Day 68, Year 5: The Exodus West Has Begun
Date: Saturday, January 2, 2010
Weather: Mostly Overcast; NE Winds 10-15
Latitude: 07 degrees 46.468 minutes N
Longitude: 098 degrees 18.074 minutes E
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

The exodus of boats heading west has started and we felt it most personally today as Robert and Tina of Shirena set sail for the Red Sea. At the last minute we found a memory stick that belonged to them and Mark had to go chasing them through the anchorage to give it to them before they headed out to sea. Robert and Tina plan on stopping in the northern Maldives before heading to Salala in Oman. Fatty and Carolyn Goodlander on Wild Card set sail yesterday, on a Friday no less (sailors have a thing about never starting a passage on a Friday), but it was the first day of the new year, so maybe that makes it okay. They are also headed for the northern Maldives before turning north to Salala. Judy and Dave on Freebird left this morning headed to the Andaman Islands, then to Cochin, India, before heading for Salala. As we listen to the Indian Ocean net each morning, we track who is going where. Right now, there is one boat headed to the Red Sea from Malaysia, two boats headed to the Chagos, and now the three that left yesterday and today. I’m sure each day there will be more and more, and sometime in the next two weeks, we will join that exodus.

We ended our evening yesterday by talking to Mark’s sister Mary Ellen and all of her family who are in Georgia for a family vacation; and then talking to my sister Patsy and her husband Joe. Mark’s nieces and one nephew decided that we needed to see our second blue moon in twenty-four hours, so we had a semi-porno Skype call with them! And then early this morning we talked to Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah, and then to my brother Dickie and his wife Conda. We used up all four internet hours we had purchased in Patong so now we can make no more Skype calls until we get to Ao Po. We can get online using our 3G modem, but since there is only 2G in Thailand, it doesn’t support Skype video calls. There won’t be many calls in the next year, so we are trying to pack them in now.

We moved the boat from Patong back to Nai Harn and had a lovely dinner ashore as a treat from Donna and Gerry on Scot Free II. I cleaned the waterline today which was starting to look a little green with an algae growth and Mark continued working on ‘technical difficulties.’ We’ll hang out here tomorrow and try to earnestly list everything we need to do before leaving Thailand. And then on Monday, the race to provision will begin anew.

100102 Day 68 Thailand–Farewell to Shirena