February 11, 2015

Ode to the Boat Part in Transit




I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a working windlass, a new starter motor, a waterproof hatch and a satellite phone to get weather by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a few more prescription meds (why does each chemist only carry a one month supply of each drug?), a new dagger board and a repaired mast tang to keep the sails flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
 
replacing the hatch that leaked with an 'A' rated waterproof one--note the new wood at the front of the cat walk--the old one was smashed on the Borneo passage
We’re anchored in Telaga harbour on Langkawi island up to our eyeballs in projects (they multiply once you start) while waiting for packages to arrive. As a duty free port, Langkawi is a favourite with sailors who need stuff. If you throw a whole lot of money at a spare part you can get things within a week from the US. For example we need four springs for our Quick brand windlass which should cost a dollar each, BUT the rectangular shaped springs only come as a unit with the brushes for $145—add expedited courier fees and that $4 item will be responsible for our diet of beans and rice for the next month…

Boxes of parts = more projects. Also sent our spare alternator off for an overhaul while we were here
Every second boat we talk to is waiting for parts to arrive. DHL is known to arrive here quickly (and we’ve been giving them our money by the reluctant fistful to excellent result) while both FedEx and USPS both seem to take a nearly as expensive but much more scenic route to Langkawi.

It's a busy time of year and we couldn't hire anyone to do it so Evan rented space and tools at a shipyard to build a new dagger board
As places go to work through projects and wait for parts this one isn’t bad. The anchorage is flat calm and well protected, there’s easy shore access for fuel, laundry and water etc. There isn’t much for shops or cheap restaurants in the immediate area but the marina rents cars during the day for a few dollars an hour—so we’re able to make runs into Kuah and collect up all the parts we need.

Charlie is just happy that it's calm
We are on a deadline though—two of our kidboat friends are on their way to Trincomalle, Sri Lanka and we’re keen to catch up for some inland adventuring. So if you wouldn’t mind sending a few ‘fair winds’ thoughts out to our stupidly expensive windlass motor springs to hurry them on their way, we’d be obliged.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry, ‘ Yes we have that part!’ from a laughing shop-owner,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
- with apologies to John Masefield

2 comments:

Doug and Carla Scott said...

Hoping your parts arrive soon and installations go well. Time for the next adventure!

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

We're almost there. Evan has been working like a man possessed with a great goal :)