Time flies when you're busy doing nothing. Or so it seems. On January 1 we gave up alcohol to shed a few pounds of surplus. By the end of the month David had only had a drink on one occasion – a cruisers party at Yacht Haven Marina on the 24th and I had stayed 'dry' until I hit my target weight and then had a glass of wine. Naughty, but the time was right.
|traffic at Chalong circle|
When we weren't being sanctimonious we were hiring motorbikes to buzz around Phuket island between chandlery, sail maker, steel shop, electrics, wood shop, DIY, food, etc, etc. The usual stuff. We've done more road miles than sea miles on this visit gathering bits and bobs. I've completed sewing a waterproof cockpit enclosure. Now when it rains we put up our clear plastic windows and stay dry. I also used sunshade fabric to make side screens and Sunbrella for a new aft deck awning. Yes, we like to hide from both sun and rain.
David has replaced small pieces of wood that frame the saloon hatch on the inside. Water ingress had gradually worked under the varnish and it was not looking pretty. A length of teak from a carpentry shop, careful sanding, varnish, sanding, varnish and fitting and we are back in shape.
All our dive gear has been checked and serviced by David. For the dive compressor we now have a year's supply of chemical powders to be able to refill the air filters. New DIN seats in all the tanks as the old one were showing signs of wear. I have an eyewatering, custom made wetsuit. The inspiration was Uma Thurman's character in Kill Bill. My suit is yellow with black stripes down the outside of both arms and legs. It's a bobby dazzler and a long way from the ready made black suits. I did try to buy off the peg but they were too baggy on my arms or too long in the body and as made to measure took just three days why not?
|custom made Kill Bill|
We also invested in new dive computers. Because we'd spent so much time in the many dive shops around town we got to know the technical support shops and staff well. So well we were offered an account at the main supply warehouse with the bonus of trade prices. When the dea is that good and David's Aladdin air integrated had stopped working and my computer was showing signs of failing after a mere 18 years of use it would have been rude not to invest. We chose Suunto because you can change the battery yourself, large, easy to read display and as I've only ever used Suunto I was happy to continue. All we need now is somewhere to dive...like the Maldives.
Between this frenzy of 'projects' we motored up to the north of the island to a Cruisers Party at Yacht Haven Marina. Going there the wind was on the nose. Coming back there was no wind. Our host was Sevenstar yacht transport who would want us to pay them close to $50k to put Jackster on a ship to take her to Turkey. Nice of them to offer. We declined as our plan has always to cross the Indian Ocean to South Africa. The marina offered a free berth for one night and co-hosted the party in the evening. It was a chance to meet old friends, give the house batteries one final blast of shore power and to pop into the chandlery. It was here we visited the carpentry shop and found the wood we needed for the internal repairs.
|Yacht Haven Marina|
|David, Craig and Sandithe|
And through all of this from the first to the thirty first of January we've been watching the weather in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) to be able to cross to Sri Lanka. The first weekend of the month was a washout. A late season cyclone in BoB brought strong winds and 48 hours of heavy rain over the whole area. Then the wind got flakey. Forecasts were inconsistent, but generally showing the normally dependable north east trades had not established. Hence we are still here watching the weather and waiting to go.
|two days of rain arriving|