JOURNAL ENTRY - 2 Sep 2003

Sent:Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 1:40 AM
Subject: Pulau AUR

My dear readers,
I will soon be off to the best island in all of the South China Sea. It is called Pulau AUR and I will tell you all about it when I arrive in Singapore, or more accurately Johor Bahru. That is my next port of call in Malaysia but it happens to be on the north side of Singapore and very well protected as well as FREE! Yes! I have heard that boat owners pay up to 100 US $ a day in many of the more lavish marinas. If that were the case I could stay for about 15 days and then I'd have to sell the boat for parts.
She is still running pretty well, but I have been reading up on engine manuals and have found that carbonization is a prime result of running an engine cold or with too little load. The combustion chambers do not get hot enough to burn off all of the carbon in the fuel and it sticks to everything and the engine starts to get gummed up. I pulled out one of the fuel injectors because I was getting a little leak out of the side of the chamber it slides into and the injector head was already caked with carbon. I think I might have to take the engine apart and do a serious cleaning once in Singapore but that is down the road.
7 am wed 3 depart for Pulau AUR. Should arrive around 4 pm. Will find good anchorage and if particularly stunning will stay for a day or two. Then will depart for another long leg from Pulau Aur to Johor Bahru which, by itself, should take about 36 hours. I will try to plan my trip this time to catch the currents running down the coast as well as wait for a fairly clear day right after a storm.
This means that I should be in Johor Bahru in five days in the shortest time frame but since I never seem to arrive on time, I will set the time frame for 1 week, but don't get excited if I don't show up for 10 days. I will also have to hunt down an Internet place in either Johor Bahru or Singapore and I think I might rest for a few days in Johor Bahru because I still feel a bit worn out.
Tioman has fantastic coral! Some of the best I have ever seen and I have seen a hell of a lot in the last 7 months. The only thing hampering it is the visibility but that obviously has to do with the frequent storms and foul weather as of late. I strongly recommend this place to any diver. It has hundreds of dive spots, deep water; 190 feet, shallow snorkeling reefs, rock reefs, swim-throughs, huge manta rays and plenty of sea turtles. I can't say that I have seen any but I have not been out exploring as the weather sucks and I was enjoying the land, the good food and the jungle. I snorkeled two separate places and found them both quite fantastic. I don't want to be a dive ad but this place is fantastic and this year has been literally empty.
My mom and dad both had some questions.
Dad, I have been sending my letters to your hotmail address as well as your loxinfo address.
Mom, there has never been an anchor windlass on this boat. We usually use the winch attached to the mast if it gets difficult. A windlass would be nice but I think that an emergency floatation device might be higher on the list and then next comes an autopilot because life would be so much easier with one.
Aur, now I can't remember any of the questions my mum had for me. I guess I will have to dig up her letter and respond to that one personally.
My next port of call is Johor Bahru / Singapore so I will write from there hopefully with lots of boring stories about total uneventfulness. Got my fingers crossed.
Much love,
Captain Andy