Saturday, April 26, 2014

Back at Sea Turtle

Back at Danga Bay Marina (Johur Bahru, Malaysia) from our trip to Canada and with not much to do, we spent a lot of time in the Marina's air conditioned library/internet room where a few other cruisers hung out. It was a good time to bring our blog more up-to-date and get out of the heat. With internet in Indonesia being so poor, and far between connections, we had gotten quite far behind.

We thought the Marina was rather pretty at night with all of its bright lights. They were in the man-made trees, running along the bottom edge of the dock, strung above the dock, fancily lighting up poles, etc. Especially vibrant were all the lights on the Danga Cruiser 8 at the dock.

A local cruising yacht

A disturbing sight was the garbage that would collect in the waters all around the boats after rainfall would wash it downstream and out into the bay. People here can be indifferent towards using the open waters to toss their waste out of their hands, but not as bad as the Indonesians. What an ugly shame. Hopefully as we continue our passages to other places in Malaysia, out and away from the heavily concentrated populated areas, we will discover more pristine locations.

Drifting from shore towards boats

There are 2 dining establishments and 2 drinking establishments, 1 being very loud from 10 at night till 3 in the morning! And did we mention there is no hot water? But that is not a negative situation as it's so blistering hot that a cool shower feels pretty good.

We were surprised at the number of people who attended a potluck since we had seen a lot of boats tied up but hardly ever saw any cruisers hanging around! Food was excellent and karaoke provided for entertainment had both good and bad songsters.

On our trips to the large city for groceries and miscellaneous, we have noticed so many similar available businesses as back home: Honda, Panasonic, LG, Sony, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino's Pizza, Kawasaki, and the list goes on. Not so foreign in a foreign country!

Motorcycles here, as in other Asian countries, are a main means of transportation. We learned that here the motorcycle repair shops are open 24/7. These service hours are crucial for the masses so that their vital means of daytime transportation is without interruption. When bypassing these shops, they always seem to be full. Motorcyclists don't concern themselves with the little things such as broken rear lights, etc. so defensive driving is a must.

May is the start of the rainy season, the southwest monsoons. It's the time of year where the Intercontinental Convergence Zone (ITCZ) here is extremely potent from the moist winds of the Northern Hemisphere colliding with the Southern Hemisphere moist air. The results are frighteningly huge thunder clouds with their intense lightning displays. During more than 1 of these storms, the frequency of lightning bolts was about 2 seconds apart.

The lightning, now almost daily, has been striking very close to the Marina and boats. A boat was just hit causing a great deal of damage. Apparently, it damaged most of their electrical systems including taking out their alternators, chart plotter, and other cockpit devices and they said daily they are discovering further damage.

The boats from the "Sail Malaysia Rally" were passing through making the Marina and city a major stop. This particular rally's route is from the general area of west Thailand down to the eastern water of Indonesia via a northern route (over the top of Borneo). It tends to accommodate Australian sailors making their way back home.

The major sponsor of the rally is Tourism Malaysia. We were invited to attend a "Sail Malaysia Rally" dinner at the Marina's Convention Centre one evening even though we had not signed up for the Rally. The meal was excellent and consisted of several courses, thankfully with a short break in between each course. Entertainment consisted of dancers in costumes performing Malay traditional dances as well as pop singers.

Dancing for the diners

Jordan re-installed the repaired auto-pilot and the refurbished watermaker that had sprung a slow but constant leak after 5 years of use. But lo and behold, once again the auto-pilot did not work! We just had it repaired.

Jordan tried different things but nothing worked so he contacted the manufacturer of the unit and explained the symptoms. He told Jordan where to zero in on the problem and sure enough, Jordan found a loose crimped connection which explained why we occasionally had one type of intermittent malfunction during the last few years.

After a quick fix, Jordan reconnected everything but unfortunately he inadvertently crossed the positive and negative wires. He switched them back again hoping for the best for our departure the next day...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jordan and Judy...
great to read your blog again... was getting a little worried because of the lapse of entries. Green Turtle is sure doing a great job. Have you heard anything of the 'notebook' you used to circulate around cruisers?
Pete & Wendy
(ex BCA)