The sun is shining at last

Wednesday saw the weather change for the better, we have had 2 straight days of sunshine now, it was 36 in the cabin this morning, I put the awnings up and the temp dropped a few degrees. We are taking it easy at the moment, Kathy has started typing up her blog. She has a Laptop running a strange operating system, it has a wavy flag and lots of confusing icons, I accidentally found a way to make it look like an old fashioned windows computer, but it keeps changing back to a weird thing where it has lots of blocky square icons over the screen, none of which seem to be much use. Also whenever you get a program open like the photo-manager, none of the buttons do what you would expect, plus it spends a lot of time throwing up boxes reminding you to update this and that, can’t see how it will ever catch on ūüėČ

The bow sprit was collected on Monday and work is under way to replicate it, Tuesday we headed off for a drive to replenish stores, and also to drop off the mainsail with the sailmakers so that can be replicated too. We popped into Cholomark, a local company that makes RIBs (Rigid bottomed Inflatable Dinghies), our current dinghy is just a bit too small and flimsy. I’m expecting that once we get out into the pacific islands, we will need to be ferrying food, water and fuel to and from the shore to our boat via dinghy, so it’s worth getting something decent.

2.9m Hypalon dinghy

Sadly that means a few thousand pounds flying out the door, plus I think our 2.5hp motor will be too small, so another whack for a 5-8hp replacement.

Today was spent doing small jobs around the boat, not a lot is going to happen now until the bowsprit returns, as we can’t take the boat out without it. So on Monday I baked some bread, which worked out quite well, will do a bit more over the weekend.

On a closing note, you can always hear a snack, crackle and pop sound when in the boat, it’s coming from the hull outside under the water, and can be quite loud at night. I’m not precisely sure what causes it, but I’m sure it’s related to the marine growth on the hull. It’s either the growth growing or the fish nibbling on it, or both. There’s no shortage of nibbling fish here as the video clip below shows.

I am having trouble getting video clips to upload, so I have done this in a roundabout way, hopefully it still works.


Paul Collister


Past and Present

We’ve been back in Phuket almost a week now, and are just about recovering our equilibrium. Today (Wednesday) has been the first hot, dry day since our return. Like much of Thailand, we experienced continual rain for several days, although thankfully we haven’t had the disastrous floods that southern Thailand has been suffering from. The accompanying cooler temperature was a bonus while we were working to get the boat shipshape again, and a welcome contrast to the minus 9&10 temperatures we experienced in Germany.

Paul in Cologne Airport

This first week has been all about unpacking, cleaning, tidying and generally sorting stuff out, as well as shopping for provisions and new equipment for the boat. ¬†We’ll be in Yacht Haven Marina for the next three weeks while the bowsprit is replaced and other essential maintenance tasks are carried out. Our month long Christmas break in the UK and Italy with friends and family was great fun and also provided an opportunity to gather up items such as food and tools that are unobtainable or expensive here. Paul’s luggage consisted of various replacement parts and objects for the boat, while mine held several blocks of Sainsbury’s new range of vegan cheese, packets of veggie sausage and burger mixes, a few lightweight clothes and several (heavier) toiletry items and books. We were both just on the maximum 23kg weight allowance, but apart from the fact that four packets of Alta Rica coffee refills aroused suspicion in the Xray machine at Phuket Airport, we were successful in transporting it all from England, on to Germany and¬†through to Thailand.

Before we left in early December, we enjoyed a fabulous ten-day trip exploring the Similan Islands, a group of eleven small islands in The Andaman Sea (part of the Phang Nga Province). ¬†Paul described it in his blog entries, along with some pics of the beautiful places we visited. My intention was to publish my blog and pics once I¬†got back to the UK, naively assuming I would have time to do it in between the shopping, planning and preparation associated with Christmas (not to mention the socialising ;)). ¬†So since there is nothing much to report on here at the moment as we relax in the luxury of Yacht Haven Marina, I’m going to go back to last year for my next few blogs and describe my impressions of the picturesque Similan Islands.

Monday 21st November ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† We left the marina on a beautifully clear, calm and sunny morning¬†which made departing from the berth extremely easy. The downside of course was that there was no wind, so we motored out and used the engine for the whole journey to Koh Lon. It was a very relaxing six hours: no squalls, not many other boats, a calm sea and a warm sun. We were able to doze and read for pretty much the whole way.¬†Paul put a line out after spotting several fishing buoys in the area but still had no takers. ¬†Koh Lon, seen in the pics below, provided a nice anchorage. We sat in the cockpit watching darkness fall and several fishing boats motoring in and out of the island’s small beaches, before eating dinner and turning in for the night.

Getting ready to inspect the anchor
Sunset at Koh Lon
Breakfast fruit in the cockpit