Swaggie's wanderings

Vessel Name: Sir Swagman
Vessel Make/Model: Seeker 42
Hailing Port: Pittwater, Sydney
10 October 2013 | Na Jomtien, Thailand
07 October 2013 | Koh Samui
06 October 2013 | Koh Samui
03 October 2013 | Redang to Samui
02 October 2013 | Redang
01 October 2013 | Redang
30 September 2013 | Terengganu
28 September 2013 | Tioman
27 September 2013 | Singapore to Tioman
26 September 2013 | Singapore (still)
21 September 2013 | Raffles marina, Singapore
18 September 2013 | Nongsa Point, Bataam
17 September 2013 | Nonsa Point, Bataam
14 September 2013 | Sirutu
14 September 2013 | Sirutu
13 September 2013 | Sirutu
10 September 2013 | National Park
09 September 2013 | Tanjung Pintak national Park
08 September 2013 | Kumia township
06 September 2013 | Kumia township
Recent Blog Posts
10 October 2013 | Na Jomtien, Thailand

Last Leg

The early start was moved to a late in the day one, calculating arrival times etc seemed to make this sensible. The weighing anchor again was problematic, taking some time to get fully raised and stowed with jamming in the hawse pipe the issue. The chain was twisted and jumping off the gypsy causing [...]

07 October 2013 | Koh Samui

Island Time

Koh Samui is a bigger island than I expected, not that I am sure what I expected, just that the expectation was smaller as far as islands go. We had anchored at the first spot that afforded some shelter and a chance for rest, but it meant that we would be on the ‘wrong’ side of the island for the [...]

06 October 2013 | Koh Samui

Gulf Wars

Now I know there were two Bushes that had done this before us, but they had the benefit of doing it from a nice comfortable, stable office. In one case having nothing more taxing to decide than how many is a Brazilian and whether a nucular device was called for, or in fact would work, if pronounced and [...]

03 October 2013 | Redang to Samui

Paradise Left and Lost

Raising the anchor proved to be a problem, we had been in such calm water that it had not thrown itself 'flat' in the well, so piled up and jammed in about every place possible on the way back in. Rob and I provided an immense amount of amusement to the fishermen as we tried to correct this. Eventually [...]

02 October 2013 | Redang

Handy Andys

The genset started leaking water into the boat, tracked down to an end plate on the heat exchanger that had cracked. We jury-rigged another plate out of some spare stainless I had lying around and used a new gasket that was in the spares kit. It worked, so the drinks could be kept cold again! It seemed [...]

01 October 2013 | Redang

Illegal Eagles

Now, I realise those keen enough to follow these ramblings closely (and perhaps you need to get out more, if that is truly the case) would note that we had checked out of More Lazier and were now going to stop at another part of the country, technically not permitted, in fact legally not permitted. Given [...]

Last Leg

10 October 2013 | Na Jomtien, Thailand
Paul
The early start was moved to a late in the day one, calculating arrival times etc seemed to make this sensible. The weighing anchor again was problematic, taking some time to get fully raised and stowed with jamming in the hawse pipe the issue. The chain was twisted and jumping off the gypsy causing the problem. Once underway in the gathering gloom, light winds made for slow sailing away from Samui, Doof Doof music still able to be heard some 4 miles away from the beach bars made me glad I wasn't actually at that bar!
Finally clear of the islands there we headed towards the fishing boat lights ahead to play the usual dodgem games. Failing wind meant the engine was used again to maintain any sort of pace, but around dawn a series of storms rolled across and behind Swaggie and for several hours good sailing speeds were reached. It was not to last and we stopped the boat to try to sort out the anchor chain. Undoing the anchor and dropping about 40m of chain into the water to get it untwisted proved that it wasn't the twist, as when hauled back in it was still jumping off the gypsy. A combination of worn links and gypsy meant that the last few metres were not coming in smoothly. At least it had the decency to wait until the last two anchorings to fail to this degree. Back underway with no wind about and the engine was used for the last night underway, not what I had hoped. Sunrise showed the Sattahip peninsula in sight and glassy seas with fishing boats all anchoring up to save the trip home and back out fuel for a day.
I parked Swaggie in her new berth and cleaning up began...

So, 6,086NM on, that is the end of this little trip and I am not sure when the next will be - or even where it will be, but I may still try to write a bit about it when it does occur.
To all those who sent messages of encouragement, all the people that helped along the way at various marinas and from other yachts, to Gary and Ritchie in Darwin that provided daily links to weather updates and a friendly voice on the end of the HF line, a huge thank you - it all helped to get me here. Now it is from here to there I need to think about......................

Island Time

07 October 2013 | Koh Samui
Paul
Koh Samui is a bigger island than I expected, not that I am sure what I expected, just that the expectation was smaller as far as islands go. We had anchored at the first spot that afforded some shelter and a chance for rest, but it meant that we would be on the ‘wrong’ side of the island for the paper war of immigration etc to take place. In any event, it was Sunday and nobody is allowed to enter Thailand on a Sunday as offices are all closed. Finally a country that takes its’ border protection seriously! The usual, chaos and uncertainty ensued on Monday at the harbourmaster and customs, but it was pleasant enough and resulted in me getting a 6 month visa for the boat, which is what I had been seeking. Last stop was immigration, a long walk with no maps and by the time we got there it was closing for lunch, a good idea and we retired to find food ourselves.
Once the office was open we faced the throng of people renewing or extending visas crowding the front desk. Eventually one of the staff wanted to know what we wanted and when I said ’entry visa, by boat’ she pointed and told me we had to go upstairs. This I did, a very steep set of stairs they were too and when surmounted revealed an empty office area. Rob, following behind, had his behind used as a lever and was pushed up by the lady we had to see to sort things. She produced a raft of forms that I had to fill in and then refused to believe that there were only passengers on board – the nerve! All my hard work, trying to set up this fact to date was to coming to nought. I was informed that I had to pay 20,000 Baht ‘deposit’ that I could claim back when I returned to Thailand, but only by going back to Koh Samui, something I didn’t want to do. I asked if there was any other way to do this and was met by silence. I continued to fill in the forms, most of which made no sense at all, and then asked her if she smoked. She did, so I produced a couple of packets of Australian cigarettes I had left from ‘gifts’ I had taken on to transit Indonesia more smoothly and gave them to her. Moments later she gathered up the forms and passports and disappeared downstairs, coming back up she sat down and handed the passports back saying we were all done and can go now. The 20,000 had disappeared it seems, so we beat a hasty retreat with much smiling and nodding, into the downpour that had started outside and back to the boat. Of course a success such as this could not be let go without a stop at the beach bar, which turned into a meal. Tomorrow was set for an early start for the final 220 miles to Pattaya….

Gulf Wars

06 October 2013 | Koh Samui
Paul
Now I know there were two Bushes that had done this before us, but they had the benefit of doing it from a nice comfortable, stable office. In one case having nothing more taxing to decide than how many is a Brazilian and whether a nucular device was called for, or in fact would work, if pronounced and spelled incorrectly.
This was the worst sailing to date, brutal conditions that hurt the boat and us a little, bruises being our trophy from moving about. Finally we got under the shelter of the island and started making decent speed, headed for the nearest anchorage and mucked about in pitch-black 3am conditions, using the radar, to find a good spot to drop the pick. Identifying a dredge and other types of boats nearby we found the spot, let go the anchor and slept. Waking up it was amusing to find what we thought were different boats were in fact combinations of fishing boats rafted up all around. Time to fix things, yet again.....

Paradise Left and Lost

03 October 2013 | Redang to Samui
Paul / Shocking
Raising the anchor proved to be a problem, we had been in such calm water that it had not thrown itself 'flat' in the well, so piled up and jammed in about every place possible on the way back in. Rob and I provided an immense amount of amusement to the fishermen as we tried to correct this. Eventually up and stowed safely, we headed off. Nice wind, good direction and strength and we made good progress for a few hours. Then, a thunderstorm hit, winds to 45Knots, rain and big seas. Coming out the other side it never really let off for the next two and a half days. Wind almost dead on the nose and not dropping below 25 knots the whole time. Seas were getting to 3 metres at times when wind wave and swell combined, and the boat took water over the deck to an amazing depth on some of the drops off waves. The headsail tack let go and I got a nice bath out on the bowsprit fixing a new one in such seas. Water came in the dorades, through prisms, and generally soaked the boat. Lines that probably should have been replaced broke and about 5 hours out of Samui after motor sailing for a long, long time, making 2-3 knots in the seaway, I noticed the mainsail had lost a batten car, so that came down to save it from damage, and we made do with the stay sail only, it being too dangerous to go out on the rear deck to raise the mizzen and balance things up.

Handy Andys

02 October 2013 | Redang
Paul
The genset started leaking water into the boat, tracked down to an end plate on the heat exchanger that had cracked. We jury-rigged another plate out of some spare stainless I had lying around and used a new gasket that was in the spares kit. It worked, so the drinks could be kept cold again! It seemed a nice place to snorkel and watch turtles, which we did, but getting back on board I noticed the self steering rudder had lost (or it had disintegrated) the upper bush/bearing and was about to fall off, or at least try to. How it had hung on to date was amazing in itself, considering it had been in almost continuous use and in fairly big seas at times. Fortunately a chopping board was available and we fashioned a replacement out of that which worked admirably. I can see both these temporary fixes still being in place in a decade or more if I decide to ignore them! By the time the rudder was fixed it was too late to head off for Koh Samui, so the obvious next step, an adjournment to the bar and a buffet dinner, was enacted.

Illegal Eagles

01 October 2013 | Redang
Paul
Now, I realise those keen enough to follow these ramblings closely (and perhaps you need to get out more, if that is truly the case) would note that we had checked out of More Lazier and were now going to stop at another part of the country, technically not permitted, in fact legally not permitted. Given the 'gung ho', 'on top of it all' authority presence encountered to date, I thought it a risk well worth taking. It proved to be so. Great little island and we anchored in a small narrow bay to the east of the island amongst fishing boats that use it as a day rest before their nightly effort of catching plankton sized fish (all that are left obviously, as Rob had been drowning a lure most of the way to date with no success). Near a resort that was positive towards cruisers, crystal clear water, sea eagles and turtles everywhere, it seemed the ideal spot to discover what was wrong with the boat and fix it.
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