Week 17 – Ready to go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…..
….. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.