: Our last day on Koh Lipe, we went for a walk to the far end of the beach and clambered over the rickety path built of timber and old boat fibreglass over the rocks on the edge of the beach. It came out at a tiny beach where we had a lovely swim. We are really enjoying the lovely clear water and clean white sand. Robbie pulled up a float on a plastic basket which had 2 huge Lobster in it, a nice dinner for someone. We did a few odd jobs and Robbie put up the LED strip lights that I had brought in Langkawi for Xmas. He put them around the outside of the pilothouse, above all the windows in a small alcove that hides them but shows the light. Wow, they look awesome and have a remote control so we can have any colour, including flashing alternate colours. My favourite is the blue that really shows off the whiteness of the Gel coat and also matches the Aqualuma underwater lights we have on the stern of the boat. Its also another method of lighting up the boat at night so we are easy to see and less hard to hit- hopefully!
: Departed Koh Lipe at 6.45am and had a pretty rough trip to Koh Rok Nok, arriving at 2.45pm A beautiful spot with the island being very close to the island of Koh Rok Nai We anchored in the channel between the two islands. Absolutely beautiful spot with very clear water and white sandy beaches. We took the duck off and grabbed a couple of cold beers and went and had a swim and a walk on the beach. We met some Austrian yachties, he is on his 2nd
circumnavigation. Robbie went fishing and circumnavigated the island of Koh Rok Nok. It’s a very small island and only took a couple of hours, including the fishing, which was, as per usual for Asia, non -productive!
Around 6pm we had a visit from the Rangers from the National Park to collect the fees for anchoring there, which were 500 Baht for the boat and ourselves for 5 days.
: Circumnavigated the island of Koh Rok Nai in the duck and had a snorkel off Koh Rok Nok, lots and lots of colourful fish, the coral not as colourful. We saw the wreck of a Catamaran in the shallow water off Koh Rok Nai, complete with mast still attached. Horrible, gut wrenching sight to see. Apparently it was a fire that caused it to sink. We had a walk along the beach, past the National Park Headquarters and past a few tents and cabins for hire, right to the end of the beach. I got eaten alive by sand flies.
: Departed Koh Rok at 7.30am after a horrible night of 19 knots wind against the current making nasty, uncomfortable waves all night.Very hard to sleep. Arrived at Koh Muk at 10.30am. The water is not very clear but OK. Really interesting rock formation on the island, honeycombed with crevices, cracks and caves. It’s famous for “Tham Morakot” – the Emerald Cave. We went for Lunch on the island at Charlie’s beach restaurant. Very nice Penang Curry, then had a walk through the resort and up the hill a short way. Funny sign on the toilet block! Very suspicious, sweet smoke smell as the locals passed us!
Feb 3rd: I was sick and wiped out for most of the day. Robbie kayaked over to the cave and went through with Steve and Clair (Almacantar) who swam and snorkelled through. He came back saying you have to do this Jo – I hate dark caves or anything underground so I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect I have to say and I did try not to do it but he told me I must do it. (but I don’t do told!!)
: Woke up feeling a bit better, so as it was low tide we went over with the duck and the kayak to the cave and I kayaked in and Robbie swam in. The entrance is an 80 metre pitch black dark passageway, complete with bat colony, (sound spooky? It was!) but it lead to a completely enclosed circular, cathedral like upright tunnel, with a diameter of 60 metres. The rock walls are covered with lush foliage and the small beach is lovely silica sand. An idyllic spot! Lots of fish around the entrance, including a dead puffer fish! It really was worth the effort very spectacular, and unusual. I was surprised, it was like a beautiful beach, surrounded with lush rainforest captured in a stunning rock bottle! So glad I did it, sometimes when you do do “told” is …..not so bad!
I kayaked back to Southern Star and Robbie followed in the duck. Interesting moment as 3 Long tail boats sped past me, rather close, creating a 3D wake that I battled and survived not to get tipped out.
Feb 5th: Departed Koh Muk at 6:30am, with a stunning sun rise for the famous Maya Bay on the island of Phi Phi Le! This is the scenic lagoon where the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio, was filmed. We had visited here on holiday not long after we first met, and I remember Robbie commenting that he would love to visit here on his own boat. NEVER dreamed for a moment that we ever actually would!
The scenery is absolutely stunning, soaring limestone cliffs and the spectacularly stunning lagoon with aqua blue water and beautiful white sand. However, the area was alive with boats of every shape and description roaring in and out of there and the beach was covered with people. We poke the bow of the boat into the entrance, and decided not to venture any further. We have already been there and seen the beauty of it, and for us it’s ruined a bit by the noise of the boats roaring in and out and too many people.
We continued onto the island of Phi Phi Don and anchored in Ton Sai Bay. Phi Phi Don is geographically two islands joined by a sand spit just above sea level. In the 2004 Tsunami the wave caused incredible damage and a great number of fatalities. They have recovered well and it is now the hub for thousands of tourists visiting the islands. (This photo of Ton Sai Bay was taken on the morning we left)
We picked our way through the many moored and anchored boats, it was really choppy due to the number of ferries and boats roaring in and out. We found a spot and anchored and took the duck in to stock up on our fresh provisions. It is very touristy, lots of small market stalls and restaurants and bars. We were able to buy good fruit and vege and headed straight back to the boat.
We had quite an uncomfortable few hours as it was so roly and choppy and we couldn’t believe the number of boats coming in and out. Unfortunately they like to come to close to us, and they don’t like to slow down!
I cooked one of the NZ lamb roasts we had brought in Langkawi and we watched another movie from the Fast and Furious set, we are up to number 4 now and really enjoying them. There was no way we could get the duck back on the boat safely with the swell and chop and we both decided we want to get out of here as soon as possible, so it will be an early morning departure tomorrow, hopefully before the boat highway starts.
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