Saturday, 15 November 2014


Crystal Blues has been lifted out of the water and is on the hard stand at Rebak Island Marina, in Langkawi, Malaysia.

Ley (optimistically) booked for just a week, thinking we only had to do a quick anti-foul paint job and replace some plumbing - one week, should be easy.  

So now, almost three weeks later, no paint tins have even been opened, though the end is in sight.

In The Beginning

Removing the toxic underwater paint with normal electric sanding machines is not recommended.  

We now use an air powered random orbital sander that allows us to sand the hull wet, without too much effort. We keep the water running over the work area and the old paint is flushed away.  There is no dangerous dust, though it is still a very dirty and messy job. 

Once this was done I finished polishing the topsides, a job we started back in Singapore. Then followed all the stainless bright work.

So Far So Good

Next Ley tackled the brass-ware - aka cleaning the propeller ready for the new paint system.  

All was moving along quite smoothly until our neighbour Eddie said - "gee, you've got a bit of movement in that P-strut bearing".  Sure enough that bearing was badly worn - 10 years and almost 3000 hours of motoring will do that.  We ordered a new bearing from Australia, started to disassemble the drive train and the real fun began (click the link below).

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Good Medicine In Penang

Crystal Blues had health issues, with "something" around the propeller.  So after a few days of rest and recuperation in Penang I dived on the propeller and removed an indecent chunk of rope.  What a pain - visibility in the marina was less that 12 inches, and cutting it away was a slow process.  I'm still amazed that we managed to maneuver the boat into the berth with this around the propeller.

In Penang we were medical tourists - we had our own schedule of tests and specialist visits (mainly dermatology), but we were surprised at the massive numbers of foreign visitors here purely for the medical facilities.  At Hospital Lam Wah Ee, the specialist surgeon who removed Ley's "lump" (a small BCC) said his business was directly linked to the number of Air Asia flights coming in from Indonesia.  Things have changed.

Penang is still a most attractive Asian city, one of our absolute favourites. It ain't perfect, but it is a shining example of racial tolerance and self awareness, welcoming visitors with a quirky sense of humor, great food and a multi-cultural social history that is alive and prospering. 

Our friends there made us welcome, celebrating our visit with embarrassing repeated dinners and seafood specials - what a great time we had.  It has been wonderful to watch Eileen and Gerome's children blossom into delightful , articulate teenagers who are now planning tertiary education.  It is also great to see how Onomichi Marine, their business,  has grown and transformed over the 8 years we have know each other.