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Sailing Alissa in Phang Nga Bay

THAILAND | Friday, 27 June 2008 | Views [1589] | Comments [2]

How good is this! We minibused into the marina at Yacht Haven Phuket and found our way to Alissa our Bavaria 42 we had chartered for the next 8 days. After unloading all our kit we found a local Thai restaurant for dinner and where we planned the forthcoming sailing trip around Phang Nga Bay and had a sensational last mainland meal before an early morning departure the next day.

Alissa was the perfect yacht for us, she had 4 cabins and 2 bathrooms and a sensational saloon and well equiped galley. She sailed really well, we had a couple of memorable sails with 9 knots displayed on the log for long periods, we all knew when we hit 9 knots as Allan always let us know with an excited yell. The wind was generally light with only 2 days of good 15 knot plus wind.

We left the marina after our short briefing on Sunday 15 June and had a good sail to an amazing anchorage at Ko Hong where we anchored in 10 metres of clear water in the lee of a sheer limestone island. After a swim we took the dinghy and explored the hong,(a rock cave that opens to sky) without a doubt an amazing experience, have a look at the photos.

Monday 16 June

After a hot night we all enjoyed an early morning swim. A local fisherman approaches us selling his catch of prawns. Al cleans them and Helen cooks them up fresh for breakfast. We up anchor and head north. The water is so still, making the rocky outcrops look majestic as they come out of the water. We pass the famous James Bond Island, the scenery is beautiful, sheer red rocky cliffs, then continue on to the 'gypsy village' which is a muslim fishing village on stilts complete with their own mosque. We go ashore to get some supplies. Helen cooks up a fried rice as we have discovered the fridge onboard is not working well and we need to cook up the meat we have. We start to head south, having to navigate the channel carefully as we experience some shallow ground! We have a pleasant sail, the girls jump overboard and hold a line behind us to cool off. As approach the Koh Kudu group the is another hong, this opens up into a beautiful, tranquil, emerald coloured lagoon. We explore it in the dinghy. We anchor the yacht in between Koh Kudu and Koh kudu Yai. The rock faces are spectacular, tall and isolated. Time to cool off in the water.

Tuesday 17 June

Up anchor early after another very hot night on board. Anchor at Koh Yao Noi to cook bacon and eggs. We then put up the sails but the breeze is slight. We sail towards the Koh Dam group and anchor early afternoon. Our first sandy beach with an amazing rocky outcrop in the bay. Kate and Maddy are keen to walk on land and snorkel ashore to be greeted by some very inquisitive yellow stripey fish! We all go ashore and have a cold beer from the tiny shop. There seems to be no one living on the island. Back on deck we all enjoy a fantastic sunset with the lights of Krabi and AoNang in the distance. 

Weds 18 June

We up anchor early to move around to the next bay to a fabulous snorkelling spot. The fish and coral here are beautiful in clear water. we feed the fish and Maddy gets bitten by a fish; she walks on water to get back on the boat! We continue south rounding the 'chicken head' that thsi island is named after with Phi Phi in our sights. we are able to sail with some motoring. We enter the imposing Phi Phi harbour, dodging fishing and diving boats to find a secure anchorage. It looks different since the tsunami with the tall trees missing. Once anchored we go ashore to explore, Larry stays onboard. We have a swim and a look around, thete is still a lot of building underway. We have a drink back onboard and prepare for our first shore meal! We have a tasty Thai meal looking out onto the harbour and some cold beers.

Thursday 19 June

We go ashore for a good coffee and to stock up on fresh fruit and veg. Time to leave civilization and we go over to Phi Phi Le. Larry drops us off at the famous "The Beach" which Leonardo DiCaprio made famous. We go ashore in the dinghy for a swim. It is very beautiful with perfect white sand. We use the outboard to go out to see to meet Larry and carefully get back on board in the ocean chop. We the go around to 'Monkey Beach' Ao Lahdalum, at the back of Tonsai Bay on Phi Phi to anchor for the night. A picturesque bay that we have to ourselves. A nice beach and great snorkelling in crystal clear water. Maddy goes up in the bosun's chair for a bird eye view!

Friday 20 June

We spend a relaxing morning at anchor snorkelling and swimming and exploring the bay. We soon discover why this is called monkey bay as about 15 monkeys appear on the beach. They dig for crabs in the sand and sadly go through rubbish left by day trippers. We leave about 12.30 and start to head back towards Phuket, following the coast of Koh Yao Yai. We have had troule unfurling the mainsail so Larry goes up the mast in the bosun's chair to try to free it. Seems to be better, we put Alissa through her paces in a good breeze reaching 9.1 knots!


A great sail all afternoon and we arrive at our nightly anchorage at Koh Nui just before sunset. The south westerly has come up and we are well protected here at Ao Labu.

Saturday 21 June

Had a good nights sleep with a cooler breeze last night. We have been taking it in turns sleeping on deck some nights as down below was quite stuffy in the heat. Had a good sail across to Koh Naka Yai. A picturesque bay, quiet with a few local village huts visible. An enterprising Thai has a quaint beach bar set up on the beach and deck chairs. His only customers today are ourselves and the team from our yacht charter company out on a day sail. We spend a nice relaxing day there and explore an abandoned resort that is incomplete. This is our last night on board so we finish off the supplies, have a bottle of champagne to celebrate a very memorable trip. We have some strong rain and wind squawls overnight but the anchor holds well.

Sunday 22 June

At 6am this morning Liz and Larry were up early to raise the anchor and the noise of the anchor chain got Al up as well.  We motored to get back up the channel into Yacht Haven for one and a half hours, made good time and used a GPS waypoint to guide us straight back in! The marina boat boys lead us in and we berth Alissa. We have breakfast on board before packing up and use the marinas facilities ashore before handing the boat over. It was a sensational yacht charter, perfect weather, great sailing and the most amazing scenery imaginable.




Sounds like a great trip

  Ian Jul 2, 2008 9:04 PM


Larry Liz Kate and Maddy, thanks for taking Helen and I on as crew on Alissa. Sailing around Phang Nha bay was the most amazing experience. Good sailing and great company against the most sunning backdrop of Phang Nha Bay. Enjoy the rest of your trip. I look forward to sharing your journey through the blog

  allan bawden Jul 2, 2008 10:44 PM

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