Sunday, 15 February 2015

New blog and the final chapter in the "Kealba" dragging saga

Hi to everyone,
Well there is a new blog on which details the latest happenings in our ongoing saga. We are leaving Rebak on the 25/02 for Penang (Straits Quay Marina) where we plan to leave the boat while we flit off on our annual grandchildren pilgrimages. Jean to the US and Jim back to NZ.
We have also posted on our blogsite what is probably the final (and one sided) email correspondence with Simon Purdell of "Kealba" - the Australian yacht that dragged her anchor at Kupang in Indonesia back in July 2013. They collided with us and caused very fortunately mainly superficial damage which would have been much worse had it not been for the heroic efforts of several fellow cruisers in their dinghies. "Kealba" was uninsured at the time and did not even carry 3rd. Party. At first they acknowledged responsibility but as time went on they distanced themselves more and more implying that the damage was minor and "what was our problem".
We finally managed to have the damage repaired and quantified mainly at Krabi Boat Lagoon last year and when we became aware that the Purdell family had returned from Australia and were in fact hauled out beside Yacht Haven where we were berthed we contacted them once more to inform them of our costs and asking them for reimbursement. That was a number of weeks ago and there has been a big fat silence ever since.
Our adverse opinion of them has unfortunately been reinforced yet again.
The other related matter we would comment on has been the unfortunate closeness and chance encounters we have lately been enduring with several boats who were involved in the subsequent wholly nasty whispering campaign which appeared to start (unknown to us at the time) just after the Kupang incident. These people know who they are. This has brought back the unpleasant memories we have of the whole business and which tarnished our whole Indonesian cruising experience. A number of these people were not even involved in the Kupang incident and yet took it upon themselves to abuse us and generally behave like a pack of schoolyard bullies. The ultimate expression of this was the unprovoked and disgusting physical attack on Jim at Danga Bay, Johor by Kevin Enwright of the yacht "Tintin", during which he spat in Jim's face. Enough has been said already of his cowardly and disgusting behaviour so we'll leave it there, except to mention again the leaving of a computer generated note one night on our foredeck (again at Danga Bay) which stated "REMEMBER THE RAINBOW WARRIOR". This of course referred to the deliberate sinking of a Greenpeace ship in Auckland Harbour some years ago and which also resulted in the murder of a crew member. However trivial you may think leaving such a note on our boat is, the implied threat amounted to a threat to kill. It doesn't engender good feelings about cruising (and some cruisers) to be on the receiving end of something like that.
Enough said. We will of course let you know if some recompense is forthcoming from "Kealba".
Cheers and love to our friends and family from us.....

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Fwd: Collision damage costs

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jim Donald <>
Date: 31 December 2014 at 10:05
Subject: Fwd: Collision damage costs
To: Simon Purdell <>

Hi again Simon,
Sorry, but there is another item of damage cost that I forgot when sending you my earlier email 2 days ago. It is the nav. light mounted on the front of the pulpit. You'll recall that the lens was broken. However, when we were at Port Dickson earlier this year we had been having intermittent trouble with our masthead lights and so needed the additional insurance of the lower lights - which is why they were there in the first place. Initially we tried to obtain a replacement lens but of course that was unavailable so we had to replace the whole fitting. Again we tried to keep the cost down - however, it was a round figure of the equivalent of NZD100. At that time the exchange rate with the Aussie was around a 20% difference (it's now nearly at par) so it's reasonable to say that the cost of the light was AUD80. This needs to be added to the earlier amount advised which is a total of AUD476. We trust that we can look forward to receiving this amount soon.
Jim Donald
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jim Donald <>
Date: 29 December 2014 at 11:35
Subject: Fwd: Collision damage costs
To: Simon Purdell <>

Hi Simon,
We noticed belatedly that you were at Coconuts Restaurant the other night. Pity that we didn't make contact - however, we presume that you are hauled out at Premier Boatyard; we are in the marina at Yacht Haven.
We have finally been able to have the collision damage sustained at Kupang repaired during a recent haulout at Krabi Boat Lagoon. Popeye Marine (Des Kearns) was the contractor. After assessing the damage they told us they could effect the repairs without removing the affected structures from the boat and we elected to go down that path as it would be much cheaper (not having to remove and reinstall electrical wiring, etc.), and also less disruptive all round, albeit that we knew that the end result would not be perfect.
The resultant job, while expertly done, is acceptable but is not totally back to the condition that it was in pre collision, but we are prepared to live with that. Considerable ingenuity on the part of Popeye and Wit, their engineer, enabled the repairs to be carried out in situ. We are of course happy that it has finally been repaired.
The damage caused was that the pulpit had been pushed some 4" to starboard, the starboard pin rail had been forced upwards potentially causing damage to the standing rigging, and the structure aft that supports the starboard solar panel had been bent inboard.
We had the potential rigging issue checked just recently by David Samuelson at East Marine and he doesn't think there is any latent damage. The pin rail itself was lucky not to have broken, merely suffering some scratches which have been fixed along with other varnish work we have had done with Popeye.
It was extremely lucky in the circumstances prevailing at the time that further damage was not done. This was prevented by the arrival of several tenders from other yachts who forced "Kealba" away. The other fortuitous result was that we were where we were because if we hadn't been, it is our opinion that your boat would have dragged into water too deep for the anchor to touch bottom and she would have gone ashore on the lee shore behind us. Considering that you carried no insurance, we think that you at least owe us something for that.
We trust that you will see your way clear to reimbursing us for our costs which you will see from the attached email amount to 12,500 Baht. We also acknowledge that you provided assistance to us in allowing us to run our engine again by lending us and installing an electric fuel pump. We consider that that amounted to 8 hours of your time. However, as far as labour rates are concerned we have to compare apples with apples and one day's work for Popeye's engineer was charged out to us at 2,000 Baht per day. Therefore it seems appropriate to deduct this amount from the overall damage repair cost which indicates that you owe us a net 10,500 Baht. This amounts to AUD396 at approx. 26.5 Baht to 1 AUD.
We trust that we can look forward to receiving this amount as soon as possible. As to the practicality of making payment, we will be here for just a few more days - after that it could be a problem. Otherwise we can give you our bank details in NZ if that's appropriate.  
We should also add that Des Kearns is a person of the utmost integrity. He is Australian by birth and has spent almost all his working life at sea as a master mariner and more latterly as a marine surveyor in the oil industry based in Singapore. He is now retired and is acting as a consultant to his wife's business, Popeye Marine, as well as continuing his marine surveying business. When they were based in Satun they undertook many maintenance and restoration jobs, the largest of which was the complete rebuild of the 118' ketch "Cariad" which had been built in England in 1896. They also built and completely fitted out an alloy sloop of approximately the same size - called "Silver Lining". Their expertise and extensive experience is without question.
We'll look forward to your prompt reply.
Jim and Jean
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
Yacht Haven Marina
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Des Kearns <>
Date: 29 December 2014 at 08:36
Subject: Collision damage costs
To: Jim Donald <>
Cc: "Popeye Marine Co., Ltd." <>

Re: Kupang Collision Damage from yacht Kealba

Dear Jim,

We looked up our records and the total cost of Taire Taporo III stainless steel collision damage repairs was 12,500 Baht.

This figure includes labour and all materials,

Kind regards,



Krabi Boat Lagoon
175 Moo 2 Talingchan
Nuea Klong. Krabi 81130. Thailand
08 6906-2004 (Thai)
08 4846-8869 (English)


Hi again,
Well, the windlass switch did finally turn up at Octopus Electrical - 6 weeks after ordering it and it was the wrong one!! So we decided to sail without it. We do have another switch in the cockpit but whoever is there cannot see the anchor so it makes things awkward. However, we are good at hand signals (of the polite kind!!) - boating is full of innovation and compromise!
At this point we must make mention of Yacht Haven Marina and Nick and Zara who run it. It's friendly and very well run - nothing is too much trouble. We enjoyed our time there but of course it was finally time to move on, particularly as we had officially cleared on Jan. 7th.
We went across to Yao Yai again and spent a couple of pleasant days there enjoying the beach and the resort restaurant which as resorts go, is very reasonably priced. Then it was time to up anchor and continue our journey south to Langkawi. It was early in the morning and the sea was flat. However, as we approached the southern end of Yao Yai, we noticed that the engine was getting somewhat warmer than it should - again. So we made another ad hoc decision to alter course for Krabi Boat Lagoon where we knew there was some expert engineering assistance in the form of Wit at Popeye Marine. And it would be good to see everyone at Krabi again in any case, notwithstanding that we were becoming serious overstayers by now. As we rounded the southern end of Yao Yai there was a very lumpy sea running with the wind on the nose and of course we were nursing the engine but we had the tide with us and as we approached the Krabi coast the seas flattened so there wasn't a problem. By a happy coincidence the tide was right for us to enter when we arrived off the shoals outside the river system where KBL is located. So we just simply followed the waypoints and tied up on our old berth. Kuhn Wit came on board and then we had a discussion in their office where he suggested that it could be a faulty thermostat. Sure enough we took the old one out and it was indeed faulty. Ked then went into town in search of another and eventually found it. Re-installed and ready to go again. After 4 days and some more provisioning during which we were careful not to drive a car as we were officially not in the country, we left again. This time all was well - except!! The house battery master switch disintegrated and as this is the source of all power on the boat including electronic navigation which is a must when approaching Krabi, we decided to go back again. We had only been at Koh Pu which is 15 miles south of Krabi, so back we went once more!! Shades of leaving NZ back in 2011! At least in the NE monsoon this coast is sheltered with generally flat seas and often not much wind. We had been on the phone to Songbad from Koh Pu and he was sourcing a new switch for us so it was not long back at KBL and we were ready to go again! All these problems were in themselves minor, but they had the potential to become serious and usually what happens on boats is that 1, then 2, then 3 problems arise which in sum total prove to be very serious taken all together. So, it was best to fix them as we were able. Then once again back to Koh Pu. There is a spur of deeper water which heads into a long beach and we anchored at the head of this spur. Quite an open anchorage with a bit of a roll but not too bad. However, one wouldn't want to be there in the SW monsoon - it would be dangerous and untenable. Generally the sea around here is very shallow - often only 30' with the deepest we have seen 70'. We felt a degree of familiarity with the place!! The next morning we were surrounded by longtails all fishing for very large creamy coloured jellyfish. We had seen one ourselves the night before - the biggest jellyfish we have ever seen. There were usually 2 people in each boat - one conning and the other in the bows with a circular net on a pole. This guy also acted as a lookout for more jellyfish and then it was another swoop with the net and another jellyfish bit the dust. Apparently they are exported to China.
Next leg was to Koh Muk - 37 miles further on. A very scenic sail between spectacular islands and around the bottom of Koh Lanta, but again no wind. We were going to anchor between 2 large limestone cliffs but as we approached it did not look such a secure anchorage so we proceeded a little further around another point and there were about half a dozen boats anchored off another resort - including "St. Michel" (pronounced St. Michael). She is a German schooner owned by Joachim who we had got to know in KBL. Joachim sails with his young Thai wife, Ning. It was good to see them again and that night we went ashore and gorged ourselves on some lovely Thai food - very inexpensive. The next day it was off again and we had intended to stop at Koh Talibong but we didn't like the anchorage as we had to be well offshore to stay in water deep enough so we elected to continue to Koh Bulan. Made for a long day at 55 miles. We passed the limestone ridge of Koh Petra which we had admired when we came north last April/May. Then we spied a grey launch which appeared to be anchored. As we came closer we saw that it was a Thai Customs launch which gave us some palpitations as we were by then overstayers extraordinaire. However, they took no notice of us and we passed without incident.
There was the usual haze which made navigating by eye difficult at times so thank goodness again for the chartplotter. Koh Bulan had been highly recommended and there is a very good south facing bay (good in the NE Monsoon) but it shoals so rapidly that it is only possible to go just inside the headlands which gave less than perfect protection but it was adequate. There were half a dozen local squid fishing boats all anchored there when we arrived about 6 and as darkness fell they turned on their bright green lights to attract the squid. In the morning they had all vanished.
We left at 0700 and headed south along the eastern shore of Koh Tarutao. We had to stay reasonably close as further east the sea gets uncomfortably shallow. As we proceeded south the wind started showing signs of life and by the time we hoisted the main we needed a reef to keep things comfortable. Langkawi was well in sight by now and we continued around the SE shore in sometimes quite lively conditions. We are probably excessively cautious but we keep away from the shallower water on the chart. We'll probably get a bit more blase once we've been in and out a few times. Then we were in the channel and approaching the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Marina. No problems - we had been there before - and we berthed without incident.
However, it wasn't long before we wished we had gone somewhere else because the marina had deteriorated since our last visit 9 months before. They are about to begin substantial rebuilding but that's no excuse for an attitude which was unmistakably that we were a nuisance. The food in the restaurant was so bad that we only ate there once and there was the usual roll from ferries passing close by. And just to put the icing on the cake, they appear to have overcharged our berthage. And they repeatedly mix the laundry up and then when finding lost items in other boats' laundry they want to charge more - you can imagine Jean's reaction to that! Just as well the crutches are well stowed. All in all we were pleased to leave on the 12th. It was noticeable how many of the boats in there were in various stages of decrepitude with equally decrepit elderly owners - some drinking too much. We sure don't want to end up that way ourselves, although we have to say that after Thailand it was such a treat to be able to buy from a huge range of Scotch Whiskies (malts and blended) at extremely reasonable duty free prices. A stalwart of ours is Famous Grouse and it was only the equivalent of NZD11.
We had the pleasure of coming across Debbie and Paul and their 2 children, Kimberley and Mark. They are South African and we had met them previously at Gilli Air off Lombok in Indonesia in September 2013. They sail a gorgeous steel 100' sloop called "Asia". They charter her with high end charters to remote places but they said business was down at present due to the financial situation in Russia where much of their clientele is based. They had originally bought the hull which is a John Brooke design in Whangarei and the creation of "Asia" from there is a fascinating story of dogged perseverance. She is a credit to them. They asked us on board for drinks one night and so we all went out to "Asia" at anchor in their 90 hp. tender! Quite quick. We had a great time and the time passed all too quickly until it was 0300 and we said we must be getting back. So, back into the tender and hurtling into the night when, due to a faulty fuel gauge the outboard died through lack of fuel!! We tried paddling back for a while which was taxing after quite a few glasses of excellent wine!! We made some headway but in the end just couldn't get back to the yacht so we anchored and Paul went swimming off into the blackness. We were worried about him as we couldn't see him and certainly couldn't have helped him if he'd needed it. However, all was well and he was soon back paddling a kayak with a container of fuel. Then we were back to "Asia" to leave the kayak and off again at around 30 knots to be deposited in the marina at about 0500! We staggered into bed and didn't wake till 10 feeling somewhat the worse for wear. But we'd had a great night of conversation and Jim had managed to beat young Mark at Chess, but only just.
We also met an American boat called "Banshee" whose acquaintance we had previously made at Pangkor when we were coming up the Malacca Straits in April last year. It's amazing how you keep coming across people and very sad when you finally say goodbye - possibly never to see them again but that's part of cruising.
We find Langkawi and Kuah in particular quite difficult for sourcing provisions etc. We hired a car a few times and gradually became more familiar with the place but it's typical of Asia in that the most unlikely looking premises have the thing you want and the only way to ascertain that is to walk into the shop. At least signs are written in English here, but that isn't generally much help. Jean found an acupuncturist who relieved a sore arm and shoulder which was good.
We'd had enough of the RLYC after a few days so left to come the 12 miles to Rebak Marina. Rebak is an island with a free fast ferry service to the mainland at Pantai Cenang. It exists in conjunction with a resort whose pool and gym are available for use by marina residents. The resort (owned by Tajhotels of India) is of a high standard and the pool is huge and gorgeous. The whole place is very well maintained and as we write we are about to go and have another late afternoon workout in the pool. The marina is very welcoming in stark contrast to the RLYC. It does not have much wind though and we have managed to find a portable air conditioner to keep the boat at an acceptable temperature - high twenties. Otherwise it would become fairly unbearable.
We've met another German couple - Andrea and Detlef on "Phoenix" - and an English sailor (Mike of "Cooya") who owns a 100 yr old wooden boat currently based in Amsterdam! The world seems full of geriatric 60 and 70 yr olds sailing yachts hither and yon! You see the grey heads and beards everywhere - we reckon they're breeding.
Jean's now got her tickets to Miami via London and is getting very excited about seeing her grandson Carter and the imminent birth of Peapod # 2. She's also coming back via Glasgow so will be able to see her nephew Jiveen and his wife Jenny and their little son Theo. Jim meanwhile is going to NZ to see his brother and 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.
More news prior to our respective departures.
Lots of love from us
Jim and Jean
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
Rebak Is. Marina
Langkawi Is.

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