They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and when it comes to yachties – of any gender – this statement is almost always true. So what better way to start the two-week Sail Thailand rally than with a massive buffet breakfast at the Vivanta Resort on Rebak Island?
Such a delicious breakfast!
On January 15 we joined the crews of around 20 boats to eat to our hearts content courtesy of the Sail Thailand sponsors. Breakfast was followed by a briefing and then it was back to Bali Hai to prepare to leave Rebak Island – possibly for the last time as when we return at the end of March Bali Hai is to be put up for sale.
Bert van Muylwijk briefs more than 50 yachties on what to expect from the rally
Our 2015 Sail2Indonesia Rally buddies from Anthem who had been marina-bound in Darwin for much of last year due to a health issue, were to join us for our trip to Thailand.
Our crew for the Thailand Rally
First stop before leaving Malaysia was Telaga Harbour where we anchored for the night after a short but very satisfactory trip testing out our fantastic new prop for the first time.
Our crew member having trouble with a shark!
The following day we checked out in Kuah (as currently yachties cannot check out in Telaga) and did a little last minute shopping, refueled, and headed out to sea.
It was a wonderful feeling to have the wind on our faces and the salty smell of the ocean in our nostrils after a couple of months being land based.
So good to be on the water again
Our first stop in Thailand was at Koh Tarutao – just a hop skip and a jump from Langkawi. For the first time, we anchored on the west side at Ao Sone – a large lagoon-like anchorage which was calm and peaceful. Previously we have only anchored on the eastern side in similarly quiet spots.
We dived off the boat for a swim but the visibility was terrible – possibly because of the prevailing currents at this time of year.
Just a short time after we arrived S/V You You anchored nearby and we had a pleasant evening eating and drinking wine with her crew on board Bali Hai.
You You crew arrives on Bali Hai
Capt’n Birdseye fires up the barbie
While the cabin “boy” prepares the accompaniments down below
Dinner and drinks on Bali Hai at Koh Tarutao
The following day we set off for Koh Mok and enjoyed a great sail, passing along the way some of the limestone karsts that are so typical of Thailand.
What a great feeling to be sailing
You know you’re in Thailand when these beauties appear on the horizon
We anchored in Koh Muk South – a pretty little bay off a beach with a few bars and restaurants scattered around the shoreline.
The Bay we anchored in….
…with a You You and Smart Choice anchored nearby
We met up at the laid-back Mong Bar with crews from You You and Smart Choice whose crew this trip were the Yantaras who had “jumped ship” temporarily while awaiting a new prop. Later we adjourned to Mayow Thai Kitchen for a delicious meal.
Drinks at the laid back Mong Bar
Great dinner at the Mayow Thai Kitchen
Having enjoyed our short stay we decided to spend another day and night at Koh Muk before heading for Koh Lanta. So that evening we had drinks and “band” practice on Bali Hai before going for dinner again at the excellent Mayow Thai Kitchen.
Singing and playing “Blue Bayou” sort of together
Pre dinner drinks on Bali Ha
We were really looking forward to going ashore at Koh Lanta as every time we have tried to do so previously the weather had been atrocious. In fact, the last time there was a storm so severe that we had to circle for some time before anchoring as the high winds and lack of visibility made it extremely dodgy – we literally couldn’t see a thing
Fortunately, this time the weather was perfect and after a rollicking good sail we arrived at Koh Lanta in plenty of time for lunch at the lovely beach restaurant Same Same but Different.
Lunch at Same Same but Different
Capt’n Birdseye and me posing among the unique bamboo structures at Same Same but different
After a swim off the boat and a rest we were back on the beach for drinks at the romantically lit Why Not Bar (where we had sensational Gin Fizzes) and dinner at a great restaurant belonging to the Baan Lanta resort at the northern end of the beach.
The Why Not Bar
From Koh Lanta we had another exhilarating sail to Koh Phi Phi Don where we anchored away from the hubbub of tourist boats in the much quieter Lanah Bay.
Everything up for a rollicking good sail. Thanks to our crew for cleaning the mainsail track and spraying it with silicone – made it easy peasy for me to raise it
The towering cliffs at Koh Phi Phi Don with long tail below
The following morning we were off again heading to our destination Ao Chalong where we were to check in and attend the first rally event in Thailand.
On our way to Ao Chalong – farewell to the beautiful but vastly overcrowded Phi Phi islands