8th February 2015.
It’s 0130, rolling around in my bed trying to go back to sleep, it’s not gunna happen, every time you commit to an early morning start, sleep somehow deserts you. 0330, still no sleep but up anyway waiting for 0430 to drop the mooring and head south to the Similans, fifty odd miles away.
The Persians are up, they have been up since 0300, bummer, could have got going earlier, it’s a huge full moon and outside it is almost daylight, lets get going, preheat engines and let the alarms blare for a bit, just to wake the neighbours, probably another cause of my sleeplessness, they being fifty metres away in twenty five with forty metres of chain in, if it had have blew, they would have been on top of us in no time, wankers. Besides leaving these pricks behind it was a bit sad to be leaving Koh Surin, it is an awesome place, great water, great beaches and a place that needs to not change. Keep it simple it works pretty well by the looks of it.
Not much wind, 7 to 10 knots, heady out and one engine tonking along at 2100RPM and doing six knots, eight sixes are forty eight, should get there just after lunch. We have left at the bottom of the tide and will have it for the next six hours so things are looking good.
As soon as the sun came up my eyes started getting heavy, then the nods started as I was sitting comfortably in my chair out in the breeze and overcast sky, next thing you know we are a third of the way there. I awoke as we were coming up to an island to port, all safe, what a way to knock off a few miles. Now wide awake, it is back to business as usual, pretty much the same as when I was asleep, sitting comfortably in my chair whiling away the hours, getting a good bit of guts laughing in, Billy Thorpe you are a beauty, geez Most People I Know (think that I’m crazy) is a good read, the exploits of Buster the boxer dog are unreal, buy this book it’s a ripper.
We arrived at Koh Similan at 1400 and made our way through the islands to be greeted with boats like Mr Trip flying around everywhere, chuck in half a dozen ferry’s and I was thinking why did we leave Koh Surin, Pete had a ferry sneak up on him, I reckon it spun him out, the Thai’s have to pass in front of you as it is good luck to them, whatever floats your boat. The fourth Island is the main camp with restaurants, shops, tent land and bungalows, there is a bay facing North full of moorings but also full of boats so we headed around to the eastern anchorage and picked up a couple of moorings. Pretty choppy, but bearable, had a couple of Leo’s and a nannery then we headed into town.
Ended up at a little restaurant which had really good food, spicy as, watch out dunny tomorrow stuff, cold beer although only Chang, as beers go Chang is at the bottom of the ladder, down there with Coopers Green, at least it was cold. We met a young girl, Lyn, from Singapore who unbelievably works at 1 degree 15 Marina at Sentosa Island. She had a confidence about her that you don’t find with very many Asian women, probably been putting up with winging yachties for years, that’ll do it. The Internet was slow as and pretty much a waste of time, emails only but we did eventually manage to get the Buoyweather seven day forecast to be checked out and evaluated later. It was a complete glass off on our way back to the boats, so it looked like we may be going to get a good nights sleep, as if, by 0500 we are pretty much the only boats in this anchorage, all the others have fled, ENE at 15 knots with a metre swell pushing through, lovely. I got the buoyweather out, it is going to be the same for four days, bugger that, there is just no real protection available here, plus the traffic is out of control, so even though it is Friday, I asked Pete for his input, about fifteen minutes later we were out of there.
Raising the main it got to about half way up and stopped, a bit of a look and there it is, the halyard is wrapped around the steaming light, not real happy, it won’t come down either, more not real happiness, spewing in fact, Bloody Friday, so then up on the boom with the boat hook extended, about a foot short, so up on the cars with one foot, one hand hanging onto the lazy jack rope and the other with boathook in fingertips, just reached and by pure arse got hold of the halyard and got a bit of slack, then was able to flick it off and away we go. What else is going to happen, It’s bloody Friday, you dickhead.
We started out headed for Nai Yang, fifty mile away, but the wind was swinging to the east which soon had us heading for Patong Bay and not to much later Nai Harn. Sailing at 35 to 50 degrees and the port engine tonking along we were doing five to six knots into a dirty looking sea. It was a day of pinching and then losing what you had put aside then back up again. Ended up getting rid of the jib and just pointed as high as we could. As we were passing Nai Yang, fifteen mile to the east a decision was made, down with the main and head for home, rough as guts and battling to hit five knots we pounded on. The sea was getting better the closer to home we got and the last hour was a dawdle, the Leo’s soon were doing their trick.
We pulled into Nai Yang at 1600, dropped anchor next to Sonnet, a boat near us at Telaga Harbour, it used to be owned by a bloke called Murray Raynes, who did a lap in her and wrote a book called, One Easy Lap, which is a good read. He actually lives in Nannup, about 80k’s from where we live. I dropped in on him one day and had a good yack, my Dad also worked with him at the Midland workshops, an interesting fellow. The new owner Alex, a German, is believe it or not a good bloke, he has bought back to me some faith in the German race, it doesn’t take much to leave an impression on me does it? One bad egg and thats the lot buggered. We gave him a copy of Murray’s book and he was stoked, he is even taking us out for tea tonight. Bargain.
That was our Northern Thailand passage, about 263nms of nonstop entertainment, great sailing, beautiful places and really nice people. The Similans was a bit disappointing but on its day it is possibly ok, we just didn’t get it. These waters are conducive to sailing, with offshore winds that make life a bit exciting, relatively flat water and beautiful safe anchorages all the way up and down the coast.
Our sailing mates, the Persians, are excellent partners in crime and their outlook on life is contagious, I actually had an AFM and for the last week or so have been sticking to only a couple of beers a day, can’t say I feel any better for it, but it must be good for you. Thanks Nep and Etep you guys are tops. Hubert was on the money there.
The people you meet doing this sort of thing also makes you grin, The Persians, The Kokomos, The Babars, The Nojokins, The Sylvias, The Adagios and a few others all out doing what we want, when we want and how we want with not too much to bother us or get in your way, what a hooting lifestyle we lead.
Also you have got to love the Thai’s, they are a very motivated lot but they also have the ability to think into the future a bit and bend to achieve a result, unlike say the Malaysians who will not budge, but that’s not bad either, just horses for courses.