grab handles. I was able to help with this job because there were lots of bolts that needed nuts on them and I have to hold the bolt still with a screwdriver while Bill tightens the nuts from underneath. I love this photo it shows the shiny cockpit and the beautiful curved new seat.

Putting dinghy bits back on

Putting dinghy bits back on

Sunday 17th we awoke to rain. Why does it always rain on Sunday’s all around the world? I still went for my run; I either get wet from the rain or wet from sweat it made no difference although it was quite muddy too. We pulled Camomile back over the pontoon so we could let the dinghy down onto it and then pushed Camomile back again. Bill spent an hour refitting the parts back on it. We let some of the air out so I could fit the new dinghy cover I made before I left for the UK. I spent the afternoon making an outboard cover.

Covers for every thing.

Covers for every thing.

Bill fitted a new piece of wood across the transom so the outboard won’t scrape the new paint. We re-launched the dinghy and fitted the outboard. I put its new cover on along with the new wheel covers.   It looks a bit homemade but as a lot of Camomile is homemade we prefer the term lovingly crafted.

So T bag the dinghy is ready for the off.

Lovingly hand crafted

Lovingly hand crafted

My galley upside down again

My galley upside down again

Bill spent the day fitting the starboard winches, cleats and the last new grab handle. To do this the galley ceiling had to come down and the ceiling in my bathroom. Everything was upside down and I couldn’t possibly make dinner so we had a meal in the Hard Dock cafe.

 

More wood

More wood

 

 

 

 

Monday 18th We had a new mystery object in the cockpit – more wood. It’s been marked with black pen.

 

 

 

In the groove

In the grove

 

 

 

Bill got his circular saw out (they love him here!!!) and started cutting little groves in the wood.

New against the old

New against the old

 

This is the new wood laid out on the old seats – can you tell the difference? Apparently the old seats are a slightly redder teak but a blind man would be pleased to see it. We keep being asked if we are going to varnish the new wood or oil it. The answer is neither. Bill says once you start it’s a perpetual job so it’s just going to be left to weather with age.

See the gap...

See the gap…

The mystery object is going to be a wooden top for the instruments but the instruments housing is slightly curved so the little groves enable Bill to ‘bend’ the wood into place. You can see the gap in this photo –

 

.... now it's gone

…. now it’s gone

 

 

 

– now it’s gone.

 

 

 

Port bridgehead

Port bridgehead

Bill and I spent the rest of the day fitting the bridgehead instruments with me holding the screwdriver on the outside and Bill tightening nuts underneath. We were so busy I didn’t take any photos but this is how it looked at the end of the day with all the instruments rewired back in place. To enable Bill to fit the wood top the VHF speaker had to be moved but it fits nicely next to the music speaker. So we have comms again. It was suggested we remove our old garmin GPS instead but that little gem has survived quite a few dousing and a lightening strike and still works magnificently.   So it has pride of place among the posh new Raymarine instruments.

Starboard side

Starboard side

My side looks just as nice with the addition of a cold glass of wine at the end of the day. We were supposed to leave today but obviously aren’t ready yet so I went to the office to book for another 2 weeks. We’ll be leaving Rebak on 1st June – definitely.

Sundowners in our beautiful new cockpit

Sundowners in our beautiful new cockpit

Forty Two from Germany

Forty Two from Germany

Tuesday 19th I went for my run while Bill was finishing the edging on the renovated seats. We took the ferry over to Langkawi for a day in town. First job was a hair cut for me. My hair has grown quite a bit since I’ve been back and it makes me hotter so it had to go. Chris and Keith had invited us to lunch in their cosy apartment so we spent a wonderful few hours catching up with chatter before finishing our day in the supermarket. When we got back we noticed our German friends had arrived on their Westerly Fulmar.   This photo is for our WOA friends who think their Westerly is too small to sail around the world Forty Two is from Germany and Carsten and Mercedes sailed her around the UK before leaving on their circumnavigation; and she’s a bilge keel!

 a row of pulley blocks

a row of pulley blocks

 

Wednesday 20th These are all the pulley blocks that were taken off the bottom of mast when Bill was painting the deck.   Bill put them all back on so I could rerun all the lines.

 

Sorting out the lines.

Sorting out the lines.

 

What a job, I think I did every one of them at least twice some three times. I got all the port side ones threaded through the front of the coaming and Bill realised he’d put the feeder on upside down so I had to start again. Grrrrr! The reefing lines on the starboard side were also wrong because Bill put their pulley block on back to front.

Start of a wasps nest

Start of a wasps nest

 

I found the start of a wasp’s nest under the front sail bag while checking the lines weren’t twisted. Luckily it wasn’t very big.

 

 

All lines in place

All lines in place

 

Eventually I got them all sorted. Bill fitted the rope bags in the cockpit and the lines were all tucked away. The winch handle pockets were also fitted, the winches are in them.

 

Finally got all the lines sorted

Finally got all the lines sorted

Yachtleg lugs in place

Yachtleg lugs in place

While I was doing all this Bill was fitting the Yachtleg lugs which meant me in the dinghy holding onto it while Bill was inside tightening nuts again. Sounds simple but nothing is ever simple on a boat. As the rubbing strake has been made wider Bill had to make a wooden plinth for them to sit on so of course the bolts weren’t long enough. He shaved a bit off the plinth so the bolts would fit but then the pin that goes through the two holes on the top and through the top of the yachtleg wouldn’t fit! So Bill had to plane a bit off the rubbing strake. Eventually all fitted. This type of thing is why we’ve been sat here for 16 weeks.

Brilliant Mediterranean white decks

Brilliant Mediterranean white decks

After lunch I changed into a swimming costume and scrubbed the decks. With a combination of airline fuel exhaust from the planes that fly over us landing at Langkawi airport and our dirty feet from walking on the dirty pontoons (for the same reason) the decks are filthy. Luckily most of the marks came off with just water and a scrubbing brush.   Bill wouldn’t let me use any detergent because it would take the wax off the hull. There were also streaks down the hull that luckily came off with a sponge.   I used the dinghy to clean the outside.   Camomile is gleaming again.

'Can I come out now?'

‘Can I come out now?’

 

Thursday 21st we emptied the deck locker.   Wouldn’t this make a great photo for a caption competition? This was half way through; we’d stopped for a coffee break.

 

Didn't take long to mess it up again

Didn’t take long to mess it up again

When we’d finished unloading it our wonderfully tidy bridgehead looked like this. There were a number of jobs Bill needed to do the first of which was reattaching the locker lid. It was another job with a screw on the outside and nuts to be tightened on the inside but Bill hadn’t been able to reach them. Also the engine stop control had been disconnected for painting and he couldn’t get it back on from the outside. My bathroom backs onto the deck locker and the radiator was leaking so once everything was out Bill was able to disconnect that and take it outside for repair and respray.

Bill working on the immersion heater (top right) Eberspacher (top left)

Bill working on the immersion heater (top right) Eberspacher (top left)

Friday 22nd After we’d finished with the water Bill emptied the water tanks so he could take the hot water tank apart to replace the immersion heater element, (another thing that had come back in my luggage) and the over pressure relief valve. The water maker needed attention too; Bill had to adjust the fittings on the inlet and outlet. The diesel eberspacher unit that powers the heating and the hot water had failed, so that needed replacing too but the whole system had to be drained first; nothing’s easy on a boat.

After refilling the water tanks we had a evening off and went to the music jamming session in the resort where a variety of yachties and their instruments get together and play, sing or whatever you feel like doing. As it’s also half price drinks at the bar it leads to a fun evening!

The deck locker mid way reloaded

The deck locker mid way reloaded

Saturday 23rd Bill put my radiator back on and filled the system with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. The coolant is antifreeze, can you imagine how difficult it was to find here but we found it in a local garage because they use it inside car engines to stop them rusting, which is the same reason we’ve used it. The system had to be turned on to check it was working but we turned all the radiators down and the air conditioning up first. All worked ok. We went across to the resort for coffee to celebrate. Came back and filled the deck locker again. It’s like a 3d jigsaw but each piece has a place and there’s a place for everything.   Bill and I have emptied and refilled it so many times we both know where every thing goes.

Poor Billam

Poor Billam

Poor Bill managed to drop one of the acrylic door panels on his foot. Unfortunately it fell between two of his toes and went through to the bone, he probably should have had a stitch in it but he wouldn’t let me try out my stitch kit!   I had to bandage it up for him because it was in an awkward place to put a plaster.

 

A nice end to the day.  All tidy again.

A nice end to the day. All tidy again.

We’ve both in the wars because I managed to twist my knee so can’t run at the moment. I cycle my bike around the same circuit ending up at the pool and having a swim instead. I don’t lose lots of weight with my running it just keeps my metabolism stable and allows me to have the odd biscuit and a glass of wine when I want.

9 more sleeps here then we’re off.

Week 15 – Beautiful teak cockpit

18Saturday 9th May we took one of Mr Din’s cars into town to get one more pot of prima and some rollers so Bill could paint the dinghy. We had coffee in Starbucks followed by our weekly shop then back to the boat for Bill to continue his work in the cockpit. Bill loves working with wood and has always wanted to get rid of the awful treadmaster that surrounds the cockpit and replace it with teak; now his dream was coming true. All the wood had already been prepared while we were on the hard, it just had to be glued in place now. This is the bridgehead before he started. The blue tape is covering various holes for winches, clutches and cleats and we don’t want the glue squeezing through them. The ‘glue’ is adhesive specially formulated for teak made by sikaflex.

The first pieces screwed into place.

The first pieces screwed into place.

Bill glued and screwed the first piece in place followed by all the pieces around the edge, which were also screwed in place to stop the planking from moving around.

 

Applying the adhesive

Applying the adhesive

 

Slotting the planking in

Slotting the planking in

 

 

Then it was just a matter of applying the adhesive and slotting the planking into place – just like that!

 

Weights holding planking in place

Weights holding planking in place

 

 

I had been through the boat and got all the spare anodes, diving weights, bags of anchor chain and anything heavy I could find for Bill to place on top of the teak to hold it flat. The glue went off fairly quickly so they didn’t need to be on there long.

The port side before it was started

The port side before it was started

 

 

The same method was applied to the port side of the cockpit coaming. First it was masked to stop the adhesive spoiling the new paintwork and the holes covered.

Applying the adhesive

Applying the adhesive

More weights

More weights

 

 

The adhesive was laid on and the end pieces screwed into place followed by all the planking and more weights.  The starboard side planking was also screwed, glued and laid. Still waiting for our parcel from UPS.

Bridgehead and both side of cockpit covered

Bridgehead and both side of cockpit covered

Painting the dighy with primer

Painting the dinghy with primer

 

Sunday 10th while I went for my early morning run Bill gave the dinghy transom a coat of primer before it got to hot.   The locker top in the bow is also being painted. The paint had pealed off so Bill decided to give it a paint job like the rest of the boat.  This was why we had tied up stern to.

Good use for the mystery objects

Good use for the mystery objects

The woodwork was resumed. Here is a close up of the position of the mystery objects now long hidden behind layers of paint. Bill wants to put in a curved seat behind the wheel. The wooden edges of the seat have to be ‘bent’ into position by cutting little slots out from underneath to be able to form the curved edging and screwed into place. The front edge is the same but the slots aren’t visible. Bill had quite a bit of trouble getting the wood to do what he wanted but eventually he succeeded.

Working on the seat

Working on the seat

 

 

The area was covered in adhesive and the seat planking slotted into place with more weights to weigh it down.   It’s very impressive.

 

Our new seat

Our new seat

 

Caulking the bridgehead

Caulking the bridgehead

 

 

Bill spent the rest of the day applying another two coats of primer to the dinghy and applying Sikaflex caulking to the bridgehead.   I spent the day writing and posting a blog.   Still nothing from UPS.

Undercoating the dinghy

Undercoating the dinghy

 

 

Monday 11th Bill got an undercoat on the dinghy transom and bow before it got too hot again.

 

 

Caulking the coaming

Caulking the coaming

 

 

Then he continued applying the black caulking to the coaming and the seat. It’s going to look superb.

 

 

Looking good

Looking good

Re-caulking the old seating

Re-caulking the old seating

While the caulking was drying Bill started to renovate our original teak seating. After the trouble he’d had removing the little seat behind the wheel there was no way he was going to attempt to remove the main seating. It really didn’t need it. The teak was quite thick so Bill spent the rest of the day digging out the old caulking and removing the screw hole bungs (some of them had already fallen out). It was replaced with the same Sikaflex caulking he had used on the rest of the planking.

Our parcel from UPS

Our parcel from UPS

I spent the day cleaning the boat again getting rid of a layer of white dust that the sanding of the cockpit had produced.   Not sure why I bothered because the teak has got to be rubbed down in a few days time which create more dust. I had all but given up hope of my parcel arriving when word came from security that it had come over on the late ferry.   I went to collect it and realised why customs had held onto it so long; it looked like a missile launcher! CJ Marine had supplied some spare canvas along with our new sprayhood but had wrapped it up with the canvas still on the roll. It looked very strange.

Camomile's new bonnet

Camomile’s new bonnet

 

The wrapping was quickly removed and Camomile’s new bonnet was laid out on the pontoon, it looked brilliant. At first we thought they had forgotten to add the zipped window in the front that we had asked for but we discovered it under a Velcro fastening – very cleaver. Camomile was longing to try her sprayhood on but we wanted to wait until the woodwork was all finished before fitting it.

 

 

Top coat on the dinghy

Top coat on the dinghy

 

Tuesday 12th Bill gave the transom and bow of the dinghy a rub down and applied the topcoat. The triangular piece sitting on the workbench is the door to the bow locker. Tea bag is going to look very smart.

Getting it right

Getting it right

 

Bill continued working on the wood by trimming the adhesive that had hardened but stayed brown making a very neat edge.   The black caulking had also hardened and Bill trimmed that with a chisel. It then took him two days to plane it all to his liking. I spent most of my time down below inside the cabin.   The cockpit was covered in dust and it spread very easily. I’ve been going through cupboards and having a good sort out. There’s a giveaway table in the hard dock café and I put lots of things on there. The staff are allowed to help themselves so I know my things will get used.

Planing  the bridgehead

Planing the bridgehead

Re-fitting the engine start panel

Re-fitting the engine start panel

Wednesday 13th Bill gave the dinghy bow a coat of the non-slip granules then it was back to the working on the woodwork.   Once he’d finished we both cleared up.   The shavings were vacuumed up and the cockpit washed down. Bill does lots of little jobs in between the big ones. This is the starter panel being re-bedded in.  It looked superb and it’s not finished yet.   I think Bill will have to be renamed Bill the magician.

Bill the magician

Bill the magician

Removing screws

Removing screws

 

Thursday 14th Now Bill had the wood to his liking all the screws had to be removed. The holes were made bigger and filled with more homemade bungs using resin to fix them in place.

Bridgehead looking good.

Bridgehead looking good.

Bungs made out of scraps

Bungs made out of scraps

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I got the sewing machine out to start making the covers for the dinghy wheels and outboard plus finish off the dinghy cover.

Rubbing everything down

Rubbing everything down

 

 

Friday 15th rub down the new wood, rub down the old seats, rub down the bridgehead, mess, mess, mess!

 

 

DSCF8211 (Small)

Week 14 – Shiny new cockpit

Birthday breakfast in resort

Birthday breakfast in resort

Saturday 2nd May was my birthday.   Bill had promised we would both take the day off and relax; something he hasn’t done since we arrived on 1st February. We started with breakfast in the resort. Followed fruit, yoghurt, museli and a glass of bubbles courtesy of the resort with scrambled egg, grilled tomatoes, and beef bacon and best of all waffles with chocolate sauce together with a cappuccino. Won’t need to eat for the rest of the day now. Back at the boat Bill made ME a coffee while I read all my lovely facebook messages and emails. I had so many; everyone was very kind. Bill paid for me to have a reflexology foot massage and pedicure with leg massage in the resort spa. I was in there 1½ hours what a treat.

Barman mixing my Zombie

Barman mixing my Zombie

We spent the afternoon relaxing and finished the day in the pool. I decided to have a cocktail at the pool bar. The bartender took quite a while to make it but it was delicious when it arrived. I think it was called a Zombie and it had quite a lot of rum in it. I spoke to James in the evening and as I was birthday Queen I got to choose which video we watched so I choose the latest series of Downton Abbey that Thomas and Sonal had given me.

Cheers!

Cheers!

All masked up ready to go

All masked up ready to go

Sunday 3rd it was back to work. Bill got up early and masked the windows and seats of the cockpit and gave it a first coat of primer. It was great to see the last of the old gel coat disappear.

Last of old gel coat to go

Last of old gel coat to go

Last view of the mystery object

Last view of the mystery object

 

 

 

The whole of the cockpit was painted including the mystery objects and the floor.

 

Painted himself into a corner

Painted himself into a corner

 

Bill managed to paint himself into a corner. We had to enter and exit out through the aft hatch that day. The primer is quite thin and dries quickly in the heat so Bill was able to get three coats of prima on altogether during the day.   I sat down below writing my blog. Our new sprayhood made by CJ Marine in Chichester, UK had arrived in the country with UPS and was sitting in customs in KL. It’s only taken 5 days to get to Malaysia from the UK. Will we have it soon?

First undercoat

First undercoat

 

Monday 4th Bill got an undercoat on first thing. Being a bit thicker it took longer to put on plus Bill had to be more careful applying it. The sides of the mystery objects are now painted.

 

We have a stanchion

We have a stanchion

 

The undercoat takes 12 hours to dry, even in this heat, so Bill spent the rest of the day working on the stanchions.   First they had to be bent by 5 degrees, which he managed to do using the cleat on the pontoon with a metal bar inside them to stop them distorting. They slot into the bases that Bill had already fixed to the deck while we were on the hard. A pin secured them in place.   We have a stanchion, one down five to go.

Guardrails

Guardrails

 

Next we unwrapped the new guardrails and threaded them through the holes in the stanchions, something I could help with.   A forked terminal with a clevis pin through it secures them to the bow and they are lashed to the stanchion by the ‘garden gates’. There’s only one each side on the aft deck because we have the solar panels on the top rail. It feels much safer on deck now.   The weather had been good for the last few days with no rain; no sign of rainy season yet or our package from UPS.

Job finished

Job finished

Poles back in place

Poles back in place

Tuesday 5th I had spoken too soon because we awoke to heavy rain. Even though we have the cockpit cover it was too damp to rub down the undercoat.   There were lots of other jobs to choose from on the list. Once it stopped raining Bill finished off the stanchion work and put the poles back in place. I put the cars back on their tracks and reran the roller reefing line and the genny sheets (different ropes) back down boat.

Sitting on my dolphin seat

Sitting on my dolphin seat

Bill did the final fix on the dolphin seat that he had made so I can sit on deck to watch the dolphins playing (have to find some now). The humidity level dropped in the afternoon and Bill was able to rub down the cockpit and put the second undercoat on while I sat down below working on my next blog, gradually catching up. UPS package still sitting in KL, it’s been in and out of clearing 3 times now!

Bill rubbing down

Bill rubbing down

 

 

 

Wednesday 6th the undercoat was dry so Bill gave the whole cockpit a good rub down. Everything was covered in a layer of white dust including Bill. While Bill got the paint ready I gave everything a good clean and wipe down to stop any dust getting into the paint. Bill applied the first topcoat with his usual care and attention.

Thursday 7th The first topcoat was given a very light rub down and cleaned again before Bill put the final topcoat on. We managed to get to the pool at the end of the day for a change. Nothing from UPS.

Shiny cockpit

Shiny cockpit

 

Friday 8th After my usual visit to the Chinese veggie man followed by some nice chatting while waiting for the ferry I started removing the reams of blue tape. The paintwork has come up really well.   You can hardly see the mystery objects now. Shiny cockpit.

Engine starter panel

Engine starter panel

 

 

Bill spent the rest of the day starting to put things back. This is the engine start panel. The surround used to be all faded but has been painted with everything else and is gleaming now.

 

Bit of a muddle

Bit of a muddle

I thought I’d help by sorting all Bill’s little pots with bits in.  This is just some of the bolts and screws that have to go back somewhere. Unfortunately I didn’t realise Bill had pots for different areas and I ended up muddling them up. Oh dear!

Still nothing from UPS!

Week 13 – back in the water.

Finishing off the last of the varnishing

Finishing off the last of the varnishing

Saturday 25th April arrived and we weren’t ready to go back in the water; still a few more jobs to finish off so we postponed our splash until Monday, definitely Monday. I left Bill to finish off a bit of varnishing and took the ferry across to Langkawi to do a bit of shopping in the local shops; sometimes it’s nice to get off the boat for a while.   When I got back Bill wanted to run the engine to check everything was ok. Difficult because the engine needs water to stop it from overheating. I had to be in the cockpit to start and stop the engine while Bill held a hosepipe in the engine intake. Camomile did not sound happy and when Bill wanted me to put the engine in gear to check the prop was turning she made a horrible noise but apparently all was ok.

Bill relaxing

Bill relaxing

Sunday 26th we could relax a bit so we treated ourselves to breakfast in the resort. While Bill put a final antifoul coat on the keel I spent a frustrating day trying to download photos of my sisters wedding. The internet here is incredibly slow; it’s the only real downside of this place, oh and the mossies of course. We spent our final afternoon in our ‘garden’ and went to the pool for a nice cooling swim.

Ready for the off

Ready for the off

Monday 27th I took my bike on the early ferry to go and get some cash to pay our debts. On the way back my bike broke. Several of the spokes snapped on the front wheel and the sides of the tyre were also perished, they wobbled from side to side as the wheel went round and it was rubbing on the brake pads. I had to walk it back. NO comments on the weight it was carrying!!   When I got back Bill had packed all his tools away and we stacked the rest of the woodwork up on deck, I gave our chairs to another cruiser and we were all ready for the off.

 

Up she goes again

Up she goes again

 

We were third on the list and they came for us just after 11am; Camomile was dying to get her keel toes back in the water.

 

Camomile couldn't wait to get in the water

Camomile couldn’t wait to get in the water

Slowly lowered in

Slowly lowered in

Bill watched cautiously as they drove Camomile around the yard toward the splash point. They put a ladder up so we could get on and we were slowly lowered into the water.  Quite nerve wracking – would the engine start? Would the prop shaft or rudder bearings leak?  Everything went smoothly until a last minute gust of wind blew us dangerously near to the wall. We are so nervous of scratching the new paintwork. Bill had a quick check round – no leaks!

What do you think?

What do you think?

We arrived at our berth and tied up bow in, we had wanted to go in backwards but Bill didn’t want to risk it with the gusts we were getting; we’ll turn her round in the morning when it’s calm.

Plug the power in

Plug the power in

 

 

First things first get the power back on for the air con; it’s better back in the water but still hot.

 

 

We left it tidy

We left it tidy

I walked back up to the hard to fetch our bikes.   You would never know we had been there for 12 weeks.

It was great to be in the water. I had so many jobs I wanted to do. The first one was empty the fridge, clean it out and switch it back on. Its water-cooled and had protested at not having water to cool it (even though the water is warm) and had to be turned off on the hard. I reloaded it with the beer first in the bottom then some nice salad on the top. I emptied the freezer too and defrosted it so it could be turned up and be a freezer again. Both the heads (bathrooms) were given a good clean down with nice fresh water; felt good to have everything clean and working again.

Bill removed the compass

Bill removed the compass

Tuesday 28th I finally managed to post my blog then continued to clean the boat although it will probably get dusty again when Bill starts rubbing the cockpit down. Bill spent the day stripping the cockpit. The compass came off, wheel off, binnacle stripped down, cockpit locker lid off, rev counter out, so we couldn’t go any where if we wanted to now. Bill filled any redundant holes with epoxy resin. I wonder what the mystery objects are doing there?

Spot the mystery objects

Spot the mystery objects

Setting up the grab handles

Setting up the grab handles

Wednesday 29th Bill started fitting the grab handles. I asked him if he could do them next because every time I went out on deck I either stubbed my toe on the spikes or trod on them. He worked for a couple of hours then we caught the ferry and took one of Mr Din’s cars into town to get some resin, do some shopping for the freezer, get my bike mended and have a Starbucks of course.

The bike work shop

The bike work shop

 

This is the little workshop we took my bike to. Two new wheels, two new tyres with inner tubes, fitted and the gears fixed cost RM180 (about £30) pretty good value.  How he finds anything I don’t know but it was ready for us to pick up on our way back.

Fitting the grab handles

Fitting the grab handles

 

 

We got back at 3.30 and Bill continued with the grab handles, he likes working that time of day because the heat of the day has passed.

 

Grab handles finished

Grab handles finished

Plugging the holes

Plugging the holes

Thursday 30th After fitting them the holes were plugged with the wooden bungs and resin. This is the problem with working out on deck, he’s in the sun, his back is twisted and we still don’t have stanchions and guardrails on yet. Later rain was forecast and he wanted to finish before it started to rain. Water in the holes would be a bad thing and take a long time to dry.   I held an umbrella over him for the last few but he managed to finish before the heavens opened.

Bon Voyage Keith and Christine

Bon Voyage Keith and Christine

Later in the afternoon Keith and Christine came to say goodbye to their boat Poco Andante and hand over the keys to the new owners having managed to sell her. They have a wonderful adventure planned to get back to the UK by train through China, Mongolia and Russia. They joined us for a glass of bubbles to welcome Camomile back in the water and wish them good luck on their travels. Stay safe guys. x

Parcel from UK

Parcel from UK

Just as they were leaving there was great excitement because we were informed the box my sister Amanda had sent only 6 days ago had arrived so I went to collect it from security.

 

The contents of the box

The contents of the box

 

 

She had sent out a couple of bits I had left behind because I couldn’t fit any thing else in my bags like the new kitchen tap, a spare steering flange and a pressure relief value for the immersion heater!!!!! Also the guard rails were in there and the new control switches for the anchor windlass and a winter jacket I’d left behind which I might need when we go to China later in the year.

 

 

Rubbing down the cockpit

Rubbing down the cockpit

Fri 1st May While I did my usual Friday run to see the ‘Chinese man with the van’ Bill started sanding down the cockpit so he could get on with painting it, he’s now gone from black feet in the boat yard to white ones. Everything was covered in a layer of dust. I stayed down below to work on our China trip. Bill asked me to start making a list of outstanding jobs – it covered an A4 page and a half!

Mystery object in situ

Mystery object in situ

 

 

So these are the mystery objects, glued and filled, in their place.

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