Location: Samut Prakan
The day began based on the Bangkok River high tide. At 0230 this morning, the eight-person crew of Argo woke to Thai shipyard men boarding the boat ready to motor downriver to haul Argo out of the water. Although we are not taking her to the same shipyard that originally built her, we are just down the way, and many familiar faces walk the streets. As we crossed the shipping lane and approached the dry dock, the Thai men on board began expertly passing lines. Carefully we were pulled onto the submersed dry dock. Lines were running in every direction: a bridle led to the boat off our bowsprit, several lines came down from forward and aft spreaders, a thick line was bow-lined onto our mainmast, plus all the lines running from our bow and stern. As soon as we were secured, two men gracefully entered the dark water, one with full scuba gear on, the other with a mask that attached to a long tube running up to a compressor on the dock. Their jobs were to help guide the chalking of the boat. At the surface, they were given wood boxes, in which they dove down to stabilize the boat as the dry dock was raised and the water drained. By 0600, Argo was completely out of the water, and our own personal staircase was being brought in by a crane. Once Argo sat comfortably on the dry dock, we began moving our stuff off the boat, as we would be living in a Bangkok apartment. Since the dry dock sits in the river and is only connected to land by a maze of ladders and floating platforms, the crane and a very large basket were used to remove our luggage from the boat. As noon approached, Argo looked ready to be rehauled, and the crew was unpacking in their new home, looking forward to the next day’s commute.