Thursday, October 16, 2008

Onwards towards Singapore

After an amazing couple of days with the orangutans in the rainforest, it's time to move on again. More of the orangutans in a subsequent post.

It's been a busy day, starting at 7am to catch the falling tide, followed by much activity trying to make the most of the light and variable winds. One moment the winds turns more to the east, requiring the pole, the next to the south, forcing me to stow the pole, then a sudden thunder storm requires a reef in the sails, only for the storm to finish as quickly as it began leaving no wind and the sails flapping uselessly in the roll of the swell. This cycle repeated itself until late this afternoon when the wind settled down to the SSE giving 5 knots on a comfortable beam-reach, though there are ominous dark clouds on the horizon threatening to disrupt my relaxation. I'm skirting west along the coast of Kalimatan, twenty miles south of the land, but in less than 15m of water, on passage to Pulau Belitung ~ 250 miles. Fortunately there's a full moon blazing through the scattered clouds, illuminating fishing boats and buoys ahead.

Despite my boat-maintenance efforts in Darwin and Bali, it looks like I'll have to spend time in Singapore trying to get on-top of a new set of jobs and some old returning 'friends':
  • The wind-generator has just blown apart.
  • After the outboard's dunking in Rincha, it's become temperamental, requiring a deft balance of throttle and choke to avoid it stalling.
  • I've recently noticed a scattering of rivet heads around the bottom of the mast. Concerned I ventured skywards, but all appeared well with the rigging. Finally I spotted the kicking-strap bracket at the foot of the mast gamely hanging on with only three out of a possible sixteen rivets remaining.
  • After my fixes to the electronic self-steering, it's stopped working again. This time the problem seems to be electronic rather than mechanical.
  • My laptop which came back to life after the soaking I gave it in Lovina now refuses to power-up.
  • My creak elimination project has yet to show any tangible results for the time and epoxy invested.
  • The pressure gauge on my dive regulator is permanently stuck at empty.
  • Water has penetrated the polorisation layer of my sunglasses.
  • Phew....I need to lie down
Positively, the mosquito nets I had made up in Lovina have proved invaluable.

It can feel rewarding keeping on-top of maintenance or even occasionally managing to make improvements but when three or more major items require attention simultaneously it quickly can become overwhelming. Plus it's frustrating when each fix or "improvement" appears to require redoing 2-3 times before it's finally bedded down and working reliably. Perhaps though that says more about the quality of my workmanship then the anything else...

Position @ 19.00 S3deg 15.6' E111deg 11.1'

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