Day 23, Year 5: Bye-Bye Shop Vac
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Weather: Rain All Day
Location: Rebak Marina, Pulau Rebak, Langkawi, Malaysia

As Mark’s mother would have said, “Saddness doth prevail.” Our wonderful little wet/dry 2.5 gallon Shop Vac that cleans out our bilge, cleans up the wonderful messes Mark makes when sanding, grinding, or drilling, and keeps the rugs in Windbird clean is no more. Mark plugged it in to clean up yet another mess and nothing happened. He worked on it and found electricity all the way to the last place he could get into in the motor, but it just won’t go. We cannot buy appliances that work on Windbird with her 110 wiring except in the US, so unless someone can fix the motor, we will be without for a very long time. There are lots of shops in Kuah where we see people repairing appliances of all sorts, so maybe we’ll be lucky. Evidently when you transit the Red Sea, there are sand storms that can cause quite a mess inside and outside of your boat, and I was depending on the Shop Vac to help take care of that problem. So hope with us that someone in Kuah can save us. Someday when I get around to writing that list of things you MUST HAVE on a cruising sailboat, a small wet/dry Shop Vac will be high on the list.

This morning we talked to Judy and Howard of Laelia on Skype. They crossed the Indian Ocean last season and now have their boat on the hard in Greece while spending time at home in the US. Howard had no sooner returned home to California than he had to have triple by-pass heart surgery, but he is fine now and ready to return to Laelia in Greece in May to continue their travels. It was so wonderful to talk to people we know and trust and hear all about their travels across the Indian Ocean, through pirate alley, and into the Red Sea. So thank you, Howard and Judy.

Boat work continued today even though the weather was dreary and rainy. I worked inside on website updates and Mark drilled a few more holes in the cockpit coaming and mast to add more hardware. He also got the hole from the aft lazarette caulked where the new LPG hose enters the inside of the boat. So we were able to cook dinner on our stove and everything went smoothly.

Tomorrow there is a cruiser swap at 11 am and then Mark will go out with Cory and Barbara on Increscent Moon to check out a problem they are having with their cutlass bearing. They think it is okay, but they want to take the boat out for test run to make sure. If all is well, they will leave for Thailand this weekend. We’re definitely here until the end of the month, but we hope to be headed north to Thailand by the first of December.