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.
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.
Then the floorboards came up. Bill fitted 2 transducers 1 for depth 1 for speed.
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.
It looks quite impressive, again all the boxes are much bigger than the old system but they just about fit.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
First thing Saturday morning Bill went up the mast to change out the wind transducer.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Monday 19th we took a taxi to the JB area to get some fibreglass. We had been given an address, which we gave to the taxi driver. He dropped us in the middle of an industrial area with the comment ‘will you be ok?’ which was a bit unnerving but everything was fine. We stepped through the gates of the fibreglass company to be faced with half a dozen barking dogs that were quickly pushed to one side and we were ushered inside. Two odd chairs were placed in front of a very elderly Chinese man who spoke fairly good English and whose sons produced what Bill was looking for at a fraction of the price he had expected to pay. The entire time we were sitting there we were scratching our legs, I think it was mossies and sandflies biting us although I’m not sure but I was really glad to get out of there. The fibreglass would not be allowed onto the boat until it was fumigated. We walked to the bus stop pointed out by the son but as the neighbourhood felt more like Beirut than Malaysia we decided to take the taxi into town that was sitting there instead.
Our next stop was the big mall that sold electronics to see if we could replace the TV or the music radio but all they sold were computers. No one had even heard of a 12v television. We got in the taxi to come home and I pointed to his car radio and asked him if he knew where to get one from, despite the language barrier he seemed to understand what we were after and whisked us off to a car accessory shop which sold just what we wanted. The taxi driver even managed to negotiate a further MYR50 off (about £10) before taking us back to the boat and receiving a good tip, it really pays to get help.
Bill spent the afternoon fitting the radio even though all the wiring looked very complicated. At least we don’t sit in silence now.
The next day Bill started working on a mystery object.
Wednesday 21st we were ready to accept Aquila’s quote and pay over a sizable amount of money for the supply of all the new instruments. The easiest way to do this was to go to their offices in Singapore. In the morning we took a taxi to downtown JB and joined the throng on their way to Singapore on the bus, stopping to get 2 stamps in our passports on the way. We had a good day in Singapore apart from visa putting a stop on our Nationwide credit card. We discovered this after 2 phone calls to Nationwide, several calls to Aquila’s CC company and having to wait for the visa offices to open at 8am UK time (3pm Singapore time) all of which took no less than 3 hours. Eventually they released OUR money and the order was processed so now we wait for delivery in about a week.
Meanwhile they had an SSB radio set in stock so we bought it
but another 2 stamps in our passports.
Our old faithful but unusable SSB set was removed the next day and Bill rewired and fitted all the parts for the new one over the next 2 days. All we have to do now is work out how to programme it!
I try to do what I can to help, I pass tools to him like an operation theatre assistant, and tidy up behind him, along with finding things like his glasses, screwdrivers, etc that he’s always putting down and forgetting where. It’s nice to be based in the same place for a while because I’ve been able to catch up with washing, stocking up the boat and getting on with my writing. We tend to eat on board so I support Bill with cooking nice meals and of course making numerous cups of tea and coffee.
Friday morning I joined Jackie of Hokele’a at the lovely gym that’s 5 minutes drive away while leaving Bill to carry on with jobs. It might seem a bit mean but I think he likes a bit of peace.