Day 78, Year 5: The Countdown Has Begun
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Weather: Mostly Sunny; NE then NW Winds
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

Our morning started with a little clean-up. Last night, I was deep into reading a new book when Mark went to bed. I said I would close the forward hatch when I came to bed, but then I fell asleep and didn’t hear the pouring rain. Yes, it was pouring right into our v-berth. So this morning we had to take everything out to make sure it dried properly. This required washing the pads that we keep on top of the v-berth cushions. But things were not as bad as we had thought last night. By the end of the afternoon today, we had everything washed, dried, and put back into place.

And we had much better timing today. We went to Jungle Beach and pulled up our dinghy. Then we walked over the hill, up to the ridge and then down, down, down to Nai Harn Beach, and got there just in time to catch a public bus. No waiting this time and it was a young driver who must not believe in the going slow method of the older drivers. So we flew to Ao Chalong, had time to spare so we had a cool drink at our favorite little spot in Ao Chalong, The Twin Coconuts, bought glue for dinghy repairs, and arrived at Nina’s Car Rental at exactly 11 am. And unbelievably, the delivery of the little tank of gas was happening just as we arrived. We thanked everyone profusely for making this happen for us and then headed back to the main street to catch a bus back to Nai Harn. As we walked down the street waiting for the bus, we ran into Donna and Gerry of Scot Free II and said our farewells once again. The bus came, again with a young driver, and we sped off. It must have been my complaining in last night’s log as today there were no delays and fast deliveries.

Lynne and Ed of Constance came over in the late afternoon and we discussed our plans for leaving. Starting with tomorrow our four day countdown begins. Day One, tomorrow, we will pull up anchor and go to Patong Beach. We will get there by noon and should have time to make one trip into town to buy eggs. The next day, Thursday for us and Day Two, we will do the serious fresh fruit and veggie provisioning. That brings us to Friday, Day Three, when we will do our last beer and diesel fuel run. And then on Day Four, Saturday, we will sail away. At least, that is the most current plan.

This evening we went over to Safina’s for sundowners and another couple from France joined us. Jean-Pierre and Collette are French Canadian, so they were able to translate so that all of us could understand the conversations bouncing back and forth between French and English. Leaving Safina tonight we found ourselves saying our farewells to yet another couple that we will miss very much. Parting is so difficult.

Shirena and Wild Card are getting mighty close to the Maldives. There is still less than 5 knots of wind out there so this morning Shirena was motoring and Wild Card was still sailing along at 2.8 knots and were happy with their progress. The positive current really helps. Shirena got a little too close to Sri Lanka trying to take advantage of the more positive current to the north but ended up in the middle of the Sri Lankan fishing fleet in the middle of the night. With a little help from a friendly fisherman, they were able to work their way out of the maze, having a narrow miss with a huge freighter, and then on out to safety.

One last note-a thank you to our friend Rich in Ohio. Rich reads our logs and constantly sends us helpful information. Today he sent a scanned copy of Todd’s Cruising World article that I mentioned in yesterday’s log. I forwarded that to Todd who I know will appreciate it and we just want to thank Rich for always being there with the most up-to-date information for us. The internet is such a treasure as a conduit of information for all of us. But it takes special friends to send the information. So thank you, Rich.