Aug. 2002
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Check out Weeks ending: [3 Aug 02] [10 Aug 02] [17 Aug 02] [24 Aug 02] [31 Aug 02]

Week Ending 3 Aug 2002 (Bob)

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:

  • Over-spray problem - When Pro Yachting put on the 1st primer coat, there were a few small holes in the plastic that covered our portholes, so white mist covered much of the varnished cabin sole and joinery. We told them, and they said they would fix it, but didn't.  So now, the chickens have come home to roost - the mist will not come off with thinner, and the varnish they are using seems to bubble on our cabin sole.  So rather than a 2-hour clean-up job, it looks like they are facing a 5-7 man-day task of re-varnishing 25% of our cabin sole!  
  • Cockpit Seat - Nai and Toe had Kak working on a new and improved cockpit seat to cover the propane locker while we were gone, and it looks beautiful!  Now we have to install the propane locker without damaging it too much.

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:

  • Dryfit 50% of the ports - this has gone fairly well.
  • Install stanchion bases - This Long Passages stanchion base.jpg (4818 bytes) has been a pain, each base requires drilling holes, smoothing the non-skid deck, building up a support under the deck, making backing plates, dryfiting all of the pieces, and bolting the stanchion base with caulk.  Two hours each multiplied by 12 stanchions made 3 days go by in a hurry!
  • Next week: Install all ports, cockpit coaming, and propane locker.

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.

Week Ending 10 Aug 2002 (Bob)

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 Long Passages stanchion gate.jpg (4105 bytes) 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!


Week Ending 24 Aug 2002 (Bob)

We lose our shade - We knew the time would come, Long Passages sun awning coming down.jpg (17113 bytes)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 Long Passages with awning removed.jpg (17371 bytes)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:

  • Move launch date to next Tuesday
  • Rent a car
  • Drive to Satun, a sea-port 6 hours south of Phuket.
  • Hop a ferry to Langkawi, Malaysia.
  • Stock up on duty free wine and load up on varnish. Get passports stamped!
  • Spend a night at the Bayview Hotel and return to Satun so that Thail officials could welcome us once again!

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 Thailand Krabi scenic view.jpg (21824 bytes)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.

Week Ending 17 Aug 2002 (Bob)

Continuing the reassembly of Long Passages  - This is a little repetitious, but we feel we are making progress:

  • All ports in - Long Passages Bright new ports.jpg (17692 bytes)We had removed all of the ports in the main salon so that the leaking (and decayed) cabin liner could be replaced with a bright Formica-like surface.  With that and the painting finished, we reinstalled and re-bedded the polished bronze and we think they look great.
  • Beginning the clean-up - We finally closed all of the holes in the deck by re-installing chain-plates, a radio antenna, and some miscellaneous hardware.  And so we were finally able to wash the decks!  Seems like a small victory, but 3 months accumulation of sawdust, paint chips, bits of masking tape, and miscellaneous debris made it impossible to keep anything clean.  After a hose down and lots of soap and water, LP was beginning to look new again.
  • Lifelines on - In our zeal to strengthen the stanchion gates (where we climb aboard) we moved them about 12 inches, and the lifelines no longer fit.  We took the fittings, some measurements, and money to Rolly Tasker, the local sail-maker/rigger and after a few days we got them back, and they fit like a glove. 

Week Ending 31 Aug 2002 (Bob)

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'.

  • Rudder 'issue' -As an 'Oh by the way' exercise, we decided to clean the steering quadrant before we re-installed it and what did we find?  The keyways in the quadrant and in the rudder  post did not match!  The quadrant was 1/8" larger than the key and the slot in the rudder - and we splash tomorrow! (It had apparently been that way for 25+ years. )  Fortunately the machine shop was up to the task and by 0800 on Tuesday they had machined a proper key to fit both slots - another crisis averted.
  • Masts up! - At 1000 Monday Bob Phuket main mast being installed.jpg (20730 bytes)stopped by Scott's shop to remind him that we were splashing in the morning, and would need to install the masts then.  Scott said "how about this afternoon at 1500", so the rest of the day rushed by as we got ready for the crane.  In a scene from 'Monty Python' about 8 guys lifted our masts (from an inaccessible spot in the marina) and man-handled it between boats, trees, cars, and over other obstacles to place them beside LP.  At the appointed time, a crane operator, with marginal fine-motor control hoisted them high over our yacht and lowered them into place.  With a little muscle, a few yells and some good luck Bob got the main mast in place and Scott did the same with the mizzen.  A few twists of the turnbuckles later, we were rigged and looked more like a sailboat!
  • Splash down! - The morning was Long Passages rudder being fitted.jpg (18851 bytes) gloomy, with rain and squalls at frequent intervals.  At 0815 Tuesday, Mr. Sin, the travel-lift czar came by to lift us so that the rudder could be fitted.  This went smoothly, and Bob crawled into the bowels of LP to connect the steering while Judi organized the painters to touch up the last few spots on the bottom that needed anti-fouling paint.  By 1100 we were back in the air and on our way to be lowered into the water.  Judi tossed the (almost) obligatory string of 500 firecrackers Phuket Boat Lagoon firework aftermath.jpg (14364 bytes) to Ligia and they exploded on schedule as we touched the water, keeping the evil spirits at bay and leaving only red paper to show for their fury!  A short jaunt under our own power, and we were snug in slip B22 with no scratches to the new paint job. 

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 Phuket Boat Lagoon celebrating launch.jpg (25360 bytes) 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).


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