Sunday, November 8, 2009

This and that and nothing much

On Saturday 7 Nov the marina sponsored a regatta. About a dozen boats participated; S/V BeBe was not one of them. Racing is just not my thing. Bill would have crewed on another boat but the opportunity did not arise so he was out of luck and stuck ashore. There was no wind that afternoon and the boats basically floated down-current to the Tuas bridge and then turned around. Coming back there was a tiny bit of breeze from the rear quarter. All the boats put out their spinnakers and we were told that it was a pretty sight with the colorful sails on the narrow Johor Strait. We will have to take the participants' word for that since we could not see the racing boats from the marina. The boats got a radio call from the marina telling them to slow down (they were only going about 4 knots in the first place) because they could not re-enter the marina until 4:30. The racing boats pulled in their spinnakers and drifted about in the current until allowed to come back into the marina at 4:30.

The reason they couldn't return until 4:30 is that the marina did not want any interruption to their signing ceremony for the new phase of the family-oriented indoor theme park. After all, they had Barney, Bob the Builder, Hello Kitty and several other brand name characters on stage and participating in this signing ceremony. This signing ceremony is probably a Malaysian custom; after all, this country was occupied by the British for many years, and everyone knows how the British love paperwork. Copies of documents were all signed and distributed to the various parties. Then the boats were allowed to re-enter the marina.

That night the marina sponsored a free dinner and band with dancing. We have been here 5 nights and already the marina has done this twice. It was a lot of fun both evenings. The people here are so friendly and nice, almost always have smiles. We saw a mock-up of the entire city they are building here. On the model board this marina facility looks tiny and lost in the vastness of what is planned to be built. This is a mega-billion dollar project.

Sunday morning Teh knocked on our boat and presented us with a gift -- a mean-looking small jungle machete. That was a surprise! We sat and visited at the marina cafe for an hour or so. And we were yet again pleased with the opportunity to have a conversation with such an interesting man. Later in the day Bill talked with a company that was doing gel coat repairs on another boat and he arranged for them to repair several tiny gel coat chips on our hull. These were ever-so-tiny chips caused by native wooden boats approaching too rapidly while we were anchored in various places. Unfortunately, their white repair product was not the exact same shade of white as our gel coat. In fact, it wasn't white at all. The idiot used gray gel coat material. Now everywhere we had a tiny inconspicuous nick in the gel coat there is a large circle of gray. Bill is not happy about this, to put it mildly. Needless to say, we did not pay for this botched job.

Wednesday November 11, 2010
We worked 5 hours compounding and buffing the rear quarter of the port side of the hull after Bill sanded away the gray gel coat repair mess from our white hull. Tough job. Using an electric buffer while standing in a dinghy is not easy on either of us. I stood in the dinghy and held onto the toe rail to keep the dinghy close to the boat while Bill used the electric buffer and compounding liquid. So he is pushing the dinghy away from the boat while I am holding it close to the boat. Both of us had aching backs by day's end. The messed-up gel coat repairs on the stern will require a lot of sanding and will have to wait for another day.

Last evening I brought quesadillas to an Australian boat for Happy Hour -- some filled with just sauteed onions seasoned with oregano for those who don't eat spicy foods and some filled with very tame jalapenos that I think barely have any flavor. They thought the jalapenos were hot. I think even my small grandchildren would not consider those jalapenos hot. An Australian cracked me up when she asked if I made my own "burrito bread." Thought the whole world knew about tortillas by now.

Today the marina has arranged for two 200 liter barrels of diesel to be delivered to our boat. Marina staff will hand-pump the diesel into our main fuel tank, and we will top it up with diesel from jerry jugs that we purchased in Bali. It is best to leave the fuel tank full since the boat will be sitting here for months plugged into shore power. And, I must say, it is so nice to be in this marina enjoying air-conditioned comfort on the boat. I'm sure we will get bored but for now it is great sitting in the air-conditioned boat and playing on the computer catching up on friends' blogs. We have been researching on the internet and think we have figured out the bus system and train system, both to Singapore and also to Kuala Lumpur. The local airport is a hub but most of the flights to points of interest in Asia depart out of Kuala Lumpur, and it appears that it is best to take either a bus or train to KL instead of taking a puddle jumper flight to KL

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