Koh Racha Yai and Ao Chalong Check In N07 47 E98 21
The sail to Koh Racha Yai next day was fast in strong winds blowing up to 40 knots at times. The bay is deep and very protected so anchoring was not a problem and soon some of the bigger Thai fishing boats started coming in for shelter.
One anchored just behind us, it felt rather close but many rafted up in the mouth of the bay.
A beautiful bay, the white sand beach gives way to an expensive resort with full sea views. The underwater profile here is very good, it is an ideal place for dive training and snorkelling boats to visit and they do in plenty. Consequence is that from 10.00 a.m.to 4.00 p.m. there is a plethora of speed boats and motor launches, dive boats and tour boats all jostling for space even in strong winds, we’re sure there must be many sea sick passengers en route. It is fascinating to watch, health and safety is rather a laissez faire business but buoyancy aids are much in evidence on all the boats and the dive training is very well manned usually with an extra person with a snorkel who keeps watch above water, very necessary with all the boats whooshing in and out. The fishing boat crews used the unplanned anchoring time to do their laundry, clean their boats and scrape a few barnacles, they kept busy.
Despite all this we had a very good snorkel drifting the dinghy with us so that we were well marked. We were also able to inspect the bottom of the boat. She is in good order, smooth antifoul with no weed or barnacles yet which is always good to know.
One of the enjoyable things on this island is the restaurant which is very good and getting to it is great fun as it is a narrow winding track across rocks, rickety wooden walkways and sandy little trails opening out onto breezy verandahs overlooking the sea where the tables are laid out. A nice way to end our couple of days here.
Fast sailing again to Ao Chalong. We found a place to anchor in this busy harbour where ferries come and go regularly, it’s also a base for dive and tour boats there are lots of them. The anchorage was choppy and uncomfortable but we had to get in the dinghy and get ashore to check in with Thai Immigration, Customs and Port Authority. Formalities over we moved out from the heave and ho of Ao Chalong into the lee of Koh Lon a small island at the mouth of the bay and finally the anchor held after a few abortive attempts. We had a surprisingly peaceful night in our lone anchorage and were ready next morning to carry on up to Royal Phuket Marina next door to Boat Lagoon where we hope to have the stainless steel arch made for the new solar panels.