Phang Nga Bay is a perfect cruising ground. Plenty of anchorages, no long passages. Well protected. When we were based in Yacht Haven our favourite anchorages were Koh Wai Noi, Koh Phanak and Koh Hong.
Have you ever been to Phang Nga Bay in Thailand? What was your favourite island?
Sailing home from Tioman Island on the tropical east coast of Malaysia, we stayed at some deserted islands and some with resorts. Luckily the resorts welcome visiting yachties. It would have been a very hungry cruise if they didn’t.
We weighed anchor after ten idyllic days at Tekek on Tioman Island. Our next destination was Pulau Tulai (Tulai Island) An epic 7.11 NM (nautical mile) voyage.
Talk about a stunning uninhabited island.
I snorkeled the low tide coral. Plenty of those phallic looking sea cucumbers. My chef brother in law promised to send me a recipe. But I’m still waiting. The sea cucumbers are still safe. The other captain explored the mangrove forests.
Next morning we woke up surrounded by local fishing boats. We waved to the fisherman as we left. They didn’t wave back. Just grinned and sledged. What were they saying? “Ooh you’re obviously not a real man pulling up the anchor while your wife drives?” I’d love to know. It felt good natured but alimak! I wish my Bahasa Malaysian vocab was more extensive.
Sailing home slowly
We were sailing home to Johor Bahru slowly and reluctantly. We’d have loved to keep going north.
Our next anchorage was Pulau Seribuat. About five hours away.
By this time the other captain was starting to express his concern at our poor provisioning. Eating angst was setting in. He was counting the eggs supply and cans of tuna in the food locker on a daily basis.
Slummin it at the Rawa Island Resort
Moving right along, the following night we anchored off Pulau Rawa. The Rawa Island Resort is very posh.
We’d had a yummy expensive meal and were ready to go home.
Oopsie. Low tide. Not enough water to take the dinghy out through the coral. Waiting waiting waiting for the tide to come in.
Around 8:00 one of the guys from the resort said “You’re going to be here till 10:30 man”. Then sweetly suggested he pulls us out from the jetty using a long rope. Yay. And God bless him it worked.
The next day we continued sailing home slowly via Pulau Babi Besar (literally Big Pig Island).
No shops on Babi Besar anymore
According to our Pilot (like the Lonely Planet for sailors) there was a shop on Babi Besar.
We walked. We looked. We hoped. We were expecting a Tesco or an Aeon or a Giant. But no. Not even a 7 Eleven. Apparently the reported shop was closed down. The other captain’s provisioning angst was quietly escalating.
Lovely. Cold. All you expect of a tropical resort beer.
I was looking sadly at my empty eggs container. The waiter noticed, took it from me, and came back with six eggs. Free. We had a great dinner there too.
The toilets there were special in their own special way…
Three nights on Pulau Sibu
We anchored off the north of Sibu Island. The Rimba Resort is very civilised. European style service and hospitality. Lovely snorkelling in the bay.
We heard there was a village on the other side of the island. So off we trekked in search of provisions. The jungle walk from Rimba to the uber friendly Sea Gypsy Village resort was excellent. Didn’t see any monkeys on the way but there was a big pig lurking in the jungle. I suppose they’re safe on Muslim islands.
Guess what? No village. No mini marts. No provisions. But a delicious local lunch of nasi goreng (tasty fried rice) at the only shop.
Still sailing home slowly
Time oozes when you’re sailing. We get excited when we’re doing five knots – about ten kilometres per hour. You see the next island as an imagined mirage. Like a visual whisper. Is it really there? Then it slowly slowly materialises before your eyes.
Our next stop was Jasons Bay. We held our nerve so we could be as protected from the rolly swell as possible and anchored with 1.5 metres under our keel. Lucky it was good mud holding. A storm raged around us almost immediately.
Our final stop before returning to Senibong Cove Marina was Tanjung Pengileh. We ate out of date two minute noodles for dinner. I don’t think they can kill you. If I don’t write any more blogs you’ll know I’m wrong.
An idyllic anchorage in front of the village of Tekek. Clean clear water. Great snorkeling. Duty free booze. We chilled out on Pulau Tioman (Tioman Island Malaysia). Ten days had flown past before we even noticed.
Tekek is the “capital village” of Tioman Island Malaysia
Capital village? Well I guess you can’t call it the capital city. You’ll find one marina, three duty free grog shops and three mini marts in the two street town of Tekek on Tioman Island Malaysia.And a million bats.
We were laying bets on the minimum age for motorcycle riders in Tekek. Maybe six years old? Or perhaps it’s a height thing? If you can reach the pedals you’re legal. Helmets might be illegal in Tekek though. I didn’t see one. Unless you count head scarfs?
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna miss the waterfall
We’d been told about the jungle walk to the waterfall.
We got directions from the guys at the Tekek Information Centre. Go right after the first mosque, then was it left after the second mosque? No signage of course. We were lost after the first 20 minutes. No one to ask. It’s a quiet little town.
After a few wrong turns we found the trail. Two and a half hours of mostly uphill climbing we found ourselves in Juara on the other side of the island. Alimak! How did we miss the waterfall?
We saw monkeys, butterflies, a spectacular frill necked lizard showing off in all its camouflaged glory. It was an amazing walk. But no waterfall.
As mentioned in my blog about climbing Frenchmans Peak, I never said I was fit, just up for it. So it wasn’t a hard decision to take a ride back to Tekek. I talked the driver into stopping so we could check out the waterfall on the way back. Underwhelming. Water but no fall. But I wouldn’t have missed that jungle walk for anything. Despite the way my leg muscles complained for the next three days.
Don’t backpackers know how to party anymore?
I mentioned Tekek is a quiet town. There are no bars. The deal is you buy your duty free wine or beer or whatever and drink it at the table outside the bottle shop, or take it and drink it with your meal at one of the cafes.
Air Batang or ABC is a three km walk from Tekek. There are bars and backpacker joints for the people who come for diving holidays.
The other captain and I thought it might be time for a party night. You know, hit the reggae bars, a few cocktails… It was so quiet we nearly fell asleep! Young backpackers whispering over their bottles of water.
Different to when we were there 27 years ago for our honeymoon.
Well I think it was ABC. But I guess it could have been another part of the island.
We were in Mersing and the locals suggested we visit the island where they shot the 1958 movie South Pacific. I believe this urban legend is now disputed, but we believed them.
Eight hours later, on a slow boat with locals and chickens and goats, we landed at rickety jetty with a backpackers bar. Our accommodation was simple A frame hut for $2 per night. The “ablution facility” was a waterfall, complete with monkeys. But that backpackers bar rocked!
Four anchorages. Five people on board. Cruising in company with a catamaran. Join our sailing adventures to Tioman Island Malaysia on Yana de Lys.
Are we nearly there yet? Oh yeah, sailing adventures are always slow travel
We sailed with our friends Tina, Adrian and their eight year old, Chloe who live in the residential community at Senibong Cove. They liked the idea of sailing, but wanted to experience real sailing adventures.
Tina won the World’s Best Galley Slave award. Her meals and OCD inspired cleaning were legendary.
Adrian took to the wheel like a duck to water. The other captain didn’t have the heart to turn the autopilot on. Didn’t want to spoil his fun.
I suggested Chloe was the boat boy. But she wouldn’t have it. “I’m not a boy. I’m the Tiny Captain. Are we nearly there yet?”
The other captain spent the time at our first anchorage replacing the leaking hose. Kindly supplied, with free advice and reassurance from Adam on Soggy Moggy, (did you guess she’s a catamaran?) our cruising companion.
Tina cooked a spectacular dinner.
Chloe wanted to know how long it would be before we got to Tioman.
Tanjung Pengileh to Desaru. Still a long way to Tioman Island Malaysia
We set off early the next day. At one point I counted 101 vessels in the shipping lane. A safety boat stalked us.
We’d steamed clear of Lima Pass and North Rock when the hose broke. Again. So we sailed most of the way to Desaru in a sloppy swell with the wind directly behind us.
The anchorage was very rolly. All night.
Our sailing adventure companions were close to mutiny. Chloe wanted to take a speed boat to Tioman. Adrian was seasick. But Tina was fine and managed to cook up a sensational Teriyaki Beef and Rice.
Resort with no beer
We made good time on our 40 NM leg to Pulau Sibu Tengah. And anchored out of the swell behind the resort‘s sea wall. Yay. No more talk of mutiny.
We mistook the call to prayer for the call to beer at the resort. Dreaming of cocktails and ice cold beer we rocked up to find an empty resort which didn’t sell alcohol.
Plenty of deer, pooping around the pool. But no beer.
Kay from Soggy Moggy must have known something we didn’t. Kay declined to come ashore. Citing a good book. Our hamburgers we deesgusting. “Nasty” according to the Tiny Captain.
The pool looked okay, but naturally the swim up bar wasn’t operating. I was afraid of catching a disease from simply looking at the skanky service area.
Pulau Tioman (Tioman Island Malaysia)
Day four was all plain (motor) sailing to our idyllic anchorage at Pulau Tioman. 40 NM at an average of 5.4 knots.
The other captain and I were here on our honeymoon 27 years ago. I’ll tell you about Tioman Island Malaysia in my next blog. I have to go snorkeling now.
Meanwhile feel free to share my sailing adventures blog!
Sailing up the western arm of the Johor Straits to Danga Bay Johor was an education in the stark contrasts between Malaysia to our port and Singapore to starboard.
Wonky stilt houses and untidy fish farms on one side, manicured parks and gardens on the other.
At one stage I remarked to the other captain it seemed they were blowing up the golf course on the Singapore side. Until I saw the sign identifying the Singapore armed forces site, warning us to stay clear as they practice using explosives there.
Steering clear of the invisible line
I made sure to steer well over the imaginary line delineating the border because we hadn’t cleared into Singapore and a Singapore customs boat plus two Sing police boats stalked us and kept a very very close eye on our progress.
Danga Bay Marina
The marina at Danga Bay Johor is now closed. It was built as a photo opportunity for the potential buyers of the condos planned for the site.
An almighty thud
There were huge barges constantly filling in the Strait in readiness for construction. One evening I heard some shouting from my boat. Then an almighty thud. A barge had bashed into our jetty. No people were hurt but the damage was extensive.
A snake in the sink
Another of my more memorable experiences in the marina at Danga Bay Johor was when I discovered a snake in my galley sink.
I was on my own as the other captain had gone back to Australia to work. One morning I lifted the lid on my sink cover and saw a snake slithering round. I immediately dropped the lid back down. I’m pretty sure it was as surprised to see me as I was to see it.
And honestly I think it shat itself with the shock because it stunk seriously in there. I peeked in one more time to check I wasn’t hallucinating before deciding to do the girlie thing and ask for help to get rid of it.
Asking for help
I asked some of the staff who were hanging out on one of the boats on my jetty, but they couldn’t help because they told me “We’re scared of snakes too”.
Then one of my neighbours, the Sultan of Darwin, offered to sort my problem. He came on board and calmly picked up the writhing snake with the multigrips he was using at the time.
I asked him to show the squirming monster to the staff. The staff were suitably scared.
The last I saw of my uninvited guest was when my obliging neighbour took it down below in his own boat to show his wife.
The Sultan of Johor
Speaking of Sultans, the Sultan of Johor Bahru’s residence is just over the road from the marina. I walked past the grounds and the huge great blinking bling crown at the entrance regularly but was never tempted to trespass on account of the scary signage.
I have absolutely fallen in love with Johor Bahru. After more than three years of resort islands its grittiness and purely unpretentious localness is incredibly refreshing. But I couldn’t stay in Danga Bay Johor because the marina was closing down…
Are you an armchair sailor? Or dreaming of floating round the tropics? Come cruising with me in these sailing blogs!
Ten sailing blogs in one: Island hopping and day sailing from Langkawi to Danga Bay
The weather gods were kind to us when we sailed our yacht Yana de Lys south from Langkawi Island to Danga Bay in Johor Bahru .
We weren’t hammered by any many sudden storms. We didn’t encounter much wind though, being so close to the Equator. We spent a lot time motoring, rather than actually sailing.
We were in no rush, just day sailing our way down the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Our trip was just peachy, the whole way!
Nine anchorages and two marinas
We made ten stops, mostly deserted anchorages: Pulau Tuba, Monkey Beach and Pulau Rimau (Penang), Sungei Dinding (Lumut) , Pulau Angsa, Che Mat Sin (Port Klang), Admiral Marina (Port Dickson), Pulau Besar, Tanjung Tohor, Pulau Pisang, Danga Bay.
(We’re navigating with Malaysian charts which refer to Island as Pulau, Tanjung as Cape and River as Sungei.)
First night at Pulau Tuba
We spent the first night at Pulau Tuba, just around the corner from Langkawi so we could get a head start on the 50 NM (nautical miles) plus leg to Monkey Beach at the north of Penang the next day. It was one of the rolliest anchorages I’ve slept in.
Meet the Fishing Nets
Then we started meeting the Fishing Nets.
At our second Penang anchorage off Pulau Rimau on the south western tip, the first net, drifting with the tide and current, wrapped around our bows.
We were enjoying the happy hour view of the islands and the bridge and all of a sudden the local fisherman had caught our yacht Yana de Lys in their 200 meter long drift net.
The fishermen scowled at us when they cut the net off. It happened so quickly there wasn’t time for us stop the capture ourselves.
Avoiding 87 fishing nets
The next day we avoided 87 fishing nets.
It was easy enough to figure out how to avoid these nets as they were dragged between two fishing boats.
At our deserted, idyllic anchorage that evening we listened to the call to prayer on the radio and, incongruously, to an Australian Football League match. Our team the West Coast Eagles lost. Again.
Heading for Lumut
Our course to Lumut was infested with fishing net flags. In shallow water.
The trick is to work out which flags go together and if you can’t avoid going over the net in between head for the middle, take the engine out of gear with enough boat speed to propel you forward and hope the net doesn’t end up wrapped around the propeller.
Our strategy worked. But it was a slow 15 miles.
Lumut International Yacht Club
The next anchorage was in front of the Lumut International Yacht Club.
Lovely architecture but not exactly what we expect of a yacht club. They didn’t serve food or drink or anything.
The call to prayer sounded like a gentle romantic love song.
The Lumut boardwalk infrastructure along the river is really pretty, with the most salubrious public toilets I have ever met. The blokes toilet is actually a large aviary.
Pulau Angsa, Che Mat Sin and Sungei Bernam
The next stops at Pulau Angsa, Che Mat Sin and Sungei Bernam, where we sort of blended in with other residents of the stilt burbs, were gloriously uneventful.
Some sailing blogs make it sound like hardship, but we were getting the hang of this cruising business.
The Admiral Marina, Port Dickson
Then we caught our breath at the Admiral Marina at Port Dickson for a few days.
All very civilised, resort style.
It was our first marina stay after being at anchor for the last three years.
When I woke up the first morning with another boat’s mast looming largely right there in my porthole I had a nanosecond of Anchor Angst.
Until I remembered where I was and that our anchor hadn’t dragged, but we had deliberately parked this close to another boat. Phew.
Port Dickson town
In Port Dickson we stopped for a beer at an unassuming café and ended up staying and eating and staying even longer absolutely spellbound by the chef constantly cooking a minimum of three high speed wok dishes at once.
Like a highly entertaining live cooking show.
The Malacca Strait
On the move again the cargo ship traffic in the Malacca Strait was beginning to build up.
I’ve read sailing blogs about pirates in the Malacca Strait. It’s really the big boats we had to worry about, not pirates.
We poodled along in the slow lane with a constant stream of varied commercial vessels parading past in the fast lane. Flying fish and dolphins kept speed with us.
A peaceful anchorage at Pulau Pisang
When we had just settled in to a very peaceful anchorage at Pulau Pisang some fishermen came up to us and politely asked us to move.
“Boss you move boat boss” indicating the nets they intended to lay out. So, reluctant at first, we moved and were safe for the night.
Anchored in the middle of nowhere
It was different the next night when we were camped in the middle of nowhere out of the way of the shipping lane freeway.
We were woken by a loud clunking near the bows to find Yana de Lys well and truly caught in a drifting net with increasing burden on the anchor.
With no fishing boats in sight we had no choice but to hack the net off. It came free with a super loud twang. The pressure release was scary. We apologized to the invisible fishermen.
The next night we made it to Danga Bay. I’ll tell you all about it in my next sailing blogs.
We took a couple of weeks island hopping from Phuket to Langkawi. Some sailors do this trip in 24 hours but that’s just not our style. We’re slow travellers.
Our first anchorage, Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Island) was pleasantly free from crowds. Unlike our last visit when we could hardly move on the island during the day for all the tourists, and there was uber loud doof doof music for the party animals every night. This time the sound track was something so benign I didn’t even remember what it was in the morning.
The next leg from Phuket to Langkawi was hard work with 30 knots on the nose on the way to the historic east coast anchorage at Koh Lanta.
I decided to give the anchoring way point from our last visit a miss. It was being used by a sunken boat. Sunk by politics according to the local intel. The interested parties couldn’t decide who was supposed to pump the bilge until it was too late.
The green prawn curry was just as delicious as I remembered from our first stay. When I asked the staff if the prawns were farmed or wild he articulately pointed out to the sea.
It was an easy run to Koh Muk. At one point I looked out the porthole and saw fish jumping a meter out of the water. Like something out of the film Nemo.
The other captain kept telling me about the dolphins he was seeing. All I saw was water disturbances. Hmm.
It takes a 70 meter swim through a dark cave to get into the sea cave or “hong” as the Thais call it.
Our waterproof torch ended up being allergic to water.
On the way back out we realised we had taken a wrong turn. We had to back up in the pitch dark. Maybe that was the way to the fabled pirate treasure. We wouldn’t have found it with a dead torch anyway.
We took our time slowly heading south down Koh Taratao. I guess we didn’t want our cruise from Phuket to Langkawi to end.
We stopped at three different overnight anchorages. Did some of exploring. Had a bit of stormy weather.
One day we took the dingy for a look up one of the rivers.
Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a dog swimming. It was a sea otter.
We heard the last of the Thai radio we’ll be hearing for a while, because suddenly, it seemed, we were in Malaysia again.
The Langkawi time vortex
Langkawi is a time vortex. Like the Hotel California you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave. We planned to say a few days. We were there for a month.
Bass Harbour, Kuah
Anchored in Bass Harbour, Kuah, we were waiting for some credit cards to arrive in the mail. And waiting. And partying. And waiting. And eating. (The Bak kut thewhich is the only dish on the menu at the Shark Fing is still my benchmark for that delicious pork stew.)
And of course consuming and stocking up on the duty free grog. And catching up with old friends. And making new ones. And provisioning for our next leg.
Don’t mention the pork
Naturally the shopping had to include pork espionage. On a Moslem island they do sell this forbidden product but it requires being in the know.
You have to go into the back room of a shop selling spices. Quietly – I thought the proprietor was telling us not to wake the baby – to choose your cloak and dagger snaggers.
They were yummy too. Sausages and mash for dinner at our first anchorage on the way to Danga Bay.
I’ve dreamed of travelling since I was in primary school. I’ve dreamed of sailing cruises all my adult life. My Almost Circumnavigation of Phuket Cruise was all I’d ever dreamed of but much much better.
December and January are perfect for sailing cruises around Phuket Island, Thailand
Our perfect sailing cruise began with three boats and three fun families anchored off Kamala Beach for Christmas and New Years.
The weather was just right for a leisurely anchorage crawl in Yana de Lys starting at Yacht Haven at the north east tip of Phuket, sailing in company with two more yachts: Sweet Robin and Black Pearl.
The Butterfly Bar was our second home
When we first arrived at the beach in our dinghies the staff at the Butterfly Bar made us feel so at home we made it our second home.
They watched our tenders (dinghies) when we went out exploring for the day. More on Yana de Lys’s tender later.
The bar staff took our laundry, ordered our ice and had them all delivered. Gave us use of their simple shower. Cooked fabulous local food, and sold us cold beers.
Kamala Beach is all eye candy according to the boys. Plenty of Russian ladies parading in G-string bikinis and high heeled bling sandals. Even the babies couldn’t have been cuter if they tried. What’s not to love?
Of course there were lanterns to launch and lots of fireworks for New Years Eve. That’s how it is in Thailand.
Just before midnight a rogue firecracker travelled horizontally along the beach rather than up into the sky. Straight into our tender.
Yep. Out inflatable dinghy was blown up by fireworks.
Fortunately no one was hurt!
100 plastic water bottles to the rescue
It took a month, but the owner of the bar where the bad firecracker came from compensated us. We ended up with a better tender as a replacement.
In the meantime nothing could stop the most perfect of sailing cruises.
We simply filled the ruined section of the disabled dinghy with over 100 empty plastic water bottles, wrapped up the hole with plastic garbage bags and a whole lot of gaffer tape and continued sailing up the west coast of Phuket and beyond.
An eclectic soundtrack
After our Kamala Beach anchorage we cruised slowly slowly for another month up past Phuket to Khao Lak.
Along with the lapping of the ocean, the soundtracks we fell asleep to varied vastly. At Khao Lak there was a weird kind of stereo with Johnny Cash covers from the north and tribal drumming from the south.
Just the sea was the lullaby at our most peaceful anchorage, Thai Muang.
We had Fleetwood Mac covers at the chaotic circus that is Patong Beach.
All perfect sailing cruises have to end some time
You can’t really circumnavigate the island of Phuket because there’s a bridge at the north end. So after Khoa Lak it was time to head back south and around the island to our home mooring at Yacht Haven. And start getting ready for our cruise to Borneo.
Now I’ve said this before, but it’s still true: If you like my post feel free to share it on all your social media, because sharing is sexy.
And if the sailors reading this blog really want me to include the anchorage points I can. Just let me know in the comments.
I daydreamed of sailing trips in the tropics for more than 20 years before my dreams finally came true. A lot of life got in the way before I started cruising.
After we boughtYana de Lys we spent a few years fixing her up in Langkawi, then heading back to Australia to make more money to continue fixing her up, then doing short sailing trips around the 99 islands of Langkawi, then going home to Australia to make more money. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat again. You get the picture Yogi Berra.
Not all of the things we fixed worked out as we would have hoped as we discovered sailing from Langkawi to Phuket.
If you’ve been following my sailing trips in the Stranded in Paradise series, this is the epilogue. If not, you can read the story so far in:
Dreaming of a sailing trip when nothing goes wrong
When I first heard of Candy Chang’s Before I Die projects all I wanted to achieve before I shuffled off this mortal coil was sail Yana de Lys to a destination with no significant gear failure.
Well yay. It’s happened. And it feels goooood.
Dreams do come true in Yacht Haven
After spending eight months in Boat Lagoon Marina replacing the perished, seriously leaking teak decks and fixing all the things that broke on our way over from Langkawi we sailed up to Yacht Haven on the north east of Phuket.
Yacht Haven is as beautiful as its name make it sound. Perfect for sitting out the wet season and hanging out until we’re ready for our next move. And it’s just round the corner from our new playground: Phang Nga Bay.
So far we have stayed at anchorages off Koh Wai Noi, Koh Phanak and Koh Hong. We haven’t covered any vast distances (one day we made a major passage of 3.8 NM LOL) but everything that matters on Yana has worked just fine.
Okay there’s one tick off my bucket list. My next goal before I die is to figure out how to set up my financial feng shui so there is always more money flowing in than out. I’ve learnt you can’t survive on spectacular scenery and seawater. Any ideas?
The drive shaft was wobbling dangerously the whole way. I concentrated on steering while the Other Captain kept an eye on the drive shaft down below, appearing white faced and chain smoking after each engine room check, a prophet of gloom telling me how bad it looked, providing an extensive litany of the serious structural damage we could be causing to Yana de Lys, saying he’s going to need a tropical holiday after this leg. (How about a holiday on Ko Phi Phi Thailand I wondered?)
The whole situation felt scary and wrong. Our average speed was just three knots (about 5.5 kmph) with the wind and choppy swell coming from the direction in which we were headed. Sailing wasn’t an option. We had to use the engine despite our profound misgivings.
To make things worse, we were towing our new super size Queen Mary dinghy, slowing us down by at least one knot. However we had managed to wrangle Thumper (the outboard) onto the deck, so that helped a bit I guess.
Hordes of daytrippers
So, in between bouts of the Chief Engineer sweating it out in the engine room, trying to figure out how to fix the latest problems, we took a holiday on Ko Phi Phi Thailand.
We were told by lots of people before we arrived that Ko Phi Phi’s a rat race. And compared to the serenity of Ko Muk and the laid back peace of Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi was swarming with tourists.
Every day hordes of young backpackers in bikinis and bare chests came in on the ferries. We could hardly move on the narrow walking streets, or in the shops and restaurants. And this was the quiet season.
By around four in the afternoon, the day trippers vanished leaving room to move but still plenty of action.
Stranded in paradise again
We played at being tourists for ten days – snorkeling, drinking cocktails and even shopping.
There was a stall selling dresses printed with famous Impressionist paintings. I had my eye on Monet’s Water Lillies, but they didn’t have my size (too big of course) so I settled for a Van Gogh instead.
We were anchored in about 12 meters of clear as clear turquoise water. We could swim over to where the tour operators take the punters for snorkeling trips. The water was a perfect temperature with outstanding visibility. There were more fish in our face than we could poke a stick at, although the coral was sadly degraded.
The weather was glorious and sunny for the whole time. I suppose you could call it a voluntary stranding in paradise. Ko Phi Phi Thailand is certainly a tourist paradise.
The Chief Engineer (AKA the Other Captain) discovered and replaced a second broken engine mount. We discovered later our mechanic in Langkawi had tried to save us money by supplying non-marine engine mounts.
We set off for a last overnight anchorage at Ko Yao Yai before heading in to Boat Lagoon at Phuket once the Chief Engineer managed to reduce the drive shaft wobble, after endless hours of trial and error in the engine room.
This leg was an uneventful 16 miles, again at an average of three knots, but with very little swell.
We towed both the Queen Mary and Thumper, sacrificing even more speed. We figured it’s such a drama manhandling the 47 kg Thumper outboard engine on and off Yana de Lys, we’d probably be in terminal danger before we could use the tender as an tow vessel if we ended up in trouble again…
The final leg of 13 miles to the entrance of Boat Lagoon was even easier – no swell whatsoever, totally benign conditions. We parked Yana in the mud at Boat Lagoon Marina. Finally.