Sunday, 4 March 2018

February Newsletter 2018

News from the Crew of Matilda
February 2018

Ships log:
Matilda spent the entire month of February on the hardstand at Pangkor Island Marina being spruced up. She had her hull completely sanded back to mostly fiberglass. She then had 2 coats of epoxy barrier coat painted on. Followed by 2 coats of epoxy primer: Safe Guard and then 3 coats of anti foul. Plus an extra coat on her points, being her bow, front of the keel and on the front facing of the rudder. Her topsides have been polished so they shine like glass and her water line green stripe has been given a new lease on life with a fresh coat of paint. Once being splashed back in the water and tied up to the 'fuel dock', she was washed and polished all over. All back to beautiful and ready for her trip up to Penang, Malaysia.

From that to this.
Head quarters for the yard boys - always a hive of activity. 

Marina Island Jetty complex. Loads of shops here to shop and eat.

The under cover area.

The marina.

Not sure what the purpose of the tanks on pillars are for, but they are very colorful. Pangkor Island is in the back ground.
Crew log:
We arrived back to Matilda round midday on the 2nd of February. The 9 hour evening flight from the Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA2) is never fun. It is very difficult to sleep in such cramped conditions on the Air Asia flights. Once landed, we collected our luggage, and had some breakfast. Then jumped on the Star Shuttle bus for our 5 hour bus ride from the airport to Sitiawan (one of the main towns near the marina) and then had a short taxi ride to the marina. What we did enjoy was the seats in the bus. They are massive recliners complete with foot rests. We dozed all the way from the airport to Sitiawan along with the other 5 passengers on board!

Our bus for 5 hours from the airport. Huge comfortable seats that fully reclined!
Since we arrived back Bruce has worked every single day on Matilda getting her ready to go back into the water. From 0630 till 1700. Some days were longer and he worked non stop for 28 days. I think he is well due some R & R. It's very hot most days in Malaysia, but some days seemed hotter when the sun was out than others. Those days Bruce came back upstairs continuing his work doing inside jobs.

The yard dog: Diana. She was always coming over for a pat and checking on everyone. 
We have known since we bought Matilda in 2010 that her hull needed to be bought back to fiberglass and all her paints done fresh. It is no mean feat and we are glad to have done it properly knowing we will never do it again. The task is mammoth, but the outcome is sensational - a very smooth paint job on her hull.

Some tasty treats from Aeon - yes they were delicious.
The removal of the old anti foul was done while we where in Australia. The final decision to employee Islam and his team was made after a chat with James, the marina manager who ensured us Islam and his team are excellent workers producing very good outcomes. We did note they used 16 grit sanding disks to remove some anti foul. We thought 60 or 80 grit was tough, but to use 16 just showed us how difficult a task it was to remove. It took two men the better part of 2 months to complete the job. Glad we lashed out and paid for the pleasure!. 

16 Grit!!!!!!
As mentioned in the January newsletter, we had Matilda's prop shaft straightened. The spare fixed prop was serviced and polished. A new rope cutter was slipped on to the prop shaft. A new set of PSS bellows were installed and a new cutlass bearing was put in to replace the damaged one. All new sacrificial anodes where secured to her prop shaft, rudder bearings and rudder so as to avoid the metals from being eaten away.

Newly polished prop, new rope cutter, new shaft anode all on the newly straightened prop shaft. 
For those interested, here is a list of the services we used: I have put their business name, contact name and phone numbers here. A full list of available contractors can be obtained by contacting Ruz at Pangkor Marina. Also a copy of their business cards is at the end of this post. If you use Google Maps: key in the business name and it will appear. We did this for all these business's and found them without any issue.

AJ Harware. AJ is your contact: +60123229868. We bought all our anti fouling and most supplies off AJ.
Bulat for stainless steel and other works: 0182752834. Bulat did our anchor bash plate.
Mr Chan - Straits Marine Engineering Sdn. Bhd.: 0125162989. Mr Chan straightened our prop shaft and did various other repairs for us.
Islam at Islam Yacht Services: 0142141913. Islam's team removed most of our old anti foul (a rotten job for them in the heat and humidity, but did a sensational job).
Prestige Marine Services: Contact Jimmy or his wife Audrey +60195741308. We went to Jimmy to buy hard to get epoxy's, buffing pads, incredible polish and waxing products. Jimmy and his wife are extremely knowledgeable. Jimmy and his team amongst other jobs paint hulls, and one day when we have the money, he is our man. The job they do is simply incredible. Their paint jobs look like glass.
Lee Electrical: 0125231927. For every thing electrical!
Koay Brothers Hardware: 056851212. for bits and pieces. 
Finnscrew for our prop. Contact is Pekka: 0195701737. 

2 ringgit shop - (near the 4 ways before you turn left to go to Jimmy's). for cheap brushes, buckets and cloths.

AJ & his Uncle with Bruce outside their family business.

One of Bulat's workers putting on our stainless steel bash plate for the anchor.

Jimmy, his wife Audrey with their boys and Bruce out the front of the their family owned shop: Prestige Marine Services.
Bruce holding our newly serviced propeller. With him is Pekka, a Finnish gentleman who has been the owner/manager for 25 years. We found Pekka most informative, honest in his opinion and we really enjoyed our tour of his propeller manufacturing business plant. 
Bruce & Pekka looking at a newly made propeller ready to be shipped out. 
All the work was not only on her hull. When the heat and humidity just got too much Bruce did loads of work inside. The install of the prop shaft PSS seal etc took some time. He replaced our toilet seat which was broken. He made a new mesh for the sea strainer. He straightened and epoxy'd the bracket for the sea strainer. Improved work on the fridge, including installing a paddle wheel/flow indicator so we could see the water flow (our fridge is water/air cooled). He tided up, improved and removed electrical cables. Installed a new gas detector. Spent days removing, making and installing new anchor winch relays. Put new depth markers on the anchor chain. And spent loads of hours doing little bits and pieces to make life on Matilda even more comfortable and easy for day to day living. 

Bruce reattaching the prop shaft. Working in tight spaces is never easy.
And what was Deb doing while all this work was going on? She became chief cook and bottle washer. Wet the occasional paint brush to apply epoxy. Kept the inside of Matilda clean as possible. Kept general duties on track. Did all the correspondence when needing special materials ordered and picked up. Got to use the sewing machine on various occasions. Master record keeper using excel. Tried but failed to keep the cockpit clean - an impossible task when the boat next door is sanding teak daily. Attempted to keep the clears clear, that didn't happen until Matilda came off the hard stand. Kept water up to the hard worker down on the ground floor.  Did a fair bit of writing. Passed loads of forgotten bits down in the bucket to keep things running smoothly. She was Chief morale booster and entertainment director. And most importantly always made sure the fridge was full of Tiger's for that well earned chilled beer at the end of the day for Bruce.

Bruce enjoying his Tiger Beer. He is dog tired and wasn't to impressed with me taking this photo.

All our running around was made easier in the first couple of weeks by securing a hire car. This time we had a Cube car and it was very reliable. 

Here is a sequence of photos from haul out to splash total 4.5 months on the hard stand. Hull work took 28 days. Bruce went through 3 pairs of work boots (thongs haha) and 5 sets of work clothes which we just threw out once the job was done.

Out of the water.

Islam's boys working hard.

 A bare hull, ready for work.

Mixing the epoxy resign to fill in some gouges made by the removal of the anti foul with the scraper or grinder.

Mixing the epoxy fairing resin for the water line.

Water line being being tied into the hull line.

We had 10 supports in total, we could only release 2 at a time. This is the first coat under 2 supports of the epoxy barrier coat.

First of many coats. This is the epoxy barrier coat going on.

2 coats of epoxy barrier coat.

2 coats of grey epoxy tie coat done!

The final coat of anti fouling.

The happy crew ready to pick up Matilda.

Yard boys getting Matilda ready to be picked up by the Sea Lift.

The boss 'James Khoo' minutes after one of the boys noticed a hydraulic hose had blown out. 

The team inspecting the blown hydraulic hose.

And the polishing begins. 

One very polished hull.

Final coat of the waterline.

Pulling the tape off the water line - a happy man.

Done,,,splash in!
We would like to close the month by saying that as hard as it was, doing the work in the yard at Pangkor Marina is one of the best places to be in SE Asia. With regards to the availability of goods, services and workmen, it is a fantastic location. The owner/manager of Pangkor Marina - James Khoo works very hard at ensuring everyone is safe and well looked after, we were no exception. All the lads who work in the marina moving us about on the Sea Lift couldn't do enough for you and we love their relaxed attitude to life and beautiful smiles. At any time we needed local information, assistance or advise, Ruz and the ladies in the office where wonderful and easy to deal with every single time. Absolutely nothing was too much trouble. 

If your reading this James, Ruz & co -  we really do thank you for everything. 

Ruz, Miss Wong and Akina in side the Pangkor Marina Office.

Bruce with James beside the Sea Lift.
Now, we are off to Penang to get our Thai visa's and enjoy the journey back up to Phuket, Thailand to enjoy and celebrate the purchase of our friends new boat - Basanti.

A very happy man!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

January Newsletter, 2018

News from the Crew of Matilda
January 2018

Ships log ~ Matilda continues to be on the hard stand at Pangkor Marina in Malaysia. There has been a lot of torrential rain in Pangkor during December last year which continued into the New Year hampering efforts for our paid workmen. Islam and his team have been working very hard removing all the old antifoul off her hull. We are certain work on Matilda will be complete upon our return February 1. We are looking forward to splashing back in February after we repaint her underbelly, fix her broken bits so we can sail up to Thailand to join friends.

Captain Bruce, inspecting Matilda as she sits on the Sea Lift machine. 
Crew log ~ the end of January see’s our time home come to an end. We came home to lick our wounds mid-November. The time has been well spent and we have thoroughly enjoyed being home. We have caught up with land based friends, sailing friends and soaked up loads of family time. Even enjoying some house maintenance. The dominoes game: Mexican Train Dominoes certainly had everyone enthralled. 

Lisa and Bruce sprucing up the out door setting.

Deb with Catherine off CatchCry. It was so good to catch up with our mates.
We had a sensational day thanks to an old work mate of Debs. We went to the local hot rod meet. Bruce loved every bit of it and a few of the kids came as well. A great morning.

Our bikie family at the Hot Rod meet.

Victoria Point, Hot Rods. 

Captain reminiscing of days spent in his youth. 
Great memories of spending long days with Doug & Britt. A highlight was touring around old favorite haunts of Mt. Tamborine and enjoying some new ones. Chatting for hours and eating American style beef ribs & burgers at one of their local favourite restaurants and catching up with their two hounds: Charger & Hemi. And not to mention the enormous lamington ‘pie’. It was massive!

Doug & Britt at O'Reilly's winery at Canungra. One our favourite places to go.

On the way home we stopped at The Bearded Dragon Hotel for a cuppa and one huge lamington.
One little man we will miss is Lisa & Reece’s fur baby: Romeo. He is the most adorable little dog. Romeo turned 1 while we were home and his playfulness kept us entertained daily, we especially loved psycho hour! Due to the mild heat and humidity we decided to walk as much as we could in the mornings with him.  Romeo certainly loved this time of the day. Although we don’t think he was too sure about his home grooming experience. Talk about laugh – he is such a good little pup.       

This was part of the walking path we enjoyed each morning.

Romeo's first home grooming experience with Lisa, Tamara and Tom.

Every morning Romeo would sit and wait ever so patiently for us to take him on his walk.
Maisy, the cat took some time to warm up to us at first then we couldn’t get her out of our room. She loved sitting on our window sill soaking up the afternoon sun or laying between our pillows. Then as we were leaving she loved sitting in our bags as we packed.

Miss Maisy in one of our bags.
During our time home we did loads of running around for Matilda gathering things we just can’t find/buy in Asia, so our bags back were full to the brim and right on our weight limit. We did bring a heap of clothing and items back home that we just don’t use to lighten Matilda, but it seems we are taking equal weight back!

One item we are excited to use was the Hookah. Its a dive unit without air tanks. You dive with air hoses connected to a compressor which is connected to a battery. Back in June 2017 we used a friends Hookah while in Tioman and Bruce was very impressed. With the help of Reece we bought a unit for our self, back in December. The great thing was we got to test our unit, thanks to Helen & Lester. They very kindly let us load it all on board their lovely boat Joule. We had a lovely sail down to Peel Island and loads of fun testing out the unit. 

Bruce and Lester off the stern of Joule testing the dive Hookah.
It was marvelous being home for the Christmas vacation period and seeing family & friends. Christmas Day was a special day spent with lots of visitors coming and going through the day. Bruce certainly was surprised to see Santa had bought him a drone – now there’s something for him to master! Little Romeo certainly made us laugh running around in his Santa suit.

Poor Romeo in his Santa Suit - he hated it and chewed it every chance he could.

Miss Maisy enjoying Christmas.
Australia Day was spent swimming and eating a wonderful BBQ spread with Tim & Jo, friends of Lisa and Reece’s and it was great to have Doug and Britt with us. The pool was fantastic.

Doug draped in the Australian Flag

Tim & Jo's pool.
We got to enjoy quite a few swims this time home while visiting family and friends. It was certainly hot a lot of the time so the swims were a great way to cool down and have loads of fun.

Enjoyed a day with Aunty Nee in her pool.

This time in Reece's parents pool. We had a great day with Jan, Kevin and Alana.
It was good timing for a Facebook gathering as I belong to the group: Women Who Sail Australia – WWSA. A lunch had been organized as a Christmas get together and we were in time to attend. It’s always fantastic to put faces to names you have been chatting with for some time online. I find these women inspirational and comforting at the same time. Many great friendships have been formed due to this group of women.

WWSA's gathered for lunch at Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club. 
Bruce’s 60th birthday was a very special evening spent with family and friends. Lunch was was a lovely treat, cooked by Reece. The birthday weekend was made even more special by having Tamara and Tom come up from Melbourne to join us. Tamara’s speech certainly left most of us with watery eyes, it was a lovely heart felt speech. And the birthday cake was very impressive thanks to the efforts of Alana – Reece’s twin. The two tiered chocolate cake was sensational. Good food was in abundance and kept us in left overs for next 3 days! 

Just for Bruce, Reece served him this lovely meal of BBQ'd lamb chops on a bed of salad with strawberries!

Look at that cake. Epic effort from Alana.

Bruce and Tamara.
It certainly was a fantastic month and we will miss everyone back home until we return. But the good times on Matilda must continue!

Wish we could have stowed Romeo in our luggage - we will miss him.