Day 71, Year 5: Paying for Yesterday
Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Weather: Rain Last Night; Beautiful Day; Rain Late Afternoon
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

We’re just not as young as we used to be, so I paid for yesterday’s long, hard day by throwing my back for a little loop this morning. Mark paid for it by having gastric disorders throughout the night. But we are both fine now. I think we both just carried too much. Those five gallon jerry cans filled with diesel are heavy and we had to lug them long distances down to the beach. I felt fine last night, but this morning it was obvious that my back was just not happy. This morning the deck was still wet from last night’s rain, so I wanted to take advantage of the water by going out and wiping down the deck. I simply bent over the wrong way, and there was that twinge in the lower back that I dread. We’re both okay, however. I’m just a little stiff and having to take it a little easy. But we still had to go to town this morning to try and get the bank transfer sent for our BIOT permit for staying in the Chagos. The first bank transfer didn’t go through because we didn’t have an address for BIOT, and I’m not sure they have an address. So this time we used the address for the Bank of Scotland where the money was to be sent as the BIOT address. Not good enough. Cruisers we know did this in Malaysia, but the banks here in Thailand are not as easy going. So we gave up for today, returned the rental car, fought the breaking waves coming to shore to get the dinghy off the beach, got soaking wet, and came back to email BIOT in hopes of getting some sort of address that will satisfy the bank. We hope to hear from them by morning and then we will take the bus to Ao Chalong and try once again. What a pain!

This was a laundry day for me and another day of working on the wind generator for Mark. Last night he talked to Southwest Wind Power that sold us our brand new upgrade to our AirX that is not working. It brakes constantly. Mark talked to a young woman who was very helpful, but we tried all of her suggestions today, and we still have a wind generator that runs and brakes, runs and brakes. When it is running, we are getting a great charge. But it stops every five minutes. We’ll talk to them again tonight and see what the next suggestions might be. We are also still wondering if our refrig and freezer are running properly. It is very hot in the boat, always in the low 90’s, and our system is air cooled. So it could run all the time just because it is so hot. But we have been in hot weather for quite some time now and have never had this issue before. So this afternoon we called Siam Refrigeration and we think Stephane (French) will be coming out to check things on Saturday. So we are making steps, although they seem like baby steps, toward getting ready to leave.

We finally got an email from Robert and Tina on Shirena this morning. Their radio is not working and that is why we haven’t heard them on the Net. They have had four days with all kinds of weather, have been a bit seasick, and have had to replace their headsail with a backup as the new one got torn in a squall. But they are fine and seem upbeat about things. Today they were becalmed, and they were saying that the trip to the northern Maldives might take much longer than they had thought. I read in Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes (page 459) that, “The favorable season for a passage across the North Indian Ocean is during the NE monsoon, when almost perfect sailing conditions can be expected. Although this season lasts from December to March . . .”-Well, no one we know last year or the year before, and certainly not anyone we know this year is experiencing perfect sailing conditions. Maybe global warming is causing the problem, but whatever the reason, people we know have either had way too much or no wind at all, or a combination of the two with nothing in between. We are prepared for that, but we can still hope for those perfect sailing conditions!