Tuesday September 12

Day 1 of our cycling tour. All ready to go by 0730. We were joined by 3others who had began their ride in Bangkok, Thailand.  Heing, our guide, took us through the bumpy dirt back streets of Siem Reap to get to the Angkor Wat ticket and information centre, a large modern complex. Very efficiently we were photographed and our personal passes given to Heing. It is a quiet ride to the first temple we visit called Ta Phrom. Heing is a little difficult to understand but full of history and information. We have to concentrate to listen and put it all together.

Ta Phrom has been extensively restored with sympathy to its discovered condition with trees growing through the temple and roots wrapped around form work.

The temple was stunning and very photogenic. Although there were lots of people around the place had a sense of enchantment. The light filtered through the trees and moss growing on the ancient stones creates a wonderful ambience.

Large piles of stone boulders remain ready for the archeologists and engineers to re piece together. 

We rode on through dense old growth forest to the next site called the Elephant Platform. We saw so much this day that it all becomes a blur. However, the overall impact of the places we visited was huge. Construction dating from around 800 AD the quality of the stonework and carving is amazing. But it is the overall size and magnitude of the temple complexes that blow the mind. Especially so when we know the full extent of the controlled urban and irrigated rural spaces that have recently been revealed with ground radar studies.

Then on to Bayon Temple.

This was an impressive Temple with intricately carved story boards depicting life, wars, hunting and civil structure.

Lunch was a welcome break before the big event of Angkor Wat itself. 

Incredibly impressive with the grand vista across the lake.

From the entrance across the lake we passed Shiva, the down the long causeway into the long halls of intricate carvings telling stories of life in around 1100 AD



Three levels of picture dialogue. Every surface, cornice and roof has some significant detail. Enough to entertain an archeologist for a lifetime. Modest dress code was applied to the upper temple levels so the girls had to cover their shoulders with shawls. Views were impressive.

A fascinating insight into the symbolism of the Hindu.

Back on the bikes we took the short way home straight through peak hour traffic in Siam Reap. The pool and bar were a welcome respite from the heat of the day and take in all we had seen.

Day 2

A 50 km ride through rural rice patties and villages. Small back streets and sandy lane ways. Neat houses with swept dirt surrounds and no rubbish. 

We visited Banteay Srie, which is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Shiva and called the Womens Temple. This is the most original and well preserved temple in the area. The stone is a redder colour and the carvings and engravings chiselled much deeper into the stone.




More riding up to Kbal Spean and the River of a thousand Linga’s. A 3 km walk to the waterfall and back on a lovely well marked forrest path.

Ancient carvings and Linga

Linga and Yoni

Walking in Bike Knicks is not good in the heat. We were pretty weary and chafed by the end of the walk.

Soldiered on for another 7km to a Landmine museum. Great display set up by Rai Akira a child soldier of the Khmer Rouge before changing sides and fighting for the Vietnamese. He then dedicated his life to clearing 10’s of thousands of land mines by himself. His whole family was killed during the Regime time.

Rain storm led to easy vote to put the bikes in the support truck and take the van back to the hotel. We passed through the Angkor Wat park and many night stalls were open providing a great atmosphere.

A few drinks and a great dinner at our Hotel and we were done.

Day 3

Up at 0445 for an 0500 pick up to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. Hundreds of people crowded about the best spots to get the perfect picture.

Stunning to see Angkor Wat again and wait for the sky to change colour from darkness to Orange. Then back to the hotel for breakfast before heading out again on the bikes.

Another route taken toward Angkor Wat via the back roads. The roads were good quality and not too bumpy for our bums. The scenery was stunning with happy kids calling out “Hello” as we passed. The kilometres clicked over quickly on the flat terrain. We stopped at a local market for a walk through. Lots of new foods we haven’t seen before in an Asian Market. Plenty of fresh water catfish, eel fish and very tiny prawns or shrimps. Snakes, frogs and eels were also on the menu. Lea didn’t like to see the skun frogs still moving. 

One of the standout things I noticed about Cambodia is that the girls are generally beautiful.

We tried a local nut. Very tough but tasted ok. Then it was back to the boat dock to visit a water village. This village is dry during the dry season but is only accessible by boat during the wet. The houses are all on stilts including the school, police station and church. 

Dave had a go at driving the boat with its foot pedals and levers for accelerator, prop lift and gears.

We did a circle out into Tonle Sap Lake before heading back via the village souvenier shop. The shop displayed crocodile products, had a large Python in a cage, geese and 2 white rabbits wandering around. The crododile skin products were about a third of the prices in Darwin. 

It was much cooler out on the water and the boat trip gave our backsides a well needed rest. Not too much more riding that afternoon. We visited 2 more Hindu temples both dating back to around 800 AD.

Restoration is a continuous process at most of the numerous sites around Angkor Wat.

Brahma the sacred bull featured in many of the statues here.

We enjoyed learning about the history of each Temple from our guide but there was so much to take in and so many Temples that it all begins to blur.

We cycled back to Siem Reap via country lanes before loading everything into the vans to avoid tackling peak hour traffic.

Back at the hotel the girls went off for another massage while Dave and I enjoyed the pool and a cold beer.

That evening we were taken out for dinner and a show of traditional dancing. 5 different dances with beautiful costumes. The dance was very precise showing great control with slow, graceful, constant movement. Very enjoyable!













September 9 2017

Early start on the bus from Sitiawan to KLIA2 at 0400. Flight to Siam Reap slightly delayed. Couldn’t see a lot as we didn’t have window seats but first impressions of Cambodia were green and very wet. Visa took some time and $30.00 USD but we were eventually out and back into the heat. We were met at the airport and driven to our hotel. Many fancy hotels line the main road and traffic is heavy with lots of motorbikes, Tuk Tuks and Lexus 4wd’s. 

Arrived at Angkor Boutique Hotel and caught up with Anne and Dave poolside. A walk before dinner took us over the river

 and through the old town main road aptly named “ Pub Street”. Lots of people around and a busy atmosphere. Food carts lined the streets and locals were out playing a sort of soccer with a large heavy shuttlecock. Very skilful! We just wandered for a while to get the feel of the place then headed back over the river to the restaurant Dave and Anne had found.

 Beautiful meal with 2 drinks for around $16 USD per couple. Alcohol, mainly beer, is heavily advertised everywhere. Such a contrast to Muslim Malaysia. The people are very friendly around not much English is spoken. The evening ended with a spectacular lightning display. We ran back to the nearby hotel before the rain got heavy.

Sunday September 10

The French have left there mark as the bread with breakfast was excellent. Our driver Islam was on time to take us out to Battambang, a town upriver so that we can do a boat trip through the freshwater lakes tomorrow back to Siam Reap. His vehicle was a comfy and spacious Mercedes Van. The roads were very busy with lots of different forms of transport.

 Motorbikes and Tuk Tuks keep to the right. Trucks move over as much as they can and cars keep their left indicator on all the time as they try and pass everything. Horns are used incessantly to warn other vehicles ahead. Horn tones are something of an art form here and almost sound friendly. They are certainly not used in anger.

We stop at a Pottery manufacturer to look at what they make. Islam doesn’t speak much English so we don’t get much idea of what its all about. But they like chickens.

The good news is that the toilets out the back are Western and clean. 

We pass through another largish town with a new railway being built through it. Some nice Colonial Architecture.

We stopped at a roadside stall and tried a local speciality. A Bamboo stick filled with sticky rice, shredded coconut and black beans. Quite good and not too sweet. Got charged tourist prices but thats all part of it. 

Checked into our hotel around midday and arranged a 2.30 pickup to see the sights.

The Classy Hotel has heavy dark wood carvings all throughout the foyer and is currently on display as part of a Cultural Festival. Our room is spacious and overlooks a big beautiful pool. Anne is straight off for a swim while Lea and I head into town for a look and lunch. 

Then off again to the Bamboo Railway. This is the Railway line to Phnom Penh. This part of the line is now unused so the locals use it for transport and tourism. The “train” consists of 2 axles with a wood and bamboo frame sitting on top. A slipping fan belt with a lever for belt tension transmits drive from small “lawnmower” type engines to one of the axles. The whole unit can be rapidly disassembled, lifted clear of the track, or reversed. A friendly tourist policeman takes our $5 USD and we make ourselves comfortable on the bamboo frame complete with rugs and cushions for the ride.

Our driver, complete with his assistant and their lunch, fires up the engine, pulls back on the tension lever and we are off.

The trip is interrupted twice as a new freeway being built has cut the track. We hop off our train, walk over to the other side and resume our trip on another train on the other side. Stall provide cold drinks and T shirts if required.

The other interruption is returning trains. Ours is stopped, dissassembeled, removed from the track to allow the other train to pass. We are then reassembled and on our way again in no time. 


The line ends at the local village where the pressure is on to sell us souvenirs. We enjoy a cold coconut and Lea bought 2 locally made scarves. Dave was hounded by a determined and charming little girl into buying a few woven wrist bracelets. She had to work very hard for that sale.

Lots of fun and interesting scenery as we drove through the rice fields at around 20 km/hr. A few Brahman cattle were seen and lots of termite mounds. The driver indicated that the locals eat the termites.

Then it was off to the Bat Cave, Hill Temple and Killing Cave.

At the bottom of the mountain we learnt 4wd was needed for the accent. 

So off we went in the tray of a Hilux for $15 USD each to the top. Our driver didn’t come so we were on our own. However, an enterprising and pushy young man got a dollar off Anne to give us the story.

The cave with its reclining Buddha was where local people fled during the days of Pol pot. Once discovered the Khmer Rouge used a smaller nearby cave to torture and execute people. There are terrible stories of people being thrown down cave holes, heads cut off etc.

The cage contains human bones and skulls of some of the victims. There is a bizarre memorial park showing some of the variety of horrors inflicted on the people here.

At the top, near the temple gun emplacements still remain.

The temple is beautiful with stunning views over the surrounding flat countryside.

Cheeky monkeys are always around.


We were back at the base of the mountain in time to watch the nightly exodus of a few million bats from the depths of the caves. 

Back to the hotel for a swim and dinner at the rooftop restaurant. We are finding Cambodian food a big improvement on Malaysian.

Monday September 11

A rushed breakfast to get to the boat in time. Our vessel for the day did have lifejackets. 4 of them for the 14 on board. It did have a toilet cunningly kept clean via a constant flush from a branch off the raw water pump on the engine. It wasn’t overcrowded and it did have padded seats. However, the big 6 cylinder turbo charged motor running a long-tail prop was unmuffled. VERY LOUD.

The river bank was congested with slap together houses mainly of timber with iron roofs. The river is the rubbish tip and the banks were lined with garbage and plastic of every variety. However, the kids were happily splashing about, women were bathing and men were setting fishing nets. The poverty was evident but  they still had happy smiles and a welcoming wave. The housing did get better as we moved away from the town.


Beyond the city we entered the freshwater lake system with its myriad of channels through marsh land and stilt houses. We had a few short stops to exchange local people and produce. Many others used the river for transport in a variety of vessels.

We had to cross Tonle Sap Lake. The breeze was up and the lake was rough. The boat flexed and groaned.  Navigation was by steering toward the small pimple of a hill in the distance, just as well it wasn’t raining. The entrance to the channel up to Siem Reap would be very easy to miss. 

Finally back at Siam Reap sporting headaches from the constant noise we were glad to get off the boat. Enough of Cambodian boat trips.

At the hotel we met up with Heang our Cambodia Cycling organiser. She briefed us on final arrangements and took our passports for our Vietnam Visa’s.

Enjoyed a Tuk Tuk ride and a great massage in town at Real Spa before dinner. Cycling starts tomorrow.





Monday August 7

Our first day was a bit of a blur with an overnight plane trip followed by 4.5 hours on the bus from KL to Sitiawan. We were picked up by Super Clean who had arranged car hire and an apartment for us in Lumut for a month. 900MYR for the apartment and 800 MYR for the car. Not a bad deal. We sorted all the paperwork and payments out at their Lumut Office then checked into our 11 Th. floor apartment with magnificent views over the Harbour.

Back at the marina we found Gemini Lady in good condition with her burka still in place. Apart from black coal dust and bird shit that had sieved through the covers the only problem we found was a flat start battery and engine bilges full of water. Soon had the power connected to charge up the battery and pump out the bilges. 

The air quality here is poor and Lea found it affected her quite badly this time. Said hello to Ben and Bell and Ray and Shaunnagh before heading back to the apartment for some sleep.

Tuesday August 8

Busy day. Dinghy out of the cockpit, food shopping, chasing sanding disks and water tube for new pneumatic sander. Lea cleaned the cockpit while I wrestled with the props. 

Our Variprops have 2 grub screws that prevent the main prop nut from undoing. Movement on the spline causes these screws to get bent so you cant undo them. I often have to drill them out then use an easy out. This time I broke the easyout which caused a real problem as I couldn’t drill that. Eventually got it sorted but did a bit of damage to the thread. At least the props were finally off.

Wednesday August 9

Cleaned Props, Scrubbed boat, dropped anchor chain and pulled out anchor winch. Discussion with local contractor Islam and we decided to use paint stripper and scrapers to remove all oil antifoul. We could find no suitable disks for our flash new sander so had to order some from Australia which would mean too much delay. Shopping for paint stripper, rollers and new easy outs.

Thursday August 10

The boys were on the job by 7.30 am to begin the stripping process on the hulls. Lea got into polishing the decks while I stripped and cleaned the anchor winch. The oil we put in the gearbox last year was far too viscous so had to be changed. 

The boys progressed well.

I found the top seal and main bearings a bit worn so arranged to get them replaced. Otherwise the Muir Winch was in good condition inside after 10 years.  Replaced genset water pump with brand new one and put in a new carbon filter cartridge in the galley.

Lea not feeling well so had an afternoon nap and we finished up early and enjoyed a refreshing swim back at the Condo. The heat was knocking us around after coming straight out of a Victorian winter.

The saloon was laid out as the toolshed. It got progressively more cluttered and untidy over the next few weeks.

Friday August 11

Anchor winch main shaft sent of to Bulat for new bearings and polishing. We go stuck into polishing the cockpit, rear seat and swim platform.

Friday night, party night at Jooks Bistro with the marina gang.

Saturday August 12

Bit slow this morning but had to be up early to get the boys more paint stripper. The anchor winch shaft came back all nice and shiny.

Needed to buy sheet gasket material and cut out new gaskets for the winch. This proved a bit a bit of an expedition but Sunny Chan a the Hose Centre in Sitiawan went out of his way to help. Spent the afternoon putting the winch back together with new seals and oil we had bought with us from Australia. Tested ok so reinstalled. A bugger of a job but got there in the end. Very glad of the little wooden table I made a few years ago to support the heavy winch motor and gearbox while bolting it back in underneath the capstan and gypsy via  the anchor locker hatch.


The boys are having a day off so we take the opportunity to cut and polish the inside of the port hull and half the underside of the bridgedeck. A lack of scaffolding or stages made it a bit challenging but gave us us a good upper body workout. Hard work but fortunately mostly in the shade with a nice breeze funnelling between the hulls.


Lea back up polishing the foredeck while I tackled a crack in the gelcoat between the catwalk and frontdeck. Found some pretty poor workmanship underneath but soon had it filleted, glassed and bogged with epoxy.

The boys were going well and we were down to the old barrier coat. Not a divot our gouge had been done to the gelcoat. We were thrilled with job they were doing. They didn’t use stripper on the waterline but hand scraped, a long tedious process before sanding.


A day of odd jobs. Discussed painting and antifoul with Jimmy from Prestige Marine Services. Agreed on an International Epoxy Barrier coat to be sprayed on and then 30 litres of Intersmooth 360 antifoul to be rolled on when we come back from our land based trip through Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. 

I was coming down with Lea’s bug so took it easy. We found a leak in the Port Bow under the genoa furling block so we took that off and resealed. Took the genoa back to the apartment. There was a large tiled area in the foyer of the vacant condo next door. After washing the floor we could lay the sail out.


Cleaned the foyer floor and laid out the genoa. Overall its in very good condition. Just the UV strip stitching is failing and a bit of chafe on the leach. Called in Mr Teh the sail repair man.

Back at the boat I finished the gelcoat repair on the catwalk while Lea sanded the port saildrive leg. Spent the afternoon cutting and polishing the inside of the starboard hull and the other half of the bridgedeck. 


Mr Teh meets us at Lumut to inspect the Genoa. He will take it up to Langkawi to get it all fixed up. His machine is broken and he has just ordered a big machine from Germany. He will be setting up a repair loft in Sitiawan.

On the boat we girded our loins to tackle another window. 

This one is not leaking but the Fixtech 200 is failing and the window lifting. We replaced this one back in late 2013 but it was failing again. We would not recommend Fixtech products to anyone. We are now using Dow Corning 995, recommended by Roger at Lightwave. The window cut out very easily as the Fixtech 200 is so soft. At least it wasn’t still tacky like on the last window we replaced for the second time.

We waited until 4.00pm when the humidity was at its lowest and temp starting to drop. At 5.10 we opened the first tube of 995. By 5.19 the window was in place and clamped. At these temperatures the working time is very limited.

Friday August 18

More polishing today followed by a big night out at the German Bar with huge serves of Pork Knuckle.


The polishing continues while the boys are sanding the outside of the port hull.

Home early, Lea up for a swim but I just chilled in Air-conditioned comfort. Watched the little monkeys in the tree tops below us as the sun went down. A melodic call to prayer in the background and a glass of wine in hand made for a pleasant evening.



Sunday August 20

Another early morning run. Lea saw a beautiful kingfisher and a squirrel. More locals out exercising this morning. Great to see groups Muslim women getting out for a run, fully covered and Hajabed in 26 degree heat.

The boys had finished and done a great job. We tidied the work site and did a few odd jobs before washing all the sanding dust off Gemini Lady in preparation of the Barrier Coat Spraying.


Not much on today so we headed up the mountain behind the Condo. It was a very steep and badly eroded track. Strong ropes had been installed to assist the climbing. At the top was a picnic area and a hammock. We let the sweat dry for half an hour.

On the way down we were menaced by an aggressive looking male monkey, so we diverted around him as he had no intention of moving out of our way.

It was a perfect day for spraying but unfortunately Jimmy had no product in stock even though he knew the job was coming up. Lea cleaned and waxed the leather while I sanded the saildrive legs a bit more.


Lifted the shade cloth skirts for Th. painting then went off to source parts for another small project. Installing header tanks for the saildrive gearboxes. I have been meaning to do this for years and slowly accumulating the parts to do it. Caught up with Heather and Rod off Psycho Puss just back from Australia. Dragged and lowered the Mainsail into the car then laid it out in the empty foyer as before. All in pretty good condition apart from the reefing point tie patches coming adrift. Started cleaning them up and restuck the first batch then clamped them with buckets of water.


A dry morning but the wind was up early. Jimmy and his team were masking up and covering Gemini Lady’s lower parts with plastic wrap to keep off the overspray. The wind made the job difficult and I’m sure half the paint ended up in KL. However, apart from a few runs we seemed to have good coverage. They forgot to mask the ground plate so I had to clean that up. Not his best work but it was done. 


A day off after sticking down a few more patches on the mainsail. We caught the 10am ferry over to Pangkor Island and hired a motorbike for the day. We headed south through the township and went as far as we could to see the beautiful new Mosque built out over the water.

A short stop at the old Dutch Fort.

Then over to the lovely beaches on the east side of the Island. We parked at our favourite restaurant for an iced tea. 

Chantilly was anchored of the beach so Lea swam out to invite them for lunch. They had other plans so we enjoyed a great lunch and a lazy relax n the beach.

We finished our circum navigation of the Island on the bike. Very pretty in the north with walking tracks we might try another day. 

Friday August 25

Morning run to clear the sludge from too much food yesterday. Lea stayed home and prepared the other side of the Main for patch reglueing. 

10 pin bowling night and great Japanese food with Ray, Shaunnagh, Patrick and Elizabeth.

Saturday 26

Day cruise with the Chantilly crew around Pangkor Island. A fun day that ended in Pizza and Karaoke until late.

Sunday 27th

Bit fragile this morning so took it easy. Packed up the Main. Mr Teh delivered the Genoa back all beautifully repaired. Lazed about the rest of the day.


Picked up custom fittings for gearbox header tanks and food shopping. Quiet goodbye drinks with Ray and Shaunnagh off Parlay. 


A 9.00am lift was scheduled and the boys did a great job settling Gemini Lady 500 mm in the air on sandbags to allow me access,to the underside of the mini keels.

As soon as they were finished I was under grinding away all the old antifoul and cracked gelcoat. Still no sanding disks so I had to use the angle grinder. A hot dirty job.

 Not much for Lea to do so she studied up on bread making with a new book she had borrowed “Mastering the art of extraordinary Bread making”.


A morning run before back to grinding. Drilled a few holes to drain water out of keels. We put wicks in the holes to suck out the water before fibreglassing. We measured and cut all the glass. I went off to help Brett with his new fridge. On the way home picked up some more West System Resin and hardener.


Morning swim. Wicks were still damp so decided to wait until after lunch. We set up a plank covered in heavy plastic and prewet each layer of cloth with resin then rolled it onto a length of 70mm PVC pipe. From that Lea unwound the cloth as I rolled it onto the underside of the keels. Messy and awkward job but eventually we had 3 layers on. Abandoned the idea of bogging the glass while still green.


The local Mosque was banging it out from 5.30am without rest until 8.00am. It was a Malaysian Independence day yesterday and today is Hari Raya Haji which is a religious holiday so it was a 4 day weekend for working Malaysians. The bomus was not many cars on the road so Lea did her Strava Segment without dodging too many cars.

I sanded the glasswork then bogged the whole job. The wind was up making it hard to keep the microballoons under control. 


The morning was spent sanding the bog. Lea broke the surface with the electric sander. I followed with a torture board. More hard and dirty work.

Psycho Puss was launched and they headed straight off to Penang. We troweled on the second layer of bog.


Foreshore run before more sanding and bogging. Used red micro balloons this time for contrast. Cooler day today with thunderstorms in the air.

Put the props back on before heading home for beer and chippies.


Final sand of the mini keels then 2 coats of straight epoxy resin rolled on. 


Final sand before applying International Barrier Coat to all repaired areas. Finished job looks good.


Jimmy came over to etch and prime the saildrive legs and props. We are now ready for a light sand and new antifoul when we get back from our land trip.


Started to pack up the unit and move stuff back to Gemini Lady. I went over the shade mesh burka and repaired it where necessary. We masked the waterline and cut and polished the strip just above it. Finished the day with the final fillet on the replaced window. Always a messy job. 

Lovely dinner with James Khoo and family together with Patrick and Elizabeth at the Japanese Restaurant.


Lea finally happy with her running performance. 10 km under 60 minutes.

Not much happening today but shared some Champagne and a great Chinese dinner with Bell and Ben.

Friday September 8

Packed up the unit. Settled the marina bill until relaunch on 25th October and said our goodbyes. Handed in the keys to the apartment and car and got a lift into Sitiawan. Booked into the Mornington Hotel for the night as we had to catch the 4.00am bus to the KL airport for our flight to Siam Reap, Cambodia.






We spent 5 months back in Australia struggling with the Victorian winter. It was the first winter we done in 4 years and it wasn’t endearing. I worked a full month up until Easter. Lea and I then spent 6 weeks painting the outside of the house. We had all the water damage to the eaves and front doors fixed and the place looks immaculate. 

Lots of cycling and time with friends. I flew over to New Cal to spend some time with Gerry on Aqualibrium. It was great to revisit places from our 2013 trip there.

Gerry is having a ball and right into the hunting and gathering side of cruising life. We had a great 10 days together. The weather didn’t let us wander off too far but we did get some great sailing and enjoyed a couple of good reds with big steaks. 

It was great to see the resident caretaker of Illot Casey, Moose, still in good health.

Back in Aus in early July we did a 3 week road trip heading North and visiting friends and family along the way. 

Greg and Janie have new power boat so we helped them with them change over and had a ball as usual.

Caught up with Annelise at Tamworth and enjoyed some good walking.

 It was soon time to get home and get organised for our return to Gemini Lady in Pangkor, Malaysia.


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Saturday October 27, 2017

After 7 months Gemini Lady is back on the water. We left Pangkor yesterday and enjoyed a good shakedown sail to Penang. Had to completely recommission the Autopilot on the way as it was 180 degrees out and sent us into a tight spin everything it was engaged. All part of the software upgrade I had done. All other systems are working well and the afternoon sea breeze gave us a 9 knot reach for the last 35 Nm. Peacefull night at anchor after the thunderstorms passed by. At Straits Quay Marina now waiting for our friends Simon and Jodie to join us for a 2week cruise between here and Langkawi.

My last post was from our trip up the west coast of Thailand 7 months ago so here is a quick recap since then.

January 31st 2017

Back at Patong beach we picked up Brain and Marcelle for another lap around Phang Nga Bay.

We first met these two cruising around the Kimberley Coast in 2015 on their cat Simply a Seawind 1200.

We had great 2 weeks enjoying more of the spectacular scenery of the Bay. Cooked up some fabulous meals and were introduced to Frangellico with lime juice another dangerous combination.

A highlight was a visit to Koh Rachi south oof the Peninsula. Managed to get a mooring buoy amongst the cast of thousands.

Another stunning island once the day boats had gone home.

Then back up to Ao Chalong, out to Phi Phi Don, then accross to Krabbi. Marcelle got the hang of the SUP in no time. 

Checked out the local shrine to the Phallus

Tonsui Bay, Krabi was delightful apart from the constant boat wash of hundreds of Longtails. Caught up with Tiki, Aquadreams and Tuppenny and enjoyed sunset drinks on the beach watching the rock climbers.

Some base jumpers dropped in as well off the cliffs above. 

Headed over toward Koh Hong and stopped at Ko Kudu Yai for the night. Beautiful anchorage. Met Sarah and Mike from Soul a lovely Chincogan 52 Cat. 

I caught some evil bug and spent the day in bed. The rest of the crew went off exploring in the dinghy. 

Back to Koh Hong again then on to another unexpected highlight, the Stilt Village up in the north of the bay. A lontail trip took us deep into the Mangroves. We viewed 3000 year old cave paintings that resembled some of the artwork we saw in the Kimberley’s.

The village is Muslim and everything is built over the water including the Mosque and the floating soccer field. The people were very friendly and we enjoyed exploring the quite extensive village before settling down for lunch.

Back at Koh Hong playing cards that night the bug got Marcelle and by morning Brian was out too. We decided to head for Yacht Haven Marina. Marcelle and Brian booked into a resort to recover. 

A couple of days later we were all recovered and drove a hire car into the old city of Phuket taking in the architecture and museums as well as browsing all the usual tourist merchandise. Back at their resort for a swim then said our goodbyes.

Our visa was running out so we headed back down to Ao Chalong to clear out. Didn’t read our Passport stamps carefully and after wasting a day bumming around, presented our papers to clear out on the 16th Feb only to be told we had overstayed our visa by a day. No great problem just a “fine”. 

Back to Malaysia via Koh Lanta, Koh Phetra, Koh Bulan and Koh Tarutoa. This last island was lovely and we stopped a day to explore the NP. The island has a history of Pirates and Political Prisons.

Then back to Langkawi via “Hole in the Wall”. Cleared back into Malaysia at Kuah.




Sunday January 22

Great spinnaker run curving down the Thai – Myanmar border to avoid straying too far into Myanmar waters. 33 Nm with 15-18 NE behind us. Plenty of fishing boats hovering near the border to poach stray fish from Myanmar.

The best mooring was taken when we arrived so we checked out a couple of others and picked a nice new looking one. Anchoring was not the preferred option due to deep water and coral bommies.


After lunch we enjoyed a snorkel over the reefs. Very clear water but the coral was unspectacular. We learnt later from our neighbour that about 8 years ago there was a significant bleaching event that destroyed much of the coral here.

Monday January 23

A pleasant night with more protection from the close by headland than we expected. Lea went off for a morning snorkel. Water temp a bit more chilly here than we have become used to.

We dropped our mooring and headed around to the next Bay and the Ranger Station. The tide was half ebb and the channel up to the big yellow moorings we wanted to get to was not obvious, with bommies and shallow water everywhere. We tied up to what we found out later was the channel marker tied to a big bommie not far under the surface. Fortuantely the tide flow kept us away from it. I took off in the dinghy with the dragonfly deepthsounder set up to work out the best path in to the moorings.

We also watched a few of the fast boats come in, had a chat to the catamaran on the other mooring and got a good picture of the way in. We soon had Gemini Lady tied up to one of the big strong moorings that we assumed were public.

We took off in the dinghy to explore the bay on the other side of the narrow shallow gap. Unfortunately the coral garden we were expecting here was virtually non existing. We went over to the campground on the other side of the island and had a walk around.

Very pretty! On returning to Gemini Lady we found a large heavy steel Parks boat rafted alongside. Apparently we were on their mooring. The boat operator couldn't speak English so he called over the Ranger. He was very polite and apologetic. He invited us to raft up to the Parks boat once it was attached but we declined and headed back to our first mooring. The boat operator had been very carefull to fend off and no damage was done.
We got another snorkel in that afternoon before the weather closed in with heavy rain.
Tuesday January 24
We watched the catamaran that was on the other mooring yesterday depart so we figured we would go back and pick it up. After a picking up the mooring Lea took off on her SUP for another explore and snorkel. I am into my reading more than snorkeling at present. She enjoyed it and reported evidence of the coral growing back. She was just about finished when a large shark appeared (we assume a harmless reef shark). This fueled a rapid withdrawl from the water and paddle back to Gemini Lady.
Had an ordinary cooked buffet lunch at the Ranger Station. Saw 2 flying Lemurs and a short tail Macaque. After lunch we dinghied accross the shallows of low tide to the Sea Gypsy Village.
The village is compact and built of traditional grass huts on stilts. Very neat and tidy with recycle bins for water bottles and aluminium cans. The men in the above photo are weaving a roof for their Longtail boat out of Palm fronds. Lea bought a woven bracelet off one of the young girls. She had a little English and was good fun and all smiles.
Wednesday January 25
An unpleasant night due to a strong Easterly wind all night coming straight into the Bay and reef all around us. The moorings look new, strong and secure but there is always that nagging doubt that plays on the mind.
We were glad to get out of there early to make use of the wind. Once clear of the island the spinnaker was up again for another lovely sail to the Similan Islands.
After 17Nm we pulled in at the western side Koh Tachai where we believed a good snorkel site existed. We found a mooring free and took the dinghy for an explore. The island is very reminescent of Tasmania (except 20 degrees warmer). Large smooth granite rocks straight down into deep water. The scrub facing SW was growing nearly horizontal. The only trees were in protected gullies. Visability in the water was at least 15m. Turtles, Moray Eel, and small pink jelly fish.
The tide must have changed because Gemini Lady started to bounce around Time to get going. The screecher was enough in the 15-18knots with a good swell running. Later the breeze dropped a bit so the kite went up again. 43 Nm of good sailing for a very pleasant change.
We arrived at Similan Island about 1500 and the place was still full of tourist boats and all moorings taken. We dropped anchor in 26m and put out 70m on a good smooth sandy bottom. Unfortunately, we still out far enough for the swell to reach us.
A brilliant white sand beach, as fine as Whitehaven Beach at the Whitsundays, and large boulders made for a dramatic and spectacular Bay.
A climb to Donald Duck Rock for a view was first up.

We met fellow Aussies, David, Gloria, Katrina and Ian off Verve on the way up. They advised us to pick up one of the unbouyed moorings further inside the Bay for the night to get out of the swell.

Thursday January 26

Beach time for us is early to 10.00 before the hoards arrive. We enjoyed a good swim in crystal clear water 500m to shore. Caught up with the Verve crew and arranged to have drinks on the beach at 1700. The beach was lovely and quiet with only us and a few campers around. Back on Gemini Lady we moved to another mooring further out to avoid the press of fastboats.

By 1100 Lea counted 56 fastboats each carrying 40plus passengers. Our beach was now crawling with over 2000 people.

After a brief afternoon thunderstorm which helped to stimulate an early exit of many fastboats we took the dinghy across to Koh Bangu. Verve's crew joined us and we had a great snorkel over the granite monoliths. Not much coral but the fish life was awesome.

By 1630 all was quiet on the beach so we went ashore and enjoyed a few drinks celebrating Australia Day with the crew off Verve.

Friday Jan 27

A short hop down to Honeymoon Bay on Koh Miang with a fresh NE'ly. It was a bit bumpy there and the fast boats had started to arrive and deposit tourists so we kept going through the channel and picked up a mooring on the southern beach.
The southern beach was nearly as crowded but we climbed to the view point and had that to ourselves.
It was a steep walk but well worth the effort.
We walked back to Honeymoon Beach and saw it at its craziest, just before lunch, with people and boats jostling for space everywhere. Another mass produced mediocre lunch.
Back on the southern beach we lay under the shade of some trees and people watched for a couple of hours. Amazed at the self absorbtion of so many people taking selfies with all manner of poses. Quite entertaining and very hard not to laugh as they seem to take it so seriously.
As the fast boats began to depart we moved over to another mooring sheltered from the E and NE by a small island and crescent of rocks. We scrubbed the waterline and most of the hulls underwater. It has been 2 weeks since the last clean and we were pleased to find minimal barnacles even though there was lots of carpet like fur.

The wind died off and we were jiggling about a bit so we moved around to Honeymoon Bay.Completely different beach with the day trippers gone and peace restored.
Saturday Jan 28
A rough night as the forecast easterly did come in at 15 knots. As there was a decent fetch across the Bay it soon got uncomfortable. At 0100 I had had enough and we decided to follow our track back to our previous mooring. Just as well we had the track though as for the first time we noticed that the chart was significantly offset. With our new torches we had no problem finding our mooring. Much more comfortable for the rest of the night.
Some more lovely snorkelling, finding these colourfull things as well as some pelagic fish.
We also found these strange underwater ocular monuments. There was a whole row of them followimg the approx. 10 m contour. We hailed a resting diver off one of the charter boats later and he said they were memorials to those killed in the 2004 tsunami.

A quick circimnavigation of Koh Miamg for something to do then back to our favourite mooring.

Had a chat to Katherine and John off Catchcry who we had seen but not met at Koh Phayam. They planned to just do an overnighter but as parks charged them for a 5 day pass they were staying on to get their moneys worth.

Sunday Jan 29

On the go early to catch the breeze to no avail. Motored the whole way but at least the water tanks ended up full. Picked up a mooring on the north of Patong Bay and enjoyed good internet for the first time in a couple of weeks.

Monday Jan 30

Motored across the Bay so we could get laundry done and resupply. Outboard died. We were using the new fuel purchased from Yacht Haven Marina. Found it full of water. Had a long difficult row out to GeminiLady dodging inconsiderate jet skiers to strain the water out of the fuel and get it going again. However, I must admit to a stupid mistake before we diagnosed it as a fuel problem. Because the engine died so abruptly I though that the ignition coil had gone. To test I pulled off one of the spark plug leads and held it to the block looking to see the spark while Lea cranked the engine. Anyway the bloody engine started and I'm left holding the lead getting a very painful zap up the arm and I can't let go. I'm paralysed! Lea finally managed to shut the engine down. Diagnosis? Definitely not the ignition coil.