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Islands of Phuket

August 1, 2017

We checked out of Malaysia and left Langkawi on May 13 anticipating a leisurely cruise to Phuket. Our prop was fouled with 6 weeks of growth so we put into Hole-in-the-Wall on the north end of the island for a cleaning. With terrible Internet, we still received an email from Seven Star yacht transporting telling us that our quote for shipping to the Med had been finalized but that we needed to complete the paperwork and deposit within a week. So much for the leisurely thing…

We did stop at a couple of islands along the way. At Koh Rok Nok the water was clear and we broke out the snorkeling equipment. There wasn’t much new to see but it felt great to get back in the water. There was one curious granddaddy barracuda about 5 feet long that was surrounded by hundreds of small fish that provided great camouflage.  Back at the boat we saw that the receding tide had left only a few feet between our keel and the coral reef. We spent one night at the infamous Phi Phi Don island that is popular among the younger set for wild parties and navel shots. We didn’t go ashore. :<(

We put into the marina at Boat Lagoon and spent the next few days dealing with Seven Seas arranging to have Persephone shipped in March to Turkey. We then left for a leisurely (there’s that word again) cruise of the islands in the Andaman Sea. The islands are quite exceptional in that they jut out of a very shallow sea straight up with sheer cliffs speckled with lush vegetation. It hardly felt real as we passed through these towering monoliths.

Our first stop was Koh Phanak that has hongs (marine caves) on both the east and west sides of the island. The east hong is primarily a land cave that you access from the water and it didn’t seem to be a popular tourist site since we were the only ones there. Never the less, it was beautiful with its stalactites and stalagmites. The west side hong was a much different story. It is strictly a marine cave that small boats can row hundreds of feet into pitch blackness and bats. Unfortunately, we were not alone and it resembled Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” with bumper-to-bumper boats; a very popular tourist attraction.

We then moved to Koh Hong and explored its open grotto-type hong. While anchored there we met up with Simon and Seda aboard Skimp/Bikini. We knew Skimpy from the South Pacific and we enjoyed catching up.

Our next stop was Koh Deng Yai next to “James Bond Island” where the movie The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed. During the afternoon, a gale came up and flipped over our dinghy, motor and all. It took some effort to right the dingly in 45 mph winds and get the outboard engine aboard Persephone where it could be worked on. We managed to get the outboard working but in the process a part broke that prevented us from using it. We were stranded aboard Persephone with no way to row ashore in the swift currents, so we decided to head back to Boat Lagoon.

We have ordered the critical outboard part which will take a couple of weeks to arrive so we have moved up our land travel. Tomorrow we fly to Bangkok and on to Hanoi to explore Vietnam. We don’t have an itinerary or a schedule but will likely be gone 3 or 4 weeks. It’s the rainy season so we will probably have the place to ourselves. When we return we plan to resume our “leisurely” cruise of the Andaman Sea.

Ko Rok Nok

 

Phi Phi Don

 

Koh Phanak

 

Koh Hong

 

Koh Deng Yai

From → Travel

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