Saturday, October 25, 2008

Koh Nakha Yai

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Koh Nakha Yai

Looking at this scene you'd hardly imagine the rain squall which came through an hour before. Koh Nakha Yai is on the east side of Phuket Island. There is a resort here and another place on the beach with a big sign which says "cold beer". Obviously it is aimed at tourists on boats.

Here is your Thai lesson for the day: Koh means Island, Nakha is the Island's name, and Yai means "north". If there is a Yai then you can expect another island with the same name with a Noi just to the south. Sure enough, around this point you can see Koh Nakha Noi 1/2 mile to the south.

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Colorfull bags

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New Bags of Sails

On deck ready to fly, new 1A big assymetrical kite in the yellow bag, 3A, smaller, heavy weather assymetrical in a new red bag (this is the used sail we bought in Singapore for $60, great deal), 2S the new 3/4 ounce symmetrical kite in the blue bag. Under it all is the #3 jib in the blue and yellow sausage bag.

I know Andy will be teasing me as soon as he hears me start talking about the sails by the color of the bags. He thinks we're a bunch of duffers who use colors because we can't remember the proper names. But Andy will get old too.

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Mainsail

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Dacron Main

With the battens still in we keep the mainsail down below flaked up and tied with a couple of yellow sail ties when we are not sailing. To go sailing we must take this up the bow hatch, back to the cockpit, and bend it onto the boom. We reverse the process when we get back to the dock, folding it on deck, lashing it tight and snaking it back down below.

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Code 1A

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1A

Not as big as a code zero, our new code 1 assymmetrical spinnaker is still big enough. We had our challenges trying to get the jibes down smoothly but after a while we got it right a few times.

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Signs of a Wet Sail Yesterday

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Drying Out

We got wet yesterday but after hanging our clothes out all night they're ready to go today.

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Code 2S

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New 3/4 Symmetrical Kite, code 2S

After weighing on Saturday morning we put up the main and headed downwind intending to try out the third new sail, a code 2S 3/4 oz symmetrical spinnaker. While I was forward hooking up the kite Judy yelled, "How much wind can this sail take?".

I knew this meant trouble ahead.

I answered, "What is it blowin'?"

"Fourteen point five".

"Well, I wouldn't put it up in over 20 and I'll take it down if the wind goes over 25."

Some bravado in that answer but truth too. Anyhow, we set the kite and were roaring downwind in 20 knots towards Ko Sup and I intended to jibe and go around but we just ran out of room. With an island to leeward and the wind building we decided to take the kite down instead of attempting a jibe we weren't ready for and risk damage to the new sail.

Good thing too because we had our hands full at the mark: Get the kite below, get the three rigged, jibe around the mark, and by then we knew we needed a reef, so put the reef in, and about that time the hydraulics blew out and we had oil all over the aft cockpit well and leaking into the cockpit.

But we did the rounding (bareheaded) and then put up the #4 jib. I got the hydraulic oil cleaned up and we settled in for the beat.

This is work!

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My Favorite Mark

wingssail image-judy jensen
Koh Sup

Even through we've only actully gone around these tall rocks known as Koh Sup one time, they they are my favorite turning mark.

Today it's a leeward mark and we now start the beat back.

Notice the calm water? Koh Sup has quite a wind shadow. In another 100 yards we'll be back into the strong wind.

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Put the #3 Below

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Fred on Bow

I wanted to try the #3 again today and we had it on deck in the bag however with the wind getting into the 20's and some waves building I decided to put it below deck.

Here you see the bag snaking down the hatch and the tack being unhooked.

Going forward to set the #4 and put the #3 down got me soaked. At least the water was warm.

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Upwind

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Wet but happy

After my wet trip to the foredeck we begin the 10 mile beat to Leam Khat. Judy gives up the helm and I settle down to a pleasant bit of sailing. I'm wet from heat to toe but not cold.

Wings feels good in 20 knots with a #4 and reefed main.

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Anchoring

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Judy

The anchoring routine in Wings: As we reach the location we have chosen to anchor we shift to neutral and coast upwind. Judy goes forward and waits for my signal. When the boat comes to a stop I signal to her to drop the anchor and when I hear it going down I shift into reverse, helping to pay out the chain in a straight line downwind from the anchor. As the preselected amount of chain is reached Judy stops lowing chain and signals me to back down harder, and I increase the rev's in reverse. When the chain is taught Judy feels it with her toe for any indication of dragging and she signals me for more rev's. Now I put on lots of power and we give the anchor a big pull while she monitors the chain. I also watch boats or landmarks around us to see if we are moving. When we are both satisfied Judy gives me the signal to cut the power and we are finished.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Avon, Inflated, Goes Overboard

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Launching

We inflate the dingy on deck and simply push it over the side. This is possible because our Avon is a fully inflateable dingy, including the floor, so it is light-weight and easily handled. This is a big benefit to us, but the real reason we have this type of dingy is that it, when deflated, rolls up completely into a small bundle which we can keep below decks when we go to sea.

Most cruisers these days opt for a rigid inflateable boat (RIB) which has a solid fibreglass bottom. These are better boats, meaning that they handle better and are more rugged, but they cannot be dissassemled like our soft dingy. If you own a rigid inflateable you have to keep it on deck, where it is in the way and also exposed to seas which might sweep over your boat in heavy weather, or worse, hanging on davits of the stern.

We strongly believe that our approach is represents better seamanship.

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Yacht Haven Survey

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Annotated chart shows results of our survey

Dingy Ride in Phuket to take Soundings

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video

Didn't go sailing but at least we got out on the water.

Bangkok Crowd

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On the street during Vegetarian Festival

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

No Protest on This Street

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video

There have been weeks of protests and violence in Bangkok and on the TV and people have been injured, even some lives lost, but we haven't seen any of it. I think that no place in Bangkok other than the area around the Parliament Building has had any disruption.

A major festival, the Vegetarian Festival, has been going on at the same time and drawing bigger crowds. On the last night of the festival we came across this street scene. At 11:00PM the crowds were arriving and there was music and food and many small alters and other Buddhist displays. It looked like a street fair and we could hear the music and drums on into the morning, but by daylight it was all gone and the street was completely clean.

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