Day 63, Year 5: On the Third Day of Christmas . . .
Date: Monday, December 28, 2009
Weather: Most Sunny; NE Winds 10
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

. . . our children sent to us a Oi! Special Holiday Issue with scurrilous gossip about our grandkids! This was supposed to arrive before Christmas, but when we last checked at the Boat Lagoon, the ‘package’ wasn’t there. We only knew something was coming in a flat envelope, but we didn’t know what it was. Well, today when we went to the Boat Lagoon, the Special Edition was there. It is like a big card with photos of us and the grandchildren on the front. The headlines are things like, “Grandparents missed by babies worldwide.” And “Miracle Recovery from Big Bonk” featuring a photo of Sam with the bandage on his forehead after his big fall in December that resulted in seven stitches. “Cranberry sauce ravaged by wild and noisy Ziggy” with a photo of Ziggy making the biggest mess you can imagine with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce on his high chair tray at Thanksgiving. And then there is this great photo of Jonah in a basket of laundry labeled, “Big Launderer.” We were so happy to get the magazine card and to be able to share it with some of our good friends over lunch at the Boat Lagoon. It is always a special time when you get to show off photos of your grandkids. We had lunch with Tim and Rose of Rendezvous Cay, Judy and Dave of Freebird, Larry and Peg of Blue Star, and Gerry and Donna of Scot Free II. We hope to see Rendezvous Cay and Freebird in Cochin, India, but they are headed to the Red Sea and we are not. So it is possible that our timing will be off and we might not see them again until we are all back in the US. When we leave here, we leave Blue Star and Scot Free behind, so it was really nice to take a break in the middle of a very busy day of shopping to share time with good friends.

We left Windbird at 8:30 am and returned at 8:30 pm. Except for the lunch break, those hours were all spent shopping. We first stopped to check on our alternator-may be ready tomorrow. Then we went to Ao Chalong to check a chandlery there for a Raritan toilet pump and a VHF antenna for Scot Free. We no longer have a spare toilet pump, but we have looked high and low and there just doesn’t seem to be one here. The same is true of VHF antennas. So on we went. Our next stop was downtown Phuket where Donna and Gerry applied for Indian visas so they can visit the Andaman’s and we picked up our passports with our six-month multiple entry visas for India. We then headed to a bank with the passports to get a money transfer to the BIOT folks for our Chagos mooring permit. In the time we did that, Gerry was fitted for new reading glasses and was wearing them by the time we got out of the bank. Some things are incredibly fast here. We stopped at one more chandlery downtown to look for the toilet pump and the VHF antenna, but again, nothing. We were incredibly lucky and found what appears to be the one and only VHF antenna on this island at the Boat Lagoon later in the afternoon, so Donna and Gerry were elated. But still no luck in finding the toilet pump.

We took Donna and Gerry to Super Cheap. Everyone must experience this at least one time. The place is absolutely huge and has everything from live fish in a tank, fresh fruits and vegetables, packaged foods of all sorts, drinks of all kinds by the case, hardware, clothing, flowers, you name it. But it is a dump of a place that is not air conditioned, and it is just overwhelming. But we knew what we were looking for and grabbed those items and got out as fast as we could. You save a fair bit of money by buying there, but you do have to put up with the hassles. Then we went to Farang Foods which is a distributor to restaurants and is on the total other end of the food spectrum. This place specializes in fancy foods and the prices aren’t cheap. But on items like flaked almonds and rolled oats for our granola, it is definitely the place to shop. The last stop was Tesco Lotus, a huge supermarket that is like a Super Walmart. By the time we finished shopping there, we were all exhausted. Gerry bought some prepared sushi at Tesco and we took it to Dunkin’ Donuts where we sat and had Iced Americano coffees with our little sushi trays. By the time we got back to Nai Harn, it was well after dark and we had to do a couple of shuttles to and from the beach to get all of our things. Gerry brought me and all of our bags to Windbird first, and then went back to get Mark and Donna and all of Scot Free’s bags. They had picked us up this morning, so we had no dinghy on shore.

We were going to move to Patong Beach tomorrow, but we have decided to stay here one more day. Our friends Ed and Lynne of Constance arrived here today and we are anxious to catch up with them and see what their plans are for leaving for Cochin. The time is drawing near. I’ll need to do one more supermarket run and then one huge fresh fruit and veg run before leaving. We’ll also need to fill up with diesel, so we need to make plans for that. We’re hoping to leave around the same time as Constance, so we are looking forward to talking with them tomorrow.

091228 Day 63 Thailand–Shopping and Visiting on Phuket Island