Thursday, January 17, 2019

Invaders of all types

Mark with an 'Elephant Parade' elephant at the Boat Show
The other day, we came back to the boat after walking several miles in our new hiking boots (we're planning to do the Everest Base Camp hike in a few months and need to break them in; yes, we look ridiculous walking around the Tropics in thick socks and boots).

The stated goal on these hikes is to find a 7-Eleven that has Slurpees. This is the carrot we use to get the kids off the boat and walking thru the blazing mid-day sun.  There are a crazy number of 7-Elevens around Phuket but very few have the frozen concoctions of sweet icy goodness, poor nutrition, and low price. I just found out that apparently there is an app for this. Even if we don't find a Slurpee, we usually find a 7-11 Cafe that has frappes. This is what motivates us boat people that have been in third-world countries for awhile.

On this particular walk, we had our frappes and came back to the boat hot and tired. As we approached the boat, we noticed that an entire family had made themselves comfortable on our back transoms (including putting down our swim ladder) and that one of the kids was actually climbing past the closed gates, up on the decks, and jumping off. They smiled happily and seemed oblivious to our concerned faces. When we said, 'This is our home,' they apologized in their Eastern European accented English but made no move to leave until we asked them to. It's hard for me to understand how an adult would think it was okay to clamber aboard a boat without an invitation, even if it weren't our home. I do understand that not everyone thinks the same way, but sometimes I will still hold it against them. That's what happens when you get old.

Prior to our walk, we 'bug-bombed' the boat to eradicate the occasional roach that had somehow made their way on board (even if you only see a few, you need to act quickly). Except that we didn't have any of those nifty bottles that start fogging after you push the button so you can escape the fumes. We haven't been able to find any in Indonesia or Thailand and The Internet suggests that it isn't a thing here. All the spray insecticides we have found require you to continuously push the button down while (supposedly) aiming at the critter you want to kill.  Since we intended to use several cans of the stuff, the toxic fumes would surround you pretty thoroughly by the time you got done. So the always-resourceful Matt donned his SCUBA mask (for eye-protection) and the long regulator hose that he uses to clean the bottom of the boat (for lung protection) while emptying 3 cans of bug spray into our boat. We won't think too much about how much got absorbed into his skin, especially all the small cuts on his hands from the tiny but sharp-as-razors barnacles on the boat bottom that he was scraping away the day before. So hopefully this works.

Our whisker pole

Matt also got around to taking apart the whisker pole we broke on our sail from Darwin to Kupang. He was able to fix part of it (after breaking our rivet gun and borrowing one from our friends on Irie) and will need a couple replacement parts to finish the job. Even in a place like Phuket, where there are lots of supplies and services for yachties, things are hardly ever simple. We'll have to order the parts (and get a new rivet gun because the local hardware store was out) down the line.

We have been ticking off boat projects and hanging out while we wait for my brother Joe and his family to arrive. Southeast Asia has been a boon for family time, which has been fabulous for us.


  1. Reminds me of the time I caught an Irish guy paddling around in our dinghy while his mates watched. Instead of busting a gasket I chucked him the rowlocks and said try rowing. The guy was bloody useless and after a bit of heckling from me and his mates sheepishly paddled back to shore.


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