สล็อตเว็บตรง

สล็อตเว็บตรง

สล็อตเว็บตรง

สล็อตเว็บตรง

The Joys and Sorrows Of a Life At Sea http://www.klubko.net/en Two freelance translators and their life on board a small boat Sat, 25 Apr 2015 05:01:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.37 Hallberg-Rassy 31 Monsun for sale http://www.klubko.net/en/2014/10/hallberg-rassy-31-monsun-for-sale/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2014/10/hallberg-rassy-31-monsun-for-sale/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 04:11:17 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3790 (click the picture to see more photos)

Janna under sail with reefing jib and old mainsail

 

Contact

Email: syjanna@gmail.com

Phone (Malaysia): +60122513997

Skype: klubkonet or syjanna

1 We call her Janna

…as in arabic al’janna, which means “garden” as in the “Garden [...]]]>  (click the picture to see more photos)

Janna under sail with reefing jib and old mainsail

 

Contact

Email: syjanna@gmail.com

Phone (Malaysia): +60122513997

Skype: klubkonet or syjanna

1  We call her Janna

…as in arabic al’janna, which means “garden” as in the “Garden of Eden”…

You won’t need to spend months in a boat-yard. You can go cruising immediately, because we are cruising right now on this boat. You can step aboard as we step off.

We take a good care of our little boat. She’s a lovely home and a great performer at sea.

The equipment is minimalistic, but we rarely wished for more. We’ve put a lot of thought into transforming Janna into a cozy, but utilitarian vessel.

It is our home and an office.

We are the third owners and we are selling Janna for family reasons.

1.1      Significant features

These are the most important features that make Janna what she is (see more below).

She is a perfect home for a couple, however, four people will find comfortable berths on board. Two on the V-berth and two in the cabin. The cabin settee cushions fit nicely in the cockpit and you will spend many a night there.

1.1.1      Minimized routes for water ingress

We have kept only 3 seacocks (out of 10) – one for the seawater intake, one for the galley, which doubles as a port cockpit scupper drain, and one for the second cockpit scupper drain.

1.1.2      Confortable and safe galley, lots of storage space

The galley is well designed and we have never had water coming through the galley sink, even in foul weather. Two large storage lockers are right next to the galley sink.

We have converted the quarter-berth into another locker accessible from the cockpit and made special drains which keep the lockers dry in all weather.

We have also made a heavy-duty rail guard for the stove and the pots stay put even in bad weather. In really bad weather we cook in a pressure cooker (our most useful utensil).

There are two 5kg aluminum LPG cylinders on the deck. They usually last two and half months – but we cook a lot and bake regularly. The LPG is carried via a single high-pressure hose, thus minimizing the points of failure.

1.1.3      Efficient rigging

Previous owner added a strong 3’ stainless-steel bowsprit and a roller furling genoa. This allows for extremely easy wing and wing setup for downwind passages. The genoa is a real workhorse.

There is an inner forestay for hank on sails: light genoa for light winds and short tacking and reefing jib, which doubles as a storm jib. There’s another spare jib.

The virtually frictionless Cape Horn windvane will steer the boat on any point of sail, including downwind even in light winds. Maintenance is a piece of cake.

Halyards lead to the cockpit. This is great for single-handlers or your partner who can remain in the safety and comfort of the cockpit during the sail changes.

Only hank-on jib halyard ends at the mast, which makes it easy for the crew handling the jibs to control the sail. Occasionally we have used also a downhaul for the jibs, which makes pulling the sails down in strong winds safer.

We have ordered new large mainsail, with extended roach, as well as very light hank-on genoa. Both sails provide extra power and make short tacking in light winds very enjoyable.

1.1.4      Substantial ground tackle

Since we bought a 20kg Rocna, we’ve never dragged, even on a shorter scope. The chain is of prime quality, made by Acco. There are two more CQRs, spare piece of chain and about 200m of three-strand lines.

1.1.5      Spacious and save cockpit

A folding table fits in the cockpit and six people can enjoy a dinner in reasonable comfort. The cockpit is relatively deep and you will feel save even in foul conditions.

The cockpit sole can be lifted, which provides a great access to the engine room, which makes regular maintenance so much more enjoyable. Engine can be easily lifted out of the boat using the boom.

1.1.6      Everything is well documented

You can see our adventures and most work done on Janna on our blog http://www.klubko.net/en/ (or the Czech version which is more complete).

You can also visit our Google+ albums and click through to see the details.

 

2        Specification

Manufactured 1974
Hull no 57
Engine Volvo Penta, D1-30A, 1100 hours, commissioned 2006
Engine output (kW / HP) 20.9/28.4
Hull length 9.36 m / 30′ 9″ (+ cca 3’ bowsprit)
Length water line 7.50 m / 24′ 8″
Beam 2.87 m / 9′ 5″
Draft 1.40 m / 4′ 7″
Mast above waterline ~12m
Diesel tank 120 litres / 32 US gallon (+ 3x20l good quality jerry cans)
Water tank 160 litres / 43 US gallon (+ about 60l in assorted jerry cans)
Displacement 4 200 kg / 9 250 lbs
Keel weight 1 900 kg / 4 200 lbs
Thickness freeboard ~ 10mm
Thickness hull ~ 20mm
Thickness keel ~ 25mm

 

3        Equipment and improvements

Item                                            Year Details
Boom gallows 2013 Teak timber and SS 316 tubing. Provides great holding for crew on watch and a rest for boom while at port.
Bottom paint 2014 International Primocon + Micron Extra
Bulkheads 2014 Retabbed (re-glassed) to the hull using epoxy resin and fiberglass mat
Cockpit awning 2007 Large awning made of Sunbrella Plus for use in port
Cockpit coamings 2013 New teak for cockpit coaming under the winches.
Cockpit teak 2012 Rebuilt the teak in the cockpit, created a new locker. Added scuppers under the locker lids (2013).
Depth sounder 2009 Raymarine ST40 Bidata. Mounted inside of the hull for easy maintenance. Speed log included, but not installed.
Energy – batteries 2013 N70 starter battery, 225Ah house batteries (2x Trojan T-105 Plus). Charged separately via isolator switch.
Energy – solar panel ? 2x 75 Watt with ProStar regulator, solid source of energy
Energy – wind generator ? Air-X Marine. Great source of energy in stronger winds
Energy – wiring 2012, 2013 All tinned, marine grade wire (with very few exceptions). Bow navigation lights and wiring completely replaced in 2014
Engine 2006 Volvo Penta D1-30A, stern drive, three blade fixed propeller, 115A alternator
Engine – bed and mounts 2014 New Vetus K50 mounts and substantially reinforced engine bed
Engine – exhaust raiser 2011 SS 316, muffles sound and prevents water ingress
Engine – heat exchanger 2011 Replaced due to corrosion, caused by original faulty installation, which was resolved by the new exhaust raiser.
Engine – jerry cans 3x 20l high quality jerry cans for easy refueling
Engine – packing gland 2014 Replaced with original Volvo Penta part
Engine – prop shaft 2014 New shaft, SS304 1” and new cutlass bearing
Engine – seawater pump 2013 Replaced with original Volvo Penta part
Forward hatch 2012 New acrylic and gaskets
Galley – LPG 2009 2x 5kg Worthington horizontal aluminum cylinders mounted on the deck below the dinghy and connected with high pressure hose with only single connection bellow deck
Ground tackle new 2009
  • Acco Grade 40 Hot-Dip Galvanized High-Test Chain 5/16”, 65m + 35m (spare stored in the cockpit locker)
  • Rocna 20kg. Never dragged since we got her!
Ground tackle older ?
  • Manual windlass Lofrans Royal
  • Spare chain 10m
  • 2x 15lbs CQR anchors
  • Small Danforth for dinghy
Interior painting 2014 Ceiling, lockers, engine room
Life-line stanchions 2014 Replaced new, SS 316, more space on deck, no leaks, easy cleaning
Non-skid 2013 New non-skid on deck, International Perfection and Intergrip. Three overcoats: does not slip while kind to your bare knees.
Navigation –  paper charts Various Mostly SE Asia
Navigation 2009
  • 2x handheld Garmin GPS
  • Astra IIIB Sextant
Portlights 2012 Replaced gaskets. Very easy maintenance.
Rigging – blocks 2009
  • Most blocks replaced with Harken, couple of spares.
  • Mainsheet tackle 6:1 (Harken H2618 + H2604) and mainsail halyard 2:1 for easy handling
Rigging – bobstay 2014
  • SS 316 bobstay attachment
  • 8mm SS 316 wire rope 1×19
  • Sta-lok terminals
Rigging – chainplates 2013 Replaced all (but forestay) chainplates with new made of SS 316
Rigging – cleats 2013
  • All six cleats replaced with SS 316 cleats and substantial backing plate added
  • 2 Spinlock cam cleats for halyard in the cockpit (2012)
Rigging – running 2009 Cousin, mostly 10mm, all in great condition

  • Two sets of jib sheets
  • Genoa sheets
  • Mainsheet
  • Spinnaker sheets
  • Lots of spare lines
Rigging – standing 2009
  • Sta-Lok terminals
  • Sta-Lok 7mm 316 wire rope 1×19
Rigging – twin boomvang 2009 Blocks and lines. Works great as an instant preventer. Easily controlled from cockpit.
Roller reefing ? Furlex Mk II, in great shape, wire rope checked 2014/3
Safety – harnesses 2013 2 self-inflatable life jackets with harnesses
Safety – cabin sole 2013 New mahogany-like vinyl sole that just does not slip
Safety – fire extinguishers  2009 2 Kidde extinguishers
Safety – leecloths 2013 There is no quarter berth, but off-watch crew sleeps comfortably behind a lee-cloth on either side of the saloon.
Safety – lifejackets ? 2 lifejackets
Safety – navigation lights 2009 Three navigations lights and mast top anchor and tricolor light
Sailing dinghy 2009 Walker Bay 8’ with sailing rig and oars, stowed on the coach roof under the boom. Easily lowered or hoisted with a 4:1 tackle attached to the main halyard.
Sails – new 2013 100% hank-on reefing jib, UK Halsey (commissioned 2009, rarely used)135% 5oz light wind hank-on genoa, crosscut TNF Dacron, 26.18 m2, UK HalseyMainsail – crosscut 7.2oz TNF Dacron, large roach, full battens, loose foot, 3 reefs, 22.34 m2, UK Halsey
Sails – older cca 2005
  • 135% Genoa – roller-reefing, Rolley Tasker, 7oz, 31sqm
  • Spinnaker (+ spinnaker pole)
  • Gennaker
Self-steering – electrical 2014 Simrad tiller pilot, low power consumption, very reliable
Self-steering – windvane 2012 Cape Horn, www.capehorn.com
Sewing machine ? Old straight-stich household Singer capable of handling most canvas on Janna
Spare parts A lot of stuff. Gusher 10 repair kit, wide range or bolts and screws, heat exchanger thermostat, belts, various propane fittings, spare hose from cylinders to the stove and more
Stove 2009 Force 10, four-burner with added heavy-duty rail guard. Not gimbaled, but with larger pot or pressure-cooker works great even in heavy weather.
Toilet Failsafe bucket ‘n’ chuck it system. Original mounting platform has been preserved and toilet can be easily installed during a haul-out.
Toolbox(es) 2009-2014 Everything the boat needs: mechanical, electrical (including large crimper for battery cables), engine, basic woodworking, lots of nuts and bolts and miscellaneous spare parts for various repairs
Topsides 2014 International Perfection two-part polyurethane, white
VHF ?
  • Mounted Sailor RT2048 – with an old telephone like receiver which makes communication so much easier even in cockpit with engine on
  • Handheld – Raymarine 101 with charger (2009)
  • Spare new Navman VHF 7100 with DSC, not installed
VHF – AIS ? GME GX558A, converted into an AIS receiver. Connects to a computer via USB.
Ventilation 2013 Watertight Air-onlyhttp://www.air-onlyventilators.com/air-only-dorade

 

Extras:

  • Engine shop manual and parts catalogue (both printed and digital)
  • Manuals for all essential equipment (printed or digital)
  • Lots of spare lines, new and old

We will gladly deliver the boat on reasonable terms to a reasonably distant location :)

 

Get in touch if you are interested.

Email: syjanna@gmail.com

Phone (Malaysia): +60122513997

Skype: klubkonet or syjanna

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Robbery http://www.klubko.net/en/2014/07/robbery/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2014/07/robbery/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:31:35 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3782 We’ve spent nice, yet hasty Christmas day. After the arrival to the Kuching marina, a government ran and thus cheap place on the outskirts of the industrial zone, we unfolded our bikes and went to town for a Christmas dinner (there’s a gorgeous Indian place called Foodsmith not far) and a cold beer. Soon after [...]]]> We’ve spent nice, yet hasty Christmas day. After the arrival to the Kuching marina, a government ran and thus cheap place on the outskirts of the industrial zone, we unfolded our bikes and went to town for a Christmas dinner (there’s a gorgeous Indian place called Foodsmith not far) and a cold beer. Soon after dinner we fell asleep.

Dark clouds are gathering above

Dark clouds are gathering above

The next day we started to deal with the most pressing problem. Our house batteries were behaving rather oddly for couple of days and we had to do something about that.

We bought them quite recently, the great Trojans, mind you, but they must have been from a bad batch or something. Got them in Taiwan, before we left. They didn’t last more than a couple of months. The first two we had before, lasted more than three years and still had life in them, but we wanted to be sure and bought the new ones.

Anyway, we realized (after being warned) that all we need is one battery failing and we lose all power. That’s the curse of 6V batteries, particularly if you only have two of them.

Shame on us. Shame on me, really, because Jana has not yet ventured into the world of pleasures of dilettante marine electrical engineering.

In Kuching, however, there is a plant. A battery making plant. I’ve always had a weakness for factories. That might sound strange, but there’s a kind of eerie beauty in all those entangled and twisted pipes and tubes, smokestacks and flues, conveyors and lifts… Unfortunately, this one was just an ordinary dirty building, so my aesthetic expectations were not met. Fortunately, though, they produce all kinds of batteries. If you’ve ever been in a candy shop, you know how we felt. We ordered two 12V deep-cycles ones. It took about a week. No, they don’t keep any stock.

When we entered the factory lobby, we were very kindly received by a Chinese manager. When we said our final yes and offered a deposit, he replied calmly:

“Kuching is a small town, it will be easy to find you.”

I would like to think there was a joking tone somewhere in there, but I’m not entirely sure what he really meant.

Before I continue, I should explain our state of mind. We spent last 4 months in a laid back and sleepy Kudat at the top of Borneo. We forgot about crime, pickpockets and thieves. We were expecting some of the good old civilization diseases in our next planned port of call, Johor Bahru. People have reported incidents there. But not here in Kuching.

So we visited an ATM, got the money for the batteries and went to town on bikes. Our lovely folding Dahon bikes are equipped with racks at the back and Jana’s has a plastic basket for veggies attached to it. While in the sleepy Kudat, we got used to carrying our bag in that basket. Do I need to continue…?

I was riding in front of Jana and suddenly I hear a scream and a shout. I slow down, turn my head and see a guy on a motorbike leaving shocked Jana with our bright yellow and green bag in his hand.

We start chasing him. But the traffic is sparse and he gains speed and soon disappears.

We curse and call him names. We feel violated. First thing to do is to get back to the boat, get on the internet and get our credit card blocked.

I took care of that and Jana went to the harbourmaster office (also the management of the marina) and tried to get hold of the police.

I met her there after about 10 minutes. One of the harbour officers was on the phone, obviously being transferred from one office to another. I started to be impatient (a big mistake in Asia) – how long does it really take to find a policeman in Malaysia. An older Chinese guy who was waiting in the office tried to educate me that Malaysia is not same as my country and that they do things differently here. That did not help. Not at all!

We called off the search for the police that would be interested in our case, I apologized for being angry and we went back to the boat to make an alternative plan.

First of all we needed money for the batteries. Fortunately we always keep a little bit of cash on boat. It was getting late, the banks will be closed soon.

We had to ride to the town and find a currency exchange.

When you come to Kuching don’t let anyone persuade you that the town is far from the marina. If you have a bike and a little courage, it’s about 15-20 minutes and only two short uphill climbs. The only trouble is the traffic, but it’s not too bad.

The next day our batteries arrived, we installed them into a new box that we got for them. And then we decided to wait for our new credit card. The weather was not great anyway, so we buried ourselves in the boat and worked. In the afternoon we went for bike rides, did odd jobs around the boat and generally enjoyed ourselves.

And then there was a flood…

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Kudat to Kuching: A Rainy End to a Spellbound Voyage III http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-iii/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-iii/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 01:57:19 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3774 Last night we spent on anchor in Labuan, we skyped with our parents and wished them Merry Christmas just in case we didn’t arrived to Johor Bahru in time to talk to them on Christmas Eve – Christmas in Czech Republic happen on the 24th. Originally our plan was to sail to Brunei first, but [...]]]> Last night we spent on anchor in Labuan, we skyped with our parents and wished them Merry Christmas just in case we didn’t arrived to Johor Bahru in time to talk to them on Christmas Eve – Christmas in Czech Republic happen on the 24th. Originally our plan was to sail to Brunei first, but we decided to skip Brunei this time, in order to improve our chances to meet with our very good friends, who were flying to Langkawi for New Year. The odds that we would actually make it were not high, but we thought we would give it a try…

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In the end it took us 7 days to get into a port. Only not to Danga Bay as expected but only to Kuching instead. Hadn’t I known better I would have to believe that we must have left Labuan on a Friday. Or, were I more superstitious, I might as well start believing that leaving on a Tuesday is equally inauspicious…

For the first two days after leaving Labuan, we had either no winds or westerlies on the nose, plus again some weird countercurrent, so even when we were motoring, which we did most of the way (unless we ran into a squall and thus some wind), we were barely making 3 knots. To make matters even more interesting, on the 2nd day just after it got dark, we ran into a huge patch of floating tree trunks, logs and other flotsam. Miraculously we only hit two bigger logs since there were literally dozens of them all around us… On the 3rd day we finally encountered some NE winds, but after couple of hours we were back to motoring and hand steering again. The only sign of the NE monsoon that we experienced the whole way was a huge NE swell, which combined with waves blown up by the westerly winds produced confused seas that made our little boat sway like a cork in a whirlpool. Steering required one hand on the tiller and the other one desperately clinging to whatever in the cockpit so as to stay aboard.

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On the 4th day we were still only 130 miles northeast of Kuching and we began to worry that if the weather continues like this we won’t have enough diesel to make it round Singapore. Thus we decided to head for Kuching to top up on diesel and water. All looked good, for once no rain, until about 9pm when we spotted a huge black veil covering the whole horizon. There was just no way of dodging this one… We braced ourselves in the cockpit, put on our wet weather gear and taking turns on watches slowly approached the awe-inspiring black mass. At that point little did we know, that what looked like a nasty squall in fact developed into a low pressure system that swept over us from west eastwards and forced us to stay hove to for more than 24 hours. The huge waves and strong winds blew us about 40 miles eastwards so once the gale quieted down, we decided to run for a small town called Mukah (approx. 150 miles NE of Kuching following the coastline) instead of Kuching. Finally we had the following seas and winds, except now we were actually going backwards from where we came…

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In hindsight we can’t but marvel at our own stupidity, can’t even call it lack of experience, because anyone with a little bit of common sense would have guessed that the huge waves that were pushing our little boat over 6 knots surely must brake somewhere in the end… And where else than in front of Mukah, where the depths are 1 to 2 meters and it’s necessary to wait for a rising tide to actually get in… Soon enough we saw the powerful surf that even from over 10 miles away looked like a boiling cauldron covering the whole horizon with a white mist. There was just no way we could have got in and so tired as we were, we headed back to sea and in the direction of Kuching. Took us 2 more days of fighting headwinds, countercurrents, squalls and dense rain but at Christmas Eve we finally made it into Kuching’s Jabatan Laut Marina some 20 miles up the Sarawak river – quite a picturesque journey itself only as a part of our spellbound voyage, when we entered the river it was blowing some 30 knots against us, plus the tide was of course ebbing! Motoring at 2000 RPMs assisted by double reefed mainsail and partially furled genoa we were slowly tacking up river at enormous speed of almost 2 knots! Originally we wanted to anchor in Santubong river on the other side of town, but in the huge swell we feared that this anchorage might be cut off same as Mukah. But the marina here, though quite remote from town, is not bad and we even got to enjoy a “high pressure” shower before we went to an Indian restaurant for our Christmas dinner. And then we slept for more than 12 hours. So much for this year’s Christmas celebrations.

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Yet the biggest blow we suffered actually came only after we got to Kuching. Our Kiwi neighbors (currently there are only 4 boats in the marina) told us, that there’s no way we can get across to Singapore for another 2 months because of the seasonal westerly winds that just started to blow. Surely that would explain the headwinds and countercurrent we experienced on our way here, but we still have to research about that… Can it be really possible that we came all this way and for nothing? We even started talking about returning back and going to Brunei after all… Who knows, maybe we might even haul out in Kudat… How absurd!

But I guess even this is part of the life aboard, not every day you get the sunny days and in the end experience such as these are soon forgotten in favor of those nice ones! Plus right now it seems there might be a good weather window at the end of next week, so provided the predictions don’t change (which they now do every day), we may be leaving in attempt to cross the South China Sea and round Singapore to get to the marina in Danga Bay, Johor Bahru after all. Or we retrace our wake and head for Brunei instead. Let the weather gods and Neptun decide!

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Kudat to Kuching: A Rainy End to a Spellbound Voyage II http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-ii/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-ii/#comments Sun, 29 Dec 2013 01:32:35 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3770 Leaving on a Friday is said to be inauspicious, but we were only sailing some 30 miles to a small island Pulau Tiga, where we planned to anchor for the night before crossing to Labuan, which lies some 40 miles SW of Tiga. That day we finally had strong enough wind to shut down the [...]]]> Leaving on a Friday is said to be inauspicious, but we were only sailing some 30 miles to a small island Pulau Tiga, where we planned to anchor for the night before crossing to Labuan, which lies some 40 miles SW of Tiga. That day we finally had strong enough wind to shut down the engine and sail, though of course the wind was once again against us… The weather reports predicted squalls and heavy rain, and sure enough, short after we made it to Tiga and dropped the anchor, the first squall hit us. Our hopes of sleeping in the cockpit were quickly abandoned as we hid ourselves inside the cabin from where we watched the terrifying lightings that were hitting the sea all around us. While amidst one of my melancholic broodings I tried reading a book, Petr busied himself reassembling our tiller pilot to see if the repaired circuit brings it back to life. Unfortunately the miracle didn’t happen and we had to face the gruesome fact that we would have to hand steer while motoring all the way to Singapore where we could buy a new tiller pilot. Yet we were not desperate, because at that point we were still hoping to see some of those monsoon winds?!

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Sad to say they didn’t really materialize on Saturday and we basically motored and hand steered all the way to Labuan. Once in Victoria Harbor we first tried to anchor in front of the marina, which is now being rebuilt but you can allegedly still enter with your dinghy, get water and take shower. We tried that, came in with the dinghy but the marina gates were all closed. We also found out that according to our charts anchoring in that area is in fact prohibited. Nobody seemed to care but the prospect of tug and pilot boats driving at full speed all around us during the night wasn’t exactly appealing. In the end we anchored further inside the harbor opposite the water taxi terminal and used their service to get ashore.

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We stayed in Labuan for two days. Weather reports were still predicting squally weather, but during out stay it was usually sunny during the day and only started raining in the evening. Thus we actually managed to wash and dry all the laundry that we collected since leaving Kudat and spent Sunday provisioning for the next leg of our voyage. To obtain diesel was not difficult, we just walked to the local petrol station, where they gave us 60 liters at one go without even blinking an eye (usually in Malaysia you are only allowed to take 20l of diesel per person per day unless you apply for a special permit). But where to get water?

We tried to ask the water taxi drivers but they didn’t seem to understand. Similar enquiries in waterfront restaurants were equally futile. Just when we started talking about trying to anchor in front of the marina after all and reattempt to get water from them, we noticed a water tap above a stainless steel counter belonging to one of the street stalls just next to a narrow alley that leads to the water taxi terminal. I went to the owner to ask if it was alright to take some water. I haven’t even finished the sentence, before she replied: “Of course, go on!” Apparently, we were not the first ones to take water from them… The fried bananas still dripping oil she sold didn’t exactly boost my appetite so we at least bought some cold drinks from her in return of her favor and after we deposited the jerry cans with water next to those with diesel at the water taxi terminal, we returned to town once more in order to buy some of that duty free firewater Labuan is famous for. As we sipped scotch on the rocks that evening and listened to a squall that was thundering by, we thought of our friends in Kudat and elsewhere and were wondering if we could really make it to Johor Bahru before Christmas…

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]]> http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-ii/feed/ 2 Kudat to Kuching: A Rainy End to a Spellbound Voyage I http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-i/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/kudat-to-kuching-a-rainy-end-to-a-spellbound-voyage-i/#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 01:24:16 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3763 This was supposed to be a relatively easy one. Not counting the passage from Taiwan to Philippines earlier this year, the voyage from Kudat to Johor Bahru was to be our first voyage ever when we would be actually sailing in the right season with the prevailing winds and currents and not against them. Marcello, [...]]]> This was supposed to be a relatively easy one. Not counting the passage from Taiwan to Philippines earlier this year, the voyage from Kudat to Johor Bahru was to be our first voyage ever when we would be actually sailing in the right season with the prevailing winds and currents and not against them. Marcello, an Italian sailor we met in Kudat, told us that last year the same time of year he sailed the whole way from Kudat to Phuket, had the engine running maybe for 2 hours during the whole trip. Not bad at all! Yet for us it just somehow didn’t happen… Instead of NE monsoon winds, we had either calms or were fighting headwinds, countercurrents, squalls and heavy rain. Ideally by now we should have been in Johor Bahru on peninsula Malaysia, yet here we are exactly 17 days after we left Kudat, sitting in rainy Kuching, capital of Sarawak, on the northwestern part of the island of Borneo. Not only is Kuching “the wettest populated area (on average) in Malaysia with an average of 247 rainy days per year”, the rainy season is in full swing now and most of the days it hardly stops raining. And when I say raining, I’m not talking about some minor drizzling but regular downpours. Simply put, the journey so far can only be described as downright miserable…

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First of all, leaving Kudat was not easy. After all we did spend almost 4 months there and that’s a long enough period to become attached. Many cruisers boast of a nomadic spirit but I guess from time to time even they don’t object to a spell of familiarity and some kind of a settled routine in their lives. It’s exciting to explore new harbors and anchorages, but it also feels good to know where you get a spare part in case of emergency or when they bring in a fresh catch of prawns to the local fish market and above all that if you need some help, your friends are just “next doors”. Often after a while the familiarity starts to feel too ordinary and you begin to long to go to sea again but when the time really comes to leave and say good-bye to new friends, this, especially for me, is perhaps one the most difficult parts of cruising. And this time it was even more so. Kudat may seem like an enchanted harbor in the sense we were trapped there for such a long time – first the weather and then the troubles with the engine bed etc.; but for me it will always be remembered as a special place – after all when Petr went to Taiwan interpreting for 3 weeks, I stayed there on my own, the longest period I ever stayed on the boat alone and thus have many personal memories of the place and above all the people. Memories that shan’t be forgotten.

Janna also underwent major metamorphosis there. The whole interior is now painted, joints between hull and bulkheads re-glassed and our engine got new mounts and above all with help of our friends a proper engine bed instead of just being screwed into the fiberglass as it was before. So in a sense Janna also was changed during our stay in Kudat. Something we are reminded of every day…

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The last night we spent in the Kudat marina it rained a lot, but we were so tired from the last days’ preparations that we hardly noticed the pounding of the raindrops on the coach roof. The plan was to get the boat ready by the end of the week and apart from checking out with the local authorities take the Monday off and have some rest before the voyage. But first our house batteries mysteriously got themselves discharged, almost failing to start the engine, and then we found out that salt water is leaking into our diesel tank! So instead of resting we were shopping for a starter battery – something we should have done a long time ago – and tracking the source of the salt water coming to the engine room and the crack through which it was leaking into the diesel tank. These are not tasks you should be doing 2 days before a long passage across South China Sea! Maybe this should have warned us, that our problems were far from over. Yet at that time we interpreted it the other way round – hopefully after all these troubles, we are now more or less predisastered and the voyage itself will be just fine. Or so we hoped…

On Tuesday morning, our departure day, everything seemed alright. Even the rain stopped and so we cast off our mooring lines and waving to our friends slowly sneaked out of the still sleepy marina. One last look at the familiar masts in the marina and the adjacent boatyard that were slowly disappearing behind the horizon and there we were again almost 2 months later after our last attempt to leave Kudat, sailing in direction of Singapore and then through Mallaca Strait to Langkawi and Thailand.

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Same as two months ago, there was almost no wind so we engaged our tiller pilot and kept motoring towards the Tip of Borneo. While the autopilot was doing its job, we sat back, watched the occasional fisherman and kept staring at the mesmerizing blue color of the sea. Janna was gently rocking and our engine was running as it should. Then after two hours our quiet sea meditating was suddenly interrupted by a weird clicking sound, after which our tiller pilot started violently veering off the course to port and then to starboard. First we thought it’s the bad contact in the socket acting again, but it soon became obvious, that it’s more serious than that. It’s not a good thing to lose your autopilot just at the beginning of the voyage, but we were hoping to encounter some monsoon winds soon. This way we could hand over the steering to our windvane Capehorn and so we decided to press on and hand steer in the meantime.

In the afternoon some wind did pick up but from the south-west, plus there must have been some weird current coming against us, because even though the sea was relatively flat, we were barely making 3 knots. Originally the plan was to go from Kudat straight to Labuan but now with the broken tiller pilot and no winds we decided to anchor for the night in Ugus Bay. Moreover we noticed that for some reason it’s really hard to hoist the mainsail, so it was prudent to drop anchor and see into the problem. Unfortunately Ugus Bay proved to be a very rolly anchorage and not even two glasses of red wine after dinner were enough to keep us asleep till morning. At 3 am I got up tired and frustrated to find out Petr was not exactly sleeping either and so we heaved the anchor and continued towards Kota Kinabalu. By leaving that early there was a good chance we might make it to KK still some 60 miles ahead before sunset.

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Again the winds were against us but at least we didn’t encounter any squalls and after 14 hours of motoring and hand steering we dropped anchor in front of Sutera Harbor next to our friend Gevin on St. Jacob. It was his last night in KK and before he went ashore for a farewell dinner with his friends, he told us to come into the marina next morning and tie up the dinghy next to Patrick and Janice on Obsession, whom we briefly met before in Kudat. After taking the autopilot apart, Petr found a broken circuit, potentially the source of our troubles, so the plan was to go to town and try to have it repaired somewhere. Next morning Patrick and Janice first treated us to some coffee and then they lent us their bicycles, which was a real blessing. We spend the whole day riding all around KK’s highways, trying not to get ourselves killed by some insane Malaysian driver, and after being repeatedly send from one shop to another, in the end we actually found this tiny Chinese repair shop, where they managed to repair the circuit. Patrick, who works as a captain on merchant ships, only just got reunited with his family after another voyage, so we didn’t want to spoil their family dinner, but he and Janice insisted we stay and we spent a very pleasant evening on their boat. Before we finally left in our dinghy some time after midnight, Patrick tried to avert our next day’s departure by inviting us to a barbeque on Saturday, but we politely declined and promised that we will try to meet with them again on Monday when they come to Labuan to have their life raft tested.

It was Thursday and we wanted to heave the anchor and get back to sea, but after most Thursdays, Fridays follow and we’ve tried to leave port on Friday before with bad consequences…

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In case we didn’t made it (in time)… http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/in-case-we-didnt-made-it-in-time/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/12/in-case-we-didnt-made-it-in-time/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 12:50:45 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3761 Tomorrow we set sail from Labuan to Johor Bahru. That will take us couple of days and it might as well happen that we won’t be able to wish all of you Merry Christmas.

Now that our engine is firmly attached to our boat again (more on that later) and the interior is painted, thanks [...]]]> Tomorrow we set sail from Labuan to Johor Bahru. That will take us couple of days and it might as well happen that we won’t be able to wish all of you Merry Christmas.

Now that our engine is firmly attached to our boat again (more on that later) and the interior is painted, thanks to Jana’s efforts, we have been granted the permission by the gods to leave the enchanted port of Kudat. We are now anchored in the Victoria harbor at Labuan, rain is pounding on the cabin, bread is baking (you should smell it!) and we are excited to heave the anchor and spend few days at sea.

This Christmas doesn’t feel at all like it should. It’s not the first time we spent Christmas away from home, but even in Taiwan we’ve noticed Christmas happening. Here in Malaysia not so much. You get to hear to an occasional cheesy Christmas song, but that’s not enough to do the trick.

If we are to spend the Christmas Eve (The Christmas happens on the evening of 24th for us), let’s hope we’ll be able to catch ourselves a nice mahi-mahi… and Jana tells me that she is going to make the best potato salad ever!

Merry Christmas ya’ll!

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Occupational Disease http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/11/occupational-disease/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/11/occupational-disease/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 05:32:27 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3755 Rather than a job-relating illness or injury, in Czech this term refers to a strange behavior of people from different branches, who become so overwhelmed by their occupation, that they cannot cut themselves off from it even in their personal or everyday life. Let’s say a dentist always checking other peoples’ teeth while chatting with [...]]]> Rather than a job-relating illness or injury, in Czech this term refers to a strange behavior of people from different branches, who become so overwhelmed by their occupation, that they cannot cut themselves off from it even in their personal or everyday life. Let’s say a dentist always checking other peoples’ teeth while chatting with them or a teacher constantly trying to lecture everybody. You get the idea, I guess.

Though this occupational disease is highly contagious, not every person becomes affected and some do more than others. I suppose it also has to do with that particular person’s personality and his or her current state of mind. I myself am rather a perfectionist and don’t mind fiddling with details. No wonder then, that after three weeks of painting, I have been exhibiting some symptoms of “painting disease”.

Another place to practice my painting skills

Another spot to practice my painting skills…

Not that I am walking around the marina and checking other boats’ paint jobs or evaluating the quality of the painting on the ceiling in the marina showers – after all something like this would be too presumptuous given that I’m only a greenhorn when it comes to painting. On the other hand, I must admit that I notice these details more now than I’ve done before. You see, my symptoms manifest themselves chiefly during the night.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. You dream the whole night about working hard and when you finally wake up in the morning, you feel utterly exhausted. As though you have just spent the whole night shoveling heaps of coal or piling pieces of firewood (anyway these are the phrases we use in the Czech language). Myself, I have been painting a lot in my dreams these days.

Usually after couple of hours sleep I wake up sweating and thirsty – man, it’s hard work this painting! I get up from the bunk and after two cups of water I lay down again. Usually I manage to fall asleep again and before morning comes I often do some more of that painting-dreaming.

Yet yesterday I just couldn’t fall back to sleep. I rolled onto one side and thought about tomorrow’s painting job. Do I have everything I need – rollers, measuring cups, tin to transfer the paint…? Then I speculated about how much paint to mix in order to have just enough (this time I’m using two part epoxy paint) and thought about the other spots that I could prep just in case I end up with some leftover paint after all. Of course I can’t fall asleep and so I roll onto my other side. Suddenly it seems that the circulation of air inside the boat is quite good and that I could probably turn off that noisy fan. So I get up again and do that. But the moment I lay down, I realize that it’s quite hot without the fan, so I get up once more and turn it back on. Maybe I will manage to doze off now…

Usually I do, but not yesterday. After some two hours of tossing and turning during which I went through all the possible variants of tomorrow’s painting and also thought about the sequence of jobs for the following week, I suddenly realized that I forget to fill a few spots under the bunk I was just lying on, the same place I wanted to paint today. If I left it till morning, I would have to wait till lunch before I could send the filler and start painting.

Boat mess - inevitable consequence of small boat repairs

Boat mess – the inevitable consequence of small boat repairs

I pondered a while about the ridiculousness of the whole idea of mixing epoxy filler at 3 am and also considered the potential risk of being attacked by a fellow cruiser also suffering from insomnia who might mistake me for a thief after I start rummaging through our cockpit lockers in search of the filler. Will I suffer a blow with a spare tiller – since there’s usually a shortage of baseball clubs aboard cruising saiboats, he or she might as well use a spare tiller or a “weapon” of similar kind. In the end I decided that it’s worth the risk, got up, carefully put the mattress from my bunk on the stuff that has been slowly pilling up on the opposite settee now that I’ve been dismantling more and more of the boat’s furniture. Then I took off the boards on which the mattress lies and using my headlamp I filled the few spots I forgot to fill during the day. In the end I finally fell back to sleep sometime around 4 am. The alarm clock rang at 0600. Time to get back to work!

PS: Will write more about the painting itself soon. And will post some more pics!

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Closet http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/10/closet/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/10/closet/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 06:03:34 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3749 We are back in the working mode, getting up at dawn (round 6 am) and going to bed soon after 9 pm, exhausted but happy. We sleep so soundly these days, that often we don’t even hear the raindrops pounding on our deck. We sand, we glue, we paint and Janna slowly but surely undergoes [...]]]> We are back in the working mode, getting up at dawn (round 6 am) and going to bed soon after 9 pm, exhausted but happy. We sleep so soundly these days, that often we don’t even hear the raindrops pounding on our deck. We sand, we glue, we paint and Janna slowly but surely undergoes a cosmetic metamorphosis. It’s amazing what a huge difference a paintbrush and a tin of paint can make.

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After the successful painting project in the V-berth area, we decided to continue with the “closet”. First of all we moved all our cloths and other stuff stored in the previous head area on the V-berth, disassembled the closet shelves and unscrewed all the other components like handrails, fire extinguisher etc. Sounds easy enough, but only this part took me the whole afternoon.

It’s been some time since we noticed that one of the tabbings (fiberglass joints) that bond the fiberglass hull with the wooden bulkheads came unstuck. Since we were about to paint the whole area, we decided now was the right time to repair it. Of course, once we removed all the stuff from the closet, we found out that out of the four tabbings in the closet, we had to replace not one but three of them! So once again out went the chisel and hammer, the old tabbings were removed, everything sanded and just before glassing in the new tabbings, we smoothed the sharp edges by making a fillet with epoxy filler.

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A proper decorating job couldn’t be done without ripping off the rest of the old shabby vinyl wallpaper. As long as it was hidden deep inside the closet and behind the piles of our cloths, we could happily ignore its existence. Yet once we uncovered the filthy stuff, we couldn’t but wonder how on earth did we manage to live with something like this inside our boat for such a long time…

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Once the retabbing was done – we used six layers of fiberglass cloth for each tabbing and ended up using almost one liter of epoxy glue – I glued back the wallpaper on the bulkheads that came unstuck or was removed because of the repairs and then I covered the rest of the furniture and wooden bits, wires, portlights etc. with masking tape. After five days of work we were finally ready for painting. Now we must wait till the paint is hard enough so that we can put everything back together.

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Last but not least, a quick update regarding our engine mounts. Though it’s been at least three days since they arrived back in Malaysia, they’re still stuck on the peninsula somewhere near Kuala Lumpur. The latest update on the UPS website says: The address is in a remote area and deliveries are not made daily / Delivery rescheduled. We can only guess when exactly will the mounts arrive here…

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What a contrast! The above photo is actually a tiny part of the already painted ceiling in the closet and still unpainted one in the main saloon. Can’t wait to paint the rest of the boat!

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Finally Some Time for Decorating http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/10/finally-some-time-for-decorating/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/10/finally-some-time-for-decorating/#comments Sat, 19 Oct 2013 22:26:46 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3746 First of all, apologies for a belated update on the status of our engine bed modifications. We managed to hunt down all the materials, already got the steal angles from Chinese machinist Mr. Chin on Wednesday, but are still waiting for the engine mounts, without which we cannot start. Impatiently we follow our shipment using [...]]]> First of all, apologies for a belated update on the status of our engine bed modifications. We managed to hunt down all the materials, already got the steal angles from Chinese machinist Mr. Chin on Wednesday, but are still waiting for the engine mounts, without which we cannot start. Impatiently we follow our shipment using the UPS tracking information and can’t but marvel at their wondrous “travels”. First they toured the various cities and states of America and then they suddenly appeared in Koln, Germany. Friday evening we almost started celebrating, when we found out that the mounts already arrived at Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. The original estimated time of delivery was Wednesday (23 October), by the end of day. Now it seemed we could have our mounts on weekend! Yet for some mysterious reason, on Saturday morning our shipment found itself arriving to Shenzhen in Mainland China…

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Meanwhile we chiseled off some old paint from the current engine bed and filled most of the holes for the original screws that held the old engine mounts. Then Petr took our grinder and grinded the top surfaces before we fill the rest of the holes with epoxy filler. Originally we wanted to paint the whole engine room as well – now that the engine is out of the boat, it’s a good opportunity to do it. Luckily we soon realized that it is possible that we will have to modify the current fiberglass bed after the mounts arrive and we try to assemble the whole thing inside the boat. If it really comes to this, all our efforts would be wasted.

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But the idea of painting was already firmly planted in my head. Plus we already bought the paint and brushes. All I had to do was to find an object that would benefit from some painting. That part was easy! In fact, after going through our floating home from bow to stern, it soon became obvious that I would have to start making a list and decide where exactly to begin. After all Janna is almost 40 years old now and all the repairs and upgrades we have done so far were more of a structural and functional kind, e.g. new rigging (both standing and running), new sails, proper seacocks etc. With the exception of the reconstruction of our teak cockpit, there just never was any time for “cosmetics”.

Until now that is! And so to kill time while waiting for the new engine mounts and with Petr fully occupied by programming a simple home inventory app astorage, I jumped onto my bike and went for yet another trip to the local hardware shop to buy a new orbital sender (we burnt the last one during our first major refit in Singapore) and began the redecorating of our V-berth.

The walls inside of the boat (apart from most of the bulkheads of course) are covered with some kind of vinyl wallpaper. After 40 years, it’s quite shabby and yellow in color though, not to mention that it peels off at various places. One of the previous owners clearly ripped off the one above the V-berth and simply painted the fiberglass underneath with white paint. Yet after couple of years, the concave spaces between the fibers filled with dirt that just couldn’t be cleaned no matter how hard I’ve tried. It had to be sanded off. So first I covered the whole V-berth with big garbage bags that I cut into large rectangular sheets and then lowered myself into this plastic hole through the hatch with my new orbital sender.

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After two hours of sending I reemerged through the same hatch all covered with white fiberglass dust and went straight to the shower rooms. The next day I sanded few hardly accessible places by hand and all was ready for painting.

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The first coat took me more than one hour during which I cursed and swore like a trooper – the damn brush just kept on shedding hair and I had to pick these from the quickly hardening paint. After 30 minutes or so I was fed up with painting and wanted to throw everything into the dust bin and just walk away. Who on Earth gave me the idea of painting!?

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The second day I was cleverer. Instead of the bloody paintbrush I used a roller and a tray and what a difference that made! Suddenly I enjoyed painting again. In no more than five minutes I had the ceiling painted and after another 15 minutes the whole V-berth was done.

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In the afternoon I put on the third coat and in the evening we reassembled everything back to its original state. Now that our V-berth is nice and shiny, it’s time for our closet, i.e. the previous head area. But that will be covered in another post. Right now the chisel and hammer already beckon and it’s time to start with the preparatory demolition…

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Hunting for Materials http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/10/hunting-for-materials/ http://www.klubko.net/en/2013/10/hunting-for-materials/#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 01:45:32 +0000 http://www.klubko.net/en/?p=3737 It’s been several days now since we lifted our engine out of the boat and put it on the pontoon next to us. Yet we are still in the process of material hunting. Currently we are shopping for new engine mounts, some SS to modify the current engine bed and after we found out that [...]]]> It’s been several days now since we lifted our engine out of the boat and put it on the pontoon next to us. Yet we are still in the process of material hunting. Currently we are shopping for new engine mounts, some SS to modify the current engine bed and after we found out that a new damping plate (between the gearbox and flywheel) plus shipping would cost us some 800 USD, we also added 4 small rubber cones to our list – after all it’s only these small rubber thingies that are broken.

We haven’t had much luck in Kudat so far. Luckily we live in the internet era. We easily found several engine mount dealers, some of them in Asia (mostly based in Singapore) and some in Europe, where we bought engine parts for our Volvo before. However, it seems that we will actually order our new engine mounts from a US internet chandlery go2marine.com. They are relatively cheap and the mounts will be sent by UPS, so could be here within a week or so.

As for the rubber cones for the damping plate, we decided to send them to Taiwan. In Kaohsiung there is an excellent shop where we always bought hoses, gaskets and other rubber materials. They also do custom work and since we have a sample – luckily one of the cones is more or less intact – we hope they would be able to find us the same material and make us new cones.

Now we are searching for some steel to modify our engine bed. In the afternoon we go to a Mr. Chin’s workshop – a local Chinese machinist, who promised to try to find us  some steel angle and also some 316 SS for our new shaft. The advantage with Mr. Chin is that we can speak Chinese to him. Most of the Malays speak some basic English but it’s not enough to discuss technical stuff with them. Hopefully Mr. Chin’s hunt will be successful, otherwise we would have to go to Kota Kinabalu and try our luck there. Which actually is not such a big deal either, since we could also do some provisioning while down there.

Meanwhile the weather is still quite crazy. The constant downpours keep us inside the boat most of the time and so although we are currently trapped in Kudat once again, we console ourselves knowing that even if we could leave, the weather would still keep us right where we are. There are 2 new lows next to the Philippines, one of them was just upgraded to tropical depression and the other one has now 30-50% potential of becoming a significant cyclone. It sure is another rather busy typhoon season in SE Asia…

Current Graphical Analysis of the Weather in the Region

Current Graphical Analysis of the Weather in the Region

 

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