Back at Work - After a fun 3 weeks, we found ourselves feeling we were back in a job - up at dawn (well, maybe 0730) on the job by 0900, and attending to the many things we had neglected during our vacation. Drilling holes, smearing caulk, and installing bits and pieces. Some of the things we encountered were:
Reassembling Long Passages - Now that the painting and woodwork are done, we have to put the lady back together. So far we have been able to:
Eating out - We discovered a couple of new places, The Green Man, a British pub with great atmosphere, good burgers and a kidney pie to die for. We became members and plan to return. We also visited The Black Cat, a French-Thai restaurant in Thalang with a wonderful selection and great food for $4-6/person.
Reassembling Long Passages - The major chore of the week was to find which bolt or screw held on each of the thousands (seemed like thousands anyway) of bits and pieces we have found since LP was varnished and painted. Wood panels, brackets, cup-holders, pad-eyes, lamps, power sockets, fire extinguishers, battery chargers - the list goes on and on! By week's end we were seeing some order below, but the 'project' bucket still filled four 1-gallon containers.
All stanchions installed - This was a big milestone as we have upgraded the installation to make them stronger and try to make them water-proof. The gates have reinforcing bars, and each base is firmly thru-bolted. Each of the 12 bases took about 2 1/2 hours to install including locating the base, drilling, making a backing plate, masking, caulking, and installing them. A tedious job, but hopefully it will make for a dry boat for a while!
We lose our shade - We knew the time would come, but it was still traumatic. A 25 knot breeze blew across the boat-yard as the young team from Pro-Yachting struggled to remove a cover the size of spinnaker! They shinnied up poles, walked across our bimini, and wielded knives on a long pole as they worked to bring the canvas down without damage to the gleaming new paint. After 2 hours all evidence of awning and frame were gone, and Long Passages stood, bare-headed and proud for all to see.
Boat-yard shuffle - Boat Lagoon is really busy with lots of yachts coming in for work, and the yard-master told us he would have to move us to accommodate two newly-arrived customers. So on Tuesday 3 travel-lifts sprung into operation as 3 yachts were relocated and 2 new yachts took their place in the work-queue. We are now beside 'Ferric Star', and it should be convenient to launch us next week. While hoisted we took care of one niggling item - we removed the rudder that had been bent slightly when we backed out of our slip. This was surprisingly easy, and the work-shop had it back within 3 hours with the shaft polished and straight.
"Get outta Dodge - Now! - Plan A was to launch on Saturday the 24th, but unfortunately our visas expire on the 23rd, and a last minute plea to Immigration was to no avail. So Plan B was conjured out of thin air:
All in all, quite an inconvenience for the privilege of staying 28 more days, but a small price to stay on the right side of the law.
Getting lost - On our return trip from Satun, we managed to get lost several times, and finally pulled into the resort town of Krabi late at night, but still in time for a delicious Italian meal along the waterfront. Krabi is a beautiful resort town on the west coast of Phang Nga bay with very abrupt karsts that reminded us of Guilin, China. The next morning we roamed the countryside and coastline and can see why this has become a busy tourist destination in its own right.
Continuing the reassembly of Long Passages - This is a little repetitious, but we feel we are making progress:
Countdown to splash - This week we go back in the water, and after 4 months of sitting on the dusty, dirty hardstand we were really anxious to 'splash'.
Giving the hardstand credit where it is due - Although we found that the hardstand was quite dirty because of sanding, grinding, and spraying there were attempts to control it. Every day, a very nice Thai lady worked her way through the entire hardstand area sweeping and picking up debris, so that despite those of us contributing to the mess, she continued to fight the incoming tide and kept the place looking reasonably tidy!
Multicultural Lifestyle - Our launching, small potatoes on the world scene, reminded us of one of the aspects of our lifestyle that we life. The people controlling the travel-lift and launching us were from Thailand. We were helped by George, an American, Ligia from Costa Rica, and Michael from Denmark. After we were snug in our slip we popped a cold bottle of Lindauer champagne (from New Zealand, our adopted home) and later shared stories with Peter from the United Kingdom. Sailing on the Chesapeake Bay is some of the best sailing in the world, but it is difficult to beat the multicultural side of cruising around the world.
Getting ready to move aboard - The rest of the week was consumed by cleaning the boat, finishing small tasks, and moving stuff from our apartment to our storage locker and the boat. By the weekend the boat looked habitable (almost) and the apartment bare (again, almost).