Day 75, Year 5: A Few Successes
Date: Saturday, January 9, 2010
Weather: Mostly Sunny; Winds Picking Up
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

We really thought today would be low key, but that was just a thought. By 7:45 am we headed to the main beach to pick up the refrigeration repairman. I don’t know if I have written about the skill needed to go ashore on the main beach here, but we needed those skills this morning. The rollers were coming in and crashing hard. That makes landing a dinghy very tricky. We thought we would be smart and would not go all the way in. I would hold on to the swim line that is attached to shore and pull us into shallow water, let Mark out, and then pull myself back out to deeper water. But in doing this, we were crashed by a big roller that filled the dinghy with water. So much for that theory. Soaking wet, we landed the dinghy and Mark went up to the parking area to wait for the repairman while I drained the dinghy. Joe, the repairman, actually found me and I had to go get Mark. We put his equipment in a backpack, timed our departure the best with could between breakers, and made it out to Windbird without anyone getting too wet. Whew! Joe found a leaky connection that had been our refrigeration problem. That was the easy part. Then we had to take him back to shore. We made it in and out without a mishap, but I don’t think I’ll be going into that beach again. We can take the dinghy over to Jungle Beach and walk over the hill to the main beach-much safer.

Mark has been thinking nonstop about the wind generator problem and his latest theory was that there was a bad spot on the shaft that was not allowing the brushes to make contact when the wind came from that particular direction. His theory was that there was grease or dirt or something not allowing the connection in that spot. Since we do not usually have wind coming from behind us, Mark rotated the shaft so that this perceived bad spot was directly aft. Since doing that, the wind generator has been working beautifully. This may not be the answer, but at least at this point it is looking good. It is not solving the problem but working around it.

So now the freezer is not running constantly and we have a wind generator giving us wind power. This is good. We also found an entire chart tube full of detailed charts for South Africa and other places in the Indian Ocean that we had forgotten about. So we now have more charts that we could possibly need. I donned my complete snorkeling gear, body suit and gloves, to get into the water to clean the waterline. There are huge pink jellyfish that hang around the boat and I didn’t want to run into one unprepared. The cleaning was easy but when I examined the prop, I saw that Mark is going to have a little harder time cleaning that. More than a few barnacles have taken up residence and will have to be removed.

Once out of the water, I deserved a good hot shower. One thing leads to another. I didn’t drain the shower water so that I could use the water to do a laundry. And it was a huge laundry. I have done mini-laundries every few days, but things were accumulating. We have been short on water since arriving in Thailand. Since we have been having power problems I have hesitated to run the water maker except when the engine is running. Well, using my shower water, I was able to do three loads of laundry. I had to use fresh water for the rinse cycles, but now we have nothing left in the laundry bag. I never leave on passage with dirty laundry, so now we are one step closer to leaving.

I talked with our son Justin today and found that he flew out of London just hours before the big snowstorm hit. He is home and doing great. Jo and Ziggy will fly home next week. They are expecting more snow where Jo’s parents live this weekend, but all should be well by the time Jo and Ziggy fly out on Wednesday. We are going to try and make video Skype contact with Jo and Ziggy and with Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah tomorrow, but if the connection does not work from here; we will have to try once we move to Patong on Tuesday.

We have promised ourselves a day of rest tomorrow. Mark will clean the prop and I will prepare the inside of the boat for passage, but hopefully those will be stress free jobs that won’t take too long. At least that is the hope.