12/13/2012, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Tucson, Arizona, USA 2012
This is our first blog since we arrived in the United States on November 11, 2012. It has been a month (it is now December 13) since then and it has been a whirlwind! We spent a few days in the Los Angeles area where we used to live. We met up with some friends and "took care of some business". The business part was going to our dentist, dealing with taxes and meeting with our financial manager. It was crazy busy and dealing with jet lag was not fun. Just an FYI, DO NOT fly China Southern Airlines - they are not service oriented and you are treated like cattle. Enough said, but I am NOT looking forward to our flight back!
After spending 5 days in So. Cal., we got on a plane and got to meet our grandson when we landed in Tucson. What a wonderful experience! We were soooo happy to see our daughter, Christina, our son-in-law, Micahel, and to touch and kiss Isaac! What a sweet child! No I am NOT biased! He has a great little personality, is bright and doing so well! After these last three weeks I TOTALLY understand why people love being grandparents. You get to experience the miracle of a child without any of the responsibility. I have noticed Isaac doing things that I did not notice my children do (I KNOW they did but I was too busy to notice!). It really is a lovely experience! Especially since Isaac is such a sweet little boy.
Thanksgiving was another wonderful experience. We had all of Michael's family here for the meal. We spoke with our other children over the phone but they both had to work so we did not get to spend it with them. It was disappointing but totally understood. We get to see them all for Christmas so that is super! The Thanksgiving meal was amazing! No one in the world has turkeys like the USA! They are large and succulent! Dave makes the best turkey and stuffing! When we first married I had never lived on my own and I sure did not make a turkey! Dave said "no problem! I will cook the turkey!" He did such a good job he has made the turkey ever since! I have yet to make a turkey! I usually do all the sides but this year I shared the responsibility with Peggy (Michael's mother) and Chrissy. It was delicious and making all of them was a piece of cake because we all shared the work.
Since Thanksgiving, we have worked on getting things for Christmas and the boat. We have also spent LOTS of time with Isaac and observing our children being loving and wonderful parents! What a joy to see our next generation doing a lovely job with all of our futures!
There will not be many blogs until we go back to the boat - maybe 3 or 4 more since we really enjoy the time off. However, it is a lovely way of knowing where all time goes! It is a wonderful memory to take out and experience again.
One not so nice experience that has occurred is that I can no longer endorse Kindle as an e-reader. If you are in the market for an e-reader I can recommend the Nook from Barnes and Noble. If you have questions e-mail us and I will answer you.
11/10/2012, Langkawi Airport, Langkawi, Malaysia
By the time you read this blog, we will be on our way back to the US to spend 3 months enjoying the holidays with our kids and new grandson. This year, as with the previous cruising years, just flew by. It seems that is was only yesterday that we had returned from the States to Bundaberg to start this cruising season.
We enjoyed our year which including land traveling around Australia, cruising up the Great Barrier Reef, going "over the top" when we passed Cape York, and then our sail to Darwin. We met a number of very nice people in Australia, including Steve and Wendy (Sydney), Phil and Heather (Sydney), and Brian and Gayle (Darwin), all who invited us into their homes and shared with us the famous Australian warmth and hospitality. They really made our visit to this country something very special for us.
We also enjoyed Indonesia with the various cultures they have and the great snorkeling and diving reefs. While Sail Indonesian ended up being a bust this year, due to the canceling of most of the festivities, we still enjoyed our time there. What made it very special was the month that Portia and Steve (formerly of S/V Dream Caper) were with us. We were not sure how it would be having someone with us for a full month, given that we are used to having the whole boat to just the two of us, but it turned out great and we are hoping that they will come and visit us again next year when we sail over to the eastern side of Malaysia.
While we have been in Malaysia for a few weeks now, we really have not had a chance to get to know its people and culture. We have been on the go since we first arrived trying to finish a number of boat projects and then mothballing the boat this last week. However, these last few days at Rebak Marina has been most enjoyable and getting to know Rick and Robin (S/V Endangered Species) and Dick and Lynne (S/V Wind Pony) as well as a few of the other cruisers here made it very, very nice. We felt so welcomed.
We are looking forward to our next cruising season (Year 6), when we will have more time to explore Malaysia, Thailand and then do some serious land exploration of China, Vietnam, Cambodian and possibly Laos. We hope to explore parts of China with our good friends Joe and Valerie, who we explored Peru and a bit of New Zealand with a few years ago.
Thank you for following our blog this year and a special thanks to everyone who either left us a blog comment or emailed us. We really enjoy getting those comments and emails. It helps shrink our world down knowing that we have people who care enough to write and offer words of encouragement.
We will be returning to Leu Cat in early February 2013 and will pick up the blog again then. Until then, have a prosperous rest of 2012 and here to an even better 2013.
WHen Happy Hour started, the girls joined us and we all had a great time.
Here is the beach that is in front of the resort.
The three old salts enjoying some fine leaf. That is Rick (Endangered Species) next to me and Dick (Wind Pony)
11/09/2012, Rebak Marina, Rebak Island, Malaysia
As we slowly make our way through our mothball list of items we also take a few precious moments to enjoy this great marina here at Rebak Island. It is a marina/resort complex residing on only this little island, so it is something that is very special. I thought I would give you a little insight of what is here and post a few of the photos that I have.
Besides the docks and hardstand (they can haul out boat up to about 25 feet wide), they have a couple of very large open air pavilions with a number of Koi ponds that are situated between then. Plus there is a smaller pavilion connecting to the two larger ones where cruisers do yoga each morning. The large pavilions look to be areas where dances are held since one has a large bar area in the middle. Behind the pavilions are a little store, and nice gym with lots of different workout apparatuses, bathrooms with showers and a laundry room. Laundry is on the "honor" system since you only have to sign in to use the machines. Both the wash and dry is only 3 Ringatts or $1 US each.
Well past the pavilions is another area where there is a small café and bar (this is the yachties' hang out) and the marina office. Behind all of that, at the entrance of the hardstand area is a small chandlery. Here you can order boat stuff from West Marine for only 10% over list price, which includes shipping. Things typically arrive in 4 to 5 days.
All of this is very nice but nothing special. What makes this place so special is the beautiful resort that is on the other side of the island and just a short walk from the marina. Since the resort and marina are owned by the same company, yachties are treated as guests at the resort and have full access to all that it offers. Whoo Hoo!!
The resort has an air conditioned library, a very nice restaurant and a separate bar with a large screen TV to watch sporting events, a huge, wonderful pool with a separate kiddies pool, a great beach, a view to die for, and a couple of beach bars. Oh, I forgot to mention that the pool has a swim up bar so you don't have to get out of the water to order and then slurp down your frozen margarita. Man o' man, is this great or what?
After working all day, Mary Margaret and I decided to take a well earned break and walked over to the pool. Ahhhh, the water was nice and cool on a very hot day. In no time Mary Margaret had hooked up with a couple of cruiser gals while Dick of S/V Wild Pony and I hung out.
Dick, Rick (S/V Endangered Species) and I agreed to meet at one of the beach bars at 1700 to enjoy a few cigars together. We did this yesterday and had such a great time that we have decided to make this a daily ritual while Mary Margaret and I are still here (we leave Sunday morning). It is great to be able to kick back and talk about cruising, sailing techniques and boat stuff while enjoying some fine leaf and looking out over fantastic scenery. I will post pictures so you can see what I mean.
At 1800 the other beach bar opens for 2 for 1 happy hour. Plus, as marina guests, we get 20% off. It just doesn't get better than that! We were joined by our respective wives and a few other people. It was great!
At 1900, Mary Margaret and I decided to have dinner at the resort while the other cruises headed over to the dock side café at the marina. The food at the café is a bit limited but the prices are less so that is the standard eating place for most cruisers. We decided to splurge since we only had two more nights here.
The food was pretty good and the portions were very large. For $80 US, we had a three course meal which included a chocolate cake, swimming in chocolate sauce and chunks of citron and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. We were stuffed by the time we had polished everything off.
Tomorrow it will be of the same as it will be our last day here and the end our cruising season number 5!
11/08/2012, Rebak Marina, Rebak Island, Malaysia
I saw that our good friend from Darwin, Brian, had left a blog comment a couple of days ago with another excellent suggestion. He asked that I do a "techno-tip" on what procedures we do to mothball Leu Cat. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to not read our blog during years 1 through 4, I used to do a "techno-tip of the day" with each day's blog. However, after 3.5 years of writing such "techno-tips" I ran out of ideas for tips. At the start of this cruising season I had hoped that I would be able to come up with enough new "tips" where I would at least be able to write a "techno-tip of the week". However, I failed in that so I have just kind of stopped writing "techno-tips". Sorry about that...
Anyway, I thought Brian's idea was a good one and instead of boring you with what we did today (which, besides working on the boat, was not much), Mary Margaret and I thought we would just share this checklist for mothballing Leu Cat instead. By reading this list, I think you can get an idea as to why it takes about a week for us to Mothball Leu Cat.
Checklist For Mothballing Leu Cat
1. Inspect and address any mechanical, engine or electrical issues;
2. Inspect and address any boat structural issues (including any dings in gelcoat);
3. Inspect and fix any sail issues;
4. Inspect and address any standing and running rigging issues;
5. Inspect and fix any canvas issues;
6. Inspect and tighten any lose hose clamps;
7. Inspect, drain and clean any wet bilges. This includes inspecting and repairing any bilge pumps;
8. Inspect and fix any leaking hatch seals; lubricate all seals with Lanocote grease;
9. Remove Speedometer impeller ("speedo");
10. Remove, dry and fold head sail (store inside boat);
11. Wrap line around sailbag to secure for storms;
12. Wash Interior ceiling and walls down with bleach to address and prevent mold;
13. Turn off and mothball freezer and refrigerators;
14. Inspect and repair any dinghy issues;
15. Remove, drain and stow dinghy fuel tank and rubber hose;
16. Clean dinghy and cover
17. Mothball dinghy engine (including flushing cooling water system with fresh water and fogging engine);
18. Inspect and change any dirty fuel, oil and drinking water filters;
19. Seal Dorade Boxes;
20. Inspect and lubricate all winches and windlass;
21. Run each heat pump to make sure all rubber seals are good and internally lubricated;
22. Inspect and replace any batteries if they will not hold charge;
23. Create list of boat parts to get when back in the States;
24. Turn off and tie down wind generator;
25. Adjust settings on solar panels if plugged into shore power;
26. Inspect thru hulls. Repair/replace any defective or leaking when boat is hauled out;
27. Close all unused thru hulls;
28. Wash and, if needed, polish exterior of boat;
29. Inventory remaining can goods, dry goods, and bottle goods. Toss expired or questionable goods out;
30. Do all laundry and wash all carpets;
31. Wash all screens;
32. Sweep entire boat;
33. Scrub the interior living spaces of the boat;
34. Clean Stainless Steel countertop and sinks and fixtures;
35. Polish Wood Surfaces;
36. Wash Windows;
37. Be sure to lock all hatches and door when leaving;
38. Find someone to look after your boat to conduct weekly/monthly inspection of bilges and batteries.