Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Typical Day

Author: Leah Shopneck
Location: Samut Prakan
A typical day for the crew of Argo entails the following
6:15- alarms begin to sound throughout our Bangkok apartment
6:30- breakfast and coffee
7:00- we take the BTS (Bangkok metro) from the apartment to the final stop on the line, On Nut
7:10- climb into a taxi telling the driver Samut Prakan, Thanun Taiban, Soi Italian 11
8:50-900- arrival time at the shipyard depends solely on Bangkok traffic
8:00- crew muster in the salon
8:15- the crew disperses throughout the boat to grind bilges, rust bust the laz, polish metal, repair hatches, mix paint, and use hand gestures to communicate with the local Thai workers
12:00- lunch bought from the local street vendors
12:30- continue the dirty jobs that are turning our white shirts brown
15:15- begin cleaning up by, priming open steel, sweeping the cardboard that protects the floors down below, and put away the tools used throughout the day
16:00- depart the boat, occasionally by way of the crane, call two cabs from the shipyard main office and begin our hour plus commute back to the apartment
17:00- showers, dinner and evening activities commence

Monday, May 18, 2009

Big Things are Happening

Author: Leah Shopneck
Location: Samut Prakan, Thailand
In just the past two weeks big things have happened in Thailand for Argo and her shipyard crew. For the staff, dive instructor certifications have been completed, visa runs to Malaysia have been flown and college diplomas have been received. For the boat, her deck is now draped in camouflage-like tarps that hang a few feet above the deck to protect the Thai workers from the intense sun. For us non-Thai individuals it involves hours of walking the deck crouched over to avoid the sunshade and wishing we were about 2 feet shorter.
The shipyard period for Argo is in full swing. Every nook and cranny has been scrapped and re-scrapped to remove all rust. Down below all portholes have been removed, cleaned thoroughly and sealed back into place. After days of scrubbing, the stove is cleared of months worth of bacon grease. To the untrained eye Argo may look dirty and better used than it did a few weeks prior, but to us now shipyard folk every bit of rust flying through the air makes her look all the better.