To Ao Chalong
To Ao Chalong, Phuket, Thailand
We left Rebak Marina mid way between the ten and eleven shuttle ferries, great to be on the move, oh, straight out amongst local fishermen.
A pit stop at the fuel dock in Telaga Marina – I fill jerry cans whilst Bear went to log us out of Malaysia (the offices are by the clock tower). After a nice youngster had helped by calling each twenty litre mark, five jugs full (a hundred litres for thirty nine pounds), I bimbled up to pay at the Petronas Station. Bear came back and I nipped up with my Passport for outward stamp and my two index finger dabs. All done we headed out at a quarter past twelve for the 132.2 mile journey.
Passing the fishing girls at rest and the lighthouse.............
......................out through the anchorage and out into deep water – all of six metres for a while.
We saw the skywalk that we had so enjoyed during our visit to the cable car.
Not too long we were in Thai waters and up went the new flag (‘Q’ flag too), lovely to see the sails up as the wind was slowing growing in strength.
Looking back to Langkawi.
The clouds were really busy but they gave us a steady twenty knots and the girl began to purr.
We passed a local tied to a float, watching her nose go up and down, up and down – what a rotten job with poor pay we admire these men and they always wave with such cheery grins. Our watches were busy in as much we had to keep a sharp eye out for the many flags on small floats, buoys supporting nets and huge blocks of polystyrene (some strung a huge distance from each other). We found what we thought was a track and then handed over to Lady Luck to see us safely through the night, with the engine off we don’t worry as much about fouling a net but..............
Unbelievably, middle of nowhere, we have to slow for a freighter who passes in front of us. Sunset without the sun.
Our first ‘shrimper’ of the early evening.
Then the horizon begins to fill, a full circle of shrimpers and fishermen - we lost count at fifty.
The first of the night fishermen gets underway.
I lay down at six to gain an hour and a half as night begins to lift. Daylight gives Bear his first look at the off-islands of Phuket. He had two point four metres below us as he approached the shallow bay of Ao Chalong and woke me when it was time to down the main, head between the final markers and anchor. Breakfast, launch Baby Beez and head in for Officialdom. Luckily, the wind (still blowing hard) and waves came with us so it was a dry run in. We found a rickety dinghy dock with a locked gate, having watched people climb over the low wall beside, we did the same. The first thing we saw was a bike park – hundreds of them but one caught our eyes.
Oh wow, a motor bike with glazed window, passenger seat and shopping stowage area.........
Make that a ‘cushioned’ passenger seat.
Seen from the back, what a charmer.
This beauty parked in front of our favourite.
Having gained an hour meant we could log in this morning (office open 9:00 - 12:00 or 14:00 – 15:00) – Bear is helped by two lovely ladies in the first office which begins the process. Next was the Harbourmaster, Immigration and finally Customs – all done in about an hour as two other boats were logging in and out and another logging out.
Paperwork complete we walk the pier, little truck buses take people back and forth for twenty pence but we wanted the bimble. High on the hill above we can just see Big Buddha, not yet ready to be tourists we have to sort a local SIM for the phone and the internet – dtac we have been told is best.
The inner bay shows how vast the anchorage is.
No idea where anything is we jump in a taxi and Nat glides us into the busy main road, not half as busy as the electrickery.
The nearby Tesco Mall.
A massive mall around the edge of Tesco – the dresses on the market stall are about two pounds....
Before shopping we had to continue our habit - new country, new KFC, similar enjoyment. Then we bought two SIM cards and hit Tesco.
We take in familiar things and Bear works out the Wingnuts (this time Baht) to Sterling. Nat takes us back having been happy to wait for us. I tell him how disappointed I was to find three rows of tins, savoury and sweet that took up about four feet of the shop, he tells me “that sort of thing can be found in Macro” good to know for next time. Gate climbed it is a very wet Baby Beez ride home and once she is stowed we settle to supper, a couple of Hawaii Five-0 episodes and an early night. Night all.
ALL IN ALL A CRACKING SAIL
SAILING AT LAST