Friday, 20 February 2009

PHUKET TO SINGAPORE February 2009

On the 16th of January we picked up Annmarie from the Airport in Phuket. We've long been looking forward to this visit. First off was a flurry of shopping and on the 17th a big 60th birthday for Pam off "Tweed" was celebrated at Nai Yang Seafood with great gusto again. Many farewells said and hugs as we farewell our good friends Martha and Bryce on "Silver Fern" who have decided to head west!!... off to the big Indian Ocean. Very sad to see them go. Have a FAT TIME!
Gerry on "Scipio" and his friend and crew Lynn also off in a similar direction. Good Luck. We'll see you in France!

 After a few minor engine repairs we headed towards Langkawi, clearing out at Ao Chalong, we then spent our last evening with Jocko and Wendy on "Synergy" and were sad to farewell Wendy. She will fly out to New Zealand on the 9th.
Our first night out was at an anchorage at the north end of Phi Phi Don. Next day we stopped for lunch at Ko Mai Phai and did some snorkeling on route to Ko Lanta for dinner. Next destination Ko Muk. We diverted to Ko Ha to snorkel, however although it is lovely and clear we felt it was tricky in the current and not worth the effort. Ko Muk is our favourite anchorage in the bay. There's a great walk from the small north west anchorage around the island to Charlie's resort on the southern end. Its about 8 km and the first 4 km is through fairly overgrown tracks which winde up and over the island through rubber plantation and natural jungle. There are several interesting workers houses where the the latex undergoes its first drying process. At Charlie's you can catch a long-tail to return you to your boat. It is advisable to wear long trousers and good shoes, carry a stick. We have never seen a snake but worth taking the precaution. A visit to the emerald cave for sun-downers after all the tour boats finish for the day is an especially lovely way to relax and reflect on the the beauty and tranquility of Phang Nga Bay.
There is good snorkeling (relatively) on the South west side of the small north western bay, around the big rocks. David got an ear infection whilst diving so he missed the big walk and the snorkeling but not the sun-downers!We had two glorious nights at Ko Muk, totally enjoying the crystal clear water and secluded anchorage amidst towering karst scenery.
Our next destination, Ko Rok Nok was an all day affair with not much wind to assist. Then another early start to The Butang group. This was our first visit here and we were delighted to find a secluded white sand beach with beautiful trees overhanging to provide shade and excellent snorkelling offshore around the two small islands on the north side of Ko Butang at 06 32.46N 099 09.63E. There are three moorings here at this time and all seem secure. We over-nighted quite comfortably on a large yellow one. The current is quite strong through here so we snorkeled with the dingy in tow.


27th of January saw our arrival at Telaga anchorage, Langkawi, for Immigration procedures and quick sight seeing with Annmarie prior to her departure on the 28th. What a lovely lazy time we all had and how sad we were to say good-by. Return soon!!!
Langkawi for some provisioning and on the 1st of February we headed out to Palu Paya about 20nm south east of Kuah. Good wind and very comfortable sailing meant we made it in early so we elected to head on to Palu Bunting. Low and behold...a huge bridge before out eyes! Apparition surely? This structure joining the mainland to this totaly uninhabited jungle clad island must be the epitome of Malaysian waste. You certainly know you are back in Malaysia.