Monday December 26
Up the hill to a village warung for banana and egg roti then cast off heading back to Koh Phanak to show Ken and Jess the Hongs.
Ken earned his keep by scraping off some of the small barnacles that were accumlating again. After 4500Nm and 9 months the anitfoul paint is just about useless.
Roast Lamb dinner and champagne.
Tuesday December 27
Headed south down to Phi Phi Don. Stopped at Koh Phanak to give Jess and Ken a chance to get through another cave but the tide was still too high for them to get through to the Hong within.
Another short stop at Koh Khai Nai. The place was packed with day boats and Chinese tourists. Picked up a mooring but as the moorings are so close together I stayed on board while the others dinghied ashore for an explore and a snorkel. The snorkelling was poor but the smell of BBQ seafood and corn from the food stalls was great.
Continuing south we diverted via Shark Point in the hope of better snorkelling. Hovever, the alleged mooring buoys were not present nor was shallow water around the rocks so we kept on going to the northern anchorage of Phi Phi Don. Lots of bommies around so took a long time to find a place I was happy with in about 16m of water.
Once settled we took the dinghy up to a little inlet and beach to the north. Once again packed with boats and tourists. Had a great snorkel around some sea caves. The tide was a bit high to go in them but good fun anyway.
Wednesday December 28
“Duff Duff” music until 0300 from the waterfront night clubs.
Ken and Jess off for a morning paddleboard.
I finalised arrangements to pick up our engine parts, back at Yacht Haven, after giving up all hope of avoiding the extra tax. Another expensive learning experience.
Then ashore to expore, climb, eat and drink. We also organised a Longtail to take us on a trip around Phi Phi Le tomorrow.
By late afternoon we were ready to head back to the boat but the tide was way out. Rather than drag the dinghy half a mile we had another drink at a waterfront bar.
Back on board we moved Gemini Lady around to Monkey Beach to get away from the direct line of the beachfront speakers.
At first light there were monkeys on the beach so we went ashore to check them out. Lea left a waterbottle in the dinghy and in no time it was stolen by one of the cheeky little buggers. Our longtail never showed up even after I had texted him to confirm the booking. Lea and I took the dinghy in and arranged for another boat who promised to pick us up at 1030.
Our boat arrived on time and we had a fabulous 3 hour cruise with a bit of snorkelling as well.
So was the grotto on the SW of Phi Phi Le
While the others swam at Maya I checked out the engine. 4 cylinder Nissan diesel with a small turbo. This one didn't have a gearbox but many of the larger Longtails do. Chain drive onto propshaft and surface piercing prop. Strait out exhaust, and block is raw water cooled.
The lagoon on the east side was again totally full of tourist boats.
Heading back down the west side of Phi Phi Don we went into a narrow cleft which opened into another beautiful little beach. Also full of other Longtail boats and tourists but not as bad as the other places.
After a bit of a walk we settled at a local restaurant for coffee. The girls organised a massage each and Ken and I discussed his new job and business plans. Ended up staying for lunch. Then moved on into a very sheltered bay a bit further north in anticipation of a bit of a blow.
The blow never came but we enjoyed a good night opening a bottle for each time zone as another year rolled in.
We celebrated NZ and then East Coast Australia before we signed off for the year.
Sunday January 1 2017
The expected strong winds never came until we got back to the Marina and had to get Gemini Lady into a tight pen with a 20knot crosswind. I'd declined a berth on the outer side of the easternmost jetty as it was too exposed so we were given this awkward pen instead. The marina had an RIB ready to push if we got into trouble but we got in ok. Said our goodbyes to Ken and Jess. They were great to have aboard and even impressed the water Nazi with their frugal usage. (4 people, 7 days, 400l)
We had live music (well Jazz anyway) most days as we travelled from place to place.