Saturday December 17

The first fast boat arrived at dawn, then a slow stream soon became a flood by 0830, so we left. Phi Phi Don is just like the postcards with magnificent scenery and a hundreds of boats scurrying around. Restless M was already there at anchor so we arranged to meet for lunch as we dinghied past heading for the shore.

We walked through the busy town and headed up for View Point before it got too hot. Fantasitc vistas of the isthmus.

Back in town we explored the harbour on the southern side and the restaurants, bars and venues on the northern beachfront.

The longtail boats are very pretty and heavily built.

The motors are generally 4 cylinder turbo diesels. I can't quite work put how the long shafts are lubricated. Some but not all seem to have reverse as well.
Apparently the area used to be famous for sailfish. Not so many now but fishing charters are still successful here on a catch and release basis.

There were also a few photos about showing the devastating results of the 2004 tsumami. It has all been rebuilt and is as frenetic as ever.

Sunday December 18

Early start for a great sail to Ao Chalong to formally check into Thailand. Anchored an went to check in. Had given up on the online checkin website earlier but the office girls were great and we soon had it done. Then found I had forgotten my wallet and that there were weekend surcharge fees. We were committed now so went back to the boat for some money. Texted Restless M about the extra charges and advised them to wait until tomorrow to check in. Finally got it sorted and $50.00 AUD poorer we headed off in search of lunch. Should mention here too that every time you withdraw cash from an ATM in Thailand you get hit with heavy fees. It costs about $20.00 AUD to make a cash withdrawl. Better to change money at one of the many exchanges.

Errol and Claire joined us for lunch at a roadside cafe. Very nice then we trekked off to the Yacht Club for a very pleasant Sunday afternoon drinking beer, cocktails and listening to live music. Met a lovely British Couple, Andrew and Irene who holiday here every year.

Stopped at a battery shop on the way but no AGM batteries. Researched on the WEB and found some at Boat Lagoon (BL) at $520.00 About $200.00 AUD more expensive than the same ones in Australia. Beggars can't be choosy so I emailed BL re stock and texted Andrew re driving us to BL tomorrow.

Monday

After getting confirmation that the chandlery had batteries in stock Andrew and Irene picked us up for the drive to BL. Traffic was very congested due to lots of new roadworks. It was great to pick up some local knowledge about the area. Got the new battery ok and had a look around the marina. Very nice but with so much concrete and being a bit inland it would get very hot. Also had a quick look at Royal Phuket Marina before heading south again for a late lunch.

Dropped in at the big wholesale supermarket cslled Mattro. Great selection of food so we stocked up. Big thank you to Andrew and Irene for helping us out with transport. Getting to and loading up the dinghy was a bit of a challenge with a 34kg battery but we made it. Back onboard Gemini Lady the new battery was installed in no time.

Tuesday

Started to head north for our rendezvous with Ken and Jess at Yacht Haven Marina on Christmas Day. Our first stop was only 12 Nm away at Koh Rang Yai. It seems to be a favourite with Russian day trippers. Noce lunch and a lazy afternoon. By 1700 everyone had left and it was very peaceful. We reglued the fins back onto Lea's SUP. We are a bit dissappointed with our Red Paddle boards, as all the attached acessories haven't stood up to the UV.

Wednesday

Punched into the fresh northerly wind and headed up to Koh Phanak to explore some more hongs. The tide was a bit high for the west side so we moved around to the NE corner. Very spectacular lagoons and caves but the tide was too high to walk into the best one.

Late in the afternoon we crossed over to Koh Hong and picked up a mooring just outside a cave entrance.

Thursday

The first longtail arrived at 0630. Low tide at Phuket was at 1100 so we blew up Lea's Sup to explore the deeper Hongs. Still couldnt get into the deepest one as the tide was too low and we had forgotton our shoes. Bought some fresh prawns from a local fisherman and headed back to Koh Phanak to walk though the cave to to the Hong we couldnt get into yesturday.

Enjoyed a bit more exploring then headed up to Yacht Haven with the flood tide. Great facilities at the marina. We ran into Ray and Shaunnaugh off Parlay and they gave us the grand tour of the place.

Spare parts for engine arrived but were sent back as we weren't there to pay duty. Found out thatThailand doesn't honour the usual “Yacht in Transit” exemption for duty on spare parts. We were being asked to pay another 30% or $200.00 AUD. I tried to get out of it by getting the parts redirected to Langkawi but to no avail. Once in the country duty must be paid to get them out one way or another. Thailand seems determined to gouge as much money as it can out of you. Not impressed!

Friday December 23

Big cleanup day and reorganised rear cabin for Ken. Explored the nearby local village and checked out what fresh fruit and vegies are available. Dinner at the “Living Room” with Ray, Shaunnaugh, Mike and Jenny. Entertained by the 2 local otters, inquisitive little creatures that like to gently nibble toes.

Saturday

Picked up some fresh supplies and dropped our Australian Flag in for repair by the local dressmaker. Measured up for a new sunawning but the only materials available here are sunbrella and shade cloth, both too heavy for our purpose.

Sunday

Quiet morning before heading up to the marina Deck Restaurant for dinner with Ray, Shaunnaugh, Mike and Jenny.

It was a fantastic spread of western and local dishes with an excellent singer for entertainment. Afternoon siesta followed by a game of Bocce poolside.

Although we were still full we went to the Living Room for a light dinner and more otter fun.

Ken and Jess had no trouble at the airport and arrived by Limo at 2130.

 

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