Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ao Po Grand Marina - 08° 04' 08" N 98° 26' 43" E

The SW Monsoon is yet to blow itself through.  Wet, wet, wet!  And when the sun comes out, it is hot, hot hot.  We are in at Ao Po Grand Marina getting the water maker repaired, picking up the Canadian crew, completing lots of small maintenance jobs and doing final provisioning.

A run up the mast, heads-down into lots of hot, confined spaces, new sails put up then taken down again, pounds lost by the litre...

Craig has left us, unsupervised, in charge of his yacht.  And so our adventure truly begins.

Looking down from the top of the mast

Hanging out with the cool kids - yes, we are almost 50 feet long!

Tropical downpour - at least the deck is clean!

Enjoying Thai culture to the max

Friday, October 21, 2016

Krabi Boat Lagoon - 08° 00' 25" N 98° 57' 41" E

SY Popeye 1 - with a very trusting owner...
So, this beautiful 47 foot tub of plastic is to be our home for the next 10 months across two hemispheres, two continents and five countries.  Or perhaps I should be more nautical - over six seas (Andaman, South China, Java, Banda, Arafura and the Coral) and through two straits (Malacca and Torres) - a distance of just under 4000 nautical miles (7235 km).  Three cabins, two heads, a watermaker, 50 pounds of propane, 430 litres of diesel for our backup mode of propulsion (an 85 hp diesel 'iron sail') - what more could one want?

The first stage is race deliveries.  We are again racing the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi in Malaysia starting on 18 November.  Our first task is to deliver Popeye from Phuket, all prepped and ready, in time for the Regatta.  We are also members of the race crew!  Following the Raja Muda, Popeye needs to be delivered to Kata Beach of the SW end of Phuket to race The Kings Cup.  This is a charter so she needs to be completely stripped down and lightened up.  We will support the charter on behalf of Craig.

A very rough preliminary route (not to be used for navigation purposes!)

Then the fun begins!  Cruising around southern Thailand until sometime in February when we will prepare Popeye and turn her south-east bound for Australia.  We anticipate checking into Australia at Thursday Island in the Torres Strait sometime early July then bringing her down the coast to The Whitsunday Islands in time for Airlie Beach Race week in August.

Phew!  I am unsure who is the craziest - us for attempting this voyage or Craig for letting us undertake it on his yacht!

100 serves of Garn's curry!

Total indoor living space for the next ten months

... and our bed, too.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Singapore - 01° 15' 52" N 103° 48' 50" E

Marina Bay from Level 33 Brewery
Last time I was in Singapore was in the late 1990s.  My memories are of a grimier, busier, dirtier Asian city.  Today, it is stunning and green and clean and quiet.  The country is now 11% larger than it was back then with amazing developments and parklands on land that did not exist 20 years ago.

Staying at Marina at Keppel Bay with Julie and Mark provided accommodation, tour guides and activity directors - the full package!  With Mark off at work and Sean delayed in Calgary, Julie set off to show me Singapore.

We leapt up a the crack of dawn to go walking with her walking group.  A wonderful gaggle of expat wives from all over with great stories and tales of adventures had to be told.  Always the expat, never the wife, it was great fun to have a taste of the other side.  We drank beers from the brewery on the 33rd floor overlooking Marina Bay, explored Chinatown, fancy shopping malls and passed a few hours in the Singapore City Gallery.  The story of Singapore over the last 50 years is quite amazing.  The urban planning is both horizontal and vertical.  Depths are prescribed for rail, cars, utilities and deep, deep down, Singapore stores its oil and gas in caverns so they can reduce the footprint of tank farms.

We will not wait another 20 years before we visit this amazing city again.

Mark eats a cow
Marina at Keppel Bay
The public art is fabulous

The walking group sipping champers on 'The Front Porch' of Kokomo