Living on a boat helps you develop important life skills – resilience, flexibility, tolerance, patience, compromise and a sense of humour when things go wrong.
And go wrong they will – It’s the way of boats, no sooner you have fixed something and another thing goes wrong!
We had decided to do a shake down to Ao Chalong, a few hours south of Boat Lagoon Marina on Phuket. We had a number of pieces of work done and we wanted to check everything out before going further afield.
After one unscheduled stop when we required kerbside assistance (see my previous post) we had a good trip to Ao Chalong and even managed to sail for some of the time.
Everything new held together fine but when we put the water maker on to run it (we hadn’t made water for ages having been stuck in marinas for too long) we discovered that the low pressure pump had stopped working.
Undaunted, Capt’n Birdseye hired a motorbike and drove from Ao Chalong back to Boat Lagoon Marina to see if could buy a new pump.
Unfortunately it was one of the very few things that AME marine didn’t have in stock. However, instead of just ordering in a new one, Mr Wiwat said that one of his team would strip the old one down and recondition it.
It’s always good to visit Ao Chalong and there are several things we enjoy including a meal and a delicious mango shake in the Anchor in Sunrise Street. However, as our daughter was due to fly in from India in a couple of days time, we had to hightail it to Yacht Lagoon Marina to be close to the Airport (20 minutes in a car if that).
The trip up to the northern tip of Phuket was uneventful- we saw a number of huge cruise ships and one very large motor yacht “Equanimity” which at 91.5 metres is the world’s 50th largest yacht.
Coming into Yacht Haven we were reminded once again that when sailing you must always be vigilant. The last remains of a boat on top of a nasty rock lurking at the water’s surface, tells a sad tale and is a constant reminder that you can’t be too careful.
Yacht Haven is a quiet marina – haven is the correct description. It is beautifully kept but has no travel lifts or haul out facilities.
There are a number of traditional waterside restaurants that serve beers and excellent food at reasonable prices.
We only booked in for one night as our daughter was due to fly in early morning and we decided we would take off for Phang Nga Bay straight after breakfast.
But that night we received a distressed phone call from our daughter from Delhi Airport.
Unbelievably, just weeks after we had been stopped by Immigration authorities at Phuket Airport and not allowed to leave Thailand, she had experienced the identical situation in India.
It transpired that the school where she works hadn’t completed some necessary paperwork to “ratify” her work permit so she was not allowed to leave the country!
It was the night before the festival of Diwali. Like Christmas in many countries everything had closed down. It was so devastating as we were so looking forward to spending time with our daughter. And she was stranded at Delhi Airport in the early hours of the morning on her own.
What happened? Find out in my next blog entry.
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