Blog 10. 18 March 2020. Chalong. 07.48.91N 098.22.89E
Thu 19 Mar 2020 09:43
This photograph was meant to be last shot of hong country before we started going south back to Malaysia.
17 Feb. What makes God laugh most? Answer: Men making plans for the future. Back in Chalong, we hear that Malaysia in going into lockdown from midnight until March 31, no foreigners being allowed in, all public events cancelled, schools closed etc etc. We think that if we check out of Thailand and take 2 weeks to get to Malaysia, perhaps they will open the boarder or allow us in after 2 weeks quarantine, so we check out and spend the rest of the day wondering if we have done the right thing. By evening, we have heard from Rebak Marina that they have been told to close the business until the 31 March and Pangkor Marina does not even answer our last email, so we think we had better check in again so at least we are legally in one country, even if it is not the one we would prefer to be in. We have another pleasant supper in the restaurant on the beach with Diane and Kel from Top Spot, this time, not quite the only customers as we were last night.
18 Feb, back to Chalong town with a lift in Top Spot’s excellent dinghy and check back in again. The Thais are very polite and helpful and the boat is now legal until mid September and we have a visa until the 18 April which, in theory, we can extend when the time comes for another month. All the yachts in Chalong have checked back in except one, who is going to take pot luck with getting in at some time in the not too distant future. We buy some more stores to keep us going for a few weeks and have a very filling lunch with Diane and Kel and also John and Barbara from Murrundi. They know Thailand well and have joined in the check back in crowd.
We hear from Time Bandit and Kia Ora, who were with the Sumatra Rally yachts forbidden from landing in Pulau Weh, Indonesia, that they made it back to Malaysia in time to book in before the lockdown, but are not sure what happens now. One managed to get into Rebak, the other is anchored in the bay off Kual. They were the only 2 people walking on the beach this morning.
Phuket is still a little bit busy, with some tourist boats still going out to the islands and the aeroplanes are still flying in and out. We seem to be in a waiting game for a catalyst to help with the decision making. Try and leave the boat here, come back in September or try and get an extension for a year and come back in March, hope Malaysia starts to lift its ban or at least gives a steer on how long it will last, panic that we might not get a flight back to the UK, or run true to good Batten form and put it in the too difficult file until it has to be addressed.
From a lovely but somewhat uncertain Thailand.
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