Monday August 7
Our first day was a bit of a blur with an overnight plane trip followed by 4.5 hours on the bus from KL to Sitiawan. We were picked up by Super Clean who had arranged car hire and an apartment for us in Lumut for a month. 900MYR for the apartment and 800 MYR for the car. Not a bad deal. We sorted all the paperwork and payments out at their Lumut Office then checked into our 11 Th. floor apartment with magnificent views over the Harbour.
Back at the marina we found Gemini Lady in good condition with her burka still in place. Apart from black coal dust and bird shit that had sieved through the covers the only problem we found was a flat start battery and engine bilges full of water. Soon had the power connected to charge up the battery and pump out the bilges.
The air quality here is poor and Lea found it affected her quite badly this time. Said hello to Ben and Bell and Ray and Shaunnagh before heading back to the apartment for some sleep.
Tuesday August 8
Busy day. Dinghy out of the cockpit, food shopping, chasing sanding disks and water tube for new pneumatic sander. Lea cleaned the cockpit while I wrestled with the props.
Our Variprops have 2 grub screws that prevent the main prop nut from undoing. Movement on the spline causes these screws to get bent so you cant undo them. I often have to drill them out then use an easy out. This time I broke the easyout which caused a real problem as I couldn’t drill that. Eventually got it sorted but did a bit of damage to the thread. At least the props were finally off.
Wednesday August 9
Cleaned Props, Scrubbed boat, dropped anchor chain and pulled out anchor winch. Discussion with local contractor Islam and we decided to use paint stripper and scrapers to remove all oil antifoul. We could find no suitable disks for our flash new sander so had to order some from Australia which would mean too much delay. Shopping for paint stripper, rollers and new easy outs.
Thursday August 10
The boys were on the job by 7.30 am to begin the stripping process on the hulls. Lea got into polishing the decks while I stripped and cleaned the anchor winch. The oil we put in the gearbox last year was far too viscous so had to be changed.
The boys progressed well.
I found the top seal and main bearings a bit worn so arranged to get them replaced. Otherwise the Muir Winch was in good condition inside after 10 years. Replaced genset water pump with brand new one and put in a new carbon filter cartridge in the galley.
Lea not feeling well so had an afternoon nap and we finished up early and enjoyed a refreshing swim back at the Condo. The heat was knocking us around after coming straight out of a Victorian winter.
The saloon was laid out as the toolshed. It got progressively more cluttered and untidy over the next few weeks.
Friday August 11
Anchor winch main shaft sent of to Bulat for new bearings and polishing. We go stuck into polishing the cockpit, rear seat and swim platform.
Friday night, party night at Jooks Bistro with the marina gang.
Saturday August 12
Bit slow this morning but had to be up early to get the boys more paint stripper. The anchor winch shaft came back all nice and shiny.
Needed to buy sheet gasket material and cut out new gaskets for the winch. This proved a bit a bit of an expedition but Sunny Chan a the Hose Centre in Sitiawan went out of his way to help. Spent the afternoon putting the winch back together with new seals and oil we had bought with us from Australia. Tested ok so reinstalled. A bugger of a job but got there in the end. Very glad of the little wooden table I made a few years ago to support the heavy winch motor and gearbox while bolting it back in underneath the capstan and gypsy via the anchor locker hatch.
The boys are having a day off so we take the opportunity to cut and polish the inside of the port hull and half the underside of the bridgedeck. A lack of scaffolding or stages made it a bit challenging but gave us us a good upper body workout. Hard work but fortunately mostly in the shade with a nice breeze funnelling between the hulls.
Lea back up polishing the foredeck while I tackled a crack in the gelcoat between the catwalk and frontdeck. Found some pretty poor workmanship underneath but soon had it filleted, glassed and bogged with epoxy.
The boys were going well and we were down to the old barrier coat. Not a divot our gouge had been done to the gelcoat. We were thrilled with job they were doing. They didn’t use stripper on the waterline but hand scraped, a long tedious process before sanding.
A day of odd jobs. Discussed painting and antifoul with Jimmy from Prestige Marine Services. Agreed on an International Epoxy Barrier coat to be sprayed on and then 30 litres of Intersmooth 360 antifoul to be rolled on when we come back from our land based trip through Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
I was coming down with Lea’s bug so took it easy. We found a leak in the Port Bow under the genoa furling block so we took that off and resealed. Took the genoa back to the apartment. There was a large tiled area in the foyer of the vacant condo next door. After washing the floor we could lay the sail out.
Cleaned the foyer floor and laid out the genoa. Overall its in very good condition. Just the UV strip stitching is failing and a bit of chafe on the leach. Called in Mr Teh the sail repair man.
Back at the boat I finished the gelcoat repair on the catwalk while Lea sanded the port saildrive leg. Spent the afternoon cutting and polishing the inside of the starboard hull and the other half of the bridgedeck.
Mr Teh meets us at Lumut to inspect the Genoa. He will take it up to Langkawi to get it all fixed up. His machine is broken and he has just ordered a big machine from Germany. He will be setting up a repair loft in Sitiawan.
On the boat we girded our loins to tackle another window.
This one is not leaking but the Fixtech 200 is failing and the window lifting. We replaced this one back in late 2013 but it was failing again. We would not recommend Fixtech products to anyone. We are now using Dow Corning 995, recommended by Roger at Lightwave. The window cut out very easily as the Fixtech 200 is so soft. At least it wasn’t still tacky like on the last window we replaced for the second time.
We waited until 4.00pm when the humidity was at its lowest and temp starting to drop. At 5.10 we opened the first tube of 995. By 5.19 the window was in place and clamped. At these temperatures the working time is very limited.
Friday August 18
More polishing today followed by a big night out at the German Bar with huge serves of Pork Knuckle.
The polishing continues while the boys are sanding the outside of the port hull.
Home early, Lea up for a swim but I just chilled in Air-conditioned comfort. Watched the little monkeys in the tree tops below us as the sun went down. A melodic call to prayer in the background and a glass of wine in hand made for a pleasant evening.
Sunday August 20
Another early morning run. Lea saw a beautiful kingfisher and a squirrel. More locals out exercising this morning. Great to see groups Muslim women getting out for a run, fully covered and Hajabed in 26 degree heat.
The boys had finished and done a great job. We tidied the work site and did a few odd jobs before washing all the sanding dust off Gemini Lady in preparation of the Barrier Coat Spraying.
Not much on today so we headed up the mountain behind the Condo. It was a very steep and badly eroded track. Strong ropes had been installed to assist the climbing. At the top was a picnic area and a hammock. We let the sweat dry for half an hour.
On the way down we were menaced by an aggressive looking male monkey, so we diverted around him as he had no intention of moving out of our way.
It was a perfect day for spraying but unfortunately Jimmy had no product in stock even though he knew the job was coming up. Lea cleaned and waxed the leather while I sanded the saildrive legs a bit more.
Lifted the shade cloth skirts for Th. painting then went off to source parts for another small project. Installing header tanks for the saildrive gearboxes. I have been meaning to do this for years and slowly accumulating the parts to do it. Caught up with Heather and Rod off Psycho Puss just back from Australia. Dragged and lowered the Mainsail into the car then laid it out in the empty foyer as before. All in pretty good condition apart from the reefing point tie patches coming adrift. Started cleaning them up and restuck the first batch then clamped them with buckets of water.
A dry morning but the wind was up early. Jimmy and his team were masking up and covering Gemini Lady’s lower parts with plastic wrap to keep off the overspray. The wind made the job difficult and I’m sure half the paint ended up in KL. However, apart from a few runs we seemed to have good coverage. They forgot to mask the ground plate so I had to clean that up. Not his best work but it was done.
A day off after sticking down a few more patches on the mainsail. We caught the 10am ferry over to Pangkor Island and hired a motorbike for the day. We headed south through the township and went as far as we could to see the beautiful new Mosque built out over the water.
A short stop at the old Dutch Fort.
Then over to the lovely beaches on the east side of the Island. We parked at our favourite restaurant for an iced tea.
Chantilly was anchored of the beach so Lea swam out to invite them for lunch. They had other plans so we enjoyed a great lunch and a lazy relax n the beach.
We finished our circum navigation of the Island on the bike. Very pretty in the north with walking tracks we might try another day.
Friday August 25
Morning run to clear the sludge from too much food yesterday. Lea stayed home and prepared the other side of the Main for patch reglueing.
10 pin bowling night and great Japanese food with Ray, Shaunnagh, Patrick and Elizabeth.
Day cruise with the Chantilly crew around Pangkor Island. A fun day that ended in Pizza and Karaoke until late.
Bit fragile this morning so took it easy. Packed up the Main. Mr Teh delivered the Genoa back all beautifully repaired. Lazed about the rest of the day.
Picked up custom fittings for gearbox header tanks and food shopping. Quiet goodbye drinks with Ray and Shaunnagh off Parlay.
A 9.00am lift was scheduled and the boys did a great job settling Gemini Lady 500 mm in the air on sandbags to allow me access,to the underside of the mini keels.
As soon as they were finished I was under grinding away all the old antifoul and cracked gelcoat. Still no sanding disks so I had to use the angle grinder. A hot dirty job.
Not much for Lea to do so she studied up on bread making with a new book she had borrowed “Mastering the art of extraordinary Bread making”.
A morning run before back to grinding. Drilled a few holes to drain water out of keels. We put wicks in the holes to suck out the water before fibreglassing. We measured and cut all the glass. I went off to help Brett with his new fridge. On the way home picked up some more West System Resin and hardener.
Morning swim. Wicks were still damp so decided to wait until after lunch. We set up a plank covered in heavy plastic and prewet each layer of cloth with resin then rolled it onto a length of 70mm PVC pipe. From that Lea unwound the cloth as I rolled it onto the underside of the keels. Messy and awkward job but eventually we had 3 layers on. Abandoned the idea of bogging the glass while still green.
The local Mosque was banging it out from 5.30am without rest until 8.00am. It was a Malaysian Independence day yesterday and today is Hari Raya Haji which is a religious holiday so it was a 4 day weekend for working Malaysians. The bomus was not many cars on the road so Lea did her Strava Segment without dodging too many cars.
I sanded the glasswork then bogged the whole job. The wind was up making it hard to keep the microballoons under control.
The morning was spent sanding the bog. Lea broke the surface with the electric sander. I followed with a torture board. More hard and dirty work.
Psycho Puss was launched and they headed straight off to Penang. We troweled on the second layer of bog.
Foreshore run before more sanding and bogging. Used red micro balloons this time for contrast. Cooler day today with thunderstorms in the air.
Put the props back on before heading home for beer and chippies.
Final sand of the mini keels then 2 coats of straight epoxy resin rolled on.
Final sand before applying International Barrier Coat to all repaired areas. Finished job looks good.
Jimmy came over to etch and prime the saildrive legs and props. We are now ready for a light sand and new antifoul when we get back from our land trip.
Started to pack up the unit and move stuff back to Gemini Lady. I went over the shade mesh burka and repaired it where necessary. We masked the waterline and cut and polished the strip just above it. Finished the day with the final fillet on the replaced window. Always a messy job.
Lovely dinner with James Khoo and family together with Patrick and Elizabeth at the Japanese Restaurant.
Lea finally happy with her running performance. 10 km under 60 minutes.
Not much happening today but shared some Champagne and a great Chinese dinner with Bell and Ben.
Friday September 8
Packed up the unit. Settled the marina bill until relaunch on 25th October and said our goodbyes. Handed in the keys to the apartment and car and got a lift into Sitiawan. Booked into the Mornington Hotel for the night as we had to catch the 4.00am bus to the KL airport for our flight to Siam Reap, Cambodia.