Mergui Archipelago

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Fri 17 May 2013 00:17
09:58.85N 097:51.756E
17/5 0100LT
Great progress last 12 hrs with the expected SW winds eventuating. Started with a slow but steady sail with full rig up along the Phuket W coast winds light around 6-8 kn broad reaching at 4-6kn. Later in the day, kicked off by a band of thunderstorms peeking at just over 20kn we climbed quickly to 9-10kn boatspeed with a reefed main and half furled genny. Fortunately we'd started cocktail hour a bit early so our evening G&T wasn't interrupted by the need to perform deck duties. The storms passed before dark and settled into the predicted 12-14kn allowing us to maintain a 9.1 kn average speed over a 40 mile leg. Winds eased slightly to 10-12kn as we entered the southern islands of the Mergui's before midnite.
Beam seas with long period from what remains of the far-off ocean swells that manage to get past the Andaman Island group give some of us a regular reminder that we're not level and stationary - with local gravity anomalies throughout the boat being held responsible for dumping bodies and galley items on the floor.
The two ocean-going punters have settled in well to passaging: Aimee has assumed the role of ship's cook the last few days and was introduced to Pasta El Oro tonight which was executed to perfection with Rogerio acting as Su Chef. The Jolly Roger is actually not so jolly tonight being somehwat queezy - but still functioning, and I don't believe he's fed any fish yet (but the trip's still young). Silky and I exchange watches every 6 hours, or when tiredness demands.
Expecting to arrive at my World's favourite passage at Lampi Island mid morning today. This pristine narrow channel between two islands with sandy beaches and a small sand island in the middle is occupied by a local Burmese fishing fleet and there are usually around 100 primitive fishing boats at anchor or buzzing around. I've been through this channel a couple of times in the past and expect a large sailing yacht is still a rare sight for the locals as they mostly just stare open-mouthed and frozen in position when we transit here.
Looking fwd to these terrific sailing conditions to continue for next couple of days which should put us at the Irrawaddy delta on Saturday night.