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Phuket expat’s Row2Rio begins push to equator

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket expat’s Row2Rio begins push to equator | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The two men and two women undertaking the Row2Rio challenge have launched into the third section of the trip – the longest leg of the journey with the most unknown factors that could end up making or breaking this unprecedented adventure.

“It’s a 950 nautical mile push to the equator. This stage will dictate whether we can get this new route done the way we want to. This stage will contain areas of mixed currents, no wind or waves and generally plenty of unknowns,” wrote Luke Richmond, Aussie expat and head coach at Unit27 in Phuket. “This is what we signed up for, a new route across the Atlantic to Recife.”

This week the team finished stage two of the trip, which saw them complete the 780 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde.

With full backing from the Ocean Rowing Society and support from ocean rowing experts, the team departed Portugal on February 29, beginning a 3,200 nautical mile man-powered journey to Brazil (story here).

“It’s funny to think that in giving up the ‘normal life’ back in Sydney, leaving business and money behind and moving to Thailand I fell into an opportunity to row across an ocean, something that takes years of planning and tens of thousands of dollars to achieve,” wrote Mr Richmond. “I guess Paulo Coelho said it best: ‘give up what you’re meant to be doing to seek your destiny and you will realize that your destiny is what you’re meant to be doing’.”

Mr Richmond – already in peak condition from incorporating a NeuroPhysics training program from Ken Ware into his weekly schedule of crossfit, climbing and adventure training – was invited to join the rowing challenge after one of the team members was struck with appendicitis just two weeks from their scheduled departure. Without hesitation, Mr Richmond jumped on a plane to meet with Susannah Cass from Ireland, Mel Parker, also known as ‘Big Wave Whisperer’, from the UK, and Jake Heath, also from the UK.

Mr Coelho also wrote, “I can only conclude that worse than hunger or thirst, worse than being unemployed, unhappy in love or defeated and in despair, far worse than any of all those things, is feeling that no one, absolutely no one, cares about us.”

Though Mr Richmond might agree with Mr Coelho on this point as well, it appears that food, especially Top Herd jerky, has become a priority in the lives of the rowers.

“It’s funny what your mind goes to and what you crave out here. I’m craving a massive salad and sweet potato fries above all else. A new currency has formed at sea, the currency of food,” wrote Mr Richmond. “Food trade has begun and there are certain commodities that carry more weight then others. I have loads of chocolate so I can trade decently for Mel’s biscuits and nuts, but no one will give up their Top Herd jerky, no matter how many delicious treats I offer them. This jerky stands alone as the best I have ever had and is favored by all of us”.

The Phuket Gazette was unable to confirm whether or not Top Herd jerky is a sponsor of the event, but if they aren’t, they should clearly be making a donation to the Macmillan Cancer Support Foundation, which the team is raising money for.

“We fully support their ethos that no one should face cancer alone, currently one in four people are isolated facing cancer. Our target is 200,000 pounds of which 75,000 pounds will be to fund the boat (which we’ll sell at the end and donate the proceeds to Macmillan) and 125,000 pounds for the charity, which is enough to fund two Macmillan nurses for two years,” explains the Row2Rio website.

Support their efforts to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support by clicking here.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli



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Phuket

Top 10 ways to save water at home

The Thaiger

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Top 10 ways to save water at home | The Thaiger

Hot weather and Thailand’s boom-or-bust water issues (floods in wet season and water shortages in the hot season) are a part of our life. And it’s predicted that there will be hotter hot seasons and wetter wet-seasons in the future. Even if we’re not sure what the future brings we should all be conscious of our water usage, be more self-sufficient and empower ourselves to do something positive to protect Thailand’s precious water reserves.

Here are a few ideas that may help you become more water-wise…

• Shower with a bucket. Don’t let all that water pour down the drain and stick a bucket next to you whilst you shower. The plants will be grateful for an extra drink on hot days and save you using the hose sometimes. Whilst you’re at it, cut your 5 minute shower down to three minutes. Really, you can sing somewhere else! And, really, do we absolutely have to have four showers a day? No. A fresh spray of the deodorant and a fresh shirt will be perfectly OK during water shortages. For couples, well, shower together!

• Leave the water running whilst brushing your teeth? Try turning it off until you want to rinse out your mouth. All that useable water flowing down the basic drain whilst you’re brushing isn’t making your teeth any whiter! Same when you’re washing your hands or washing your hair. Turn off the tap whilst you’re doing all the scrubbing. These little habits could end up saving tens of litres every time you do these common tasks.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Boiling pasta? Rice? Eggs? Once the left-over water has cooled use it to water your indoor or outdoor plants. Just make sure the water has cooled first!

• Washing the car at a car wash is more efficient than doing it yourself at home. Car wash businesses recycle a lot of their water. Even better, drive around with a dirty car now and then – it’s not hurting you or the car and will save water by delaying your car wash.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Lawns use lots of water and daily watering during the hot season can soak up hundreds of litres of valuable. Letting your lawn go brown, be assured it will come back in the wet season. And long-term, landscape accordingly with water wise ground covers, succulents, and other plants that thrive in drought conditions. Lawns may be a luxury we can’t afford in these water-conscious times.

• Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. Even better wash the dishes by hand. Dishwashing machines are notable water wasters. Grab you partner or a friend and have a chat or a laugh for the five minutes it will take you to wash the dishes by hand. You could save up to 50-100 litres of water! And fill up the sink once and do all the washing together without leaving the water running all the time.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Whilst it hasn’t been a worry in the past, our useable potable water supplies around Thailand are becoming an issue that won’t be fixed immediately. Consider installing a simple rain catchment system. They can be cheap or expensive and should be considered if you’re building a new house as an integral part of the design. Your roof is an amazing water-catcher. Use it.

• Flush the toilet less often and with less water. Most modern toilets have a half-flush option and there are other tricks to reducing the re-fill in your toilet’s cistern – putting a brick into your cistern is one way (gently!).

• Water the plants early in the morning. You’ll need less water, since cooler morning temperatures mean less evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings, since this can promote mould growth in the humid Thai weather and hot evenings. And you really don’t need to water the driveway. It’s not growing. No one is going to walk past your house and compliment you on your sparkling clean drive-way.

• The dog WILL survive without being washed every day, or week. Indeed our dogs used to survive perfectly well without being washed at all. If the family pooch does need a wash try and use some of the water you saved from the bucket in the shower and be careful not to leave the hose on whilst rubbing in the shampoo. As for the cat, it is genetically programmed to clean itself better than you could ever hope to. Leave the cat alone – it DOES NOT need to be washed.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu

The Thaiger

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Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Chatchanon Na Thalang

A luxury house, under construction, has been found on the Nark Herd Hills overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu.

The issue came to light after aerial photos of the house went viral in local social media. Yesterday officials paid a visit to the new house.

A man name Taweep Phonputchai from Bangkok, a representative of the land owner, met with officials and presented the land title deed to officers. The land covers an area of about 10 rai.

The land used to be rubber plantation. Officials have checked and found that the land has a legal land tittle deed but are continuing their investigation into the new residence.

Meanwhile, look how low the dam is!

Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Chatchanon Na Thalang

Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger Mystery luxury house found under construction overlooking Bang Wad Dam in Kathu | News by The Thaiger

 

 

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Phuket

Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages

The Thaiger

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Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | The Thaiger

Local residents in Rassada have picketed the Phuket Provincial City hall to demand answers from the Phuket Governor over the current water shortages.

Phuket Governor Pakkaphong Tavipattana told the media yesterday they are managing to solve water shortage problems in Phuket throughout this dry season.

Whilst claiming that there was no ‘drought crisis’ in Phuket the Governor said… “All local administrative organisations must use their own plans to solve the drought by yourself.”

The Governor even mentioned the ‘C’ word, whilst denying that there was any ‘Crisis’, blaming the media for beating up the story and saying the bad publicity will damage the island’s tourist reputation.

The ‘shortage’ or ‘management problems’, or whatever you want to call it, are problems stemming from earlier inaction to foresee the water shortage problems and manage them appropriately. Instead of a plan to ration water earlier in the year, the island now faces critical water shortages with tankers rolling across the Sarasin Bridge in a convoy to assist in the non-crisis.

Today 15 water trucks from Rassada Municipality, the Phuket Water Work Authority (PWA), the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket Office (DDPM), The Department of Rural Road Phuket Office and the Water Resources Region Office 10 Surat Thani rolled into Rassada. These water trucks are helping to distribute free water for residents in the east Phuket Town area.

Locals in Rassada, who have suffered most water shortages in Phuket, are now receiving free water instead of having to buy water following their protest.

Residents in Kathu, Chalong, Rawai, Koh Kaew, Thalang and parts of Phuket Town have been complaining over the past month that their water supply has been either cut off completely or reduced to a trickle.

So, no matter what Phuket’s Governor wants to call it, thousands of residents around the island have been struggling with basic water supplies for up to two months.

On February 6 this year, the Phuket Water Authority announced water restrictions.

And then the day after, cancelled them.

In retrospect, the rationing would have been prudent water management and would have avoided the need for Rassada residents to protest and water trucks to be rolling across the Sarasin Bridge.

Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The Thaiger Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The Thaiger Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The Thaiger Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The ThaigerResidents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The Thaiger Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The Thaiger Residents protest the Phuket Governor over water shortages | News by The Thaiger

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