29 May 2016 | Miyajima - Inland Sea - Japan
27 May 2016 | Hiroshima - Japan
24 May 2016 | Takayama - Japan
Hari Raya – End of Ramadan and forwards
26 July 2016 | Pangkor Marina - Perak - Malaysia
Andy & Sue
Some successes and some delays are normal fare when doing tasks on board a sailboat. Great news on the old furling gear, we mentioned in an earlier blog. Mark Flew of Flew Sails at Portchester found an identical bottom swivel unit to replace our broken unit: thank you Mark; that now has us with a full set of parts to complete our rig and furling gear overhaul.
Almost three weeks ago, the month long period of fasting practiced by Muslims, Ramadan, ended as the sun set. During the previous few weeks, most cafes and restaurants were closed during daylight hours. The festival of Hari Raya commenced, 2 days of feasting and celebrating. Primarily it is a time for families to gather. Most stores and suppliers were closed until Saturday; some did not re-open until the next Monday. Tents were erected along roadside spaces and even in the roadways of Lumut; a feeling of some wider festivities was the air. This is our first time visiting a predominantly Muslim country during Ramadan; we looked on with interest for what followed.
Work on the boat-jobs continues steadily. One major issue has been removing the Gori Propeller from the shaft, to enable installation of a new cutlass bearing. See photo - Part A screws clockwise (looking from Part B) to release part B...that is the theory anyway. In tropical waters calcite grows inside of Component A, this prevents A from turning. One week spent using a cycle of hydrochloric acid (applied with a hypodermic needle), washing out, application of releasing agent and heating, interspersed with tiny movements achieved using large lever arms. Eventually, we got the parts separated. We shall probably drill and tap a hole, normally blocked off with a grub screw, into which a grease nipple can be inserted to keep the front cone packed with grease. The claim is that the propeller can be easily removed from the shaft underwater and brought to the surface for maintenance is laughable. That may be true in the Baltic Sea but in tropical waters, think again.
26 July 2016
Boat tasks have almost completely dominated our time since that long forgotten trip around the world, did it really happen?? Obtaining parts has proved difficult in this neighbourhood. Little is available in local hardware stores; much must be shipped in from overseas, either directly by oneself or through local suppliers. Having removed the aforementioned propeller, we find that cutlass bearings are available only in sizes larger or smaller than our requirement. Thankfully, a friend visiting the US will bring a couple back with him.
The cooker has been stripped down, cleaned and polished. We need some new burners and thermocouples; getting those for an out of production unit is proving tedious…we hope to have tracked some down in Canada. The USA, Australia and UK can only service partial orders. Boat maintenance in exotic locations is not all it is cracked up to be.
26 July 2016
Ben and Belles’s coveralls looked so dashing we rushed out to purchase our own. They are super at keeping antifoul dust off our sensitive skin. However, the high humidity and temperatures in the mid 30 Celsius range is making it thoroughly uncomfortable clothing. Cotton fabric is wonderful at soaking up the perspiration. Spruce’s hull is now almost prepared for a new coating of Coppercoat antifouling.
Fire retardant fabric has been purchased from the UK. A local business will reupholster our cushions during the next couple of weeks. Sue’s efforts in repairing the existing fabric, a thankless task, can be discontinued at last. It is surprising how hard a life cushions in the main cabin get aboard a cruising sailboat. Instead of repairs, Sue will turn her attention to making a new Bimini and Cockpit Tent. The Cockpit Tent and heater will most certainly be pressed into service when we reach Alaska in 2018. The thought of a cold environment seems somewhat surreal as we sit in sweltering humidity just north of the Equator.
26 July 2016
Occasional breaks in the work schedule are taken to make time for exercise. We joined Linda and Florence (s/y Seraphin) for a hike to the summit of a nearby 300m peak. At the top a local ramblers group maintain a hut and picnic tables for Sunday visitors. We did not get to know everybody but going to the right from Sue are Linda, Florence, Andy and Michael Ong.
Our ambitions to continue regular swimming at the pool situated alongside our temporary shore-side accommodation have been abandoned. Pool hygiene and cleaning are sadly lacking, tummy disorders that accompanied each swim are gladly also a distant memory.
26 July 2016
Wildlife not only features amongst the trees, monkeys are prolific around Lumut, but also at the Marina. Here a snake, we know not the species, which was caught in a highly competent manner by the Marina Sealift Driver, Abe. A slick move to pin its head down with a forked stick, followed by an equally slick move with a noose. It was released away from the site. That is the second we have seen. This one was poised to scale the ladder propped against Spruce. No thank you, we do not want that stowaway!
26 July 2016
Less frightening are the moths and butterflies. The size is quite remarkable, this Swallowtail Moth as wide as a human foot.