Thai refit – week 12

The sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour on the hook
Vaye con les, no work today, he read it in a book
The waterfront is reveling, the season has begun
A sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour having fun
A sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour having fun
Havin’ fun, havin’ fun, havin’ fun’
A Sailor’s Christmas – Jimmy Buffett

Havin' fun, havin' fun, havin' fun' with the crews

Havin’ fun, havin’ fun, havin’ fun’ with the crews

Christmas Day in Thailand is business as usual – shops are open, workers working. Walking out my hotel doorway this Christmas day morning I was greeted with an exclamation by my usual cleaning lady with “Madam!”. She was of course slightly shocked to see me dressed in anything but the same drab ‘uniform’ of Bintang shorts and pink T-shirt I’ve been wearing for the past 12 weeks while working on the boat. Unfortunately she doesn’t speak any English but she offered a big smile and a very welcome “Merry Christmas”. How nice!

Christmas merriment with friends aboard 'Keris' and 'Island Sonata'

Christmas merriment with friends aboard ‘Keris’ and ‘Island Sonata’

With no family members close by, Christmas Day for us this year was spent in delightful company of sailing friends from yachts Keris, Island Sonata, Comedie, Dol’Selene, Recluse, Simply Sensational, Silvergirl, Mr John, and Imagine. Juanita did a fantastic job coordinating the day – we shared plenty of tasty food, cold beer and wine, and each boat received a Secret Santa gift. Keris and Island Sonata rafted together where we could continue the merriment into the night and enjoy the beautiful views from Panwa Bali in Chalong Bay.

Ally and Laia enjoying the beautiful Panwa view

Ally and Laila enjoying the beautiful Panwa view

Laila, Anne and Anne enjoying some pre-dinner canapés

Laila, Anne and Anne enjoying some pre-dinner canapés

New Year’s Eve and day are public holidays here in Thailand so many of the businesses are closed from 28th December until 6th January. As such, we couldn’t take up the generous offers to stay aboard on Christmas night so we taxied home and were back at work first thing on Boxing Day. We’ve arranged to have the boat lifted back into the water on Monday 30th and still have to load much of the large items in storage back on board. Nai and her team had finished their work and with the two day bank holiday in Australia slowing down bank transfers, she was relieved to receive her final payment late on Friday. Also working until the very end, Ton and his team did an excellent job for us and finished off all the little jobs. In addition to the great work on the bimini frame and davit, he’d done a few extra jobs for us such as making a gas bottle rack, bow roller and getting the most out of our discarded old bimini frame he created a useful jerry can rack designed by Wayne.

New holder made from old bimini frame keeps the jerry cans off the deck

New holder made from old bimini frame keeps the jerry cans off the deck

The one item still outstanding is the work by Canvas Creations. Although he’s finished the spray hood, there’s still some work to be finished on a full cockpit cover, but with his staff on leave next week it looks like we’ll have to catch up with him in a couple of weeks to finish the job. We’ll probably stop at Yacht Haven further up the island for this and also take the opportunity to do a bit of provisioning then too.

Some other jobs this week: The bimini light was finally fitted, although the expensive LED touch type I’d bought as a special treat ended up not working consistently so I took it back and replaced it with a standard light and we added an LED bulb. The wind generator was moved onto the new davit extension and Ton helped feed the thick wires through the holes. The backstay was shortened a little bit so that we could get more tension. Wayne added an additional drain-hole in the starboard locker as it seemed to hold water. New hi-tensile bolts will hold our large 200Amp alternator in place, where the previous steel bolts repeatedly snapped; life-raft, dinghy, gas bottles, compressor, scuba tanks, ropes and heavy items were returned to the boat with the help of Nai’s team on Friday.

DavitOur small solar panels were moved up on top of the davit and will be replaced by larger ones in the future. All items from storage needed to be washed down to remove any dust and spiders. With the bow roller finished, the freshly galvanised chain was hoisted up and tidily placed into the anchor locker.

After such a busy year for us, I never forget how fortunate we are to live this life style. This year some friends have lost loved ones, while disasters have destroyed hopes and dreams for others – For you and your families, we hope that 2014 brings everything you desire and more – more of the good times and less of the bad. See you in the new year…

Panwa Bali

About blueheelerhr39

Sailing the world aboard Blue Heeler
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