Sunday morning radio in Phuket has a selection of old favourite tunes to hum along to. Surprisingly, the cupboard that houses the holding tank in the head has excellent acoustics. Last Sunday Wayne had his head stuck in the aforementioned cupboard swearing and cursing, unaware of the Everly Brothers lyrics “Only trouble is, gee whiz, I’m dreamin’ my life away” singing from the speakers. While I spent time visualising how to fit a couple of tons worth of stuff back on board I was humming along to Mary Wells’ “Nothing you could do, ‘Cause I’m stuck like glue, To my guy”. Nothing makes you smile like a golden oldie!
I’m delighted to say that the head is almost finished and Wayne’s done a fantastic job refurbishing the plumbing. Ton welded up the bottom of the holding tank and a pressure test successfully revealed no leaks. I still have to fit new door latches (if I can ever find them in two tonnes of stuff), new shower curtain and a new teak fascia for the valve handles. But after a scrub from top to bottom, it’s clean enough to eat off (well, almost)!
I scrubbed out our gas bottle locker in preparation of installing new hoses and regulator which will be fitted in the new year when they arrive from the US. Immediately across the road from Boat Lagoon is Soi KohKaew and a short 300m stroll down the lane you’ll find LPG Phuket. With my trusty trolley I took one of our two bottles and had it filled for around A$8.
Clearing Blue Heeler of all items and putting them in storage is a good start to reorganising the boat, ridding it of things that are no longer required or bringing old items back to life. Our Karcher water sprayer took its last breath and died so Wayne literally hurled it from the back of the boat onto the pile of timbers of our former deck. Rolls of old paper charts of the South Pacific which have no real value for us at this point in time were picked up by fellow sailors aboard Rumrunner II giving us a little more room in the saloon. Spending the past couple of years stowed in our stern locker, I resurrected our stainless BBQ and gave it a good scrub and polish. Now that we have a bit more room aft, we’ll fit it and hopefully get some use out of it. To complete its makeover I made a Sunbrella cover using the last pieces of fabric left over from the hatch covers (it’s amazing how many items I’ve managed to make out of that ‘last piece’ of Sunbrella!). Also looking a little shabby was our horseshoe life-ring. Comedie had theirs recovered and it looks great so I too went to Narin Kanboh on Thepkasattri Road between Boat Lagoon and Royal Phuket Marina to get ours covered in a lively bright yellow.
I also took a trip on a songthaew into Ratsada to buy Wayne a new phone and get some items printed. I’d spent some time compiling information on the countries we’ll be visiting next year (Noonsite, Cruisers Wiki, and other good blogs) so I took my flash drive with a bunch of files to have printed and bound at EasyPrint, one of the many printing businesses on Soi Prawat, located just this side of the ‘Welcome’ bridge on Thepkasattri Road and near Big C. I enjoy flicking through a paper book making notes rather than read them on my iPad.
During the week a team of workers deftly lifted the bimini roof onto the steelwork on Blue Heeler. It looks great! But of course you don’t want me to spoil the surprise now would you? You’ll have to wait until later to see pictures of the completed work. With the bimini finished, Ton and his team spent the remainder of the week fine-tuning the davit. We now have a very functional ‘balcony’ area above our transom, complete with a ladder that swings down into the water making it easier to get in and out of the water, and safely operate our wind pilot.
Muzza from Canvas Creations came by and measured up our cockpit area for a new spray-hood and all around weather protection. Fingers crossed we’ll have that done by Christmas, along with our new bow roller. Seems that most businesses will be closed the first week of the New Year so we’re keen to get things finished by then.
With our original 60 day tourist visa expired and 30 day extension expiring this week, tonight we take a small minivan to Penang for a Visa Run. We’ll get picked up at 10pm tonight and arrive in Penang around 7am tomorrow. I’ve not heard many good reports about the actual drive – apparently the drivers are a little crazy but hey, can’t be as bad as the reckless drivers in Nepal, surely?