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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sailing Into Hell, a Story from 2004

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Black Squall

As darkness came upon us we found ourselves sailing into the hell of a huge black squall. We knew it would be night when this monster hit us and in the darkness we would be blind, unable to see or prepare, or even just know when to say a prayer.

The anticipation was worse than the squall, but the squall was bad enough; hours of howling wind and rain and Wings driving through the night under reduced sail. We two lonely sailors waited for the worst to happen, not even knowing what the worst was, but thankfully it never did.

It was just another night at sea.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Bismark Sea, Jan. 19, 2004

We've just posted a story from that passage. Click here to read about our passage from Papua New Guinea to Palau.

Or just click here to see the photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket Thailand

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Monday, March 17, 2008

March 10, 2008-Back in Bangkok

wingssail image-judy jensen
Going to Work

Well, you’ve got to be careful what you ask for; you just might get it. I went looking for another job in Bangkok and I got it. We are back in Bangkok, back in the corporate world.

After a few interviews, a couple of trips to Singapore for some paperwork, and a lot of waiting, the job came through last Thursday and on Sunday we flew to Bangkok.

Monday morning I put on my suit and went off to work. My new job is with IBM at another big Thailand bank. The project is huge and I just have one small part, but still, it seems like a challenge. Am I up for it? We’ll have to see. So far I like it just fine.

This is a two year project and I’ve got a one year contract initially. So we are here for a while. We don’t mind though, we like Bangkok. The boat is safe in a good marina in Phuket, and we can get there on weekends and go sailing, so that is cool too.

Click here for more Bangkok photos.

March 16, 2008-One Week Later

We've been in Bangkok one week now; after five days we were happy it was finally Friday and we were ready to party on the weekend.

Saturday was a great day:

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
I Like this one!

We got off to an early start and looked at a bunch of apartments all over town. We found a terrific one we liked a lot near Silom Avenue, right in the heart of Bangkok, near a train station, close a lot of restaurants, and within walking distance to plenty of shopping. It is also one block from a freeway so I can get to the office quickly.

Then we went shopping for some computer equipment, had street food for lunch, came back to the hotel and had a good workout in the gym, went for a swim, fooled around in the apartment, took a nap, and after it got dark we went back to the neighborhood where the new apartment is and checked it out in the evening: How much is happening at night, is it scary to walk around, can you get something to eat? It was fine, maybe too quiet actually, but Silom is a couple of blocks away and that place jumps all night long.

Click here for some more shots of the apartment shopping trip.

We called the broker and said we’d take the apartment. Then we found a great restaurant for a celebration dinner, had a $60 bottle of wine, and after dinner listened to live jazz over Hennessey cognac.

Last of all we took a taxi across town to Tokyo Joe’s and watched two top headliner blues bands rock out on the last night of the Bangkok Blues Festival. They were great and we were close enough to almost be on stage with them.

Click here to see some crummy cell phone clips from Tokyo Joe's

Yeah, I know this ain’t about sailing and this is supposed to be a sailing blog, but we've got to work to finance future cruises, and, boy, it’s good to be back in Bangkok.

Fred & Judy, Bangkok, Thailand

PS; we’ll post some more sailing stories soon so stay tuned. Meanwhile
Remember this?

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

March 7, 2008-Killing Time in Paradise

wingssail image-judy jensen
By the Pool

We have been killing a little time in Phuket this month while we see what happens on the job front.

One project has been a sail re-cut. Our old Mylar genoa has been falling apart for about a year and we’ve had to sew it back together after each use. Last time we used this sail it tore again and the hole is big enough to toss a small dog through. I decided to whack off the bad part and make a smaller sail out of it. The problem is mostly in the luff area which is single ply Mylar film without any Dacron taffeta. The Mylar has failed completely. So I cut off a major portion of the luff area along a line from the tack to the leech about 3 meters from the top of the sail. This got rid of the latest hole and most of the bad cloth. Then I put the head patch back on and reattached the luff tape. Viola! We now have a 115%, high clew, #2 genoa which will be great for cruising.

Click here for the shots and sail plan.

wingssail image-judy jensen
Re-cut job

Days spent in the marina with nothing major to do has allowed us to spend some time at the pool and in the exercise room. Judy has been pretty regular at this but even I have been going up there lately too (the pool and gym are up the hill from the marina). Besides working out and then reading by the pool I’ve been in the pool working on my underwater durations. By using meditation and with practice I have gotten my underwater time up from 60 seconds to 135 seconds and I am working on getting up to 180 seconds (three minutes). This is just a personal challenge I have set for myself but maybe it will come in useful when I am underwater cleaning the keel some time in the future.

Speaking of the keel we need to do a haul out and repair the damage from our grounding back in February. The damage is minor and the repair will be quick but the main problem we have in Phuket is that we can only get into any the boat yards on the highest tides. We scheduled a haul-out at Ratanachai shipyard for this weekend but now we have to go to Bangkok on Monday so we had to cancel that. Maybe we can reschedule for April.

This would have been a nice time to go on some short cruises too but one requirement has been to stay connected with the world so going cruising while we wait has not been a good idea. We’re working on that problem however by getting our new CDMA-EVDO cellular broadband connection up and running. We’ve got it now and it works pretty good, over 1 mps, but the range is limited. Next step is to install a booster amplifier which should get us coverage all over Phang Nga Bay.

And so life goes on in the marina in Phuket: it’s not bad.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket


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