|Photo by Jan Pitt|
Friends Ray and Jan Pitt signed off the boat in Thailand, leaving us spoiled, relaxed and ready for the future.
Four weeks ago we sailed south (overnight) from Koh Phayam, spending four days in Phuket, provisioning and making ready.
Then another overnight passage, again hard on the wind, brought us into Kuah Harbour in Langkawi, our final provisioning stop before departure for destinations west.
Its here that we finally created "The Wine List"....
We've spent over two weeks now provisioning and finishing off various systems and "boat jobs". We've had every power tool in use and every conceivable combination of electrical, electronic and mechanical work underway. Even the paint pots came out again.
We're now down to a list that is manageable, in fact its entirely forgettable, as we're stocked up and anxious to go sailing. But those lists can create there own problems .....
|Frederick Welds The New Tangs Onto The Davits|
The sat phone was trickiest, requiring a heavy antenna cable to be run through the boat - satellite phones operate at microwave frequencies, so the cable is virtually a wave guide, and its a monster. Both thick and stiff, it boasted connectors that needed a 19mm hole drilled in every steel frame we passed through.
Ugly work, but someone had to do it .... finally we drilled and shaped a similar hole in the stainless davits, and mounted the Iridium antenna with a clear view to the stars. Today we tested the system - it works ! Now we get to replace all the ceiling panels and clean up the mess.
The Contact List
For the record, out new satellite phone number is +88-16-2345-0421
You can send us (free) text messages by logging on to : messaging.iridium.com
Alternately, use your email to initiate the text message to : email@example.com
Finally, our email address for the next few months is : firstname.lastname@example.org
For an exact location update, originated from the satellite phone, use this link :
The Wine List
|Ley, In Bread Making Mode Last Week (Photo : Jan Pitt)|
On a more important note, we always have a wine list ... but usually its on paper, or in our iPad notes. This time, its a decent list to port, as Crystal Blues shows her discomfort at the amount of stores we have packed on board.
Unfortunately, all the good storage on board is on the port side - and Ley has diligently filled it all. And some.
Whilst the wine is no doubt a strong contributor, the 48kg of bread flour, the case of gin and then hundreds of cans, packets and bottle of edible goodies have made their own contribution.
We're provisioning for several months of travel, from here to La Reunion, so the list is significant.
Ley has done a great job preparing all that we need, plus all those little extras that make the voyage more enjoyable.
The Music List
A great fraternity of cruising musicians who have enriched our lives. Jam sessions every night at SY69 and a performance every Friday at the Beach Bar. Damn it is very hard to leave. Thanks guys, I promise to practice even more.
With luck we'll sail from here on Monday, heading for Trincomalee in Sri Lanka. From there we'll move on south to the Maldives, Chagos, La Reunion, Madagascar and (finally) South Africa in November. Several thousand miles of sailing.
My father says that the boats are always stronger than the people, and I know he is absolutely right. I spoke to him tonight and he disputed my assertion that its all about planning and preparation - he's convinced that luck plays a part in every voyage, and he wished us lots. In her 25th year, Crystal Blues is stronger than ever, so she's ready. And we're feeling lucky !
We're looking at weather forecasts, thinking about sail handling and looking forward to foreign shores. What visas do we need, what about permits, ships agents, so many details to manage. Right now the forecasts are for light winds, as we're leaving late in the season. A six day passage in January will probably now be a 10 day passage late in February. Never mind, the world is ahead of us again .....