Thursday, 22 November 2012

Life on the Hook

Koh Yao Yai beach - not busy at all
We escaped from Boat Lagoon in Phuket last Friday, and Koh Yao Yai is a lot more exotic than the boatyard and hardstand ...

The jungle grows right down to the sand along the gracefully curving beach of Yao Yai.  The water is warm and aquamarine, gently rocking Crystal Blues.  A low key resort on the beach welcomes cruisers, with both meals and massages at reasonable prices.  This is a big island, predominantly Muslim, very friendly and peaceful.  We're anchored in 7 metres of water over sand and the beach is accessible at all times as there is no fringing reef.  Perfect !

Repairing the vacuum
All is good until the vacuum cleaner decides to stop working and the dinghy pump refuses to pump.  Nothing else to do but repair the broken bits.  Well,  we have to do something constructive, can't lounge around reading books in the cockpit all day, that would be slothful.

Placing the modular units of the water maker
So once again we are in work mode, after a brief day of R&R.  Next job is  planning the new reverse osmosis water maker installation - all the parts are laid out and then we place all the modular pieces exactly where we plan to install them.  We even take a photo to record the placement.  This time we're installing an ECHOTec water maker, manufactured in Trinidad.  Our 10 year old Schenker unit from Italy had given us good service for a few years, then it became problematic and unreliable.  We contacted Schenker direct to send the 12 volt energy recovery pump back to Italy for a service, but their reply was not what we wanted to hear, "we'll send you the parts, you can fix it". This attitude and the lack of a local dealer in Asia pushed us into junking the unit.

So we now have an ECHOTec 390 AML.  It is not fancy, a manually operated unit that is built strong and sturdy using "off the shelf" components.  Yes we'll miss the automatic functions of the Schenker, but we won't miss the foibles and problems.  Before we ordered the ECHOTec we spoke to many cruisers, read the online testimonials and then dealt directly with the man who makes them.

However we can't install the watermaker in the original location until we paint the surrounding area white (it's grey now), to reflect light and help our fading eyesight.  This leads to relocating and tidying up miles of plumbing hoses, unloading two cupboards and then masking and sanding.  We finished the painting yesterday, the other works can now follow.

So whilst we haven't finished our boat jobs (yet), the view from the cockpit is gorgeous and we can take frequent swims to cool down.
View from our "back door"                                                Shopping for fresh prawns
We're sharing this anchorage with good friends Dana and Susan on Villa G and a local fisherman who  visits daily with his fresh prawn catch, something hard to beat.  Good company and fresh prawns delivered to the boat, plus the last few chilled bottles of duty free wine from Langkawi.  Working on boat jobs in exotic places.

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