Day 76, Year 5: Video Skype Calls with Grandkids
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2010
Weather: Mostly Sunny; NE Winds
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

Our day of rest was not quite a day of rest, but for the most part it was relaxing. We did lots of little jobs around the boat. I heated up the inside of Windbird again by baking MORE granola and Mark used the snuba gear to go down and clean the prop and the bottom of the boat. The bottom had only a little fuzz on it, but the prop had a few barnacles. So now that job is done. We started getting the inside of the boat ready for passage, but we are not there yet. We also went to shore to buy a few more hours of internet time. We can be on the internet using our telephone modem, but that is not good enough to support Skype video. So when we want to do make Skype video calls, we have to buy time for a local wi-fi provider and use our high-gain wi-fi antenna to connect.

We had a great early evening (for us) call with Ziggy and Jo in England. They were getting even more snow today, more snow than Jo’s parents have seen since 1963. Ziggy entertained us with his curiosity and his voracious eating. Either Jo’s brother or dad brought a plate of bread to try and keep Ziggy from trying to eat the computer monitor and that did the trick. Ziggy ate and ate and ate, still watching the monitor all the while. He is crawling and pulling up now and is in constant motion. I think Jo will have her hands full when she and Ziggy fly home to New Mexico later this week! Then later in the evening (Sunday morning on Cape Cod) we tried to talk to Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah. Unfortunately, we were having our evening lightening storm that then developed into rain, and the weather seemed to be interfering with the wi-fi connection. We were off and on, off and on. We did get to see Jonah looking curiously at the computer monitor and yelping something to us and Sam gave us a demonstration of his newest, favorite fire engine. Brian, Melissa, and Molly next door gave it to him and he can push buttons so it talks to him. Very cool. We were disappointed that the connection was not better, but we will get up early and try to connect with them at 6:30 on their Sunday evening. Hopefully the connection will be better then.

Our friends Robert and Tina on Shirena are motoring today. They are just south of Sri Lanka. They were experiencing less than 5 knots of wind from the east. Fatty and Carolyn Goodlander on Wildcard reported that they have made 1000 miles thus far using very little fuel. They were moving along this morning at 2.7 knots, most of that from positive current, but they were very happy that they had forward movement without using the motor. I must say that Fatty has the best radio signal out there. I wish I had asked him his secret. When he was aboard Windbird for Thanksgiving he told a story from his first circumnavigation when he and Carolyn came into Cochin, India with a radio that had stopped working. When he arrived he made some inquiries and found that there was a man who could probably fix his radio. The gentleman was told that the honor of India was at stake, so he came and took the radio, carrying it away on his head. When Carolyn asked Fatty who the man was and where he was going with their radio, Fatty had no answers. But the next day, the gentleman returned with a radio that was working great. If this is still that same radio, I might have to find this gentleman when we reach Cochin and see if we can match Fatty’s radio strength.