We left Rebak Marina on Monday January 6 to begin our travels in Thailand. First we had to pick up a package for s/v Imagine because another boat changed their plans who had planned to deliver it. We then went to Telaga Bay and got fuel and cleared out of Malaysia. A few minutes later we were moving out to make a 25 mile crossing to the next islands northwest – which are in Thailand. Yes, we’ve been right on the border between Thailand and Malaysia since November. Amazingly, within a few miles, the waters went from murky and green to crystal clear and blue. This isn’t due to pollution, it’s just a function of the marine geography and the distance from shore of the mainland where rivers mix fresh water with the sea. At Ko Lipe, we experienced views like seen in the picture to the right.
We arrived mid afternoon at a small island called Ko Lipe after a mix of sailing and motoring. We initially picked up a mooring, but found out it was private so we found a spot and anchored. We had beautiful white sand beaches, turquoise and blue waters, and lots of long-tail Thai boats delivering people and goods back and forth. This island is a beach resort mecca with all kinds of little bungalow resorts, beach bars, and thai massage parlors littered throughout the 2 or 3 mile long island. Apparently there are a lot of Swiss people who frequent here, but there were people from all over the world visiting.
We enjoyed meals on shore with our friends on s/v Kilkea, s/v Callisto, and s/v Solar Planet. Kilkea invited Karen and I to take a walk around the island and they took us to this great beach called Sunset Beach with a delightful little restaurant on the beach under a big tree with lazy chairs and wood tables. We liked it so much, when we later moved Tahina to Ko Adang a few miles away, we jumped in the dinghy and drove back to Sunset beach for lunch one day.
It wasn’t all fun in the sun though, I spent 3-4 hours over two days in the water cleaning our hulls. Yes, after several months at marinas, our freshly painted hulls were already having marine growth (mostly barnacles and slime) growing on them. What a pain! But, the hulls are clean now and hopefully we’ll be moving enough to cut down on the growth.
On Friday, we needed to start moving north so we could get to Phuket by Monday to clear in to the country and deliver the package to Imagine. There was a breezy day forecasted, so lots of boats were leaving. We had a blustery wind with 20-25 knots much of the way on a 60+ mile trip to Ko Lanta. It was a bit bumpy with a 1-2 meter (3-6 foot) choppy swell at times. But, the winds varied along the way and it wasn’t too bad over all. We averaged 8+ knots overall and at times hit 10-11 knots with our sails reefed.
We selected a beach with lots of little resort restaurants and cell towers (for Internet) about half-way up the southern island of Ko Lanta. You can continue reading to know more. Went to dinner with s/v Solar Planet at a nice little beach restaurant here in Ko Lanta. Really nice food, and a great beach view. See the last photo in the slideshow below.
Check out the photos below for a taste of what we’ve been experiencing. It’s been great cruising so far and we’re really enjoying the start of our travels in Thailand!