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Old 31-07-2012, 08:44   #196
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Ahoy shipmates, well, I splash tomorra, wends, with the fully recn mercedes motor , plus heaps of new stuff that I discovered needed replacing. What a marathon, 6 weeks behind!!
Original crew has bailed, father ill and got the woops with waiting while the mechs dithered, new crew from hawaii flies in on friday.
I hope that the many, many hours spent on this old motor pays dividends.
Boat is a lot lighter without the pacific wind pilot and sundry other old systems.

Sea trails and then a shake down cruise to Penang for indo visas and off to Sumatra for 3 or so months!!!

Its all good in the end, if you are still drawing breath??
All the best from Keith.
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Old 31-07-2012, 10:06   #197
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Hi Keith

Good to hear the old Merc will be chugging away anew. Good luck with the sea trials.

You may already know that there is a small new marina on the North coast of Penang, I'm told that it is quite nice, but that the entrance is narrow and shallow. May still be better to go to Georgetown, but if you feel adventurous and go there, let us know your thoughts.

I'm heading for Tioman and Anambas in the next two months. In the lookout for quiet, secluded spots before the end of the season in the East of Peninsular Malaysia. At this stage I'm not planning to come over to Phuket this December, but may come to spend some time in Langkawi and the Butangs.

Fair winds and waves, I look forward to your posts!
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Old 31-07-2012, 11:04   #198
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Ahoy Capn..... Nice to hear from you!
I will check out the new marina and let you know what it is like.
Entrance cant be any worse than boat lagoon, but I dont want to lose all my new bottom paint on the keel?

Lots of good diving in those islands you are heading for?

I have high hopes for the merc, it has lasted 42 years, should go for a few more with mostly new vital organs?
New heat exchanger
new stainless steel mixer manifold
new damper plate
new engine mounts
new flexible coupling
new water pump housing
repaired thermostat housing
new water pump">raw water pump seal and dimpellor
new secondary spin on fuel filter
All new fuel lines and twin water separation filters
Twin electric fuel pumps
Complete rewire
Day tank
new injector pump and lift pump
new injectors
new exhaust hose
new pistons/rings/liners, rebore
New valve stem seals, head planed and valves reseated
new main and big end bearings
shiny new paint

Cost a packet, but 1/8th of the price of a new engine and fitting it etc,etc...
Runs like a two bob watch!!!?


I am looking forward, eagerly, to get out of this awful boatyard and get amongst some nice clean right hand barrels again. Hears hoping???

All the best from Keith.
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Old 11-08-2012, 21:26   #199
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Sea trails on the trip to Penang.

Avast shipmates, the sea trials continue!!

Boats..... never seem to be running smoothly, too many systems to go wrong, but.............

The new motor is singing sweetly, a bit smoky still, but not run in, heaps more power!!

Made a 5.30am start from Langkawi, and had left the island and channel before daybreak.
Arrived at Penand harbour at 9.00pm, 15 hour passage for around 65 nautical miles, had a 19 knot wind on the nose for most of the journey, it swung from the SE to the South at 3pm, so had the jib up and doing 6 to 7 knots for the last few hours of daylight, with motor assist. Came in with the pitch dark and successfully anchored in the old junk anchorage in 6m of water in a mud bottom, amongst the old wooden fishing hulks and trawlers.

Penang is a happenin place, wow, so busy!!! The food is amazing!! Lotsa street stalls and all that gear, we are anchored at the front of Chew jetty, built in the 1800's and listed on the world heritage register, all built over the water, lots of homes and 1 small hotel and shops, we use the jetty to go ashore from the "old junk anchorage", just out in front. The original coconut tree poles that the whole thing is built over the water on have been replaced by 20 litre plastic buckets with the ends cut out, stacked one on top of the other and filled with concrete, with some iron reinforcing down the middle, really bizarre! Or with 250mm sewer pipes filled with concrete! Works ok!

Got our passport pics with a red background yesterday and now have our incomplete cruising permit, only signed by the minister of foreign affairs, and our sponsors details and identification for the social visa at the Indonesian embassy on Monday morning.

Have some new oars for the dingy ordered and some more PVC glue, as it is falling apart, still!!! A new hypalon dingy is on the cards from Phuket in December?

Fred is going off sight seeing around the island on the hire motorbike this morning and I will concentrate on fixing the issues that raised their heads during the 15 hour motor sail down here.

Mainly.
Repostion engine alarms so I can close the companionway hatch.
Find the new earth leak onto the hull electrical system.
Find where all the water came from in the bilge, the sink goes below the water line on a starboard tack over 30 degrees heel and water comes out the sink into the boat and I could not close the stop cock on the sink drain, so disconnected it and banged a rubber plug into it, will have to plug the sink drain from the outside and pull the stop cock off and get it working again, suspect a piece of uncooked rice is jamming the ball valve open?
Recalibrate the voltage reugulator.
The radar has a loose connection to the magnetron, the array up on the mast that spins around, and the radar signal is intermittent. I have a new connection for the radar motherboard, that I may have to solder on?
Put proper, different coloured plastic markers on the anchor chain that show the amount of chain that goes out.
Etc...etc

But, all fixiable, nothing that time and money cant fix???

I am hoping to get to Sumatra this season, depends on how "perfect", I want all the systems to be operating before I go!? If I cannot fix it properly now, when will I fix it??

I will keep plugging away at the problems as they raise their ugly heads!! Could leave on Monday afternoon, but I want to be able to relax a bit on the trip over there!

My new crew, Fred, from Hawaii, is the best crew!!! Very capable and friendly, quite, reserved, does things without having to be asked and never complains, very positive, mature guy, also a tug boat captain, very knowledgeable! Not pushing to start, but keen to help sort out the issues. I am very lucky to have him? Ben was also an excellent crew member.

Cheers from Keith.
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Old 13-08-2012, 05:54   #200
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Scored a pile of Surfer's Journals from Vinnes. Way too many articles about boat trips to perfect surf. Just the kick in the butt I needed!
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Old 13-08-2012, 19:15   #201
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Regarding the non working seacock, you might want to look outside the thru-hull...I found many timers an oyster or barnacle that grew in there, especially in the galley sink outlet...

Just a quick question....how do you store your boards on your boat? A boardbag does not last more than a year or so in the sun....

Cheers
Ovi
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Old 13-08-2012, 19:22   #202
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Ahoy Ovi, thanks, did a dive overboard and I had left the hose hanging out of the galley through hull to collect the waste in the bucket. They rushed me when they lifted me back in and I did not get off the boat, were 8 men standing around the hull and would have seen the hose! But... all good now!
Furuno radar is still showing a now heading pulse warning, but a good display of targets? Signal cable connection to display is sound!

Boards are stored under the solar panels and the bags have degraded, changed two from Bali, just fell apart, better quality ones last longer?

Pick up the Indo visas this morning.

Cheers from Keith.
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Old 31-08-2012, 15:45   #203
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

I love Sumatra. I mean to be there may to september but gotta figure some work out before and after. Anyways, getting into sailing and navigation school soon and gonna spend the winter practicing. Maybe we cross paths next year. Have you passed through south Sumatra much? That's where I spend most of my time usually..amazing place. Not the Mentawais but awesome rural, lush and at times flawless waves of course. Enjoy!!!
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Old 23-09-2012, 01:38   #204
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Made it to the Banyaks for 4 weeks of surf and now sailing into Sibolga to check in.
Keith
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Old 23-09-2012, 06:40   #205
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Hi Keith

Good to hear from you. How's everything going on the boat since the re-build and all the work before this years cruise? And the surfing? Awaiting your stories.

M
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Old 24-09-2012, 04:27   #206
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Sounds like a late season trip compared to the usual.
How is the engine balance working out? Much vibration?
Hope you score some awesome waves.
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Old 24-09-2012, 17:58   #207
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Thanks M and Dirkdog, well... the new motor is excellent, ordered a new crankshaft from Australia, MB in Canberra, so they dipped into their lucky dip parts bin and sent me the wrong crankshaft, did not have the correct one in stock, and all the wrong bearings etc... So, I ended up putting the original crank back in with one very undersized bearing on num1 big end journal.

Motor is running sweetly, still smokes at low revs under load, but under full throttle there is no smoke at all. Has mot used a drop of oil in 2 months of motor sailing. Solar panels are the best, batteries are always full by midday, new mppt tracker voltage controller is wonderful.

Have had the 2 wind gennies tied off permantly!!! No need for more power, even under full cloud, sold one of the three panels from China, as not needed!!

Trip across the Malaccan straits was a dream, waited in Phuket for good weather and started out into head winds and very rough conditions. But, after 8 hours of bashing it turned to glass for 2 days. Even getting around the top of Sumatra was easy, except for the 8 knot tidal stream around the the very tip of Sumatra. Refueled in Bandah Aceh and got sim cards for phone and net, then pushed off!

Lovely sail down to the Banyaks, stopped at Sinabang, on Semilue island, literally, due to all fuel filters blocked, sailed into the anchorage at town and refueled. Got monstered by the Harbour master, so cleared off and lobbed in Palau Banyaks the next morning to glorious surf.

Had the police aboard, with pistols, looking for "criminals" and paperwork, no payment, no sunglasses, grog etc. They went onto the charter boat next door with 4 shooters holding 4 15mm automatic assault rifles and demanded money, got several million rupiah, repeated this around the bay, once at 2am in the morning!!!

Then the harbour master demanding papers!! But I have not checked in yet!!! HE left after threats, it was getting late and he had a 90 minute speedboat run back to Balaii, another island.

Anyway, had 3 weeks of glorious surf, firght handers, huge left handers at Lolock point!!! But the new crew decided to play up, went catatonic and surly, would not talk, cook, eat, visit ashore , anything!!! So I hightailed it to Sumatra and checked in yesterday and got him a visa for 2 months. Will see him off the boat today??

Now, refueling and reprovisioning and fixing broken prop from yesterday from debris in the harbour. Then off toNias, Lagundri bay for 3 weeks, then Asu, Bawa, Afulu, back to the Banyaks, then back to Sibolga to check out and sail back to Phuket in mid to late November. Will pick up a new crew in Sibolga?

Leave the boat in Thailand this time.

Fair winds from Keith....
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:08   #208
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Ahoy shipmates...
Well, had 2 diesel mechs aboard for 6 hours and they reset the injector pump timing, reset valve clearances and took out the injectors and re calibrated them. All this work paid off and the motor ran a lot sweeter on the overnight passage to the next island.

The crew who went troppo and had to asked to leave, he found a local "helper", who caused a lot of trouble. Bought the harbour master down to the beach and arranged a kangaroo court!!! Wanted air fares back to home etc. Told lots of outright lies, was really delusional, glad to have him out of my life!! I just listened to a catalogue of my crimes and simply said no! Off the boat, then returned to the diesel mechanics.

Will be a lot more discerning in new crew taken on, must check credentials?? I see why lots of other cruisers/surfers in this area sail alone!

Anyway. The surf at the island has been amazing, huge right handers, not too crowded as the big swell thins out the wannabees!!! Many "best ever!" waves, the new 6'10" wide body board goes very well in the absolutely glassy conditions and big steep faces and sometimes barrels!!
Took out the rhino chaser in the afternoon, 8'8"!!!

Had a near death experience yesterday, friday, morning. was on my 8'8" gun and took off on wave number 6, a huge set wave, got down it and the lip came over and axed me, went down, then sucked back over again!!! Down for 6 or so seconds and start to pull myself up on the legrope, but the board is near me, underwater, next thing I am pushed against the coral bottom and laid flat on my side. Struggle around and get my legs under me and push up and start swimming up to surface. Can see the light and nearly break clear into the air when, whammo, the next bomb lands on top of me before I can get a breath... So down again, around and around, and finally come up about 15 seconds under water in total, a long time if you have been struggling for the surface all the time. The waves were like jumping off of a 2 story building!! But, back out again and wave number 7 was a barrel from start to finish, then 17 waves altogether in that session!!

Then a dinner of barracuda and tuna and salad, pineapple and papaya, yummy!!

Another yacht in the bay last night, "pearl hunter", from Hawaii. a big steel ketch, 50', with a jet ski hanging from the davits!!!

Making friends with the locals and curing many ills with my penicillin and anti inflammatories!! Also getting tax return done online with the ATO.

What a life?

Fair winds from Keith.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:36   #209
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

Surfing in the dark, under a full moon!!! Crazy stuff?

Just in from surfing in the moonlight, now 9pm, under the full moon at Lagundri bay, got 8 waves in the dark, only caught inside twice!! Now cooking a tuna I bought and a stir fry veges....

What an amazing experience, phosphorescent wake from the surfboard, the right hand face of the wave was pointing straight into the full moon. Like a silver highway!

5 surfers out until way after the sunset and all the stars were out. Surfing by braille on the take offs, but once on the wave, wonderful, could not help shouting out a rebel yell each time I caught a wave!!

Off to the markets tomorrow for fresh veges and fruit.

Keith.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:38   #210
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Re: Sumatran Cruise

A barrel at Lagundri bay, in Nias Island, last night after a hard sail from Sibolga on the West coast of Sumatra. The full moon was rising over the Eastern side of the bay and the sun was setting over the Western side of the bay. Wave number 8 was a barrel, the sea was like a mirror and the water was reflecting the brightest orange sunset, like a sea of bright gold. In the barrel looking out at the moon rising over the coconut trees on the eastern shore. An amazing experience, Know I know part of the reason why I travel so far to get to this place??
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