This week two of the most beloved men in modern history were praised by their peoples. The passing of Nelson Mandela leaves us his legacy of freedom, compassion and unity that all people and cultures should never forget. In Thailand, an odd intermission between protests as united Thai people enjoyed a National holiday to celebrate the 86th birthday of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the longest reigning monarch in Thai history. We live in hope that their altruistic contributions continue to be respected over time and our current leaders step up to the plate. Are there any world leaders with a smidgen of their nobility?
Aboard Blue Heeler we continue work and listen to the guys working below us as they enthusiastically improve our floating home. The slight build, lack of substantial facial hair and generally happy disposition of Thai men makes them seem a lot younger than they probably are, reminding me of the Lost Boys from the book Peter Pan. One of the painters wears a bandana on his head and he’s obviously in charge. With loud Thai music blaring, there’s plenty of shirtless dancing, crazy laughing, and high-pitched singing going on under the boat and we only hope that these Thai Gen-Ys are getting the work done properly and not spending all day on Facebook!
Although we’re very busy, the boat is littered with jobs in various stages of completion. With Wayne working on the head, fitting new water filters and other fixtures, this week was also about cleaning. First the bilge was hosed out and cleaned with Dettol; the 17m mast lying next to Blue Heeler washed down and sprayed with lanolin spray to freshen up the aluminium; dobs of lanolin applied to all the thirsty rivets, swages and turnbuckles; the fore cabin lockers and cupboards wiped clean with vinegar and woodwork polished, ready to be repacked; the anchor locker scrubbed out ready for newly galvanised chain and anchors.
On Tuesday while Wayne was overseeing Tootles, Nibs and Curly, the time had come to retire three of our halyards – spinny, plus two spare halyards. While Thailand’s Got Talent was taking place under the hull, I crossed busy Thepkassatri Road to Surapol and bought enough rope for those, plus more for our new davit.
Our head is coming together and with our new valves and hoses, it’s almost done. Unfortunately pressure testing our holding tank identified a hole in the tank! The hole must’ve been blocked up with goo that broke free when it was cleaned. This little interruption will delay the completion of the head, but Wayne is onto it and will have Ton weld a new steel bottom to the tank.
While a lovely shade of blue Interswift antifoul was applied to our hull, the frame for our bimini was put together with final positioning and welding to be done this week. Our davit is more or less complete, except for the rope, blocks and teak work. We’re having a small teak area above our transom where we can store fenders and other stuff. While our carpenter was fashioning the teak floor, he accidentally sliced his thumb open with his sharp chisel, spurting blood below him and onto the teak. Luckily I had some plasters on board and quickly taped him up, and strapped his hand using one of my old curtains which had reincarnated as a dust rag. We sent him away to the doctors and next day he was back at work with nine stitches in his thumb.
Friday night we caught up with Brian and Gail (Dol’Selene) and Claes and Laila (Comedie) for a meal and drinks at the café Hard Stand. Both yachts took advantage of the high tide over the weekend and sailed away to the lovely Phang Nga anchorages. The weather is improving and I’m looking forward to getting out on Blue Heeler.