Latest News in the continuing saga....
Having got everything together and cleared out of Singapore, I decided to investigate a new marina I had heard about on the Malaysian side of the Johore Baru Straits, about 3 miles North of Singapore on the Malaysian side (obviously!) This turned out to be an excellent idea and if anyone is in this area, they should go under the bridge and up to Puteri Harbour. This is a beautiful new Marina Development. The office staff can clear you into Malaysia
which saves a huge amount of chasing around and they have a good chandlery
on site and a ten us dollar taxi ride away from a modern mall with ATM machines, and a first class supermarket. Being Malaysia
its considerably cheaper than Singapore!
So we stored and fuelled and set off in the late afternoon, back down under the bridge, past Raffles Marina and into the Straits yet again. We didnt have much wind
so it was motor
sailing with one engine
to maintain a decent speed. By the next morning we were just about through the Singapore Straits and settling into the passage
routine. An uneventful 2nd day got us nearly to where we had turned back the first time, about 11 miles North of the Equator.
was a light South Easterly and there was a gentle swell. I had just put the first reef in the main as I could see that she was beginning to tear along the lowest seam. Ah, ha, another stitch job, thinks I. So we, if anything, were slightly underpowered when, suddenly, an almighty "crack" and the mast
lurched back about 10 feet. Pretty obvious what had happened - the forestay had parted. I was on watch at the time and immediately got off the wind to reduce pressure. Meanwhile the crew, who was also on deck
at the time, went up to the mast
to grab a spare halliard to run through the forward cleat.
Unfortunately, we weren't quick enough and the whole rig came crashing down, causing quite a bit of damage in the way of bent guard rail stanchions, torn sails
, broken saloon
windows, extensive gouging on the coach-roof and side decks, etc, etc.
You will remember that we had replaced both shrouds. Our rigger in Langkawi had also inspected the forestay top swage and deemed it ok (but with no guarantees!). Because of the roller furling
, it was not possible at the time to inspect the lower part of the forestay, and this had caused me some anxiety - I would be extremely embarrassed if it broke down there! It was the top swage that parted. With the benefit of 20/20 vision of hindsight, perhaps the owner and I were penny wise, pound foolish, in not replacing the forestay in Langkawi, but what's done, is done.
It took us over 6 hours in pretty flat conditions, to secure the mast and boom - jolly heavy, catamaran
rigs! Having done that, we had no lights and no vhf
and were obviously going to have to turn back to Singapore to get the latest mess fixed. I jury rigged a stern light out of an inspection
light which worked very well. In front, attached by jumper cable crocodile clips to the house battery
, I rigged up an led white light. Not having any coloured paper, I couldn't make a red and green but, hey, at least we had something visible forward.
So, back we went and I slowed down so that I would be in the thick of the Straits in daylight.
This boat obviously doesn't want to go South of the Equator - perhaps it had a bad experience there as a child?
We are just awaiting the repair facility manager to come and inspect the damage and liaise with the owner on what's to be done. I'll update the saga as necessary later. T
Meanwhile thanks again for all kind comments!! Tony