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Weekly Logs 2012
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Thai Refit

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Previous

122 Launch!
121 Final Frenzy
120 Mast & Boom
119 Polish & Wax
118 Mount Cleats
117 Furnish Cockpit
116 Bimini Legs
115 Stern Jewelry
114 Start Headliners
113 Cockpit Hatches
112 Decks Washed
111 Tomcat Painted
110 Gelcoat Salon
109 Diamonds On
108 Foredeck
107 Anchor Platform
106 Prepare Mast
105 Mount Forebeam
104 Worker Walkout
103 Bimini Up!
102 Spray Bimini
101 Spray Forebeam
100 Sanding Deck
99 Spray Port Deck
98 Spray Stbd Deck
97 Cabin-top Gelcoat
96 Start Deck Gelcoat
95 More Varnishing
94 More Varnishing
93 Varnishing
92 Finish Nonskid
91 Epoxy Hulls
90 Broken Finger
89 Teak & Varnish
88 Varnishing Started
87 Start Cockpit Teak
86 Bow & Stern Molds
85 Laying Nonskid
84 Polishing Cockpit
83 Laying Nonskid
82 Cockpit Gelcoat
81 Finish Templates
80 Spraying Gelcoat
79 Rudder Tubes
78 Cut Teak Blocks
77 Start Templates
76 Teak Chain Lattice
75 Shower Controls
74 Chip Cabin Top
73 Cockpit Drains
72 Polish Bridgedeck
71 Port Aft Cabin
70 Spray Bridgedeck
69 Spray Portside
68 Rudder Bearings
67 Spray Starboard
66 Fair Starboard
65 Bad Epoxy Filler
64 Spray Foredeck
63 Spray Deck Gutters
62 Prep for Gelcoat
61 Spray Targa-Bar

89 Teak & Varnish

Summary:  Good progress all week despite Jon's absence to join in Phuket Race Week (sailing a 28'/8.5m Firefly catamaran) but some sideways steps on Saturday.  This week we:
  • Got 4 coats of West epoxy on both sides of the cockpit table
  • Brushed 2 coats of AwlBrite on the cockpit table, but some oily rags contaminated the second coat
  • Polished the top of the targa‑bar so we can start replacing bits up there
  • Sanded and got the first coat of varnish on all 4 cabins
  • Stripped back the high wear areas of the salon, sanded them, and epoxy coated them
  • Removed our salon table, stripped off the varnish, and sealed it with West epoxy
  • Framed, filled in, and stuck down the teak in the 3 sections under the helm seat
  • Cleaned the grooves and calked 5 of the 7 areas of teak currently stuck down
  • Worked out the lines for 3 of the 4 remaining teak areas (only the aft‑deck remains)
  • Routed out the slots for the swim ladder hinges
  • Sanded much of the boom to 400 grit
  • Received our newly polished targa‑bar "shoulders" and our hatch gaskets from AME
  • Jon broke the little finger on his right hand when a rope caught his hand while racing

Two coats of epoxy on the cockpit table halves
Two coats of epoxy on the cockpit table halves

Monday, July 15:
Monday morning "Blahs" are swept away on our invigorating (high‑alert) motor‑scooter rides from Ao Po back to Chalong.  It usually takes about an hour, dodging scooter‑eating cars the whole way.  Today at least there was no rain, and Sue headed straight for the yard, with Jon detouring to the apartment first.

Baw was preparing to coat the cockpit table in epoxy, and asked for more sandpaper and a graduated mixing container as he intends to thin the epoxy and wants to get the ratios correct.  He and Lek worked on both pieces of the table under the neighboring catamaran and had a first shiny coat applied just before lunch.  They wet‑sanded it in the afternoon and got a second (unthinned) coat on before quitting time.

Pla and Heru, polishing the targa-bar
Pla and Heru, polishing the targa-bar

We didn't see much of Heru or his 2 friends all morning.  They were down in port hull sanding the old varnish in anticipation of the new.  It's kind of fun having different teams doing different things at the same time, but it really only works if there is a team leader for each group, and if there aren't any critical items that can be messed up.  With both Baw and Heru checking in on the new guys often (Heru often works with them) we feel good about leaving them to the dust and mess in the cabins.

Heru and Pla had the power polisher out, and worked in tandem to polish the top of the targa bar and down the inside edges, all around the access panels.  It's looking very bright and spiffy!  Tomorrow they finish the outer flat sides and that'll be one big project out of the way.  Well.  Touch Wood.

Houa fitting the battery compartment hatch
Houa fitting the battery compartment hatch

Speaking of wood, there's now lots more of it to touch in our cockpit.  With the 3 big hatches and the central aft (under the table) sections done, Houa concentrated on the battery compartment hatch.  He cleaned up the extra‑squeezed‑out Sika from between the planks and rounded off the corners.  Unfortunately, when the battery hatch is in place it stands too proud of the gelcoated borders and we'll have to address this.  It's a two‑fold problem, and we may have to attack both issues to fix it.  First, the new gasket hasn't compressed yet like the old one.  Second, the old hatches were reinforced (months ago) with structural foam and 2 layers of biaxial glass underneath, which raised the gasket surface.  But Houa thinks it's "no promphem."

Houa's next teak project is the small "L" shaped area right by the companionway.  In the old design there were 4 planks running fore and aft, then a series of very short pieces rimmed in a frame under the helm.  In keeping with the new bigger frames, Houa investigated the feasibility of putting a frame on this narrow section.  It would work with 2 wide king boards, but only very strangely, with either 1 very wide middle plank or 2 very narrow ones.  Nix.  We opted for the old look of 4 evenly‑sized planks for the narrow fore/aft section and a new frame around the section under the helm.

Templates of the teak areas, so Houa can work in his shop
Templates of the teak areas, so Houa can work in his shop

Jon's work on the swim platform ladders and hinges was slowed when he discovered that the hinges are worse than "not all the same" - some of them are twisted.  Poor stainless steel work, which we did not expect from Luck.  Unfortunately the quick fix would probably make matters worse, so Jon will probably have to router out the epoxy/glass to fit the twisted shape of the hinges.

On the plus side, we may be able to get the new yard metal workers to polish lots of our old stainless steel pieces, like the bow pulpits and the push‑pits that have not been machine polished in forever.  This would save a lot of time and money if we don't have to transport those awkward pieces to either Luck or AME.

Baw & Lek created a tent to spray the cockpit table halves
Baw & Lek created a tent to spray the cockpit table halves

Sue attacked the side of the boom with the polishing grinder again, finally.  But the electricity at the yard was unusually up and down and the rising and falling sound of the motor was unnerving.  Rather than destroy yet another grinder motor, she stopped before finishing the entire side.

Tuesday, July 16:
Bit of a grey day, but the light rains kept the temperatures down, and we managed to get lots of stuff done despite the drips.

Our Invisible Team of Pla, Heru, Komen and Yando spent the day inside the boat, sanding the new varnish or sanding the old varnish in preparation for new varnish.  Not sure when that will happen, but it's nice to have motion forward.

After the cockpit table has been sprayed with epoxy
After the cockpit table has been sprayed with epoxy

Mike dropped by and asked if we were considering the Kiwi varnish product, Timbercote by Altex.  It looks interesting, especially the part about not needing to sand between coats (this is on our minds, as we pay men to sand between coats!).  But the cost is double Epifanes, and Timbercote is a product that Baw (our chief varnisher) has never used.  He was reluctant.  Better to stick with a product he knows so that we minimize the risk of screw ups with thinning, spraying, etc.

Baw and Lek spent the day under the neighboring boat getting the cockpit table wet sanded after its epoxy coats yesterday.  In the afternoon, they setup a plastic spray house, and Baw sprayed on a beautiful smooth layer of West Epoxy.  Tomorrow he will turn the pieces and hit the other side, repeating the sprays in time to get a wet‑on‑wet application.

Cutting away fiberglass for the hinges (upper right) to sit in
Cutting away fiberglass for the hinges (upper right) to sit in

Jon spent the day perfecting the mounting places for the swim ladder hinges.  We have been wondering whether or not to gelcoat under the hinges, which would mean making the router cuts an extra millimeter bigger on the sides to allow for the gelcoat.  Neither Baw nor Houa could answer the "Why" question, so we sort of answered it ourselves.  Where else on the boat have we put hardware down without gelcoat underneath? Answer: Nowhere.  So why do it here?  Ending the gelcoat at a piece of stainless steel seems to be inviting a potential chipping/peeling situation which we definitely don't want.

Jon began the day by asking Houa to assist him in routing out the places for the hinges, but it was evident that Houa's heart wasn't in it.  So Jon took on the routing, and did a great job.  Of course, it also means he was the one to get covered in fiberglass dust.  Everything went smoothly until he got to the last side of the last hinge, where he found an epoxy void, a pocket under the fiberglass.  Dang!  More epoxy needed.  But at least he still had time to get it put in place before heading home.

Houa's board of little blocks to help him build teak frames
Houa's board of little blocks to help him build teak frames

Sue played with the grinder and the 400 grit sandpaper on the boom off and on all day.  The rain puts an end to the grinder use, as there are drips and drops that come through holes in the side tent.  So when it was wet, she wet sanded.  Perfect use of time!

Houa made some big advances with the cockpit teak.  He used an interesting technique to build the teak frames around the 2 areas on either side of the battery compartment hatch.  Having made a thin plywood template of the shapes, he then created a series of small blocks super‑glued to a plywood backing on a table and used them to guide him building the teak frames that outline the areas.  As he built the teak frames he just slid the pieces into the "slots' created by the little blocks.  This allowed him to butt the teak planks into each other and mark the 45 angle in order to miter the corners.  The frames for both areas by the battery hatch are now done.

Lek, Baw, & Heru with one of Houa's teak frames - Great guys!
Lek, Baw, & Heru with one of Houa's teak frames - Great guys!

The big excitement was that he brought the "finished" battery hatch down from the boat, cleaned out the grooves between the planks, acetone cleaned them, then applied the Sikaflex Primer with a thin paintbrush.  After allowing it to harden the requisite amount of time, he set up his Sika 290DC (Deck Caulking) gun, and we got our first black deck caulking laid on!  Exciting!   It will cure for the next week, before being cut back and sanded.  Hopefully more of the hatches will follow soon.

Big news for Jon is that he has been asked to crew on a zippy 28' (8.5m) Firefly catamaran for Phuket Race Week this Thursday to Sunday.  Our friend Bruce from Migration will also be crewing along with 3 professional Aussis.  The Firefly cats are a class and all pretty much the same so it should be a good competition.  Tomorrow is a practice day, the first of 5 days Jon will be gone most of day.

Baw varnishing the port aft cabin
Baw varnishing the port aft cabin

Time for Sue to hold the fort on Ocelot.  We have considered (and rejected) the idea of doing more nonskid while Jon is gone.  Mike, in particular, said he wanted Jon around for the nonskid laying as it is our guys doing the work, and Mike is not their boss so can't tell them what to do.  No worries.  The men seem to have gotten themselves busy with the varnishing projects, so that sort of takes care of itself, and Sue will be there for consulting, taking pictures, running errands and buying things as needed.

Wednesday, July 17:
A bright and breezy day with lots more things getting done.

The port forward cabin is looking very shiny
The port forward cabin is looking very shiny

Jon was at the yard for a couple hours in the morning and got the last fiddly bits done on the swim platform ladder hinges.  He used a file and his handy‑dandy Swiss Army Knife small blade to shape the fiberglass/epoxy to fit the hinge better.  Then he was picked up by 3 Aussies: Kate (Olympics level sailor), Keith and Sean (the captain) who are the main crew on Dyre Straits, the Firefly 850 catamaran that Jon is racing on this week.  They had an awesome practice day.  Soaking wet, fire‑hose sort of sailing with top speeds of 18+ knots.  He forgot the dry bag and drowned our small phone and his wallet.  And they were inside the boat!  The Phuket Race Week officially starts tomorrow, and he'll be scootering off to Cape Panwa for breakfast and an early start to a big day of racing.

Sue held the fort, and will do so all week while Jon gets wet racing.  Our men are now very self‑motivating, and are working on projects this week that don't need a lot of direction or decision‑making, so that's good.  Well, actually, we planned it that way once we realized Jon had this cool opportunity to race!

Lek and Baw wet-sanding the cockpit table in the spray-tent
Lek and Baw wet-sanding the cockpit table in the spray-tent

Lek spent the day in the "epoxy tent" wet sanding yesterday's epoxy spray on the cockpit table halves with 600 grit.  Baw got one more coat sprayed on before lunch, and another in the late afternoon.  Sue didn't get any photos, because it all happened so fast and she was doing other things.  Baw says we couldn't have seen anything anyway!

Inside Ocelot we had Heru, Pla and Yando sanding the starboard cabin new varnish, getting ready for another coat tomorrow.  Port side got cleaned up and wiped down  (it was sanded yesterday), and Baw got the whole forward cabin varnished before lunch (yes, that AND the epoxy spray!), and then most of the port aft cabin done after lunch.  We think the plan is to put 2 coats of gloss varnish over the old good varnish, and then 2 coats of satin which will be sprayed on.  In the cabin lockers (which are hard to sand and varnish, but are in really good shape) he will just do 1 gloss and 1 hand satin, then call it quits.

Houa's new teak on each side of the battery compartment hatch
Houa's new teak on each side of the battery compartment hatch

Sue did a lot of cleaning up and organizing in the salon.  The plan there is to chemically strip the varnish from the teak trim areas that we're going to epoxy and then coat in AwlBrite polyurethane for hardness and longevity.  These high‑wear areas include the handrails capping the main salon bulkhead and the fiddles around the nav‑table and the galley.  With the AwlBrite they'll stay glossy, and will be sort of an accent to the satin surfaces nearby.

Houa worked mainly on the 2 teak section that abut the battery hatch.  The "L" shaped piece took the longest to set up, as he had to fiddle with lots of short little planks and custom‑fit the 2 inner long planks that run fore and aft.  The square frame to the port side of the battery box was easier, with all the planks being the same size.  He got the inner planks super‑glued together and then fitted them into the frames.  Then there was the fun of fitting them inside the gelcoat frames up on deck!  Very cool!  It's coming together!

Heru removing galley varnish with paint remover and a scraper
Heru removing galley varnish with paint remover and a scraper

Thursday, July 18:
A hot breezy day, and Jon was out thrashing around on the ocean all day!  First day of the Phuket Race Week!

Sue checked in at the yard at 8:30 and was immediately sent off for West Epoxy Hardener, varnish scrapers, and other miscellaneous things.  Unfortunately our closest chandlery is out of West hardener, and the next closest place to buy it is Boat Lagoon, a half-hour ride north.  So, scooter time for Sue.  All in all it took over 2 hours to get up there, walk through the boat yard to 5 different chandleries to find everything we needed, have a coffee, and get back.

Baw spraying more epoxy on the cockpit table halves
Baw spraying more epoxy on the cockpit table halves

Meanwhile, Baw and Lek had prepared, wet sanded, alcohol wiped, and dried the cockpit table for the next epoxy spraying.  They were just awaiting the next batch of hardener.  After lunch they got the second coat of epoxy on the table halves, and at 3pm they sprayed the third coat on.  They were planning to do another, last spray at 5pm, but it's unclear if they did.  Only one of us at the boatyard makes it hard to keep tabs on everything going on, but the 2 table halves do have 4 coats on 1 side, and Baw wants 4 coats of epoxy on the other side as well.  Then he will spray on the AwlBrite clear finishing coats for UV protection.

Inside we had only Pla and Heru today, not the new guys.  The main work was in the salon, where some major re‑organizing was necessary.  They used paint stripper and metal scrapers to get the old varnish off the handrails and the rims of the galley and nav‑table.  Only things left are the handrails over the companionways down into the hulls, which are places we always grab as we go up and down.

The new varnish in the port aft cabin looks wonderful!
The new varnish in the port aft cabin looks wonderful!

Baw, between epoxy sprayings, got another layer of clear Epifanes varnish on the lockers and bulkheads of the port aft cabin.  It looks amazingly bright and glossy!  It won't stay that way, as we'll be finishing up with satin varnish, which is a bit easier on the eyes.

Houa worked in the cockpit all day.  He got the 2 side sections of teak next to the battery compartment stuck down with Sika 298 and weighted with water jugs and sand jugs.  He then moved to the lower sections of the cockpit, the solid floor area under the cockpit table and the hatch just forward of that.  He sanded the teak, then used a sharp narrow chisel to clean out the grooves where the caulking will go.  He applied acetone to clean the grooves, waited, then applied Sikaflex Primer.  By 4pm he was squeezing black Sika deck caulking into the grooves!  It's coming together!

Houa calking 2 sections of teak flooring in the cockpit
Houa calking 2 sections of teak flooring in the cockpit

Jon staggered back from thrashing around the bay about 4pm, thoroughly wiped out.  Racing is HARD WORK.  But good fun, especially if you like sitting in front of salt-water fire-hoses.  They got excellent starts on both races and the boat sails as well or better than the other Firefly's, but that's about all the good news.  They had a gear failure on the first race where the rope holding up the prod for the spinnaker broke as they were thrashing to windward and buried the bow in a big wave.  This let the prod fall down into the water off the bow.  Some high adrenalin moments as they tried to pull the prod back up and then keep it out of the water long enough to tie another cord onto it in the big seas.  Unfortunately, this broke the pad-eye that the prod attaches to on the front of the forebeam, so they couldn't fly the spinnaker.  Rather than try to finish both races without the chute, the decision was made to pull out of the first race, limp around behind an island (out of the winds and seas) to effect a jury rig, lashing the pad-eye back into place with some thin Spectra line.  They finished in time to join the second race but they're still getting to know each other as well as the boat - only 2 of the 5 crew have sailed together or sailed a Firefly before.  On a small boat, things happen fast, and with 3 sails, lots of adjustment points, and 2 dagger‑boards, there's a lot to do.  A botched tack left them in irons, a botched spinnaker take-down let some of the chute hit the water, and a botched jibe as they rounded the windward mark let them touch the mark itself, requiring them to sail a full circle as "punishment."  So not a good start to the racing, but it can only get better!

Mike checking the fit of a stainless steel bow-protector
Mike checking the fit of a stainless steel bow-protector

Mike dropped by to deliver our new Goiot hatch hardware bits from Europe.  And he dropped off the 2 stainless steel "shoulders" for the targa bar, pieces that had not faired well in storage for a year and were looking dull and corroded.  Now they are bright enough to be mirrors!

The other stainless steel bits he brought were not nearly as shiny, but really cool, none the less.  These were the big bow protectors (for which Mike had made a mold last week) and a couple of the aft‑most protectors for the swim-platforms.  Everything fit about 98% perfectly.  The last little bit can be worked out by the machinist in person at Ocelot.

Lek and Baw (sick) sand the cockpit table halves
Lek and Baw (sick) sand the cockpit table halves

Friday, July 19:
Another good racing day for Jon, and busy people at the yard.

Sue put in a good 5 hours on the boom aluminum today.  Still using both the polishing wheel on the grinder and then 400 grit sandpaper (wet) to check for scratches, then hitting it again as needed.  By day's end she was about 90% finished with the second side, so we're getting close to another big Nyalic event.  Pla spent a few minutes on the boom sanding detail areas right at the end of the day, for which Sue was grateful.  A few minutes of strong hands and fingers with sand paper can accomplish a lot.

Baw and Lek were still on the cockpit table, wet sanding yesterday's epoxy sprays.  They worked on all 4 sides.  Unfortunately, Baw was coming down with a bad sore throat and cold, and begged off before lunch.  Better to go home and recuperate than to push too hard.  We hope he'll be feeling better soon.  Lek carried on with the cockpit table sanding, a sort of lonely job way off to the side, under a neighboring catamaran.

Our beautiful salon table! Heru and Pla strip off the old varnish
Our beautiful salon table! Heru and Pla strip off the old varnish

Yando began the day in the port side cabins sanding the first layer of gloss varnish.   Not sure if he completed an area, but by mid‑afternoon he was down under Ocelot's stern with Pla and Heru working on one of the salon table pieces.

Heru and Pla disassembled the salon tables (a single one on port, and a double/folded one on starboard) giving us a huge, airy salon!  The hardware was unscrewed, jarred and labeled, and the table pieces taken down to be stripped. They used a local chemical TOA paint stripper and scrapers to get off the old varnish.  Well, not all very old, as we had tried to varnish port side a couple years ago (an event that proved to us that we're not varnishers).  It will be nice to have a professional job done again.  Once stripped of the varnish, the tables were sanded with #80 and then #120 grit sandpaper.  Sue had to warn them to be very careful as the table has very thin veneer trim on the edges and we don't want to have to repair anything.   Because of the heavy wear and tear on the tables we'll be doing the epoxy (West System) clear base and then the AwlBrite polyurethane top coats.

Houa putting Sikaflex Primer (for the calking) in the grooves
Houa putting Sikaflex Primer (for the calking) in the grooves

Houa made good strides with the cockpit teak.  He uncovered the 2 sections bordering the battery hatch that he bedded yesterday.  Using a wide chisel and some hand‑crafted tools he cut the grooves for where the black Sika caulking will go.  Sue tried to ask why this "L" shaped piece was treated differently than the others (usually he routers the grooves first, and then just lays the planks inside the teak frame), but could get no understandable answer (we very seldom get an answer to a Why question in Thailand).  The bottom line is, he was able to adjust the width of the grooves to make them uniform and "look beautiful".  By mid‑afternoon he had cleaned up all the teak shavings, acetoned the grooves, and applied Primer.  Then he squeezed in black Sika 290DC!  Last job of the day was to start the template for the frame for the port side teak section.  We only have these 2 side sections and the aft deck that still need teak!

Jon had more fun racing on Dyer Straits.  They're starting to come together as a team, to work more efficiently together.  Today they had 2 races, a long around‑the‑islands race (there are several islands where they're racing, off the SE corner of Phuket) and another that was just up, back, up, back around a buoy dead to windward.  As a cruiser, Jon prefers the longer and more scenic legs of the around the islands races, but Kate, a die‑hard racer, prefers the frenetic action of around the buoys.

Pla, Yando & Heru helping Sue sand the boom for Nyalic
Pla, Yando & Heru helping Sue sand the boom for Nyalic

The winds were much lighter today, perhaps 8‑15 knots (about half of yesterday's winds).  They got good starts on both races and on the first race decided to take a chance on a long starboard tack out away from the pack, which brought them to the windward island well in first place (among the Fireflies).  Twin Sharks, which is obviously the boat to beat, caught them on the downwind leg and slowly pulled away.  The second race had lighter winds which kept the 6 Fireflies more closely packed.  The long starboard tack didn't work as well this time and they came in third.

Saturday, July 20:
It was a good end of the week, up until the end of the day, when we had a step backwards at the yard, and a big step backwards for Jon.

Baw painting epoxy on one half of our salon table
Baw painting epoxy on one half of our salon table

Things rolled along swimmingly at Ocelot most of the day.  Sue continued to sand and polish the boom for its impending Nyalic treatment.  She even coerced 3 of the guys to put in 10 minutes at the end of the day wet sanding with her.  It's amazing what those 30 man-minutes can accomplish!  Whether Sue does the Nyalic tomorrow is still unsure.

Baw and Lek worked on the salon and cockpit tables under the neighboring boat.  We got the first coat of shiny, glossy, bright AwlBrite polyurethane brushed onto the cockpit table which had 4 layers of West Epoxy already cured onto it.  On the salon table pieces, Baw got 2 coats of epoxy on both sides by the end of the day!  He did this "wet on wet" which we normally advocate, but since he had thinned the epoxy we weren't sure it was a good idea, but he claims "No problem, Madame!"  So, we'll see.

Most of the guys were inside the salon today stripping back old varnish from the trim, and sanding the bare wood.  This was all to prepare it for its first layer of epoxy which will seal the wood and give the AwlBrite a strong, unmoving base to lay on.

Baw and Pla brushing epoxy on high wear areas of the galley
Baw and Pla brushing epoxy on high wear areas of the galley

Between table coats, Baw, Heru and Pla brushed a first coat of epoxy on all of the interior trim, so it's now sealed and shiny.

At the end of the day, Baw showed Sue a problem they'd had.  Apparently the new batch of rags that had been bought at Kittipan in Phuket Town earlier in the week were contaminated with oil.  It was very subtle, but when we smelled the "fresh" rags you could detect an odor of oil.  Dang!  This meant that the wet sanding of the first AwlBrite coat was wiped down with oily rags, which Baw discovered just moments after the full second coat was on.  The gloriously shiny layer had a whole mass of finger‑print‑size craters all over it.  Sort of a gloss‑pox.  Bummer.  So that whole layer will have to be sanded off and wiped with a CLEAN rag, which Baw will be getting from another rags supplier in Phuket.

Houa worked on the 2 remaining sections of teak for the cockpit itself.  These are a bit tricky because with his wider frames (which we agreed look very spiffy) the central boards don't necessarily line up with the ones fore and aft, the way the old cockpit planks did with no framing boards.  But he will make it work with wider frames on one side of each section (like the old set‑up, but a bit bigger).  He then told us that modern cats no longer use gelcoat rims around the teak sections, and that we would have been better off without them.  When the teak wears down, you can sand it over and over, without hitting the gelcoat.  Ah well.  Too late now.  We should have had that conversation about 8 months ago, but no one was looking that far ahead, or thinking to change things.

Houa laying out the teak and making sure it all lines up
Houa laying out the teak and making sure it all lines up

Jon was out on the water again all day, having a great time racing.  It was light conditions, 12‑15 knots.   Good racing, with 2 third place finishes, one of them by about 10 feet!  The "Oh Shit" happened at the end of the day, when bringing down the spinnaker.  Jon released the spinnaker tack (down haul) and the rope pulled Jon's hand into the rope clamp (Spinlock), breaking the first bone of his little finger.  Ouch!  He scootered off to the International hospital at 5pm, got x‑rayed, and trussed up in a temporary cast.  But then he couldn't drive his scooter home, so Sue rode out to the rescue.  A real challenge for both of us, as Sue had never ridden with a passenger before (2 blocks with Amanda in May doesn't count!), and Jon was not used to being a passenger.  The pending dusk didn't help either, as it was rush‑hour, and Sue's night vision is poor.  But they got home safely.

Jon's mishap usurped the AwlBrite oily rag mishap by a long‑shot, but whose counting?  We are.  Three broken bones in 5 months.  Ouch.  We're dong too many things outside our "norm" of cruising.  Unfortunately Jon won't be racing on Dyre Straits for the last day, as a broken finger is a poor addition to a deck crew!

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