Friday, December 22, 2017

The Train to Bangkok

No, This is not our train
We traveled the 600 miles from the Malaysia/Thai border to Bangkok by train.  The trip is 17 hours long and most of it is at night.  The last train out is a sleeper car train.  Since we didn't make our originally scheduled train, we were even lucky that there were berths available.   

Our Thai Railway System Sleeper Train

The Sleeping Arrangement
We had upper bunks across from each other.  The folks in the lower bunks, Paul the German Windsurfer, and Add the Thai businessman were very congenial and made for good conversation during the many monotonous hours.  There was food available in the Club Car but we brought our own and even shared a bottle of wine.

All the Flip-Flops lined up outside the bunks

It's actually not that great trying to sleep on a train.  It is much noisier than an airplane and it is a bumpy ride.  Needless to say, I got a few hours sleep and Booker didn't get any.  At least it was more comfortable lying down that sitting in a train seat.  The cost was $35 US each.

 We arrived in Bangkok at noon and took a Tuk-Tuk to the hotel.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Train to Thailand

Train Tickets to the Border

Bus Ticket to Penang

We researched everything there was to know about taking the train to Bangkok.  First step is to walk to the bus station in Lumut.  Then take the bus to Butterworth, Penang.  From there we take the 'Komuter' train to Pedang Besar on the Thai border.  There we would clear out of Malaysia and into Thailand, board the train at the Pedang Besar station and be in Bangkok 17 hours later.

The Late Train
Well, the best-laid plans of mice, men, and cruisers always go awry.   

The bus ride was long but got us to the train in time.  The train to the Thai border was late and immigration was closed when we arrived at the Pedang Besar station.  Since we hadn't cleared-out, the train left without us.  Train tickets wasted!  Plan B was to clear-out at the road crossing and take a shuttle bus to the next up-line station, Hat Yai, about an hour away.  This would allow us to board the waiting train.

Shuttle Tickets to Hat Yai
In an ideal world, we could have caught the train at the Hat Yai station and been on our way.  

However, Immigration was crowded and it took a half hour to clear-in to Thailand.  We arrived an hour after the train departed.  Plan C:  Get a hotel and book the train for the next day.  There are 5 daily trains but only 1 has sleeper cars.  17 hours is too long to sit in a train seat so we killed the day in Hat Yai and took the 24 hour delay in stride.  

It doesn't get any easier than staying at The Train Hotel

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Finishing up Phase One

We are getting ready to leave Malaysia and head home for the holidays.  We accomplished spraying about a quarter of the boat with 20 liters of gelcoat.  We worked out the bugs, had a steep learning curve, and developed a good repeatable system to apply large quantities of gelcoat. 

When we return in January, we will buy more gelcoat from a local source vs. having it shipped from Singapore.  Unfortunately the Duratec will still have to be shipped.

Freshly sprayed and unsanded.
We used up the remaining material by spraying under the bridge deck.  This is an area where any variation in color will not be very visible (all whites are not the same).  The new gelcoat will all be from the same batch and be exactly the same color and viscosity.

Here is a video of our last section of work.  The green tint is from the sunshades that we used to cocoon the boat.  This allowed us to spray even when the wind was howling with minimal overspray.

I applied four thick coats with one being a cross coat.  Later the edges were sanded to ease the thickness at the masking tape which keeps the gelcoat from cracking when pulling off the tape.

We will be taking the overnight train to Bangkok and staying there a few days before flying to Europe for our connection to Philadelphia.