We sighed a relief and I contracted more work to be done in the interior. Carpentry at Owner's ensuite and corridor as well as piping works in Engine room. Then we got the news that the Indian Empress is not coming to India due to the Somalian piracy threat. So, for our Owner to have a yacht in India during the high season we would be sent there.
Alright, contractors were hurried, stores were taken onboard and preparations made. Saini had done his courses in India and was due to arrive a day before departure.
Taj Hotel under attack
Unfortunately world events would affect us too, the terrorist attack in Mumbai prevented Saini from collecting his passport form the English high commission as it was next to the Taj Hotel. Eventually he missed his flight and as all Bangkok airports were barricaded, he was also unable to secure another flight to Phuket as all was fully booked. Nevermind that he did not manage to get hold of Singapore Airlines that was his ticket issuer - their office had been blown to smithereens by the terrorists in Mumbai. We realize now how fragile our world actually is.
Anyway, to talk about November we made a few tours outside Phuket with the crew as well as we exorcised ghosts that were drinking our Ginger Ale onboard.
One Sunday we again packed ourselves in the pickup truck and motored way towards Khao Lak, a stretch of coast on the west side filled with resorts that was worst hit during the tsunami in 2004. After an hours leisurely drive we arrive to Khao Lak and find a narrow trunk road leading to the beach. All offload and start enjoying beach life. Swimming, ball throwing etc. After having exhausted all our energies we had a nice lunch at the restaurant found at the beach front. Khao Lak beach is rather boring as it is lined with resort after resort next to each other and is not too much catering for the occasional visitor.
During the week Jyothi discovered that we had 2 cases of Ginger Ale in our store mysteriously disappeared without opening the can. Even the pressure was still left when the can was opened. As my Darling, Jiras, stepfather is a local shaman I explained her the situation and invited him to come onboard to exorcise the ghost. He arrived one early morning at 6am and I walked him around the ship and showed our waterhold from where the Ale had disappeared and Jiras Father was getting the vibes. Finally we all gathered at the forward deck and Jiras father explained it is a very young ghost that is not mean spirited but very young. He will exorcise it and take it with him to his house. So, he takes out some yellow paper which is scribbled with Chinese characters (the initial work has been done while he was possessed by his Chinese spirit), burns the stuff and dips it out in a Thai tin drinking vessel. Finally the vessel is thrown overboard and the ghost goes with the vessel. When this accomplished Jyothi and Richard who has followed the ceremony asks for their fortune. Both got their charts drawn up and was quite surprised.
Well, the next weekend we did not do anything except suffer from flu and we also go the news that we're going back to India asap.
Last weekend we motored towards Trang and after 3hrs we arrived there in time for dinner. We drove to the beach and had a most delicious sea food dinner under pine trees. We overnighted at a local resort and woke up the next day to drizzling rain. Never minding the rain we went to Jira's parents house to get another reading for Jyothi and to taste a local delicacy made by Jiras mom - "Khanom Jin", it is soft noodles with a fairly runny fish curry made in coconut and chillies. On top of it is piled a different assortment of raw vegetables, yummy. After this we drove back to Yacht haven again and next days were spent saying goodbye to all people we knew.
Departure for Mumbai was on 2nd Dec at 1500hrs in strong NE wind at Yacht Haven Marina, it looked to become a voyage with fair stern winds...