As usual, we were working towards a deadline! Bad weather had kept us in Telaga Harbour Marina in Langkawi when we should have been in Phuket preparing to welcome our good friends who were due to arrive from Brisbane any day.
We were thankful to have had a berth at Telaga for four or five days while the wind howled and whipped up the sea creating a big swell and a messy chop.
Although the Marina is a little run down it is excellent value – Five days cost 422 ringatt (Aus$133) including electricity and water. There is a petrol station right next to the marina so filling up your gerry cans is easy.
There are also a number of very pleasant restaurants close by and the walk along the beach is lovely – especially at low tide when you can walk all the way to the impressive looking Berjaya Resort.
Half way along the beach you can hire a car for 50 ringatt (Aus $15) for sightseeing and to go shopping – the supermarket PL Soon in Matsirat is recommended as it sells a good selection of products , including fresh vegetables if you miss the markets.
The trip from Telaga Harbour to Boat Haven Marina in Phuket takes three days unless you want to sail at night – something we would rather not risk with the amount of logs floating just under the surface waiting to ram our hull, and unimaginable number of fishing flags and fish attracting devices around.
Our friends were arriving on Sunday 21 August and it was now Wednesday 17 August. To make matters more complicated you can only enter Boat Lagoon Marina at high tide as the entry is very shallow. So to get in before our guests arrived meant that we had to be there by 3 pm on Saturday 20 August. Not much margin for things going wrong.
Fortunately, the weather, as predicted by the very good app Buoy Weather, calmed down by the day of our departure. Our friends from the Sail2Indonesia rally, Chris and Sara, who had just delivered their boat Tulu to her new owners, dropped our lines for us.
It was extremely easy to clear Customs/ Immigration/ Harbourmaster at Telaga Harbour – we were literally in and out in less than 15 minutes.
Our first stop this time was Koh Taratao, just inside Thailand. All the way up the East coast of Taratao there were literally hundreds of the aforementioned fishing flags so we had to keep a constant look out.
It was a pretty anchorage which at first we had to ourselves but just as Jonathan jumped off the boat with nothing on, two other boats – a catamaran and a super yacht sailed into the anchorage. Typical!
Sailing is all about making plans – and then very often, changing them. After an early start heading towards Koh Rok Noi we soon realised with the wind being right on nose and the sea being quite choppy, there was no way we would make it there comfortably by nightfall.
So we headed to Koh Kradan instead and enjoyed sailing with a comfortable reach in 15 – 20 knot winds. But by 10 am we found ourselves sailing almost straight into the wind again and had to turn on the engine.
We arrived at Koh Kradan before nightfall having been sailing or motorsailing all afternoon and anchored near some fishing boats just off a beach resort.
As we sat enjoying our “sundowners” the fishing boats, one by one, rafted up to each other. In total there were five large fishing boats and one long tail all hanging off one anchor.
While this was happening another fishing boat stopped very close to us to offload its catch onto a long tail which was rafted up to it on the other side. Neither of the boats were anchored and were drifting at an alarming rate towards us. They were literally just a few metres away and on a collision course!
We started yelling and waving and eventually, when were just about to collide, one of the fishermen managed to attract the skipper’s attention and he turned his engine on. A close call!
Our hearts were still in our mouths and we looked at the six boats rafted up – too close to be comfortable – and decided to reanchor, even though by this time the sun had set and it was pitch dark.
The rest of the trip was uneventful but not exactly pleasant as the sea was rough and the winds varied between 15 – 25 knots with higher gusts and white water washing over the boat, giving us a couple of good soakings!
We spent the final night of the trip at pretty but busy Koh Phi Phi Don.