Welcome to the blog of the sailing yacht Sea Bunny.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ghosting along

Heading south from PD, minding our own business with a light wind forward of the beam - we are of course motoring. Suddenly big noise from aft. Rope around the prop? Engine put hard astern then ahead again. Nothing - apart from more revs. Quick investigation below - the anti vibration disc between the gearbox and the shaft is no longer attached to the gearbox flange. No problem! Sail for a while while the engine cools a bit and rejoin them.
Some time later the engine is cooler but the shaft can be neither rotated nor slid forward - both normally easy. There must still be something around the propeller (or - horror of horrors - a bent shaft). Meanwhile there is now some wind and we are heading towards our  target destination at up to 7 kn. 
We need to close the coast to anchor and dive on the propeller but the coastline is lined with oil jetties and the sea littered with anchored tankers.
Our guardian
Once South of Tanjung Bruas the oil installations finish. By the time Sea Bunny gets there the wind has died to about 3 kn and the tide has turned against us. We crab shorewards avoiding being swept onto anchored ships by the tide and anchor in 7.5 m, hopefully sufficiently inshore not to be in the way of the ships and tugs.
An anchored tug observes our progress and raises its anchor so that we do not drift into her. She re-anchors some 100 m from us and stays there overnight - looking after us, we think.
The pilot variously states the time of the tide change as 1 hour before local LW or 3:30 after HW Penang. The former gives 1530, the latter 1830. At 1600 the tide is still running strongly, so it seems 1830 may be the time. It was - R was able to push the propeller and shaft back from outside while snorkelling - the dive gear had been prepared in anticipation of a longer job. There was in fact no rope around the propeller.
A couple of hours later all was reconnected ready for us to move on the next day to Pualu Besar in the Water Islands, then Pulau Pisang (literally Banana Island). Finally we arrived at Puteri Harbour Marina in The Johor Strait between Malaysia and Singapore.

Port Dickson

Continuing southwards, Sea Bunny spent nights anchored off Pulau Pangkor and Pulau Angsa before stopping at Port Dickson.

New rope - R didn't really want his picture taken!
A primary reason for stopping at PD was to visit Cordage International's rope factory at nearby Seremban. At one point we thought this might not happen as we had been told of people being quoted MYR 400 (about £85) for a day's car hire. In the event Sara, the marina receptionist, put us in touch with a hirer with much more sensible prices, although the car had automatic transmission that occasionally slipped, a cracked windscreen and, as we discovered when paying motorway tolls, windows that did not open!
Cordage International is a major manufacturer and supplier to US and UK rope brands as well as to the Royal Malaysian Navy. However, they are pleased to supply direct to yachties. Sashi, the Technical Director made us welcome while a replacement furling line was made up from  6mm dyneema spliced to 10 mm polyester double braid. We also got 100 m of 16 mm nylon double braid for replacement dock lines (with a lot to spare), 35 m of 12 mm polyester double braid for a replacement topping lift and another 25 m to replace the purchases on the running backstays. Prices were very significantly below chandlery prices. The next day Richard returned for more double braid to replace the purchases on the running backstays. On this second visit he met Ben, Sashi's father, who founded the company.
Milin, on Nae Hassle, told us of a chandlery in an unlikely location near Lukup, just off the motorway between PD and Seremban. Having failed to find it on our first trip we tried again. In the midst of a small yard where they build small fishing boats and up a staircase we found a small, chaotic but reasonably well-stocked chandlery. We succeeded in acquiring a boathook, some spring reinforced hose, a catch for the anchor well and the penny washers that had eluded Richard in Penang. 


Tanjong City Marina - now all gone!
The Tanjung City Marina in Penang having finally succumbed to silting and the depredations of swell and wash we spent a few days in Straits Quay Marina, which has opened since our last visit to the island.
We had successful shopping experiences at Sam's Batik House. Less successful was Richard's search for 10 mm penny washers, conducted in pouring rain after he had decided that the rain had finished for the day and left the umbrellas on the boat!
A bonus was that Shadow Trader came in to the marina while we were there so we were able to spend more time with Elspeth and St John.

Rebak again

We remained in Rebak for 7 weeks, somewhat longer than intended, reducing the jobs list and only leaving the island for the essential, roughly weekly, shopping trips to Kuah and, in Susan's case, Friday trips to the "veggie man".

On our last trip to town we were able to meet up with old friends Elspeth and St John (MY Shadow Trader) who we first met in 2002 in Fiji with their previous yacht, Galyfreae, and last saw when we visited them on their farm near Gin Gin in Queensland in 2005, shortly after we arrived in Australia.

While in Rebak we had a new Silentwind wind generator delivered from Portugal to replace the 3 year old Air Breeze which had got flooded internally while we were on the hard in Boat Lagoon. TNT managed to send the correctly addressed package to Labuan and apparently lose track of it for 2 weeks and take another week to get it from KL to Rebak - door to door nearly a month! The Silentwind  is much quieter than the AirX, which with Silentwind blades retrofitted, is itself quieter than it used to be.

The new genset arrives at Rebak
We also gave up on our 7 year old Pajuro 4000 genset and, after some research into slower-running alternatives, ordered a new one. This arrived on the cargo boat to Rebak and was manhandled onto the pontoon before being lifted onto Sea Bunny using the boom and mainsheet - a routine we've got quite used to.

On 31 March we checked out of Langkawi at Telaga Harbour, collected more duty free booze and headed south, stopping for two nights in Teluk Ayer Tuan at the south of the Langkawi group where Richard dived to clean most of the ecosystem acquired from a stay in Rebak from the propeller.

Goodbye to Thailand

Sorry for the lack of updates since the snake incident! Things got a bit busy.

The sandbar off Yacht Haven at high water
After a New Year spent again in Panwa Bali in company with Crystal Blues we headed up to the north of Phuket to Yacht Haven Marina to sort out a few more jobs from the list, which seems to grow by two items for each one we tick off!

Sea Bunny finally checked out of Thailand for the last time on 30 January for the trip to Langkawi, stopping overnight at Ko Yao Yai, Phi Phi Don, Ko Kraken, Ko Yaing Yai and Ko Turatao. Half way across the Cincin Strait between Turatao (Thailand) and Langkawi (Malaysia) we decided to take the scenic route around the east of Langkawi, instead of the direct route around the west. We arrived at the anchorage in Kuah at dusk, checking in the next day before some shopping, obtaining new SIM cards for mobiles and iPads and, most importantly, stocking up with duty free drink!

Next day Sea Bunny made the short journey to Rebak Island and its marina (aka amongst yachties as Rebak Retirement Village due to the number of people who arrive and stay)