20th February 2015.
Well we finally prised our arses and the anchor out of Nai Yang, great anchorage and our home for the last seven weeks. We had a big night at Lek’s Bar, 2700baht, JD’s and G&T’s were to blame, Alex, the owner, served up spag bog for everyone and got us all started, great crew we have met here, mainly Bavarians, apparently there is a difference between them and Germans, if this isn’t the case they are definitely the best Germans we have ever met.
We had some good shopping forays, still forgot the beach umberella, but the boat is fully stocked and ready for some frugal living. Found a new Burger King, to us Australians it is Hungry Jacks, what a ripper of a place, everything is clean and they do a hooting whopper and the chips are filthy. Been there a few times now, when we walk in the manager and staff are all over us, Sawasdee cup and car’s all round.
Tales from the Tinnie is back, what a bargain, we can now listen to Sabrina’s Roots and Shoots and then download the podcast of the tinnie every Saturday morning, just like being at home in some ways.
We dragged Investigator II out of the water at G&T, and left Hubert and Jazzy to it, we hit the AoPo Boat show, pretty ordinary, ended up drinking beers and red wine on Alex’s fifty something foot stinky, very flash boat, I wanted to go for a spin with me as captain but that wasn’t gunna happen.
Had a couple of excellent feeds at Heng Heng, seems to be getting cheaper each time we go, been to the Nai Yang markets heaps, pig on a stick is wearing off but the passion fruit are superb, so cheap even putting it on the weetbix now, not unusual to eat six a day. They had some muddies the other day but geez they are small as, hardly worth the effort, hopefully we come across some goody’s before we leave Thailand.
Alex and Char came up with an idea to go to Koh Racha Noi, sounded good to us and with it being a westerly facing anchorage it was a good plan, it has been blowing East and pretty much twenty knots plus for the last few weeks.
We hit Nai Harn and camped the night, about ten o’clock that night it was a mercy dash to the yacht club for ciggy’s and some cash, ended up getting a bit side tracked with Simon, the owner who bought up Kiwi Tony’s wake, which we missed by one day, spewing. We met a couple who had come over to sort out his boat and stuff, Brad and Gwen, good sorts, Brad was talking about a yacht delivery he had done from Borneo with Tony and a heap of others, his stories sounded familiar and it came to me where I had heard them, Captain Keith of the Burka Boat, then Brad knew Doggsy, then we asked if he knew Jens brother Rob, only for twenty years I think he said, small bloody world.
Next morning woke up to see Sonnet disappearing south, had to eat, starving and a bit hung as well. We finally got going around lunch and with the heady up we were there in a couple of hours. The water was pretty rough and the first anchorage we saw looked dodgy as but as we came around a point and into the next anchorage we both smiled, Alex was up to his old tricks, one of the nicest anchorages we have seen. He has given us a few and they always come up tops. Pretty deep, eighteen metres so all the chain out and did it make some noise during the night. It is great going sailing with Alex, he has tanks and a compressor so it was nothing to worry about.
We had a couple of dives then we went and checked our chain, horror, you couldn’t do that deliberately, it was wrapped through and over and around this bloody great rock a few times, it took a bit to get it out, then we sucked it up a bit and it was no problems, thank god.
I have now dived to thirty plus metres, it is ok but if something stuffs up I reckon I might be struggling to get to the top but you are better off not thinking about it.
We hung out there for the week, had a couple of filthy meals on each others boats and then sadly upped anchor and headed for Koh Racha Yai, more of a resort place, we scored moorings and went to town, pretty good place, flash as, but they sting you for everything. We had a meal at the cheaper restaurant, I had fried fish in red curry, unbelievable, one of my best meals so far. Ended up at a karaoke bar but we didn’t sing anything.
Woke up next morning and we had a sixty foot cat anchored only about ten metres in front of us, you got to wonder some times.
We hit the road and arrived back at Nai Harn in the arvo just in time for a few beers. The Muscats invited us for drinks that night, you just don’t get a break, it was pretty good fun though.
Read a book next day, spent pretty much all of it in bed, it was blowing it’s arse off so not much point doing much else. It was called The Midnight Club, not a great read but kept you going, read another one the other day but can’t remember what it was called, it was by Peter Robinson, great book about a murderer in the Hippy years, I gave it to some bloke we met so hope he enjoys it too.
Headed around to Ao Chalong and cleared out and waited for an early morning departure to Koh Lanta. Had a great sail to Phi Phi then the wind dropped and went on the nose to Koh Lanta but anchored up at 1400 and went to shore for spicy larb moo, stir fry Tofu and veges, some really good Tod Man Kung and beers, then the most hooting foot massage, Jen went the whole body thing, hurts to much for me, as it was I almost kicked the poor lady in the head when she was scraping the soles of my feet, horror, she gave me a dark look.
Bit slow in the morning so waited for lunchtime and up with the heady and off down the west coast, pretty loose wind going from six knots to thirty in seconds, you could see them coming though. When we rounded the bottom of Koh Lanta the wind was all over the place but ended up getting a good angle and motorsailed towards Koh Muk, bit like pulling teeth through a couple of islands, tide against wind at twenty degrees at twenty knots so went from sixes and sevens to fours. Got to read some of my new book, Michael Connelly’s The Overlook, pretty good so far, stoked to find another one I hadn’t read. There is an excellent bookshop in the northernmost bay on Koh Lanta, only problem this time was I forgot all the authors I wanted to check out due to sweating profusely from the bloody larb moo, I couldn’t think of anything half an hour later, christ that was hot.
We have anchored up out the front of The Emerald Cave, we hit it and it is pretty speccy. We paddled the dinghy in, gets pretty black but not for too long, and you come out into an amazing hong, very cool. Good to finally do it after last years kerfuffle with the Alison’s.
After a few changes to the menu tonight for our last meal aboard on this trip we ended up with West Australian Scotch fillet, Nai Yang baby eggplant dusted in parmesan, cabbage salad, baby red onions in apple cider vinegar and pepper and a bottle of JP Chennet Champoo. Beats Yeo’s beef curry on toast which was another option as was frozen spinach and gorgansola melted all over it. Actually bringing two cans of curry, one can of baked beans back to Langkawi which is pretty good.
I was up at sparrows and heading south, Bouyweather says 18 to 20 knots, so it could be 30 so one reef in and the heady up and doing eights and nines in twenty knots of East, we had a great angle for us, sixty degrees and the swell wasn’t to bad. But when we came from behind a small island group we just about got blown over, horror, so we dumped the main and were able to bear away a bit, bloody rough though, wind was 34 knots and the waves were crashing over the back and water spraying everywhere, doing nines and tens and powering along. We made it to Koh Taranto at 1300 and decided to keep going, fairly flat water but windy as, you could see the gusts coming, 38 knots was the best gust, then bear away just as it hits you, pretty good fun, we were flying along and made it to Langkawi in no time, then it took a bit of time to get down the coast to Telaga, it was the only time I could get my hands on a beer.
Clearing in was as usual, very easy and efficient and over and done with in no time at all. Had a feast at Teo’s, a couple at Shin Mi and one big feed at Kumah’s joint, he did us up a filthy curry, couple of fish and chips days with the gang and it was time to leave again.
We left with a new crew member, another Jenny who we met one night at the Shin Mi, she really enjoyed herself which was pleasing, we pretty much followed our southern route and teed up with Alex and Char to meet at Koh Phetra as they were taking Sonnet to Langkawi to hand it over to her new owners, some Russians who aren’t to boat savvy, I reckon Alex will miss his boat.
Got going at sun up headed for Koh Lanta and some larb moo. Got there mid afternoon after a good morning sail but the arvo was still, hot and sweaty, motors on and lets get there. It is bloody hot up here, everyone is noticing it.
We all pigged out on shore, got a massage and a few beers then back to the boat just on dark, pretty rooted by then. Next morning, on a yacht which pulled in behind us when we arrived was a bloke waving good-bye, red hull, it didn’t click though and I just waved back as we left. Got to Ao Chalong and did the paperwork, very easy also, had a feed, pizza from Pizza 2000, excellent, then back aboard and a quick relocation to the other side of the bay ready to head up into Phang Gna Bay first thing. It was pretty rough in the morning but by lunch time it was hot and still and we were motoring along, a longtail rolled up and sold us some prawns, started at 700 baht, end up 300 plus a few beers and a can of coke for their kid. Cooked them up straight away, unreal.
That afternoon we cruised through the islands up in the bay, James Bond one and James Bond two islands, heaps of ferry’s and longtails flying around everywhere, all seems pretty organized, they pull up at one spot, go for a look then off they go somewhere else and do the same. We went to a point and it started getting shalla so that was that, Persian Pete was right, you can see that area in a day.
Anchored up out the front of Ao Po and were instantly surrounded with longtails catching jelly fish, which are there in their thousands. Pretty easy pickings and the longtails are really low to the water by the time they leave.
Next morning we come around to G&T hauled out, all went well, and here she sits until the list of jobs is done. Dropped the girls off at the Phuket Airport, Jens hitting Perth for a month and other Jen is going exploring Thailand and me, well I am just gunna kick back and do stuff on my boat.