21 January 2018 | Ao Chalong, Phuket
Thursday 18 January 2018
Here we are back in the land of longtails, hongs and wonderful food. No data sim until at least tomorrow in Ko Lanta, but probably not until Phuket Monday or Tuesday. Aim is a couple days in Ko Muk (Mook Island) before continuing north. This place embodies what half of dirt-dwellers think of as the essence of cruising (It's either sundowners in the cockpit with mates or battling 60 knot winds and 10 meters seas - in fact vast majority of time is spent doing neither) and one reason we love it. We have a palm tree lined sandy beach fringing a calm, cove anchorage with vertical limestone cliffs to the north. There's a small rustic resort and several bars and restaurants including one on the hillside that we enjoyed last time through - inexpensive (cruisers tend to be cheap except for boat stuff).
Beautiful 49 NM sail up from Ko Tarutao yesterday. Jan got to see sun peak over the horizon once again. Two within a week should discharge all her sunrise requirement for the year.
Had so much fun yesterday with swim, mast climb to clean sail track, drinks then dinner ashore decided to remain one more - Lanta Saturday. Original plan to swim through Emerald Cave to the hong inside at inexcusably early hour this morning before heading north after high alcohol evening may have impacted that decision as well. Should do so this afternoon with sleep-in tomorrow - no sunrise abuse.
Except for adult beverage our hosts practice something called moderation. This apparently requires self-discipline. As a general rule we avoid that. Not all bad though as despite best effort some miniscule lardage seems thus to have dissipated. After return to Darwin may have to practice something else called abstinence until livers recover.
Another late night of carousing at the same excellent restaurant ashore with several mates also heading toward Phuket after an accomplishment-free day resulted in dragging our torpid butts out of bed mid-morning and being the last to leave anchorage.
Yet another night of above referenced jollity starting at lunch with libation ashore. Lanta is one of our favorite places, but to quote Buffett, we "can't run at this pace very long". Excellent wind this morning for the few hour sail to Phiphi (Peepee) where we expect not to go ashore (suffers from wall to wall tourists, longtails and jet skis) before final run into Ao Chalong to clear in, do laundry and prepare for scheduled lunch Tuesday.
Closest sim card six klicks up beach so no internet until tomorrow in Phuket. In addition to constant pickling of brain cells, lack of inspiration has made this rather pedantic, but lacking ability to send, will just keep stuttering along until Phuket.
If we can buy tickets back to Darwin from Krabi without incapacitating the cruising kitty should be there a week from today. With excess time available last year, engineering and maintenance crew on Anthem were deplorably slack. Much to our chagrin this will necessarily change upon return. With Jan feeling well expect trips to Auckland, Hawaii and Vietnam in the breaks so must spend all home time at toil. Conscientiousness will henceforth be our mantra. Bike early every morning, work for balance of day, then pursue abstinence and moderation in the evening. Man! You couldn't pay me enough to be me.