We were tied up at Boat Lagoon Marina, had hired a car and were all set to pick up our daughter at Phuket Airport the following day.
Then we received the call – due to an administrative error, her work permit had not been ratified and when she tried to go through Immigration at Delhi Airport she was not allowed to leave India.
Such a strange coincidence as the same thing had happened to us a few weeks earlier when we stopped from leaving Thailand because we had not paid the required bond before leaving our boat in Phuket.
As it was the Hindu festival of Diwali, everything was closed including all the Immigration offices. Twenty-four, then forty eight hours came and went and all our determined daughter’s useful contacts (including the Vice-President of an Indian Airline who pulled out all the stops he could) combined had failed to get her out of the country with the guarantee that she would be able to return.
By Monday afternoon we had given up hope and had taken the car back, checked out of the marina and anchored outside. Then we got the message, she had been to her local immigration office which had opened with a skeleton staff despite it still being the Diwali holiday. She been told that the staff there were not senior enough to stamp her visa and was just about to leave when the big boss popped in for just a few minutes. He heard her plight, stamped her visa and she was on the flight that night. Her determination paid dividends!
There were great celebrations when she arrived – only four days late and an extra airfare but she was in Phuket!
As her stay with us was truncated we sailed straight away for our first anchorage at the northern end of Phang Nga Bay – Koh Daeng Yai .
This a tranquil anchorage which we had to ourselves and very much enjoyed the early morning there with the sun reflecting on the many coloured craggy cliffs.
We took the dinghy over to an island we had been to previously and which was bisected by a cave open each end. It was here that we had previously scrambled up ladders and paths to discover a huge cathedral-like cave.
As she is a fellow cave lover, we took our daughter there in the afternoon when the tide and the sun were low.
It was much harder to take the dinghy in at low tide and we ended up rounding the end of the island and coming in the other way.
As it was late we decided to come back the next day for a closer look.
After another visit to the marvellous cave we set off for Koh Roi, a pretty island which we had visited previously, and explored the large and attractive hong.
The hong was certainly worth a second visit and we met an interesting young Frenchman who lived in Wales and who had paddled to the hong on a kayak from Koh Yao Yai.
As the tide was out we could walk further into the wilder part of the hong than we had on our previous visit. We saw a massive colony of large fruit bats hanging in the trees.
When we returned to the boat the weather started to deteriorate and we decided to move to the less exposed anchorage between Koh Kudu and Koh Kudu Yai.
We were glad we did as the wind blew up and the rain hammered down for a couple of hours but by that time we were well settled and enjoying a glass of wine.