Getting there

Up early, determined to get the cleaning out of the way. Tomorrow is Sunday, and I want to have a relaxing day, no cleaning!

So I finished the main cabin, except for the area around the chart table, I need to do a bit of carpentry there, so that’s Mondays job.

I must say, the boat is really nice now, in fact, as Homer once said “Classy” that’s not Homer of the Iliad fame, the other more famous one ūüėČ

cabin 1
Paul out with all his mates
cabin 3
View from the galley

I found a small stack of dead cockroaches, I’m pretty sure the cockroaches are long gone, I can’t see any traces and haven’t heard anything. I do sometimes hear a knocking on the hull, and rush up to see who’s there, to no avail, I think I cracked it today, it’s the resident otter banging on the hull. Caught a brief appearance of him/her on video today, will post it if I don’t get a better shot soon.

I have been listening to local radio all day, not sure I can take much more, just like Spain, they only seem to have about ten records to get them through the day, I also think they must have got a low royalty deal on Cold Play, can’t bear his whiny voice, heard better singing from cats.

Had Pasta & Pesto tonight, with grated parmesan, very European. I also met up with Emile, the guy who was evicted, he stopped to say hello as he was showing some new arrivals where everything was. Seems to be coping at anchor.

Paul C


New berth for the Sister

I was up late last night, so decided to have a lie in this morning. Once up, I realised it was Friday, and a quiet day in the marina as it’s a holiday here being a muslim country. So I thought I would try to figure out this power issue again. I made up a special cable that made it easy to measure the voltages on the outlets, and headed off to the next pontoon in search of 240V. After a lot of tries, I found a good socket, so I decided to move the boat. Dave from Phoenix, a Brit who has a Halberg Rassey he has renovated after a fire, hence the name, helped take my lines. It was slack water and next to no wind, so seemed perfect for me to practice manoeuvring. In fact all I had to do was reverse in a very straight line about 50 metres, but given the boat walks to port when going astern, I needed to push the stern out a bit. With her in reverse at tick-over revs, she actually went straight back, if anything moving a little to starboard, so a little kick of forward gear followed by astern brought her alongside just perfectly, the bow thruster helped as well.

Now I’m plugged into proper mains, I can use the electric kettle as well as the Air con at the same time, whoopee.
So back to cleaning the main cabin, this is proving difficult, I did the corridor between the cabin and the forward berth, everything is taking so long. Tomorrow I will have been afloat for a week, I was hoping to have everything cleaned by then. Will have to make a big effort tomorrow.

I took a break after the first bash at cleaning as I had a new hose pipe and wanted to test it out, boys never get tired of playing with hose pipes it seems. I decided to clean up the marks¬†on the foredeck, it all came up very well, and I ended up doing more than I planned. It will all need doing properly and to be polished later, but for now it’s looking smart.
Fixed a couple of lamps that were broken, and tried to understand how the boat is wired for shore power, but failed, by then it was too dark to see the cable run, what I did find out is the 240V seems to go straight to a transformer, probably an isolation or step down. The boat was made to run on 110V USA Style, and lots of kit onboard is 110V, however it has spent most of it’s life in the 220-240V world, there are two shore power connectors , one marked 110 and one marked 240, so I need to get my head around that, I also need to decide which one to go with.

Had another dinner of salad, with Patros feta and herb cheese this time, very tasty, followed by a walk along the coast. As you can see from some of the pictures I posted, the marina is almost underneath the Penang to butterworth bridge, this is the old one to the north of the island. Under the bridge are lots of small fishing boats moored, and of an evening the locals use it as a sort of hang out / courting location. Tonight there were loads of young people, mostly arriving on moped, and having barbecues sitting under the flyovers, looking out to sea, many of them with a fishing rod out too.

bridge 2
Penang old bridge to Butterworth
Fishing boats under the old Penang bridge

If I can get the boat cleaning finished this weekend, I can get stuck into the main jobs next week, I have some important work to organise like:

  1. Sort out shore power so I can have hot water and other 110V things working
  2. Get the USA Style gas bottles refilled
  3. Fix the engine control panel, lots to do there
  4. Sort out the survey/Insurance and get new standing rigging ordered
  5. Get a liferaft and some flares
  6. Fix the marine Air Con
  7. Get the dinghy and outboard working, then I can go out and do some fishing
  8. Fix instruments, fit masthead wind speed/direction sensor
  9. Tons of varnishing
  10. Fix a couple of minor leaks on the deck

Once that’s done, I can start some proper sailing, the other 100 jobs, like pickling the water-maker and sorting out the filtration systems can wait.

So not too bad really

Paul C

Mainsail sorted

I was up early, it was quite overcast and consequently very cool in the breeze, so off I went getting the mainsail on to the rig, I had thought this would take an hour or two, but it took about three hours and by the end I was very hot in the blazing sun, and I burnt my shoulders as well. Still the sail looks in great shape, needs a good cleaning.

main 1
Very strong reinforcements around the key areas like the reef points
main 2
Notice the little light on the top of the pile, just about boom height, that won’t survive a crash jibe ūüėČ

I had also been squirting WD40 into the cover plate for the emergency tiller over the last 24 hours, this morning I managed to free it and see if the tiller actually works, which it did, very reassuring.

I was now able to clear up the crap on the deck and give it a hose down, much cleaner, but also much easier to spot the areas that need attention. Mostly rust stains on the fiberglass.

port bow

She look happy enough sitting in the berth, hoping to move to a better spot soon, once I find one with power.

stb quarter 2
You might notice the top of the pile is a little¬†different now ūüôĀ

I also found a strange pintel type thing sticking out the front of the mast, any ideas ?

Something to do with that old tale, what was it, "Captain bates doing something in the rigging" I can't remember
Something to do with that old tale, what was it, “Captain bates doing something in the rigging” I can’t remember ūüėČ

I took a walk along the coastal path to Tesco and spent a fortune on stuff for me and the boat.bridge other side

A different Tesco to the one I went to last time, but just as big. I have noticed that they have taken the Tesco name, and some of the value brands, but not much else, certainly “The customer comes first/is alwalys right” concept got lost on the way. As with all the supermarkets I have visited so far, asking a member of staff the question “Do you know where the ‘salt/milk/coffee.. insert anything you like’ is kept, you will get a look of confusion, with a response of no, said in a way that should also include the phrase, “I only work here, stop bothering me”. Today they were upset that at the checkout the Oven glove I bought didn’t have a barcode, normally they just throw it to the side, end of story, you cant have it. but at Tesco I was asked if I would like to wait while they get the price, when I said yes, they seemed shocked and irritated, what was worse, when I got home, I realised they had just picked up the first oven glove they saw with a bar code which¬†was twice the price of the one I wanted. Still I got enough ingredients to have a delicious tuna salad for dinner tonight.

Tesco by E-Gate

Paul C.

Day 4 in the Big Brother marina, and it’s eviction time

I was working on hoisting the staysail this morning when I heard some commotion, the gentleman opposite me on my stern was being evicted by the new marina manager, he had become a bit of a hoarder, much worse than me, he had hoarded so much on his yacht, it was barely possible to see the yacht. Apparently he had been told to clean up or leave. I recorded this video of him motoring out, I was amazed he had any propulsion, or steering, as his boat has been there for quite a few years.

He is now anchored outside the marina, but I expect he will be moved on from there, I hope he finds somewhere to moor up.

I got the staysail up, it was difficult as well, I think the sheave at the head of the sail may be damaged, a trip up the mast will reveal all. The sail looks to have a reasonable shape, but is very dirty, and it’s hard to tell how it performs without going out in a bit of wind. So far I havent seen any decent wind here yet.

staysail 2
The morning sun just trying to break through
Rather dirty, also the sacrificial strip is damaged

Next I got stuck into cleaning the head, got a bit done, then I had to go down to the post office, the Marina used to take cash payments, but now they will only accept postal/money orders from the post office, and wont accept more than a fortnights payment, very odd. Erik needed to pay as well, so he drove me down to the mall where there is a little post office tucked away in a little alley. Again, to get the postal order they had to photocopy my passport, and fill in lots of forms. I’m not looking forward to doing this every fortnight. On my return I finished cleaning the head, it’s lovely now, smells very fresh and is functioning 100%.

Tomorrow I will get the mainsail bent on, this is complicated because it has¬†6¬†full length battens, long fiberglass rods that are inserted into pockets in the sail to stiffen it, they are actually bolted into their pockets. Also there is a stackpak system to allow you to drop the sail quickly without it going everywhere, in theory it drops into a convenient bag. Can’t say I’m a fan, but the bag acts as a sail cover and I need that here with all the UV kicking around. I also plan to clean the main part of the main cabin, then I just have the quarter berth to tidy and the inside is done.

Paul C.

Boat Cleaning

It seemed quite cool this morning so I decided to get the Genoa off the cabin table and onto its furler. In the olden days they called it ‘bending the sails on”. What a palaver, first I strained my arm trying to winch it up, it’s actually a massive sail, and weighs a lot, so pulling it up by hand, as I do on the baba 30, wasn’t an option. I had to winch it up, I suspect some silicone spray on the luff might have helped. Besides the stains on the sail, she looks in good nick. Tomorrow I will put up the staysail, this should be the same as the Genoa on the baba 30 and a lot easier.

genoa 2 genoa

After such strenuous work, I thought it time to check if the freezer bit of the fridge worked and if my Magnums where still good after 3 days, which they where. All for research purposes of course.

ice cream Next onto the head and shower cubicle, or just the shower as it turned out, I got carried away, and decided on a full renovation job, so spent hours carefully removing slapdash varnishing and stains from the gelcoat interior. Now it looks great, it works too, the sump pump that drains the shower is really efficient, I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

Then a bit of tidying up in the main cabin as it’s easy without the sails there. and she’s starting to look cosy.

cabinI also registered the boat with the marina, and I can stay as long as I like, which is tempting.
Went to a food court called SuperTanker tonight with my neighbours, Erik, Dave and Tash (not sure of the spelling there), had Chinese food, chicken and rice, very nice, also banana and peanut pancake.

Tonights sunset from the marina

Tomorrow more cleaning, and possibly a trip to Tesco!

Don’t worry, I’m going to stop posting if my posts stay as boring as this.

Paul C.


Settled in the marina now

Not a lot to report today, and I didn’t take any pictures.
I went for a little spin this morning to get the feel of the boat and bow thruster, I felt much more confident, and returned the boat back to the pontoon on my own and stopped it about a metre upwind and it drifted down perfectly into place so that I could step ashore and tie off without any fuss.
I then took her out again, and brought her back in, but went inside the marina. I had to turn the bow to port, doing a u turn in quite a tight space and into a stiffish breeze. This would have been tricky with Lady Stardust, but it was simple enough with the bow thruster.
The shore crew who had arrived, mostly to protect their own boats I think ūüėČ from this gung ho brit, all shouted I was going too fast, but I didn’t think so, anyway she turned perfectly, the only problem was the bow sprit came very close to a pile on the adjacent finger as she swung around. But in fairness it missed by quite a few millimetres, and the boat stopped alongside without any drama. Again, I struggle to see the whole boat from any one position because of the all encompassing sprayhood, also the bowsprit does stick out further than I’m used to.
There is no available power on my pontoon, but I had already worked out that it was only 80 metres to a free socket, so Erik kindly drove me to a shop that sold cable, I’m not sure it would get a EU certification, but it conducts electricity, which is the main thing. I got a 90 metre length for ¬£22, plus a 32 Amp Marina plug and socket for a fiver. Can’t complain at that, and now we are sitting in our own berth, with gas, free power, and water. Just perfect.
I checked in with the office and there is no problem with me being here, however the big chief here has decided that power will only be available from 8AM to 5PM, which seems odd. Many of the residents are most unhappy about this, and it seems a negative thing to do if you want to promote yachting tourism in Malaysia. There may be a delegation!
No thunderstorm yet tonight, which will make it the first dry evening in a few days now.
Tomorrow is all about cleaning and making the boat pretty, I have no excuses now.

Paul C.

PS Just took this picture of the old bridge as seen from the marina

Penang old bridge

Day 1 in Batu Uban

Had my best nights sleep, think the mosquitos mostly stayed back at the boat yard. Also no worries about having to get up early, it’s a Sunday and the marina is quiet, the office is not staffed at weekends anyway.
Batu Uban is a state run marina, I think it might have been part of a tourist initiative that never really took off, consequently the marina is full of live-aboards taking advantage of the cheap rates, free electricity and water. Things seem to be changing and there are plans being discussed of improving the marina, and restoring electricity to all the berths, including a hike in the rates.  Im tied up to the arrivals pontoon, on the outside edge of the marina, tomorrow I will move into the inside berths and stake my claim on a pontoon, at least for a couple of weeks.

Here a speeded up video of the launch

And this is our GPS track from the iPad used for navigation,

Track from Batu Maung to Batu Uban

I joined up these two images taken a few months apart, you can’t really see much difference, it’s all underwater, and on my bank statements ūüėČ

So today started with me repairing the head (Toilet), I was very pleased to find it a quick job, then onto cleaning the the galley area before breakfast, and getting the cooker working, It’s a great three burner stove with a grill and oven and everything, I’m hoping Kathy will be impressed when she sees it.
As it was Sunday I thought I would try a cooked breakfast, sadly not having any plates meant a compromise on the presentation.

sunday breakfast
Egs on toast with iced green tea

This evening was spent down the mall again, I got plates, and bowls, an electric kettle, a cafetiere. so not only are we cooking with gas, we can get some caffine into our system after abstaining for a week.

I’m off to cook my first cheese and mushroom omelette east of Barcelona now.

Paul C

Launch pics

I found out tonight there is no longer wifi in the marina, but I also found out I have a great 4g¬†connection on my phone, and it’s not so costly, so I’m giving it a try, I won’t be putting any videos up just yet.

Heres some pics of the travel lift with Sister Midnight hanging in there. I must say, she’s a bit of a fatty.

stern drop
Does my bum look big in this antifoul?


We didn’t get to launch until late, because we wanted to let several other boats come and go, we were the last of the day, so once launched, we could take over the slip and do some testing before we left. Which was just as well as we had engine problems.
Firstly, the engine started perfectly, but no water from the exhaust, which means the engine isn’t being cooled, went to stop the engine with the stop position on the key, but that didn’t work, so with a strong feeling of Deja vu, I’m back in the engine box using the manual stop. After checking sea cocks and water filters we assumed I had messed up the impeller change last night, which I doubted, but we had the yards resident engineer on board checking his work, he also thought best take off the impeller cover and check. The impeller looked good, but the engineer thought there was too much wear on the cover, so we reversed the cover and tried again. No joy after running the engine for a minute. More head scratching, then another try and after a minute water was flowing just fine. So a mystery, I suspect it might take a lot longer than I thought to fill the system, including the exhaust waterlock and if I had just left it longer then it would have been ok.

Anyway, it was running and we had no plans to turn it off until we reached our destination,  so a check that the prop was working and the bow thruster did something and off we went.

Ancient rain forest, now on starboard

from bow A¬†good trip down to the marina, and I did some boat handling practice. She turns very well using the prop walk, can do a 360 turn in about 1 1/2 boat lengths. My first attempt at coming alongside the pontoon was rubbish, my second attempt was barely better, thank goodness for fenders. My main problem is that I cant see much from the helm, the sprayhood and combined bimini block out most of the view, will need to change that arrangement, also we arrived with little water depth, and had the wind behind us and the tide on our side, at least they’re my excuses!

Erik gave the boat a good hose down, and I removed copious amounts of cardboard laid down everywhere to stop dirt and oil getting trodden in.
I’m delighted to be here, even if the little invisible mossies seem to have hitched a lift with me, being in water is so much better, I had a shower on the pontoon, and with a fresh breeze, it almost seemed cold, fantastic.

Thanks for the supportive comments, and I should mention the LBM yard, they were actually great despite my reservations at first.

Paul C

Launch went well, in Marina now

Just a quick line to say the launch went well (ish), now in marina, after a pleasant motor down the Malacca strait for an hour.

Now WiFi yet, so sending this via 4g on my phone, so hopefully can upload pictures later when I get some proper connectivity.

The bow thruster worked well, managed 7.5 knots before engine revs maxed out at 2600, might be room for improvement there, but good enough for now. It’s going to take me a while to get the hang of manoeuvring this beast, she’s 16 tons, with a powerful prop and and engine.

Life is so much better now I am afloat, hopefully away from the mossies, with my own sink, shower and toilet. I have also been able to re-assemble the bits of the boat that where apart for the work being done.

Im off with Erik to have dinner tonight at Nandos to celebrate! I should also be able to pick up some groceries.

It’s great to be back near a shopping mall.

Paul C.