Thursday, 31 May 2007

Anodes Ain't Anodes it Seems - We're Off To Bintangor

02deg03.98N., 110deg52.68E.

Crystal Blues departed the Santubong River (Kuching), North Borneo, on Tuesday morning. Three hours later she was anchored back in the same river.... and nine hours later Neil was on his way to Singapore, via Johor Baru, to collect a new gearbox oil cooler and anodes for the main engine. Not good news for us .... but kinda good for Malaysian Airlines.

We noticed a salt water leak in the bilge as we departed the river - on inspection it proved to be a corroded end cap on the oil cooler. After returning and re-anchoring we also pulled the anode from the engine heat exchanger and found it was unchanged since installation - about six months ago. This anode was purchased in Singapore from a local chandlery - seems the zinc in it is not what it should be - maybe not zinc at all. The copper oil cooler took the anodic load instead, and of course it dissolved.

This morning we fitted a new (Cummins manufactured) anode and the new oil cooler, tested everything and departed the river again at midday .. and all is OK. We're now about 15 nautical miles from the mouth of the Rajang River. Its a full moon night, beautiful conditions. We're motoring at 6.5knots on a glassy sea, 2.0 knots of breeze on the beam. Will enter the Rajang River around midnight, have been there once before, so we hope we know the way in .... rising tide (4 metres tonight !) and good charts, plus radar. Tomorrow we'll work the tide upstream to Sarikei, then the next day to Bintangor. It's Hari Gawai festival time here, and we have a date at a particular Iban native long-house, just past Bintangor. Music, dancing and rice wine .... Hari Gawai!

Possibly no phone coverage for the next few weeks, as we're in the Rajang River delta, but the email should work just fine.

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