Thailand less travelled

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. 

The longtail heading for us
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. 

An example of a longtail – engine one end and prop the other
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. 

Jonathan got in the dinghy to make negotiations easier
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. 

Look at the size of them – that bowl is a large one by the way
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. 

Colourful fishing boats at Koh Yao Yai

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. 

Parking the dinghy
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. 

A settlement at the head of the creek system
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 stop to take a look around
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. 

Delicious fresh vegetables
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. 
Hmm not sure what 007 would make of this

Not sure that “My name is Bone, Jame Bone” has the same ring to it as the original!

A beautiful calm before the rain storm
The next morning we were heading  to 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. 

Rainy weather for the last sailing day
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. 

A cute little fire boat ready for action
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. 

Dinner with Chris and Sara at the beachside restaurant
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. 

Yacht Haven Marina
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. 

Our daughter enjoys a last coconut juice (and a mango one?)

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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.

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