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Getting Ready to Leave Thailand

March 18, 2018

We are currently in Ao Po Marina, Phuket, where we are awaiting the ship that will take Persephone to Turkey. The original arrival date was March 12 which forced us to leave Boat Lagoon Marina on the 6th, the only date with a suitable tide. But we made the best of it by cruising the islands for a week before arriving at Ao Po which has no tidal restrictions. Unfortunately, the arrival of the ship has been slipping and is now the 19th, so here we sit.

The boat work on Persephone while she was on the hard went very smoothly and we only had to spend 2 weeks in an apartment. She went into the water with fresh CopperCoat bottom paint, new cutless bearings, and a wax job. We gave her a thorough cleaning and headed out to the islands.

We tried a new anchorage in the beautiful crescent cove on Ko Roi. We dinghied into the beach and walked through a tunnel in the cliff that opened up into a large grotto filled with mangrove trees full of fruit bats. In the evening we watched from our boat as the bats flew out of the caldera and circled over the island.

In late January we anchored off Yacht Haven Marina and attended a cruiser’s party hosted by Seven Star, the yacht transport company that is shipping Persephone. Many of our friends attended and we had a great time swapping stories.

Our visas were running out so we made a quick visa run to Myanmar, only it was a little too quick. The driver of the van drove like a maniac through torrential downpours reaching speeds of 130 kph and scaring all the passengers. We later learned that visa runs are notoriously fatal we should be happy to be alive.

We left Yacht Haven and travelled around the south end of Phuket and up to the Similan and Surin islands that lay about 40 miles off the coast. The diving was only so-so and we didn’t bother to bring out the scuba gear. But it was the first time in a year that we have been out of sight of land and that felt good. The Similan Islands are still close enough to Phuket that a fleet of high-speed day boats brings hordes of tourist out each day and the anchorages become crazy. The Surin Islands are further out and we saw only live-aboard dive boats.

We stopped at Nai Harn Bay on the way back and enjoyed a couple of dinners ashore plus a massage. It was a pleasant transition back into civilization.

We are hopeful that Persephone will be loaded on the ship within the next few days. Then we will move ashore while we make travel plans to Istanbul, Turkey, where we will be tourist for 2-3 weeks while Persephone is in transit.

From → Travel

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