Sunday, 20 October 2013

Tacking - Changing Direction Again

The Great Escape

Two months ago we thought our long standing love affair with Asia was about to end.  Crystal Blues and her crew were aching to go to sea.  Systems were in sensational order, the cellar was full, cupboards stocked with food and the freezer and refrigerator crammed with delicacies for a four month plus passage to South Africa. We dreamed of long distance sailing, anchoring in beautiful Cocos Keeling and then passage making to La Reunion via Rodriguez and Mauritius.

What Happened?

Neil was offered a decent 10 month contract with the client he had been part time consulting for in Manila.  Then Ley's son called with the news that he and his family were being transferred to Shanghai/Singapore for 2 years, from November 1.  With a new grand baby due later in November, Nana's help would be appreciated.  As Ley's mother is also turning 90 in December, we knew that we also wanted to be back in Williamstown to celebrate this wonderful achievement, so we decided to take the hint and stay put in Asia for another year.

We always said the hardest part of moving on to South Africa was leaving Asia.....looks like we have proven ourselves right.  So Crystal Blues is now berthed in Nongsa Point (Batam), a short ferry ride from Singapore. Neil is working a cycle of 2 weeks in Manila and 1 week on the boat, with Ley now joining him in Manila frequently.  We have a great apartment and car, provided by the client, and are just starting our exploration of yet another country.  South Africa will have to wait another year.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Dangerous Liferaft Servicing

Early this year we broke our own "boat rules" and could well have paid the penalty with our lives.

The Only Time We Want To Be Inside The Raft.
Our number one rule is to try to service and maintain every item on the boat ourselves.  Our number two rule is to always work alongside and supervise any contractor working on the boat.  

We broke both rules when we sent away our DSB / Secumar life raft for servicing in Bangkok. The last time the raft was serviced, in Singapore, we had watched the entire operation.

This time, under pressure to complete our refit,  we shipped the raft to be "serviced" by MSC, Marine Survitec Company near Bangkok.  What a dangerous and expensive mistake.