07:36.20N 99:01.84E Koh Lanta Thailand

Eric Alfredson
Mon 31 Dec 2018 05:16
Koh Lanta 31 December 2018.
Happy New Year all Lisanne friends !!
If you are following this blog you must be of a patient kind as we have not written anything since we left Bali almost three months ago. During this period we have sailed through South East Asia from Bali to Thailand. Our first stop was on the charming little island of Bawean in the Java Sea.  As they don´t get many visitors from western countries we were treated like celebrities and everyone wanted a selfie together with us. We took a scooter ride around the beautiful island and were invited by the local authorities to a very nice dinner in the evening.
Next stop was Borneo where we entered the Kumai River and anchored at Kumai Town. On the way into the river mouth we had to assist another yacht who ran aground just ahead of us. At Kumai we went in a speedboat into one of the smaller rivers and then walked into the forest to visit the Orangutans. This was spectacular. You could watch them for hours when they came swinging through the trees with babies on the back to pick up bananas.
From Borneo we sailed to the island of Belitung which is quite a large island in the middle of the Java Sea. There we reunited with Charles and Nicky of “Calliope”. The three Oyster 575s, Miss Tiggy, Calliope and Lisanne who are now called “the Quitters”,  by the remaining Oyster fleet (now in Cape Town) continued north through the islands of Bangka, Lingga, Benan, Bintan and Batam in northern Indonesia. Just north of Bangka we crossed the Equator from the Southern hemisphere back to the Northern. The three Oysters crossed the line together sailing with our gennakers up. Quite a feeling! As there were four “Scallywags” on board King Neptun showed up and baptized them properly.
The northern part of Indonesia is not as nice as the southern islands as the water is very shallow and the water clarity is not so good. We stopped at some villages and they seemed very poor.  The town of Tanjung Pinang on Bintan was very large but very poor and dirty.  We continued to Nongsa Point Marina, a very nice marina on Batam where we cleared out of Indonesia.
Crossing the Singapore Strait was quite an experience. The shipping lanes were packed with large ships and we had to do some slalom to get over to the other side. But once across it was like entering into another world ! From primitive villages in Indonesia to this huge, supermodern and commercial megacity. We got a berth at the beautiful One 15 Marina on Sentosa Island. This is a very nice marina very centrally located in Singapore with all facilities. Restaurants, swimmingpool, gym etc.  We left Lisanne in good care by Matt and went home to Sweden for a while. Matt seemed to enjoy Singapore and especially some of the local girls he met on “Tinder”.
Eric returned to Lisanne after a couple of weeks together with Lasse ( Alervall), a friend from home and the journey continued north through the busy Malacca Strait to Malaysia. We cleared in at Port Dickson Marina and then continued to Penang which is a very large city and not very friendly to visiting yachts. On the whole we did not enjoy the Malaysian west coast. Hot and sticky as there was no wind so we had to motor most of the way. And so filthy ! Rubbish everywhere. The sea is filled with plastic bottles and bags, canvas bags, timber and logs, old ropes and fishing nets and even a dead dog. So we did not dare to sail at night of fear of getting something in the propeller. We arrived Langkawi island and spent a couple of days there at the Marina mingling in the pool with the racing sailors of the Raja Munda Regatta which was going on at the same time.
After tax free provisioning on Langkawi we cleared out of Malaysia and sailed to Phuket in Thailand via Koh Lipe and Koh Roke, two nice island on the route north. First we went to Yacht Haven Marina where we prepared Lisanne for the big event, Kings Cup regatta ! Asias largest and most competitive regatta. We had entered together with miss Tiggy so we were the three from Lisanne, Eric, Matt and Lasse together with the three from Miss Tiggy,  James, Tiggy and Calum. The regatta took place between 1st and 8th of December.
On the way down the east coast of Phuket to Kata beach, the venue for the regatta and on the practice race we trained on getting the gennaker up and down , gybing and tacking so when the regatta started the team was well coordinated. And it showed on the scoreboard. We started in the Cruising division together with 10 other yachts and believe it or not we won 5 out of 7 races. They increased our handicap as we progressed so it became harder and harder to stay on top.  On the last day one of our competitors protested on us due to us using hydraulic furling equipment which is our normal (and only)  way to handle the sails. So we were not sure on the way in from the race course if we were going to receive the Kings Cup from the King´s representative. But the protest was overruled and we got up on the podium as overall winners of the Cruising division.  www.kingscup.com
After the regatta Matt and Lasse went home to celebrate Christmas together with their families and the rest of the Alfredson family came out to join on board  Lisanne for Christmas and New Year. We have now cruised the islands around Phuket for 10 days, had a nice Christmas party at Kata beach and a lovely Christmas day dinner with the “Tiggys”.  We have been visited by friends from home, Johan, Hani, and Samir. Jenny, Lisas best friend has also joined the crew.  We are now anchored outside the Long Beach on Koh Lanta and looking forward to the New Years party tonight.
We wish you all a Happy New Year wherever you are and are looking forward to seeing you again in 2019.
Eric, Ann, Lisa and Fredrik
PS you can follow our track on https://my.yb.tl/YBlogLisanne
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      Orangutans Kumai                                                   Cute?
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      Jungle Jim and friends.                                             Nicky and Charles in rickshaw
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      Matt in the sun.                                                       Serious competition, Tanjung Pinang
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      3 x Oysters crossing the Equator                         4 Scallywags
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      “Line” party                                                             King Neptun
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      Singapore skyline                                                    Sentosa Island
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      One 15 Marina                                                       Langkawi yacht club
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         Lasse and Matt with a Spanish mackerel           Langkawi pool boys
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       Rounding the leeward mark.                                 Soon in the lead !
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      The Kings Cup in right hands.                                 Sailors bar.
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      Birthday celebrations.                                          Christmas eve
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      Sunset at Rai Lai beach, Krabi                                Scooter trip, Koh Lanta.