Day 45, Year 4: For the Love of Martians
Date: Saturday, December 6, 2008
Weather: Overcast with Sprinkles
Location: Rebak Marina on Pulau Rebak Besar, Langkawi, Malaysia

Men really are from Mars and women, at least this woman, must be from some other planet. Today was one of those days when it was the little things that get you, and Mark and I had different ideas on each of the “little things.” So Mars and the other planet clashed. But clashes or not, you’ve got to love those men from Mars.

First we got up and found sprinkles in the air. That was a problem since we have more than 200 deck plugs drilled and ready to fill. So before we even ate breakfast we started finding ways of covering the deck. But while that was happening, I reminded Mark that the mechanic might be here around 10 am with the transmission. I asked if there was anything else that needed to happen before the transmission is replaced. Oh, my! There were lots of things including a complete clean-out of the bilge.
Since the engine room is a “blue job” I hadn’t been paying close attention to what needed to be done. But the leakage of transmission fluid had made a complete mess of the bilge and we spent the next two hours using our little wet/dry shop vac to clean up some of the mess, and as I write this log tonight, Mark is still working on cleaning out the bilge. But back to this morning, somewhere in the middle of the bilge cleaning job, Zainol, the mechanic, came by to say that the transmission would
not be back until tomorrow, so that was a bit of a relief. We continued to clean the bilge and when that was done we went out on the deck to start filling the holes with new screws and pegs. Next problem. The Makita battery-powered drill just couldn’t keep up with the work load. We have known for a long time that we need a plug-in drill, but we there is no way to buy anything compatible with US power out here. The good thing at this point was that the rain didn’t come, so we got on the ferry
and headed to the main island to buy a plug-in drill that we could use plugging it straight into shore power. We were also after the paint we need for the shower stall, head seats and lids, and the dinghy motor mount. We called the rental car guy when we got on the ferry just to find out that there were no cars available. But a young man on the ferry said, “No problem.” He used his cell phone to call a taxi for us and offered to give us a ride with him if the taxi didn’t show up. Local people
here are just so friendly and helpful. It gives me hope that somehow we can learn to live together on Planet Earth.

We got to Kuah, bought a drill and paint, and found a place that will sell our two dinghy motors if we decide to buy a new Yamaha. When we bought the drill I asked Mark if we had a way to plug it into our existing system. Our current electric cord that connects us to shore power is from New Zealand, but Mark assured me that the drill would work with that system. That is when Mars and another planet started to collide. The other problem was buying the paint. I thought Mark knew what we needed,
but it turned out that he really wasn’t sure. It is very difficult to figure out which paints are epoxy friendly when nothing on the labels tells you in English what the compatibility of the paint might be. We ended up buying a one-part paint instead of the two-part we were after. There was one frustration after another, but we finally got the items on our list and hailed a taxi to take us back to the ferry dock.

When we got home the drill wouldn’t plug into our current system. After walking the docks, Mark did find someone with an adapter that would allow the drill to work with our current system. But by this time, it was too late on a Saturday evening to start drilling. So the work will have to continue tomorrow. Hopefully things will go a little smoother and the prediction for rain will be wrong. We could use one very dry day to do painting and teak deck work. Here’s to a better tomorrow.

Day 46, Year 4: One Step Forward, One Step Back
Day 44, Year 4: Making Progress . . . Sort Of