Blue Heeler’s teak deck is 99% completed. The last work to be done is the manufacture of very long bolts required for adding new double clutches and pad-eyes. On the coach roof we have lovely new teak hand-holds, while the only original teak remaining are the arm-rests in the cockpit, the aft seats and outboard support, which just needed sanding. Now that the gas and rear lockers have the handles and can be opened, the additional weight in the thicker, newer Burmese teak is noticeable. We should get a few years out of this new deck! The three hatches had their crazed acrylic replaced with new tinted acrylic and they look great! You’ll have to wait until the protective paper is removed to see the final result. The newly galvanised chain and two anchors returned from Bangkok and finally reunited with Blue Heeler. My job was to add markers measured at each 10m interval so that we can identify how much chain we’ve let out at anchor. Using whipping thread, I stitched small lengths of 4mm line to identify up to 70m of chain (1 for 10m; 2 for 20m; and so on). Previous methods of using paint or cable ties don’t last long enough, whereas the previously stitched line stays fixed and hasn’t interfered with the windlass.
The bronze piping to the holding tank required refurbishment which entailed replacement of the two valves (to/from the holding tank to outside). As the pipes are concealed in a cupboard, the valves require handles extended through the wall.
Wayne arranged for Wiwat from AME to weld a longer stainless steel handles, which look okay and will be fitted next week. Also in the head, our newly painted cupboard doors were added. To the untrained eye they look really good, but I noticed a slight fault that I’ll raise with Nai. No photos until it’s rectified! FedEx delivered another package from the US; the two new Lewmar clutches, four pad eyes, blocks and a few other plumbing items that need to be installed on deck. I was prepared to pay the 20% or 30%+ duty tariff, but was pleasantly surprised to be charged only 10% duty, plus of course the usual 7% VAT. It’s a little confusing as to how they charge duty; I can only assume that tariffs are determined from the harmonized code, but where no code is provided on the package, it’s up to customs to choose the appropriate code. In this case the duty was in our favour!
In between darting to and from the various chandleries or fixing punctures on my bike (rubber inner-tubes not doing so well in this climate), I finished installing the lamps I’d cleaned up previously. I soldered the wiring on three of the four lamps and screwed these back onto their original locations. The fourth light was in a bad state and couldn’t be brought back to life so after stripping it for spare parts, the remains were suitably discarded. The bimini top is coming along nicely. Earlier in the week we reminded Nai that we needed a window so that from the helm we could view instruments at the top of the mast. By the end of the week, the boys had cut out the opening for the window, painted one side and fine-sanded the top. Unfortunately the weather here has been dismal over the past few days due to a tropical depression and we’re hoping the first coat of paint won’t be affected by the humidity. Feeling optimistic about leaving to travel west next year, I’d ordered courtesy flags for each country we’ll be visiting from Rolly Tasker, located on Chalong road. Joined by Laila of Comedie, we took a couple of songthaews (and a couple of hours!) to reach Rolly Tasker before heading back to Phuket Town for lunch and a stroll around town while the rain drizzled.
On Bangkok Road, a little further on and opposite from the post office south from the main roundabout, we stumbled upon a small chandlery that had a few marine items, such as Jabsco replacement parts, bearings, ropes, etc. It’s always good to know where these shops are. Although it was another busy week, we took time to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary by treating ourselves to a tasty pizza washed down with a copious amount of delicious red wine at La Taverna restaurant within Boat Lagoon. But we’ve still a few jobs to get on with and were at the boat early the next day. Once the guys finish below decks, we’ll get to work and begin to reassemble everything. I can see the end in sight so tonight I joined Laila for a swim in the resort’s pool…very refreshing!