24 -25 November, Kho Po, Koh Lanta Yai

Mon 2 Dec 2013 04:15
07.32.0N 99.06.2E
The weather looked more settled in the morning and we left Taratao at 7.15am just as the fishing fleet was setting out for the day. After manoeuvring around the ubiquitous Thai fishing nets (most marked with coloured flags) or the fish traps (marked by all types of white polystyrene containers) we put the headsail up and motor sailed north west to Koh Rok Nok. At 3.30pm we arrived at Koh Rok Nok but decided not to anchor as there was a big swell coming from the Andaman Sea and the western entrance to the channel looked too dangerous with breaking waves. So we changed course and headed for a sheltered bay called Koh Po, off Koh Lanta Yai.
What a contrast – the water in the bay was like glass, not even a ripple and we were very happy anchoring just on sunset. We met a fellow yachtie who had said how devastating the winds and storms were on Saturday, several yachts had been written off at Ao Chalong with many damaged (lots of yachts dragged their anchors and smashed into other boats) and a few local fisherman drowned. We were heading for Ao Chalong on Phuket Island as this is the only place that you should check in to Thailand but had decided that we would take a week to get there to avoid the fishing nets and fish traps on an overnight passage (not worth the stress!).
The next morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise and smooth water and chose to spend the day at Koh Lanta Yai before continuing to Ao Chalong. Koh Lanta Yai was fantastic – a sleepy local village with a couple of local restaurants and bars – I had previously heard that Koh Lanta was a favourite with many yachties who wanted somewhere quiet after being driven crazy by the hordes of tourist boats at nearly every Thai island. We met a nice English guy called Terry who had a coffee shop/bar and owned the only other yacht in the bay! We enjoyed our first Thai lunch at a cute restaurant overlooking the water and then wandered around the old town – lots of cats and dogs everywhere. Koh Lanta is a Thai Muslim island and we could hear the call the prayer throughout the day. Greg was always quick to remind Dadang about his prayers!