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Waiting Game

02 July 2007 (Thailand) by Kendon Glass


Photo: Autumn Tide

Having met some real nice yachties here in Phuket I have extended my visa in Thailand for a final time. Minutes from cycling off from the marina the other day I met Carl, an around the world yachtsman from the United States and fellow cycling enthusiast. It happens that he has raced bicycles competitively and having got chatting he invited me to stay onboard his vessel for a few days. After some clear weather and with good visibility in the water, Carl and I decided to jump overboard with the snorkeling gear and scrape the hull and keel of crusty barnacles and sea critters.

It is a great feeling to be sleeping out on the water again. After easy breezy Thailand I can really sense the adventure on the horizon again, midnight under sail, up on top with the stars and moon, just the sound of wind in the sails and the running wake, this time the vastness summoning me home. Reality is though that its not the best time of year to get boats going south. I do however have a feeling that its just a matter of time, that with a bit of patience it will all come together as it usually does. Still if at the end of this week I have not found a position to crew on a yacht I will return to the bicycle and make my way overland to Malaysia. However with the recent spate of bombings and killings in Thailands southern provinces this is not the preferred option.

While in Bangkok I addressed several bare necessities, having the bicycle frame re-welded and the back wheel re-built with DT Swiss spokes. After years on the road the wear and tear on the bicycles components is clearly evident. I have been experiencing quite a bit of play with the Shimano XT bottom bracket so it seems the bearings are just about shot. In addition I am now cycling without a front derailleur, having to stop and manually move the chain up and down the chain rings, altering gears this way as the terrain dictates. Fortunately Thailand is mostly flat so although not ideal, this hassle is something I can deal with in the short term. Rusty just needs to hold up until I get out to sea. Then once I get into Australia Ill need to put my head down for a couple of months to bolster the trips kitty and perhaps take some time to seek out sponsorship for replacing these parts. I guess if getting home was easy the whole experience wouldnt be half as rewarding. Least thats what Im telling myself. One thing thats for sure, the closer I get to home the more I am thinking about it, the more I yearn to see my family. Over the years, in order to get the job done, ive reigned in certain feelings that left unchecked would have made the journeys objectives all the more difficult to attain, perhaps even impossible. Now at least, with a bit of luck I should be able to fall over the line.

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Photo: Keeping the show on the road

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