More rain & varnish

I gather there is a deep low in the Andaman Sea between us and India causing very unseasonal rainfall. More flooding is happening across southern Thailand, and the local forecast is for rain every day (80%+ chance most days) for another week. Then we are into February and an improvement is forecast, I will believe it when it happens. Saying that, it’s very pleasant regardless, the temperatures are lower, and today we have had a very refreshing breeze making work on the boat more pleasant. However the bowsprit varnish has slipped a day as it rained for most of yesterday.
Still all is going to plan. I’m going to order the dinghy tomorrow, more rope, and some tools I need, then aim to leave next weekend.

The bowsprit replacement is going well, I have the forestay and the staysail stay fitted now, the windlass is on and bolted down, but not wired up, I will do this at the same time as I wire up the pulpit lights.

You can tell it’s high season now, lots of people are arriving daily and heading off on their charter boats, the bar area is full of new groups of smartly dressed, excited and happy looking people arriving every few hours from the airport. They don’t have to worry about rotting bowsprits, or leaking heads.
Talking of which, I decided to fix the drip on the head that has got worse over the last few weeks. I only needed to show it my array of screwdrivers and pliers and that seemed to be enough to cure it, I can’t get it to drip at all now. If only the rest of the boat was so easy. In a similar manner, the SSB radio, which we will use a lot when offshore in the Pacific has been playing up; basically it doesn’t turn on when you press the ‘on’ button, even though it makes a reassuring click. I took it all apart to investigate, and without the case on, it started working. Once re-assembled it was good for a day then the problem came back. I took it apart again and it started working again, I kept it in bits for a week and it worked every time. It’s now re-assembled and continues to work just fine. I don’t think I have seen the end of this problem, but at least I can now get into learning how to use it. It’s channelised for marine frequencies, and the PO has all the channels programmed I might need, like Herb’s net, so I need to find out what the others all do. I haven’t spoke to anyone on it yet, so that’s something to try out soon.

We have a deck wash system on this boat, it’s basically like a garden hose, I can select the source of the water to be either fresh water from the tanks, or sea water from an inlet in the hull. The main use is for cleaning the anchor chain as we pull it up out of a muddy bottom, when it’s muddy it can be very messy, and all the mud will end up in the chain locker, then onto the bilge then the pump & filters that drain the bilge, so best not to take it onboard. Anyway, the pump burnt out, I threw it overboard, just before I realised the parts could be replaced quite cheaply, dam. I wondered about the ‘green-ness’ of throwing it overboard, but we were off an island, and I figured it would be like the ships they sink to create a coral feature to attract growths and subsequent feeding fish, also it was only iron, so it will decay in time. Anyway, to get to the point, I replaced the pump with a more powerful one yesterday, wow, that works really well, it came with a smart springy coiled hose and I can assure you, no more mud is coming onto this boat!

Some bowsprit pictures below. Tomorrow I will put the 4th coat of varnish on, then the platform and pulpit, and maybe put the spade anchor back in place.

Above  you can see the bracket that the staysail attaches to, without going into detail, this was leaking on the old sprit, and may do again, the design is crap, the sail is constantly trying to pull upwards and break the seal around the bolts. Also the bolts are right in the front of the anchor chain locker, which is too small for me to get in. Kathy managed to squirm in most of the way, but strained some muscles resulting in her ending up in some pain later. I fabricated a long spanner from two small spanner for the re-assembly as shown below, it worked remarkably well. I need a decent socket set, will get one in Malaysia when we get there.

So nothing exciting to report, Kathy has more interesting stuff on the way, including a couple of otters that tried to eat her legs.


Paul Collister