Pulau Hantu and various other stuff

It was a pretty busy weekend on the boat.  I was off Friday and spent most of the morning wandering around Jalan Besar looking for a good orbital sander.  It’s pretty hard to find anything here other than random orbit sanders that take proprietary pads.  I really wanted one that could wrap 1/4 sheet of normal sandpaper since it’s a lot easier to find that at high grits, which is something you need pretty often on a boat.  Eventually tracked down a nice Hitachi 1/4 sheet orbital sander with a dustbin at Hup Hong.  Hoping to do some painting this week.

At the boat, Doug and I did a whole bunch of stuff to prepare for our Saturday trip.  I spent some time playing around with the anchor winch.  The handle is a little scary since it’s only an inch or two from the chain.  When you let the handle loose the chain flies by until you again close the handle.  Might be smart to attach some kind of extension.  The winch worked well.

I also went up the mast with Doug belaying.  My original objective was to figure out why the mainsail had dropped a few inches; we ended up solving that before I went up.  The main halyard is a woefully small line inside the furling barrel and it had slipped a bit.  A reasonably easy fix.  So, my trip up the mast was more for the heck of it than anything, but I wanted to go up since I hadn’t seen the masthead yet and wanted to check the condition of various fittings enroute.

Everything looked pretty good.  The mast steps are pretty convenient.  I probably need to string some new halyards though, as most of my lines are either fraying a bit, or really stiff.  The furler barrel is attached to a riveted-on fitting about 6-8 inches below the original main halyard block.  Aside from various halyard and topping lift blocks, the only stuff at the top is a simple wind vane, anchor and tricolor lights, and the VHF antenna.  On the way up, I decided the spreaders and parts of the mast could probably use a little paint, but it’s nothing urgent.  I brought my camera up, so here are a few photos.

First, a couple shots of One 15 Marina.  Here’s one of the marina clubhouse, offices, and many of the yachts:

And here’s one the other direction, toward the megayacht berths.  Directly in front is Hye Seas II and behind that is Silver, which I believe is just visiting for a while.

Here are Oia‘s decks from above, with Doug working on the main sail furler:

And finally, the masthead:

Other stuff Friday: Doug worked on some more handrail polishing and did some debugging of the broken stereo speaker, and we spent some time looking at the solar panels, which are wired in series.  It looks like at least the third panel is not generating any output, and possibly the second one is generating less output than it should, but we were a bit stymied in our debugging by a blown fuse in the multimeter.  I picked up some fuses later so we should be able to continue troubleshooting this week.  I also took a look at the fuel tank access since I want to add some gauges, but the only easily available access is to the side of the starboard fuel tank.  Both tanks are otherwise completely obscured under the cabin sole.  Seems like I may have to cut holes in the cabin sole to install any gauges, which is a shame and complicates things a lot.

Saturday morning we prepped the boat, and I again picked up a HARTS transponder from the dockmaster since I still haven’t got an MMSI for my AIS.  Had a few problems getting a cruising permit for the day as I don’t have a PPCDL (the Singaporean license required to use port waters).  I was under the impression I didn’t really need one since my boat isn’t Singaporean registered.  I found out from the marina staff I could do some sort of online assessment to get a license number, so I’ll do that soon, since it’s much less painful than a long drawn-out set of classes and exams like the normal PPCDL.  Anyway, I managed to work that out for Saturday.

Aboard for the day were Charlene, Doug, and Mike.

Before heading out we refueled at the fuel dock; got 53.97 liters of diesel, and 28.51 liters of gas for the outboard since I was out of that too.  I need to look at the fuel tank plumbing, because it seems you can only really pump diesel into the tanks at a trickle without it spewing out the vent line, which definitely shouldn’t be the case.  I’m not exactly sure how full the tanks are, either.  Not a great situation.

We headed out around 11AM under mildly inclement weather, which soon cleared up.  The engine made a couple grinding noises immediately upon leaving the fuel dock, and I almost gave up and returned to the berth, but the noises quickly stopped and some testing revealed no obvious issues.  Upon leaving the marina we were in fairly heavy traffic right away (as usual) and didn’t find occasion to raise sails at all.  We rounded Lazarus Island and the Sister Islands and made it to Pulau Hantu in a couple hours (see the route in my previous post).  Here are some photos from the way out.

Doug at the helm, Charlene dozing, and Mike daydreaming after crossing the Sister Islands:

Mike and Charlene goofing around:

Two (of many) anchored ships on the way:

We decided to approach Pulau Hantu via the channel to the north, opposite Pulau Busing, since I was hoping to anchor near the good-looking snorkling sites around the NW side of the island.  That turned out to be kind of a mistake, since instead of anchoring near the snorkling sites we ran aground at them — not once but twice.  The first time, we were simply a 100 or so meters west of the channel I was aiming for; the second time, we dropped the anchor in 20-ish feet of water and then drifted back into a small reef that wasn’t on my chart.  After that we gave up, motored down to the much deeper water to the SW of Hantu, and anchored in ~45 ft.  I swam below and found only a small scratch at the tip of the keel.  More than anything I feel pretty bad about whatever damage we caused to the reef.  Hopefully it was pretty minimal since we were only grounded very briefly.

Lessons learned and some local knowledge (painfully) gained.  I also think this incident has raised “buy a chartplotter” at least a few notches on my todo list, since having the chart right in front of your face at the helm definitely makes the situation clearer.

Anyway, once we were safely anchored, we were pretty hot, so everyone went for a dip, and then Doug swam off to snorkle for a while, and Mike rowed ashore.  Here’s the dinghy on the beach, mostly lost among all the coconut trees:

Oia at anchor:

The anchor chain, which I still need to measure and better mark:

Doug and Mike returning from their adventures, having swapped places between the dinghy and the water:

Charlene and I piled in the dinghy and rowed ashore.  Hantu is a nice little island and was pretty quiet.  I think next time it might be nice to anchor to the south and swim around in the main lagoon.  Here we are coming back to Oia — at least one of us is enjoying all the paddling around!

Finally, around 5:30 PM we weighed anchor and headed back to One 15.  We motored most of the way, and briefly raised the jib, but quickly ran out of sailing room amid all the anchored and underway ships, so gave up on that.  Here I am at the helm, with Doug keeping an eye out:

And last but not least here’s Charlene guiding us home:

I once again did a pretty decent job of backing into the berth, and we did some arranging and cleaning before heading out to get a well-deserved burger for dinner.  Here’s the full route for the day, with a couple annotations around Hantu:

View Larger Map

On Sunday, Charlene, Doug and I spent a couple hours scrubbing, doing laundry, and organizing.

1 Comment

Filed under deck, general, maintenance, mechanical, paperwork, photos, shopping, trips

One Response to Pulau Hantu and various other stuff

  1. Fret not, we grounded ourselves twice on the reef opposite Hantu. It did take us 6 months and we have no alternative but to traverse the area to get to our destination: Semakau. But does go to show how treacherous the area is. Some throughways are less than a few meters across and the only way to get through them is to almost drift a la The Fast and The Furious.

    Hantu is amazing though; we had days when the vis was easily 15 meters. It’s subject to the tides and prevailing wind though, because on some days it’s barely a few meters.

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