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Thursday, 28 February 2019

February Newsletter 2019

News from the Crew of Matilda
February  2019
Incredibly this month we saw no navy warships, so here is a lovely shot of Matilda gliding gently through the waterway of Koh Phra Thong - there was zero breeze and only her wake rippling was on the water.
Ships log: 
  • February 8: 47.9nm's to Koh Lanta (southern end). Anchored at 07 28.77N, 99 05.16E in 8.1mtrs at low tide. 
  • February 9: 30.7nm's to Ko Lian Tai, anchored at 07 06.59N, 99 25.25E in 10.9mtrs at low tide.
  • February 10: 25.4nm's to the bay between Ko Bulan/Ko Khao Yai anchoring in 5mtrs at high tide at 06 48.81N, 99 41.03E.
  • February 11: 49.9nm's to Bass Harbour (Kuah), Langkawi. Anchored at 06 18.98N, 99 50.44E in 4.2mtrs at low tide.
  • February 23: 16.4nm's to Telaga Basin, Langkawi. Anchored at 06 21.68N, 99 40.50E in 4.6 mtrs. 
  • February 25: 26nm's to Koh Lipe, Thailand. Anchored at 06 29.47N, 99 17.60E in 19mtrs.


Crew log:
One of the 100's of beautiful sunsets we get to see.
This month we have enjoyed a quieter time, less moving about and enjoying sitting at anchor, relaxing and doing boat jobs. Our Thai Visa was expiring early February so we decided to slip down to Langkawi, Malaysia for a while before heading back up to Phuket for April. February has proven a fantastic month to move about as the easterlies are well developed making for great sailing. 


Thanks to our extra solar panels we installed a few months ago we regularly see 30amps pumping into our batteries which makes us very happy sailors indeed.
At the beginning of the month we sat at Panwa Bali (Ao Chalong), Phuket to do some provisioning at Macro and Tesco, refill our Aussie gas bottles and we checked out at the Chalong pier. While we sat at Panwa we did the walk up to the lookout, or lookouts as there are a few along this road.

Bruce on the final stretch to the lookout. The walking paths were very good on the walk.


From the top the view of Panwa Bali beach was worth the walk in the hot sun.
For those who need a gas bottle filled while at Phuket, we were told of a shop near the Chalong Pier. We had 2 Australian gas bottles filled (4.5kg each) and it cost us Baht520 for both. The price was very good if you compare it to having it done from Phuket Yacht Haven Marina. To get to the shop we took our tender from Panwa Bali (9.9hp) to the Chalong jetty which took us about 10 minutes. Walk to the end of the jetty, turn right, go to the end (its a dead end), it dog legs to the left and walk up to the main road. She is on your right opposite the Gasoline Bar and Restaurant. Across the road is Cholamart Boat Co, which has all your tender needs covered. 


Cholamart is across the road.

This is the store. The lady will have your bottled filled within a couple of days (not Sundays). 

Her shop is right opposite the Gasoline Bar & Restaurant.

The Hulk turned up out the front of a second hand Chinese home wares shop.
Once we left Ao Chalong, Phuket, Thailand bound for Kuah, Langkawi, Malaysia we stopped off at some familiar places. All giving us a beautiful sunset each night. One of the stops during the 154 nautical mile trip we saw loads of fishermen catching these pink jelly fish. We believe they are a delicacy in China!


Searching for the pink jellyfish. A lot of shouting goes on when they see one.

This is what they are chasing - they are quite large, about the size of a big watermelon.

And he has one in his scoop.
On the trip down to Langkawi we enjoyed stopping at Koh Lanta, Ko Lian Tai and a new to us anchorage between Ko Bulan/Ko Khao Yai. Koh Lanta offered a fantastic anchorage from the easterly winds. Loads of small anchorages to pick from with good depths. We did notice the shoreline was very rocky, even on the beaches. The morning we left we noticed what seemed to be Brahma cows walking along the beach.....I didn't get a photo.


Koh Lanta, west coast on the southern end.
Ko Lian Tai is a unique anchorage. It is two very tall limestone karsts. Its surprisingly not that deep (just outside of the area we anchored it was 40+mtrs) beside them. Again they both offer fantastic protection in an easterly. They are also right near Koh Phetra, an amazing piece of karst. 


Matilda entering the anchorage behind Ko Lian Tai. You can see the gap between them. The water rushes really fast between the two karsts.

A good shot of the lime stone melting.
While we do get to see incredible sunsets, the sunrises are amazing. Koh Phetra offered some great views for us as we passed her early the next day.


Phetra being bathed in pre dawn light, the suns not up yet.


Phetra from a different angle as we pass it. Its very tall, but very slim.

Phetra looking from its southern end, its a very slim karst.

The sun just poking its head up now. Some local fisherman heading home after dropping their pots.


The sun is now fully up. Phetra looks very different from this angle.


Fish farms - something we hope we never hit.

A couple of rocks to avoid.

Another rock with some fisherman resting beside it.
Does anyone else see a face on the cliff, like its mouth is open and the fisherman are about to be gobbled up!!!
Kuah, Bass Harbour at Langkawi is a great spot for us. Like most cruisers here we anchor out and use our tender to get to shore. Its easy and the tender is safe while we walk, go grocery shopping, haul diesel and catch up with friends.


Walking back from Billion (supermarket) Bruce spotted a Hornbill sitting on top of a huge burl in a tree right beside a very busy road. The ground below was littered with tree debris and we wondered if the bird was making a nest as it disappeared into the tree.
This is a little road side food stall, that sold lovely treats. (see next photo).


Our morning tea treat from a road side stall. For AU$1 we bought: 2 sugar donuts, 2 deep fried somethings, 2 curry puffs, a bean ball and 2 curry/coconut balls. So good, just don't tell our doctor we had so much deep fried foods.
This is the Petronis service station we hauled our jerry cans to. In total we save ourselves either AU$44 or if you turn it around we gained an extra 60 litres for our trouble - pretty good value all up.
One of our friends enjoys playing live with a few mates at a cafe near the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.

Good friend Mick, Captain of Wishful Thinking, enjoying some solo time at a cafe.

Our catch up night was finished off with a lovely sunset over the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.
On our walks around one morning we watched this pussy cat up a tree, feeling quite at home.

This is the known as the Fisherman's Jetty, it has seriously deteriorated since we where here last a couple months ago.

The tides were big during our visit and at half tide we were noticing there wasn't much water around the jetty.

Lucky this magnificent frangipani was in bloom to brighten up the jetty. We haven't seen many solid red flowers like this one.
During the king tides we did a grocery shop one day and misjudged the water level on our return. For 2 hours we waited for enough water to come into the little inlet so we could refloat our tender and go home. Luckily there was plenty of local cafes around that we could spend a few hours eating at. Being Muslim none served alcohol so we enjoyed some lovely fruit juices. They where even kind enough to let us put our frozen & cold items in their ice cream fridge once we assured them we had no pork in our bags.


Even the fast boats where stuck fast.

The little bay was totally dry, we had never seen it like this.

Our pontoon was completely out of the water, that's mud to the left of the screen.

Our tender (grey cover, 2 white handles) is sitting on some very sloppy mud.

Our cafe that allowed us to wait for 2 hours no problems.

Bruce with our 2 nanny trolleys, 2 backpacks, 2 extra bags and the cold/frozen goodies are in the cafes ice cream freezer.

Every time we revisit a place we always find something new. This time we found a bakery supply shop. It was awesome to find things like: dried fruits, flours, nuts, etc for baking.
Jennice Wan address and opening hours.

The red dot showing the location thanks to Google Maps.

Looking towards the main road, the hotel: Adya is a street maker for the bakery shop. We walked to the shop from the fisherman's jetty no problems. 
Matilda enjoying the sunset, a lovely cool breeze was a welcome change this day from the heat.



What have we cooked or baked his month?


Everyone loves a chocolate cake. Click here for our simple recipe.
An old family favourite: Cornflake Biscuits - omg so good.

What other things have we written this month.....

  • Bruce continues to document his work on the Raspberry Pi set up. Here is a write up on how to get the tide function working on OpenPlotter.
  • We all know the importance of backing up data and here is a write up on how to backup your Raspberry Pi data.
  • Hose clamps are imperative on a boat and some boaters under estimate their importance. Here is a piece Bruce wrote about awareness.

Photo of the month - Chalong is crazy busy with the road works going on and we had a laugh with these ladies as they took off with their new mattress.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Matilda's Chocolate Cake No 1

A simple, easy to make but very tasty Chocolate Cake

1/2 Cup Sugar
1 TBS Butter
1 Cup Flour
2 TSP Baking powder
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Water
1 TBS Golden Syrup
1 Egg
1 TBS Cocoa
1/2 TSP Bi-Carb. Soda

Beat butter and sugar to a cream, add egg, then syrup. (we use a hand whisk) Beat in the sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa, then add in the milk. Finally add in the bi-carb soda.

The mixture will be very moist, this is how its supposed to be. Bake in a 8" 20 cm sandwich tin in a 180 deg C (375 deg F) oven for 3/4 of an hour. We start checking after 1/2 an hour as our oven can be a bit fast.

1 TBS =  20 ml
1 TSP =   5 ml
1 Cup = 250 ml

Ice the top by mixing 2 TBS butter, with 2 TBS cocoa and enough icing sugar to make a workable icing, you may add a little water if the mix becomes to thick. When the cake has cooled spoon icing on to the top of the cake and spread out with the back of the spoon

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Raspberry Pi OpenPlotter Making a System BackUp

I recommend to make a copy of your system when you are happy with the configuration. SD cards are usually reliable now days but like any thing electronic they can fail. Having a copy of your set up allows you to easily replace your system, just swap your failing SD for the backup SD.

Put a Fat32 formatted SD card in a USB SD card reader/writer and plug it into your Pi USB port.

Read how to format a SD card with Fat32 Here scroll down to the format section.

To start the process open a Terminal window from Accessories menu.
Terminal window ready to go.


In the open a Terminal window type: df -h

The out put of the df -h command showing the list of mounted devices

You will get a list of mounted devices. Check the device name, in my case /dev/sdc1. Ignore the last character that is a number, in my case 1. As can be seen this card has been formatted with a Volume name of SITE.

In the screen capture its listed as /dev/sdc1  120G 128k 120G /media/pi/SITE  which makes sense because its a 128Gb SD card and has 128k used, and has 120Gb free.

Open SD Card Copier from Accessories menu.
Selecting the SD Card copy tool from the Accessories menu


In Copy From Device select the internal SD card /dev/mmcblk0
In Copy To Device select the device that matches the device from the terminal list, in my case /dev/sdc
Do not check New Partition UUIDs or it may not work correctly on your copy.

The /dev/mmcblk0  selected as copy from device and the /dev/sdc selected as copy to device
Press Start,
If your happy with your choices press the yes button

Getting the new SD card ready for the copy 

Just about ready to start the copy of data

Copy under way the first four partitions went by quickly

Your done 

After waiting 10 to 15 minutes you are done. I shutdown and remove the SD card carrier. Now put the copied SD into a safe place.


If you do not have an USB card reader/writer you can use the same method you would use to write an image to a new card.  Here is a link to the Raspberry Pi org site detailing how to use your Windows PC to install operating system images. Here is how to do it using a MAC.
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If after you are up and running and have made some changes and need to back up your system again you can write over the SD card you have made as a backup (as above). The first step ( df -h command) is the same but the out put on the screen looks different. The steps are the same, you are still copying to the sdc (SD Card). You will still copy to /dev/sdc


The window below is the output of the df -h command, showing the different partitions, of the same sd card (sdc).

The df -h command out put on the screen showing the different sdc partitions