After the hype of James Bond Island we were looking forward to seeing some “real ” Thailand so we headed for the less well travelled island of Koh Yao Yai.
Just as we dropped anchor, a “long tail” boat (so called because they have second hand car or truck engines mounted on an in-board pole with the driveshaft extended by a long metal rod with the propeller on the end) headed straight for us.
It’s always a bit disconcerting when a boat heads straight for yours at speed, as you never know whether there is anyone watching out for obstacles. Fortunately on this occasion the skipper was well aware of what he was doing and much to our delight had come up to ask if we wanted to buy some freshly caught prawns.
He loaded a whole heap of them into the bowl we provided at about half the cost we would pay in Australia and you couldn’t get them any fresher! Delicious cooked in their own juices on the BBQ with just a little bit if lemon squeezed on them.
We took the dinghy into the local harbour, tied it up amongst the colourful fishing boats and walked around the village and along the road leading in land.
It was great to wander along and everywhere we went we were greeted warmly by the people we met and with every bike or truck that passed us people were waving and calling out to us.
After a while we decided that we could cover more ground with the dinghy so we went back and picked it up and motored up the extensive creek system which reminded us a lot of the inland waterways at The Hole in the Wall in Langkawi.
We wound our way through the extensive creek system and then decided to tie up to a small local jetty and explore by foot again.
We wandered through a small village where we saw a couple of fish farms, some tidy houses and then came on a shop selling fresh vegetables. This was very timely as we wanted a lovely fresh salad to eat with the prawns.
There didn’t seem to be any tourists about but on one shop front we did see tours being offered. We were intrigued about the one below.
Not sure that “My name is Bone, Jame Bone” has the same ring to it as the original!
The next morning we were headingto Yacht Haven Marina as it was sadly time for our daughter and me to fly to England for family reasons, leaving Captain Birdseye to look after the boat. It was timely as there were a number of jobs to be done which would keep him busy for at least part of the time I would be away.
The weather was dark and rainy as we made our way into Yacht Haven. The Captain did a great job of docking despite the very tight squeeze in the berth. Bali Hai is so beamy, I think it always takes us (and the dock staff) by surprise.
Chris from Tulu (another Sail2Indonesia participant) was there to greet us and it was very good to have him and his wife Sara to help organise laundry, a bottom scrub for the boat and car hire all in a matter of minutes.
Yacht Haven is a lovely marina but you do need to hire a car or motorbike as its really quite inaccessible by land. There is a pool, a good restaurant on the Marina where we had a delicious breakfast (courtesy of our daughter) and a little lovely local beachside place on the sand that cooked delicious Thai food. Sara and Chris were regulars there so we were very well looked after but I believe friendly service would be given to anyone who ate there.
There are no haul out facilities there so this marina is not a place to get major work done. However, you can get above the water jobs done and of course have a diver clean the boat’s bottom.
Our departure to the airport was quite fraught as our clean laundry wasn’t returned at the agreed time and only turned up after many phone calls at the very last minute. We had to chuck it in the car and sort it out on the way to the airport. Good thing we enjoy living on the edge.