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The Big Day

Written on: Wednesday January 23rd, 2008

A journal entry from: Thailand to Turkey

I spoke for the first time with William Turner last night, captain of the SV Quickstep out of Scotland.  He definitely got the better of me, caught me off my gaurd.  I was asking him if I needed to have Baht on me, not sure if we were going to the Similans and even if they are inhabited or should I dump my Thai money?  He asks how much and I have and when I tell him he says, "Good God, what do you need that kind of money for, Behr?  Are ye off shaggin' girls then?", which resulted in an emphatic and resounding "No!" from myself. 

 "Well you SHOULD be, we're going to be at sea awhile, so get it while you can!" 

I was laughing about how vehement I was, hope he doesn't peg me for a stiff collar.  I got up around 3 in the morning, not sure what time I went to sleep last night, but well before midnight and sometime after 8.  Taking advantage of the day I read a bit out of "West Asia on a Shoestring" which I picked up the other day at a local shop, finished "A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain, and tidied the room a bit of it's rubbish.  Still only 6AM, I broke fast with a bit of rice porridge again across the street, checked on the seamstress to see if my pocket had been mended yet, and went to collect my bag and check out. 

 On my way to the internet cafe I saw a monk with a collection basket and on a whim, I made a donation.  He said "Good luck, good luck" (I think) and smiled.  It's nice when monks smile at you. :)  I think they go around every morning and people put in not just money, but snacky cakes and other things as well.  When he lifted the lid to let me contribute, I was taken aback for a moment, observinging that it was full of a variety of things, initially expecting to behold only currency.

I tramped along, catching my reflection in the glass of a shop as I passed by, the sheer mass of my load as though an entire person were upon my back suddenly made the tramping seem more of a trudging.  Ironic, how I thought to pack so light, then to end up with this epic parcel upon my back!   One would think I had never been to Thailand before;  what in Jupiter's name was I thinking packing FOUR pairs of undershorts? (I haven't worn them nor pants one since the day I stepped off the plane.)

I started to get a bit anxious.  In our telephone conversation last night, William mentioned something about two boats making one, his and some other fellas swapping parts.  Their engine in our boat, I believe it was.  So all we need is an engine, is that it?  I don't know how serious that is but it's a sight better than if he had told me, "Just as soon as we get a hull and a mast, we'll be off."  I just had some short, scary flashbacks of the days of repairing Per's steel schooner in NC, coming back from lunch to the 6 inches of water in our cabin in Jamaica, the rough and gruff "Skip" from Tobago; All these adverse memories came swimming out of the dregs of my past annulled sailing trips.  I shall know soon enough.