Monday, April 2, 2012

Great Sailing in Thailand

We've had some fantastic sails lately. Rene has been loving it and I've enjoyed much of it too. The clear, salty air cools off and sometimes even manages to dry the sheen of ever-present sweat. Did I mention that it is really hot here?
Anima sailing with everything up.
 We've been trying to make the most of our last month here in Thailand. But, as always on a boat, we've been doing our share of chores too. It's not all coconuts and suntans! 

Pauline, Peter and Rene sailing on Anima, Chalong bay.
At Panwa Bali near Chalong, we met two Aussies at lunch in the beachside restaurant. This little establishment has the sand as its floor and served me the most delicious coconut I've ever ever had. I've decided coconuts are my new wine. Anyway, Rene was chatting to Peter throughout lunch and discovered it was his birthday. He decided (spur of the moment) to offer Peter and Pauline a sail around the bay onboard Anima. They jumped at the chance and seemed to love it because in return, they shouted us lunch at their hotel the next day. 

Lunchtime view at Cloud 19, Panwa Bali, Phuket.
Some places we've been lately.... 
Aquarium - 7'48.35N 98'23.88E
This looked better from afar. In close, all of the boats (mostly charterers) were on moorings leaving very limited space to anchor. We ended up anchoring on the far outer edge, away from the fish farm and the moorings and spent a rolly evening. A huge storm blew in with such thick, frequent sparks of lightning - it was really quite exhilerating. As usual, the accompanying rain allowed us to 'shower' on deck. Ah, fun and free times out on the water!
So much lightning!!
Ko Siray - 7'52.54N 98'26.50E 
Rene wanted us to stop here for 3 reasons. Namely, it looked like a close spot to access Phuket town (this turned out not to be the case). Secondly, he said that he like the name (how sweet). Thirdly, he wanted to get off the beaten track and try out an anchorage not recommended in the cruising guidebook,'Sail Thailand', we've been relying on. Ren went ashore here, negotiated with a local guy to borrow a motorbike and did a shopping trip at Supercheap to stock up on veggies and fruit. I stayed on Anima and completed yet another TESOL unit (only a couple left now). There were so many boats speeding by that I felt seasick from the motion. I retreated to the cockpit and sat in the sweltering heat watching an endless stream of muck and rubbish float by with the tide. Not an amazing anchorage, we don't recommend it.

Ko Siray turned out to be a beach-side refuelling area for the super fast speed boats (some people call them the 'James Bond' boats). We awoke to the terrible stench of petrol and got out of there quickly! Motoring (for once) the 5 miles to Ko Rang Yai - the place I chose out of the guidebook! 

Ko Rang Yai - 7'57.13N 98'26.80E 
This island was a very pleasant surprise. It's quite a tight anchorage (we had to wait for a catamaran to leave) off a white sandy beach. Despite its location close to Phuket town, it was really low key. Ashore, most of the beach was under-developed. The developed area consisted of a few beach chairs (for hire), some open air restaurants (closed) and some very cute beach bungalows (rented out by a large group of young Thai's). We like it so much that we planned on staying, that is until we received this text message from Nick and Jan on Yawarra 2. "Test driving mango yoghurt ice cream 4 lunch. Mmmm! Wish u were here!"
The lure of ice-cream was too strong. We hadn't planned on sailing any further north. We should have waited for the wind to pick up, but in our eagerness, we set out early (pretty much within 30 minutes of that text message) and then spent hours in the doldrums. Eventually we sailed at a decent speed and anchored off another sandy island for the night. 
Rene and Anima at Ko Rang Yai
Ko Nakha Yai - 08'02.63N 98'28.44E
Here, we walked the long sandy beach trying to admire the natural beauty rather than focus upon the piles of rubbish along the shore. Tourist boats frequent this spot, so we had to listen to the not-so-dulcet tones of jet ski's until they all roared off in motorboats back to their hotels. Due to tourism, there is a small development here - a few shanty-style shacks, some poultry and some locals selling the usual fare (massages, cocktails/beer, jet-ski rides or beach chairs). 
Hermit crabs on Ko Nakha Yai.
Spurred by thoughts of ice-cold ice-cream, we sailed on. Helped dramatically by a brisk breeze which had us clipping along at a nice 7.5 knots. I yelped a couple of times when Anima heeled over sharply while I was at the helm. Mostly though, it was fun! We sailed all the way up to Yacht Haven marina where we were happy to find our rellies, Nick and Jan. They shared a most delicious, freshly made peaches and cream batch of wow! It was amazing. Such a novelty to have real ice-cream on-board a boat!
ICE CREAM!!!!! Thanks for sharing Y2!!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! My name is Giselle and I am an avid sailor from Canada. I noticed we even have the same quote on our blogs:

    I am currently teaching in Korea but hope to take a break in July and possibly go sailing in Thailand. Do you have any suggestions of how to get in touch with people who are sailing around there and might want an extra crew member for a while?

    Thanks! Love the blog!