Our Last few days in Thailand
22 March 2016
Our Thailand experience was centered on the time we spent with our international company. We had Byron and Wendy arrive first for several days and then 2 days after they left Amy came in and she hung out with us for about 10 days and then Harold and Sylvia flew in the day Amy left for 3 days on board and 5 days together at a fabulous Resort.
We started off with a plethora of mechanical failures including the high-pressure water line for the water-maker on Wendy and Byron's first day. That turned out to be very restrictive since we couldn't shower with impunity. After several trips to the hydraulics store and after Wendy and Byron left we finally got that working again.
We visited many of the same places with everyone but a clear highlight was the king of hongs at Ko Phanak. This one had a long maybe 200 yard long cave but it was the most tricky because one had to wait for the height of the water to be just right! One has about 1 hour to have enough water to float over the beach to get into the cave and the water has to be low enough to sneak under the ledge to exit into the inner lagoon. Despite two attempts, Wendy and Byron never got into the lagoon. We even waited as much as a half hour in the pitch black cave for the water to ebb but then we ran out of daylight.
With Amy I was more experienced and we didn't have to wait too long to slip into the lagoon. In the cave you are not supposed to use the outboard engine because the exhaust is toxic to the resident bats clinging to the ceiling. We had to hand row in the dark to get through but it was pleasant and COOL. By the time we were leaving the hoards of tourists in crewed kayaks overwhelmed us as they came in.
Sylvia and Harold also got in to the lagoon and Sylvia went to town photographing everything!
One of the highlights was the fresh shrimp that we bought from local fisherman minutes after they had been caught. The shrimp were huge maybe 6 inches long and 1 ¼ inches thick. Nancy boiled them up in a beer batter and with Old Bay Seasoning, We all feasted!
The weather was settled and fortunately we didn't have the huge wind accelerations so our anchor stayed set even though it was a roadstead anchorage.
The water quality in Thailand has been disappointing with the exception of 2 places where we had 15 to 20 feet visibility. However, the temperature of seawater was delightful so we were able to swim almost daily and enjoy the aft deck shower.
With Amy we visited Rolly Tasker, a world renowned sail maker and spent several hours viewing his humongous sail-loft. We were given the freedom to walk the entire floor and even get up close to the rope weaving machines making Dacron braid. The had their own injection molding machines and hand on hand the most incredible inventory of sailing hardware that I have ever seen. Their loft was big enough to be fabricating 20 sails simultaneously. Each of the emplyees perform the same job repeatedly over their career. Each lady performed their task without wasted motion and we could watch how they marked, cut sewed the sails and especially how they finished them off with their rope and leather work.
Harold and Sylvia took us to Naka Island Resort where we experienced luxury like never before. We had our own villa with a private swimming pool, garden, steam shower, out door bathtub and all the other accouterments that go with decadent living! Needless to say it was a unique experience for us and one we will never forget.
On the sail back to Malaysia we had an owl land on our boat and stay with us for about 2 hours. We also saw a few dolphins at the same time. We hope these experiences will bring us good luck in our future plan.
Over the last month it has become clear that it is time to move back into a land life and we have decided REALLY to sell Always Saturday to any lucky buyer who makes us a reasonable offer. We have now been cruising since 1998, eighteen years! As such we are now in Langkawi, Malaysia where we have contacted a broker. The next several months will be spent cleaning painting and varnishing and preparing her for sale. So we will NOT be heading across the Indian Ocean nor touring S. Africa. Our home becomes vacant on Sept 1st so we hope to be ready to move back in by then. We do hope that we'll travel mainland Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam after we complete our yacht maintenance.
We would like to thank all of our blog readers for following our trials and tribulations and look forward to meeting with many of you after we get home.
From the Crew of Always Saturday