Back again

We’re in Malaysia (again). After trying the main town anchorage in Kuah, and realising it was all mud with very bad holding, we decided to head into the marina. The marina is very affordable and it makes provisioning so much easier. You can just walk down the pontoon with the shopping and load it onto the boat. No dinghy landings and tricky passing of bags involved! And it’s worthwile to do a big top-up here. Langkawi is a duty-free island and that includes fuel, alcohol, electronic goods, boat parts, etc. Even groceries are noticeably cheaper than in Thailand. So, we’ve done a big stock-up which should last us a few months at least.

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beautiful Langkawi

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the anchorage in Telaga, on the Western tip

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being in the marina makes provisioning so much easier!

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loading up

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quick dip in the marina pool

On the way out of Thailand, we stopped in a few more islands. There are plenty of gorgeous anchorages in the Southern Andaman Sea and we chose just a couple more after our brief stop in Ko Phi Phi Lee: Ko Rok Nok and Ko Lipe.

Ko Rok Nok was peaceful and quiet, with good snorkelling, despite the cloud cover. The island also has an ancient shrine where worshippers for centuries used to come and pray for their fertility. There are huge carved penises and some other offerings. Bit weird, but funny.

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the anchorage in Ko Rok Nok and a great beach to run wild on

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the shrine is hidden between these rocks

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strange carvings

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colourful offerings

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obligatory writing in the sand

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lots of colourful fish

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lobster

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some good corals

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colourful nudibranch

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met this cute clownfish family too

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Ko Rok Nok sunset

We also stopped in Ko Ha before reaching Ko Rok Nok and wanted to stop for lunch and do some snorkelling, but were stopped by the Rangers who wanted a disproportionate sum of money for the privilege of anchoring there for a few hours. So we left…

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Ko Ha

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interesting formations

Our last stop in Thailand was in Ko Lipe, a beautiful small island, part of the National Tarutao Marine Park. We didn’t snorkel but had a lovely swim and admired a gorgeous sunset. The next morning we continued to Langkawi which was less than a day-sail away.

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Ko Adang, just north of Ko Lipe

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another gorgeous sunset, we just can’t resist taking one more sunset photo

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and then it turns all pink

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gorgeous colours

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Ko Lipe

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Ko Lipe

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view over the anchorage in the passage between Ko Lipe and Ko Adang

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early morning and we’re off to Langkawi

So where to next? We might explore Langkawi for a bit, we may head back to Thailand for another month. We also like the idea of heading to Sumatra where the surf season soon starts. Other options are to head back towards Singapore and explore the Anambas Islands, Borneo, Brunei,… so many options, not enough time!

 

 

Take me to the Beach!

We finally and eventually managed to extract ourselves from Phuket and found ourselves spending a night in Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Lee. The place became famous after the movie ‘The Beach” with Leonardo Di Caprio was filmed here. We had passed this busy bay on the way up but hadn’t stopped. It was too early in the afternoon that time and we literally couldn’t get through the traffic, so we had continued to Ko Phi Phi Don (the next island) instead, that time. But now we had timed it more careful and arrived around 5pm, just as the last sets of tourists were getting ready to leave. There was one other yacht inside and, guess what, we knew them! It was great to see our friends on Impetuous Too. They had been to Langkawi and were on their way back to Krabi. One more yacht arrived and picked up one of the moorings and then the sun set and all went quiet. Apart from a bit of a short swell that made us roll around in the early evening, we had a pretty comfortable night. No lie-ins were to be had though (except for Aeneas, who sleeps through anything); as soon as it became light the first noisy local long-tails turned up and not much after that the first fast ferries. I had a quick snorkel and was surprised to see there were still so many fish, despite the noise and crowds. We didn’t stay and left, still sipping our morning coffees. Off to somewhere quieter!

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approaching Ko Phi Phi Lee

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Ko Phi Phi Don, the next island, where the hotels, shops and restaurants are 

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Ko Phi Phi Lee is uninhabited

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this yacht is on its way to Maya bay too, we met them later on

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soaking it all up

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with The Beach in the background

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tourists are leaving at the end of the afternoon

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admiring the sunset

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red sky at night, sailor’s delight

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early morning and they’re back

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bye bye, we’re off to somewhere quieter!

 

Old Friends!

I love it when friends happen to turn up exactly when we are in the area, totally by coincidence. And not just one but two sets of friends turned up in the last week. We had a lot of fun going for a day-sail, hanging on and around the boat and lazing by the pool in their resort whilst catching up on the last few years since we saw each other. I can definitely recommend the beautiful resort our friends Dan and Naz were staying at (Anantara Layan) as it was absolutely gorgeous, peaceful and super-stylish with an amazing upscale Thai restaurant (dinner was an experience!). We will miss Phuket and our friends… we’ll be back!

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playing the ukelele while sailing along the coast

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lunch at sea

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We gave Patong a miss

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Bangtao is much nicer!

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sunset photos on the foredeck

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sunset glow

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catching up with Matt, Wendy and Ellie

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2 northerners and 1 Scott, oh oh

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obligatory foredeck selfie

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morning coffee with Dan and Naz

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kids loved the pool

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the gorgeous and quiet Anantara resort at Layan beach

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ready for Songkran, Thai New Year, this buddhist festival traditionally turns into a giant water-fight, nobody is spared!

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water-fight in the pool

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Aeneas got hold of the hose…

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We had an amazing dinner. This little amuse-gueule definitely got our taste buds going; you had to make a tiny basket out of the beetle leave and fill it up with nuts, chillies, ginger,  pickled lime, shallots, dried seabass and coconut jam and then put the entire thing in your mouth. Spectacular.

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Cheers!

Good Times

We just love Thailand. Comfortable anchorages with lovely sandy beaches make for a great daily routine, starting off with a swim or a SUP to the beach early morning, followed by school, lunch and then another trip to the beach in the afternoon. It’s just perfect. The locals are friendly, the food is great (and cheap) and you can have a super-duper 1-hour massage on the beach for 250 baht (£5/$8). The weather’s been dry and breezy although the first squalls started appearing in the last few days. Perhaps it’s a sign that the seasons will be changing soon?

Thailand has also been great to get some key items ticked off our to-do list. We installed a new chart plotter (thanks Paul!) and a new VHF radio (the old one was unfixable) and upgraded our cockpit with new cushions and newly upholstered helmseats. We had our rigging inspected (all good) and finally also installed new trampolines. Not a bad set of achievements!

We could easily stay here longer but unfortunately our visas are running out soon. So, it’s back to Langkawi (with a few islands stops on the way) and then we’ll see where the wind takes us next. But first, we still have a very important birthday to celebrate…

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early morning SUP to the beach

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daily swim

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fitting the new trampolines

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final tweaking 

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our ‘new’ cockpit

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very luxurious!

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new helmseat