Week eight in Thailand – Democracy leader Suthep Thaugsuban heads a protest against the government lead by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Suthep and his minions are encouraging a “peoples’ revolution” and are seizing key ministries in an effort to cripple the government. The Australian Smartraveller website states “The Internal Security Act, which gives authorities additional powers to manage protests, is currently in force in Bangkok and some areas of surrounding provinces”. So far the reported protests are generally peaceful, although situations such as this have a tendency to quickly escalate. So while the people of Thailand revolt, work continues on Blue Heeler.
While the incessant heat outside our cool hotel room is stifling, snatches of cool breeze briefly refreshes as dark rain-clouds pass over. Heavy downpours quickly block the drains flooding the hard stand, and enabling rubber thongs at the base of the ladder to drift away to a new home. It was during one of those rainy afternoons this week that the painters decided to paint the hull with epoxy. No need for further commentary here, suffice to say that they had to redo some of the work.
With so many boats and demands from the many boat owners, workers try to keep to a tight schedule. In between the many on-board jobs, Wayne keeps a watchful eye on the hull work. Wisely he now stores the paint tins on board to control when the painting is done. On Saturday the guys had finished the epoxy painting and the Interguard undercoat.
Each morning as we cycle to the boat, the resort/marina maintenance team of mostly women fastidiously sweep leaves from the road-side and groom the gardens around Boat Lagoon. The place is well kept, but after the recent tropical depression stripped branches and leaves from trees, the arduous task of sweeping up the wreckage kept them busy for hours. To keep their skin hidden from the ravages of the sun, the women wear large hats, face coverings, long-sleeved tops, gloves, long trousers and gumboots. Around Blue Heeler, an older woman regularly sweeps away the debris and peers from under her hat with a smile and greets me with a sawadee-kah.
The additional ‘bling’ on the toe-rails and polishing of the topsides meant the teak deck was finally completed. Next big jobs are bimini, davits, bow roller and canvas work. The bimini roof is glass smooth and looking really good. I also spoke with Nai about the incorrect mounting of the head cupboards. Nai quickly had her best man redo the job and I’m very happy with her quick response and the result. We also had an annoying squeak on the starboard side which we initially thought was the deck. It turned out to be the internal cupboards rubbing against each other – again Nai sent her guy to rectify the job.
With the workers working under the boat finishing off the rudder and commencing work on the hull, I kept out of their way and did a few more sewing projects. Laila (Comedie) showed me the design of her protective hatch cover. With a remaining piece of blue Sunbrella I created three hatch covers for Blue Heeler. I also made a couple of rope bags and made a few repairs to various things. My Sailrite sewing machine will not sew extremely thick items so I arranged for North Sails here at Boat Lagoon to restitch the corners of the jib and generally tidy it up.
Needing a bit of exercise I also took a long walk to Tesco along the bypass road holding an umbrella to keep the sun from frying my head. The hot seven kilometre walk has a variety of businesses offering colourful pots and garden statues, homewares, roof tiles, second-hand hotel supplies, plus the popular tourist Siam Niramit. Closer to Tesco are many curtain stores plus the Aqua Hotel Supply store where I picked up some quality cotton sheets for the aft cabin. The shop is located opposite the intersection with Tesco and a little way towards Boat Lagoon.
After having their teak deck replaced over the wet season, Comedie’s mast was finally stepped. To finish off the week we splurged on the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant. But with only five weeks left until the high tide in January (when we must leave), we still have quite a bit of unfinished work plus a bit more swimming in the pool to do. Back to it…