Pleasant Return to Phuket - Sunday evening and we were back steamy Phuket and could hardly wait until Monday morning to see what had happened while we were gone:
Back in the saddle - We feel that we are back at work: alarm at 0700 and on the boat by 0745 (after a short commute by bike). Pro Yachting has taken the week off, and allowed the carpenters free access to the decks so that they can cut and drill to their heart's content:
Overall we feel that a lot of progress has been made, but we are afraid that our launch date of 21 June may be in jeopardy - we'll see.
All varnishing complete - This week was a little quiet for us as we watched the final coat of varnish go on throughout the interior. With a mixture of 1/3 Gloss and 2/3 Satin she really looks like new below. The cabin sole received its final coat of gloss, and the floor looks like a piece of glass! Although it has been somewhat expensive for the varnish work, we think it looks great!
Toe-rail stalled - Nai and Toe told us they would use 10 tubes of caulk, so we ordered the type Shannon recommended, and had it shipped to Langkawi 3 weeks ago (plus a couple of spare tubes). Unfortunately they underestimated, and ran out, so Kak, the conscientious carpenter doing the work is now stalled. We have ordered more from West Marine, it reached Bangkok in 2 days, and now languishes "delayed in Customs".
Drama with Customs - After 5 days of the DHL status showing "delayed in Customs" we got Nai to call and find out where it was. After 2 more days, an angry phone conversation, and $100 in duty and fees, we finally broke the $150 shipment free. It was a first-hand lesson in why all of the yachties ship their goods somewhere else (Langkawi, Singapore, etc.) and then travel to pick them up.
Toe-rail and rub-rail complete - Despite the lack of caulk, Kak plugged on, shaping and fitting the chocks and other bits and pieces until the caulk could be extricated from the clutches of Customs. With the caulk in hand he put the finishing touches on it, and she looks really good and solid - better than new.
Beautiful new cushions - At week's end, Jin and Pong brought our new leather cushions by for a fitting, and they look wonderful - rich green! One of the settee cushions need a little trimming, but the rest fit beautifully. They really do good work!
Moving back on board - This is the week that some of our off-loaded stuff started to move back on board - lockers are starting to fill up and we have a feeling that things are starting to come together rather than being torn apart - a good feeling.
The Coachroof and Cockpit sport a new coat of paint - After a week of much sanding and filling in good weather, Pro-Yachting was ready to shoot the first primer coat last week. All ports were taped, hatches wrapped in 'Saran-wrap' (they use clingy plastic by the mile to protect everything here), and the deck covered in plastic tablecloth - so the spray guns came out. After an hour, the coachroof and cockpit gleamed white, and all minor imperfections were clearly visible. The crew then set about to fill and smooth it all over again! Next week may see the next primer coat.
Prop removed - The 'drip-less' seal installed in New Zealand had developed a minor leak during the last few months and this seemed like an ideal time to take care of it. The mechanic from ... came by bright and early Monday morning and jammed himself into the small working space above our prop shaft with all of the right tools and tons of confidence. Five hours later (with time off for good behavior) he emerged, tired and smudged but victorious with the coupling, shaft, and propeller intact. In summary:
Sawadee Kha - This is the standard greeting one hears in Thailand any time of day - from women. The guys will greet you with a Sawadee Khap. It turns out that the gender of the speaker is used to end many phrases in Thailand, the first time we have experienced this type of grammar.
Starting to Re-assemble the boat - We have started to drag boxes back on board and refill our lockers slowly. Radios have been re-installed, clothes hung in place, food re-stowed, and books returned to their homes.
Water panic - Workers started to prepare for the final coat of paint by removing all existing plastic and giving the boat a thorough cleaning. UNFORTUNATELY they neglected to tell us in advance and our deck was like a sieve with many holes awaiting installation of stanchion bases - tempers became frayed as books and a radio were soaked as collateral damage.
The plastic cocoon - At week's end, Long Passages looked like a fiberglass caterpillar wrapped in a huge Saran-wrap cocoon! Workers recovered all decks with plastic, and then made a waterproof/wind-resistant 'tent' of plastic wrap and then vacuumed all debris from the decks. By Saturday the entire boat was clean and ready for its final coat of paint.
Preparation for Visitors - As the impending visit by Sharon and Stephanie from Oregon approached, planning went into high gear. Judi put together a detailed itinerary designed to test their endurance while giving them good insight into much of Thailand. We spent the weekend sprucing up the boat (even though we would be living in the apartment) and 'provisioning' for the visit.