|Look closely at Rene's face - he's loving it!|
Rene insisted that we take a little time out to go on a date up to the big Buddha. This statue is huge, visible from both sides of Phuket for miles. We took our bike up the steep, winding track and enjoyed the serenity at the top of the hill.
|The Big Buddha's view of Chalong harbour.|
|Anima tied up at the public jetty in Chalong.|
|This old cleat needs some serious TLC.|
Panwa Beach (meet-up beach)Just across to the north east of Chalong harbour is a beach anchorage that many favour instead of the busy main anchorage. Just how many favour it we didn't realise until arriving and spending a few days catching up with old cruising friends in between pottering away at boat jobs. We caught up with Dale and Sophia from Freeform, Chris and Julie from Lady Bubbly, Kellie, Youngie and Indi from Molonga, Lady Kay and Tasha D.M. We did lots of little boat jobs that I won't bore you with here. There will be plenty of that to come! We ate at the little beach restaurant a few times here and had some fun making mazes for Indi and playing night boules with Kellie.
|Buddha at sunset from Panwa beach.|
Ko Racha YaiTime flies. Nearly a week flew by at Panwa beach before we realised it and decided to head off. We sailed south to this island the day after we were battered with strong south westerlies. We collected a mooring and bounced about like crazy as the wind continued to channel in from the west. We knew it was going to switch to the east though, we just hoped it would switch a little quicker! The beach is nice here, though a lot of rubbish was coming in with the tide from who knows where! Africa? India? Could have been a cruise ship even. We ate dinner at a local restaurant, sharing a meal and watching local life. The most fun aspect of this anchorage was the floating jetty which became a fun ride to be on as the waves crashed in!
|Ko Racha Yoi - clear waters of the Indian Ocean.|
Patong (not again!)With strong easterly winds honking, we left our mooring under sail. Racha is nice but so busy with tourist boats (as usual around here). As we sailed along, I realised that I was relaxed - in conditions that used to scare me, I was relaxed!! We passed Molonga who were heading to where we'd departed from. Check out the figurehead!!
|Molonga sails past as we head opposite directions.|
Rene kindly offered to do the shopping chore so that I could do some TESOL study. He found the local wet markets and enjoyed the experience. We had dinner out in Patong that night and set off a lantern, after making a special wish!
|We wish....... oh, sorry - that's a secret!|
Tomorrow we plan to sail west across the sea to the Similans. A small group of rocks and islands that are supposedly the clearest water around. There are only a few spots to moor and the anchorages are quite deep (I read 35 metres today!). So I'm a little apprehensive about it but keen to check out a beautiful spot too. Wish us luck! I'll hopefully nab lots of pretty photos while we're there.
|Thailand's best kept secret.|