The diver came today and had a look, he took some pictures for me and basically, the bearing lining has failed, at least near the prop end of the bearing. I had him cut away a ring or rubber that was protruding out the rear of the bearing. I’m going to have to get the bearing replaced, but where is the question, and when. I can’t get it done before Singapore, and from Singapore I won’t use it until I reach Hong Kong. I don’t want to wait until Japan to get the work done, as it will be very expensive there. Perhaps I can stop at Taiwan on the way, the boat was made there, but I expect the warranty might have expired. At least there should be facilities there that are not too expensive. I will research more today.
Yesterday I drove into Port Dickson to sort out my port clearance problem. Everything was fine, I just needed to make a small payment to the harbour master, the exact amount depending on whether I needed a receipt or not, and coming to a very nice round 50 ringgit, about £10. Now some people might have a name for this Ad Hoc form of charging, but I don’t mind at all, in the UK I could easily have met a jobsworth behind the counter who would refuse to stamp my papers until I had returned to the previous port. Some countries might have you go through an elaborate process to correct my error. This way is quick and simple, and not that expensive really. It might even be the official way for all I know. I was pleased, then I moved to customs, they were confused as I should have gone through customs on leaving Langkawi, as well as the harbour master, but as the HM had cleared me, they did too, and didn’t have any charges to apply. The customs office was staffed by women only when I visited, and I realised I have only ever had to pay Ad Hoc fees to men in both Malaysia and Thailand.
Once cleared in, and also cleared out, in anticipation of my imminent departure, I headed on down the coast in my rented car to the city of Malacca. The route took me through miles and miles of palm tree plantations.
I visited the famous Mosque thereand walked the length of Jonkers lane, a touristy street full of shops selling stuff I hate. I did find a nice antique shop and had a great chat with the owner and his mate about the merits of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool FC, a subject that often comes up when they learn I am from Liverpool. Man U, as they are known worldwide have an awesome reach as a team/brand. I have yet to visit a place that didn’t have an Man U fan there, and that includes remote Afghanistan. However in these conversation I am always bluffing it as I no little about football, these guys were very impressed that my brother, who does know stuff, has had a season ticket (or two) for Anfield for most of his life, and rarely misses a home game.
Heading back I called into Aeon and Tesco, two huge hypermarkets, that look much the same as they do anywhere. Then I took the motorway back. Now I know I’m a visitor in this country, and I don’t speak the language, but I do hate it when you come to leave the motorway, and there’s a fee to pay, and only machines that take smart cards you have to buy before you get on the motorway. I didn’t have a clue. Nothing in English, even the Icons they use are undecipherable, also why did everyone choose my lane when I hit the Tollgate and then proceed to honk their horns. To cut a long story short, I finally worked out the women who was screaming ‘Boh Cah’ at me over and over very loudly (see its not just us brits who shout louder in english to be understood better when abroad). She was saying borrow card, so I had to give the man in the car behind me RM3.2 in cash and he lent me his card so I could open the barrier, then I gave the card to the lady who let him through and gave him his card back. There was some further complication as his card was new and he was waving a RM20 note at me, I thought for a moment I could make a profit here. Still it all worked out in the end, except for the fact that back at the marina the only trolley was locked up and the office shut, so I had to carry most of the shopping to the boat by hand.
Diver below, using a snazzy portable dive kit.
The extracted bit of extruded/exposed bearing
At least I can see the prop shaft now and know there’s nothing binding on the outside