After a great three week break in Brisbane we arrived back in Phuket with a little trepidation as when we went to fly out of Thailand we had been prevented from leaving.
Would they let us in again without a drama? Would we get the bond back that we had to pay Immigration before being allowed out of the country? And most importantly would our boat be OK?
Fortunately all went well when we arrived. As a precaution we had organised a multiple re-entry visa for both of us while we were in Australia which we hope will be an advantage in the future.
We arrived back on Bali Hai feeling great but very soon, our high spirits were deflated when we discovered that the power had inadvertently been switched off by someone and our freezer and fridge had defrosted.
To add insult to injury some cans of coke that we had purchased in Langkawi had leaked and an interesting and extremely revolting slick of brown mould covered the bottom of the fridge.
We cleaned up the mess, threw away the rotting food (fortunately the food in the freezer was still cool so not too smelly) and after a reviving sleep we cracked a bottle of bubbles to celebrate our return.
One person we did not drink to was the “reliable” local boat captain who we had paid to keep an eye on the boat. He had assured us that he would check everything every couple of days but obviously didn’t – otherwise he would have heard the low-battery alarm that was still just about going when we arrived back. In fact there has been no sign of him at all since we returned!
The following day we hired a motor bike and went back to the Immigration office in Phuket town. The officers were all very helpful but it took between an hour and an hour and a half to get the cheque organised. There was only one bank that it could be cashed at but once found, there were no dramas with getting the cash back.
Apart from the power being cut off, the other bad news was that none of the work we had organised to be done while we were away had been completed. In some cases it hadn’t even been started! We had half expected that some of the work would need finishing up after we arrived back but everything seemed so on track when we left…….Can’t say we weren’t told!
Twelve days after we returned we finally had a new goose neck fitted, a new topping lift fitted, a new sheave in one of the reefing lines, our rigging checked, a completely refurbished anchor winch and a new, more powerful regulator and “smart” alternator installed.
The bills came in a little cheaper than Australia but maybe not as cheap as you might expect in the light of the much cheaper labour.
Plus you have to factor in the extra time we had to spend in the marina while the work was completed. Not to mention the frustration of not being on the water – I’m not a great fan of marinas at the best of times!