13 Sep - 14 Sep 2008 Ko Rang Yai

Indian Ocean
Andaman Sea
Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles
Ko Phuket
Phang Nga Bay
Ko Rang Yai
SY "Kamu II" at anchor, off Ko Rang Yai, at 8 m depth, on sand.

Click below for an interactive satellite view of the very last anchorage ever of our faithful SY "Kamu II":









Spending a very quiet and peaceful last night at anchor on board of our SY "Kamu II", at a safe position halfway in-between Ko Rang Yai and a tiny islet, saying our goodbyes to eight wonderful and rewarding years as liveaboards and recalling the hundreds of diverse anchorages from the previous years: in the Mediterranean, in the Red Sea and the in Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

"In the event that this fantastic voyage
Should turn to erosion and we never get old
Remember it's true, dignity is valuable
But our lives are valuable too..."
(David Bowie)



Click below for more blog posts about interesting anchorages


Facing Thailand
© Konni & Matt

 
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11 Sep - 13 Sep 2008 Ao Chalong


Indian Ocean
Andaman Sea
Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles
Ko Phuket
Ao Chalong
SY "Kamu II" anchoring off, at 4 m depth, on mud. 

Click below for an interactive satellite view of our safe and protected mud anchorage:





 





Experiencing the squalliest sea passage ever and learning to distinguish between two types of squalls: (i) regular SW monsoon squalls and (ii) “propeller squalls” - the latter ones had the 50 plus knot force to spin the propeller of our out-boarder, when in neutral, which is attached to our push pit.



Meeting brave fishermen from Sri Lanka, in heavy seas at about N 04° 25.00' E 078° 08.00', and establishing friendly rapport with them over a distance of a couple of dozen metres.

Finishing the very last of the seemingly everlasting red Indian onions, which we had bought at Mapusa in March 2008, almost six months ago, on 25 August 2008 at N 04° 50.22' E 079° 16.75'.



Crossing the shipping highway between Singapore and Port Said at about N 05° 30.00' E 087° 45.00' under sails in very light winds with a speed over ground of barely 1 - 2 knots at night-time, lighting up the sails with our powerful searchlight and thus "forcing" all these fast container vessels and roll-on/roll-off-ships from the Far East to give way to SY "Kamu II" under sails - we luckily did never hear their curses.


Missing the opportunity of a hot shower and a free late-night dinner at the captain’s table of one of the many big ships in our vicinity when we, but only for a few minutes, considered the option of a pan-pan call, since we had found plenty of saltwater in the bilges and assumed a leaking welding seam, but were both very relieved when Konni eventually confessed that she had only forgotten to close a sea cock before we heeled over in one of these nasty squalls which hit us quite hard in this sleepless night.




Matt: Hallucinating typical cyclone indicators for the Bay of Bengal at least three times a day, until he was running out of Scotch: (i) sudden barometer drops of 3 - 5 mill bars below the mean pressure for this time of year, (ii) abrupt changes in wind direction and strength, (iii) long, low swell, with a long period, contrary to the perceived prevailing swell, and (iv) solid amounts of cirrus clouds followed by altostratus clouds and broken cumulus clouds.




Being becalmed for days on end, browsing through a few old German mail-order catalogues and learning how dearly our German fellow sailors have to pay for their ganz korrekt fulfilment of their cruising desires of the perfect weltumsegelung: amongst others, they pay (i) € 225.90 or US$ 340.- for a fancy anchor hook “Teufelskralle” with a 4-m nylon rope (on SY “Kamu II” we used an old piece of 16 mm mooring line as snapper attached to the anchor chain by means of a convenient rolling hitch for less than € 10.-), (ii) € 129.90 or almost US$ 200.- for a stylish and up-market fender board 1200 x 250 mm made from Kambala wood (on SY “Kamu II” we used a rugged pine plank 2500 x 300 mm for less than € 5.-) or (iii) even € 34.80 or over US$ 50.- for just one little courtesy flag of  30 x 45 cm.


Sailing from the Bay of Bengal into the Andaman Sea through the Great Channel and 
passing Indira Point by only about 2 nm off the southern tip of the Great Nicobar Island where Shompen people, stone-age hunter-gatherers who have resisted "integration", live in the vicinity of an Indian naval base.

Approaching Thailand’s lee-shore and being officially welcomed to the Far East by a storm warning from Penang/Malaysia on our NASA Navtex receiver: ZCZC UB15 2008-09-09 22:59 METEOR MALAYSIA 015, SECOND CATEGORY WARNING. STRONG NORTH-WESTERLY WIND OF 50 – 60 KMPH OVER THE WATERS OFF PHUKET, PERLIS, KEDAH, PENANG AND NORTH PERAK WITH WAVE HEIGHT OF 4.5 M IS EXPECTED TO PERSIST UNTIL THURSDAY 11th SEPTEMBER 2008. THIS CONDITION OF ROUGH SEAS IS DANGEROUS TO SHIPPING ACTIVITIES INCL. FISHING, FERRY SERVICES AND COASTAL ACTIVITIES. NNNN.




Travelling the distance of 1,688 nm in almost 24 days (an average daily run of only 70 nm), a roller-coaster ride of having to hove-to in squalls with winds up to 60 knots (and almost knocked down flat) and with calms for up to five consecutive days, between Gan and Ao Chalong, thus entering Alfred Russel Wallace’s Malay Archipelago: “Situated upon the Equator, and bathed by the tepid water of the great tropical oceans, this region enjoys a climate more uniformly hot and moist than almost any other part of the globe, and teems with natural productions which are elsewhere unknown. The richest of fruits and the most precious of spices are here indigenous. It produces the giant flowers of the Rafflesia, the great green-winged Ornithoptera (princes among the butterfly tribes), the man-like Orang-Utan, and the gorgeous Birds of Paradise. It is inhabited by a peculiar and interesting race of mankind – the Malay, found nowhere beyond the limits of this insular tract, which has hence been named the Malay Archipelago...” - Southeast Asia, here we come!


Clearing in at Ao Chalong's 
one-stop service centre (immigration: issuing a marine-transit permit on arrival for “skipper” Matt and a tourist-visit permit on arrival for “passenger” Konni, both valid for 30 days; customs: importing temporarily SY “Kamu II” for a period of up six months, extendable up to 2 years; harbourmaster: filling in some meaningless forms that put SY “Kamu II” in the same class as huge super tankers), all free of charge, fast, friendly and painless on our side.





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