Looking for a cave to run to? We have found a beauty!

We were in a glorious anchorage – Koh Daeng Yai – surrounded by sea mountains at every point of the compass, totally alone except for birds and insects and the occasional fishing boat lazily passing by in the distance. 

Sea Mountains near Koh Daeng Yai

Beautiful as it was, paradise had a flaw – a six knot current when the tide was incoming and six knots the other way when the tide was going out. 

Made it! Capt’n Birdseye successfully catches the rope to stop him flying past the boat
This made our customary exercise of swimming round the boat a couple of times a day a touch  hazardous, if not downright dangerous. It was fine (if rather slow) swimming towards the bow against the tide but going back down the other side, you hurtled down with the rushing current and had to concentrate on grabbing the rope we had let out or risk being swept off to who knows where!

Beating the current
We were as far north in Phang Nga Bay as a boat with a two metre keel would dare to venture. There are many shallow areas in this part of the Bay that require respect and careful planning. 

The best way to explore these shallow areas is of course by dinghy so after our exciting swim we set off to find an island we had heard about where you could travel through a cave that bisects the middle of the island and was open at each end. 

Exploring in the dinghy
The open ended cave was pretty but we discovered something a lot more intriguing as we motored the short distance through the passage – a well hidden rough hewn ladder! 
The Cave that bisects the island
Can you spot the ladder?
Now you can see it!
Of course we had to see where it led so we quickly tied up the dinghy and followed the trail. 
Up the rickety ladder

We climbed up the first rickety ladder, then a longer one at right angles to the first and after that a longer and steeper one. 

Then a steeper one

Then we continued climbing up a rocky path with spectacular views of the sea below. 

Up up we go!

 Up, up, up we climbed. On our right hand side we saw a huge drop with only a hand rail to keep you from falling down the steep drop below. 

A huge drop here with just a rough hand rail for protection
Then we suddenly arrived at an opening in the hill – we stepped through the small entrance to find a massive cathedral-like cave lit only from a couple of openings high up near the roof. 

We were amazed at finding such a stunning cave – it was totally unexpected. 

Miranda! (Apologies to Picnic at Hanging Rock!)
One more ladder into the cave

There were columns, stalactites and stalagmites, wondrous rock formations that resembled gargoyles, and lots and lots of mosquitoes!

Amazing surprise to see where the path led to
We saw wondrous rock formations

Some like gargoyles

Capt’n Birdseye climbed up a steep incline towards the top of the cave where two apertures allowed light to enter the cave. 

It’s a long way to the top!

Once at the top there were glorious views of water below and surrounding islands. 

On his way!
Nearly there!

With the mozzies getting the better of me, we decided to make our way back down the rocky path and descend the series of ladders to retrieve our dinghy. 

Slip sliding our way down
Back to our trusty dinghy

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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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