Tag Archives: lifestyle

Help to careen and repair at Pulau Tioman

Here is a little insight into what we might just ‘do’ all day when we are not sailing, diving, snorkelling, relaxing or socialising with other cruisers.  And another story to add to the little known fact that cruising and boat ownership sometimes feels like endless repairs and maintenance in exotic places.

Tiki is in company with a mini flotilla sailing together here in the Tioman group of islands whilst the majority of the other boats in the rally we are part of retraces Tiki’s journey north from 2015.  Gillie is single handing her ketch SY.Tuppenny and Peter and Cath on SY. Kittani have been joined by a new crew member Kelly from the US. We all opted to stay in the islands, relax, grow gills and have a shorter journey when we eventually head east to Indonesia’s Anambas and Natuna archipelagos at the end of the month.   Tuppenny has had an annoying leak since… well forever according to Gillie but since she relaunched in March it got progressively worse until the bilge pump was being activated every 7 or so minutes, sometimes less. It was coming from the stuffing box which was supposed to be a dripless system.  Peter has a similar setup on Kittani and over the past weeks had helped tighten/inspect/loosen bits in an attempt to stem the flow to no avail.  It was stressful for Gillie and we were all nervous for her – an inspection and repair haul out was required with the nearest alternative for 100’s of miles being suddenly expensive and up a shallow river at Endau.  As it turned out emergency or not, this yard had extensive sandblasting work in progress and advised her not to plan arrival for several weeks.  An alternative was required, and fairly fast.
Fortunately large spring tides and a dead low reconnaissance at dawn revealed a potential for careening on a clean patch of sand next to the wall in the main town at Tekek, Tioman.  Gillie had the replacement spare ready onboard so Peter’s bravado convinced her she could do it with their help and our experience from years of drying out on walls in the south of England and Brittany came into play to tip the confidence scales. So with no time to waste our little group formulated a plan to get Tuppenny onto the wall at high tide, then again for everyone to be ready to assist her settle into a lean at the next low scheduled for just before sundown.
Everything went perfectly to plan and with her mast tied to a solid rail she settled into the sand and we all strategically sat on her starboard side with celebratory sundowner G&T’s to ensure a good ‘inward to wall’ lean.  It must have been a real novelty to have a yacht against their town pier as so many locals came to look, take pictures and many took the time to try (in broken English with our broken Malay) to warn us that the water would soon be gone, even offering to tow her to deeper water.
Then came the challenging part – inspection and repair.  We calculated the tides and worked out that at 04:00 the next day the propellor would be almost (5-10cm below) exposed and this state would last until 10:30 at most.  This gave Pete and Neil six full hours to effect the replacement with a little time to spare to call it if they needed to wait out an extra tide.  After dinner on the quayside opposite Tuppenny we returned to Tiki & Kittani and Kelly stayed aboard for some welcome moral support for Gillie.  I think they had a fairly sleepless night with the bow tilted at an angle forwards and ferry boat wash causing strange wobbling movements but importantly Tuppenny was ready for repair.
The boys went super early and started as planned whilst Cath and I had a bit of a lie-in and joined them later for moral support and to source some yummy roti canai for breakfast.  I’m not technical on the details but we arrived at 8:30 to find all mostly on schedule and that the cause of the leak had been the pipe which supports the propshaft having split and broken on the underside – probably many years ago – and the dripless system had been installed over the broken pipe.  Neil removed the propellor and shaft and ground fibreglass away to enable the new system to be installed on clean solid pipe.  Pete epoxied everything clean and expertly re-installed the replacement bellows system.  These tasks are easy for me to write in a sentence when in reality it took them the best part of 5.5 hours solid work against the clock and tide to achieve by bending upside down into squished barely accessible compartments, and with sweat constantly dripping from every pore in the tropical heat.
But by 10am there were finally some smiles on their faces and Gillie was almost in tears with relief.  The propellor was back on as was the new dripless stuffing box and the skies had darkened and started to pour with some much needed local rain. We waited out the downpour in the local breakfast cafe and left Gillie aboard to keep an eye on things as the tide rose over the propellor.  A triumphant “NO DRIPS!” was declared when she re-appeared after the squall passed – SUCCESS!
High tide arrived at 14:00 and we returned to assist with lines and traffic direction as there are lots of small boats zipping in and out of the canals.  Again everything went smooth as clockwork and Tuppenny was soon back with us on anchor with Gillie tongue-in-cheek declaring she now had something wrong with the bilge pump as it didn’t seem to be working anymore… because it didn’t need to!
It was a great feeling to have saved her lots of yard money, coming together to help a fellow cruiser and to have had everything turn out so well.  Now it was time to  celebrate and party cruiser style.  We relocated the next day to an idyllic remote bay and snorkelled the reef, gathered wood for the beach bbq, laid out the grass mats and drank bubbles in the sea, complete with a beautiful bamboo swing to play on.
No wonder we love this lifestyle!
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Uber – the traveller’s transportation lifeline

I love technology and simplicity and get very excited when I find new stuff that helps my life run a bit more smoothly – which is why I am sharing with anyone who will listen about my UBER experience.  Yes I have found UBER and am now wondering how I ever existed beforehand.  Well I do know really, I existed in a travellers world where I walked miles and searched for a taxi stand only to find myself joining the end of a queue so long I audibly groaned.  Yeah that was me.  Or I called a cab company with appalling attempts to explain my location in Malay/Chinese/Spanish/French/Thai.. you get my gist, only to wait eternally for the appointed car to arrive, or not arrive as was often the case.

Here’s my shameless plug – if reading this inspires you to create an UBER account please enter my referal invite code ubersalty123 and we will both receive free rides!

In Asia the cabs with the TAXI lamp on top are not always in the best condition, often no seat-belts or air-conditioning and with questionable cleanliness.  All over the world these branded Taxis charge such inflated rates I never get that ‘value for money’ feeling. Taxis in Perth, Australia wins this title with a $55 fare for a mere 13 minute and 14km drive.  Ok they did have seatbelts and I get they have to cover various license costs but I don’t really want to foot this if I don’t have to.

Then I found UBER.  This company uses technology to link registered drivers in their own vehicles operating their car as a small business with passengers like me and everything is managed through an App on your smartphone.  UBER determines the fare – not you or the driver – which is calculated by distance and estimated in advance and you know EXACTLY how long it will be before your driver arrives.  If this wasn’t enough good stuff the awesomest part is they are often over 50% cheaper than the corresponding taxi quote. Yep! that’s 50% travellers transport savings. Here’s a recent test quote for a ride I took towards Singapore – minimum fare for Taxi was $17 vs UBER $7 and I was actually charged $7.40 when I completed the journey.

Fare comparison for a 22 minute journey.
Fare comparison for a 22 minute journey.  The exact fare eventually charged by UBER was $7.40

For the booking you can choose what type of car you’d like from standard UBER-X through to UBER XL (Executive Luxury) depending on what is locally available.  Then you enter the pick-up point and destination (both with GPS locations) and this not only tells your driver where to find you but gives them the map navigation route to follow to your destination.  If there is more than one route option they will ask which one you prefer when they collect you.  But for me the real travellers magic is the that it conveniently manages the payment through your registered Credit Card or PayPal. Absolutely no cash is exchanged, no fare negotiation is required.  You simply get charged on the milage and demand rate.  If you are someone who likes to know these things upfront the fare can easily be estimated before you book.

There is no taxi rank here but I can see two UBER cars available within 2 minutes of me.  Once I book they get my GPS and I can track their arrival in real time.
There is no taxi rank here but I can see two UBER cars available within 2 minutes of me. Once I book they get my GPS and I can track their arrival in real time.

Travelling UBER feels very safe to me compared to flagging down any marked cab on the road.  Before the car arrives I have the name and photo of my driver, the car make/model and plate number to identify them with. In Malaysia I’ve been transported by Mums who do it part-time when the kids are at school, supply teachers making up the hours, Uni students supplementing their cash to study, people in-between jobs and similar friendly and interesting drivers were encountered in the UK and Singapore.  In Australia we met an entrepreneurial driver who had his own limousine hire company in Sydney but had recently relocated to Perth.  He had taken the decision to drive with UBER for 6 months to learn the streets and obtain first hand knowledge of the transport trends and anticipated costs in order to establish a similar set-up to his Sydney business.

My experiences so far have all been exceptionally good.  Beautifully maintained new cars sometimes bottled water, mints and even the daily paper have been offered.  Sure UBER is not everywhere (we found none in Spain) but for travellers and especially boating cruisers with no wheels and often no knowledge of the local area it is a real godsend.  Hey, if you look on the UBER map and there are no cars available you can always revert to old-school taxi/bus/pre-UBER existence!

So how do you get it? Easy! Log on to uber.com or Install the free Android or iOS app to your phone, launch it and follow the steps to set up your account and you are ready to go.  Here’s my plug – if reading this inspires you to create an UBER account please enter my referal invite code ubersalty123 and we will both receive free rides – now that’s UBER love 🙂

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New chapter for saltygardener and Tiki

Hiya! it’s no secret I’ve been awol a few years from posting here and so many wonderful journeys and events happened in that time.  Neil has captured some fantastic anchorages and bits of Tiki’s ongoing refurbishment on our site at SY Tiki – Adventures on a Young Sun 43 Both sites need updating and overhauling and it’s on the nice job list for me now I have the time.

A quick summary is we journeyed up and down East Australia spending 2011 between Queensland’s coral coast down to Sydney and all of 2012 on Sydney Harbour.  2013 started in Tasmania for a haul out and refit before cruising to Pittwater, getting married (yippee!) and then north again to Brisbane where we stayed until May 2014.

The adventure continues as our route takes us further north and over the top of Australia to Darwin and into Indonesia. Let’s see how I go this time with the updates… I’m more consistent with Twitter – @saltygardener or Instagram – @saltygardener if you’d like to follow me.

Wishing you fair winds and rich soils.

Scarborough Marina – the job list

Sand engine instrument panel, repair joins and oil teak
Refurb main skylight hatch.  Remove teak trims and old window and replace with new.  Sand and stain the trims and hatch base.  Polish steel bars.  Re-assemble and remounted.
Sew spray hood patches where fabric has worn.  Replace old broken clears with new clear vinyl.
Align and install the spray hood frame mounts on deck.  Design and install a mount for the foot-rail of the spray hood to attach to.
Put up the spray hood and test for sturdiness, attach webbing straps where needed.
Glue and repair the interior drawers from the aft cabin.
Test out new 3.5HP Yamaha engine on the dingy.  Check out all the other boats in the Marina whilst doing this :0)
Complete overhaul of the engine fuel system – fuel tank emptied and cleaned, fuel filter lines replaced, manual lift pump removed and cleaned out (noted – need to buy new one).  Primary and secondary fuel pumps removed, cleaned, filters replaced. Electric fuel primer pump & filter cleaned.