Phuket – just in time

It was like one of those dreams – you know you have to be somewhere but no matter how much effort you put in, you never seem to make any progress. Fortunately, we did eventually make it to Thailand and just in time to meet our daughter at Phuket airport the following day. 

Nearly at Phuket but cant see it! Must be somewhere out there!

We woke up at Ao Chalong where we had anchored the previous evening to much calmer weather after a day of sailing through some nasty storms and rough seas. 

Good morning Ao Chalong!
However, there were still some big gusts of winds and after one such blow we received a phone call from Rita on Beach House. 

“It looks like you’re dragging anchor” she said while I was exchanging pleasantries. “Nah we can’t be, we let out loads of chain and the anchor dug well in when we anchored.”

But it was true, we realised that we were indeed drifting back towards the shallows. When we pulled up the anchor we saw why we had dragged. Of all the places to put the pick down in this massive anchorage, we had chosen the place where a mess of calcified mooring rope was sitting on the ocean floor. Our anchor had dug into it and all was fine until the gusts of wind put pressure on the chain and off we went, pulling the mess of rope with us. 

One stop shop to check into Thailand
Once we had reset our anchor we went in to clear customs, check in with Immigration, and register with the Harbour Master. At Ao Chalong all these offices are in one place, next door to each other, at the end of the 800 metre government pier. 

The longest walk …the government pier at Ao Chalong
You first go into a pleasant office where the computers work and the lovely young people speak excellent English. After you have registered they then send you off to see each of the other officers in turn. 

While we were there we bumped into Rosie and Mike from Shakti who were in the process of checking out, taking their newly refurbished yacht to Malaysia. We hadn’t seen them since the end of the Malaysian Rally in November last year (2015) as they had been doing some major renovations in Boat Lagoon Marina over the past few months. It was great to catch up and a group of us got together for lunch at the Anchor Inn, a restaurant close to the pier. 

The Anchor Inn
Later that day we went to get phone credit/data so we could stay in touch with family and friends and did a big supermarket shop ready for taking off to see some of the lovely islands near Phuket. 

Great work place – this little bubba was at work with Mum at the phone shop

After an early dinner at the Phuket Yacht Club we set off (far too early) to pick up Hannah. As we had plenty of time we went via Nai Yang Beach for a drink. We ordered a mango smoothie but didn’t expect a jug each!
Filling in time waiting for Hannah to arrive
Fresh mango smoothies – a jugful each!

Before we took the car back the following day we did a quick trip to show Hannah Phuket. With our usual lack of research we took off for the Big Buddha which we could see from Bali Hai. 

The Big Buddah from the boat
As we turned round to try and get on the correct road Hannah spied a beautiful little elephant. Normally I try and avoid elephant camps as I really don’t like the idea of them but this little chap seemed very well cared for and had the sunniest disposition. 

The big Buddha is BIG! Forty-five metres tall to be precise and is twenty-five metres across the base.  It’s Thai name is Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha (try saying that after a couple of drinks!)

The Big Buddha

It is covered in white jade from Myanmar and glows in the sunlight. The views from the Buddha are spectacular and well worth the trip. There are some lovely restaurants on the hillside on the way down with delicious food and more great views. 

The Big Buddha is BIG
View from the Big Buddha down to Chalong Bay (you can just see yachts at anchor)

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

4 thoughts on “Phuket – just in time”

  1. Wow – looks amazing! And how lovely that Hannah is able to join you again so soon. Hope you have a great break together. xx


  2. Reading your blog while looking at our tiny mahogany Budha that we bought on Bali over thirty years ago! Could certainly drink one of those mango smoothies right now! But just wanted to say that even though Hannah was standing sideways and wearing sunglasses with the elephant, there is something about her that says young Dot to me! Good luck with your blog catch up-the story of my life with all my paperwork!! Xx


    1. How lovely to hear from you. I will never forget your trip to Thailand and you recounting it in Vijay’s the South Indian restaurant in Willesden! Ha ha! Funny I always think H. Looks like Jonathan but several people say she reminds them of me at her age! Xxx


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