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Sunday, November 30, 2008

December 1, 2008-Stuck in Bangkok

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Walking on a quiet Street

This is supposed to be a sailing blog but you might have noticed we aren't doing much sailing. Like this weekend for instance.

We had tickets to fly to Phuket on Friday night to spend the weekend on the boat but the airport is closed; our flight was cancelled.

Thailand is in the middle of a political mess. There hasn't been a coup like there was two years ago but there have been thousands of protesters in the streets, some violence has occured and the government is in a real delimma about what to do about it. The government has been trying hard to avoid a confrontation with the anti-government protesters and they have successfully ignored the protests for several months. Now, however, the protesters have escalated by occupying the airports and this is getting everyone's attention, including ours.

We weren't thrilled to be stuck in Bangkok but it could have been worse: our part of the city is quiet and the weather is very pleasant this time of year. We chose to make the most of it.

On Sunday morning we took the train to Silom avenue to run some errands and afterwards we decided to have a lazy afternoon enjoying the really great December weather in Bangkok. We walked home.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

We stopped at a street cafe for some Thai noodle soup ("A little of everything, please, and spicy") and a Chang beer. Then we continued walking.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

A stop at a flower shop was worth while; we brought home these nice orchids.

At the end of the afternoon we watched the sun go down from our apartment balcony and reflected on things: What will be the outcome of the political problems? Will there be fighting or a negotiated end to it? Will our next trip in 5 days also be cancelled? How will Wings feel if we don't come visit her?

We've learned that you can't predict or control things like this, and maybe that is part of the excitement of living in a foreign land: you don't know what is going to happen next.

That's cruising.

Fred & Judy, Bangkok

Click here to see a few more photos.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008-Bangkok Shopping

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Photo with new lens: Street BBQ

We roamed around Bangkok on Saturday with two items on the shopping list: new crew shirts, and a new lens for the Nikon.

We had an idea for new crew shirts for next season's Phang Nga Bay Regatta and I've been working on some
graphics for them. We needed to find a tailor and the right cloth to have these shirts made. It took most of the afternoon to put that together but finally we found the right tailor shop and the right cloth and we ordered one shirt (to be ready Monday) so we can see how it looks and fits. Later we will order 10-15 more.

The other item on the list was a new zoom lens for the Nikkon. The Tokina zoom lens I have been using since 1999 has been dropped a couple of times so it is damaged but frankly it never was as sharp as I wanted. My Nikkor 80-200 zoom is much better but that lens isn't right for general shooting. So we shopped around for the one I'd found on the Internet, the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED zoom lens. We found the lens and bought it. It will be great I think (click here to see the first shots with this lens). Unfortunately the prices for camera gear and electronics are not as good in Thailand as other places in Asia; we could have bought this lens for less in Hong Kong or even in the USA.

But we're not in Hong Kong or the US; been there, done that. Now we're in Bangkok and it's OK.

Fred & Judy, Bangkok

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Day New York Broke In Two

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Dial up in heavy weather

In 1999 we were in New Zealand working. I had an office job and Judy was doing child care for a local family. But the America's Cup yacht race was coming to New Zealand in 2000 and in October of 1999 I quit my computer job and got accredited as a photographer by Louis Viutton, the organizer of the challenger selection event which preceeded the America's Cup. Nearly every day for six months I went out onto Hauraki Gulf on a photo boat to photograph the races. I took over 11,000 photographs. I wrote stories and sold my work to US sailing magazines. Back then I was using film and I still have all those negatives.

It was a job but it was never just a job. Yes, the income I made on this assignment covered my costs and paid for the Nikon camera and lenses, but I didn't make much money. Yet, I was happy. It was great fun.

Click here to read a story about one of those days on the water.

Or click here to go directly to wingssail images to see a few of the photos



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November 13-Meeing New Friends in Bangkok

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
We went to Kaosan Road, noted as the center for packpackers in Bangkok, and found it to be full of young tourists of the less affluent type.

Unfortunately it rained like hell the whole time and we were hard pressed, in fact we were unable, to get much in the way of photos.

However we did meet Judy's new friend Mary Helen, and her travelling colleagues Gill and Denise for dinner. Mary Helen is a cruiser from Seattle who splits her time between sailing as crew for various captains and land travel all over the world. With Gill and Denise she is off to Myanmar next.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, Bangkok

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