Day 93, Year 4: Windbird’s Empty Nest
Date: Friday, January 23, 2009
Weather: Sunshine and Blue Skies; Becalmed Winds
Location: Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Island, Thailand

Windbird feels so empty today and Oma and Granddad are having a very hard time getting used to life without an excited and bubbly two year-old sailor man. Heather, Jed, and Sam flew out of the Phuket International Airport at 2 am headed for Seoul, Korea. They had a seven hour lay-over there, but should now be on their way to San Francisco and then on to Boston. I know they will be exhausted when they get home, but I’m hoping the wonderful memories of sailing in warm and beautiful Thailand will make it all worth the effort. Our heads are certainly filled with beautiful moments that we all shared together. The cruising life is a good one, but it is so much better when you can share it with family and close friends. And we have certainly had three unbelievably fantastic visits in the past few months, first with our son Justin and our daughter (in-law) Jo in Indonesia, then with our friends Kevin and Claire for our first foray into Thailand, and then with H, J, and S. I know in my logs I have talked so much about Sam, but it was equally as wonderful to spend quality time with our children and their spouses. Our family is expanding. There used to be four of us, now there are seven, and soon there will be nine, but there is certainly enough love for all.

So this morning as sad as we were about the empty nest, we knew we must forge on. We went about the day a little like zombies–too sad to say much, but going on auto-pilot. We took advantage of the rental car and went to Boat Lagoon to check on the progress of the piece of toe rail we are having “fashioned” and to check on possibilities of getting Windbird painted here in Thailand. The folks at the Boat Lagoon are totally booked for the next two months, but they gave us the name of an independent painter who will come out to give us an estimate. While at Boat Lagoon we saw Kathy and Pete of Wave Runner, friends from New Zealand, who are getting ready to head to the Red Sea. We went food shopping and then back to Ao Po where I launched into a laundry frenzy. There is no laundry service or laundromat here, so sheets, mattress pads, and towels must all be done by hand. I got about half the load done and will finish that job tomorrow. But I need to hurry up as Ao Po Marina is gearing up for the 12th Annual Phang Nga Bay Regatta and we can’t have Windbird looking like a Chinese laundry when all the boats arrive this weekend. Through a friend we met on our website, we have been in touch with Fred and Judy Roswold of Wings. They left Seattle in 1996 and have made it this far around the world. They are currently working in Bangkok, but they keep their boat at the Yacht Haven in the Phang Nga Bay. I checked their website today and found out that they have been here in Phuket for the past couple of days. I’m hoping they are coming to Ao Po on Sunday or Monday before the race starts and that we will get to meet them. The race “opening ceremonies” and party coincide with Chinese New Year on Monday, so that should be a good time here at Ao Po.

One last note . . . We have heard from family and friends that the Obama Inauguration was truly moving. It sounds like there were tears of joy shed all over the United States as Obama gave a message of hope and determination that we can really change things. All we have to do is work together to do it. I tried to watch the inaugural address on YouTube but it took so long so load each segment that I think part of the feeling of the message was lost. But I got the basic idea and will try again tomorrow to listen to more of the speech. But from here it sounds like America is moving into a new era. Certainly people in this part of the world are excited about that.

090123 Day 93 Thailand–Farewell to Heather, Jed, and Sam