To Thailand

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Wed 30 Jan 2013 08:43
With Ger on the mend in London after her op, Michael returned briefly to Malaysia to meet up with our most regular extra crew, Michele Moran, who had already arranged to sail with us. To her chagrin, she only got to sail with me, and indeed it was more of a delivery passage than anything else--from PD to Langkawi not even stopping in wonderful Penang! The passage took a couple of days, wnd we then spent a couple of days in a great anchorage on the south side of Langkawi, before mooring at Rebak Marina.
The passage divided almost exactly between sailing and motoring----good winds, no winds, thunderstorms and rain, glorious sun---we had it all, ending with a rather boisterous wind on the nose final few hours.
Towards the end the autopilot failed--fortunately I had a spare ram on board, and successfully effected a change while we were at anchor on south Langkawi.
And then back to Dublin to meet up with Ger for Christmas, while Michele also flew to Ireland for Christmas--but by a different route!
With Ger well on the mend in London, Michael returned to Langkawi on 19th January 2013 to take Simanderal up to Thailand, where Ger will join on 10th February.
To crew for me, Mika, who crewed from Miri to Port Dickson in November, and who is now based in Thailand, joined the boat in Langkawi on the 21st. After a bit of fixing and provisioning, we left Rebak marina on the 25th, called in at Telaga to refuel, and sailed off to the Butan islands--Koh Lipe--around 26 miles away--Simanderal's first islands in Thailand. Arriving mid-afternoon after a good sail in decent winds, we planned to go ashore---but the ourboard engine would not start. Changed plug, cleaned fuel lines, but still no go---so we dined on board and decided to head for Phuket somewhat faster than originally planned---it is time for a new outboard, we've had a lot of issues with this one over the last year!!
Off early next morning for a longer sail to Koh Nok Rok, some 50 miles distant. Some sparkling sailing most of the way---beam reach and winds from 12 to 15 knots--wonderful and fast. Of course it couldn't last---the wind started to drop and move astern--we eventually motored the last 8 miles. Glad we did as this was a lovely anchorage, clear water--had a lovely swim and snorkel--and a cooling breeze with a cool beer or two.
And up again early next day for the passage to Ao Chalong Phuket some 56 miles away.  Some good sailing initially, but by 1100 the wind had dropped and we had to motor the rest of the way, arriving 1630. Managed to get some life out of the old outboard so went ashore for a drink and dinner.
And on the following day Mika left for home, and I bought a 5hp Yamaha outboard--how sweet it sounds!!! The old Tohatsu is on its way to the bottom of the locker as a spare!
Mika plans to join again on Saturday, when we can cruise the islands a bit pending Ger's arrival.