Bangkok Travel Blog› entry 45 of 49 › view all entries
May 20th, 2006 – by: bede17
So it's been a busy couple of days! I can't believe it's saturday again already, crazy.... I didn't do much more on sunday after having tea, just went to my usual lunch place and then Tesco in the evening to do some errands. On monday morning we got to sleep in and spent a little while packing up some of the things we've purchased here for the boat, ie. tvs, computers, etc. We took about four taxis packed with stuff to the yard and it took about two hours to get there because of the traffic! At the yard we were busy busy busy getting the boat ready to leave. We had to load it up with all sorts of equipment for sea trials. I spent a full four hours walking back and forth between the storeroom carrying things we needed- PFDs, life rings, fire extinguishers, med kit, flares, buckets, deck brushes, and lots of other little random things.The guys were busy getting the dinghies and liferafts onboard, among other things. Jay disappeared around five to do some errands and get dinner/breakfast for the next morning, and we were starving at seven by the time he got back and absolutely devoured the pizza he brought. It was a funny little domestic scene, dinner sitting around the crew room among boxes of electronics. We spent the rest of the evening finishing up details, moving onboard, cleaning up a bit, and generally getting ready to go so at 3am we would be all set. We finally got into bed at midnight! We were all spread out on the boat in different cabins so we could keep an eye on things. I was in the top bunk in the port three person cabin, a bunk I had been eying for a while so I was happy.I set my alarm for 3 but when I got up nobody was up and the yard was quiet. So I climbed back into bed and waited. Eventually I heard a couple thumps and swore that the light coming through the prism in my cabin was getting lighter, but I couldn't figure out why for the life of me. I thought I must be imagining it. So I popped my head out of the charthouse hatch and was greeted by a pretty funny site. About twenty yard workers were hanging out on deck staring at me. We exchanged hellos like it was perfectly normal to be up at 3 in the morning, and then after thirty seconds of just staring at each other I realized they were waiting for us. Also the crane was sitting over us with all the lights blazing.I realized that the crane moving forward with all the lights made my prism get lighter, that thing is pretty powerful and a lot of the deck was lit up. So we got up and got the boat ready to move. Our fine towing vessel arrived in the slip ahead of us and the workers attached our lines, and before I knew it, we were moving out of the slip. I was pretty impressed with the tow, despite its appearances. I think when a brightly colored, fairly well worn fishing vessel showed up we were all a bit suspicious. But that thing has a powerful engine and pulled us straight out of the slip with no problems. After we were in deeper and cleaner water we turned our engine on, and under our own power we motored to the anchorage! By the time we anchored it was seven o'clock and the sun was up.Our crew got to take a nap then as there were some tests to be done at anchor first. It took me forever to finally fall asleep, but when I did I slept pretty soundly and got a good nap in. When I got up we were out of the channel and into open water of the ocean! I could tell from the various noises that we had been doing engine tests most of the morning, but unfortunately there was no wind so we couldn't put the sails up. We floated around out there for lunch, which consisted of Thai food from the yard in little styrofoam containers, and then waited around in hope of finding some wind. Because the Thai crew were technically in charge of the boat we didn't have a huge amount to do, so we hung around on deck, napped, read, etc.I sat on deck and finished my book, nice and relaxing. At one point while we were floating out there we sort of wandered into a local fishing area. There were at least ten boats around us in a circle and they all sort of took turns coming pretty close to us to check us out I guess, and we could see them working at the same time. It was interesting to watch what they were doing but we couldn't quite figure it out. While motoring at a fast speed they dumped something off the side, kept going for a while, and then while still going fast they all lined up on the platform on the stern and pulled it up again. It looked like a big cage but I couldn't really tell. Then they squatted in a circle and with like lightning fast motions chopped up whatever they had just caught and threw the parts they didn't want back in the water.So there were all sorts of pieces floating around us but we couldn't really tell what they were. It took us a couple hours to get back to the anchorage in the evening, where we cleaned up and had pizza dinner on deck that Jay had run ashore in the dinghy to get. We all went to bed pretty early because we were pooped and had an hour of anchor watch each during the night. At around midnight I woke up to the sound of the engine turning on and went to see what was going on, and our anchor was dragging! So after a quick repositioning we settled back in and went to bed. I got up for my watch from 5-6 to find everything soaked and it still raining. Luckily I had brought my rain jacket so I stood by the generator exhaust vent and did slow circles for a while, watching all the river traffic and the sunrise.I used to love my 3:30-5:30 anchor watch time on Ocean Star and it was great to have some quiet time on deck by myself. I waited up until 7 because thats when the Marsun crew was supposed to come back, but they didn't show up until almost 8. But soon we got underway again and it stopped raining. I read some of my new book and napped a bit until we got into open water and it was time to put the sails up. There wasn't much wind then either, but it was enough to raise the sails and test things out. So yes the sails were up and then engine was off, but we weren't exactly flying through the water. It was really nice though and I'm glad we got the chance before we all leave. At one point we were drifting pretty close to an offshore lighthouse thing and all the workers there came out to see what was going on, so we waved and turned the engine on and motored away.After a little while there just wasn't enough wind again so we put the sails down and ran some more power tests. I finished my book on the way in to the anchorage. We didn't get pizza again because the Marsun crew told us they were bringing dinner, and we expected some more styrofoam containers of canteen food like the last two lunches. But instead there were a couple bags of potato chips, some sausage on a skewer, and a bag of chicken parts. Yup, literally a bag of chicken parts. Winston pulled out two heads and Jay found a claw. They were cooked and apparently the white meat was edible if you felt like digging for it, but mostly we tried not to laugh too loudly at it for fear of offending the workers who were sitting on the stern eating the same thing.We think they got a good chuckle out of giving that bag to us though and didn't expect us to eat all of it. After dinner we all waited around until ten for high tide to come around again so we could go into the slip. It rained for a while and I sat on deck in my foul weather gear getting absolutely soaked, it was great. I like the rain. But a Thai worker seemed really distressed that I was sitting out in the rain so after a while I finally went down below and changed. The motor back to the yard was pretty uneventful, but getting into the slip was a different story all together! Because the boat still belongs to Marsun, their head helmsperson was assigned to bring us into the dock. We were a little concerned because he had never driven a sailboat before but there wasn't much we could do.I think the word that sums it up pretty well is circus. It was an absolute circus getting onto the dock. But after an hour we finally did and nobody was hurt and the boat was fine. So I'll just leave it at that! We finally got in a cab home around 11:30 and crawled into bed first thing. On thursday we got to sleep in for a while and that was soooo nice. I went with Jay and Winston to Au Bon Pain for breakfast/lunch and had the best sandwich ever. I got to create it myself. Smoked salmon, pesto, and fresh mozzarella on a poppy seed bagel. I'm definitely going there again soon. We spent most of the afternoon at the yard removing the things from the boat that we'd put on for sea trials, like the life rafts, dinghies, and all the random other safety stuff.I spent a while making labels for things onboard and numbering the bunks and mattresses so we will know where they go next time. I'm sure I did something besides that but I can't remember right now. We went to the Emporium for dinner and had a really nice meal. We all got something from a different country. Between the five of us we had Italian, Indian, Greek, Japanese, and English. I had the most amazing chocolate dessert in the world and tea before I left, quite a nice dinner overall. On friday I spent the morning adding washers to all the hatches on deck, which sounds fairly simple but turned out to be a lot more complicated than I expected. After lots of experimenting, drawing pictures, and runs to the storeroom to get different sizes of washers, I finally figured out the right system.In the afternoon we moved the mattresses off the boat, not an easy task- they are bulky and awkward to lift, and then prepped the forward bunks for painting. On the way home from work one of these evenings we stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom and get some snacks as the traffic was terrible, and when I went up to the counter to pay I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. The counter was two levels, my side higher than the area that the cashier was behind, and sitting on the lower level was a dog! It was one of those small and fluffy things, not my favorite, but still a dog and very cute. I couldn't even see its eyes because of its long hair, just a teeny nose staring up at me. As I was saying hello to it another dog walked over on the counter to see what was going on! So of course I had to grab my camera and take some pictures.It was so random but I guess perfectly acceptable and the cashier thought it was hilarious that I was so interested in them and held them up to the camera for me. Last night we all went out to dinner at a really great Mexican dinner and had a few drinks at an outside bar there. It was a nice evening to almost end a long week. This morning we arrived to the yard at the normal time and found out that all we had to do today was paint the bunks that we had prepped yesterday! So we kicked into high gear and spent almost three hours working like crazy. I started by wiping down all the surfaces with acetone, two guys came behind me with rollers, and two more with paint brushes to do the trim. Then I grabbed a brush and did more trim.It was sooo hot down there and the fumes were terrible, but at least we had our gas mask things. Still, I wouldn't exactly call it pleasant experience. We finished just before lunch, ate, and then got in our van home. Most of the guys just went to the Emporium for a late snack but I'm thinking of going to have some tea or running some errands. I want to get out of the apartment on my unexpected free time! Woohoo!
p.s. I apologize for the silly amount of photos, just couldn't narrow it down. I figured this was as good a time as any to put up the bunches of interior shots I took while the boat was empty and clean. After some shots of preparing for trials at the yard and then the interior, everything else is prettty much a chronological account of our two days.I hate using the flash so some of the night ones are blury, but that is on purpose and I like the light better.
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