We had planned to leave Thailand for Port Blair in the Andaman Islands – the furthest outpost of India that allows visiting yachts – on Friday 17 February. This would have given ample time for provisioning and last minute service checks for the three yachts travelling together – Yantara, Smart Choice and Bali Hai and get us in to Port Blair on Monday 21 February.
However, as we have learned previously, when it comes to yachts you can never rely on everything coming together in the way you expect.
A relatively minor but painful medical issue and a recalcitrant auto helm (self steering) delayed us and plan B was to leave on Monday 21 February.
It was great for the Bali Hai contingent as it gave us lots of time to service the boat engine, cook and freeze some evening meals for the trip and get a few maintenance jobs completed.
It was also great to get to know Nai Harn Bay and enjoy some lovely walks, including over the saddle of land (up a very steep hill!) that separates Nai Harn Bay and Ya Nui Bay.
On top of the cliff is a huge white windmill that generates electricity for the local area and which is a landmark for all the boats anchored in the capacious bay below.
Hang gliders jump off the cliff and catch thermals like massive colourful eagles. We watched heart in mouth as they appeared to swoop perilously close to the sails of the windmill.
Sightseers and local teenagers arrive on motor bikes to marvel at the view or seize the opportunity for a kiss and a cuddle away from the prying eyes of parents.
Down the other side is a small beach much favoured by families for its soft sand, fewer crowds and safe swimming. There are a handful of cafes here where we enjoyed a few good value and tasty meals – notably with the Yantaras and Smarties on a couple of occasions.
Plan B didn’t quite work out and our departure was delayed once again but we didn’t mind. We sailed back to Ao Chalong and did a little more shopping and bought fuel from the barge in the middle of the bay.
We checked out of Thailand on Wednesday and went back to Nai Harn Bay. It wasn’t a hard place to be – at all!
As well as enjoying meals at some of the local restaurants we were able to rest and recuperate after the busy-ness of our trip to India.
There were gorgeous sunsets to enjoy and we even saw the “green flash” – a phenomenon only seen under particular conditions when the sun sets. This was my second time, the first being in Hoga Island, Indonesia in 2015.
By Friday 24 February all three boats were ready and raring to head for the Andaman Islands. Final repairs done and medical issues resolved we convened a little way out to sea outside Nai Harn Bay around midday and started the first of what was to be a passage taking three days and nights.
Andaman Islands here we come!
For more about our trip to the beautiful and fascinating Andaman Islands go to: