Meandering into Boat Lagoon

Finally we had made it back to Phuket in Thailand and were on our way to Boat Lagoon Marina which is on the East coast of Phuket, and well placed for the airport which meant just a short taxi ride for our friends arriving the following day. 

Boat Lagoon Marina

The water in Sapam Bay where Boat Lagoon is situated is shallow and to make things even more interesting, the lagoon in which it is built was originally a tidal flat at the head of a shallow, meandering two-mile creek named Klong Tha Rua. This means getting in is tricky – especially for a boat like ours with 2.2 metre draft. 

The shallow waters of Sapam Bay with the posts marking the channel into Boat Lagoon Marina just discernable

The good news is that the Marina provides a pilot at no extra cost who will meet you at a pre-arranged time (approaching high tide) at the first channel marker and will steer your boat through the shallows all the way to the marina. 

Mr Nom, our pilot

We arrived a little early for our 3 pm appointment and were welcomed by a huge downpour of rain. 

Miserable in the rain…


Fortunately, by the time our pilot, Mr Nom, arrived just a tick before the allotted time, the rain had eased off a little.   

Mr Nom and his assistant arrive to guide us in

Having done minimal research before getting there I had no idea that the distance from the first marker to the entrance to the marina was such a long way. 

The channel markets seem endless

The pilots know every last millimetre of the route and gently steer the way through an obstacle course of sand banks and deeper pools, sometimes near to the poles that mark the channel, sometimes further away. 

The pilots knew more than our navigation program
The channel markers zig zag in an alarming, seemingly random, meandering course, the first part heading through the bay towards a creek lined thickly with mangroves. 

Winding our way through the mangroves

After a few minutes the odd mast and a few roofs appeared above the trees. Then we puttered past the entrance to where the super yachts tie up at The Royal Phuket Marina, passed a ramshackle fisherman’s hut and suddenly Boat Lagoon Marina came into view with its trademark lighthouse (the marina office) signalling that we had at last arrived. 

A few roofs come into view
Fishermen’s huts along the way
The lighthouse at Boat Lagoon guides us in

Finally we were at the marina and Cap’tn Birdseye (Jonathan) did his best docking yet. 

Jonathan is back in charge of Bali Hai and we follow the pilot in

Boat Lagoon Phuket is located in Koh Kaew on the northern outskirts of Phuket Town and is like a big village as it surrounded by a group of condominiums, a resort, serviced apartments, restaurants, shops, a bank, laundry, a fitness centre, services such as dentists, massage and hair dressing salons, a supermarket, offices etc as well as great boat hauling facilities with three travel lifts and every kind of boat service from riggers to painters, electricians to engineers. 

Entering Boat Lagoon
One of the three travel lifts

It was great to be there at last and just in time to greet our good friends from Brisbane the following day. 

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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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