29 August 2006


We visited Pattaya, Thailand, in 1988. It was a really nice port for a single man to visit, though I don't think I'd go back with my family. However, prices were nice, especially for jewellery (I paid US$400 for a set of black star sapphires - necklace, ring and earrings - which were appraised at $1700 after I got them home), and the food was good. And there was an A&W Root Beer restaurant, the first one I'd seen in years. I understand quite a few of the crew checked into hotel rooms, then headed straight over to buy a root-beer float or two.

One of the other things we found was an artist who worked from photographs; hand him a photograph and the appropriate quantity of baht, and in a day or two he'd give you back the photo, along with a painting. One of the RM3s brought home a very nice picture of his young son, and the CO, who took the man a Playboy (or other) centrefold*, came back to the boat with this:

He hung it in the wardroom, as you can see, at the forward end of the table, where it must have made a great conversation piece for meals.

Our next stop was Subic Bay, and he had the sail locker there make a cover for it out of nauga (tan, as I recall), with the ship's seal in the centre. From then on, whenever the boat was in port, the cover was put over the picture, and then when we went to sea again the cover came back off. I've often wondered what became of that painting....

* Can anyone identify it?

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