Day 42, Year 4: More Boat Work
Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Weather: Another Really Sunny Day
Location: Rebak Marina on Pulau Rebak Besar, Langkawi, Malaysia

The sun is still shining and making our outside boat work really hot. Today I got up early and actually went up to the laundry room to do laundry. I always hang my wash on the life lines and they are down right now while we are getting the stanchions repairs. So I spent my early morning hours doing laundry. The only compensation was that the beautiful hornbills were out in the trees right next to the laundry room and I got to watch them up close and personal. After the laundry was washed and
dried, I completed cleaning the teak deck and the handrails on the cabin top and then I switched to cleaning the topsides-the white hull of the boat. I only got one side and the back done, in addition to cleaning the stainless on the windvane steering that hangs off the back of the boat. So one more assault on the starboard side and the outside of the boat will be clean. Then we have to decide whether or not we are going to wax it. Normally we would, but if we are going to have Windbird painted
in February, it wouldn’t be prudent to wax her now. Decisions, decisions.

The problem for the day was the transmission. It has been leaking a bit of transmission fluid, so we figured we needed new seals. But getting our transmission out in order to replace the seals is evidently a major job. A mechanic named Zianol and his two assistants, Nawri and Man (pronounced Mahn) came mid-afternoon and worked until after 5 pm trying to get the transmission out with no luck. Nawri and Man will return tomorrow morning with different tools. If they don’t get it out tomorrow, it
could be a week from now when they return. There is a major Muslim holiday approaching on Decemver 7-9, and the 5th and 10th are state holidays, so let’s just hope things work out in the morning. Mark’s other jobs today were sanding the shower stall and getting it ready to paint and fiberglassing the wooden dinghy engine mount on the stern pulpit. So the work goes on.

There is a boat two slips away from us called Island Nomad. It is a Pacific Seacraft from Texas. This boat was in the Sail Indonesia Rally, but we had never seen it until we arrived here. She is a beauty and we have been admiring her hard dodger and bimini. The owner has gone home, but Mark saw a woman get on the boat today and start the engine. He went over right away and found that it was just someone who starts the engine regularly while the owner is away, but this woman has a husband who
happened to build the dodger and bimini on Island Nomad. Later in the afternoon, Mark the hard dodger builder came over to give us an estimate for doing the same on Windbird. Unfortunately, he is charging Australian prices. As he said, if you want top quality you are going to pay top price no matter where you are in the world. All of the stories of getting cheap, but good work done in Malaysia and Thailand seem to be a thing of the past. We will probably skip having the hard dodger and bimini
made and stick with the canvas enclosure. We will probably have Ben, the canvas maker we met in Langkawi, do this work for us in February.

We heard from Kevin and Claire that there has been a compromise and that the Bangkok airport is slated to reopen in seven to ten days. If that happens, they will still come as planned unless the political unrest continues and it looks too dangerous. Their airline was going to reroute them if the airport is still closed, but if it is open, they probably cannot be rerouted without buying new tickets and that is way too expensive. So we are just going to hope the new agreement sets well with all
factions and that Bangkok is once again safe to enter.