Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Sun 12 May 2013 11:05
Easy overnight trip to Koh Muk, island of the famous Marokat Cave (aka Emerald Cave). Mostly motor sailing in 10-12kn following winds. Wind died off mid early morning so motored last few hours to arrive an hour or so before mid tide.
Only a short tide window allows access through the tunnel and into the cave. Unfortunately, tide level was very high, and rising, and the swell was considerable, making the cave entrance act more like a blow hole. Quite large spring tides at present. It was immediately obvious we weren’t getting the Duck through there and didn’t look like even much chance of swimming through.
We were starting to be resigned to continue onwards to Phuket without the Hong experience when a tourist long tail turned up and a handful of Eurotrash with limited swimming ability donned dodgy lifejackets unlikely to pass any buoyancy tests, then jumped over into waters similar to a surf-zone surge with a bored local guide and no common language thus no means of communication...
Well, we toughened coastal Aussies, practically raised in the water, thought if they return alive then no problem. Luke organised all the fins, masks, torches etc while Rog started to fret and sweat, mumbling something under his breath like “you’re crazy, no way, you’re all bloody cowboys”. I don’t know, possibly he was mumbling in Portuguese?
Well the tourists returned, as far as we could tell with a similar head count that entered the cave. So now it was our turn. Too rough to anchor so I nosed in close enough so our team could Cousteau off the bow and swim over to the cave entrance. I moved back into safer waters and stood-by watching them disappear (actually looked like they got sucked in) to the cave.
For those of us that’ve been into the cave, we know the reward waiting at the other end more than compensates any discomfort in getting there...
As I settle down for what is usually an hour’s wait, the crew re-appear in open water at the cave mouth.
After retrieval, Rogerio mumbles around the deck for an hour or so practicing more Portuguese – “all mad, bloody cowboys, no way”.
No question – the anxiety levels inside the cave would’ve been maxed, and Luke believes they made it halfway – but no reward this time. You can take the accountant out of the office, but it’ll take a few more adventures until we’ve completely stripped the office from the accountant!
On to Phuket now, may pause en route at Phi Phi as a consolation experience...