Sept. 2001
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Check out Weeks ending: [31 Aug 01] [9 Sep 01] [16 Sep 01] [23 Sep 01] [30 Sep 01]

Week Ending  31 August, 2001   (Bob)

Communications, provisioning and medical affairs drew our attention this week:

 Communications – for the last month we have been reviewing and analyzing (some would say over-analyzing) the options to upgrade our communications capabilities as we head into the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. We have considering various HF radio and satellite systems (see our Communications page for the gory details). We settled on buying an Iridium satellite phone, now that they are back in service, and a used Inmarsat C transceiver (purchased thru eBay, the on-line auction web-site). Both are now ‘in the mail’ so we can look forward to a couple of busy weeks installing and testing them. To prepare for them, Bob tore the navigation station apart and relocated instruments, and is in the process of building a bay to hold the laptop. We plan to add an external monitor and keyboard to keep the chart table clear.

Provisioning - Judi then sent an email to a NZ friend asking her to purchase and send some Kiwi food items that we like and cannot get here in Singapore. The order turned into 14 kilos of stuff that we just had to have (NOT!).

Medical – both of have had a few problems with aching joints, so a couple visits to doctors, examinations via MRI and X-rays, and a physiotherapy visit rounded out the week.

Week Ending 9 Sept 2001 (Judi)

Piroges, Polish sausage, sauerkraut! No, we didn't suddenly sail to Poland.  This week started with our good friends, Mark and Pauline, inviting us aboard their sailing yacht, "Sari Timor" for an "authentic" Polish dinner.  They are a very unique and interesting couple as Pauline is Singaporean and Mark is an American with Polish heritage.  They spent the entire day preparing the meal in 90+ degree heat, but it was really worth it as everything was delicious and put Judi in touch with her Polish "roots." We really enjoyed the evening and will miss them when we leave Singapore.

On Tuesday, we traveled with our friends Marcia and George on "Pegasus" across the causeway to Johor Bahru, Malaysia to get a first-hand look at the Grand Banks trawler production facility.  We, like many aging sailors, have had thoughts of selling the sailboat and buying a trawler when we return home, so thought this would be a good opportunity to see how they are built.  We arranged the tour with Grand Banks, which sent a car to Singapore to pick us up and drive us there where the production manager gave us a guided tour of the operation.  It was very interesting to see the process of boat building.  Naturally, the boat we liked cost at least a half-million $US.

The next "event" for the week was the arrival of our Iridium satellite phone.  We had emailed our phone number to some cruising friends who also have one and they immediately emailed a message to us from their boat on the way from Tahiti to Chile.  Next week will be consumed with installation of the boat’s new "toy" as Bob plans to permanently install both the phone and the laptop PC in the navigation station.

Week Ending 16 Sept 2001 (Bob)

The week Terrorism struck the USA!  All other activities pale compared to the tragedies in New York and Washington.  Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this senseless terrorism.  We watched a lot of TV, listened to CNN (no pictures since we have no cable), and worked on a few chores around the boat.

  • Enclosed the laptop - Bob finished modifying the navigation area so that the laptop is enclosed, the CD cases have a home, and a new LCD display graces our nav table.  Hopefully we can now gain access to the PC, send email, and do other chores with less risk of damage or splashes.
  • Installed Iridium satellite phone - We are now hooked to the world by another tether, a satellite telephone which can place voice and data calls from anywhere in the world.  We instantly called the service center in the US (actually Newfoundland!) with no problem - exciting! We will supply info on how to contact us shortly.
  • Met new friends - The cruisers are starting to arrive from Indonesia, so far "Total Devotion", "White Rabbit", "Skimmer", "Kemo Sabay" seem to lead the pack on their way through to Thailand - we will join them shortly.
  • Rethinking our route - The events that will follow the terrorism in the US may have far-reaching effects, particularly in the Middle East, so we will be monitoring events and may have to change our plans accordingly - a small price in the grand scheme of things.

Weeks ending 23 and 30 Sept 2001 (Bob)

The aftermath of the tragedy in the USA has settled into a dull background anger, and knowledge that many things in the world have changed.  We have spent the last 2 weeks installing new gear and recovering from computer problems while trying to keep our social life alive.

  • Inmarsat C - On eBay we cast the winning bid for an Inmarsat C unit (another satellite radio, primarily to receive weather and safety alerts).   It was delayed during shipment due to the aircraft groundings in the US, but finally arrived this week. We are struggling to get the right location, cables and software for it, and are currently in the 'systems integration' phase. Hopefully it will be up and running next week.
  • Computer problems - Our laptop has been unstable ever since we installed Windows Me several months ago, and it finally got so bad we decided to reformat and clean up the disk.  This took 2 attempts and 3 days before the dust has settled, and we lost contact with our web-site for a while.  We have reverted to Windows 98, and so far it has been more stable.  We have shown we can update this page (the previous entry specifically) via the Iridium satellite phone - 21st century stuff!
  • Socializing - Two weekends ago found us aboard 'Artswork', a 42'Bob and Judi 1st Anniversary pix 23 Sep 01.jpg (14544 bytes) power yacht where Art prepared a gourmet meal for 6 served al fresco on the top deck - a very enjoyable evening.  Last Sunday we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary, and had a delightful dinner at the 'Top of the M' restaurant, a revolving restaurant atop the Mandarin Hotel.  The food was wonderful, the service very attentive, the wine superb, and the price was eye-watering, and so we had a great time.  They even took our picture (click on it) plus a dessert bubbling over dry ice.
 

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