Storms, good sailing and an excellent welcome

Another “real time” update before I publish the last few blog entries about our stay in the fascinating and beautiful Andaman Islands. 

A big swell on the way to Koh Lanta

Our trip from Phuket to Langkawi started off reasonably enough with a good sail to Koh Lipe. The following day was a different story. We had a big swell on our way to Koh Lanta and then as we approached the island, we were hit by squalls that went on for 40 minutes with winds gusting at 30 knots. 

The worst was over and we could see again!

The rain was so hard that there was a complete white out and all we could do was go round in a small circle. Our instruments told us we wouldn’t hit land but we were concerned about hitting another yacht or a fishing boat. 

A very wet and soggy skipper

It was the right thing to do – only days later a fellow yachtie was caught in a similar storm outside Koh Lanta (but worse, with gusts up to 50 knots) and found four fishermen in the water after their boat had broken up and sunk, quite possibly after being hit by another vessel. He heroically saved their lives but that’s another story and his to tell. 

Bye Koh Lanta maybe see you another time?
We eventually anchored at Koh Lanta once we could more or less see where we were going. Once again, bad weather stopped us going ashore at Koh Lanta. Sadly we seem destined never to visit the place, a shame as by all accounts it is a lovely island. 

Pretty landscape on the way to Koh Muk

The next day was better and we had a good sail in big seas to Koh Muk. We were looking forward to going ashore there and around 5.30 headed into the beach on our dinghy. We were less than half way there when the wind started to get up, the grey clouds above us started to look angry and a low growl of thunder rolled around us. 

Fortunately we were back in Bali Hai before the clouds burst

We turned back to the boat and arrived back just as a huge electrical storm erupted. Thankful we hadn’t ignored the signs we bunkered down for another evening on board. 

Nothing else for it, better have a glass of wine

There was still some rain about the following day but nothing compared to what we had experienced during the previous two days and despite a little rain had a great sail. 

Koh Tarutao

Koh Tarutao was our last stop in Thailand before reaching Langkawi. The north eastern anchorage (not in the pilot) is just beautiful and we would have gladly stayed another night but we were on a mission to head south well before the 2 July start for the West Kalimantan rally. 

Close encounter on the way into Langkawi.
We motored sailed to Langkawi in glorious weather and anchored in Telaga Harbour once again. We have done this so many times it felt almost like coming home. 

It was such a pleasure checking in at Telaga – it took precisely seven minutes, including the walk from the Harbourmaster’s office to the Customs/Immigration building. Polite, welcoming and not the least bit officious this has to be our favourite border control administration ever!

Thanks for the welcome
That night, there was a fireworks display on one of the two man-made islands that shelter Telaga – and we had fabulous front row seats. 
Thanks for the excellent welcome Langkawi!

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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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