Day 46, Year 4: One Step Forward, One Step Back
Date: Sunday, December 7, 2008
Weather: Rainy Day
Location: Rebak Marina on Pulau Rebak Besar, Langkawi, Malaysia

Where should I start? We didn’t get a dry day, so the holes in our teak deck are soaking up the wetness. We have covered every hole with masking tape, but we are not sure that really helps. But needless to say, there was no work done on the teak deck today. So this was one step back.

And then there is the transmission. After the 12:45 pm ferry arrived and there was still no mechanic and no transmission, Mark made a call and found out that actually the seals had to be ordered, which we had not been told before, and they were not going to arrive until 2:00 this afternoon. So much for having the transmission back in today. And unfortunately, that means no transmission tomorrow and the next day as they are Muslim religious holidays. So the new plan is that we will have the transmission
back on Wednesday. This is a huge set-back, but if we actually get the transmission back on Wednesday and the installation goes smoothly, we will still be on track for meeting Kevin and Claire north of here the following Tuesday. There are always lots of “ifs” but we have a plan worked out for each alternative, so we feel that whatever happens we will be fine, but it is very frustrating. So this was definitely one step back.

The step forward was Mark’s work on our second bilge pump that hasn’t worked this entire season. He has installed three different pumps and none of them have worked, so today he worked on the electrical system. He tidied up all the wires and connections coming from the bilge and finally found the problem with the pump. So we now have two working bilge pumps once again. This was one step forward.

Now comes the work on the shower stall. We found places where the first coat of paint was peeling, so realized that we needed to sand off the coat of “wrong” paint to prepare the surface for what we hope is the “right” paint that we bought in town yesterday. Sanding paint off a surface in a boat causes all kinds “dust” problems, but we covered as much as we could and started the sanding. Mark feels like we have ended up with a much smoother surface which is good, but the whole time I was sanding
the only thing I could think is that if we had had the correct paint to begin with the sanding process wouldn’t have been necessary. So we have a smoother surface (one step forward) but we spent time sanding and cleaning that wouldn’t have been necessary if we had the right paint to begin with (one step back).

We are hoping for a dry day tomorrow so we can finish plugging the teak deck. Rain or not, we will paint the shower stall and the seats and lids for our two toilets. That’s the goal for tomorrow. Hopefully those goals are achievable and we can have a day with only steps forward.

Day 47, Year 4: Happy Birthday to Jed!
Day 45, Year 4: For the Love of Martians