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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

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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 2

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.

Radios are more complicated these days

Radios are more complicated these days

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.

Posh new radio with bluetooth

Posh new radio with bluetooth

 

 

 

Bill spent the afternoon fitting the radio even though all the wiring looked very complicated. At least we don’t sit in silence now.

 

 

It needed a large hammer to bash it into shape

It needed a large hammer to bash it into shape

These were added to a wooden frame

These were added to a wooden frame

 

 

 

The next day Bill started working on a mystery object.

Any ideas?

 

 

 

2d

 

Covered in a layer of fibre glass

Covered in a layer of fibre glass

 

 

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.

We got this into 2 backpacks plus the head unit

Meanwhile they had an SSB radio set in stock so we bought it

but another 2 stamps in our passports.

 

 

 

Our old faithful SSB set

Our old faithful SSB set

Our posh new one

Our posh new one

 

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.

Beautiful pool at Ledang

Beautiful pool at Ledang

 

 

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.

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