Saturday, December 1, 2018

What do you do all day?

Matt working on the high-pressure pump for our water maker

'What do you do all day?' is one of the most common questions we get, along with 'What do you eat?' People either have a hard time imagining our daily lives or they just envision us laying on the beach and sipping umbrella drinks.

For better or worse, our days tend to have a lot of variety. 'Fixing the boat in exotic places' is a hackneyed but very true summation of a lot of our time.

Since leaving Indonesia 5 days ago now, this is how we have spent our time so far:
  • On the day we left, we had a bit of a delay as Matt replaced a broken hinge on the center hatch for the saloon.
  • Just getting here. With a current against us most of the way and a headwind much of the time, we averaged roughly 4 miles an hour to go 220 nautical miles.  It took us about 48 hours--you could almost walk faster.
  • School and regular household chores, including washing laundry in a bucket and defrosting the fridge
  • Figuring out the local lay of the land and where to leave the dinghy
  • Taking out local money from the ATM and learning a new currency conversion (about 32 Thai Baht to 1 US dollar, at this time)
  • Negotiating a taxi ride into the main town (after researching the normal rates)
  • Checking in with the Port Captain, Immigration, Customs and Quarantine. Easy peasy compared to Indonesia
  • Walking around Phuket Town and Chalong (verdict: we love Thai food; there are very few sidewalks and lots of traffic)
  • Buying a new SIM card for Thailand (unlimited data for $14 US and sites like Netflix and Reddit are accessible--unlike in Indonesia)
  • Fixing a loose hinge on a cabinet (doesn't seem like much, but that one has been rattling around for a couple of weeks and was always a lower priority than some other needed fix)
  • Troubleshooting and fixing the stop solenoid for one of our engines (it stops the engine). It started working again after taking it apart and putting it back together again--not sure way.
  • Removing and taking apart the motor for our high pressure pump for our water maker (turns out that whoever installed it initially never attached the green grounding wire--great support from the Cruise RO staff). Issues like this typically span several days as you exchange emails with the experts on what could be the issue.  Of course, they are nearly12 hours behind the local time, so you get to only exchange an email or two a day before it gets too late either here or back in North America
  • Making pizza from scratch and a birthday cake for Mark's birthday
  • Walking around Nai Harn Beach and to the windmill lookout trying to get some exercise so the kids don't self-implode with excess energy. Walks are usually done in the middle of the day when it's a million degrees.
  • Spending several hours trying to figure out the risks of driving a car in Thailand without an International Drivers Permit (you can probably rent a car without one but risk getting fined by local police and having problems with insurance if you get in an accident)
  • Trying to figure out all the places we need to visit for our various boat issues and how to get there (e.g. having the Mastervolt charger for our battery bank looked at, getting our Highfield dinghy replaced under warranty, having our high-pressure pump looked at)
  • Grocery shopping (there are 7-11s and local produce stands in Nai Harn Bay but no real grocery stores within walking distance of our anchorage; Phuket Town has lots of stores but they are pretty spread out)
  • Troubleshooting the low flow of our water-cooled fridge by clearing the through hull from outside (did not work; will need to clear filter and possibly hoses from the inside)
Are your eyes crossing from reading about the minutia of our days yet? I know, I lost you at 'laundry in a bucket'.

On the positive side, Nai Harn Bay is picturesque and a great spot for people watching. Plus it is always entertaining to be around charter boats ('drive it like it's a rental'). And we've had some time for fun stuff too: Yesterday, I took the boys on the paddle board to the beach and they spent hours entertaining themselves among the tourists, playing in the sand and surf. Now if I can only get my hands on one of those umbrella drinks...


  1. Love following your adventures! It is our Sunday highlight at Cafe Roma in Berkeley with Fran and
    Vince. Be sure to post photos with Marisa who is soon on her way.

    1. Thanks, Burl! Say hi to Fran and Vince for us. Pics of Marisa's trip coming soon!


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