We are back in Krabi Boat Lagoon for two weeks. Popeye is out of the
water and undergoing some maintenance prior to our heading SE....
|Popeye being lifted out|
|Popeye on the travel lift (don't drop her!)|
We have a list of jobs to be done. Some are regular
maintenance such as anti-fouling and changing the anodes. Others are
improvements such as the installation of a bimini. Some are repairs
such as the replacement of all the thru-hull seacocks. And some are due to Popeye
heading to Australia such as cleaning out the storeroom.
|The towering Popeye|
to her deep draft (2.85m), Popeye's deck towers five metres above the
hardstand. Her mast is by far the tallest. A special set of extra tall
stairs has had to be made.
|Engineering drawings - nothing on the back of a napkin here!|
We have rented a studio apartment for the time Popeye
is out of the water. The lure of air-conditioning, endless hot water
and unlimited power with a lagoon view was irresistible considering the
alternative - living aboard Popeye, all the while sitting on the hot, baking hardstand
without power and water. Having the condo has allowed us to get all
sorts of things washed, sorted, dried, charged, packed and chilled.
|Our condo - shared with lots of 'boat bits'|
It has not been all work! We caught up with Sheri
and Henri (friends from Calgary who have a habit of stalking us across
the world) for a couple of evenings in Ao Nang in between their high
energy tours of cycling and kayaking. We met many of the other boat
owners in the Lagoon. Including a video games designer living in
Shanghai with the interesting name of American McGee. His mum was a bit
of a hippie is his reasoning for his name! Armed with a drone, he made
a video promoting Garn's restaurant. Click here
|Buckets of rum and coke,|
but definitely not drunk...
Sean has been missing the BBQ. One evening he
attached it to the rail outside the condo to cook our dinner. Just as
the charcoal was perfect, the skies opened and rain began to pour down. Then Garn offered up
her gas range! No longer having to attach the BBQ, lighting the coals,
hoping it doesn't rain, Sean just nips next door and returns with
beautifully charred feasts of fish, pork kebabs and chicken satays.
(and Garn gets her staff to wash up - things are pretty perfect!)
|Sean cooking dinner in Garn's kitchen|
name of Popeye Boat (as she is called here to distinguish her from
Popeye Marine) came about when Craig (the actual owner of Popeye - for
those who thought we did!) was searching for an improvement on Sailplane
, the name of the yacht he had just bought. Since Popeye Marine was carrying out the refurb, he landed on Popeye
Popeye is a great radio name ('this is Popeye' - Papa Oscar Papa Echo
Yankee Echo), easily pronounced in most languages and the cartoon
character is well recognized. We often hear the locals humming Popeye the Sailor Man
when they see us.
team from Popeye Marine has been fabulous. Des has regaled us with his
stories of his six-year circumnavigation, his years spent on tugs off
British Columbia and his time in the Arctic. He published a book by 26, met Farley
Mowat (a legendary Canadian author) and Pierre Trudeau (the Canadian
Prime Minister at the time and father of the current one).
|An extract from Des' book, World Wanderer.... and it had a 'bucket and chuck it' head! |
Sombat is our superb marine electrician.
We nicknamed him 'Cup, Cup'. Cup in Thai means 'okay'. In all our
conversations with him, he would nod and say 'Cup, cup, cup '. His
company is Yacht Electrical Services, or YES. A perfect name! And,
unlike many 'yeses', Sombat's yeses yield results.
and Lek head up Popeye Engineering. They manufactured the Bimini frame,
fixed the leak in the propeller shaft, installed a manual bilge pump
and replaced all the seacocks. Wit can manufacture any kind of
thingamabob from any kind of whatchamacallit that is required. Both are
always happy, always smiling and also get things done.
flops (or thongs for the Aussies - Canadians, wipe away that smirk) are
the safety boot of choice. At the bottom of the stairs towering up to
Popeye, there is always a collection of footwear. Thai custom is to
take your shoes off before you go indoors, or onto yachts. We find the
deck gets so hot, we have to wear shoes. But not the locals - they are
|Popeye Engineering Shop|
|Outside Popeye Engineering|
|KBL Hardstand - see why we opted for the condo!|
In the photo below, you will see Lek
wearing what looks like a balaclava. This is very common to ward off
sunburn. There have been incidences where 'balaclava'-clad fishermen
have approached yachts (to say g'day and sell fish) and the yachties
have been terrified that they were being attacked by pirates, reacted
poorly and things went sideways. Understanding the local culture is
always a great advantage.
|Wit (in plaid) and Lek (masked!) |
measuring up for the Bimini
|Remarking the anchor chain|
|Loading sails from the storage locker|
With air-conditioning in the condo and a swimming pool. life has not been all suffering whilst Popeye was on the hard. The pool did turn a rather disconcerting shade of green for several days but with a top up and a good dose of chlorine, it was soon sparkling again.
|The view from the condo|
|Fixing the dinghy|
|A load of sails from the storage locker|
This region of Krabi is quite Muslim. The adhan or
Muslim call to prayer, rings out over the lagoon five times a day. It
is wonderfully melodic and exotic. There are also many Buddists here.
This is evident in the frequent shrines with offerings such as flowers,
purified water, food and incense. Garlands of flowers or ribbons,
usually in yellows and whites, are hung from the bow of a boat or a car
mirror asking for safe travels.
Out of laziness, we
tend to shop mostly in the supermarkets but the local markets are
superb. Here are some photos from the market at Khlong Khamot - on the
way to KBL from the airport.
|Wonderful, 'prepackaged' curry vegetables|
|Fish, and oh so hygienic|
|Not just fresh, but fabulous colours too!|
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