Sorry for the delay - our web-hosting
service has been having problems!
Ending 4 May 2002 (Bob)
Refit Status - A lot of progress was made this week,
the major projects included:
- Painting - All cracked and damaged filler and paint
was removed to 1' below the waterline and sealed with epoxy. All areas
were filled, and the workers began the process of sanding the hull fair with
long sanding boards. The hull looked terrible on Monday, and by Friday
it was looking fair again.
- Interior Joinery - The team from Nai and Toe
showed up early Monday morning (we expected them Wednesday) and started to
turn timber and plywood into sawdust. By the end of the week we had a
new wet-locker, radar cabinet, and cabinets although a lot of finish work
yet remains. We tweak the design daily, but our rapport with the
carpenters is good and they really want to do a good job. We are happy
with the progress.
- Toerail/rubrail - Nai and Toe carpenters have
smoothed the deck where the new toerail will go, and have started to shape
pieces for the rubrail.
- Canvas and Upholstery - Muzza from Canvas
Creations has taken all measurements and started to work on building a
bimini. We have high hopes based on all reports from his work.
Jin and Pong have ordered our leather, and we looked at another example of
the workmanship and we are really looking forward to the new settee
- Miscellaneous - The rigging that we struggled with
through all airports from LA to Langkawi is being trimmed to length by Scott
of Precision Shipwrights. We have removed the teak cockpit coaming and
found some dry-rot - we have to decide what to do about that. Teo (an
independent worker) is polishing all the stainless to a shiny finish and has
the bronze ports looking like gold.
More Parties - Terry from 'Virgos' Child' had a
significant birthday this week, and many of us went to help him celebrate,
and listen to fireworks set off in his honor. The party went late into the
night although, this morning he said he felt fine - but we believe he was lying!
Ending 11 May 2002 (Bob)
A Week of Refit Fever:
- Monday - Chaos prevailed! - by
0900 we had 15 people on board: 3 guys welding on the bow
pulpit, 2 guys building cabinets, 6 guys sanding the hull, 3 guys sanding
the coach-roof, 2 guys applying fiberglass to the cockpit, a couple of guys
sanding below, one guy hums quietly as he polishes stanchions, while a few
with unknown missions wander the decks.
- Tuesday - More of the same, but Man brings the
plywood reinforcements he has made to re-install the ports in the main
cabin. They look strong and well-sealed, unfortunately the ports do
not fit, so he has to trim each one after it is installed - neither of us
noticed that the ports were tapered. On TV the Royal Plowing Ceremony is
held, and good weather and good fortune is predicted for the next planting
season when the water buffalo selects rice and alcohol which foretells a
good rice harvest and prosperity for all.
- Wednesday - The rains come - even though the
hull looks like it may be ready for the primer, a low over the South China
Sea brings rain and painting is not possible. The cabinetry looks
almost finished (except for doors). A stripper arrives (keep it clean
readers!) and starts to remove the polyurethane from the cabin sole.
- Thursday - More rain, but this does not slow down
the sanders who strip all gloss off the coachroof and mask off the non-skid
deck in preparation for painting. Nop's welders bring back the bow
pulpit and fit it - a thing of beauty and close approximation to Shannon's
production pulpit, at a fraction of the cost.
- Friday - Rain-rain - No painting today but sanding
continues everywhere and Formica -look-alike appears as it is fitted to the
cabin sides. Just as quickly, it disappears to who-knows-where.
- Saturday - Pro looked at the sky and predicted no
rain for the day, so by 1100 the decks had been cleared, all hardware had
been covered in plastic (they use Saran Wrap to cover everything) and the
1st coat of primer was being applied. By 1300 our hull was gleaming white
and all of the minor imperfections were very visible. This is a BIG
milestone. Judi provides drinks for all comers as a cooler full of
sodas and ice is offered to the myriad of workers that swarm over the boat
- Sunday - Our only quiet day on the
boat, we spent it cleaning the boat and installing stanchion bases so that
the welders could measure for new gate stanchions next week.
Refit Status -
- Painting - 1st primer coat on, another primer
required and then the final coat in about 2 weeks.
- Interior Joinery - Pilot berth and radar cabinets
80% done, doors and finishing still to come. We have asked Nai and Toe
to also make cabinets on each side of the companionway to contain radios and
storage, so the list looks like this.
- Toerail/rubrail - No action on the wood front, but
we have ordered a new Genoa track since ours was quite corroded.
- Canvas and Upholstery - The bimini is almost done;
unfortunately the painters made us remove the bimini frame, so it will be a
bit before we can test it.
- Miscellaneous - On the rigging - Runners,
lowers and upper shrouds have been made, only the back-stay remains for next
Other Goings-on - Boring - boring - boring! The
workers start at 0745, quit at 5 PM and keep us running all day answering
questions and trying to catch mistakes before they turn into disasters.
They work 6 days per week and we need a quiet day to do little things to stay
ahead of them. We will need a vacation after this!
Ending 18 May 2002 (Bob)
Getting ready to paint - This week Pro
Yachting made great strides with our hull by finishing the fairing and getting
the 2d coat of primer on under clear blue skies. This culminates 3 weeks
of hard work by a small army of young men who sanded, gouged, filled, and
finally faired the hull with long boards to get a smooth surface. We have tried
to show our appreciation by smiles and thanks at all times, and a cooler topped
up with cold sodas at the end of each 6-day week.
Other projects come together - Our ex-pilot berth has
taken on a new life as storage compartments for books, cameras, paper-work and
printer. Sun and Man have done a great job, and
a young alchemist applied his stain-mixing skills so that the wood matches the
color of existing cabinets to a 'T'. We had decided to strengthen the
stanchion gates so Nop's welder briefly interrupted the coach-roof sanding to
make sure that they fit the decks perfectly. Our leather has arrived at
Jin & Pong's place so we stopped by for a peek, and are happy with the
color. Our new genoa track has arrived, so it will be ready to install
when the toerail goes on next week.
Wonderful Phuket restaurants - We continue to find
great Thai restaurants in Phuket, this week The Natural, a whimsical
place reminiscent of a tree house. There are many levels with tables among
the tree branches and computer monitors converted to aquariums. The
mostly-Thai menu was comprehensive and food was excellent.
Next week to Singapore - Next week we zip to Singapore
so that Judi can have a follow-up medical exam and we can refresh our
visas. While there we will also pick up a bunch of marine supplies shipped
from the US. The Thai Customs operation is expensive and rife with
corruption so most people try to avoid shipping anything into Thailand if they
can avoid it.
Ending 25 May 2002 (Bob)
Wow, do we shine!! - On a beautiful May afternoon Pro
Yachting put covers all over our yacht and sprayed a shiny coat of Fleet White Awl-Grip
on Long Passages' topsides - she felt proud again!. We think she
looks great, and believe she will ride higher in the water because
of it. The next day under threatening skies a dark red boot top was
sprayed on, but an afternoon shower ruined the finish, and Pro had to regroup
for another day. Meanwhile the cove stripe (that used to be gold) was
carefully masked as we prepared for our monthly visa run, this time to
Crisis in leather - Monday morning we got a call to
visit Jin and Pong where our new cushions are being built. It turns out
that the water buffalo that provide the green hides (the color we chose) don't
grow big enough to cover our settees without seams, and Jin wanted guidance on
where we wanted the seams. We reluctantly agreed to seams, but suggested
they let the buffalo grow a little more before tanning them.
Its off to Singapore - Judi had made a medical
appointment in Singapore as a follow-up to her operation in January, so we got
up before dawn and caught a taxi to Phuket airport for the flight to
Singapore. Her visit was fortunately uneventful, so we settled down to
some serious shopping. On our second visit to Sim Lim Tower
(electronics shopping extraordinaire)
we succumbed and bought a DVD player and accessories so that we can view
DVDs from around the world, CDs, and music on MP3 CDs, (plus other capabilities
that we will probably never need!) We really liked being in Singapore
again, it is so clean and civilized and surprises, like boys preparing for a
Dragon Dance are just around the corner! We stayed at the Perak Lodge
in Little India, where Judi stayed when she first arrived in 2000, and we really
Other progress - While we were gone the carpenters
and varnishers carried on, so that by the companionway our new cabinets were
finished, and the entire interior had been sanded and a coat of varnish
applied - she is starting to shine inside also.