SEA GEM LOG
January 14, 2000
GALLE IN SRI LANKA
We went into town to continue our quest to repair the refrigeration
and to find an Internet to check our e-mail. We seem to have
acquired Dee Dee as a guide, and he has taken over our arrangements.
He works for one of the agencies here that coordinates the requests
and repairs on the yachts visiting Galle in Sri Lanka. Dee
Dee is also arranging a tour for us which will take three days and
two nights. We had lunch in the old city, inside the walls
of the fort. The hotel there is an old colonial one, and it
appears that any moment Humphery Bogart could come walking through
the door. Cows graze up and down the slopes of the fort, and
they move freely throughout the city. The cattle are of varying
ages, breeding and color, and surprisingly enough, for the
most part they are in good flesh and are quite docile. Dogs
and cats are everywhere, none look like pets but for the most part
they are simply ignored.
Transportation around town is rather wild with lots of pedestrians, huge busses, bigger
trucks, motor bikes, bicycles, and Tuk Tuks. A Tuk Tuk is a three wheeled contraption with a driver in front and a place for two passengers in back. There is an awning over the top and
in rain they let down side curtains.
We were in one a good part of yesterday in the pouring rain. First we had to change money.
The bank would not take Thai money so we had to go to the black market where we changed our Thai bahts and some US dollars for rupee so that we can function in town.
We made a brief stop at the internet cafe and then headed back to wait for the mechanic that was working on our pump. The wait was long and by the time we headed for the boat the wind was really up.
It was a long dingy ride and the two mechanics were scared. As we approached Sea Gem she was bucking like a bronco in a huge sea which was slamming her around like a leaf in a
whirlwind. Sandra had gone back to the boat with Joe, the young crew member on Stampede and Joe and Sandra were able to help us board.
Charlie had to approach the swim platform, which was totally submerging with each pitch and dive of the boat, and time his approach so that we could jump for the platform while he
backed off and would not get caught under the platform as it slammed down again.
Joe stood ready on the platform, gripping the boat with one arm and extending the other to
the person jumping aboard. It sure is nice to have a big strong eighteen year old arm waiting for you when you are in that position. I jumped first and scrambled up into the aft cockpit.
Then it was time for the two mechanics and they each made it, although the young one did fall. The last in was Charlie and he boarded and we were all safely aboard the boat. It was
pitching so badly you could not stand up. We have never been in so rough an anchorage. The mechanics went down to the engine room and almost immediately got sick and threw
up. They were not only sea sick but scared to death. Joe and Sandra offered to take the mechanics back and we took them up on it. We did not want to leave the boat and those Sri
Lankan fellows surely did not want to stay on it. Any thoughts of going ashore were out for us, we wanted to make sure our anchor stayed secure. Jamaica Tom had to go to one of the
boats and stay aboard during the storm with one of the crew members for the owner was away. One fellow was flipped out of the dingy on the way out to the boat but quickly rescued.
It was a night to be remembered and one we do not want to repeat. We have moved Sea Gem to another anchorage where all the Millennium Odyssey boats are now anchored.
When we leave the boat tomorrow to go on our tour Jamaica Tom will help look after her as well as the neighboring boats and our crew member Sandra Cook. We look forward to
seeing Sri Lanka and telling you about this small country with a lot of history. Until later from Sea Gem in a now calm anchorage. . .