21 April 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
01 February 2013 | Krabi, Thailand
20 January 2013 | Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
05 January 2013 | Phuket, Thailand
03 January 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
17 December 2012 | Penang, Malaysia
22 November 2012 | Malacca
20 November 2012 | Port Dickson, Malaysia
29 October 2012 | Johor Baru
22 October 2012 | Senimpan, Lingeh
11 October 2012 | Kumai, Kalimantan
11 October 2012 | Kumai, Kalimantan
11 October 2012 | Lovinna Beach, Bali
15 September 2012 | Lombok
05 September 2012 | Rinca Island
05 September 2012 | Rinca
21 August 2012 | Kroko Island, North Adunura
21 August 2012 | Kroko Island, North Adunura
21 August 2012 | Kroko Island, North Adunura
13 August 2012 | Lembata, Kawula Island

Signing off for now . . .

21 April 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
Lots has happened since my last entry. I flew back to Perth in February for an enjoyable fortnight and then we re-provisioned and sailed back to Thailand for another month. We only sailed as far as Koh Lanta this time as that is the part of Thailand that we most enjoy. As always the Thai people, the cuisine and the massages were top notch and are already missed. Our last two weeks we spent in Koh Lipe which is another favourite spot. Unfortunately the last week was a bit of a mixed bag of weather and Dan feared that the wet season was upon us. The wind direction had changed and we were experiencing strong gusts and rain for a few consecutive days. Plus this whipped up the sea creating a ground swell which made our anchorage very rolly. Fortunately our Thai visa was due to expire so it was time to leave anyway . . .

We are currently anchored in Telaga Harbour in Langkawi with a backdrop of dense towering mountains and hovering sea eagles. This is also the home of a massive cable car ride which we enjoyed some months back with the Sail Malaysia rally.

We will depart here in a few days for the final 5 mile leg back to Rebak marina to prepare Babar for the wet season. Our flights have been booked back to Perth for May 4 so we will be seeing our dear friends and family very soon. The future of our cruising life is unknown at this point so we will look forward to starting a new chapter on land - no blog required there!!

Elise and Dan

Best bath award

01 February 2013 | Krabi, Thailand
We arrived in Krabi and decided to spoil ourselves and check into some land accommodation and leave Babar safe 'n' sound in the marina. Only going on the internet and 'trip advisor' we booked a hotel on Rai Le beach. After a 40 minute taxi drive to the pier, a long tail boat ride and a tractor ride to shore (it was low tide) we arrived at our hotel. We were pleasantly surprised it was gorgeous and complete with a big balcony, day beds for reading inside and outside, a dvd player with library, a king size bed (being used to the yacht we couldn't find each another!!) and the best bath you could ever wish for. It was deep and just under 2 metres square and set in it's own room surrounded by lush greenery, artworks and it's own cascading waterfall. We just loved it and made very good use of it. However, as we are used to making our own water on Babar and being frugal with it - we were mindful of the vast amount of water it took to fill.

One of the days we decided to indulge in a spa treatment. We choose a package consisting of a thai herbal steam room followed by a lavender oil and salt body scrub and an hour long body massage. We both walked out feeling as light as air and obviously squeaky clean!!

Back in the marina we have decided against an anti foul for Babar until later. Dan has done some minor repairs as well as fixing a clicking noise in the engine and in the meantime finding and fixing a leaking sea water cooling pump. So we are now ready to slowly make our way down the Thai coast enroute to Langkawi.

A cooling dip in a lagoon

20 January 2013 | Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
Since our last blog we have sailed from the west coast of Phuket to the east coast to escape the unseasonal westerly winds causing our anchorages to be uncomfortable. We are now in the Phang Nga Bay region of Thailand and it is spectacular. The shear number of islands and soaring cliffs provide a rich cruising ground with the added bonus of being a picture perfect backdrop for our anchorages. By day we have been exploring by dinghy the numerous hongs which the region is famous for. A hong is really an underwater cave (complete with stalactites and stalagmites) that is only accessible at low tide by dinghy or canoe. This morning we got up early (to beat the day trippers from Phuket) and entered a lagoon which housed a large hong that had an opening to the sky. This meant for a lush tropical garden cascading down the vertical cliffs - just beautiful!!

Yesterday a longtailboat from a nearby village offered us fresh prawns, crabs and fish - not one to say no to fresh seafood we bought some prawns and enjoyed a delicious prawn curry for dinner.

This afternoon we will move on to the north east of the bay - a mere 10 miles away and stay for a few days. We are then making our way down to Krabi (on the mainland) where Dan wants to get the boat anti-fouled in a new marina. We will probably stay for a week and check into a villa or a beach bungalow which will be a nice change. Also need to catch up on the local cuisine and up the quota for Thai massages as I feel we are running out of time in this lovely land.

Need an aerial photo to do Phi Phi Le justice

05 January 2013 | Phuket, Thailand
We cleared into Thailand on a small island called Koh Lipe only 28 miles from Langkawi. We then day hopped to some spectacular anchorages enroute to Phuket. One such anchorage was Phi Phi Le - a beautiful lagoon enclosed by vertical cliffs and (no wonder) the chosen location for the movie "The Beach" with Leonardo Di Caprio. Only problem is that such locations attract day trippers from Phuket by the hordes. This means long tail boats, speed boats, power boats and liveaboard cruisers all vying for a place. We have now learnt that it is best to arrive at these spots after 4pm when everyone has left and we can enjoy the anchorage in peace . . . and to up anchor and leave before they all return the next day!!

We met up with some friends along the way that said that a lot of the yachts we know were going to Patong Beach on the west coast of Phuket for New Year. My original plan was to skip this bay altogether as it is the most touristic bay on the island - well that was my recollection 32 years ago!! And this was an understatement - the first night at anchor we could hear the thump thump of music until 3.30am. It was sooooo loud you wondered how people on the shore could cope . . . and we were anchored at least 500m from the shore!! Next day we hit the town looking for new sims, internet and ATM - and boy what a full on place!! It was chock-a-block with tourists - mainly Australian and European and for some reason Russian tourists??

We spent the early part of New Years eve with about 20 others in a restaurant and then headed back to one of the larger cataramans to get a birds eye view of the plentiful fireworks and the constant procession of candle-lit lanterns flying across the night sky. Liking a lantern myself and the well wishes it gets sent off with made this New Year very special.

The winds have been blowing in excess of 30 knots so we bunkered down in Patong for a few days. We left this morning (Jan 04) and will day hop up the west coast of Phuket trying to find protected anchorages and fewer jet ski's!! It is quite amazing how many people are here on this island. I know it is peak season and Christmas but looking ashore from where we are anchored the beach is covered from one end to the other of sun beds - and all of them are occupied!!

All that aside it is still great to be back in Thailand - the temperature is hot but without the humidity; the food is sensational, the thai massages (at a mere $10 per hour) are therapeutic and the swimming and snorkeling are superb.

Fjord-like anchorage

03 January 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
From Penang we sailed to Langkawi (via two overnight anchorages) which was the end of the Sail Malaysia rally. We attended farewell dinners and island tours and were generally spoilt by the rally. We stayed at Reebak marina which is a very nice marina and resort but also very hot so we have finally succumbed to an air conditioner after all this time!! It's certainly makes the boat more liveable although it draws some 5 litres of water out of the air into a bucket everyday. That goes to show what 90% humidity really means!!

We then left the marina for a week before Christmas as we were waiting on the parts from Perth. We explored the stunning islands around Langkawi where we anchored in between spectacular limestone cliffs that literally jut out of the sea and are wonderfully lush. We will look forward to seeing more of the Langkawi cruising ground once we return here in early March. We then decided to return back to Reebak and spent a lovely Christmas lunch at the marina resort with friends from the rally.

Parts have arrived and are fitted so we are good to go to Thailand on Boxing Day . . . Yippee!!!

A different take on Chinese architecture

17 December 2012 | Penang, Malaysia
Hello blog, yes again I have slipped in keeping you up with our movements - sorry 'bout that!! After Malacca we drove back to Port Dickson marina and prepared to sail to Penang. That was a 3 day 2 night hop and we anchored along the way in our limited choice of anchorages. We arrived in Jerejak anchorange Penang just after 5pm and was welcomed by an almighty thunderstorm and lightening show and volumes of rain. It was so violent that we decided to go to bed!! This storm we think, in retrospect, may have been the culprit to our now defunct wind guage. So that, plus the broken auto pilot head was promptly ordered through Perth in Penang.

Penang as a place is wonderful and like Malacca, a true food haven with a multitude of different cuisines. It's rich history is also scattered throughout Georgetown and you can simply absorb it by just walking the streets. It is also equally fun to bomb around on a bike as I did with Diana and Rob. Dan and I lashed out one day and decided to stay overnight in the Eastern and Oriental hotel a well known relic of days gone by with the likes of Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham. It also boasted a big marble bath and a smorgasboard breakfast that was the best we have ever seen!!
Vessel Name: Babar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau Oceanis 440
Hailing Port: Fremantle
Crew: Dan & Elise Barac
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Babar's Photos -

Who: Dan & Elise Barac
Port: Fremantle