26 April, 2008


After a great holiday in NZ, it was back to the boat in Phuket. We enjoyed getting back to the warm weather again, as the weather had packed up for our last two days in Wellington. However, I don’t suppose we can complain too much, as Wellington had by all accounts had it’s best summer for years!

We decided to get a couple of things done on the boat when we got back. A new mainsail cover (the old one was falling to bits), and some davits on the back (so that we can lift the tender/dinghy out of the water when we are motoring or sailing). We have always had to drag the tender along behind us, which isn’t that good for it.

The guys came to do the davits, and put bamboo poles across the back of the back of the boat. For a while we weren’t sure whether we were getting bamboo davits, rather than the stainless steel ones we had asked for! All was soon revealed; the bamboo poles were simple ‘scaffolding’, to enable the guys to weld the davits on. Poor old Enzwell did get a few funny looks from other yachties though, wondering what the heck was being built on the back of our boat!

We hired a car one day, and did a bit of shopping and had a look around the island of Phuket. We went out in Patong at night, and after dinner went to a bar for a couple of drinks. I had a pina colada, and being in Patong and near all the ‘girlie’ bars, this is the glass it came in!

We were in the marina for two weeks, and then it was off to explore Phang Nga Bay. The bay is lovely and sheltered, so we didn’t get to sail at all, but the water was lovely and warm, so swimming was on the agenda each day. There are also a long of islands with hongs “rooms”, that are great for exploring. Teems of tourists come in each day, so we tried to do our exploring either first thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon after they had all gone.

We went to the first hong at Ko Phanak during the day. We followed in a bunch of tourists who had come on one of the tour boats. You can see them kayaking towards the hole in the cliff. It is totally dark inside, so we needed to wear a headlamp. We paddled in on the tender. There are bats in the cave, hanging from the roof, and the cave itself smells a bit. But once we paddled to the other end, it was worth it, as we came out into a huge big lagoon.

We also visited a Muslim village, which is built on stilts next to an island. Heaps of tourists visited during the day (you can see all the longtails – boats – in the photo) but we waited until the end of the day before we went ashore. We hired one of the locals to take us for a bit of a tour in his longtail.

We went through this cave, with huge limestone formations hanging from it. The scenery in Thailand is certainly quite spectacular, huge limestone cliffs and rocks everywhere.

Our Thai visa runs out this coming Wednesday, so we will be checking out and heading back down to Langkawi, primarily for a bit of R and R at one of the resort marinas there, but also to stock up on duty free wine! Our plans are to hang around Langkawi for a bit, and then to get down to Penang by the end of May, to start in a rally that goes down the west coast of Malaysia and then up the east coast, where all the great beaches are. Some of the yachties that we met in last year’s rally are doing the Malaysia too, so it will be good to catch up with people we haven’t seen for a while.

Till next time.
Heather and Shane