Off to Kochi......

Off to Kochi (or Cochin), India.......
 
 
 
To Kochi
 
Today we head off toward Kochi about 640 miles, six to seven days away. We have to go about the south of Sri Lanka as the top, Palk Strait is too shallow, nasty currents and breaking reefs. Bear took a look at it on Google Earth and that was that. He also read of a boat nearly being lost, no point for a hundred miles or so.
 
Since we got back from our road trip Bear has changed Beez oil and filter, I have pottered about making lists and trying to catch up with a few blogs, admin and banking etc. Email from agent boss in Galle:
Ref. telecom had with port control we understand your good yacht arrived port of Trincomalee on 27th February 2019, therefore you can stay until 28th March, if your stay exceed after 28th March port control will charges USD 100 for considering another additional month of staying in port of Trincomalee, therefor we need to charges additional month stay charges USD 100 for attendance fee.
If you're interest to stay another month, please let us know, if not, your good yacht need to sail on 28th March at daylight hours from port of Trincomalee.
Please advise.
Did I miss the pleasantries “hope you have had a nice time in our country”, no, there’s the door leave. The annoying thing is our Visa says the 29th. OK no big deal to go a day earlier but we could have been on a road trip...... This is the first time that Port Control has bested Immigration in our experience.........and the word considering........as far as we know the only way to get a Visa extension is a with a trip to Colombo....
As it happens we had already arranged with our local numpty to check out and leave on the 28th. His message said “Once you have checked out you are no longer allowed to go ashore and must leave in daylight hours”.........once again there’s the door.....
 
 
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Tuesday 26th March. If no relevant picture add a sunset.........both at respective jobs when we have a lovely surprise, Peter and Donna are FB friends as sailors going in the same direction and have shared bits of information but never met. Today they popped over and we settled in the cockpit over a cappo and chatted. They have decided to stay an extra month as their daughter is visiting in a couple of weeks. Sadly, we leave the day after Cec and Martin (Bear’s sister and husband) land in Colombo, such bad luck to miss this smashing couple, but neither of us knew dates when we last saw them.
Once our guests had left I try to send an email, but have run out of data. Bear drops everything, nips ashore – what a sweetie. In return I know he was going below to scrape off the small forest growing on the rudder gaps, sacrificial strip and the few determined barnacles who don’t care about the sonic bleeps. I don snorkel and trusty flappers and in I go. Up and down, up and down the length of the girl with a soft sponge (antifouling paint way to expensive for any scrubbing) and then I set about the bowthruster. A small vegetable patch of greenery on the turny bit and each blade has to be finger rubbed, only small barnacles but incredibly sharp and soon my fingers would have attracted big predators, thankfully none of those here. Bear came back and joined me in the water, as warm as a tepid bath. He goes down to clean the log transducer as I set about the rudder. Together we attack the propeller. A couple of hours and we both peel off the string attaching us to our respective scrapers and I declare no laundry or washing up as my thumb and middle finger are throbbing, sore and a bit ragged. I did preserve my index finger being the most important of my digits. My left flapper is in a bad way with the top virtually off the bottom, so many years of faithful service, I’ll buy you a new pair for your birthday as soon as we can. Thank you
 
Wednesday 27th March. You just know some mornings when you wake up you should turn over, pull the blinds and stay put...............
Well this morning I sat up and typed to be out of the way as Bear pulled back the bedroom carpet all the way toward the front by his tool shed and knelt to the task of cleaning the log sensor. He found our new forward facing sonar had simply vanished, left home, 'gone' and growth indicated that it fell off some little while ago........which means breathing in today cost about £1200.
Then after a good wash Bear went to refit said sensor (gives us speed through the water) and WHOOoooosh. The technical term is ingress of water, I would just say a small wave shot across my bedroom floor and the fountain part hit Bear. It was all over his face, dripping gaily off his nose as swear words left his lips. I managed Oh My as I saw how much had lapped up under and onto my ‘new’ carpet. I say new to both carpet and forward facing sonar as they were part of our recent refit. A roll and a half of kitchen paper as Bear danced up and down with it under his feet and did a stage exuant left and skulked to the kitchen sink.
Earlier Bear had switched water tanks, ran the water for a while and judged all was fit for purpose. I turned the tap on and EXPLosion. Water hit my face passed through my hair and hit the ceiling, all over the cooker, sink and floor.
 
 
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That was it. Today was firmly cancelled. Into the cockpit backgammon under one arm and a very stiff sherbet under the other, then Mex Train Doms, Rummikub and Sequence, before going for an early, final date night at The Dutch Bank Cafe and then to the supermarket. That was a giggle, we came out from our meal (Bear had seafood stew, I had sweet and sour chicken) and surprise, surprise there were two tuktuk men lurking with intent. Our only other trip to Food City was one hundred and fifty Rupees. “350” the affable chap said, I told him my price and he began with the usual excuses, off I walked. “But the supermarket closed at four unless you want to go to Food City”. Is that not a supermarket.......... “You want to come back I wait you pay 300 both ways” in we got. I have no doubt the experiences we have had here are a very small apprenticeship to what we face in India but........... Back on Beez, unpacked and Bear crashed out exhausted.
 
 
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This morning, check out day. I leapt up to cook a carbonara for two or three days of supper for Bear. An easy rationing amount as sometimes the skipper only wants a snack on his first day at sea. Spaghetti tick, onions and bacon tick, tin of mushrooms – this is going well, perhaps suspiciously too well. Then I open a tin of carbonara sauce – Oh it looks like tomato sauce, clearly my lack of Malaysian has done me proud. I rummage in a store bin and come out with two packets of carbonara powder mix and do my best to follow the instructions - all I can say is my culinary achievement is now a ‘pretty pink’. Next, fourteen little hard boiled eggs and with only one egg event. This chap thinks he’s a clam, squeeze him and he leaks.
 
 
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Oooo, I lift the toilet lid and find a chap doing breaststroke around the pan, he rested with his head out of the water, not sure who was most surprised – him or me. I slooshed him out and he must have had the best fun of his life akin to riding the log flume at an adventure park. Other prep thankfully went without drama and we are ready to nip ashore by a quarter past nine to gather two loaves, ten eggs, six green bananas and four Cokes, really to use up our last Rupees. At ten we sit and wait for our GAC Agent, I am hoping not to have any dealings with Port Control and as little as possible with our junior agent............ We are messaged, “I am in Galle, I send my colleague”. He arrives at twenty past ten with no knowledge of us, boat name, or even when we want to leave and says “three hours needed to clear”. We have jobs to do, I firmly tell him and that two Passport stamps and a bit of paper from ‘him who must be obeyed’ should take ten minutes, we leave him to it saying we will be back in two hours........
Message to go ashore at ten past one, we arrive to much waiting but all done and dusted by two, Bear’s Passport exit stamp nowhere near his entry....... Sadly the first and last faces of any country are the officials...... One yacht is stuck outside as ‘they’ are saying incomplete paperwork sent........
Just Baby Beez to stow and all ready to leave by three thirty.
 
 
 
ALL IN ALL AS A FRIEND SAID ON FB RECENTLY, IT’S NOT ALL PALM TREES AND BEACHES
                     A BUMPY ROAD BUT SOME GOOD GAMES