Thursday 17th February 2001 Local Time 1301
Since my inbox is now full up of complaints
requesting some blog updates it seems that in more ways than one I have made a
rod for my own back.
My week at sea cruising Ao Phang Nga went very
well but there was no wind for the first few days so we gently motored around
from anchorage to anchorage visiting various hongs, beaches and swim
Monday night, valentines night, we spent anchored
off a beach in Koh Yao Noi that had a very nice resort on it where I made my
first and very tricky dingy trip ashore. It was fine though the rickety pontoon
we landed on was like a giant wobble board which works well for rebuilding knees
but the physio did not mention it for the back. Anyway we had a fine meal there,
though the wind picked up strongly half way through and that changed
everything with the dingy trip back to the boat. I travelled with my
backside off the seat supported by my both hands and had to time my leap
for the transom at the first opportunity.
The next day we headed off to a little hong (like
from the movie The Beach) but without the throngs of visitors and we had a
wee breakfast on the beach there.
At night we moved south to another stunning
anchorage before on Wednesday morning waking up to a wee bit of wind. About 15
So since my back had now had two weeks to get
its act together we sailed off on a 35 mile sail round the south end
of Koh Yao Yai. (remember Koh means Island and Noi means small -
Yai means big)
Despite protests of concern from the crew ( it was
off the wind - not a beat)
we, sorry I, furled everything out. However
not after diagnosing from my safety seat that we had a broken drive belt
on the genoa furler. As the jib was off at the sailmakers getting it's head seen
to, we needed the genny so I was then able to talk David through a repair and
replacement of the drive belt.
Helming the big girl just off the breeze brought a
broad smile to David's face and in fact we ran up to 9.5 knots. We took it
easy on account of the lightweight with the dodgy back.
I know what you are thinking but honestly the sea
was flat and I was completely comfortable. In fact the possitive effect on my
already dangerously high moral was enough to confirm that my decision to quit
the painkillers that day was right.
The fun could only last so long and the wind died
off to almost nothing and headed us after thirty five glorious miles in four
hours. On with the engine for the last couple of miles but phut phut .....
No problem, all in a days work. The very next day
we had (we thought) booked a service for the Yanmar. I turned the boat aound and
set all sail to sail into a shallow anchorage at one point hitting the low speed
of 0.5 knots creeping over the shoals.
So guiding David by "remote" control again I
diagnosed the problem as clogged (overdue for change - due to have been supplied
the wrong one originally, but which I had now received - fuel
filter). David in the 40+ degrees of heat in the engine room carried out the
procedure perfectly but not before we had anchored for the night.
This is all quite normal except that normally I
could put my own back into it and of course normally there is not an anchorage
to look forward to but a long night of little or no sleep so it could all be
done again the following day. So pretty chillaxing actually.
Freed from gagging by painkillers my back sent out
the message this morning after coming back into the marina and taking fuel and
berthing that it needed a bit of horizontal therapy and that in fact it was
missing its old friend, morphine.
Not one to disappoint I am conceding and will send
it some message subduing chemicals. Honestly I feel like such a
Now -STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!
Before any single one of you send me an e-mail to
relax and take it easy and give it time and it's only been two weeks etc I
would like to ask you this sincere favour.
I will do all of the above if you take
the time you were going to spend writing me a note of concern and write to
your local council leaders, politicians and quangocrats (copy the one
letter a couple of hundred times each because honestly there are thousands of
them) and ask each one of them if they are leading by example and have
taken a cut in salary or benefits in the drive to cut back public expenditure or
are they quite content that all the lower paid hard workers on the ground have
to shoulder the burden of the public spending cuts and we have to suffer
reduction of (some essential - but certainly not all) services. I bet none of
them have and its a bloody outrage.
If any of you get a positive answer from any of the
above let me know and I promise I will lie horizontally for 24 hours for each
positive response I recieve. However secure
in the knowledge that despite your impending efforts in sending thousands of
letters I will schedule a busy recuperative week of activities for next