30 Jan - 4 Feb 2007 Passage from Boat Lagoon, Phuket, Thailand to Telaga Harbour Marina, Langkawi, Malaysia
30 Jan 07 Departed 0905. Bit of difficulty getting away from slip with breeze blowing onto pier. Ran aground opposite Royal Langkawi Marina where two stakes made confusion about the channel. Decided against anchoring for night at Ko Kaphrao and changed course for Ko Phi Phi Le. Wind 15-18 kts all day on very, very close reach. Sailed and motor-sailed to arrive 1715. Picked one of two remaining buoys and the other buoy got occupied an hour later.
Awoke at 0135 due to changing boat conditions. Found mooring had come loose from the bottom and boat drifting across bay (if it had happened on the other buoy we would have been on the reef). No other buoys available and too deep to anchor. Got underway for Ko Rok Nai at 0140, loitering in the bay to secure the boat for a passage. Wind 18 kts on close reach, sailed at 5+ kts.
31 Jan 07 At sunrise the wind backed and diminished. Motor sailed rest of way to Ko Rok Nai. Anchored at 0900 between islands in 33 ft with 175 ft of chain. Current and wind contrary but still comfortable. A few speedboats blasted by with tourists. Rangers came by to collect park fees, 400 baht for two. Rowed ashore for walk on beach and photo ops.
1 Feb 07. Departed at 0620 in the dark but with bright moonlight. Once clear of leeward side of the island had beam winds (ENE) of 15 kts which increased to 25 kts during the day. Best sail in a long time as we reached at 5.5-6.5 kts. Entered pass to Ko Rawi at 1400 and motored against strong current along south shore. Arrived at the intended anchorage at 1430 to find it not suitable in the easterly winds. Set course for Ko Adang but could not lay it against the wind. Changed course for Ko Lipe (close reach) arriving at 1630. Toured the anchorage and set the anchor at 1650 in 35 ft with 150 ft of chain. Windy and a slight roll.
2 Feb 07. Awakened at 0410 to find a string of power boats, tied head to stern, within a few feet of our starboard side. Got one crew awake to fend off as we weighed anchor. Decided to get underway for Langkawi instead of re-anchoring. Found winds of 20 kts on the nose and began beating toward Langkawi. After three long tacks at 3.5-4 kts SOG, at 0915 the winds were up to 33-35 kts and the seas 4 meters so after sailing 20nm to make 12 nm toward the next waypoint decided to give up and return to Ko Lipe. With a hankerchief of a jib out we ran downwind at 5.5-6.5 kts arriving back at the anchorage at 1140. Anchored in 23 ft with 100 ft of chain. WE GOT OUR BUTTS KICKED!
Found the forward hatch had come loose in the pounding and the vee berth soaked. Replaced the hatch lock (the threads on the plastic knob had stripped) and spread the gear out to dry. Could not get any rest due to the constant run of long-tail boats with unmuffled exhaust blasting by. As with the drivers in Phuket they have absolutely no respect for anyone besides themselves. At night broke out the 'warmsail' (a surplus military poncho liner) as the wind through the boat was cold. Slept lightly thanks to a 'concert' from the disco on the shore which lasted until 0400. Our opinion of cruising in Thailand is diminishing rapidly.
3 Feb 07. Spent the day doing SLOJ (shitty little odd jobs). The wind diminished and went to the SE in the afternoon. It switched back to the NE in the evening so we decided to leave after midnight.
4 Feb 07 We departed at 0030 and found conditions better than the previous attempt but still boisterous ... ENE 20-25 kts and seas of 1-2 meters. We stayed on a port tack through the night sailing at 3.5-4 kts until 0700 when we were 6.7 nm south of Point Belua to the west of Telaga Harbour. Tacked to the north and sailed at 5.5-6 kts to the point. As we tacked to the east the engine lost power and nearly died but cleared itself, probably due to dirty fuel stirred up from the poundings. A tack back to the entrance to Telaga Harbour and as we approached the outer marks Rose discovered smoke coming from the engine room. At this point we had handed the jib and were sailing on the mainsail only. Shut down the engine and found loose alternator belts were the culprit (they had not been tightened since leaving Phuket ... shame on Terry!). But the wind also had died so the alternator was turned off and the engine restarted to get us safely into the harbour where we anchored at 0915. We rowed the dinghy to the marina to check on which berth we had been assigned and say hello to our friends on SUPERCAT. Rowed back to the boat, had breakfast then motored into the marina. Checking in with the friendly officials imparted a feeling of 'coming home'.