Making ice with the Sun

Yes, if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is. I haven’t connected the boat to shore power yet, so I’m charging the batteries from the solar panels, and I’ve have had the fridge on 24/7, and it’s now icing up inside the ice box, and that’s on its lowest setting. Just brilliant. I have read how refrigeration works, but I still can’t get my head around it. As a little boy, I had the job to lie on the floor and look under my nan’s gas fridge to see if the pilot light was still burning, still think that’s weird.

Had a long hard day on the boat today, I took the main and two headsails down and stowed them away, they were only going to continue rotting. The mainsail was in a stack-pak cover, which although the cover was starting to rot, the sail looked like new, in fact it’s not that old. The two headsails are not that good, baggy, very dirty and the sacrificial strips are toast. But sails get old, so I’m happy to buy new ones, and I’m in one of the best parts of the world to source new sails.  The largest sail loft in the world is just up the coast in Phuket.

A clean foredeck
A clean foredeck

Getting down the headsails was a little hairy; as a rule you shouldn’t have any sail up when on the hard in a cradle, just in case a blow of wind comes along, it might topple the boat. It’s worse with a furled up headsail, as you have to let the whole sail out, then drop it quickly. I went with the staysail first as this is the smaller, and it jammed, took a few tugs and eventually it came down. I took more time with the genoa, which is pretty big, and would easily pull the boat over. It took an hour before I had the rhythm of the wind gusts and subsequent calms sorted, then I went for it, I think I got the sail down in less than 3 seconds. I then looked over to see the face of the crane operator, he understood exactly the risk I took, and was grinning at me.

The grinding continues, what a job, I do feel for the guy doing it, he sits there all day with a 6″ grinder, you can see the fan that blows air on him. I expect he will finish all of one side this week.

One quarter done (ish)
One quarter done (ish)

I have seen some of the work the yard has done on other boats here and it’s of a good quality.

Erik came over today to recover his dinghy, he had brought it with us on the trip down, just in case. He decided it best to motor it back to his boat, about 5NM, however his outboard was playing up, I gave him water and fizzy drinks, and some rope for his anchor. After a first failed attempt, he set off and made it faster than wanderlust did on the trip down.

Erik in a slimy muddy dock
Erik in a slimy muddy dock

Today was very exciting, the owners of the boat next to me started to kick off with the yard workers, they were very aggressive, at one point he threw his tea pot at his cabin, before screaming at a yard worker who was antifouling another boat, he then stormed off in a big huff. No sooner had he left the yard, than 4 workers came down, put his fishing boat in slings and launched him, it looked like they were getting shut, or he had said get me out, because the work wasn’t finished on his boat, the rudder was half way through being welded, as his boat was released from the slings, with no one on board, two more big blue fishing boats came screaming over, and the fire brigade arrived. The angry skipper appeared out of nowhere, ran along the quay, jumped onto his boat and reversed out. screaming at everyone and being pursued by an office worker with a clipboard, presumably the bill!
I could sort of piece it together, except were did the fire brigade fit in? Looking out to the two other big fishing boats, I noticed one was squirting a big fountain of water over the side, just like the fire boats do when the QE2 visits liverpool, strange I thought, but then when she was pushed into the slings by the other fishing boat, I could tell she was sinking and that was an emergency pump, provided by the fire brigade doing the fountain display. She was then hauled up and the water was squirting out through planks on the port bow.

bit of a leak
bit of a leak

Later when they moved the boat to go in the space just vacated by Mr Angry, I suspect the weight of water inside must have sprung a plank, as it started pouring out on the starboard side, took over 30 mins to drain out, must have been a bit scary out at sea at the time. The words ‘bucket’ and ‘rust’ spring to mind when looking at these boats,
bad-plank

Badly fouled prop
Badly fouled prop

The boat’s prop was also badly fouled, I wondered if this could have been related

Tomorrow is my last day working on the boat, Thursday & Friday are going to be spent in Langkawi looking for marinas and chandleries for my next visit here. Saturday will be spent summer-ising the boat, I need to find a way to keep it from going mouldy in the humid heat that’s here.

Finally a trip to the supermarket presented me with another reminder that Chinese New Year is nearly here, hnePlus I have learnt to recognise the Chinese equivalent of Jingle bells, being played ceaselessly in the shops, and it’s just as annoying.

Still dinner of chicken fried rice in the local restaurant came to 90p and was very nice. I went over the top and for another pound had two glasses of fresh orange. What’s not to like !!

 

 

 

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