We had the impression from other sailors we know who came to Thailand last year that we would not get to sail very much. But, so far we have had several good sails in the country. It turns out several of our friends who sailed here last year came later in the year when the rains and winds are apparently less. And, there have been some strong high pressures over the South China Seas that have added some strong breezes.
We spent several days in Ao Chalong bay at anchor where we cleared into Thailand, got some provisions, enjoyed meals ashore at the beach restaurants, and relaxed while we waited for our dinghy to be repaired. Here’s a picture of us enjoying one of our dinners with other yachties.
End of last week, we moved from Ao Chalong Bay near Phuket to the west side of Phuket along the coast. We stopped in a nice little bay called Nai Han Bay which our friends on Kilkea said is one of the nicer anchorage along the coast. The beach is still quite filled with tourists – predominantly Russians getting a dose of warmth away from their winter. The winds picked up the next day, and we spent a couple of days sightseeing in the area while waiting for them to die down. They blew 20-25 knots much of the time the entire time we were there, but we were sheltered well so it was fine at anchor. In fact, it got cool at night which is always a pleasure.
We hired a motor bike and drove up to see the Big Buddha which is about a 300 foot tall statue of the sitting Buddha looking east over Ao Chalong Bay. We could easily see it from the other side of the bay when we were at anchor there. It was quite impressive up close as well.
Yesterday, we decided to leave to head north so we can see the west coast of Thailand and visit with some other boats we know who are up near the border with Mayanmar (Burma). We had 25-30 knots of wind at the start, so it was a pretty brisk sail indeed. Thankfully the winds gradually eased as the day progressed. Unfortunately, by 2 PM they had shifted more on the nose and we had to motor the last few hours before we arrived at a good anchorage.
I will upload some more photos later when we have time. Here they are: