Saturday, April 30, 2016


On April 3rd, our last day of sailing for awhile, we had a great downwind spinnaker run west to the island of Phuket as our fixed base for the immediate future for boat work and land travels. (Phuket, being the largest of the country's islands, is no longer labelled as Ko Phuket.) We dropped anchor in the midst of about another 150 boats at the familiar big Chalong Harbour (N07°49.259' E098°21.327') of southern Phuket where we had spent 4 months in 2014.

Flying Thai colours

There have been a few changes. New wharves are almost finished to replace the wrecked and dilapidated ones and a new surrounding breakwater has been added. Dinghies in the meantime have been relegated to some old concrete wharves with a confined approach necessitating one to pull their dinghies up onto the wharf. This landing arrangement has resulted in a chunk out of our dinghy bottom. The few spots where one can just tie up leaves a dinghy vulnerable to rough and ragged edged concrete and metal especially when wind direction exacerbates the problem.

Dingy dinghy dock

After official check in here, our first order of business was to reclaim our motorcycle which had been in storage with friends we had made from our previous visit to Phuket. With the unusually very hot temps here, scooting around is a nice way to get some relief. The rainy southwest monsoon season is still not here so the rare couple of short downpours with the slight cooling effect and the chance to rinse the decks of salt was welcomed.

One morning ashore, we noticed 4 Thai boats along the shore that had burned during the early morning hours. News reports said the event was suspicious and an investigation is underway after rumours that Thai boaters were heard arguing on the shore the night before.

Hot-headed fire?

We've done a little sightseeing since our return to this area. One such night included a carved hefty figure, a detailed wat, and a great gold coloured Buddha located near an upscale restaurant very high up on the terrain.

Scary Buddah mascot

We soon settled into a leisurely pace at daily activities whether short sightseeing jaunts or boat jobs. One job that has been keeping me busy is polishing up all of our brass fixtures and decorations. Note to future boaters: Preferable to not have anything on board that requires constant polishing!

Eventually Jordan began the involved boat job of replacing the deteriorated lexan windows. The old existing lexans were simply caulked and screwed into the slightly curved cabin sides. But the new flat tempered glass requires fibreglass built-up surfaces molded to shape for the glass and the stainless steel frames. At the same time, new interior frames will finish the job nicely.

We leave tomorrow for the Phuket Boat Lagoon marina complex, about 20 nautical miles north, for a month's stay to take advantage of some convenient and economical local help on some more involved refurbishments.

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