Day 22, Year 5: Cooking Once Again
Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Weather: Sunny Morning with Off and On Rains All Afternoon and Evening
Location: Rebak Marina, Pulau Rebak, Langkawi, Malaysia

“Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones (replace that with ‘ocean waves’). Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy!” Okay, I’m showing my age. I have been sitting here at my computer trying to come up with the best photos of our past two cruising seasons to put on our website homepage, and I realized that photos from some of the most fantastic parts of our trip through Indonesia have never been named and uploaded to the website. That made me think that we move too fast, and that made me start singing The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel. So as soon as I get the website updated, I’m going to halt all work and get the photos from the past two cruising seasons named and uploaded. I’ve said it before, but this time I am going to get this done.

Mark earned his keep today. He got up and immediately launched into finding a path through the boat for the new LPG fuel line. It starts in the lazarette on the aft deck and then snakes its way under the aft cabin bed, through the engine room, under the galley sink, and then back up to the stove in the galley. Everything under the sink and stove in the galley had to be removed, floor boards had to come out, and the aft cabin mattress and structure that supports it had to come off. So once again the boat was turned inside out and upside down. But this time it was a success. It took Mark all day, but he got the new fuel line run. When he tried the system, it was still not working. So he went to the little chandlery here and found a new sensor for which we paid twice as much as we should have, but it was here which meant we wouldn’t have to wait for two weeks and pay shipping charges on one from the US. Mark hooked the new sensor up and after making a few changes in wiring, he had the system up and running once again. We were happy to find that the solenoid didn’t need to be replaced as that would have cost another $100US. We didn’t use the galley stove for cooking tonight as he still has to fill the space around the new hole he had to drill in the aft lazarette to put the fuel hose through. That’s important because any leak of LPG from the tanks in the lazarette would flow through that hole into the boat. Once that hole is filled tomorrow, we will have a working galley once again. Hopefully that chapter is closed.

We’ve had two great Skype connections since writing last night’s log. We got a Skype message from Heather this morning (her evening) asking if we had 5 minutes to spare. Of course we did, and we got to have a special video Skype session with Jonah without Sam the Man dominating the space. Sam is such an entertainer that we hardly get to see Jonah when Sam is awake for a call, but Sam had gone to bed and we got to watch Jonah smile, and ‘talk’, and try to eat the video camera. It’s our hope that if we continue to make video contact with Jonah and with Ziggy that they will still recognize us when we see them next in person. It worked with Sam, so we’re hoping it will work again. Our other Skype connection was late last night with our sailing friends Ken and Jean of Renaissance 2000. They made it to Richards Bay in South Africa a few weeks ago, have done the safari thing, and are now traveling down the coast by rental car to see areas that they will soon by sailing by on their way to Cape Town. They had a great season in the Indian Ocean and are now really enjoying South Africa.

Our other connection today was person to person with Guy and Annika of Street Legal. Mark was too far down in the bilge running fuel line to come with me, so I went to see Guy and Annika to talk about the Indo Net that Guy will be running. He has a list of about thirty-five boats that are headed to the Red Sea and we will be having daily contact by HAM radio until we Salalah, Oman. Once there, we will follow the Joint Forces recommendations on communication. You aim for a low profile while transiting Pirate Alley which means that you take down your radar reflector, use only handheld VHF radios which do not transmit very far, use no lights, and it might even mean using no HAM email relaying positions as those communications can be intercepted. When leaving Salalah, we will actually be looking for a bad weather window. Pirates don’t work very well in strong winds and heavy seas, so our best shot is to hope for moderately bad weather and go for it. That is certainly a switch.