Oceans Dream

02 August 2014 | ENGLAND
15 March 2014 | Malaysia
29 January 2014 | Thailand
26 December 2013 | Phuket, Thailand
30 November 2013 | Langkawi, Malaysia
03 November 2013 | Puteri Harbour Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
04 October 2013 | Indonesian Borneo
22 September 2013 | Lovina, Bali
05 September 2013 | Komodo Island, Indonesia
18 August 2013 | Flores Island, East Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia
06 August 2013 | Kupang, Timor island
26 July 2013 | Northern Territory, Australia
21 July 2013 | Uluru, Australia
29 June 2013 | Fannie Bay, Darwin
17 June 2013 | Shelburne Bay, Cape Grenville, Australia
08 June 2013 | Carins, QLD
29 May 2013 | Townsville
12 May 2013 | Queensland
26 April 2013 | Mooloolaba, QLD
24 March 2013 | Mooloolaba, Queensland

Adventures in the Andaman

29 January 2014 | Thailand
Admiral 40 catamaran
Our route since arriving in Thailand in December. No trip was longer than a half-day sail.

With the imminent arrival of Robert and his partner on board Oceans Dream we set about planning an itinerary so as to make the most of their time here in Thailand. The numerous charter companies provide guests with sailing guides and these often make their way into hands of cruisers. Providing useful information such as depths, restaurants ashore, internet signal on the boat, how to get ashore in the dinghy, shops ashore along with the latitude/longitude to drop the hook all prove very helpful when considering which anchorage to visit. Additional homework prior to arriving at a destination is trawling other sailing blogs for 'cruising notes' and for the Phuket area we found sister ship to Oceans Dream, Ketoro's blog of great benefit. Thank you to them. Having the heads-up on an anchorages prior to arrival is invaluable and so off we went laden with top tips!

As it's currently the north east season anchorages to the west of land provide the most protection from wind and swell thus we headed up the west coast of Phuket initially to check-out the calm side. Here we found numerous beaches, some with easy access, others which claimed themselves 'private'. Others such as Patong we avoided due to it's party reputation. Our favoured spot was to the north behind an island in a bay called Bang Tao. The water was good enough to get in and remove the barnacles but not particularly clear. It was the first time we'd enjoy food cooked for locals, by locals.

Despite it's size, people all round the world recognise the name Phuket and this is reflected in the number of package holiday tourists. Whilst there are a fair smattering of Europeans, there's an abundance of Russian visitors and as such, many of the signs are written in Thai and Russian script before English. It's difficult to escape the frenzy of the holidaymakers and the activities provided for them but when we do, we find the locals are extremely friendly even with the language barrier.

Drinking coconuts

Thai boy

Returning south, a quick trip into Chalong Bay and a couple of taxi visits to the island's capital of Phuket Town saw us stock up with provisions, sort medical check-ups and purchase a kayak! It's a Swedish design and can be assembled single or tandem ...


We were also approached by a local charter company who were interested in leasing or buying Oceans Dream from us. Hardly surprising when we discovered they take tourists out for a day trip at £100 per head and they squeeze at least 15 people on board returning by 1600 to offload passengers in time for their 'Sunset Cruise'.

Then it was time to face the east coast and having caught up with friends from the UK who by chance were chartering a Sunsail yacht for a couple of weeks, we bit the bullet and began the bash into the wind and waves.

Friends on board

Phang Nga Bay sits to the east of Phuket and is the home of Thailand's 'Hongs'. Before selecting the best of these, we spent a few nights in Yacht Haven Marina topping up with water and fuel and relaxing after the bumpy ride north. Facilities at the marina are minimal but the service is second to none. From the guys taking lines to the ladies in the office, of all marinas we have visited in the last 5 years, this one easily tops the charts on service.

'Hongs' (meaning 'room' in the Thai language) are surrounded by steep walls and sheer cliffs, and are only accessible through sea-level caves. Phang Nga Bay is full of them and as they rise steeply from the sea, they aren't difficult to spot - often forest covered, and containing scenic lagoons.


They can be mushroom-like in their appearance at the base as the tide drops. We were soon to discover we weren't the only ones intrigued by the beautiful hongs. Hundreds of visitors came out from the mainland to explore the dark caves by kayak and to see the hidden gardens inside the hongs. The Park Rangers visit the most popular spots charging a £2 fee to enjoy the National Park for a five day permit.

Busy at Hongs

Next stop was Ko Phi Phi. We initially tried anchoring off of the main town but it was rolly, busy and too cosy for our liking. So we nipped around the corner for a more peaceful overnight stay ... or so we thought. The music started at 2200 and didn't stop until 0400. Neighbouring island of Phi Phi Leh is known as a location in the filming of 'The Beach'. We didn't make it there due to the high numbers of visitors. Many of the popular spots visited by day by hoards of tourists and in turn, the speedboats and helicopter-sounding longtail boats quieten down after 1800.

So, with itinerary sorted we meandered back to the marina and awaited the arrival of our guests. Heading up the river we were surprised to encounter a sudden influx of HUGE jellyfish. The fishermen who are usually busy on the water with nets or pots were spotting, hooking and filling their boats at quite a pace.


Whilst we were waiting for the guys to arrive, we checked out a boatyard up the river where OD will be hauled in April. Phuket Premier Boatyard specialises in lifting multihulls and the yard is in the middle of a rubber plantation. It was good to meet the owner Ditapong and to hear of the services he can provide.

With guests safely on board, all went to plan with the itinerary and we even managed to squeeze in a trip to Krabi. We anchored near the popular beach of Ao Nang, in Rai Lay Bay. It's part of the Thai mainland but is only accessible by boat and is a mecca for rock climbers. The water in this part of Thailand was the clearest we'd seen.


Fun on board

The sky has never cleared of haze in our time here and this has puzzled us. Apparently a volcano in Indonesia has erupted over 200 times since September of which the last significant blast happened just a couple of weeks ago. The thoughts are this is unlikely to be the cause due to the lack of ash in the air. The food has been delicious although the portions are on the small side so we sometimes order an extra dish and always have a starter. We put that down to western portions being so much bigger. The sizing of clothes can also be confusing. Due to their compactness, and XL Asian is probably half the size of an XL westerner. In the UK Jackie might be an Medium whereas here, she is an XL. We've yet to see an overweight Asian.

Next week we'll head back towards Penang in Malaysia with a stop on route at Langkawi. We'll stay a few weeks whilst we renew our Thai visas before returning north.

Thanks for reading! Jackie & Adrian

Vessel Name: Oceans Dream
Vessel Make/Model: Admiral 40 catamaran
Hailing Port: Plymouth, UK
Crew: Adrian & Jackie
Having both worked hard we decided we should enjoy an exciting and challenging retirement whilst we were young enough and fit enough. To realise this dream, we replaced our monohull with an ocean-going liveaboard catamaran. [...]

About Us

Who: Adrian & Jackie
Port: Plymouth, UK