Thursday 31 May 2018

May Newsletter 2018

News from the Crew of Matilda
May  2018

Ships log: 
This is a local fishing boat hauling in his trawling net. The run between Penang and Pangkor is littered with these boats who often are pair trawling, making some runs difficult to work out your best passage.
The beginning of May saw us at Penang and as much as we love it, we didn't stop this time around. We spent our first night anchored just outside the Junk Anchorage at 05 24.18n, 100 20.67e in 6 meters after a long day from Langkawi. The following day we decided on a small jump down to the Queensbay Mall anchorage at Jerejak, dropping anchor at 05 18.45n, 100 18.08e in 10mtrs.

Next day we did the first of many big runs south covering 62 nautical miles to Pulau Talang for the night. anchoring at 04 25.25n, 100 34.69e in 10.3 mtrs. The following day we made it nicely in to Pangkor Marina, staying put for a couple of weeks to do jobs.

Saw the sea plane come and go a few times, it's always quite the sight.
As it turned out the 'couple of weeks' turned into a month. Bruce during some routine engine maintenance discovered one broken engine mount and 2 with cracks in the inserts.

Crew log:
The run down once you leave Langkawi is full of long days, generally with little wind. So it was a surprise when we dropped our anchors at Talang on the east side away from the west as it is the Sou'west monsoon season at the moment, when a storm came up. As always it decided to roll in around midnight and was coming directly from the Nor'east - ohhh goodie another lee shore, so we hauled anchored and puttered around to the west side. 

Basanti bathed in the morning sun as she leaves Penang, bound for Pulau Talang, Pangkor.
Sadly we had to leave our mates on Basanti because their engine decided to not run in gear, lucky for them their new Rochna anchor was holding on for dear life and true to form it didn't let go. Come day light, we moved Matilda back around to assist as we are now proud owners of a Hookah unit. Turned out their prop was totally wrapped up in rope. Not a pretty sight, but once the boys cut it off, the engine started again and off we went down to Pangkor Marina to do some jobs and have a look around the island.

The Captains all Hookah'd up and ready to cut the rope free.
This is what they saw under Bastanti,,,,what a dreadful mess.

This is the ball of rope Bruce and Ken cut off Basanti's prop/shaft. The ruler showing the 1" thick rope!

Once we where tied up at the dock at Pangkor, its all go go go,,the job list always seems never ending. One of our jobs was to flush the entire run of our bilge - not a pretty sight but had to be done.
Floor boards all up exposing the full length bilge on Matilda.
Here is something we had not seen before. A crane dropping a yacht back in. Her twin keels will not fit on the SeaLift so a crane it is.
After a week in the marina we decided we all needed a day off from working on our boats. Pangkor Island is an 8 minute ferry ride over so we all jumped on for the princely sum of RM14 p/p return ($4.20). We had a great day buzzing around the island on our hired scooters. The pictures can tell the story of the day...........

First stop the boat builders. It gave us all a greater appreciation for whats out there on the water. These boats are very sold and massive.

These are their props,,,,,enormous!

Then off to the Dutch Fort for a look at the ruins.
Then off to the 'floating' mosque for a look. Its a very impressive building.

As we wanted to go inside the building (but not in where they pray), we had to leave our shoes at the door and put on appropriate clothing. Boy it was hot with these on.
Before we went into the Mosque, we made a few new friends. Very friendly locals.

Our rides for the day.

A lovely long lunch on on the western side of the island at Daddy's Cafe. 

Love seeing the Hornbill birds, they are amazing.

We didnt stop here in case the rest of the litter was being served,,,haha just joking.

The local kids having a snooze and being kids,,,,

There are some fantastic murals around the island, we loved this one.

Always monkeys,,,Bruce loved this guys 'mo'!

Puffer fish decorations anyone?
All over the island are these look outs,,,they are fantastic.

And this is us, at the end of our day out,,,it was loads of fun.
Then the jobs continued on. We had all 110 meters of chain double dipped galvanized which as it turns out weighs 255kg. Had the job done at at Butterworth and we are very happy with their service and the job. The chain looks really good and should give us another few years of service.

And this is what 110 meters of chain looks like on the dock. Bruce is measuring up every 10 meters, then  putting a marker on so when deploying we know how much has gone out.
During a clean out of some cupboards we found a huge tin of Milo we forget we had. So during the month we cooked up a few things Milo............ Here in Malaysia they love Milo. But we soon learnt to pronounce it as 'Me Low' as they do, when ordering a cold one.

Milo Biscuits, so good.
We spent quite a few days doing some sewing. One of the sewing jobs was to repair the spinnaker bag. As we use it a fair bit, we had been slowy damaging on of the sides, so a few repairs later it was all done.

Final touches to the repairs on the spinnaker bag. Bruce is hammering in the islets for the tie rope.
During some routine engine maintenance Bruce discovered one our engine mounts had a piece missing - not good, and found another insert was cracked, also not good. While not good news, better to have found them here while at the dock rather than at some island in the middle of no where.

Bruce soon had the parts ordered from Oz and the delivery did amused us. I'll let the photos tell the tale.................

We had to go to Customs House to pickup our parcel which was delivered via this truck, in this huge sealed silver bucket.

Once the seal was broken, everyone was intrigued as to what we were having delivered. Everyone is peering into the opened bucket.

And thats the parcel in Bruce's left hand,,,,yep that tiny parcel. 

This is what was in the parcel..........
Parcel back on board and unpacked, now to the awful job of removing all four mounts, getting the inserts out and then putting all four new mounts back in. Not an easy task.

These were our engine mounts. Turned out all 4 were damaged. No doubt this occured during our troubles with a bent shaft.

This is an engine mount. The yellow piece is called an 'insert', and this one is badly damaged,,,actually its broken.

And engines are never in a good place. The job took Bruce nearly 6 hours, with a fair bit of his time in this position. 

Laying on the engine block, working upside down to the part and completly working blind. You cant see the part while you work on it. It's a very difficlt job.
New engine mount inserts in, mounts back in place, now time for some polishing. When we were last on the hard stand we had an extra plate put on our bow so as the anchor stops banging into Matilda's hull. This is the first time we have had a chance to polish it up, and it looks great.

As usual things are never that easy to do, but before the sun was too high Bruce sat on the dock to start polishing.

For the other side he needed to get the tender in the water.  Its certainly coming up a treat - nice and shiny! 
Her stern all very shiny. The step ladder had a few minor repairs done and then polished.

And the job of polishing went on and on. Bruce also did our stern ladder, the bow, the stern its self , he even polished the solar panels! Then spent hours washing the top deck. She's all back to shiny and we are ready to leave to the dock. Looking forward to spending a few months on the east side of Malaysia/Thailand visiting the Thai Gulf exploring new places for us. Then revisiting Tioman and Anambas.

Her bow all shiny. The garland of flowers on our bow is a symbolic gesture of good luck. We see this gesutre on nearly all the fishing vessels in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The fishermen belive the flowers are a symbol to provide good luck and protection, also to honour the spirits of the water.