08:10.22N 098:20.40E Phuket Yacht Haven Marina, New Years Day 2009
First anchorage in Thailand was in the bay of Ao Chalong in the south of
Phuket for formalities. Despite being a 'one-stop' clear-in it was just
laughable with dozens of yacht crews milling about trying to guess what the
forms could possibly mean and who wanted photocopies of what. When we were
half-way through the process they decided to throw us all out so they could
have lunch but everybody sat tight until they carried on.
On a sail to the north of Phuket we passed some limestone island stacks that
seemed photogenic so we persuaded a passing shrimp fishing boat to take me
on a photo shoot so I could get Grapto in the picture.
We pulled into the Yacht Haven Marina where Brit managers Nick and Zara
invited us to spend New Years Eve with them in a beach restaurant and bar
with about 30 others yachties on the crowded Nai Yang beach where there were
big firework displays for about four hours and hundreds of hot-air lanterns
being set off over the sea. It was complete chaos with some of the big
rockets exploding on the beach in the middle of crowds and some of the
lanterns getting shot down in flames by other rockets. It was all very
dangerous and very good fun.
Happy New Year to all, from Graptolite in Thailand.
There are new photos on www.graptolite.eu