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New Teak Deck…


This is the dry season in Phuket!  Since we left Sweden for our round the world sailing trip we are used to locals stating “but the weather nowadays is very strange”.  When it comes to Thailand’s southwest coast this time of year, there should be minimal amounts of rain. Except for the last week or so we have had monumental rainfalls for a couple of hours every evening. Meaning it hits the roof so hard it is difficult to have a normal conversation. Good thing is that it happens during evenings and that Phuket roads and drainage systems are engineered to cope with potential flooding. If you are in doubt if it is rainy or not, just look at the vegetation. Very green means very rainy!

After Tina went up on the yard at Phuket Lagoon early January, we found an AirBnb apartment literally in the jungle, close to the Kathu waterfall.  Very quiet and idyllic with hardly any traffic. Unfortunately no stove so we had to eat out a lot. We found a nice restaurant across the road in the “green vegetation”. The food was fantastic and for a decent price (cheap). We even tried crocodile (something that is farmed here), which tasted like chicken. The remote location required a car though which is a problem on its own. Anyone driving in Thailand probably agrees that traffic can be a nightmare. When the traffic is congested you get mad. When it is less traffic, immortal bikers and truck drivers makes you understand why the country has one of highest traffic deaths on the planet. Don’t even rely on that they are driving in the right direction. If it is closer to drive against traffic, of course do it. After four weeks we decided to find a new place to live closer to Tina and skip the rental car. We now have a three/four bedroom house with two baths at walking distance to Phuket Boat Lagoon. It was brand new, which meant that we had to get cutleries from the boat and use to buckets as tables in the living room. (For those considering buying a property in Phuket the price I guess is competitive. 2,000,000 Baht, 500kSEK and the property is freehold.)

During our stay on land, we have taken many car tours, walks and even visited a tiger sanctuary (which was very touching). Since we are living among the native Thailand people, we get more involved in their daily living in terms of taking the bus, using the markets etc. which is very rewarding.

One of the reasons for us to take the “de-tour” to Thailand was the need for changing the deck. Tina’s 30 years of age does show in the original teak deck. 12 mm thickness was worn down to 6 mm in places. Half a year ago we seriously looked for places that could replace the teak for a realistic cost. Before deciding what to do, we thought about different alternatives including alternative materials and also to remove the teak altogether. In the end we decided the teak deck is what differentiate Hallberg Rassy from most other manufacturers and makes the yacht unique. The amount of teak is literally covering all upper surfaces of the yacht which means about 50 square meters equivalent to  500 kg teak planks. In addition to the teak work we also decided to paint the blue stripes on deck and on the hull. The company (Interwood Work) doing the teak replacement has a solid reputation across south east Asia. We estimate that we save about 50-60 percent of the total costs of teak deck replacement compared to doing it anywhere in Europe with the same quality.  Today we checked out the completed deck with deck gear starting to be fitted. Fantastic and we got almost emotional! Our plan is to be finished with the painting, repair of small damages to the gel-coat, polishing and light sanding of the bottom (we have a copper coat epoxy treatment) by end February.  After a week back into the water to make sure everything is in working order we plan to clear out of Thailand (just about when our 90 days visa is running out). We plan to spend a couple of weeks in Langkawi Malaysia as next port of call.


First month in Thailand

After close to four weeks in Thailand we now feel we have started to get to know the Thai feeling. Besides some working trips neither of us had any previous experience of the country. We knew this would be a dramatic change to the last year of less touristic countries, and yes it is! Swedish and Russian tourists crowd the beaches. Our detour from south was mainly made because Thailand is a good spot to have extensive teak work on the yacht.  After a week of several nice anchorages we made it to Boat Lagoon, one of three marinas east of Phuket. The entry to the marina gave some bad sleep though. Our 2.2 meter depth meant that entry could only be done near spring HW with very little or no margin. With a “pilot” we managed to cross the final bends and made it to the crowded marina the day before Christmas Eve.

We have contracted Interwood Work Marine and Mrs Nai to replace our 50+ sqm teak deck.  Reason for choosing Nai was a very good reputation for great project management and high quality and dependable planning. At some stages about 10 people were engaged in the removal of old teak and disassembly of deck gear. As staying onboard is impossible we have rented a small bungalow half an hour by car from the boat yard close to the Kathu Waterfall. Every day requires us to meet Mrs. Nai for problem solving. As always we also have a number of things besides the teak deck to fix.  One of our surprises in Thailand was the problem of language. Very few speak English beyond “no have”.  A huge change compared to Malaysia and even Indonesia. By now we have learnt the importance of keeping our temper, smile and relax. Things get sorted but it takes patience and creativity. Today we sorted out the corroded genoa tracks. The manufacturer could deliver but the lead time would be six weeks with an astronomical airfreight cost added and tricky customs delays to top it off. We spoke with a stainless steel workshop who will deliver a pair of stainless steel tracks for a fraction of the costs of original alu ones in ten days. Wow!  Our priority here (besides the deck and 100 other things on our todo list) is to make sure anything related to rigging is 100 % for the next 9000 nm, with south Africa promising some tougher weather than the “coconut milk run”.  Sailors considering a round the world sail sometimes forgets the amount of time and money needed to get the yacht in a safe shape for the trip.

Merry XMas and a Happy New Year

As we now reached our intended destination for this year, it feels we should share a summary of what we have been up to since January. 2017 can be summarized as a year with a lot of sailing. We’ve covered roughly 13,000 nautical miles which is equivalent to a half around the world trip. On this trip we travelled to 13 different countries. The diversity of culture, wildlife and people was fascinating. Apart from minor setbacks we have stayed healthy, our boat has not let us down and the weather has been kind almost all the way. We hope everyone we met on our way and our friends and relatives back home will have a great end of the year and an even better 2018. Pictures say more than words. Below we have chosen a few, illustrating our journey from January to December.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Eva and Peter, currently anchored south of Phuket, Thailand.


We have now been close to a week in Langkawi, the Malaysian island close to the Thai border. As this is a major sailing destination and we are at the start of the dry, North East Monsoon season, we are surrounded by more sailing boats since leaving the Caribbean more than a year ago. We made the 450 nm sail from south Malaysia/Singapore in two steps. First we sailed 150 miles to Port Dickson. Fair but light winds with some challenging fishing boats even though we kept close to the main shipping lanes.
We stayed two nights in Admiral Marina and Leisure Club. Spent a day in the interesting town of Melaka/Melacca. Impressive history of Portuguese, Dutch, British, Japanese colonial rules with well preserved buildings. At the marina we once again experienced scary thunderstorms and lightning. A new 62 feet Yacht on the other side of our pontoon got a direct hit destroying basically everything electric including wiring. Another yacht had a direct hit. We managed to disconnect shore power and put laptops, tablets, phones, chart plotter in the oven and in the microwave. As the nearest lightning was less than 30 meters from our berth I guess we were lucky but I can guarantee it was a rather frightening hit. Only damage is our VHF Antenna splitter is gone…

After a 300 nm, two night sail we arrived in Langkawi. Always nice to visit places you been to before, the difference is we now are here with our sailing yacht. The Island has had a lot of further development since we were here 12 years ago. Malaysia is clearly one of the Asian Tiger economies that (together with Indonesia) are picking up the leadership from China and India. 12 years ago we stayed in a rain-forest reserve with 15 bungalows. A few months ago, Ritz-Carlton Langkawi opened their 5 star resort on the same premises we stayed at, but with a huge change into 5 star luxury. The number of rooms/bungalows are now 120, there are 3 great restaurants, a huge spa treatment area, the most expensive bungalows with three bedrooms have private infinity pools and cost you 7000-8000 USD a night. I believe a simpler, single room bungalow is a more “modest” 500 USD a night.

We are now anchored outside Kuah, the main town, waiting for our Thai visas, fixing a few broken things and enjoying the lovely Malaysian hospitality. Last night we spent 3 hours eating our way along a 1k long night market with hundreds of food stalls. Eva’s infected hand is now almost ok. Scary though how small wounds quickly develop in to dangerous infections. Not sure a similar infection treated in a Swedish hospital had been treated as effective. Getting hold of antibiotics in Sweden requires a “near death” status.

Från elände till gapskratt

Att angöra Marina Puteri i utkanten av miljonstaden Johor Bahru, granne med Singapore i Fredags var maximalt bra timing. Marinan och omgivningarna bjöd på en helg med massor av attraktioner och “prova på” aktiviteter. Marie, Eva’s syster provade på “Fly Board”, lite James Bond känsla.

Premiär på Fly Board

Innan dess tillbringade Eva och jag tre timmar på sjukhus för att se till en hastigt ökande inflammation i Eva’s hand. Riktigt otäckt med snabb spridning. Efter några rejäla sprutor med kraftig antibiotika och inhandling av ett mindre apotek så verkar läget nu under kontroll, dock har vi en efterkontroll med läkaren i morgon. Apropå sjukhus, gratis 4G wifi, modern utrustning och en helt annan nivå på hygien och renhet än vi tyvärr upplevt på sjukhus i Sverige på senare tid.


Framme i Singapore


Seglingen över Singapore Straits, det 11 nm breda sund som separerar Indonesien från Singapore, avlöpte utan några större problem. Trafiken i trafikseparerings zonerna var ganska måttlig och faktiskt lugnare än förbi Skagens rev och Engelska kanalen. Passagen söder om Singapore var lite mer stressig pga mängden hamnanläggningar, ankringszoner, supplybåtar kors och tvärs osv. Allt gick dock enligt plan och vi kunde efter diverse anrop och klartecken för passage anropa Tull och Immigration som mötte oss på en ankrings-zon några sjömil utanför One15, den marina vi förbeställt. Rådet från vår Agent, Manjit, var att lägga de olika kopiorna på Crew List, Entry Approval och våra pass i en ”Tupperware” behållare. Fungerade bra. Efter några minuter fick vi våra stämplade pass och en stämplad Crew List och vips var vi klara med inklarering.

One15 Marina får helt klart klassas som en marina i lyxklassen. Bostäderna runt hamnen varierar i pris från 4 miljoner till 30 miljoner. Singapore dollar, dvs mellan 24 till 180 MSEK. Vi gissar att det relativt låga pris vi betalar per dygn (SEK 350) beror på att majoriteten (i princip alla) seglare har bojkottat Singapore pga kostnadsläget i marinorna förr i tiden, den generellt höga prisbilden jämfört med Indonesien och förändrade, mer strikta regler för inklarering.
Vi tyckte dock att hamnavgiften är prisvärd och vi gillar Singapore och har varit här flera gånger tidigare och lärt oss smultronställena och vad man bör undvika. Singapores väl integrererade smältdegel av kulturer är en avgörande positiv faktor tillsammans med en känsla av mönstersamhälle med renlighet, otroligt effektiv infrastruktur, 4G med max signalstyrka överallt och en supersnabb metro. Att tillbringa några timmar i China Town (den mer genuina delen) och i Little India är en fröjd för öga, näsa och mage. Strosa runt City’s Boat Quay och Clarke Quay är turistiskt men dock sprängfyllt med gamla välbevarade koloniala byggnader.  För den elektronikintresserade gäller det att vara påläst och pruta. Bäst deal gör man i de ”hål i väggen” affärer med lite lagom kaos där man på något skumt sätt har lådvis med demo tablet PCs, smartphones etc till en riktigt billig peng.

Att äta ute (i China Town eller little India) som är våra favoriter är ett äventyr. Ofta är menyerna i China Town enbart på kinesiska. Ibland kan man råka ut för lite onödigt spännande rätter alternativt oändligt kryddstarka.

I One15 marinan hade vi en bra timing. Igår var det ”Christmas Lightning Competition” för båtarna i marinan. Utmaningen var att maxa mängden lampor, LED, BlingBling, uppblåsta tomtar, renar osv. Några videoklipp från två deltagare här och här.
En kommittté bedömde mest ”dressade båt” som fick ett ganska generöst pris. Att detta är en seriös tävling fick vi berättat av en båtgranne som talade om att en Oceanis 50 förra året hade börjat brinna pga kortslutning. I år tog denna båt nya tag!

Just nu pågår febril städning och förberedelse inför Marie och Cristers besök. Vi kommer att segla tillsammans några veckor i Malysia och Thailand och ser supermycket fram mot detta efterlängtade besök!

Nongsa Point – update


A happy boat has clean and functional toilet(s). Now we are once again a happy boat. Half day maintenance of our two toilets and we are back in business. Strange how I (Peter) am able to postpone this regular ( 6 month / annual) dirty job when it is so rewarding to have it completed. Enough about ugly jobs – until next time!

Besides fixing the toilets we are blessed with BIG and free of charge washing machines and dryers. There is no single piece of cloth, cushion, bed sheets etc that hasn’t been through the laundry!
After a week, besides laundry, doing a bit of walking, using a shuttle to go to “down town” (Nagoya) of Bantam and hiring a lightweight motorbike to check out the countryside. Riding a moto is very convenient, and what 99 % of natives do. But, it is not for the faint hearted. To go with the flow means 100 kmh and still being by passed by big crowds of other (bigger) bikes, taxis, trucks, etc. Well, we survived and got our objective for the days fixed – register a new sim card so we get internet access. In case we have not mentioned it already – internet has gone from zero (San Blas / Panama) to super slow (mid Pacific) to fast and cheap (west Pacific and beyond). A nice benchmark was our last deal of 11 GB for the cost of USD 6 in Timor, Indonesia. Hard to beat anywhere in Europe, at least as a transient tourist.
Thursday we are off to Singapore. Funny how things work out re bureaucracy. Indonesia, we thought was a world leader in complex paperwork and bureaucracy, turned out to be a ” piece of cake”. Singapore, being at least top ten in e-based services rankings, it seems is becoming our biggest hurdle in “red tape” since Galapagos. Mandatory agent (doing what?), endless forms and documents (eg Bill of Sale – how clever/needed is that if you have a yacht registration, insurance etc). The common denominator having crossed 3/4 of the planet is that x-British colonies do stick out as being the most cumbersome when it comes to formalities. No wonder Brexit seems to be a nightmare… Sorry – should avoid politics and stick to cute pics of monkeys… Maybe next blog update 🙂

Närmar oss Singapore

Sista längre etappen till Indonesien. För en gångs skull har vi fin vind vilket är ovanligt i närheten av ekvatorn. Passerar just nu ekvatorn på longitud 105 grader öst. 4 ekvatorspassagen sedan vi började vår segling. Vi siktar på Tanjung Pinang på ön Bintan. Då ön ligger på endast 30 minuters avstånd med snabbfärja från Singapore är detta ett vanligt utflyktsmål, speciellt på helger. Lite mer avspänt (och billigt) än Singapore. Antar man kan likna den med danska ön Läsö och Göteborg.

Hälsar Peter&Eva från Sydkinesiska sjön.

Nästan som i Seychellerna, tror vi

Vi har varken varit på Seychellerna (som ju faktiskt är relativt nära) eller British Virgin Island, men det sägs att Belitung och i synnerhet det område vi befinner oss på nu är mycket likt. Massor med stora granitblock utströdda och en otroligt vit och finkornig sand.  Vi är lite ”off season” så blir nyfiket och glatt bemötta av alla indonesier. Längs stränderna finns otaliga små och enkla matställen där vi kan få en lunch med fisk/skaldjur med dryck för två för ca 40 SEK. Ett fåtal restauranger serverar det lokala ölet Bintang. Vi väntar idag in en leverans av diesel som kostar 4,20 SEK per liter. Umgås lite med de få seglare som är här, mestadels Australier och snorklar bland gigantiska korallrev. På sjökortet ligger vi ca 100 meter upp på land så enda chansen att hitta hit är några waypoints (positioner) från en seglingsguide och försiktig angöring mitt på dagen, helst med solen strax bakom oss. Det går ingen nöd på oss. Har lite uppsikt på en tyfon (Damrey) som härjar i sydkinesiska sjön och ett potentiellt stormlågtryck inv95. Lutar åt att vi seglar vidare mot nordväst  i morgon för att dra nytta av några dagars med- / halvvind.

Mot Singapore – Dag tre

Surabaya Johnny! Som inbiten Pugh Rogefelt fan har jag då och då funderat på Surabaya. Nu vet jag var det är, passerar just nu 150 nm norr om Surabaya. Hamninformationen inspirerar inte, stor kommersiell hamn med lite service för seglare. Vi har nu lämnat passadvindsbältet och är utlämnade till monsun vindarna. Sista dagarna har vi haft bra vindriktning, dvs sydost, dock lite mindre än vi önskat, 7-10 knop. Med lite medström kommer vi upp i 4-5 knop, vilket är helt ok. Hela sträckan Bali – Singapore vid denna årstid är annars vanligtvis utan vind, förutom våldsamma åskoväder. Fiskelyckan har varit god. Färsk fisk till lunch och middag! Position 5 grader S, 112 grader E, Java Sea.

Hälsar Peter&Eva

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