Back in langkawi!
Woke this morning anchored in calm waters and set sail by 7:30 on a course for Langkawi. With no wind for the entire day we motored our way at about 4 knots. We passed the time doing laundry and Ed being a chatterbox, insisted we play a game of “on a scale of one to ten” “on a scale of one to ten do you think you're a good driver, on a scale of one to ten do you think you’re a good person, on a scale of one to ten are you an honest person… and so on. This led to philosophical conversation on values and self perceptions, etc. Did I mention Ed is a chatterbox? There was rarely silence in 3 weeks.
The Thai fishing boats line up all along the Malaysian border to fish and I have no idea why. Its water on both sides, are the fish better on the border? Feeling the proximity to Langkawi we were all getting excited and Ed insisted we take a selfie as we crossed the Malaysian border. Two hour laters our spirits were high as we reached our birth, checked into immigration and the thought of being so close to a real shower made me downright giddy with joy. Suddenly everything seemed alright in the world.
Ed as usual had plans for where we were to eat dinner, which was 45 minute drive away so we rented a car. The food wasn’t that great and there are about 500 places to eat that are closer. I am pretty sure we went to that place so he could pick up a case of his Australian wine.
Made it back to the boat which is parked in the marina. So nice to have a real bathroom and not the ridiculous fiasco of getting in and out of the dinghy in order to go somewhere.
Tomorrow we clean the boat in the morning.
Just one day away from Telaga Harbor (Langkawi, Malaysia) we are anchored at Turatao, a quiet and almost deserted state park. already mentioned in earlier blog. Still the occasional long tail which we can never get away from. We made it here just under 10 hours leaving from Ko muk around 6am.
The last two days were probably the closest I came to relaxing on this trip while with Ken and Ed. Both Kantiang Bay and Ko Muk were much less populated islands, smaller villages and less tourists. Ed has always forced us to be on the move so it was nice to have an extra day in Ko Muk to lie on the beach and get some alone time. Being able to swim to shore from the boat helped facilitate that.
After Phuket we anchored at a bay called Riley because I requested a more remote place to anchor. Turns out we were anchored on a motorboat highway! The long tails shuttled tourists late into the night and early in the morning before 6 am. We then sailed to Krabi. Pulled into the quite modern and new River Boat Lagoon. Was kind of fun driving the boat through the narrow river channels.
At this point I had decided to leave Sade and didn’t want to leave them with all the cleaning so I scrubbed the bathroom and my room. Took a cab into Krabi town. Ken and I had picked out a random hotel from the website, turned out to be ok. Krabi in my opinion, is just another Thai city, but as usual, people are friendly and the food is good. Found a western style cafe across the street called May and Marks and went there in the mornings for coffee and food.
Immigration Problem: I had already checked out of Thailand in Phuket and they wouldn't let me check back in so it was decided I would rejoin Sade in a few days in ko lanta.
Ed and Ken left in the morning and I stayed another day in Krabi. My first day completely alone I spent it mostly in my room just relaxing, enjoying the feeling of not being on the go and watching Downton abbey and drinking gin. Ok just a small amount of gin.
The following day took a near death taxi ride to ko lanta packed to gills with tourists. Managed to get to my hotel and spent two nights there. Dinner with Romanian woman as previously mentioned. Not any desire to shop, Enjoying the quiet time.
I enjoyed two quiet days to myself in ko lanta. It was much needed alone time to reset and recharge. Saturday morning the plan was for me to rejoin Sade. Had a morning coconut and tea, a bland omelet stuffed with kraft cheese, then checked out of my room at noon. Took an overpriced cab to the southern part of the island Kantiang Bay. One of the first beaches that isn’t too crowded and waited for Ed and Ken to arrive around 3pm.
Spirits were much better when we reunited and Ed seemed less controlling and I was even relieved to have company again.
We met an Australian ex pat who built a house in kantiang bay. Foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand, you can only lease is. Same for owning a business must be 51% owned by a thai national and for each foreign owner they must employ 4 thais.
Went out for dinner in Kantiang as was the usual plan and departed the next day for ko muk. Ko muk, even smaller, spent a day and a half there. As I mentioned those 2 days were the only 2 days that Ed slowed the pace down. Got another and much better massage in ko muk.
At Turataro, Ed and ken went ashore on the dinghy and I stayed aboard to get some alone time. Ed quibbled about paying the 200 bhat ($6) to the forest service (or whatever the thai version is called haha) and I told him it supported a good cause, stop being cheap and I'd pay for his and Kens fee.
Turns out my boat name is Skippy, which is an affectionate name for a kangaroo I'm told and there may be something about having the body of a kangaroo but I'm choosing to ignore that (Ken says only because I have ran marathons). Ed's boat name is 005 because its part of his wifi password so I thought 005 because he wants to be James bond but didn't quite make the cut. Ken is Indiana since he looks like the current version of Harrison Ford.
Looking forward to being back in Langkawi tomorrow. Will try to post pics soon.
I really am not sure why Ed took us to Old Phuket. There is no beach access and in my opinion it is just another polluted, dilapidated, congested, grungy 2nd world city. I suppose one does get a sense of local city life without the tourist scene. Food stalls, street vendors, hustle and bustle of traffic which is 80% mopeds. With not much else to do we went for a swim in the pool of a neighboring hotel. It
was a dilapidated old sky rise that may have been magnificent once upon a time, but with brown and peeling water marked ceilings, stained carpets and long, wide empty halls, it had a post apocalyptic feel to it.
I retired back to my room early while Ed set out for his evening beer ritual. Later for dinner Ed wanted us to eat from the street food stalls of which there were many. Soups, noodles, rice, sweets, exotic seafood and fruits, its all there. Not feeling too adventurous I ordered rice noodle soup but was disappointed when I discovered it was full of random fat and gristle chicken parts that I couldn’t recognize.
The following morning, this morning was one of most challenging on this trip so far. Spending so much time with anyone with limited personal space, there is bound to be personality differences or clashes (though haven’t really had any differences with Ken). Ed can be rather controlling and this morning after not sleeping well two nights in a row, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. Ed’s inability to hear things continues to be a big problem and I can see Ken getting a little frustrated too. It could potentially be quite dangerous if anything went wrong on the boat. When things are all happening quite fast - sails need adjusting, gusts of winds, oncoming boats, etc. and if I ask Ed for clarification or give him pertinent information he sometimes doesn't hear me. When Ed decided we should take the Tuk Tuk - the pickup truck like cab the long way back to Chalong just for the “experience," without asking me or Ken, I was quite annoyed. I seriously didn’t need or want the experience of riding in the heat and inhaling diesel fumes for 40 minutes. And when I told Ed that for breakfast I needed to eat protein, preferably chicken or eggs, I certainly didn’t mean boiled chicken feet. I passed on breakfast and thankfully had a gluten free granola bar in my bag.
My mood improved significantly after we checked out of immigration, topped off our fuel and water, and got back on the boat. It felt good to be away from the city chaos and grime and in our own space again and I welcomed my cozy little bed which I share with my suitcase and two blue plastic storage bins. By noon we set sail for Yao Yai island and once on the water, the beauty of the sea, the salt air, the gentle rocking of the boat and the wind reminded me of why I came on this trip. When you are on the boat is when time slows down, when you can forget all the plights and politics of humanity - when its just you, the wind and the water...and two old guys.
Friday afternoon took a lovely air conditioned cab from Chalong to Patong. Patong is one of the towns that was decimated by the 2004 tsunami. It's extremely touristy and congested with cars, mopeds, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, shops and tattoo parlors. We had already reserved three rooms at the Minotel hotel. I thought the name Minotel sounded greek or perhaps some Thai word that means relaxation or rest. Nope, it stands for “me no tell” as in me no tell, you no tell. My room was fairly decent for $28 with AC, bottled water, and wifi. I enjoyed more alone time, ate lunch at a chinese restaurant with a nice mangy dog relaxing on the floor (all the dogs I have seen have been adorably mangy) and checked out some shops. As is custom you must haggle prices down if you wish to buy anything and its quite exhausting.
Ed is a purveyor of fine things such as fine wines, fine dining and I get the sense of other earthly delights as well. He is always looking for “value for money” (his words). So naturally he partakes in the massage opportunities here - I’m not sure to what extent but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the full extent. He talked me into getting a massage from a reputable place (photo attached) so I agreed and for six dollars I received an hour long Thai massage. I would like to tell you that it was amazing and relaxing but here is what happened. The massage stalls are small about 7 feet long by 5 feet wide just enough space for a twin mat. Each stall is divided by a curtain so that you can’t view the other customers, but let me tell you, you can certainly hear them. You see, Ed was also getting his massage at the same time as me in the stall right next to mine so for an hour while I was trying very hard to enjoy my massage all I could hear was Ed’s moans and groans of pain mingled with pleasure. No he wasn’t getting sex, but still. Call me prude or conservative if you like, but the only man I want to hear making moaning or groaning noises 3 feet away from me is my significant other. I was quite relieved when it was over.
After the massage we thankfully went our own ways, later we all met up for dinner where Ed and Ken got into a heated discussion about the 1951 Australian security treaty with New Zealand and the US (ANZUS, you can look it up, was after WW2 to stop the spread of communism). Ken being pro US and Ed being anti-US (because of our attempts at global domination and all the world problems we have caused). I didn’t have the energy or desire to participate too much in the conversation and just quietly mentioned that Ken was invited to visit me in the US and Ed wasn’t. Hehe.
After dinner we walked Bangla Street which I would describe as a very similar feel to the strip in Las Vegas. Neon lights, huge ostentatious commercial bars, blaring music, scantily clad women, bars offering “bucket” drink sizes, drunk tourists, stall vendors, street performers, “massages”, pole dancers and yes, ladyboys. This was the first night I didn’t go to bed at 8pm haha. We didn’t get more than 5 feet into walking Bangla Road when we I was forced to follow Ken and Ed into the Aussie sports bar and watch Rugby for a good solid hour. Went to use the bathroom and was going to be charged 10 bhat (28 cents) to use it even though I was a paying customer so decided to wait until I had to go more to get more “value for my money.”
Finally left the bar and ended up watching quite a good Thai band doing covers of American songs. Stand By Me, Red Hot chili peppers, U2, Bob Marley and others. The guitarist was from Japan and quite good. I will try to post some video clips of them here.
A group of ladyboys hang out and get paid to have their photo taken with tourists and there is some ladyboy gogo show which thankfully we didn't see. They have breast implants and some are utterly indistinguishable from regular women. Lots of pole dancers in many of the bars moving their bodies like robots to the blaring pop music but with vacant looks in their faces. Its not much different than the scene in Vegas.
On the way out of the strip we stopped at a BB gun stall and had a mini shooting competition of 5 shots each. The BB guns are designed to look like pistols. Ken got the closest to his target, then me, then Ed who was way off! After that I returned to my hotel room around 10:30 and those two stayed out.
I'm currently checked into a hotel in Old Phuket called Joe Mansion but a far cry from a mansion at $15 a night but clean. Old Phuket seems like a grungy third world city, no beach access and I have no idea why we came here. Our days here seem to rotate around eating and for anyone who knows me knows that's the last thing I do back home.
I was eager to get to land after 4 long days on the boat, and now I am equally eager to get back on the boat to some peace and quiet. Tonight we will buy provisions, tomorrow check out of immigration back in Chalong and set tail late in the afternoon.
So incredibly nice to wake up alone and have time to myself. Dont get me wrong, I enjoy Ken and Ed's company however everyone needs alone time. It's when I am alone I feel most like myself. Woke up around 6am, watched the sunrise from my room, thought about doing a workout but that's as far as I got. Yea I’ve put on a couple pounds from being confined to a boat for 4 days. I suppose I could make a workout happen if I tried harder. The heat definitely creates lethargy. Swimming has helped but haven’t had much chance to do it yet. If anchored with so many boats around you may as well be swimming in a sewage tank. Its hard to forego all of my western sensibilities here.
Walked to 7-11 to buy sunscreen since I had lost mine. I could have spent several hours looking at all the strange products in 7-11. I’ve attached a few photos. Whats the deal with all the whitening cream? I guess its pretty popular in all of these asian, south asian and middle eastern countries. I feel fortunate I’m free from the extremes of such vanity to chemically or otherwise alter my appearance.
Very happy to find an American No. If you’re wondering what that is, its an americano haha. The streets are typical second world. Not as bad as third world (I don’t know what the criteria is but for my personal criteria if drinking the water may result in diarrhea and parasitic infections or if there is any human defecating done in public I consider this third world, this was my experience traveling India in 1995.) There is still litter, heavy traffic congestion and after an hour outside you’re covered in a paste of sweat, dirt and diesel exhaust. It almost makes the polluted marina look like a pleasant reprieve. Almost.
My hotel is located in a high tourist area and fishing and touring boats are everywhere. There are hundreds or thousands of tourists from all over the world here. The US passport has moved down to 4th rank of being able to freely enter foreign countries without a visa (German passport is first). I believe the number is 175 countries we can enter freely. Very lucky indeed we are.
On my way to meet Ed and and Ken for breakfast. Ed texted that the bilge is still taking in water so he is concerned. More later from party ville Patong.
Photos are a slideshow. Click on photo to access control arrows.
Finally land and my own hotel room!
Day 4 : I am so relieved this was the first day I didn’t take any meclizine and I did not get motion sickness even through quite a rocky ride all the way through. After setting sail, I scrubbed the cockpit out of restless boredom and again was told I was raising the bar. After 5 hot hours we pulled into Ao Chalong Harbor where a giant buddha statue overlooks the harbor, though hard to see at such a distance, we made our way through a couple hundred anchored boats, found a spot, dropped anchor, packed our land bags, boat trash and laundry into the dingy and went to shore where mounds of boat trash greets all arrivals. Customs and immigration took a grueling 3-4 hours. I have to hand it to Ed. Ed manages everything on this trip. Its like having a free tour guide. I dont have to plan or figure anything out whatsoever other than how to avoid gluten and how I am going to find coffee for the boat that is actual coffee and not whatever Ed is drinking that is pretending to be coffee yet stains his boat in about 10 seconds when my starbucks coffee does not stain the boat.
Once through immigration we made our way to the Phuket Yacht Club see pictures haha! Then we found a hotel where Ken and I booked our own rooms (Ed is sleeping on the boat to watch the bilge, he’s worried about water collecting in it). Ed knew exactly a good place to eat, so we went there and I had my first thai food in thailand, Then back to the hotel for a shower, a beer and to plan tomorrow.
Things are crazy cheap here. I picked up a thai sim card which was $11 for 3 G data for one month. Chicken and Basil with rice lunch with bottled water= $3.36. My hotel room which is nice by western standards is $28. A cold beer $1.12 which is the bar price.
Tomorrow we will stay in Patong which I guess is a crazy party town.
The photos are a slideshow. Tap on the photo to view control arrows.
What a long day today! Today was the first day I started feeling homesick (for things like fresh air and personal space). We set sail at 6:30 am and sailed for 10 hours until we reached ko pihpih. 10 hours on a boat in 90 degree weather is a long fucking time. The mornings are pleasant temp but after about 11 am its damn hot. And it stays hot until dusk. Sometimes we hose off with water to cool down; Today I didn’t but I probably should have. This is the 3rd day of sailing and I am still taking meclizine (half dose) because I am afraid of seasickness which from personal experience is complete hell. Tomorrow I will try without it.
Spending all that time with people in a cockpit you get to know them. I feel much more comfortable around Ken than I do Ed. Ed is very nice and certainly is no threat at all, but Ken just is easier for some reason. Perhaps because Ed is always in the role of instructor or guide, which is very nice, but then its hard to relax around. Maybe I am more self conscious with him because its his boat and everything needs to be done a certain way. I'm not sure exactly.
This is the longest I have gone in this current existence without touching the earth. After 3 full days on the boat I still feel ok about it, I don't feel trapped or cabin fever yet, but I am very much craving alone time and a shower. At night I go to bed around 7:30 so I can be alone in my drawer bed. My favorite times are in the morning when I wake up around 5am and in the evening when I get alone time to write and reflect.
On this day, Ken and Ed really wanted me to see Ko Phiphi (pronounced peepee) because its where the movie The Beach was filmed with Leonardo Dicaprio. Boy do I ever wish we hadn’t but I couldnt let that on to them because they were both so excited for me to see the beauty and I didn't want to hurt their feelings and I was assured that all the tourists boat would leave and we would have the place to ourselves. Such was not the case.
PhiPhi is a small beach maybe half a mile long surrounded by majestic island cliffs. And in addition to the majestic beauty, its one big fucking party beach filled with sunburned tourists, mostly naked women, lots of booze (there was even one boat called Bob’s Booze Cruise) and piss and shit. Let me tell you after 3 days sailing in the peace and quiet of the open sea and then to anchor at this ridiculous place with party boats everywhere was quite the culture shock. Several times I heard Ed and Ken discuss “picking up a boy” at Phiphi Island. I told them a few days back that I didn’t want to impose on their fun or whatever they usually do when they come to Thailand (this is their 4th time here) but I was hoping that two men in their mid 60’s picking up a boy wasn’t something I would have to witness or participate in. My fears were thankfully unfounded when I learned that picking up a boy means securing a mooring which is attaching the boat to a buoy (which the aussie’s pronounce as “boy”) instead of dropping the anchor. Ken and Ed were in near hysterics when I explained to them how Americans pronounce the word buoy. In fact we have enjoyed sharing many of the differences of American vs. Australian Culture.
Once anchored at PhiPhi, we had a couple beers and dinner and has been my custom I retired early to savor some alone time in my drawer. Ed stays on deck, as is his custom, enjoying some alone time which he usually spends drinking beer. (By the way, almost every single male I have seen in the sailing world here in Thailand, Malaysia and Florida has a fairly large pot belly.)
As Ed was lounging on deck, a dingy from a neighboring boat speeds by him telling him there has been been an earthquake off of the coast of Sumatra and there is a tsunami warning. Ed wakes both Ken and I up with this news. I think a gift I got from my mother is I tend to stay calm during what could be extreme panic and chaos. It is this mode I kick into when things get serious. Real serious. Ken was also calm and for the most part Ed was too but I could sense Ed’s burden of being the Captain and responsible for our lives. We discussed the options of taking the dingy to shore or sailing out to sea. Ed was optioning for the latter. What we couldn’t figure out though was why none of the other boats were doing anything and why we heard nothing on the radio. The other boats weren’t moving and the two other party boats were continuing on with their party. We had no cell connection and no way of getting any information. Ed was leaning towards us going out to sea and sailing to phuket through night but I had a feeling we were missing something. I suggested to Ed that he make radio contact with another boat on channel 16 and he objected since channel 16 is reserved only for distress calls. I told him that I think getting info about a tsunami probably qualifies and god knows how many boaters we hear using the emergency channel to discuss their next fucking tea time meetup, so he relented and made contact with the neighbor boat, the Calisto Austria. We were told 7.6 quake off the coast of sumatra, which was 900 nautical miles away and if a tsunami came at 20 nm/hour it wouldn’t arrive for 40 hours or so (I’m not sure about his calculations but thats what he told us). We were much relieved that at least we could go back to bed before the tsunami came and could deal with it all in the morning. Which is what we did.
Let me add, that my intuition didn’t feel like I was about to die, but I did think about it and my thoughts were of the people I love and how I would miss them. But then i quickly fell asleep and sorted of tried to pay attention to the waves of the boat while I slept. Upon waking we discovered that there was no tsunami, and at 6:30 we noticed the first tourist boats arriving which we were pretty sure wouldn’t happen if there was a tsunmami. We quickly took the dingy to the shore, took a few photos of the serene beauty before it got filled with crap, returned to the boat and set sail for phuket by 7:15 am.
I put the photos as a slide, click on the arrows. Let me know which format of photos is easiest for viewing.
After topping off water and fuel, checking out with immigration we departed Langkawi and set sail around noon. Sailing with the current flowing north and favorable NE winds we made good speed of 5 knots (5 nautical miles per hour*)
We set out in the heat of the day, and that coupled with taking the damn meclizine the first day was a bit exhausting. The breeze helps with the heat but it still gets quite hot and drains your energy. We enjoyed snacks of cold papaya, mango and a cold crisp American** apple I had left over (I confess I am feeling a sense of patriotic pride re my apple). Ed had me take the helm fairly early on since he believes that helps ameliorate seasickness. Sade is very responsive to the slightest turn of the wheel.
Ed is a pretty good skipper, He explains things, is patient in instructing me and has a fairly laid back demeanor. I have noticed that he is hard of hearing and this is somewhat of a problem. It seems completely random when he understands me and when he doesn’t. For a while I took to shouting but then I really felt like a loud obnoxious American and I was even annoying myself. So now I try to read him and figure out if he has understood me but it’s hard to tell for sure.
My advice to anyone with hearing loss, it is sooo much better to the people you are with to just ask again what they said and to not pretend to understand them. There is no shame in hearing loss. Trying to talk to Ed or ask questions without ever knowing if he has understood me makes me more hesitant to initiate conversation. I still do of course because it’s necessary however at times I give up trying to explain what I am saying if it isn’t important. Ken on the other hand, has noticed Ed’s hearing loss and mentioned it. Ken is great because he explains things to me more clearly than Ed. It is so nice to have both around with two different teaching styles.
After sailing for about 6 hours, we anchored at Turatao. The plan was to sail north to Ko Muk but the winds were coming from the north and sailing directly into the wind puts Sade in irons, which means no movement. With winds coming from the north we changed our destination and used the motor to maintain a speed of around 4 knots until we dropped anchor at Turatao at around 5:45 Thai time. The first thing we did after dropping anchor was all jump in the water for a swim which was quite refreshing, then opened a cold beer and enjoyed the cool evening and the sunset. We had brought food purchased earlier from a food stand so dinner was easy. At 7:30 I hit the sack and fell asleep in about 30 seconds.
Turatao in the early 1930’s was a penal colony where all kinds of the most savage of criminals were dropped off. They apparently became a ruthless group of pirates and in the 1940’s the British Army was invited to take care of the problem, which they did and the colony was disbanded. Now it’s a beautiful island with some monkeys and a few tourists.
Sometime early in the night the winds picked up quite a bit. The winds were coming at around 40 knot gusts (46 mph). Sade was clanking, banging, turning, rocking all night long. It was quite noisy. Neither Ed nor Ken slept. Thanks to the meclizine I zonked out without a problem and slept soundly until about 2 am. Then was awake off and on until 6:30 when we woke to have coffee and discuss the days sailing plan.
With the anchor holding we decided to wait a couple hours and see if the wind died down. Using the down time Ed and Ken attended to a few boat repairs and I turned my attention to breakfast duty of omelets and used my one and only good ole Florida Orange as a side dish. The Aussies never heard of having orange slices with breakfast. To all of you whom have questioned my cooking skills (and there are many I am sure), I was officially told that I have raised the bar on the boat to that of a 5 star restaurant. I believe there is a photo of the omelets somewhere so you can see for yourself and they actually didn’t taste too bad either.
I couldn’t help shake the feeling that we were at one end of a wind tunnel. After a few hours we decided to set sail and check the conditions further out. Turned out it was much improved away from where we had anchored and we sailed a steady 4-5 knots with the genoa out until the wind died down a bit. Then we put up the main and maintained around 4 knots until we dropped anchor at Ko Talibong. The waters were much calmer here and we all cooled off with a swim as the sun set. Then dinner and sleep. Ed, like all sailors it seems, enjoys his evening beer and the beer space in the fridge takes top priority. I confess, its quite refreshing after long hot days of sailing.
Sailing is not for people who like speed or are in a hurry. It forces you to slow down and above all it forces you to be present in the moment and this is what I love. At all times you must be completely aware of the weather, the direction of the wind, other boats, rocks or obstacles. Not for a moment can you be off guard. There is auto pilot which is nice so you can take your hands off the wheel however you still must always keep watch. With three of us it is quite easy to rotate tasks. We fill the long sailing days with taking turns manning the helm, plotting different courses***, and having conversation. Ed and Ken are trying to determine my boat nickname but haven’t thought of one yet though I am quite fearful it may be Angelina because in some parallel universe they think I look like Angelina Jolie.
By the way, here's a story about a mummified sailor just found.
*Nautical Miles are the measurement used by all nations for sea and air travel. A nautical miles is based on the circumference of the earth being a 360 degree circle. When trying to determine a ship’s speed, a degree into 60 minutes. One minute of the earth’s arc equals one nautical mile, which is 1.15 regular miles (called statute miles).
**Being in contact with so many nationalities one really does identify with their nationality. I am very aware of the fact that I am an American and that the two people I am with are Australian. It is very educational and interesting talking about the cultural differences. More on this later.
*** There are so many islands here that it is easy to change our destination if we get off schedule. With sailing it goes without saying you are at the mercy of the wind. It’s not as simple as going from point A to point B. Sometimes the wind doesn’t favor the direction of point B so alterations must be made.
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We set sail today around noon. Have to top off the water tanks, stock up on a few more provisions, go through immigration. It will be 4 days until we reach Phuket. We will anchor each night. Tonight we will either anchor at Koh Turatao (27 nautical miles) or Koh Bulo Le (33 nm), the second night will be Koh Rok and the third night will be Ko Pipi and the 4th night we arrive in Phuket. The waters should be clean and swimmable but will vary.
I must say its been extremely advantageous being in Langkawi with someone who speaks the language (Malay) and knows the area. We avoid the touristy areas and Ed drives around like a native. Ken arrived yesterday. He is very nice and reminds me of Harrison Ford.
I feel so lucky being able to learn sailing with two people who are so experienced and willing to teach me no strings attached. I will either be paying Ed a small amount of $ or making some paintings for him as trade. I've heard its unusual for crew to "pay to work" but I don't mind at all its such good experience and Ed is such a laid back, easy going person.