Bangkok:  time contraction; spinning faster; around the world; boat update

October 12, 2023 – 8am

I have the impression that time is flowing faster. It used to take a while to go from Monday to Friday and an eternity to celebrate the next Christmas.  But I just learned that we have been living in Thailand for one year and it is hard to accept. If asked, I would have answered, six months max.    And I am not comparing my perception of time now with that in my childhood; I understand time flows faster for adults than for children. Psychologists have an explanation for that:  “Children perceive and lay down more memory frames or mental images per unit of time than adults, so when they remember events—that is, the passage of time—they recall more visual data. This is what causes the perception of time passing more rapidly as we age.”

I’m talking about a more recent, sudden, acceleration in the flow of time. It’s Wednesday morning when I am writing this, yet it feels as if Sunday was just yesterday. Maybe this is happening just in my mind, but it could be a universal phenomenon.  After all, we know that time slows down as our speed through space increases; at the speed of light time stops. Conversely, it might be that time is flowing faster because galaxies are not flying apart as fast as before. In any case, if this is not happening just in my mind at some point scientists/astronomers will notice.

Related to this, I was reading about the acceleration of the earth’s rotation. “On June 29, the planet spun 1.59 milliseconds faster than 24 hours, according to, which was the fastest since highly-accurate atomic clock records began in the 1960s. This followed a streak of the 28 fastest days recorded in 2020, the shortest of which was recorded on July 19 at 1.47 milliseconds fewer than 24 hours. In 2021, Earth continued to spin fast, although the shortest day was longer than the shortest in 2020.”  Scientists do not know why, but they say there is no reason to worry, so I won’t. 

It is 9:30am here, I am drinking my second cup of coffee seating in the living room, Woland is sleeping in his bed by the window.  No big plans for today.  I will soon start writing about something else to be able to make a living.   At some point Woland and I will go for a long walk, and upon returning home he will stay in his crate while I hit the gym.  In the afternoon I have to buy groceries, including a chicken that I plan to roast for dinner. To go with it I’ll to choose a bottle of red from our reserves, which are being depleted at an alarming rate. We did order new cases though and they are supposed to be delivered next month. 

October 13, 2022 – 6pm

I spent part of the morning planning what will be a trip around the world. Originally, my intention was to travel with Woland from Thailand to the US to see my daughters and accompany Marina to visit universities in the West Coast, and from there to Ecuador and then Colombia where the Slocum 43 is located.  Unfortunately, for work reasons, I have to be in Morocco during the second and third weeks of November. And, apparently, Woland cannot travel to the US until he is six months old.  I don’t know who makes these regulations but they don’t make sense, at least to me.    

What I am going to do instead is BKK-LAX-IAD-CDG-BKK; from Bangkok to Los Angeles flying east via Taiwan, from LA to Washington DC, from DC to Paris (where I will fly to Morocco and back), and from Paris to Bangkok. In Bangkok I will pick up Woland who by then will be 6 months old and fly back to DC (we can’t fly directly to Ecuador through Europe because to enter Europe he has to be 11 months old), spend some more time with the girls, and then continue to Ecuador and Colombia. Not ideal but doable. 

So, this morning I started to look at Around the World tickets which are supposed to be cheaper than buying separate tickets for each flight, but they were not; they cost twice as much. I then had to reserve/buy tickets for each of the legs in different airlines.  But since I m a staying for a few days in each city, this should not present a problem.  

October 14, 5:05pm

Friday here, will soon poor me a glass of G&T.  Earlier today because we have a reservation for an early dinner with Natalia’s mum who at midnight flights back to Riga. She’s been with us for two months or so and has started to miss her home.  

I haven’t completed the purchase of the Slocum yet but I’m getting close. Yesterday, the surveyor sent me the final version of the report.  I also received this morning quotes from the boatyard for various jobs I would want them to do.  I also spoke with Vincent, the owner of the boat who lives in Ibiza. He explained to me where some of the missing equipment was located; apparently everything is inside the boat in different compartments. We had a good talk, he was sharing with me some insider knowledge and telling about Suret VI’s virtues (that is her current name).  He is sad to let her go but doesn’t have a choice.   

The bottom line is that the boat is structurally sound, and all systems are working.  They couldn’t check the engine, but I do not foresee any problems.  It is the same engine I had in ANTARES, a Westerbeke 50hp, and those engines, if well maintained, last a lifetime.  The interior and the sails are in excellent condition.  The main problem is the deck, which is not surprising since the boat has been on the hard for 3 years under the sun and rain. The teak needs to be treated, screws and plugs need to be replaced, silicone removed and reapplied, and in some parts the deck needs new teak. The white areas with fiber glass need to be repainted and in some sections there are cracks that need to be repaired.  The teak in the cockpit and gunwales need to be sanded and varnished. The topsides also call for love and care; not painting but some good polishing. In addition, the bottom of the keel has suffered some damage because of the support and will have to be repaired. Adding a couple of coats of antifouling is a must.  The surveyor could not check the seacocks so the boatyard will have to do it and replace/fix as needed. All halyards and sheets have to go and be replaced by new ones.     

So, I plan to renegotiate my offer to have some funds for all these repairs.  The good news is that with a strong USD dollar and a weak Peso the budget required is not too bad; at least 3 times cheaper than in the USA.  Cartagena seems to be the place to do boat maintenance and repairs these days.  I plan to send a new offer over the weekend and hopefully next week I can finalize the deal.  

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