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