And that´s a wrap!
Bay Dreamer has now reached her final destination for this trip and is now settled in the Royal Phuket Marina, Thailand. 6 weeks down, I think it can be humbly stated that Bay Dreamer has drifted under her fair share of colossal cliffs, cruised through enough warm turquoise waters and anchored beyond enough white sandy beaches during this time. However, what we haven’t done a lot of, is actual SAILING! We’ve broken a Bay Dreamer record this trip for the amount of motoring we’ve had to do due to the lack of wind, which has been a shame for the crew who really wanted to build up their sailing skills whilst aboard.
First taste of Thailand
From leaving Langkawi, we first entered Thai territory in Koh Lipe, 30nm north east. Initially at a busy anchorage, we moved the following day to the other side of the island which had other fellow sailors nearby, much more ‘Bay Dreamer style’, and spent our days here getting our first feels of Thailand, strolling through the quaint walking streets and relaxing in jungle like cafes.
Once well acquainted with Koh Lipe, it was time to move to Koh Muk. Bay Dreamer tested out their new teams volley ball skills here and drank many a fruit shake from the restaurant built up on the nearby cliffs. Here we visited the Emerald Cave, which turned out to be quite the adventure! Together with Atlas, we took the dinghy a few hundred metres around the corner from the beach to its location.
A Flawless Plan
The plan was simple, hop in the water, swim to and through the cave and pop out on the other side, emerging onto a hidden inland beach. What we didn’t account for in our seemingly flawless plan for was the high tide and the accompanying rolling waves, which restricted the entrance to the cave as we tried to swim in. Perfectly timing our swimming with the rolling of the waves to avoid knocking our heads at the entrance, we swam through our first obstacle. Now, you would think with the amount of caves Bay Dreamer has visited this year that we would have remembered that sometimes, caves can be quite dark…. Especially in the water…. And if they are 85 meters long…. So some kind of light source probably would have been helpful. But here on Bay Dreamer, we like a challenge. Blind eyed, we waded our way through depths of the cave with one arm stretched out feeling for any obstacles or changes of direction in the cave. Were we swimming to our destination? Backwards? In circles? None of us could be sure, until in the distance there was a speck of light and the faint whisperings of others. Eureka! We had come across other cave dwellers, who had anticipated the need for a torch and had it shining brightly in front of them, thus also illuminating the way for us! Sneakily using the brief beams of their light we emerged out of the cave, onto a small white beach enclosed by 100m high towering cliffs and giant jungle trees. The serenity of the location was striking, enough so that we made a second trip the following day, this time accompanied by Olivia on the paddle board….. and a torch.
Next Stop Koh Phi Phi
Our next highlight was Koh Phi Phi and its surrounding attractions. The reality of Thailand’s ever growing tourism industry kicked us in the face with an unkind fungal foot right from our arrival here, it was crazy busy! With the party life of Phi Phi done and dusted, we cruised around to Maya Bay, the famous setting of the movie ‘The Beach’. Sadly, this area was a bit too famous. With boats pulled up next to each other like in a shopping mall car park along the beach and wads of tourists shuffling past each other to get their selfies, the beauty of the setting was somewhat spoiled. Patiently waiting, we were able to take refuge on a smaller beach just opposite ‘the beach’, and peacefully watched the madness from a safe, tourist-free distance. As the sun began to set, one by one we watched the small boats jet off, leaving ‘the Beach’, deserted, serene and showing its true glory.
This was a common theme for us during our time around Phi Phi. If we were patient enough, any stated ‘secret/hidden beach’, bay or cave became our own, as if we really were isolated away from anyone and anything just like in ’The Beach’. Isn’t that the beautiful thing about sailing? How else would one have the opportunity to escape the soul crushing madness of crowds and be able to take in the true beauty that a destination truly holds?
Climbing in Krabi
We next arrived to Anang, Krabi in perfect timing. Upon the anchor hitting the sandy bottom, the Gods opened up the flood gates and drowned us in tumultuous rain and incessant striking of lighting bolts narrowly missing Bay Dreamer. Instead of fleeing to the safety of the saloon, we took advantage of the situation and decided we were in desperate need of a rainfall scrub instead.
At Railay Beach, Monica and Danny tested out their rock climbing abilities while the others were able to watch beginners and professionals scaling seemingly impossible cliffs in awe.
Sadly in Krabi we said good bye to Josefine, who due to illness did not wish to continue the remainder of the trip. It has been strange having one less person on the boat there to chat with or to join in on cards or Yatzy games, but we hope she recovers soon and enjoyed her time on Bay Dreamer while it lasted.
Spoiled with Paradise
Thailand has spoiled us with its pristine beaches in all these locations as well as Koh Nipah, Ko Hong, Chicken Island and more. With the amount of beautiful places we’ve been able to see during the trip, the novelty of a tropical paradise somewhat worn off and we have had to stoke our figurative beards in deep thought on how to spend our days. In a light bulb moment pondering what to do, Bay Dreamer held their first ever triathlon with a swim, run and paddle board in Koh Hong- however sadly it was Thomas from Atlas who brought home the gold medal… this time.
But with the trip now at a close and the harsh awakenings of the bustle of every day reality around the corner, I’m sure we’ll all be dreaming of these slow, white sandy beach days.