Jun. 2002
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Week Ending 1 June 2002 (Bob)

Pleasant Return to Phuket - Sunday evening and we were back steamy Phuket and could hardly wait until Monday morning to see what had happened while we were gone:

  • Paint - The hull gleamed white, Long Passages new boat name.jpg (14267 bytes) the boot-top was a rich dark red, and the gold of the cove stripe provided a nice accent to it all - we were happy with the paint job so far, and Pro Yachting has required very little supervision or intervention. The final touch was the boat name, being replaced after 2 months of being 'Anonymous
  • Cabinets - The interior woodwork is finished, and (although it has no doors yet) we are very happy with the changes.
  • Cushions - Jin Phuket Jin showing off new cushions.jpg (21305 bytes)and Pong worked miracles while we were gone, and appeared to have stretched the buffalo skins into a shape so that they cover our entire sitting area!  Such are the small victories we savor here in Thailand!  She was also eager to show off the shape of our new cushions.

Back in the saddle - We feel that we are back at work: alarm at 0700 and on the boat by 0745 (after a short commute by bike).  Pro Yachting has taken the week off, and allowed the carpenters free access to the decks so that they can cut and drill to their heart's content:  

  • Toe-rail - By week's end, a newLong Passages new rubtail being clamped on.jpg (17973 bytes) rub-rail encircled the deck, and 1/3 of the toe-rail had been bolted in place.  They seemed HUGE compared to our previous versions, but are consistent with Shannon's current practices.
  • Paint - None this week, but at week's end Pro took us to the sign shop so that we could pick out the lettering for our transom - to be applied next week.
  • Varnish - The cabin sole has had a couple more coats, the interior walls have received almost the final treatment, and will be ready for the final coat early next week - it looks really nice!
  • Misc - Chrome coating and polishing of metals is very cheap here, so all of our green-coated dorade rings went off to the local chrome shop (OSHA could fill their yearly quota of violations in this one shop) and came back looking like new.

Overall we feel that a lot of progress has been made, but we are afraid that our launch date of 21 June may be in jeopardy - we'll see.

Week Ending 8 June 2002 (Bob)

All varnishing complete - This week Long Passages newly varnished doors.jpg (17560 bytes)was a little quiet for us as we watched the final coat of varnish go on throughout the interior.  With a mixture of 1/3 Gloss and 2/3 Satin she really looks like new below.  The cabin sole received its final coat of gloss, and the floor looks like a piece of glass!  Although it has been somewhat expensive for the varnish work, we think it looks great!

Toe-rail stalled - Nai and Toe told us they would use 10 tubes of caulk, so we ordered the type Shannon recommended, and had it shipped to Langkawi 3 weeks ago (plus a couple of spare tubes).  Unfortunately they underestimated, and ran out, so Kak, the conscientious carpenter doing the work is now stalled.  We have ordered more from West Marine, it reached Bangkok in 2 days, and now languishes "delayed in Customs". 

Week Ending 15 June 2002 (Bob)

Drama with Customs - After 5 days of the DHL status showing "delayed in Customs" we got Nai to call and find out where it was.  After 2 more days, an angry phone conversation, and $100 in duty and fees, we finally broke the $150 shipment free.  It was a first-hand lesson in why all of the yachties ship their goods somewhere else (Langkawi, Singapore, etc.) and then travel to pick them up.  

Toe-rail and rub-rail complete - Despite Long Passages new paint and toerail.jpg (16845 bytes)the lack of caulk, Kak plugged on, shaping and fitting the chocks and other bits and pieces until the caulk could be extricated from the clutches of Customs.  With the caulk in hand he put the finishing touches on it, and she looks really good and solid - better than new.

Beautiful new cushions - At week's end, Jin and Pong brought our new leather cushions by for a fitting, and they look wonderful - rich green!  One of the settee cushions need a little trimming, but the rest fit beautifully.  They really do good work!

Moving back on board - This is the week that some of our off-loaded stuff started to move back on board - lockers are starting to fill up and we have a feeling that things are starting to come together rather than being torn apart - a good feeling.

Week Ending 22 June 2002 (Bob)

The Coachroof and Cockpit sport a new coat of paint - After a week of much sanding and filling in good weather, Pro-Yachting was ready to shoot the first primer coat last week.  Long Passages new primer coat.jpg (19183 bytes)All ports were taped, hatches wrapped in 'Saran-wrap' (they use clingy plastic by the mile to protect everything here), and the deck covered in plastic tablecloth - so the spray guns came out.  After an hour, the coachroof and cockpit gleamed white, and all minor imperfections were clearly visible.  The crew then set about to fill and smooth it all over again! Next week may see the next primer coat.

Prop removed - The 'drip-less' seal installed in New Zealand had developed a minor leak during the last few months and this seemed like an ideal time to take care of it.  The mechanic from ... came by bright and early Monday morning and jammed himself into the small working space above our prop shaft with all of the right tools and tons of confidence.  Five hours later (with time off for good behavior) he emerged, tired and smudged but victorious with the coupling, shaft, and propeller intact.   In summary:

  • Prop shaft was not warped, good news.
  • Cutlass bearing needed to be replaced (of course)
  • Taper on the prop did NOT match taper on the shaft - this was a surprise since we have been using it since replacing the engine in '90.  This will be fixed.

Sawadee Kha - This is the standard greeting one hears in Thailand any time of day - from women.  The guys will greet you with a Sawadee Khap.  It turns out that the gender of the speaker is used to end many phrases in Thailand, the first time we have experienced this type of grammar. 

Starting to Re-assemble the boat - We haveLong Passages Elmo on watch.jpg (21646 bytes) started to drag boxes back on board and refill our lockers slowly.  Radios have been re-installed, clothes hung in place, food re-stowed, and books returned to their homes.  

Week Ending 29 June 2002 (Bob)

Water panic - Workers started to prepare for the final coat of paint by removing all existing plastic and giving the boat a thorough cleaning. UNFORTUNATELY they neglected to tell us in advance and our deck was like a sieve with many holes awaiting installation of stanchion bases - tempers became frayed as books and a radio were soaked as collateral damage.  

The plastic cocoon - wpe1.jpg (23646 bytes)At week's end, Long Passages looked like a fiberglass caterpillar wrapped in a huge Saran-wrap cocoon!  Workers recovered all decks with plastic, and then made a waterproof/wind-resistant 'tent' of plastic wrap and then vacuumed all debris from the decks. By Saturday the entire boat was clean and ready for its final coat of paint.

Preparation for Visitors - As wpe6.jpg (41415 bytes)the impending visit by Sharon and Stephanie from Oregon approached, planning went into high gear.  Judi put together a detailed itinerary designed to test their endurance while giving them good insight into much of Thailand.  We spent the weekend sprucing up the boat (even though we would be living in the apartment) and 'provisioning' for the visit.


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