Day 99, Year 4: Windbird in the Boat Lagoon
Date: Thursday, January 29, 2009
Weather: Another Beautiful, Sunny Day in Thailand
Latitude: 07 degrees 57.805 minutes N
Longitude: 098 degrees 23.183 minutes E
Location: Boat Lagoon Marina, Phuket Island

Just before noon today, Windbird negotiated the shallow waters entering the Boat Lagoon. The marina sent a man named Doucette out to meet us and he actually tied his dinghy up to Windbird, hopped onboard, and took over the wheel to make sure we didn’t go aground. The path in to here is unbelievably curvy and very, very shallow going right through the mangroves. Boat Lagoon really is a lagoon and even once inside, it is still very shallow. Doucette knows every shallow spot, so it was nice to have him at the wheel. We made in safely and then had to wait until the magic hour of 1 o’clock to be hauled out of the water. Our paint contractor, Oh, was here and we were very impressed with his knowledge. We still had not paid the down payment to him and we had no idea he would be here to help us. He had the diver in the water marking the actual waterline for us, had made all the arrangements for having the mast removed tomorrow, the scaffolding delivered when needed, etc. He also stayed around and acted as interpreter for us with the young man giving us an estimate on some stainless work. So we are happy with Oh and will enjoy working with him. Our schedule as outlined by Oh is mast down tomorrow, tent erected over the boat in the next two-three days, and then the sanding will begin. In the meantime, Mark and I have to remove everything possible from the deck and cockpit. That means taking out the ceiling in the main cabin so we can get to the nuts and bolts. By the end of the day today, once the boat was on the hard, the temperature inside was 94 degrees F. We just sit here in the sun and bake all day, so we will do as much work as possible in the morning hours.

We still have not found a place to stay in a price range that suits us. We got a call as we were coming in here this morning from Siri telling us that the townhouse we thought we had rented was going to another couple who wanted it for a year. There are still no openings here at the Boat Lagoon and another townhouse that Siri showed us this evening is a little further away and so brand new that it has absolutely nothing in it. She can fix that within a day, but she wants more money for this one-the equivalent of $500 per month US. We told her $400 was our absolute highest price and she offered to get a bed in the townhouse tomorrow and let us stay for ten days free while she puts in curtains, a kitchen, living furniture, etc., knowing that once we are there we will probably stay and pay her price. She is a good business woman. She even had us return to the townhouse that we visited yesterday to see the progress she has made in one day. It was unbelievable. Yesterday that place had a kitchen, a dining room take and chairs, and a sofa that was still wrapped in plastic. Today it had ceiling fans installed in every room with elaborate drapes, two furnished bedrooms, and a third bedroom had a desk and chair so it can become an office. So we know she can get the other townhouse furnished quickly if we are willing to pay the price and be further away. Tentatively, we are going to do this if nothing else comes along tomorrow. We also met a young woman in one of the sales/rental offices here at Boat Lagoon who is trying to help us find something. Her name is Mod and her boyfriend is C. They took us a few miles north to the neighborhood where they live. Houses there go for the right price, but it is just too far away. So the search continues.

We went to a little Italian restaurant here in the Boat Lagoon with Jean and Ken of Renaissance 2000 tonight. It is more expensive than Thai food, but the salad was huge and wonderful and the pizza was really good. It will take us a few days of searching to find the best places to eat for the “right” price, but there seem to be loads of options. I feel more like I am in Florida than Thailand here, but all of the services you could possible need for a boat are here and the workmen are fastidious and very good at what they do. We are surrounded by beautiful businesses topped with townhouses that are dripping with Bougainvillea all centered around the marina and the hotel has a fantastic pool. When your boat is here, you have full use of the pool and hotel facilities. There is wireless internet, although it is not free here. But all in all, it is a beautiful and comfortable spot to spend two months.

090129 Day 99 Phuket Island, Thailand–Ao Po to Boat Lagoon