Back on board in Borneo

Peregrina's Journey
Peter and Margie Benziger
Tue 26 Feb 2013 14:12

06:88.3 N  116:83.3E 


It’s hard to believe we were away from the boat for ten weeks!  The holidays flew by and it was great to see our family and friends but “life in the fast lane” was overwhelming at times.  We soon discovered that we missed the simple pleasures and slow motion pattern of our days and nights at sea.  While we’ll always look forward to our visits home, a few weeks in the “real world” reinforced our belief that we are doing the right thing by making our dreams come true now before life gets in the way and makes other plans for us.

So… the adventure continues and we get ready for another ocean passage.  Our destination for November 2013South Africa via the Indian Ocean!

The trip back to Malaysia was long but pretty hassle free - except for the luggage issue. We arrived in the States with two small duffel bags and returned to Malaysia with four HUGE suitcases!  Our clothes all fit into one suitcase and the other three suitcases contained only boat parts! We didn’t have to pay anything on our American Airlines/Cathay Pacific flights for excess baggage thanks to Peter’s lifetime Platinum Status but when we got on the small puddle-jumper from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo, we had to pay almost $200 in excess baggage fees!  Bummer!!! 

Now we’re back aboard Peregrina - still “on the hard” in Kudat, Malaysia (the northernmost tip of Borneo)

We’re busy getting the hull ready for bottom (anti-fouling) paint. We have a Filipino guy working for us who is barely 5 feet tall and his name is "MEGA" which I find mildly amusing.  He works like a maniac for 8 straight hours hardly taking a break - all this for 50 Ringgit - about $18.00 a day.

Peter is supervising the “re-fitting” of Peregrina before she goes back in the water and the photo below shows the boat parts we brought back in the three suitcases.

There were over 150 different parts in total.  None of which we could buy here in the boat yard.  Take a look at our "neighbors" and you'll see why...

It's pretty obvious that the boat parts these fishermen need are much different than those required by Peregrina

One of the projects underway on Peregrina includes repairing the damage caused from two “sneak attacks” by reefs that moved suddenly into Peregrina’s path.  The reefs did not appear on our charts. 

 Some of the other 83 boat projects on my list include:
-Adding a salt water pump for dishwashing to preserve fresh water during our long passage to Africa
-Rebuild the Force 10 stove thermo-couplers so the burners stay lit
-Replace the wind direction and speed instruments on top of mast
-Install new cutlass bearings on propeller shaft
-Clean and re-grease the anchor windlass
-Re-wire the main breaker panel with new “on/off” indicator lights
-Service the Yanmar diesel and change salt water impeller in pump
-Change to LED lights throughout the cabin to reduce power consumption
-Swap our main battery bank for new AGM batteries ordered from Kuala Lumpur
Here is picture of Peter in our huge engine room installing the new salt water pump for Margie.
Rebuilding the anchor windlass
Winching the 85 pound batteries up through the aft hatch.

On board a sailboat, you need to be a mechanic, electrician, plumber, fiberglass technician, rigger, sail-maker, metal fabricator, chief, cook and bottle-washer all rolled into one…
-If you would like to have a list of the other 74 projects, just write.
-If you would like to help in the boat maintenance, we will send you a plane ticket
We’ve got a few days to get everything shipshape before we leave again for a sight-seeing trip to Vietnam, March 1st-17th. We’ll fly to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) for three days and then move on our own up the coast to Hanoi.  We’re really stoked about this trip having come of age at the height of the Vietnam War.  We hope to be the goodwill ambassadors from America this time around…

Once back in Malaysia, we’ll get the boat put in the water and hopefully start heading to Indonesia around March 20th and a jumping off point to begin the long passage across the Indian Ocean to South Africa sometime in late June/early July. More on that later…

For now, all is good and it’s GREAT to be back aboard Peregrina again. Although we miss everyone in the States, especially our daughters, Lauren and Amy, we are REALLY happy doing what we’re doing and seeing the world from this unique perspective.

Plus, life is so much simpler, here…What’s not to like about getting a great haircut for $3.33/Margie and $2.33/Peter!!!

Anyway, we’ll stay in touch via our “Where in the World…” postings and thanks again to everyone who opened up their hearts and homes to us while we were back in the States.  Please know how much we value your friendship and look forward to seeing you again on our next visit home.  And, for those who fancy a South African safari anytime between November 2013 and March 2014, let us know!!!
Margie and Peter
Peter Benziger