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Indiska Oceanen Dag 7

Efter en veckas segling är vi nu 1000 sjömil närmare vårt mål, Rodrigues, systerö till Mauritius. Hittills har allt gått bra fram till igår morse när vi gjorde vår vanliga rutin för att kolla däcksutrustning, rigg, segel, mm samt slänga tillbaka flygfisk. Eva hittade en avskjuven M10 bult. Visade sig vara fastsättningen av kicken mot masten. Då vi tagit bort dirken var detta dåliga nyheter. Kicken hängde och dinglade i den del av bulten som fanns kvar. Bommen väger ca 120 kg så förutom risk för kroppsskador skulle pilothuset kunna krossas. Har nu riggat en temporär dirk som håller bommen på plats och diverse slangklämmor på kickfästet. Vi gör ca 6 knop med enbart revad genua så ev får vi låta storseglet vila tills vi kommer iland och kan fixa en ny bult.

1480 sjömil kvar till Rodrigues. Något kyligare i luft och vatten då vi närmar oss den sydliga hemisfärens vinter. 28,5 grader i vattentemp. Vi toppade på 32,5 när vi lämnade Indonesien.

Hälsar Peter och Eva på pos 11S, 87E

Indiska Oceanen dag 3

Äntligen på väg! Lämnade Padang efter en LÅNG dag med papper, stämplar, blankettifyllnad, väntan osv den 12 Maj. Tillbaka till Cebadak Paradiso för god mat och dryck för våra sista Indonesiska Rupees tillsammans med Carmel och Gerry på Farrflyer. Några timmars jobb med att få bort oljan från vattenlinjen och framförallt gummijollen.
Efter en nattsegling sov vi några timmar i en ankarvik på den sydligaste ön i Mentawai gruppen. Vi har tur med SO passadvind som vi möter redan på syd tre grader. Sedan dess (ca 48 timmar) har vi haft stabil vind på ca 12-20 knop, OSO och gör ca 7 knop i snitt.
Vi gick med i en grupp seglare som är på väg till Cape Town och får hjälp av Des Cason med väderprognoser och diverse råd på vägen. Vi siktar på ön Rodrigues, ca 2550 nm från Padang, Sumatra. Vi har nu 2050 sjömil kvar och hoppas vi kan angöra ön om ca 14 dagar. Fiskelyckan är dålig. Tappade en stor (15-20 kg) tonfisk i förrgår bara några meter från båten. Annars är livet helt ok. Färgen på Indonesian Ocean är helt fantastiskt blå. Eva och Peter
6.30S, 96.1E

Last week in Sumatra

We are now in to our last week of Indonesian Visa allowance before we need to clear out. We arrived yesterday morning after a 16 h motor sail from the Mentawai Islands to Cubadek Island, a very beautiful anchorage a couple of hours south of Padang.  The outer Islands west of Sumatra are very isolated with almost zero international tourism except for a handful (mostly Australian) of surfers.  Unfortunately the “Sea of Plastic” is evident here as well as in many other places in SE Asia. Unless you keep your rubbish (or burn it) it gets thrown in to the water. Very sad and hopefully the government and tourism agencies will do something against these habits.

At the last anchorage, we felt as were back to San Blas, Panama.  Remote tribes known for being “hunters and gatherers” trade their goods by dugout canoes. The few existing “roads” are mostly usable for motorbikes.  Unfortunately “Farr Flyer” lost some money and apples (!) while we were snorkeling / diving a few miles out on the coral reefs.  So much for security and honesty… Thankfully a number of other valuables were not taken (or missed).

Cubadek Paradiso, a small diving/snorkeling resort, run by Marco and Dominique allows some civilized habits we haven’t had for some time. Happy hour bar! Wifi that we can use from our anchorage!  Dinner booked at the restaurant tonight!  Also the wildlife is amazing both below and above the water. Today we counted 6-7 huge Monitor lizards (up to 2 meter long), a number of Macaque monkeys, a Giant Squirrel, Eagles etc. Wow.

 

5:e evatorspassagen

Efter ett dygns segling, halva sträckan med god fart och komfort, 7-8 knop, resten motsatsen, dvs 2-3 meters krabb sidsjö, vind som vred runt och varierade mellan 6-25 knop, lägg till regn och en del åska, är vi nu ankrade vid Telo Town. Byn ligger ganska exakt på ekvatorn och när vi räknade efter så blev det den femte passagen på två och ett halvt år. Trots delvis jobbig segling kunde vi glädjas av stora flockar delfiner. Flygfiskar har vi inte haft på däck på länge men nu dunsade de ner i den gropiga sjön. Vi är nu inne på 7 dygnet utan internet (förutom snigelband via satellit), Indonesien erbjuder internet via mobilt bredband till i princip hela sin befolkning på 200 m och med oerhört utmanande geografi. För oss gringos har man tyvärr på vissa håll krånglat till det med en omständlig registrering, dvs i princip behövs indo id eller en flexibel säljare. Har endast inträffat i två andra länder där vi till slut gav upp, Brasilien och Norg e! Men
vi ger oss inte!
0.03S, 98.17E

W Sumatra

Fin ankarvik i Pulau Saranggatong. Vi angjorde “Bay of Plenty” som är ett välkänt surf ställe. Vi som inte kan något om surfing har läst på lite, när vi hade internet. Västra Sumatra börjar konkurrera om världens bästa surf ställen. Vi ankrade ca 150 meter från “Joysticks”. Lite kusligt i början eftersom surfvågen är ca 2.5 meter och bryter ganska nära oss. Skickliga surfare av olika nationaliteter levererade upp till 200 meter surf delvis med “barrel” / tunnel. Fick rådet av ett erfaret australiskt seglarpar som regelbundet ligger här fyra veckor att vi nog borde flytta oss innan kvällen. “Big SW swell coming”. Ligger nu på läsidan av de förväntade 3-4 meter dyningarna i en fantastisk ankarvik. Olika örnar dyker på fisk, fladdermöss passerar i skymningen och vi njuter av en lugn ankarvik. Sugna på färsk fisk men har inte haft någon lycka hittills. 2.45N, 97.21E

Sabang, north Sumatra

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Fantastiska båtar, lite “Aladin” känsla, typisk design för Aceh regionen

Underbar känsla att vara på väg efter ca 3 månader på land. Langkawi är ett bekvämt ”strandhugg” men i längden blir det lite enformigt. Vi gjorde upp med Farr Flyer, Carmel och Gerry, ägare till en Farr 56 att ses vid Pregnant Maiden Anchorage, strax öster om Kuah. Ankarviken var ok men vi fick ”bullets”, dvs rejäla fallvindar som ”stängde av” vårt vindkraftverk, dvs ca 20 ms i byarna. Typiskt nog när vi nästa morgon skulle dra nytta av medvinden visade det sig att den tog slut några sjömil väst om Langkawi. Alltså en hel del motorgång. Vid 0330 tiden första natten fastnade vi i ett fiskenät. Meningslöst och farligt att försöka sig på att ta loss nattetid så vi satte segel och kunde faktiskt segla i ca 2-3 knop. Vid 11 tiden nästa dag skar Eva loss det ca 6 meter finmaskiga nätet från propellern. Min hjälte!

Efter total 48 timmar kunde vi den 12 April vid lunchtid ankra i Sabang, Pulau Weh norra Sumatra. Hamnen är känd för vänliga men noggranna tjänstemän från Tull, Hamnkontor, Karantän och Immigration. Många glada personer ombord. Efter några ytterligare formulär osv. var vi nu, dagen efter,  fullständigt inklarerade i Indonesien.  Vi umgås med det härliga australiensiska paret Carmel och Gerry. Perfekt att samordna myndighetsbesök, transport med diverse tuk-tuk, och att umgås med dessa supertrevliga seglare!

Hittade en av få ”western restaurants” där vi t o m kunde få en öl kamofluerad i en temugg. Aceh regionen är den del av Indonesien där religionen är mest strikt, faktisk gäller Sharia lagar i denna region.  Upplever inte mycket av detta annat än ganska enerverande böneutrop, start 04.30, oftast 4-5 samtidiga ylande via högtalare.  Vi försöker i möjligaste mån ”ta seden dit vi kommer”, dvs klädda armar/axlar, långa shorts/byxor, osv. Tycker ändå att vi får en del ganska elaka ansiktuttryck framförallt av äldre kvinnor.  Nog klagat. Vi är här och upplever en unik kultur och har ingen anledning att klaga. I natt ankrade vi i ett sund i närheten av byn Iboi. Underbart sikt och fantastiskt undervattensliv. Ibland glömmer vi av hur priviligierade vi är. Har inte verifierat ännu, men dessa vatten i norra Sumatra anses tillhöra ”top ten diving destinations”. Wow!

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Kryddnejlika på tork – en stor export vara

Motorgång ca 25 nm till en något rullig ankarvik nära Banda Aceh. Många känner tyärr igen denna stad som den region som blev ”värst” drabbad av 2004 jordbävningen/tsunamin. En tredjedel av stadens 250,000 invånare dog. Till skillnad från Thailands och Malaysias västkust så är just denna stad olyckligtvis bebygggd på mestadels platt mark.  Numera finns många tsunami bojar utanför kusten som ska ge tillräcklig tid för evakuering av kustnära samhällen.

6 Months sailing in SE Asia

 

Leaving Papua New Guinea for the Southeast Asia countries, we took the decision to skip clearing in to Australia, and went directly via the Coral sea to Indonesia. Passing through the Torres Straits was an interesting experience. Very shallow water, strong currents (not against fortunately) and a heavy traffic. We were followed by a lot of animals both in the sea and in air. Had some fun time following the Boobies trying to land on Tina.

It all went well and after 10 days we arrived in Kupang, Indonesia, October 14. The clearance procedures took a day and we did it without agent but with a recommended taxi driver who knew all the offices to visit. Indonesia has had recently introduced actions to eliminate corruption, and we were very well received and had no problems with “bakshis”. Kupang downtown is not big, but the amount of motorcycles and small busses / tu-tuks is huge. We were not really used to the traffic so it took some days getting used to. The anchorage outside Kupang was sheltered and we met some fellow  sailors for some bear and dinners during our stay.

Further west we stayed one night at Rincon, a small island attached to Komodo. No big lizards, but monkeys, pigs, deers and eagles showed up at the anchorage.  It was difficult to get good holding but we found a mooring close to the sea shore. On Rincon and Komodo you are advised not to walk without guide due to the dangerous Komodo lizards, so we stayed onboard for the evening, looking at the wild life through binoculars.

Next step was a night sailing to Lombok. We caught a mahi mahi, for the first time since the Atlantic ocean. The sailing was half engine and half motor, big current leading us in to the Java Sea, lots of fishing boats at night and the scary FADs (fixed fishing devices) with absolutely no signs such as lanterns or AIS and very hard to see even with radar. They just appear!! In the early morning we reached Medana Bay. A bit tricky to find the way in through the coral reef, since the charts were “way off”. The place is beautiful and very sheltered. The “marina” (no pontoons, just moorings) has a low cost restaurant which we used frequently for beer, book swaps, talks with other sailors and some dinners. Early morning 04.30 the first muslim prayer was heard from the towers, early enough for the fishermen before they started the day’s work. The small village was poor but with very friendly people and a market where we could stock up on vegetables. We did  some snorkeling on one of the Gillie Island. The water was clear, the island is very touristic and the boat trip to the island was exiting.

We did one further stop on our way towards Malacca Straight, on Belitung. Good anchorage, clear water but eyeball navigation was a must with many uncharted coral reefs. The food in the small restaurants on the beach was excellent. We truly enjoyed the Indonesian food, especially fish and shrimps. People were as usual very friendly and helpful. To check out from Indonesia we used the marina in Nongsa Point. Much easier than driving around the island to the different offices. The marina also had a good, free laundry, so we did a major washing up of all our clothes and bed sheets. We also managed to find a fantastic local restaurant for sea food, close to the nearest ferry terminal. Just cross over the golf course to get there.

Malacca Strait crossing was something we had dreaded. We had heard a lot about it, but being through the English Channel and crossing outside Rotterdam and Göteborg, it was not really that bad. You had to call up different coastal stations and watch out for the crossing ferries, but otherwise it was OK. Checking in to Singapore was easy. The Customs came with their boat to a designated spot, where we handed over the passports in a plastic bag and got them stamped. The rest of the clearance was easy with the help of an agent in the marina. We choose One 15 marina, which was a good choice. Not that expensive and with a shuttle bus to the nearest shopping mall, where we could take the metro to down town Singapore.

We love this city/country. It is a mixture of China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and England. The language is not a problem and everything you need can be bought here. Food and drinks are expensive in the more touristic areas, but we found cheap phones in Little India and excellent food for a cheap price in China Town. Here, we also celebrated Eva’s birthday together with relatives. We enjoyed the Raffles Hotel, the Boat- and Clark key areas as well as the big landmark in the outer harbor, the 3 towers connected with something that looks like a boat on top. 53 floors up you have a marvelous view over the city and the Strait.

Further to the north we checked in to Malaysia in Puteri Harbour. The marina is rather new with a waterfront filled with restaurants. Shopping has to be done by taxi. We had to stay here a bit longer than expected. Eva got a nasty infection in her hand so a couple of visits to the hospital were necessary. The medical treatment was first class, very efficient and modern. Further up the coast we stayed a couple of nights at Port Dickson. The marina is OK but expensive. Shopping for groceries has to be done with taxi and the marina is rather isolated with approx. 10-15 km to town. We took a taxi tour to the old town of Malacca, to check out the history. This is where the trading started and the name Malacca Strait comes from this town. A lot of the old Dutch and English houses still remains so the old town of Malacca is well worth a visit. We also got a nice history lesson from the Hindu taxi driver during the travel.

A night’s sail to Langkawi. The fore sail halyard broke again. Something cuts the halyard somewhere in the mast top. We changed halyard  and after an early morning we anchored close to Rebak and later went in to Telaga Harbor for clearing in. Stayed there for couple of nights re-visiting places Peter and I saw 20 years ago and then went to anchor in Kuha tha main town of Langkawi. The Island was as nice as we remembered and we had a nice stay, strolling around the area, eating good food, visiting the night market. We even saw a lot of animals in the park between the anchorage/dinghy jetty and the marina: Hornbills, Squirrels, Dusky Leaf monkeys, Monitor Lizards, King fishers etc. My sister and husband left us after a week, for Thailand and then home to Stockholm, but we hope we managed to give them a nice flavor of the Asia that we love.

 

Since we had an appointment with a marina in Phuket at Christmas, we had go get going. Checked in to Thailand December 17. The check in procedures was efficient but the anchorage at Ao Chalong is not particularly nice, rolly, windy and difficult to beach the dinghy at low tide. We therefore moved over to the south west corner of Phuket: Nai Harn, where we had a pleasant stay for a couple of nights. Good water quality and nice food stalls along the beach. December 23 we waited for the highest tide possible, entered into the Boat Lagoon marina, through an scary shallow canal. HU!

The marina was nice but hot with hardly any wind but we liked it there. They have good facilities in the surroundings with chandlery, restaurants, a pool that marina guests could use, engine and fridge maintenance workshops, and most of all the Phuket Interwood company that took care of our teak deck replacement project.

During the time on the hard (2 months) we had find somewhere to stay away from the boat. We thought that we could travel around in the nearby countries, but we found it best to be able to discuss issues hands on while the work was done on Tina. There were minor questions from time to time and it also popped up things that needed to be taken care of. So we ended up renting houses, living one month in the mid of the forest at Katuh Waterfalls and one month close to the marina. We had a car most of the time so we managed to see most of the Island. We also used the nice local buses to take us to the Phuket city. The work was done on time and with a very good result (thanks to owner/project leader Nai) but after another 1,5 week in the water fixing all other projects we were happy to leave after 3 months in the marina area.

We are now end March beginning April  back to Kuah in Langkawi, fixing everything for the next passage out into the Indian Ocean. We have a boat that looks new, with every system now up and running, including freezer. The new log/echo sounder arrived after some chasing. Hopefully we will start our journey west on Monday April 9.

Some learnings

  • Checking in/out to Indonesia was straight forward. No agent necessary, no payments/corruption.
  • Shallow areas in the south of Java sea. Big discrepancies between charts and reality
  • Lombok/Medana Marina: very nice, however not a marina but moorings. Peter (the owner) was very service minded.
  • In Indonesia it is difficult (nonexistent) to find milk products such as yoghurt and cheese.
  • Diesel is possible to get almost everywhere, but you have to use jerry cans. The only marina we found with a diesel pump was Nongsa Point. Water in the marina was potable.
  • Clear snorkeling water: we found that north of Belitung the water is murky with no visibility. Due to sand/silt in the water
  • Nongsa Point marina: not that expensive, helped with clear out procedures, no charges, good washing facilities. Potable water at the jetty
  • Singapore: “one 15” marina was not very expensive. The MRT (metro) goes not far from the marina (a free shuttle bus takes you there) to all places in town. Potable water, swimming pool at the marina.
  • Puteri Marina (Malaysia). Easy clear in procedures done close to the marina.
  • Langkawi: we stayed at Telaga Harbour on our way up. They then had clear in/out procedures. On our way back (March 2018) that facility (Harbor Master) was closed, but anchoring in the bay outside Kuah town is good with plenty of space. All sorts of help could be gotten from Surin Kaur with her small office at Pelancongan Jetty. She even supported with the visa procedure for Thailand. In town we also found a well-supplied hardware store, as a complement to the marina chandlery.
  • Languages: in Indonesia you can find most (young) people speaking English, In Malaysia it is the second language in school so most young people can speak some. In Thailand English was almost nonexistent and in combination with their written language, not possible for us to read, it was difficult from time to time.

 

 

På gång… äntligen

I sverige betalar man hamnavgiften via kortläsare. I Malaysia fixar man en kall öl med dito!

Efter exakt tre månader, varav 10 veckor på land är vi nu tillbaka i Kuah, Langkawi, Malaysia. Den som inte har upplevt hårt arbete i närheten av ekvatorn och dessutom “in the hot Season” har nog svårt att förstå hur jobbigt det är. Vi har varit i tropiska länder sedan vintern 2015 men dessa tre månader var “något extra”. Förutom någon veckas ankring i trevliga vikar runt om Phuket runt Jul och Nyår har vi tillbringat tiden på land i Boat Lagoon, ca 8 km norr om Phuket Town. Att byta ett teakdäck på en HR49 är ett gediget jobb. Som mest jobbade ett tiotal personer med borttagning av gammalt däck, demontering av all däcksutrustning, plastning, slipning, teakläggning, nåtning, slipning och återmontering av beslag. En HR49 har i princip all, från ovan synlig, yta täckt av teak. Totalt blev det lite mer än 50 kvadratmeter. Blev vi nöjda? Svaret på det är 100 procent Ja! I tillägg till det stora teakjobbet lade vi till en massa reparationer av småskador på gelcoaten på däck samt ommålning av de blåa fälten på skrov och däck. Vi är mycket imponerade av skickligheten på yrkesmännen som gjort jobbet. Lika imponerade är vi av projektledningen av Nai, delägare av Interwood Work. Inga förseningar eller problem som inte gick att lösa. Efter ett år med många sjömil behövde vi fixa ett antal ytterligare små och en del större projekt. Vi har passat att byta ett antal bordsgenomföringar, bytt motoraxeltätning och roderaxeltätning, bytt lanternor, vindgenerator lager, fixat ny främre septiktank, pumpar till toaletter, fixat läckande kyl och frys, fall-block till rigg mm, mm. Som ett tips till spekulanter till teakdäcksbyte, försäkra er om kvalitet i projektledning och genomförande. Vi tog kontakt med flera i förväg som hade valt Nai för teak, plast och målningsjobb. Att bo i båten under de ca två månader däcksjobbet pågick är omöjligt. Det visade sig svårt att “komma åt” för egna arbeten, dvs den sista månaden när vi jobbade med våra “egna projekt” blev stressig.

Nåväl, det mesta är nu fixat och vi ser fram emot ett par veckor med lite sightseeing på Langkawi. Vi har bestämt oss för “den långa vägen” till Mauritius/Reunion/Rodrigues via Sabang, norra Sumatra, Indonesien. En anledning är att slippa den ganska jobbiga motoreringen tillbaka samma väg vi kom till Lombok/Bali och en annan att dessutom slippa Australens byråkrati om vi valt att gå via Cocos / Christmas Islands. Den väg vi valt kräver bra timing. Att gå för tidigt innebär risk för orkaner i södra Indiska Oceanen. Att gå för sent ger onödigt kraftig passadvind. För att gardera oss finns även en option att gå direkt till nordvästra Madagaskar. I vilket fall räknar vi med drygt fyra veckor från Sumatra till öarna öst om Sydafrika / Moçambique och vi hoppas lämna Malaysia i början av April.

New Teak Deck…

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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.

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