Day 58, Year 5: Quiet Day in Nai Harn
Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Weather: Most Sunny; E Winds 10-15
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

Compared to most, this was a very quiet day. I did laundry, Mark moved the location of our VHF radio placing it inside the boat at the Nav Station and installed a new remote mike in the cockpit, and we took the dinghy to shore to explore internet café possibilities. This beach is one of the less frenzied ones in southern Thailand. Most of the beachfront property is owned by a Buddhist monastery and as far as we can tell there are only two major hotels in the Bay, a Meridian and something called All Seasons. That was not of much interest to us until we returned from our two mile walk that did not produce an internet café. We can call our kids from the boat, but we wanted good internet to make video Skype calls on Christmas. It doesn’t seem to be here, so in the morning we will go to the fancy Meridian Hotel called the Royal Phuket Yacht Club (not a yacht club in any way, shape, or form) and see if they will sell us wireless internet time. We will then have to test it to see if it will handle video, and if not, we might need to take a taxi ride on Christmas evening so we can see our kids on Christmas morning in Maine and Christmas afternoon in England.

Landing a dinghy on the main beach here is interesting in that there is a slight swell pushing you up on the beach even though the wind is blowing the opposite direction. We landed the dinghy with no problem, but the next swell sent Mark flying into the water and the sand was so soft that we had a real challenge pulling the dinghy up out of the water. And the landing at the little resort where we will have Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow night is a rock strewn obstacle course. So it’s much easier to just sit here on the boat than to go ashore, but we will just have to get a little braver.

Last night we had three wonderful telephone calls to the US. I talked to my sister-in-law Conda and brother Dickie, Mark talked to Heather to see if the colds the boys have were any better (Sam is better; Jonah was not.), and I talked to my friend Linda Stuart in Concord, NH. This calling card that allows hour long phone calls with almost no cost is wonderful. We do that with Skype on the computer, but being able to make a phone call on a cell phone that is crystal clear from anywhere that has a cell signal to anywhere else in the world is really unbelievable. We’ll make more calls over the next couple of days and connect with family and friends back home.

Tomorrow will be a cooking day for me. I plan to bake a pumpkin pie, a pecan pie (Mark’s favorite), and get the onions and celery cut for the stuffing for Christmas Day. I also have to bake banana bread as the bananas we bought in Ao Chalong were starting to draw fruit flies. I hate those little things. So Christmas Eve day for us will be a busy one and then we will go ashore for the big dinner tomorrow night. So the hurry, scurry of the holidays is here.