Day 97, Year 4: Images and Contacts
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Weather: Another Beautiful, Sunny Day
Location: Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Island

Another interesting day in the life. The fifty-some boats that arrived here yesterday were all out of the marina and out of sight by 8:30 am this morning. The race start was a bit north of here and it was absolutely amazing how all of the boats left here so quietly. So the first image is to imagine all the racing boats slithering out of Ao Po without making a sound. At 9:15 we were aboard Renaissance 2000 leaving for the Boat Lagoon. We could see the white sails of the racing boats to our north
as we left, but not much else. Renaissance is an Amel 52′ and Jean graciously gave us a tour of the boat. It is a boat with a lot of very nice features–the nicest being that you can easily raise the floor of the cockpit and be in the engine room. What a luxury! We arrived at the outer channel to the Boat Lagoon around 11 am and a man named Doucette came out to greet us and pilot us in. He tied his dinghy to our side, jumped aboard, and then took over the wheel of Renaissance to guide us in through
the very shallow water. So picture that as the next image you need to store.

The path into the Lagoon is long and winding one. It took us almost an hour. We spent some time celebrating our arrival, and then Mark and I went to the marina office while Ken and Jean waited for their 1:00 pm lift out of the water and onto the hard. Mark and I met with Oh, our painter. We had expected to sign our contract with him and pay him the required 40 per cent deposit. We thought he took a credit card, but that was not true. That meant that we will have to get the 40 per cent down payment from the bank. BUT we need our passports to do this and we didn’t have them with us today. So we drank the very cold orange juice Oh had brought as a kind of champagne toast. This is the next image you need to store-the celebration of a coming event. We will have to return tomorrow to the bank at Boat Lagoon to get the money, but the deal has been set with an orange juice toast. The next thing we did was try and make some important contacts. We looked into apartment rentals and car rentals. There are no apartments or cars available until February 1, so we are going to have to arrive on Thursday and live aboard Windbird on the hard until Sunday when we can find out what is available. So the next image you need to store is Mark and I in dismay when we find out that there is no way to book an apartment ahead of time. If everything is full, it is full. Return later when it is not full to see if you can get a room.

After having lunch and going to visit with Eric on Scorpido who is on the hard, we left in search of the car rental. We walked past the hotel as directed and look for anything that could be a car rental place. Nothing. So I walked back to a little shop that I had read about that sells second hand books and charts. My logic being that if you sell books then you probably have information. When I approached the shop, a young man came out to greet me. I asked him where I could find the car rental office and he replied, “Right here.” There are no signs to indicate that this was our place, but once inside, Morn, the shop manager, had the price sheets that we were seeking. As with apartments, there are no cars available right now, but there will be on February 1. But Morn does have a taxi service and he arranged for our trip back to Ao Po.

So we made lots of contacts but we won’t know for sure what the availability will be for a few days. But if all else fails, we will find a way to live aboard Windbird on the hard while the work is being done. At least there is a swimming pool to which we can escape when things get too hot.

Another interesting contact that was made today was with Victor, the young man from Spain that served as crew for us as we transited the Panama Canal. We haven’t heard from him since the transit, but two days ago he emailed that he is in Singapore and is looking for another sailboat adventure. Tom on Glass Slipper, that is here at Ao Po, is looking for crew to go with him from here to Turkey, so we returned Victor’s email to see if he is interested. We received an email from him this morning saying
that he is, so we have connected him with Tom and hope that works out for both of them.

Final image-sorting shells and eating snow. Our grandson Sam is back home on Cape Cod where there is lots of snow right now. This is a very different landscape from Thailand, so he is combining the two by sitting in the kitchen eating snow and sorting the shell collection his daddy gathered while here.

090127 Day 97 Phuket Island, Thailand–Ao Po to Boat Lagoon with Renassiance 2000
Day 98, Year 4: Getting Ready to Leave Ao Po
Day 96, Year 4: Happy Chinese New Year from Windbird