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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Penang to Johor Bahru

Here are a few photos of Penang before we left.

Penang has lots of street art, art created on the sides of buildings and using junk and features available. The street art is keeping up with the times. Minions have appeared all over town.

Some of the Chews, hehehe. We anchored near the Chew Jetty, a village built over the water alongside the pier. Each clan built their own village, thus all the people on this one have the last name Chew. Celene kept my bicycle in her front room while Trinda was in the apartment recovering from the knee surgery.
Queenie Chew and of course Mr. T.

Celene and hubby Sao

In front of their house looking at the Katie Lee.

I'm sure I mentioned on Facebook that as we were coming around the bottom of Singpore we had engine trouble. We were just anchoring for the night by St. John's island when the engine made a terrible noise and quit moving the boat. I was not able to set the anchor properly. That is to put the anchor down, the boat in reverse and backup till the anchor catches something and the boat stops. We were in a well protected spot, so I was not too worried about the anchor dragging.

(I am officially giving notice that Trinda did help a lot during this adventure. It is just easier to type I than she, we, us, Trinda, etc.)

We were tired from watching the traffic all day. Once the AIS showed 536 other boats around us. Most were anchored though. But some were giant freighters moving as fast as 18 knots. We can only motor 6 knots. It wasn/t as bad as some people tell it though as I was able to read a few chapters in my book during the 8 hour trip.

Anyway, I re-started the engine a couple times listening to the noise from several different places and hoping to see the porp shaft turn agan. But no turning. I decided the most likely problem would be the damper drive plate that connects a diesel engine to the transmittion. It is there to reduce the vibration of the engine effecting the gears in the tranny. So It is not something I carry spare for.

The times before that I have pulled the tranny, it took severl hours. Singapore is a very expensive place for thiings like tow boats and labor. So calling for help was really out of the question. St. John's Isand Park is about 40 mile from the Senibong Marina where we had reservations in the next few days. We slept! Next morning, I started it one more time, just to make sure it wasn't a nightmare. HAHA, I wish! So I tied the dinghy to the side of the boat, with a couple fenders for a cushion. Flled it with gas, started it, put it in gear, set the motor straight and turned the throttle up to 3/4. Then I climbed back aboard and steered the boat normally. We got up to 2.4 knots! WOW! not as fast as I would like, but better than nothing.

The current runs as high as 6 knots around Singpore according to the charts. It depends on the phase of the moon, wind and time of day. The route I chose seemed to have only 2 to 3 knots of current. So for 6 hours each days it was going the right directon. We anchored the rest of the time. Most of the time we could make 3 to 4 knots according to the GPS, but occasionally I would get on the wrong side of the current. One spot we took 3 hours to go 2 miles. Singapore is expanding the only way it can. They build a sea wall then fill it in with sand dredged from ythe bottom outside the wall. One new wall was 2 miles further out than when I saw it 2 years ago. I couldn't see it because of all the anchored big ships and haze so I missed it. I could make only 0.9 knots turning back till I got around it.

The slow pace gave me plenty of time to calculate, measure and re-calcu;ate the amount of gas we had for the dinghy. Diesel doesn't work! We barely made it to Penelih the second day. It is the first land in Malasya coming from our direction. It has a small ferry terminal. I was able to find a local willing to take my 3 empty gass jugs to town (29 kiometers away) and bring them back full. He only charged double, but he did do it after dark and brought them out to the boat.

As we approached the marina I fiinally got the manager on the radio. I had sent an e-mal saying we were having engine trouble but were coming slowly. When we pulled into the marina I finally got him on the radio. After I explained the suituation, he changed the assigned slip to one easier to get into. We motored right in. Trinda steered the big boat and I got in the dinghy to help with the sharper turns and control the speed. The manager and am mthe dock hands couldn't believe we came in so easy. I didn't remind them that we had been practicing for the past 4 days, sorta any way.

In the marina with the dinghy still tied along side.

Finally here, we got a ride to the closest grocery/mall, dropped off the laundry, shopped and then celebrated with banana splits!
Trinda and her banana split.

Sunset after the banana splits!