|the lovely Kokomo|
On the last night we were in Langkawi, we met an Australian
couple sailing a boat with a Canadian flag and got to chatting with them.
Mark is a master mariner and has spent most
of his life on large container and cargo vessels.
Julie, his wife, is new to the cruising life
but game to join Mark to live aboard Kokomo, a 60 foot Cooper sloop that they
bought in Vancouver.
They started living
aboard in June and are now retired and exploring the Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand
They let us tour their lovely
boat, fitted with Canadian maple and many luxuries that would make life aboard
How excited do you think
we were when they asked us if we wanted to sail with them from Langkawi to
|This is the absolute BEST Immigration line I've ever been in.|
We needed to get Popeye up to Kata Beach (on Phuket) for
Craig and his charter group first, so having done that and spent some time on
the island, we then needed to get back to Langkawi.
The milk-run island ferry seemed like the
best solution, so we packed up four days ago and started back.
The ferry stopped at many different islands,
but we didn’t disembark.
The ferry went
as far as Ko Lipe, where we had to overnight and catch the Malaysian speedboat
the next morning.
Ko Lipe is a National
Park, but with all the hotels, longboats, dive shops and restaurants along the
beach and on the island, we couldn’t figure out what benefit the National Park
designation was providing the island.
Hopefully, the 200 Baht each we had to pay to come ashore was going
towards park rangers who were keeping the coral in better shape than it would
|Mark and Julie Board|
We were a bit nervous upon going to spend five days with a
couple that we had only met very briefly before.
It turns out that there was not need for
Mark and Julie are marvelous,
generous, interesting people.
filled with stories from his merchant mariner days, having travelled much of
the world and had some great experiences.
Julie had some stories to tell about being an ex-pat in Singapore.
Both were great hosts and Kate and I were
suitably impressed by our accommodations.
They have done a great job of setting themselves up with a new home on
the water, having sold their land-based house and fully moved onto the
Mark and Julie are justifiably proud
of Kokomo and have been very patient with all my questions about systems on the
boat and the hows and whys of the systems.
They have been giving us insight on the good and the bad parts of living
aboard – I am finding this invaluable for assuring me that Kate and I can do
We spent a day settling into the boat in Langkawi before
We brought out both main
and jib sail and even brought out a seldom-used gennaker, but the winds were a
bit too light to really get Kokomo going properly.
We ended up relying on the iron sail (engine)
to get us to Taranto, our first stop.
Mark and Julie prefer to just day sail, so we were going to be hopping
from one anchorage to the next.
the day passages, we find ourselves in the cockpit, under cover of a wide
biminy behind the generous wheelhouse, chatting about our working days,
friends, places we’ve been to or would like to go someday.
|a.k.a. Emerald Beach!|
Last night we made it to Ko Muk and decided to go to Emerald
Beach on the island.
What makes this
beach unique is it can only be accessed through a dark, 80 metre-long tunnel
that is wide enough for swimmers, kayaks or very small dinghies.
Flashlights in hand and Kate and I in the
water towing the dinghy (Julie wasn’t quite brave enough to get out and swim
through an unknown cave), we felt very much like we were in an Indiana Jones
movie as we made our way through the twisty, dark tunnel.
to find the pathway through and were treated to a secluded wander around the
As we were making our way out
through the tunnel, there was the traffic of a tour group, all lifejacketed up
and paddling nervously through the water the way we had just came.
Thank goodness we went in before breakfast
and had the place to ourselves – the rest of the day was likely to be busy in
|Proper bathroom - shower to the right|
|Alcohol leads to dance parties|
|properly sheltered cockpit|
|exploring Emerald Beach|
|Indiana and his sidekick get towed through the tunnel|
|out of the tunnel from Emerald Beach|
|Julie and Mark look out to Kokomo|
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