Due to a last-minute battery problem, the 6-months old deep-cycle battery we were so happy with started to loose power overnight, we left a few days late… but the important thing is: We left.
The Little Boat was prepped, painted (badly) and packed, and so we left for our first “sight”; the blooming lotus-flowers in Udon Thani. We made good time and arrived around lunch. Sadly no one had told us the lotus-flowers close their flowers after about 10 O’clock, so we saw millions upon millions of closed flowers. Not much of a view when you are expecting an endless sea of bright red-pink lotus flowers (also known as water lilies ;-)
We were off to a good start, that much was sure.
We spend the nights in national parks, temples and government-yards. Mostly for free or for a small fee. These places are safe and usually have running water, toilets and other facilities that come in handy when you live in a small rolling house.
Because we did not make a “route”, we simply looked on our GPS-map for the next “sight” and let the machine set a course on the “shortest distance” setting. This made for interesting routes and some unexpected adventures.
The Little Boat´s maiden voyage
One of these adventures showed up in the form of a small “ferry”, though “ferry” is to big a word for two pontoons tied together with ropes and pieces of wood, propelled by so called “long-tail engines”, which basically are car-engines with a long propeller-shaft welded on the crankshaft and on the other end of that shaft a small propeller. The whole thing pivots on one mounting-point. Lift the propeller out of the water and the pontoons stop, let it sink in the water and the pontoons, sort of, go.
At first they did not want to take us on board because we were to heavy (4.5 tons). Strangely they had no problems with 2 large pickup-trucks, one carrying half a car in the bed and the other towing a trailer with a BMW motorcycle. I estimate that to be about 5 tons, but “no...” they said, their limit was 3 tons.
Luckily we were saved by a skipper who did have a basic knowledge of the noble art of math. His pontoons did not even move when we drove our Little Boat onto his little boat.
We loaded water and diesel at large fuel-stations. They would also have a 7-11 (seven eleven) for supplies and usually clean toilets for the Nr.2 business (which we have not yet done in our own potty).
Day 8 ended in a bit of a calamity. We noticed a nasty diesel smell outside of our Little Boat and a quick investigation led to the conclusion that we had sprung a leak. Luckily not in the conventional way that boats spring leaks, but still, a leaking diesel filter is a problem, specially if you can´t reach it without dissembling half the engine (OK, a slight exaggeration, but with a hint of truth in it).
This was one of those moments that you want to thank Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) for his relentless efforts. We quickly found an Isuzu truck workshop 65 Km from our current location and we´ll go there tomorrow.
Will our leaking Little Boat be saved? Will we be able to continue on our amazing journey through Thailand? Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a June-wedding?
Read it all in our next bl… bll…. Bloggg.