They hauled the boat at the appointed hour, a good start, and again I was impressed by the skill of the yard workers. A diver donned a mask to inspect the slings. Once out of the water the product of cruising the tropics shown, great amounts of growth and barnacles. I figure I was burning an extra .5 to 1 gallon an hour to drag this forest about. The last painter only put on one coat and I foolishly agreed as I wanted back in the water so this time I had them put on three coats.
Always leery of boat yards and workers I was amazed when an army descended on the boat within an hour of hiring the painters. These guys were good and thorough. The removed the thruster props to make sure to paint in between them and did not miss a part of the boat. By Friday I had my three coats, the superstructure waxed and all new zincs.
I also took this opportunity to repair two other long term components; the freezer and the stern thruster. I had a series of good ol’ boys work on the freezer in Australia, three thousand bucks later and still no ice cream. So I was cautiously pleased to hear the plan of the Frigaboat dealer here. He is the first person to suggest thoroughly flushing the system before adding gas. The last stage of this job was delayed as the yard cut off the power until my good friend Robin offered his portable 220v generator. The job is done now and the jury out until I eat hard ice cream again but I am optimistic.
The Stern thruster was repaired at great expense in Australia and the coupling replaced. It lasted about a minute and I have not worried about it in over a year as I rarely use the thruster. Really wanting all systems functioning I got a guy to fix it, again at a good price and very fast. Check another thing off the list.
While here Anna leaped into cleaning mode and did a magnificent job of cleaning the interior and giving the Murphy’s Soap treatment. She also polished the stainless, got the carpets cleaned and packed the exterior cushions off the to canvas gal for repair. Boy I am going to miss her!
Not all was work and toil, this place has two wonderful swimming pools and tons of restaurants and coffee shops. We hit the pool every afternoon. Another benny here is we got to spend time with some old friends, Jim and Barb from Contrails, our German friends from Nuka Lufa and our very special South African friends Robin and Nadine. Living on the “hard” is never fun but the pools and facilities made this place a pretty good place to be.
Pricing in Thailand is a moving target. Imports suffer a huge import duty so supplies are expensive but labor is cheap, skilled and plentiful. The Thai way is to please and work hard, always smiling. It is rare and considered very bad to get angry or raise your voice. I did hear of one American who ranted and raved at the workers then could not understand why they did not show up the next day.
We could eat at the place the workers go for under two bucks a meal or double that by walking 100 meters to the resort. A latte cost more than a Thai meal here.
We are very eager to get back in the water tomorrow and head out for a week of diving before Anna takes her leave and heads off to teach children in Burma. We are expecting a new crew member tonight too—