Thursday March 31
Our planned early start for the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, to avoid the hordes of tourists, was delayed by a misbehaving Starboard motor.. Something electrical causing the guages to flutter and the alarm system to chirp. Pulled out the helm instrument panel to check but could see nothing wrong. Problem went away after a while but it returns often to mock us.
We finally got underway toward Palau Dayang Bunting and the lake.
We originallythought the lake was a caldera of an ancient volcano but it turns out it is the remnants of a massive limestone cave which collapsed leaving the 14m deep basin full of fresh water. The water is replenished from springs related to tectonic plate activity below. Old folk lore is that drinking the waters increases fertility.
The lake is very pretty with steep sides of thick green jungle. Lots of very friendly monkeys on the path over to the lake.
Tourism infrastructure provides easy access to the lake and for a swim.
Without these floating jetties access would be very difficult due to the sheer sides.
The swim was great and very welcome respite from the heat.
Back at Gemini Lady for a late lunch. Tested the Chartplotter on an independent battery but it still wouldn't fire up.
Headed back to Palau Singa Besar and enjoyed a short walk ashore there to the “waterfall”.
Again we were surprised at the scope of infrastructure, just buried in the jungle, indicating that places had been used much more intensively in the past and then abandoned.
Friday April 1
I was busy all morning on the internet, emailing Raymarine Support, Iceer Refridgeration for parts, NAB for loss of SMS security service and Yachtworx re progress on our new PCB for the watermaker.
We now have some clarity on the Chartplotter issue with an appointment made to see the Penang Raymarine Agent on April 12. This will put us 5 days behind schedule but we should be able to make it up ok.
After digging under the helm station to access the cockpit fridge controller I discovered that the control unit was a bit more sophisticated than I had anticipated. I found the “Iceer” name so looked them up on the Web and found out the fridge/ freezer is actually a eutectic unit.
Managed to identify and order all the new parts I would need, then contact our insurance assessor to advise him of the changes.
We motorsailed over to Cenang Beach on Mainland Langkawi and anchored just off the beach. Ashore we explored this popular tourinst strip and enjoyed a great lunch at an Indian Restaurant.
Back on board we relaxed and enjoyed watching the para sailors operating from the beach, until we realised we were in their flight path. So we moved over to a little island and re anchored.
Cooking dinner that night we used the microwave for the first time we can remember since the Lightning Strike. The lights were on and the table went around and around but no cooking was happening. Another victim! Bugger!
Spent the evening scouring the web for a new built in microwave that would fit. Only 2 options found and both only in Australia.
Saturday April 2
Despite the promised 3-4 day delivery, our Watermaker PCB was nowhere to be found but we had received a tracking number so at least we knew it was coming.
Emailed appliance suppliers in Australia re delivery to Malaysia but no go. Could Dave and Anne bring one over for us?
New Views was in the area and heading for Rebak so we arranged to catch up and we headed back to anchor just outside the Marina entrance. We were booked in the following day for the Rally Events so elected to stay outside for a night.
We dinghied in and headed straight for the pool. John was back and his starter motor was all sorted. His Anchor winch was tomorrows job.
He also bought back for us a new washdown hose and the 1.1GB software update download for the Raymarine Instruments.
Graham and Julie off New Views joined us for dinner and we enjoyed a great night catching up on their Thailand adventures.
Sunday April 3
Dinghied into the marina in the pre dawn stillness for an early morning run. Lea managed a PB on her 5 km circuit. I prefered a run/ walk over the rougher terrain of the “spine” of the Island. Returned for morning Tea with Graham and Julie. Said our goodbyes again hoping to catch up in Pangkor.
Moved into the marina and settled in once again with the Aircon running. Tested the washing machine thoroughly with 2 loads and all good.
Late afternoon poolside to catch up on gossip and meet new people.
Christine and Russel off Christine Anne were hosting potential buyers of their boat. It was with mixed feelings that they were selling their home of 22 years.
We visited the Resort Library Internet Computers before heading for the pool and decided to purchase a new Combination Microwave Oven in Australia and get it delivered to James' and Danni's place in Yanchep, WA. I would combine meeting my new grand daughter, Bailiee, with bringing home a new microwave. We placed the order and booked the flights.
We enjoyed the Sail Malaysia Cocktail Party. It was a great atmosphere with beer and wine flowing freely. Don't know what happened to the cocktails but cold beer or wine in this climate is just fine. I worked the room making contact with people we knew from last year and meeting a few new ones. Barry off Evolution NT pulled Lea onto the dance floor. Barry is our local ballroom dance expert and Lea had fun trying to learn the Cha Cha and the Rhumba. The food was not as good as last year but we certainly didn't starve.
Monday April 4
First email of the day warned us that our Microwave was out of stock and delivery might be delayed. I wrote back explaining our situation and that if they couldn't deliver on the 11th April as requested then the deal was off.
We had a Rally breifing at 0900 which gave us a few pointers like advance booking our stay in Kota Kinabalu Marina so we can do the walk. Still some question marks about our visit to 2 Indonesian Islands on the way down to Sarawak.
I went over to Eosoterica to help John troubleshoot his AIS which was not transmitting. We also did the Raymarine software upgrade for his instruments and commissioned his new autopilot. Concluded that the “Octopus Pump” was terminal and needed replacement. Available on special from Defender in the USA at $1500.00 USD. As John says “Money fixes everything”
Lea tried an open water swim at high tide in front of the Resort. Encountering 5 jelly fish in the first 150m put her off so she retreated back to the pool.
Our afternoon at the pool was most enjoyable again and a welcome break from the relentless maintainence issues on boats. I had purchased and installed a new bilge pump in the port engine bay to replace one that played up occaisionally. Our watermaker PCB was making its way across the globe. Discussions on Eosoterica's anchor winch reminded us to check ours as Lea felt it was hesitant and down on power last we used it. Probably time for a new set of brushes I thought.
In the cool of late afternoon I started to remove the end cap from the anchor winch motor. To my horror thick oil started to flow out of the screw hole. Not good! There isn't supposed to be any oil in that area. Looks like a blown oil seal in the gearbox. We pulled the whole motor/gearbox assembly out, ready for further attention tomorrow, noting that the brushes area was full of oily sludge. Thought initially that the damage may have been caused by the Lightning Strike.
After dinner it was off to the Resort Library again to email Muir Winches and hopefully download a service manual.
Tuesday April 5
Morning run and caught up with Christine and Russell; Christine Anne had been sold and the money was in the bank, flights booked back to Australia in time for Russel to watch the Friday night footy match back home.
Onto the anchor windlass which proved difficult to get apart. Borrowed some tools and finally got it all apart and began cleaning everything in a petrol bath. The sludge formed from gear oil and carbon was difficult to remove but Lea got her hands dirty as well and we soon had it cleaned up ok. Looks like just a failed oil seal unlikely to have anything to do with the lightning strike.
The components all cleaned up and looked ok but Muir winches had responded to my email and they informed us that we probably needed at least a new motor/gearbox and that Noel, of the local Yacht Supply, was a Muir agent, so I visited Noel and asked for quotes on a whole new winch and just a new motor/gearbox. Off to Kuah tomorrow to source a new oil seal and see if we can repair the existing one.
Wednesday April 6
Our mission today was to find a new oil seal for the anchor winch gearbox. We hired a little blue buzbox from Mr Din Car Hire and headed off to Kuah.
Found new seals at Multiquip but the 320 grade gear oil proved more elusive. After trying Lang Trac we found some 270 Gear oil at HE Trading that will have to do. We also had made up a heavy duty set of jumper leads to attach to the shrouds in any thunderstorms we encounter. Also bought a couple of tarps to fabricate a sun shade for the boat.
More beer and fruit and veggies from the wet market. Had lunch at a local restaurant. Very nice but Lea wasn't game to ask what type of meat was in her soup.
Back in time for afternoon poolside then farewall dinner for Christine and Russell.
Thursday April 7th
Early morning run and a final hug and wave goodbye to Christine and Russell as they caught the 0715 ferry. John and Kerryn were heading off for Penang. We headed over to Telaga to fill up with fuel. Our appointment was at 1100 but when we arrived a massive superyacht was hogging the fuel jetty. It was our booking but you couldnt blame them for taking the 5000 litre sale.
After an hour of hovering we finnally got fueled up with 440l of diesel at $0.55 AUD/litre and 30l of unleaded. Cheapest fuel prices we have ever seen, although we got hit with a 5cent/litre “service” charge that we were not sure was quite legal.
Back at Rebak I spent the afternoon filling the gearbox with 320ml of 270 grade gear oil that was like treacle in consistancy then reassembling the motor/gearbox. Had trouble with the brush retainers but eventually worked it out.
Hung the assembled unit of a nearby tree and cleaned and primed before dinner then topcoated by torchlight before bed.
Friday 8 April
Busy morning of paperwork for the insurance claim and getting the printer working.
Chris from Yachtworx arrived with the new watermaker PCB and proceeded to install it and change over some other parts. When he fired it up it had exactly the same error code as before. I then started reading the manuals and soon zeroed in on a paramater that was set wrong. When Chris finally agreed to change it, the watermaker began to function properly. However, I forgot to ask Chris to fix a couple of other minor problems, Andrew and I had discovered back at Telaga.
Lea had made a huge pot of chicken vegetable soup to keep her going while I was back in Australia for a few days visiting my son and new grand daughter.
I left Lea to catch the 1345 ferry. She spent the next few days cleaning and polishing in between running and swimming.
I had a long trip to Perth but had a great few days with James, Danni and Bailiee.
Returned to Langkawi on Tuesday 12 April with new Combination Microwave Oven.